Congratulations to Carol Smith
Discussion Discipleship Method
Commendation from CEO – David Witt
Carol has been an incredible blessing to SOM since 2012. I want to congratulate Carol’s hard work and accomplishment of becoming a Senior Instructor of the Witness Development Workshops. I’ve seen her courage and perseverance as she has used the tools of this method to serve others. Carol is an SOM volunteer staff member and has done all this work as a laborer of love. I pray you are blessed and encouraged by her story.
Interview with Carol Smith
The Discussion Discipleship Method (DDM) is inseparable from the rest of our involvement with SOM. When Mike and I started working with SOM-India, we saw their faithfulness in sharing the Gospel. DDM became part of that, as far as taking personal responsibility and being prepared to share the gospel with other people.
Personally, I have trouble memorizing Scripture, I can only remember it for a few days, but the true stories from God’s Word stick in my brain. Once I learn one, I can share it pretty accurately for weeks before I review it again.
Through the process of becoming a Senior Instructor, I don’t feel like I’ve made any sacrifices compared to the sacrifices of the persecuted believers, except for spending my free time getting ready for workshops, instead of doing personal things. I spend a lot of time connecting to the Word of God, which doesn’t feel like a sacrifice after all. I feel very connected to the persecuted church and know a lot that’s going on in India, Colombia and Africa and it’s very inspiring to see what they’re doing to share Jesus with people. It can be so easy to become complacent and apathetic, but this method puts the Scriptures and time with God right before me all the time, encouraging and inspiring me.
There are many aspects and different ways you can use this method. I don’t teach a Bible study, but where I use it the most is in witnessing; people always enjoy hearing true stories. I’ve found you can witness to people in different ways, but when I actually share a story with somebody, we go deeper. The deepest conversations I’ve had are with people who will share their own stories with you. You can also use the 5-minute stories to share when you’re out and about. I share 5-minute stories a lot.
DDM is powerful to use for personal discipleship, which I do. I’ve never seen anything like this method, when it comes to meditating and getting into the Word. When you learn God’s Word, God will speak to you weeks after you learned the passage. I’ll simply be sitting around thinking about something else and all of a sudden God’s Word speaks to me about the passage. It sticks in my brain a lot longer. You can’t beat it for personal discipleship because it’s relational. We know God is always with us, but how do you always have that awareness? This method is one way that gives me that awareness.
The questions for Inductive Bible Study that we use mirror what I’ve seen with some theologians when they study Scriptures. You see the pattern the pattern of analysis is the same, even though the vocabulary is different. This method is so simple, we have even seen two 10 year olds be trained and excel. The questions we use are much deeper than they appear.
With this method, there is the flexibility and it sticks. You can use it anywhere you want to share Scripture. I’ve encouraged people I know that are doing jail ministry to use this method. If you can teach the specific questions we ask in the method to a baby Christian, they will stick with them. Like in jail ministry, you may never see the person you’re ministering to again, when we teach them something simple, they’ll remember it for the rest of their life. I’ve never seen a method that sticks like this. This is invaluable for all Christians and especially for the discipleship of new Christians. DDM is something simple and impactful.
I love workshops because I get to work with people. DDM is about relationships. I love going into churches because every church body is unique. Every workshop is different and fun as I discover people’s needs and observe the transformation of God’s Word in their lives.
The Bible says, “Meditate on the word of God day and night” (Josh. 1:8), and “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Pro. 3:3) SOM Witness Development Workshops have empowered me to do this in a way that I’ve never encountered before.