Biblical Models with Role-plays

Guidelines to Integrate Evangelism, Pastoral Training
and Church Planting

Prepared by

George Patterson and Galen Currah
Published by
Paul-Timothy Training

© George Patterson and Galen Currah, June, 2003

How to use this list of guidelines based on biblical models

  • Write for each activity your detailed plans: ?Who will do the work, What will they do? Where? When?
  • To monitor progress, mark those activities that are being practiced to your satisfaction.

Options for using this list of guidelines

  • Use these guidelines to develop your own outline for a planning workshop or series of training sessions.
  • Supplement existing pastoral training programs. Trainees will learn skills to help churches multiply and to see a larger number of new pastors.
  • If possible, arrange chairs in a circle, to enhance communication and interaction.

Optional Role Plays

  • Role-plays are a powerful teaching aid, if done with care. They make easy the interaction and total participation that the Holy Spirit uses to create the family-like atmosphere of new, small churches or cells that Romans 12:4-18 requires.
  • If you are inexperienced in leading role-plays they will probably move too slowly, unless you carefully follow the simple Role-play Instructions in Appendix A. Before training, read these instructions at the end of this document.
  • The workshop leader names different volunteers to play the parts of the model Bible persons. The first one is Peter. "Mr. Tradition" argues with the person playing that part. When the leader introduces a guideline, Mr. Tradition states his unwise opinion. It may sound good at first but is damaging and non-biblical. This stimulates discussion.
  • Ask the person doing the part of the model Bible person to correct Mr. Tradition. If he cannot, ask anyone to do so.
  • The leader thus encourages people in the group to do much of the teaching. The leader should not teach during these discussions except to summarize briefly when the guideline in question is still unclear.
  • Avoid a few persons dominating the discussion. Keep asking others to speak. For example: "Let's hear from someone who has not spoken about this yet."
  • Volunteers who play the model Bible persons do not prepare ahead of time, unless it says, "Prior preparation needed."
  • Different people might take turns playing Mr. Tradition. Ask them not to talk long. They are to mention the tradition and nothing more—that is not what we want to teach!
  • The Leader can assign any of his own role-plays to others.
  • All role-plays are optional. Select any that you think might clarify the guideline.

Guidelines Based on Bible Models

A. Church Planters Form Churches That Obey Jesus

A1      Peter, as Disciple-maker. In Jerusalem, the Apostle Peter taught new believers to obey Jesus’ commands before all else.

  1. Obey Jesus above all. The 3,000 converts of the first church in Jerusalem started at once to obey Jesus’ seven basic commands, in which all that he commanded is summarized, Acts 2:37-47.

[Role-play (optional). Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader portrays Satan and sends demons named Greed, Control and Fear to corrupt Mr. Tradition. See the explanation in Appendix A, Instructions, item 1.]

  1. Know Jesus' commands. A group of people becomes a church when they start to obey Jesus’ commands in their basic form, as illustrated in Acts 2:37-47. These commands are dealt with more fully under G5, Christ, our Supreme Commander, below (items 78 to the end).
  2. Command of Christ: Repent, believe, be born again by the Holy Spirit, Mark 1:15; John 3:16; 20:22

[Role-play. Leader: Ask a volunteer to be "Peter" and explain, in his own words, why Jesus commands us to repent and be born again. For this role-play he need not be prepared ahead of time. Peter and Mr. Tradition stand, hold up their signs and argue. Mr. Tradition says angrily, "Don’t offend people by telling them to repent from sins; ask them only to make a 'decision'." Let Peter argue with him. If he needs help, ask anyone to answer Mr. Tradition.]

  1. Command of Christ: Baptize the repentant. Receive them into your church and help them to live the new, transformed life it initiates, Mat. 28:18-20

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition argues with Peter-that one must walk on water first, and wait at least 2 years.]

  1. Command of Christ: Love God, each other and needy neighbor; forgive enemies, Matt. 22:36-40; John 13:34-35, Luke 10:25-37; Matt. 5:43-48. Love is seen in the fellowship in the first church, Acts 2: 41-47.
  2. Command of Christ: Break bread. Take Communion with heartfelt worship, Matt. 26:26-28; John 4:24.

[Role-play: Mr. Tradition: Argue with Peter that only an ordained Ph.D. can officiate the Lord's Supper. Leader: demonstrate how we put the Bible over the book of traditions or under it, and ask which way Mr. Tradition put it. For more information on this role-play see Appendix A, Instructions, item 6.]

  1. Command of Christ: Pray. Have private and family devotions, intercede and do spiritual warfare, John 16:24; Eph. 6:10-18
  2. Command of Christ: Give. Be faithful stewards of our time, treasure and talents, Luke 6:38; Matt. 25:14-46
  3. Command of Christ: Make disciples. Witness for Jesus, shepherd, apply the Word, train leaders, and send missionaries, Matt. 28:18-20
  4. Obey all New Testament commands. We also obey Jesus when we observe His apostles’ commands, which build on Christ’s commands, as seen above.

A2      Nehemiah, the Organizer organized God’s people to perform different jobs in harmony with one another.

