Articles & Resources

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 05:57

DTI Devotional now live on YouVersion!

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DTI is please to announce that we are an approved partner with YouVersion and their Bible APP.  We have our first devotional, "Spiritual Transformation, Not Behavior Manipulation, Are you 'white knuckling' your Christian walk?" 

youversion-dti-devotional

This 6-day devotional is designed to help all believers see life more from God's perspective.

Click here to go to the devotional.

We pray you will blessed by it as we continue to seek ways to help all believers to "see life, more and more, from His perspective".

Monday, 27 January 2020 09:40

The DTI APP

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Download English APP

Descargar Español APP (Beta Version)

 

DTI material now available for mobile devices

  • Lessons from all three Phases
  • Additional videos, resources and teaching embedded in the lessons, including Art Barkley, the author teaching live in Reno, NV   (HINT: many mentors play these videos with mentees to stimulate conversation, in addition to using for their own preparation and training.)
  • Ability to download and print a PDF at the bottom of each lesson

HOW TO GET THE APP:

  • The DTI Apps are not available in any app store. To Download the APP click the links at the top of the page.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • For easy access, after opening the app, create a shortcut to your device's Home Screen. For assistance with these instructions:
    • Click on the menu icon in the upper left corner
    • Choose “App Tips” from the menu
    • Follow the instructions either for an IOS or Android device

english spanish

 

ACCESSIBLE OFFLINE:

  • Once a lesson is opened, the content will be “cached” and available when off-line. (without any internet or cell signal.) This will be especially important in remote areas where there is none or inconsistent internet access.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS:

Send us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and let us know how you are using the app, what you think of it, and suggestions for making it more useful.

Share these links with others, especially the younger generations who use their mobile devices for most everything.

 

Saturday, 22 September 2018 10:18

Just Launched - Intentional Discipleship Communities

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 Spiritual Mentors, Frank & Jeannette Meitz are leading a group of believers getting together regularly to seek the Lord for His presence, unity, and a fresh anointing in His individual and collective calling and mission.

Using all three Phases in the DTI manual with thoughtful engaging conversations we seek the Lord and His promise of Living in The Abundant Christian Life.

We are video recording each session so pastors and leaders can use it to lead their own groups. We make all the handouts available for you!

You can access the material in several formats:

  1. From the DTI App. If you don’t have the DTI App, click here for instructions. You’ll find the Intentional Discipleship Community (IDC) section on the App Home Screen.
  2. From the Mentor Training section of the DTI web site. Choose the IDC section and follow the links.
  3. Facebook Live. We plan on streaming the gatherings live. We will announce when this launches.

Our desire is that God will make each of you into an effective “spiritual mentor / parent” and that your life will be multiplied many times over.

entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Tim. 2:2)

unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24)

Thursday, 12 July 2018 06:15

ANNOUNCING: DTI App for digital devices!

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Have you wished the DTI manual “A Tool for Personal Discipleship” could be read with your phone or tablet? Well, now that is a reality! AND it includes video and audio snippets of additional explanations and thoughts.

DTI App now available!

(Phase 1 only thus far; other lessons coming soon!)

The DTI App is not available in any app store. You can access by clicking on this link https://dti-tool.disciplers.org/ and then add a shortcut to your device's Home Screen.

To add the app to your device's Home Screen, click on the menu icon in the upper left corner, and choose “App Tips” from the menu.

We invite you to “poke around” – use it when mentoring someone, and let us know what you think!

app screenshot

app menu screenshot

Monday, 16 April 2018 08:39

The DTI Vision Statement

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Our vision for the DTI ministry is to be useful to the Lord to effectively provide discipleship resources and encouragement to the multitude of individuals, churches and ministries worldwide, who desire to put discipleship principles (spiritual mentoring) into practice.

The Lord has made me aware of the need for all Christians to have the opportunity to grow to spiritual maturity, spiritual fruitfulness and to spiritually reproduce (Col. 1:28-29).

The Lord is also providing us with a growing understanding of how to clearly explain to others the process by which that goal can be achieved in greater measure for those believers who simply have a desire to serve Him as their Master.

