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10 February 2017 In News
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Have you felt the Lord’s conviction you that you should be investing in the life of a new(er) believer? Great! But, you might have questions about what a personal “spiritual mentoring” relationship looks like.

Let’s take a look at how the DTI Manual and the four components of “spiritual parenting” can help you fulfill the Great Commission.

spiritual mentoring

The DTI materials are designed with the intent of raising questions and stimulating conversation which will lead to spiritual growth both in the mentor (discipler) and mentee (disciple). As you go through the material together there will be questions that will come up from the mentee related to what is being discussed and from the other side, the mentor needs to be constantly available to share personal experiences both positive and negative.

As a mentor shares personal experiences they are going to be modeling and sharing with the mentee, “this is how I handled this particular situation” or “when the Lord did this in my life this is how I reacted.” Maybe the outcome wasn't very good but it will be a learning experience for both the mentee and mentor. It’s helpful to discuss things that have happened spiritually and things that are happening in the life of the mentee.

And the Holy Spirit needs to be depended on to orchestrate all of this. Typically when you meet together, you as the mentor know where you're going to start which is probably where you ended up the last time you met. For example, you're going through Phase 1 and you know which lesson you ended last time and you’re prepared to begin there, but you have to be ready that any given moment the Holy Spirit may change the whole direction of the time together. Maybe a paragraph or concept you think would be easily understood by the mentee triggers a question in the mind of the mentee that leads to the whole session talking about one particular point. But if that's what the mentee needs to discuss then the mentor better be ready to let the Holy Spirit direct the conversation.

In our Balanced Discipleship discussion we list four components of personal discipleship. Let’s now turn our attention to these components since you as the mentor will use these in the mentoring process.

The first component is teaching God's word. As you go through the DTI Tool you’ll find that about 65% of the lessons are Scripture, along with the teaching “point” to discuss. God’s Word is a powerful instrument to use as we seek to grow in spiritual maturity, spiritual fruitfulness and spiritual reproduction.

The second component of personal discipleship is that of commitment. This has to do with the heart attitude of the mentor towards the spiritual welfare and development of the mentee. There is a commitment that goes beyond just presenting God's word.

It's the contrast between the secular model for teaching and the biblical model for teaching. Jesus said that a disciple is a student and every disciple is a student but not every student is a disciple. What's the difference?

The biblical idea of a disciple is more of an apprentice. At a university the student just wants to know what the teacher knows. In the biblical model the student wants to be like the teacher. This is a huge difference. In the secular model the student doesn't have to respect or have intimacy in any way with the teacher. In many situations the teacher could be immoral outside of the class because all that matters to the student is the information that they receive in the class. How the teacher lives their life is pretty much irrelevant.

But in the biblical model of discipling the idea of an apprentice is one where the mentee learns from the mentor but we want the mentee to emulate the mentor. Most of all we want the mentee to end up with the passion of the mentor. Typically the one that is being mentored will not have a greater passion than the one that is mentoring. Hopefully the passion of the mentor comes across.

The third component of personal discipleship is being a model for the disciple. A lot of times outside of using the Tool you will be modeling your everyday life in particular situations. If you’re mentoring someone you would expect to receive phone calls or questions from the mentee that doesn't have to do with the lessons you are going through in the manual. It would be more of “I've got a situation going on in my life.....”

In many ways being a model for the mentee cannot be taught. How do you teach patience? How do you teach faithfulness, or passion? Those things need to be seen more than heard and this is part of being a model.

The fourth component of personal discipleship is individual attention. We’re not interested in having you just go through the material in a mechanical way but you have to be available to the Holy Spirit lead that maybe on one particular point there is a “hang-up” for the mentee. Maybe it is something where the mentee is hurting or has some deep questions. As the mentor you should let the Holy Spirit change the pace and direction of the time spent together so the Holy Spirit can address those needs of the mentee.

As you experience the joy of mentoring a new believer, you will come to experience that all four components are dovetailed together as one unit.