  1. Integrate and balance edifying gift-based ministries, Luke 10:25-37; 1 Cor. 14:3, 24-26.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Nehemiah. Mr. Tradition: Argue with him that all one needs to do is just teach the Word.]

  1. Show genuine love in practical ways, as in items 13 - 16.
  2. Serve one another and care for the needy, Rom. 12; 1 John 3:14-18

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Nehemiah: No! Spend offerings on music instruments, decorations, new staff and salaries.]

  1. Cultivate loving fellowship by planning events that allow for everyone to talk with others, play games, eat together, or whatever helps them to know each other, John 13:34; 1 Cor. 13; Heb. 10:23-25
  2. Host cells or house churches in a loving family environment, Philemon 1-2

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition argue with Nehemiah, that trainees must sit as in a school; everyone faces the pulpit.]

  1. Practice the New Testament "one another" commands.

[Role-play. Leader: Ask the group to name a few ‘one another’ commands.]

A3      Priscilla, the Bi-vocational worker. Pricilla and Aquila hosted a House Church Hosts and mentored the leader, Apollos, behind the scenes in a quiet way, Acts 18:24-28.

[Role-play. Leader: Demonstrate balance between classroom and mentoring, for training new leaders. For more information on this role-play see Appendix A, Instructions, item A3.]

  1. Listen to apprentice pastors as they report what their church or cell people are doing. Help them to plan and assign them studies that fit their current needs or opportunities. See Acts 18:24-28. Also, compare how Paul trained Timothy and Titus.

[Role-play. Leader: Name a volunteer to be Priscilla (or Aquila if there are no women). Mr. Tradition: Argue with Priscilla that a good teacher will teach only if he has at least 20 students.]

  1. Model pastoral skills; do fieldwork with trainees, Mk 3:14.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Priscilla that a good seminary offers only theory for three years, then requires an internship. Leader: If Priscilla cannot answer, have anyone help her.]

  1. Work bi-vocationally when not receiving a salary or if so doing would give a better example, Acts 18:1-4; 2 Thess. 3:7-12.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Priscilla that if one does not serve as a pastor full-time, he is not fully dedicated.]

B. Pastoral Trainers Balance Classroom with Mentoring

B1      Jehosaphat sponsored education by extension, forming teams that traveled to take God’s Word to communities that lacked it, 2 Chronicles 17:3-10.

  1. Educate new leaders while they shepherd others, not in an institution completely outside the churches.

[Role-play. Leader: Name a volunteer to be King Jehosaphat. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Jehosaphat that new pastors must go to your seminary, even though it is far away.]

  1. Keep classroom training in balance with mentoring, especially for new leaders. Mentor in the way that Jesus and Paul did it, Matt. 10:1-4; 13:3-8.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Jehosaphat that we should train only single young men—they are moldable.]

B2      Christ the Master Teacher used a variety of resources to deal with his disciples’ learning needs, Mat. 13:52.

  1. Mentor with a menu, that is, a list of training options. Menu options are ministries and doctrines that are essential for a church. This makes it easier for less-experienced trainers to provide what is lacking in new churches. See how Paul instructed Titus (1:5).

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: Play the part of a waiter in restaurant. See the explanation of this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 22.]

  1. Avoid a rigid, linear curriculum when training new leaders or churches. To deal better with urgent needs, following Paul’s example when he wrote his letters to new churches and leaders.

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: show how not to treat a problem-wait months. See the explanation for this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 23.]

  1. Train leaders the way Jesus and the apostles did. They worked together with their trainees as friends. They did not focus on isolated topics in an abstract way, but dealt with issues as the occasions arose that required it. They met needs in love. Notice how very practical Jesus' teaching was in the Sermon on the Mount in Matt. 5 - 7.
  2. Supplement existing training programs with mentoring in regions where churches are not reproducing or there are not enough pastors to sustain church reproduction, Matt. 9:37-38.
  3. Teach to equip all believers for the work of the ministry, Eph. 4:11-16.

C. Churches Reproduce in the Normal Way

C1    Barnabas, a Sending-Church Leader helped his church to be a ‘sending church’ and sent workers to neglected regions, Acts chapters 13-14; Matt. 10:1-4; 28:18-20.

[Role-play. Leader: name someone to be Barnabas. Mr. Tradition: Complain to Barnabas that with one church we get a whole cake; many churches cut it in small slices. Argue with Mr. Tradition.]

  1. Aim at multiplication. Wherever the apostles made disciples as Jesus said to do, churches multiplied.
  2. A church commits as a body to multiply itself in daughter churches, and not to remain sterile, Acts 13:1-3; 2 Tim. 2:2

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Barnabas that the impulse to multiply will weaken as it passes from one church to another, and false doctrine will come in. See the explanation of this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 28.]

  1. Recognize and teach the church’s ability to reproduce itself, Mat. 13:3-8; Mark 4:7, 28; Acts 12:24-25; Eph. 4:11-13; Col. 4:12-13
  2. Pray and plan as a church body to form temporary church planting teams, Acts 13:1-3; Matt. 9:37-38

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Barnabas that we should form only permanent teams. The members must get along with each other perfectly.]

