This week’s blog series is by Dave White, a missionary with OC International in The Philippines. He shares his experience using T4T. T4T is a set of principles that weaves together evangelism, evangelism training, discipleship, and leadership development, including development of new pastors for new churches. This is all done in the context of actual church planting and church multiplication.
So what do churches planted using our T4T method look like? They can look many different ways, but here’s how many of mine look just so can have a picture in your mind of one of the possibilities.
We use an approach we call Unli Bible Study. Unli refers to the way people here in The Philippines use their cell phones. If you pay a certain amount of money, you get unlimited (Unli) phone use for that day. Our Bible studies work the same way… just without the payment.
People read one chapter of scripture each day during the week. So during one week, people might read Matthew 1-7. Then when they come together, they each share one verse they read that they’d like to apply in the coming week.
The following week, when the church gathers, people check back in with each other: How did you do on applying that verse? What is one new verse you’d like to apply in the coming week from your new Bible reading? Then they pray for one another and worship together. That’s the format for church. It’s so good.
No additional lessons or curriculum are needed. It’s Unli. The method works forever. And it’s so easy to lead. Most new believers can lead churches with this format.
We also have confession as needed, which has worked amazingly well. James 5:16 says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” So we do. The church leader asks, “Does anyone have any sins you’d like to confess?”
The first time I asked that question, we had one lady who had been a believer for a few weeks say, “I’m always swearing at my kids and yelling at them. I’d like to quit doing that. I want to confess that.” Then we prayed with and for her. I asked her if we could follow up with her next week. The following week she’d had victory over that sin.
Then another woman confessed, “My husband and I are always arguing. We come to Bible study, then are always fighting when get home.” We prayed for them, asked permission to check in next week. She’d not had complete victory, but had seen a big improvement.
Then a man confessed, “Last Friday when I came home, it was time to give my salary to my wife for our household expenses. But I told a lie. I told her I lost my salary. But I went out to the bar and drank the whole salary with my friends and had nothing left to give my wife.” His wife was sitting right there next to him at the Bible study. We prayed, and the following week, he gave his salary to his wife.
Whoa, this was the first time I tried using this question. I’ve been using it ever since! You can see how this format for church lends itself to life change and spiritual transformation.