"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish." John 10:27–28
Discipleship is a journey. Spiritual growth is a process. From Adam and Eve, to Abraham, to Moses, to the Apostles, the plan of God is echoed in the words of Jesus in this simple verse. God is seeking and speaking to all of us. Humanity’s response should be to listen, respond and follow Him. In fact, Jesus repeatedly said to His disciples, “Follow me” at every stage of their journey. From their baptism to their burial, His Spirit helped them discover truth and guided their daily lives.
This journey of discipleship began for me at 17 years old and has continued for more than 50 years. The journey took my wife, Ramona, and me through rural churches in Alabama, to Bible college in Canada to serving as missionaries in Thailand and the Philippines. In Matthew 28 Jesus commanded all of us to “go and make disciples”. The question is “How?” How can we make disciples?
In my attempt to answer this question, the Lord gave me the opportunity to be part of a workgroup of global mission leaders (2006 - 2008) to develop what came to be called the “DIscovery Bible Study” (DBS) method.* This particular Bible study method is being used in current “Disciple Making Movements” (DMM) around the world. Well-known organizations like Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), Youth With A Mission (YWAM) along with many others have begun using this method of Bible study in their programs.
Cross cultural evangelism and discipleship are as complex as the people groups, cultures and languages of the world that they represent. But Jesus, the Creator God, speaks in their languages and calls each one to come to Him, to know him and to follow Him. According to Matthew 28, Jesus wants His followers to “obey everything” He has commanded. That is why Bibles and Bible studies are at the core of our ministry. Having Bible passages available allows people to hear the Word of God for themselves. We see tens of thousands of people listen, respond and begin to follow Jesus every year. Experienced Bible study leaders guide people through key passages that speak to their needs and provide principles to live as disciples who go on to make disciples.