  1. Discern God’s ‘sent ones’ (apostles, missionaries) who will carry your church’s DNA to reproduce churches, Mat. 13:3-8; Eph. 4:11-12

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Barnabas that Apostles are the men of total authority in a region. Leader: reply that the biblical apostles did not stay in one region, but named leaders and moved on.]

  1. Send workers to saturate people groups and regions with reproductive churches, Col. 1:6; Acts 13:1-3; 18:20-23

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: scaffold. See the explanation for this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 32.]

  1. Evangelize neglected people groups, as was Paul's passion, Rom. 1:5; 15:20-21. Compare Acts 1:8.

[Role-play. Leader: example of men carrying a log: all but one are on one end.]

  1. Start a church planting movement of daughter and granddaughter churches, Acts 10; chapters 13 - 14.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Barnabas that: we will lose control if churches multiply.]

  1. Train local workers where they are, near their home, Col. 4:3-4; 1 Cor. 12:28., Acts 13:1-3.

D. Pastors Train Pastoral Apprentices

D1    Jethro, a Delegator, advised Moses to delegate pastoral responsibilities to new leaders and to hold them accountable to shepherd small groups, Exodus 18:13-27.

  1. Name without delay leaders and trainers who meet biblical requisites, Acts 14:23.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Jethro. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Jethro: The Bible is too ancient. It no longer applies.]

  1. Make sure that all believers have a shepherd who listens to their needs, 1 Peter 5:1-4.

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: Wolf Game. See the explanation of this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 37.]

  1. Commission new leaders with discernment, judging fitness by what God requires, not man.1 Sam. 16; Titus 1:5-9.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Jethro: A good Leader is the one who has been here the longest, gives the most money, is elected to the highest position, is most popular, knows the most Bible doctrine.]

D2    Ezra, a Praying Reformer, led his people to confess their sins and to obey God’s commands, Ezra 9 – 10.

  1. Lead your people to confess their sins, including their neglect of New Testament guidelines. Then ask God to renew your church. He does not bring renewal until His people, including their leaders, confess their sins.
  2. Pray for the lost to be saved, for workers to volunteer and for the new churches to be planted, Gen. 18:20-33; Col. 4:2-4.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Ezra. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Ezra: There are enough pagans around here!.]

D3    The Caring Samaritan practiced practical love, Luke 10:25-37; Mat. 25:31-46.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be the Samaritan. Mr. Tradition: Argue with the Samaritan: Just save people’s souls.]

  1. Mobilize new churches to serve the needy from their beginning, as Barnabas and Dorcas did, Acts 4:36-37; 9:36-42
  2. Instruct new believers to give. Do not accustom new churches to absorbing others’ money, like parasites on Christ’s body. teach them to give as the Macedonians did, even in their poverty, 2 Cor. 8 - 9.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with the Samaritan: Pastors ought to form a union in order to demand more pay.]

  1. Instruct new churches to recognize urgent needs and give accordingly, Luke 6:38; Acts 2: 46; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Phil. 4:16-18.

D4    Paul, a Pastoral Trainer, trained new pastors while they, in turn, trained newer ones, Acts 14:21-23; 2 Tim. 2:2; Titus 1:5.

  1. Fulfill your duty as a pastor by training newer pastors. Your responsibility to see that newer pastors receive training cannot be delegated. The actual training, however, might be assigned to others. You must see that it is done. Obedient pastors obey God’s Word by providing training for other shepherding elders, as Paul modeled, including for daughter churches, 2 Tim. 2:2.
  2. Listen to pastoral apprentices before mentoring them. Apply God’s Word at once with authority to the immediate needs and ministry opportunities of the trainee's flock, rather than merely voicing it as abstract theory for some vague future application, James 1:22.

D5    Abel, a sincere, humble worshipper, trusted in God's forgiveness through the sacrifice of an innocent victim, Genesis 4:3-12.

  1. Respect the blood sacrifice as a central element of worship, John 6:26-63.

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: Demonstrate Old Testament. worship. See the explanation of this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 46.]

  1. Have your flock regularly break bread and drink the cup of the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood. Doing so, they will participate in the body and blood of Christ, Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; l1: 20-34.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Paul. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Paul: We don’t really need to do this if we teach correctly what it means.]

  1. Help all, including children, to participate in praise and other worship activities1 Cor 14:26 (vital for new, small churches). If possible, sit in a circle or around a table.
  2. Help family heads to lead family worship, as Job did, Job 1:4-5. Tell stories to your children. Jesus often told stories.
  3. Let worship be relevant and reverent. Learn to lead worship and help others to do it in a way that fits small groups in non-formal settings, Matt. 18:19-20; Acts 5:42; 20:20; 10:27; 12:12; 16:32; Col. 4:15.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Paul: Hire only professional singers and musicians, so we can listen to them quietly.]

  1. Practice the ‘one-another’ commands of the New Testament. Search these commands and help your people to do them.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Paul: Pulpit lectures are all we need.]

  1. Let apprentice pastors train newer apprentice pastors, who shepherd newer flocks or cells, 2 Tim. 2:2.

E. Pastoral Apprentices Apply what they Learn at Once
and Train Newer Shepherds

E1      Timothy, a Pastoral Apprentice, trained new pastors while being trained, 2 Timothy 2:2.

