There is a people group in North India called the Bhojpuri. They are 80 million people and devout Hindus. Missionaries had gone there over decades and the place was called “the graveyard of missions and missionaries.” There had been almost no fruit from the work and many of the workers had died.
A mission organization (the IMB) called David Watson to go to reach them. David was experienced. He had planted several churches in the USA and in an unreached people group in East Asia.
David answered the call to the Bhojpuri and moved there. Over 18 months, he discipled six Indian guys to do evangelism and plant churches the way he had before. The six went out and all six of them were killed. Martyred. Then David and his family heart broken. These were their friends. Then they were expelled from the area.
It was a dark season for David. He went into his rented office in Singapore and did not even turn on the lights for two months. He grappled with God in prayer asking God to release him from the call to the Bhojpuri. He said, “God, I can’t plant churches anymore. I didn’t sign on to love people, train people, send people, and get them killed.”
“I can’t even live in the area You called me too reach.
“The task is too big.”
Even though David just wanted to go back home and do business, God did not release him from the call to the Bhojpuri. So David finally prayed, “Fine. You have to teach me how to plant churches. Show me in your Word how You want me to reach these people. If you show me, I will do it.”
Then David read straight through the Bible over and over. All day long in his office. God illuminated some passages and connected things David had not seen before.
One passage that was transforming was John 6:43-45.
43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—
Jesus said “Do not grumble”
This caught David’s attention because that is what he was doing.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
David thought that his role in evangelism is to woo people to God. To draw them to Jesus. But Jesus said it the Father that draws people to Him.
“It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’”
David that his role was to teach people the Bible. He would plant churches, be the pastor and teach people the Bible. But Jesus said “they will all be taught by God.”
“Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me”
David saw that if he can just help people hear and learn from the father, they will come to Jesus. His role is to help them hear and learn from God instead of from himself.
So he developed a list of questions called Discovery Bible Study. And we are going to do it together in this meeting.
It is not one person teaching a passage from the Bible. It is a way of learning and hearing from God. He is the teacher. And when we let people hear and learn from God, Jesus says they will come to him.
Paul’s story: I remember when I first learned about Discovery Bible Study. I had been teaching sunday school for years. I faithfully did what they taught me to do in Seminary. That is lecture people from the Bible. I prepared for hours and then preached it to my class. We had a big class. Lots of people came. But there was not much fruit.
I started do Discovery Bible Study instead. It was participatory for the people instead of passive. It was obedience based discipleship instead of knowledge based discipleship.
People started discovering and obeying God instead of just learning some more knowledge about him. People we truly being transformed.
And just a few weeks into the parables of Jesus something shocking happened. My friends Andy and Ryan were born again. This surprised themselves, their wives, their parents, and me because they grew up in church and considered themselves Christians.
But when they started discovering and obeying God and learning from him instead of me, they became true disciples of Jesus. Their fruit since then has been amazing.
Discovery Bible Study is a method that rolls evangelism, discipleship, adn church planting all into one. It is beautifully simple and has profound results.
Let’s go back to David’s story and the Bhojpuri people. He got back into the country and made five new disciples with the new approach He received from God in Singapore. They labored and struggled for a few years and eventually planted one church. His mission organization threatened to fire him every year for not doing his job.
Then in one year they planted 8 new churches.
The next year, 48 new churches. Then 148. Then 327. Then in the fifth year, they saw over 1,000 new churches planted in one year!
The mission organization called them liars. David said, “Come and see.” They sent a research team and found far more the 1,000 new churches reported. David said he did not underreport the churches, but that the churches will still multiplying before the slow arriving research team did their study.
A later study revealed 80,000 churches planted and 2 million people baptized in this unreached people group.
This is called a disciple making movement or a church planting movement. A church planting movement is happened in the book of Acts, and they are still happening today. We are going to a few of these movement principles in this course.
Now lets do Discovery Bible Study together.
Here are the Discovery Bible Study Questions.
Here are the Scripture Sets you can use.