2 disciplers

09 February 2017 In News
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Here's a great testimony from our just completed Cuba discipleship conference, that has nothing to do with the teaching, but was a "God Inspired" moment none-the-less.

One precious 4-year old girl sat patiently through the eight hours of small group time with her mother each day. On Thursday (day four), Jeannette felt the Lord prompting us to give this little girl one of the extra dolls that we use in the new believer drama. Her eyes lit up and she smiled broadly!

cuba girl dollycuba girl dolly2

The mother then cried and explained that her daughter had been scribbling prayers on small pieces of paper, asking God for a dolly! Neither of them told anyone -- only the Lord! And the Lord heard her prayer -- and we were privileged to be part of that!

"So yes Virginia, God does answer a child's prayer!"

Click here to watch the mother's short testimony. (translated by Martha Garcia)

09 February 2017 In News
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Besides offering our FREE discipleship manual and other training resources here on our web site, DTI is committed in equipping believers in the Church Body to be disciple-makers who make disciples. It's based on the "Train The Trainers" model used in many business industries. In the spiritual realm we call it "Equipping The Saints" based on Ephesians 4:11-16.

This model takes time to implement, however we believe that it will actually extend the "life" of most pastors as burn-out is an epidemic crippling the Church.

Pertaining to our on-going mission in Cuba we have been implementing the Equipping model for several years now empowering the Cuban facilitators to replace the US Team which saves the ministry money and allows the Cubans to learn the Model and implement it in their local churches. The fruit is now surely evident.

Here are some observations from our just completed conference in Cienfuegos.

When we first started coming to Cuba in 2009, we had to bring a large team from the United States. But our goal was always to equip the Cuban pastors and leaders to facilitate the small groups and take on other responsibilities. Over the past three years we have reduced our traveling team to four. Primarily Frank and Jeannette (Meitz) teach in the general sessions, with Pablo and Martha (Garcia) translating for them and each facilitating their own breakout group. All along, the Cubans were being groomed to be the lead facilitators - since they know best culturally how to convey the DTI concepts (contextualization).

The biggest transformation in their small group leadership style is the transition from preaching to facilitating that we have been emphasizing. We now incorporate a mini facilitation guide in the Cuban DTI manual so that every leader can facilitate for maximum effectiveness when leading small groups.

In this conference their leadership rocketed to new levels. They performed their own dramas; several led team meetings; and some invited others that they began grooming to learn how to facilitate their own small group.

Contact us to learn more about the Equipping The Saints model.

02 February 2017 In News
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In the aftermath of our just completed 11th conference in Cuba we ask the following question. How do we measure the success of a discipleship conference? 

Over the years we have heard various Cuban leaders lamenting about the all too common problem when other ministries enter Cuba, conduct a conference and then leave without empowering and equipping those who attend to implement the material. Many of you may have even experienced this in your own professional careers. Just look at your bookshelf's...

So DTI has been very strategic in our method of "Equipping The Saints" for our Cuba conferences. This means that with the help of our existing Cuban leaders (who have been with us for several years now) we seek other spiritually mature Cuban believers who are passionate about the Lord and already have a proclivity to investing in the lives of others (not necessarily the best "teachers") and equip them how to spiritually mentor new believers. We also encourage them to assume a leadership role by accepting the responsibility of modeling to others what we model to them during the week.

Sometimes in other cultures people will be courteous, not wanting to offend, but then not implement what they received once you leave because they don't think they have the authority to do so. So we have spent a lot of time empowering the Cuban leaders to implement the spiritual mentoring process in their home churches after we leave. To help mitigate any excuses, we give each attendee a second DTI manual to be used with a new believer immediately upon their return home from the conference.

The end result? This empowering, encouraging, and equipping has led to numerous testimonies of how people are growing in the Lord, making good decisions, marriages are being healed, behaviors are changing and we get to enjoy some of the fruit God is producing!

implementation slide

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