T4T: A Discipleship ReRevolution: An Overview by John Lambert
Chapter Thirteen:Your T4T Package: Gospel Presentation
A “bridge” can move a person’ heart to listen, but only the Gospel can save them. Acts 2:21; 4:12; Romans 10-13-17
What is the Gospel?
The good news that Jesus Christ provided redemption for us and that we can be saved by faith in Him.
Found simply in: Luke 25:45-48, I Cor 15:1-6.
Any presentation of the Gospel must include these core truths and a call for people to respond the the message.
How is it good news to the people you are sent to?
- Animists: Jesus’ power over the spirits.
- Buddhists and Hindus: Jesus’ power to break the cycle of rebirth and bring them to heaven.
- Muslims and Jews: Jesus’ has the ability to break the futile attempt to gain salvation through good works.
- Post-Moderns: Jesus offers true eternal relevance. He changes lives.
The Gospel is always the same, never changing. But the way you share it varies from place to place. (I say the Gospel is closed fist and the way we share it is open hand.)
(For us in Thailand, we have been working to share how Jesus’ is good news to the Thai person. We have created a sample conversation video in Thai that shares the Gospel in a way that the Thai can understand it as good news. Using a Western approach like the Four Spiritual Laws, Steps to Peace With God, and the Gospel Bridge will have little relevance for our context so the presentation needs to be tailored through repeated trial and error.)
A common factor in most CPMs is the use of ONE simple presentation and a call to commitment that any new believer can reproduce.
Biblical persuasion is calling people to respond to God’s conviction. See Acts 2:37-38, 40 and 2 Cor 5:11
People will not generally say “yes” until you call them to respond. The most effective evangelists ASK people to follow Jesus.
Take your presentation and practice it with those you are training so that they can effortlessly share it with five people this week.
Chapter Fourteen: Your T4T Package: Discipleship
Once your people help people to come to start following Jesus, you must help them move through the discipleship process in a way that they can produce generation by generation.
Every T4T package needs a short term set of 6-10 Biblical lessons for short term discipleship that anyone can learn and pass on. After this a process of inductive or “Discovery” Bible study will help move people into long term discipleship as “self-feeders.”
Keep it simple and easy to reproduce rather than trying to make them too theologically heavy, overly complicated, and full of too many applications to the point where your people can’t learn them and obey.
(Here in Thailand, members of our team have used a lesson format that emphasizes a baby’s needs. They are:
- Baby’s Born: Salvation, Baptism, Assurance
- Baby Breathes: Prayer and the Holy Spirit
- Baby Eats: Word of God
- Baby Has A Family: Community/Church/ Lord’s Supper
- Baby’s Father: Father Heart of God- Great Commandment
- Baby Grows: Sharing Your Faith-Great Commission
- Baby is Strong: Perseverance in Persecution
There are many creative ways to do these first few lessons. Remember to keep them simple and easy for people to share at first)
You can find Ying Kai’s original six lessons here in English.
Some “non-negotiables” for a Short Term Package as per the author:
- Baptism: This is probably the single most important act of obedience for solidifying a profession of faith and making true disciples.
- Church: Without this lesson (usually 4-5th), groups will probably not become churches (We will know the difference later.)
- The Lord’s Supper: One of the most purifying acts of worship in a church and a movement.
- Perseverance in Persecution: Perseverance and boldness are important factors in helping a generation of believers start a new generation.
- Great Commission: This lesson reinforces the need to start successive generations.
Literate vs. Oral Learning Methods
Choose what is reproducible, not what you like. If you choose “oral” know that it will take longer and more work to make it reproducible. You have to spend much more time in the “practice” phase of your meeting.
Writing New Lessons: Write them in the “three thirds format.”
Long Term Discipleship Through Inductive Study
Inductive simply means that the group learns the answers together as they ask questions of the text and asks the Holy Spirit to give them understanding and application. This helps them develop the habit of “self-feeding” and helps them to truly serve as “priests of God.”
Accountability Questions need to be
- Effective For Uncovering the Basic Meaning
- Emphasize Application and Obedience
“SOS” Say, Obey, & Share
- What is this passage saying?
- What should we obey from this passage?
- Who can we share this with this week?
Start in the book of Mark (short and fast paced) or start with the “Commands of Christ”
Chapter 15: Your T4T Package: Getting To Baptism
Dismissing baptism or devaluing baptism creates a huge disservice to those professing faith.
Sure or Mature?
The author argues that delaying baptism is not a biblical approach. (this is a big issue here in Thailand). He says that baptism is a sign that you are “sure, not mature in your faith.” By delaying baptism we delay the means by which Jesus gave us for effecting firm commitment.
The order is “sure, then assured.” Baptism means that you are sure in the message you heard, then you can more easily be assured you have received salvation.
Baptism Pattern in the Book of Acts
Matt 28:18-20 the command to make disciples carries with it the command for US to baptize those WE lead to faith.
Study the 10 instances of baptism in the book of Acts and ask yourself:
- Who was baptized?
- Who baptized them?
- When were they baptized?
- How and where were they baptized?
Baptism as a Profession of Faith and An Allegiance Shift. He also mentions Baptism as a pathway to fresh boldness through the Holy Spirit’s gift of power.
Chapter 16: Your T4T Package: Forming Churches
Church Planting is not our value because it is a pragmatic way to reach people. It is our value because this was the purpose of creation- the preparation of a bride for the Son (Eph 1:23, Eph 3:21, Eph 5:17, Rev 19:78, and Rev 21:9)
Two Guidelines that Govern CPM churches are”
Biblical: The question is not, “Is this THE Biblical model?” but rather “Is this model and its elements consistent with Scriptural teaching?”
Culturally Reproducible: “Is this model of church something an average new believer can start and organize?”
Read Acts 2:36-47. This emphasizes 3 C’s of Church: Covenant, Characteristics, Caring Leaders.
The group sees itself as a church and covenants to follow Jesus together. It has certain key characteristics found in Acts 2. It will eventually have caring leaders. (A Church can be a church without leadership being raised up yet. See Acts 14:21-23)
Have a specific goal in mind when doing the lesson on church.This week will commit to becoming a church and will add in any missing characteristic of a church.
“Church Mapping” Can Help You Evaluate If You Have All of The Elements Of Church Life
- Dotted Circle = a group
- Closed Circle = a covenanted group
- # of attenders, professors, baptized written down
- Put characteristics inside the circle if they have them, outside if not yet
- Happy face inside if they have a designated leader, outside if not
No church lesson in your initial six lessons? Then you can expect few churches will be formed!
So teach and model church from the very beginning.
Cascading generations of churches planting churches is your ultimate goal!