Art Barkley

Monday, 18 December 2017 09:17

Where Am I As A Christian?

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Unfortunately the American church is not having much impact on the world because the emphasis in the American church is on evangelism and getting people saved. Therefore most believers know they're going to heaven but for the most part many are left on their own trying to figure out how to live the Christian Life.

Why?

Simply put, new believers are not being mentored. They're not being shown right at the beginning of their Christian life what the Christian life is all about. Many Christians spend months and years trying to figure it out. (They Ask) “What am I supposed to be doing?”

If God didn't have a purpose for your life after you became a Christian then you have to ask yourself, “Why doesn't He (God) just take me home? Why does He leave us here?”

We believe God has a purpose for every Christian. But the majority of Christians don't have a clue what they're supposed to be doing from the time they are saved to the time they die.

As a result when you ask many believers about their Christian life they will say something like “I used to be a drunk and this (was bad in my life) and now God has saved me and I have assurance of going to heaven.

It's going from salvation to heaven but nothing in between.

Unfortunately there are a lot of believers that fall into that mindset. If you ask them, “what are you supposed to be doing here on earth between the time you’re saved and the time you die?” many believers will just express that they are trying to do their best or they are trying to live “like Christians” or they are trying to be a witness.

But for most believers that is pretty much it. (sadly)

God has a greater purpose for us than just try our best. God wants to transform our lives and He wants us to be lights through which He can flow.

As spiritual mentors if you can help a new believer to get started on the right direction right from the beginning, it’s going to accelerate their growth. There will be an acceleration of their spiritual growth. This is what we want.

There is no reason why believers have to spend time in the spiritual desert. That is not what God intended. And yet this is where the majority of Christians are - out in the spiritual desert. Not because they make a choice but mainly because no one has ever laid out the options. (See Lesson 3-4 for more on the spiritual desert)

Use the “Where Am I as a Christian?” diagnostic tool to help believers evaluate themselves as to where they are in their spiritual journey. In the Spiritual Promised Land or the Spiritual Desert? The lesson is located in the Assessment section of the DTI manual.

Click here to watch a few short teaching videos describing the lesson.

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The section titled “Access” in lesson 1-7 (Lordship and Surrender) is intended to draw the contrast between the believer who gives God access to their entire life versus a believer who allows God access only to parts of their life.

You can see the lesson comparing the normal versus the abnormal Christian life by clicking here.

One believer allows God control over only a limited part of their life, represented by the progressive surrender diagram. Why would a Christian limit God’s access?

 

progressive surrender to God the abnormal Christian life

If you say, “God, I want you to manage my life,” this includes giving Him access to all areas. If you aren’t allowing Him access to all the nooks and crannies of your life, both large and small, then, you really DON’T want Him to manage your life.

For instance, what if you said to a money manager, “I want you to manage all my money,” but then you give that person a five dollar bill and you keep the rest of the money under your own control. They would ask, “I thought you wanted me to manage all your money?” And you respond, “Yes, I intend that someday you will manage all of it, but we will go at it by degrees, progressively for now.”

It's a contradiction, because God wants to manage our entire life. What this believer should say is, “God, I want to give you freedom to make changes in any area of my life because I know you love me.”

The point is, we’re to give God control and access to every area of our lives. The only reason that someone would deny God complete access is fear, fear of the unknown. It also demonstrates a distorted view of God's character, a lack of real understanding of who God is.

How do we communicate this message in the spiritual mentoring process? We use an analogy of visualizing our life as a house, with different rooms. Here is the list of rooms that one mentee used.

