Guest Post by Discover App
In my previous article I explained that facilitating a Discovery Bible Study (DBS) is very simple. So you may be wondering: why do you need an app?
I must confess I once thought that it wasn’t necessary myself–until we were contacted by some people who desperately needed it.
The Discover App was actually requested by a group of believers in a place with restricted access. They wanted an app for three main reasons:
It was not easy to get your hands on a printed Bible–and being caught with one could be a death sentence. Carrying the studies on your phone was much safer.
Even where people have printed Bibles (or photocopies of the studies) not everyone could read. They wanted the text of the Bible, but they also wanted audio recordings of the Scriptures. And not just any recordings since mistrust of foreigners is very high. They wanted to listen to the audio in their own language with their own accent. The audio recording needed to sound like the person reading the passage could be their next door neighbor.
They wanted to use the recordings anywhere and they weren’t in a position to pay for additional devices. In addition, the power-grid was intermittent and internet coverage was patchy, but increasingly people had access to older smartphones.
The answer was obvious. Put the studies on a phone app.
The Advantages of the Discover App
Passing It On
Perhaps the biggest advantage of having the app on your phone is immediacy. You can start a study with anyone, anywhere. Over the years many people have commented on the desire to start studies straight away. Doing a DBS on the spot with someone can make the difference between getting a discovery group going and never seeing that person of peace again. The app lets you do that.
Doing a study immediately lets you know how keen a person’s interest really is. The Discover App gives you the chance to offer them to get started using their own phone. On top of that–it’s free, carries no advertising and asks for the minimum set of permissions needed in order to function.
If you don’t have wi-fi and are both on Android, you can pass the app and the studies to their phone via Bluetooth. People have even sent the audio files to older Nokia phones via Bluetooth.
While you’ve both got your phones out, you can exchange numbers so you can keep in touch with their progress via WhatsApp. If they want to share the Discover App with others, they already have all the information needed on their phone.
Another advantage of the app is being able to run a DBS with someone whose language you don’t speak. We have heard stories of Scandinavian grandmothers using the app to disciple Middle Eastern teenagers in coffee shops.
While you can use any multi-lingual bible app to do this, the lesson sets we use have been specifically chosen by people familiar with the language and culture. They take a group of people on a journey of discovery from Creation through to Christ, rather than leaving them wondering where to start.
The Discover App is also a useful tool with existing believers. It is very helpful for training people to facilitate Discovery Bible Studies.
It might seem odd that anyone needs training to run DBS, however, we sometimes find that experienced Bible Studies leaders add elements into a DBS which are unhelpful. The temptation is very strong to share how one Scripture passage relates to another, or to add what a theology book or a famous pastor has to say about a subject. Unfortunately, if you do this while facilitating a DBS with seekers it reinforces the feeling that a person has to be an expert before they can start a group–and this stops multiplication. Additionally, believers are often tempted to dodge the obedience questions–and the Discover App helps avoid giving in to this temptation.
The App is also useful for helping people stick to the “script” and learn how the process really works. There is already a special “Training Laborers” study set in many languages, which reinforces why this method works so well when you just follow the simple pattern over and over again. Anyone who uses it will understand the “why” behind the discovery process.
Today’s Missional Challenge
Download the Discover App today and experience the power of Discovery Bible Studies anywhere, anytime.
If you are interested in trying the Discover App for yourself you can get find it on Google Play and the Apple App Store. It is available in English, Arabic (3 dialects), Somali, Dari, Turkish, Pashto and Indonesian. We are currently working on Urdu, Spanish and Swahili. If you would like to see the app in another language, please email us at [email protected].