A few weeks ago in Nepal, Joel, BEYOND’s Tibetan/Himalayan field leader, and his national team were training foreign workers in a local church on how to start Disciple-Making Movements among Unreached people groups. Part of the training presents a method for house churches to meet together using a process called Discovery Bible Study (DBS).
When the government announced the ban on large gatherings, the pastor of the church, who had been attending the training as he was able, asked that some people from his church be taught how to lead house churches through DBS. Joel’s team joyfully did so, instructing those gathered on the simple method of reading a passage of Scripture, asking a few questions, and listening for how God would have them obey what they read.
“There is no substitute for meeting in a small group as the body of Christ,” Joel shares, “even in a group as small as two or three people. This method is how the Tazig people, my focus people group, meet together.”
“During this season of social distancing, we want to continue to grow in our walks with Christ. While some growth comes from individual disciplines, God has designed us to grow together as communities. That community doesn’t have to be 100+ people. It can be 3-10 people meeting together, praying, worshipping, keeping each other accountable, studying Scripture, and discipling and caring for one another. So while we are only able to meet with those in our households, or in small groups of friends and family, I recommend trying a Discovery Bible Study in your home!”
The following week as the nation went into a full lockdown, the Tazig DBS groups and house churches tried to meet by video conference, but technical difficulties prevented them. Not wanting to give up, they tried again the next day by sending out a Scripture passage from Matthew 9 via Facebook Messenger. They sent out the questions, allowing two hours or so for responses.
“We enjoyed seeing the responses come in all day,” Joel says. “Some people sent voice messages; some sent text messages. People responded to each other’s answers with ‘likes’ and various Facebook reactions.”
Meeting in this way allowed them to have real and meaningful interaction. Their phone notifications became less about sharing the latest news of COVID and instead highlighted what their brothers or sisters in Christ were learning and applying from Scripture.