  1. "Do the Word." Practice at once with your flock what is learned, rather than being ‘hearers only’ who learn for some vague future application, Matt. 10; 2 Tim. 2:2.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Timothy. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Timothy: New trainees cannot train other leaders until they have three years experience and a Master's degree.]

  1. Pass on at once what you learn to newer shepherding elders, so that churches multiply, Titus 1:5.

F. Evangelists Bring Converts into Obedient Churches God’s Way

F1    Peter, an Evangelist, called men to repent and took shared the message about Christ in the homes of men of peace, Acts 2:28; 10

  1. Work with heads of households and their social networks, Luke 10.5-7.

[Role-play. Leader: portray evangelism by extraction, then by networking.]

  1. Leave unreceptive homes or communities, Matt. 10:12-14.

[Role-play. Leader: name another volunteer to be Peter. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Peter: Just keep sowing the seed and be patient, all people who hear the Word will change.]

  1. Evangelize in the biblical way—proclaim Jesus’ death and resurrection, call people to repent and confirm their faith with baptism, in Acts 2:22-41.

[Role-play. Leader: Portray. Dagon.]

  1. Let the Gospel flow by using easy methods and available equipment, Luke 24:44-48; Acts 16:25-34; 1 Cor. 2:1-5.

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: demonstrate the heavy box. See the explanation of this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 58.]

  1. Love people enough to respect their culture. Peter did so when he ate at a Gentile’s house, Acts 11:1-18; Paul did so when he circumcised Timothy, Acts 16: 3, and whenever he became "all things to all men," 1 Cor. 9:19-23.
  2. Discern between external form and underlying purpose, as when Elisha allowed Naaman to bow before the god Rimmon out of respect for his master’s custom, 2 Kings 5:15-19.

F2    Cornelius, a Prayerful Seeker, held an exclusive meeting for relatives and friends to learn about Jesus, Acts 10.

  1. Go at once to a seeker’s family, as Paul did, Acts 16:13-15; 27-33; 18:8.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Cornelius. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Cornelius: Avoid the older men; they are too hardened.]

  1. Let seekers host gathering meetings, as Cornelius did, rather than extracting them from their network of family and close friends while you share the gospel with them, Mk 2:14-17; Luke 19:1-10.

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: the group plants a church. The group suggests each step in the process. See the explanation of this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 62.]

  1. Resist Satan within a community; do not flee from him, James 4:7.

Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Continue church planting (above); introduce an idolater. See the explanation of this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 63.]

G. Regional Coordinators Oversee Pastoral Training

G1    Paul, Traveling Church Planter, respected different cultures and their leaders, Gal 2; Acts 14:21-23.

  1. Avoid brutally canceling a culture or way of life in a church, Acts 10; Galatians.

[Role-play. Leader: name another volunteer to be Paul. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Paul: Folks of other cultures adapt to us.]

  1. Phase out your personal control of new churches. Install leaders who meet New Testament requirements and mentor them on the job. How soon? Look at Paul’s own practice! Acts 14:21-23

G2    Titus, Regional Overseer, established shepherding elders in the new churches of Crete, Titus 1:5.

  1. Name permanent regional coordinators to oversee leadership training, Titus 1:5-9.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Titus. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Titus that we should have no such hierarchy.]

  1. Appoint shepherding elders in every church in every center of population. Do so as rapidly as Paul did. Acts 14:21-23; 1 Timothy 3:1-11; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Titus that new leaders should wait at least 6 years before leading!]

  1. Commission pastoral trainers (instructors), or ask churches to commission them. Place them over regions with new churches and over untrained leaders, Acts 13:1-3.
  2. Meet with pastoral trainers regularly to oversee their work and help to solve problems, Titus 1:5,
  3. Provide easy-to-use materials for pastoral trainers. "Bring the books," as Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:13).
  4. Keep orienting new trainers to mentor newer pastors, 2 Tim. 2:2.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Titus: Good pastors won’t have time for this mentoring.]

  1. Hold pastoral trainers accountable to carry out their own plans and keep churches multiplying.

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: model a mentoring session. See the explanation of this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 72.]

  1. Arrange for each church to meet regularly in small groups and in big groups. Matt. 18:19-20; Acts 22:46; 20:7; 1 Cor. 14:26; Hebrews 10:24-25.
  2. Gear training curriculum to fit current needs, as Moses did, Ex 18 through 20. God provided a curriculum that fit current needs when he gave to Moses and the new shepherding elders the Ten Commandments and other laws for the new nation, Exodus 19 and 40. We should do the same kind of thing for new churches, using New Testament guidelines with the Holy Spirit’s power instead of the ancient legal system, which was based on fear of death.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Titus: My seminary uses curriculum that my great-grandfather used in 1870.]

G3    Caleb, a Steadfast Visionary, kept focused on the task in spite of peril and opposition, Num. 13-14.