• Other people (my spouse, children, grandchildren
• My social media
• Exercising and eating / drinking habits
• My vocation or other work life
• Entertainment
• My devotion and prayer life
• Church attendance
• Mission work

(There are other examples listed in the lesson)

1 7 rooms new

Now many Christians look at their life and say “God is in my life and He can be in charge of my “spiritual room” where I read my Bible, pray, and go to church. The prevalent view is that God is obviously in charge of those spiritual areas, but when it comes to the other areas, God leaves it up to me to do the best I can. (The house on the left)

While God doesn't want us to be robots, He doesn't want us to have areas of independence from Him. He wants us to learn how to cooperate with Him and be like the other believer in the lesson who has given God access to all the areas of their life. (The house on the right)

They have an attitude that says “God, I may be comfortable with the way things are arranged in each one of these rooms, but I want to be willing to let you go into each room and make the changes that you want to make. Whatever you want to do, God, you know best.” Maybe He wants to just rearrange things or He may want to have a garage sale or maybe He wants to replace some items, or clean out a locked closet. You have to believe that God will only do what is in your best interest, because He loves you. Love can be defined as only doing for someone what is in their best interest. And that is what God does for us if we let Him.

When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, He didn’t just say to Moses (at the burning bush encounter in Exodus Chapter 3) “I will take my people out of Egypt.” No, He said, “I will take them out and PUT THEM IN” their promised land. He wants to deliver all Christians from our bondage and put ALL Christians into the “Spiritual Promised Land” and not wander in a “spiritual desert”. However, for that to happen, He has to be the one who manages our lives.

The final piece of the lesson is a “house” with blank “rooms” to be completed by you (honestly). Name the rooms using the examples listed above and other labels that God reveals to you. Then prayerfully consider whether you have given God complete access and control to each of these areas of your life. If yes, great! That’s what He wants. If the answer is no, then prayerfully consider why not?

1 7 access page 3

Here are several questions to ask yourself if you are struggling with giving Him total control. Pray about these honestly.

• “What will He ask me to do that I can’t do, or don’t want to do?
• “What will He keep me from doing that I want to do?”
• “What will He take away that I hold dear?
• “Will God fail me if I entrust “this” to Him?”

When all is said and done, we can be sure that we will approve of the changes He has made. And, there is no logical reason for not embracing Him as Manager and Master of my life.

Monday, 26 June 2017 14:01

A Spiritual Father's Day Reading

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The USA celebrated Father's Day on June 18. The following was read at Crosspointe Church in Largo, Florida on Father's Day reminding us all that there is a true and great need in our world not only for physically present men, but also for spiritually present men. We thank Missy Truong for writing it with excerpts from the National Center for Fathering. Also noted in the essay are statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and a quote by Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest.

In America, the US Census reports that over 24 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Millions ​more​ have dads who are physically present, but emotionally and spiritually absent. If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic as worthy of attention as any national emergency. In fact, data proves fatherlessness is associated with almost every societal ill facing our country’s children.

There is a true and great need in our world not only for physically present men, but also for spiritually present men to fill the role of shepherd to a someone spiritually developing. These leaders are not men who applied for the position, or who are looking for a title or control. They may not even have biological children at all. These spiritual fathers are simply men who desire nothing but God, and who respond to His will.

Men, the task of a spiritual father is not to seek out wrongdoers and correct them, or to destroy their freedom, or even to suppress their personality. The task is to help someone see the truth for themselves and to enable them to discover their true self and grow to full maturity: to become who they really are. When a man leads someone in this quest, he becomes a spiritual father. You may be thinking this isn’t what you had in mind when you came to church today. This isn’t even something on your radar - to lead another person along their spiritual journey. It’s just not “you”. But the thing about spiritual fathers, is that they often aren’t revealed until they are needed by a spiritual child. There is a movement of the Spirit that leads your paths to cross and inspires a Divine appointment. And it is Christ’s own presence living within, that enables spiritual fathers to rise above the fear and weakness of feeling inadequate; and allows them to accept the challenge with gratitude and humility for the sake of God’s work.

Oswald Chambers put it this way: “...once God has placed His call on you, woe be to you if you ‘turn aside to the right hand or to the left’. We are not here to work for God because ​we​ have chosen to do so, but because​ God​ has ‘laid hold of’ us”.

Men, we are called to fatherhood today, to the children God has guided into our presence. Let us continue to abide in the Vine so that we may speak the truth in love to those He brings to us. May we lead by our own example in every area of life.

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This is Part 2 of our discussion on gauging the spirituality of Christian Congregations.

