and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So, leaving everything behind,
he got up and began to follow Him.
Luke 5:27–28, HCSB
Have you ever heard of the Bible-Storying Method of Discipleship? It’s an ancient-future approach to teaching the Bible and growing disciple-makers and it is sweeping the world in many different forms. The goal is to grow spiritual dynamos who are fully invested in going full circle with God. One of the forms this movement is taking is the Real Life Ministries approach.
Real Life Ministries (RLM) is a non-denominational Evangelical Christian church in Post Falls, Idaho. Planted in 1998, the church has grown to an average weekend attendance of more than 7,000. The unique characteristic of Real Life is a Bible study methodology called storying that grew out of a partnership with Avery Willis. Willis who served as president of an Indonesian seminary, wrote MasterLife discipleship plan, served as executive strategist for 5,500 missionaries with the International Mission Board, and ended his career with the International Orality Network.
After several years of discussion with Willis, Real Life decided to introduce Bible-storying into their small groups. The experiment was so successful that they trained all their pastors, community pastors, and small group leaders in the method. They found that the storying method:
- Helps people learn the Bible,
- Makes it easier to recruit small group leaders,
- Facilitates real learning,
- Equips members for ministry,
- Empowers parents to disciple their kids,
- Helps small group leaders understand the spiritual needs of those they are discipling,
- Keeps small groups from becoming boring, and
- Encourages transparency and real relationships.
Real Life identifies three major keys to making disciples according to God’s plan:
1. An intentional leader,
2. A relational environment,
3. A reproducible process.
The Real Life Discipleship Training Manual presents the mathematical process of kingdom multiplication:
- One disciple makes three disciple-makers every five years.
If those three disciple-makers do the same every five years, in ten years there will be almost 180,000 disciple-makers.
If they continue… in seventy years (less than the average life span), there are potentially fourteen billion disciple-makers. That is twice the number of people currently occupying our planet.
SO WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? LET’S DO THIS! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a Bible Storying method called “Discipleship TRIOS” that can help you make this happen. And next week in our next blog, I’ll share more details of what Bible-Storying is and how it can work for you. See you then. — Mark Powers
*Putnam, Willis, Guindon, Krause. Real-Life Discipleship Training Manual: Equipping Disciples Who Make Disciples.