  1. Maintain a positive focus, avoiding distractions, as Caleb and Joshua did, Num. 13 and 14.
  2. Mentors on every occasion add at least one positive thing to a church’s life that will edify it. In mentoring sessions, always spend most of the time dealing with positive things, not dwelling on chronic problems. For example, enroll new pastoral trainees, plan for new churches, introduce new ministries, and witness for Christ. If chronic rejection impedes this, we have Jesus' orders to shake the dust and leave, Matt. 10:14.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Caleb. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Caleb: :"I need the whole time to explain about all the sins in my church!".]

G4    Silas, a Messenger between Congregations, traveled from one church to another with messages and offerings for the poor, as they served new churches, as in Acts 15:27.

  1. Develop mutual cooperation between sister churches in the same region, to edify them and keep them reproducing. Let them hold occasional united meetings to give reports, to plan projects, to offer and ask for help when needed. Acts 15:22.

[Role-play. Leader: name a volunteer to be Silas. Mr. Tradition: Argue with Silas: Every church is autonomous and independent. Don’t get involved with other churches.]

G5   Christ, our Supreme Commander, orders us with all authority in heaven and earth to make disciples by teaching them obey all his commands, Matthew 28:17-20; 2 Cor. 10:5-6; Rev. 14:12.

  1. Pass on a light baton. Jesus left us a simple, inexpensive model for ministry and church life that is easy to pass on to others, to multiply churches, Mat. 7:24-29; 11:29-30; 15:1-9; 28:18-20; 2 Tim 2:2. Include in the light baton Jesus’ seven basic commands and the ministries required by the New Testament, which are reviewed below:

[Role-play. Prior preparation needed. Leader: Discern 3 Levels of Authority. See the explanation for this role-play in Appendix A, Instructions, item 79.]

  1. (1) Ministries that corresponds to Jesus’ command to repent, believe, be born anew by the Holy Spirit include:
    • Help your flock to trust Christ and follow Him before all else, Luke 9:23.
    • Watch over the flock to see that only born-again believers are considered to be part of the body of Christ. Confusion about this invites false doctrine and a powerless body. Mark 1:15; John 3:16; 20:22.

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with the leader: Don’t embarrass people asking them to confess sin.]

(2) Ministries that correspond to Jesus’ command to baptize believers and to teach them to live the transformed life that it initiates include:

    • Baptize sinners who confess their sin, without delaying for legalistic reasons, adding man-made requirements, Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:38.Rom. 6:1-14;
    • Assure and embrace new believers with love and acceptance.

(3) Ministries that correspond to Jesus’ command to break bread and worship God include:

    • Enable all to participate actively in worshipping God as a body, Heb.10:25; 1 Cor. 14:26.
    • Let the Holy Spirit exalt Jesus edify believers through the Lord's Table, Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-24
    • Seek worship that is neither merely entertainment nor passively watching others perform, John 4:24

[Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with the leader: Hire professional musicians and bring in famous speakers.]

(4) All ministries are motivated by Jesus’ command to love, but these are directly related to it:

    • Cultivate fellowship and loving service among all their members, Rom.12:3-21; John 13:34-35
    • Serve other flocks. Arrange edifying interaction between them, Acts 15:22, 27; 24:17; Rom. 16
    • Strengthen family life and marriage, Eph.5:21 through 6:4
    • Organize churches so all members use their spiritual gifts to serve each other, Eph.4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12 - 13; Rom.12
    • Forgive enemies, Matt. 5:43-48

(5) The ministries that correspond to Jesus' command to pray include:

    • Intercede, Col. 4:3
    • Pray for healing, James 5:14-15
    • Maintain personal and family devotions, John 16:24; 1 Thess. 5:17; Eph. 6:4
    • Wage spiritual warfare, Eph.6:10-18; Rom.12:12

(6) Give, Luke 6:38; 12:13-34. One aspect of giving is to serve the needy, inside and outside the flock, Mat.25:31-46; Luc 10:25-37;Hech.6:1-16; Gál.6:10(stewardship)

(7) Make disciples (witness for Christ, shepherd believers, apply the Word, train leaders, send missionaries), Matthew 28:18-20. To make disciples requires us to mobilize our flock to:

    • Do evangelism, pray for the lost and witness for Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:8; 1 Thess. 5:17; 2 Tim.4:5.
    • Proclaim the things that Jesus said to, as we witness for Christ, Luke24:46-48.
    • Make disciples who obey all of Jesus’ commands, Matt. 28:18-20; Matt. 7:24-29
    • [Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with the leader: Emphasizing obedience is legalism.]
    • Watch over the spiritual life of those under your care and correct the unruly, Acts 20:28-32.
    • Counsel those with problems as Paul did with Philemon. We find this in Paul's letter to Philemon.
    • Correct and restore the weak without condemning them, 1 Cor. 5.
    • [Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with the leader: True Christians don’t sin or make mistakes.]
    • Shepherd as a servant leader, 1 Peter 5:1-4; Matt.20:25-28
    • [Role-play. Mr. Tradition: Argue with the leader: Just preach the Word and everything will go well.]
    • Apply the Word, train all believers to serve, Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Tim.3:16-17, 2 Tim.4:2; James 1:22-26
    • Ward off wolves—oppose and shun divisionists, legalists, false teachers, Acts 20:28-31; Titus 3:9-11.
    • Agree on goals, practices and plans to develop and extend the work, Acts 15:22-31; 2 Cor. 13:11
    • Form new flocks, Acts chapters 13 - 14
    • Name and prepare pastors, evangelists, and missionaries, 2:Tim. 2:2; Titus 1:5