Now we will compare the “common” perspective to the “Biblical” perspective” of gauging spirituality.

How do you as a church leader gauge the spirituality of your congregation?

We would suggest that church attendance is too frequently the main criteria by which the spirituality of believers is gauged. If church attendance is the main criteria used to gauge spirituality, then a person can be incorrectly concluded to be spiritually healthy.

Unfortunately, most leaders don't have the time to delve into the spiritual condition of the typical individual in the church. (This is how DTI helps church leaders – training faithful men and women to spiritually mentor new(er) believers to help accelerate their growth.)

Certainly church attendance indicates some level of interest. It’s reasonable to think that if a person attends on a Sunday morning that they do have an interest. And if they have an interest, then they ought to benefit from what is spoken to them.

That is good; however there are other criteria that should be considered, in addition to church attendance.

The illustration of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea will help to make our point.

They both have input but only one body of water is healthy and the other is dead. The Dead Sea receives a fresh flow of input, but then it stays there and stagnates. On the other hand, (the healthy) Sea of Galilee also receives a fresh flow, but the water goes out. In the same way, there needs to be an inflow and an outflow in a believer’s life.

There needs to be a flow of His life through the believer.

Jesus said the believer is a branch. The purpose of a branch is to be a conduit through which the life of the tree flows and produces fruit.

The branch does not produce the fruit. The tree produces the fruit. The life of the tree flows through the branch and produces the fruit. We are branches. A healthy branch is a branch in which the life of the tree is able to flow, so that there will be fruit.

Jesus said that “My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.” It's the Holy Spirit’s spiritual fruit that glorifies God.

(When we talk about fruit - in our materials and discussions - we are always referring to whatever the Holy Spirit produces through your life.)

Now, let’s separate the typical church congregation into four categories, describing the believers from the perspective of observable outward human appearance. As we make a comparison of believers, we would like you to think about how you as a leader observe and gauge the spirituality of those in each category.

The first category is those we’ll call “Spiritual”. These Christians appear to have wholeheartedly acknowledged His Lordship over their lives, have a healthy growing relationship with the Lord, and seem to be bearing spiritual fruit. They have an observable passion for the Lord. We can all identify people that fit into that category; Healthy growing Christians.

The fourth category is the “Unsaved”. These individuals are usually recognized as being unsaved. It’s typically not too difficult to identify people that are unsaved, although we know that only God can really make that determination.

The second category is what we call “Acceptable”. These Christians don’t exhibit excessive negative outward behavior. They may regularly attend church services, give financially, and be involved in other Christian activities. They will quickly acknowledge God’s presence in their lives, but do not exhibit much passion for the Lord, or understanding of wholehearted surrender to His Lordship.

We are all aware of Christians that have attended church services for years and then all of a sudden some negative behavior will come out that amazes you. These people seem to be okay if you just look at their outward behavior.

In the common church environment in the United States a Christian can appear to be leading an appropriate spiritual life by attending church services, Bible studies, Small Groups, etc. However that doesn't make them spiritual. As we said, that is often the gauge for measuring spirituality.

So when we hear that a Christian couple has been attending church services for 20 years and now they're getting a divorce, you have to scratch your head and wonder what’s been going on (in their lives). Because the truth is, you don't just wake up one morning and say, “today looks like a good day to get a divorce!” Divorce is the end result of a process that has gone on for months and maybe years.

So Christians can be totally out of fellowship with God and attend church services and appear to be spiritual. We see this repeatedly. These people would generally fall into the “acceptable” category by many church leaders.

The third category is Christians that are usually considered to be “in need of counseling”. Their “self-dependent” (carnal) pattern of thinking is more evident, as they tend to exhibit questionable negative outward behavior, such as on-going marriage, relational or financial problems, addictions, etc. They may or may not regularly attend church services, or consistently give financially. They may be involved in some Christian activities. They will quickly acknowledge God’s presence in their lives. Counseling is often seen as the recommended recourse. Their salvation may be in doubt.

In reality, we believe the second and third categories from God's perspective are one category. But from our human perspective, the major difference between the two groups is that in the third group their sins are more outwardly visible, and in the second their sins are not as apparent.