Appendix A. Optional Role-plays, Instructions and Preparations

Read Before Doing Role-plays

(Preliminary Instructions)

    1. Role-plays suggested under some of the guidelines above are optional. You do not have to use all of them, for there are too many. Use them when a guideline requires more clarity, or to encourage the group to discuss more freely. When you prepare a person to do a role-play, explain that you might not use it.
    2. Participants are not to memorize the suggested conversation, only the ideas. They are to say it briefly in their own words.
    3. Use role-plays to focus on a truth and encourage discussion—not to entertain or act out details dramatically. To prolong the role-player's conversation is poor role-playing and robs too much time. Most role-plays present a brief argument between Mr. Tradition and someone playing a Bible model. Other role-plays are demonstrations that involve only the Leader.
    4. Prepare the following aids ahead of time if you use the role-plays:

o        Signs for persons to hold in front of them, who take the part of the biblical models. Prepare a sign for each one except for Christ. The first one would say in large print "Peter, a Discipler."

o        Also prepare signs for "Mr. Tradition," "Enemy" and the demons "Greed," "Control" and "Fear."

o        Prepare a book (or stack of papers) with its name in large print "Man-made Traditions."

o        Prepare a fairly large box and a small box, if you use the role-play for item 58.

    1. How to prepare role-plays with Mr. Tradition. Most of these require no preparation except for the signs, and a very brief word of explanation to whoever plays Mr. Tradition:

o        Leader: Briefly describe what a model Bible person did, and hand the Bible model's sign ("Peter," "Paul", etc.) to someone. For example, "You are Peter." (Hand them the sign.) "Please stand and defend your practice."

o        Mr. Tradition: Immediately stand, shows your sign and argue with the Bible person, as instructed in the role-play suggestions.

o        Several persons might play the part of Mr. Tradition, who argues many times.

o        Leader: ask the entire group to help correct Mr. Tradition, if the person playing the model Bible person cannot.


[1]          Satan sends his demons. Leader:

  1. Explain: "If we could see as angels see, we might see this."
  • Show the sign "Enemy" to everyone. Play the part of Satan. Look up and point up, saying, "I see the planet earth, I see (country), I see (city) and I see Mr. Tradition attending a workshop! Aha! (Laugh in an evil way.) I will make Mr. Tradition destroy that workshop!"
  • Call demon Greed. (Select anyone.) Hand him the sign Greed; ask him to let everyone see it. Say, "Go tell Mr. Tradition, if churches multiply, there will be less money to go around! That is he over there." (Point to Mr. Tradition. Greed goes to him repeats what he was told.)
  • Call demon Control and hand him his sign and say, "Go tell Mr. Tradition if churches multiply, he will lose control of the work!"
  • Call demon Fear and do the same "Go tell Mr. Tradition if churches multiply, false doctrine will creep in!"

[4]          Baptism. Mr. Tradition: argue with "Peter" that to be baptized one must do the following:

  • Become perfect first, and walk on water.
  • Wait at least two years and learn all biblical doctrines, etc.

Peter answers that the apostles baptized converts at once, and required nothing more than that a sinner confess his need for Christ to save him from his sin. Extensive Bible teaching always came after baptism, not before.

[6]       Lord's Supper. Mr. Tradition argues that only an ordained pastor can serve the Lord's Supper. To be ordained he must have a Ph.D. degree and thirty years of pastoral experience.

  • Leader: show the group the book Man-made Traditions and a Bible.
  • Ask: "Does Mr. Tradition's rule place God's Word above man's traditions?" (Put the Bible on top of the book.)

"Or, does it place man-made traditions over God's Word?" (Put the book on top of the Bible.)

  • Keep putting one on top of the other as you ask the people which way Mr. Tradition puts it. Let them discuss it.
  • Repeat this demonstration whenever a question comes up if a practice agrees with God's Word.

[22]     The Restaurant.

  • Leader: Tell the group, "I am a waiter in the "Big Burp Bistro."
  • Approach anyone and ask, "How many times have you eaten in our Big Burp Bistro?"
  • Whatever number of times he answers, tell him he must order the next item on the menu. If He says, "I've been here twice," you say, "Then I will bring you item number three, fried snails." (Or, raw horsemeat, pickled octopus eyes, live goldfish, etc.).
  • Repeat this with two or three people, then ask the group what is wrong?
  • Compare it with the linear way some educators train new pastors, whose new churches have urgent needs. A new church is often 'hungry' for something else besides the next item on the menu.

[23]    Linear curriculum. Leader: demonstrate why we do not use linear curriculum to deal with new churches:

  • Ask anyone, "What is a current problem in your church?"
  • No matter what he says, thumb through your outline and say, "Here it is!" (Mention the problem). "Yes! We will deal with it next year at this time! Tell your people to wait!"

[28]    The Fear that Churches Weaken as they Multiply. Mr. Tradition: complain that the impulse to multiply will weaken and that false doctrine will creep in, if churches multiply.

  1. Leader: Ask someone to read 2 Tim. 2:2. Explain: This verse has four links in the chain of church reproduction. Then form four groups, separated from each other.
    • The first link is Antioch (1st group), which sent Paul and Barnabas. Ask two of them to take a Bible to the next group.
    • The second link is Ephesus, where Paul left his apprentice Timothy and to whom he wrote this verse. Ask someone to be Timothy and, with a helper, take the same Bible to the third group.
    • The third link is a granddaughter church in a city near Ephesus, with the 'faithful men' mentioned in the verse. Ask two of them to take the same Bible to the fourth group (E.g., Colosse.)
    • The fourth link is a great granddaughter church, with the 'others also' taught by the 'faithful men.' (E.g., the house group leader at Laodecia.)
  1. Explain: This chain reaction happened in church history, resulting in dozens of churches.
    • Ask: "What danger might lie in such rapid church multiplication?" Someone will say that false doctrine will creep in, etc. If not, you say it. But explain that it does not have to happen, for these important reasons.
    • Ask: "Does the Holy Spirit grows weaker as He walks from Antioch to Ephesus, and to the other churches?" (You might walk from one group to the next, getting more tired and lame all the time).
    • Ask, "Will the newer group receive a smaller Christ" "Will it have less love for the Word?"
  1. Explain: Newer churches must be weaker only in one way—they are younger. Otherwise, there would not be any strong churches left on the earth. All result from such a chain reaction reproducing for centuries.

[32]    Temporary scaffolding. Leader: Explain that starting a new church is like building a tall building with bricks.

  • The church planters are the bricklayers on temporary scaffolding. This platform is removed when the building is finished.
  • A church planting team is like temporary scaffolding. It exists only to build the church, then its job is done. Now they can move on to a new area.
  • Ask, "What happens if we put all our efforts into building the scaffolding and not the church?
  • Explain that this happens if organizations outside of the churches become parasites on the body of Christ, by needlessly drawing workers and funds away from the churches to do work of secondary importance.

[37]    The wolf game. Do this if you have open space in the room, or can go outside.

  • Leader: ask everyone to stand in a line along a wall or along a line on the ground. If the group is large, ask about 20 persons to do so. Explain: "You are sheep. If a wolf tags you, fall down. You’re lost. You cannot move from where you are."
    • Select three strong men to be wolves. "You rob the sheep. When I count to three and say ‘Go!’ you tag as many sheep as you can before the shepherd tags you. If he tags you, you must fall down, dead."
    • Select a shepherd. "Shepherd, you must protect the sheep from the wolves. If you tag a wolf, it falls dead."
    • Then shout, "One. Two. Three. Go!"
    • After several sheep have been lost, stop. Ask the shepherd to do what Jethro told Moses to do (name Leaders of small groups). The shepherd names helpers, one for every three or four people. They also can tag the wolves to slay them.
    • Repeat the game. When it is evident that few sheep will be lost, let the group be seated and ask, "If a cattleman drives a large herd of cows to a distant market, will he do it alone? Then, What is more valuable? An animal or a human soul?"
    • Ask, "What form of church organization shows that we consider humans more valuable than cows or sheep?"

[46]    Old Testament Worship. Leader: Prepare someone ahead of time to be a sheep.

  1. Tell the group you are going to worship like in the Old Testament. You and the 'sheep' go out of the room.
  2. Come back at once. The sheep crawls on hands and knees and follows you, bleating loudly. He pretends to keep jerking back on a rope around his neck.
  3. Do not use a real rope. Just walk ahead of him and pretend that you are pulling a rope.
  4. Tell someone (anyone) that he is a priest, and to sharpen his knife.
  5. Tell another that he is a Levite, and to tie the feet of the sheep.
  6.             Ask the priest and Levite to help you lift the sheep onto the altar. (Use a chair.)
  7. Lay your hands on its head. Tell the group, "I must confess all my sins—that will take a long time!"
  8. Tell the priest to slit its throat. When he does, act as through blood has spurted all over you. Shake it off your hands and cry out, "Oh no! Blood all over everything! This is terrible! Now there's smoke in my eyes! They are burning it! Oh, the smell of manure! "
  9.             Ask the group, "Is this shocking, repugnant ritual really worship? Yes! Because our sins are shocking and repugnant to God!
  10.             Explain: "This has not changed—except we no longer bring an animal to church. Why not?"
  11. Explain that we repeat this when we celebrate the Lord's Supper. Jesus is the lamb that takes away the sins of the world. Give the Lord's Supper the same importance and seriousness as the apostles did!

[58]    Make the package lighter. Prepare a "Recipient" to receive a fairly large box, then a smaller box.