There are Christians who have a hard time hiding their problems, but then there are other Christians that are very good at hiding their problems.

In reality does God see a difference between the two groups? No.

Do we see a difference? Yes.

So we have a group of Christians that don't have significant visible problems but in reality are dominated by problems. These Christians are not walking in the Spirit but they can appear reasonably healthy.

An unhealthy Christian that doesn't have outward manifestations of sin can look healthy compared to the Christian that is obviously having problems like marriage or relational issues or other problems.

But what we need to do is compare these two groups to the “Spiritual” group and now you have a completely different situation – We call this a distorted view of the spirituality of the Body of believers.

How can we recognize those that fall into the middle two categories?

In most Christian churches, many people that are considered healthy don't show any spiritual passion, have very little impact in their sphere of influence. They are not witnessing and (we) don't see God active in their life - but yet they attend church services weekly.

What can you say to these people? You can't say, “Hey, you're not spiritual.”

We need God’s discernment as we observe other Christian’s lives. We need to be aware so that we can help those Christians that want to grow. There are a lot of Christians that want to grow, but they need someone who is willing to come alongside of them to help them grow.

This is what DTI is all about. This whole discussion is to be able to better identify what is going on (in the churches) so that we can help those Christians that want to grow.

Category One is the “normal” Christian life, the other categories are “abnormal”. We should not gauge spirituality “on the curve”, and we should not be satisfied with anything less than God’s best.

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This is Part One of a two part discussion on gauging the spirituality of Christian Congregations.

What is the measure of spirituality in the typical American church? How do we measure spirituality?

If we make the statement that spiritual maturity is typically graded on a curve, what are we stating?

If you are in a church and everybody is “very” immature and you are just a “little” immature, don't you feel good about yourself? You say, “I'm ahead of those guys.”

The apostle Paul said in 2 Cor. 10:12, “For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.”

When Christians go to the Rewards Ceremony (The Bema), God is not going to go congratulate you because you were more spiritual than other Christians. God knows where every believer is and God holds you accountable for where He knows you are. He doesn't hold you accountable for how you are compared to someone else.

We need to disciple new believers and help them get started so that they don't go through their Christian life comparing themselves to other people. If they compare themselves to other people you're going to get a distorted perspective of where you are spiritually.

God doesn't care where you are in relationship to someone else He cares where you should be.

What about new believers? How do we gauge the spirituality of new believers?

As a Christian starts their Christian life it's only normal for that Christian to be immature. That's not necessarily bad. But what is bad is when the 5 or 10-year-old Christian still acts like a new Christian.

When new Christians are not discipled, many of them typically continue being immature.

It's like raising a child without ever really giving them care and guidance and then wonder why a 20-year-old can't make good decisions.

This is one of the problems that many kids in America have with finances. They are not taught how to manage finances at the appropriate age so when they get in the real world after graduation, they believe the credit card is something that you buy everything with and don't worry about the long-range implications. This behavior leads to “financial unhealthiness”.

Unfortunately, many churches are being spiritually dumbed down. The expectations are going down. It's safe to say that the American church today has little impact on American society. We believe that the reason is the church is spiritually unhealthy.

One of the biggest reasons for this (unhealthiness) is the lack of personal discipleship at the beginning of the Christian life. The Great Commission said “go and make disciples.” It was not “go and make converts.” It was to make disciples, and the expectation of a disciple is greater than that of just being a convert.

One of the characteristics of a disciple is spiritual reproduction. There is an expectation that the disciple makes other disciples. (reproduction) But yet how many people in the typical American congregation are even aware of the expectation of making disciples?

Most Christians have the awareness that they should be witnessing so people get saved. But very few Christians in the congregation understand that they are supposed to be involved in making disciples.

One of the main goals of DTI is to help the new believer to start following after the Holy Spirit and to be developing a relationship with Him and to be growing, to be maturing.

As a Christian matures there is going to be a growing and increasing interest in investing in others. As you grow as a believer how can you not care about others?

As you grow the Holy Spirit is going to put in your heart, to care for others.

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