Leader: Show the large box first and explain:

  1. The box represents the package that we take from our own church to carry its spiritual DNA, its genetic code, to reproduce daughter churches. We pass it on like the baton in a relay race, to illustrate church multiplication.
  2. Place the Bible in the box and ask the group what else we shall put into it. (Obedience to Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, etc.).
  3. Explain: Sometimes we put too much in it, such as attitudes of Professionalism, an institutional mentality, entertainment, expensive equipment, individualism, high technology (we think the power of the Holy Spirit reaches only to the end of our electrical cord, so we put in a long cord), etc.
  4. Hand the box to the Recipient. It is too heavy. He drops it at once on his toe, grabs his toe, and cries out in pain and hops around shouting in pain. He doubles his fist and chases the Leader around the room, limping and threatening to kill him, then sits, groaning.
  5. Leader: Ask: "Do we need to change the package?" Hold up the Bible and ask, "Do we change the message?" "If not, what do we change?" Let the group discuss it.
  6.             Hold up the Bible again and explain briefly that we use the New Testament as a filter. We take out everything that is not recommended in the New Testament.
  7. Explain: "We do not require all churches to have buildings, to hire full time ministers, to use expensive sound equipment, or to do anything that is not in the Bible."
  8. Place the Bible in the smaller box and hand it to someone and say, "You are a close friend to (Recipient). Please take this to him. He won't take it from me."
  9. That person takes the smaller box to Recipient, who holds it and says, "It is light!" He dances for joy, then hands it to someone else (anyone) and says, 'Pass it on!"

[62]    Role-play starting a church. Name half of the group to be a mother church. The other half are 'pagans.' Tell them what to do only when they fail to do it. Don't let dialogue drag. Keep interrupting, "Good! You have established a relationship." (Or whatever they intended to portray). "Now what has to happen?"

  1. The mother church should mention that they should name some workers to go evangelize, lay hands on them and pray. They don't need to actually do it. It is only a role-play. They need only to mention it.
  2. Explain, "While traveling on the train to the other place, you meet a person from there, who is interested in learning about Christ. What will you do?"
  3. Before long they should do what the apostles always did—go to the family. Ask the new friend who is the mother, father, and brother, etc. Ask the group to discuss how they would approach the family.
  4. Assume that the "family" lacks a background to understand the concepts of one Almighty God, Sin, Judgment, faith, sacrificing an innocent victim so that the blood can atone for sins, God's holiness, God's punishment of idolaters, God's covenants and God's laws, etc. What would you do? (Tell the Old Testament stories that lay the conceptual foundation for these concepts. Don't actually tell the stories; there isn't time. Simply mention that you would do it.)
  5. If the church planters fail to mention it, ask them, "What are the events that make up the gospel proclamation, of which Jesus said we are witnesses, in Luke 24:26-29?" (Jesus' death and resurrection, and the promise of forgiveness to all who repent of their sins, in all nations.)
  6.             Assume that the family wants to follow Christ. If the church planters fail to baptize them without delay, ask, "What did the apostles always do at this time, with no further delay?"
  7. Assume that several others in the community join the family and follow Christ. If the church planters fail to mention it, then ask, "Whom might you train to lead the new group?" They should name the older men in the new group. If they name someone from the mother church as pastor, then explain that this was not the apostles' practice. They always prepared men who lived in the locale of the new church, and put them in charge as soon as possible. The workers from the mother church mentor these new Leaders.

[63]    Resist Satan. Continue the church planting role-play above [62]. Leader: Explain: A member of the family has been away visiting relatives, and now returns.

  1. Prepare "grandmother" ahead of time to walk into the role-play limping, her hand on her sore hip and groaning.
  2. She finds people in her house and keeps asking why they are there until someone says they are teaching about Christ. She gets angry, says they have their own gods and tells the strangers to leave.
  3. Ask: "What should the church planters and new believers do?"
  4. Explain: Many church planters make a bad mistake when such opposition comes. Instead of resisting the devil so that he will flee from them (James 4:7), they flee from him! They start holding meetings in another place, to avoid conflict with grandmother and her idolatry. Ask what the correct response is.
  5. They should deal with this problem at its root. Grandmother is not the devil; we wrestle not against flesh and blood—nor grandmothers—but against evil spirits (Eph. 6:10-12). If at all possible, keep meeting in the home, love grandmother, and get the family to explain their faith to her.
  6.             If time allows, assume that the new believers have relatives and friends in a third community. Point out some people to be them. Repeat the process to start a third church and describe how the leaders would train the new leaders in such a 2 Timothy 2:2 chain reaction.

[72]    Model a mentoring session. Leader: Actually mentor someone for real. Ask them to sit beside you:

  • Pray asking the Lord to guide you.
  • Report. Ask someone to tell you briefly about their church. Try to find out what their greatest need is. Use the list of ministries (items 80 - 106) if necessary, to find what is lacking in the church.
  • Plan. Help them plan what they and their people will do. Get the group to help you plan, if necessary.
  • Assign studies that fit his plans.
  • Review prior studies. (Explain that if you had held sessions with him before, you would have asked him to tell you about what he studied, which you assigned the last time you met).
  • Pray again for power to carry out the plans.

[79]    Discern the Three Levels of Authority for church activities:

Leader: Define the Three Levels of Authority for church activities and practice discerning them.

1st level—New Testament Commands (of Jesus and His apostles)

Example: Baptism. We obey these commands without argument or voting on them. We do not include Old Testament commands; we are no longer under its law or we’d stone you to death if you gathered firewood on Saturday, etc.

2nd levelNew Testament Practices (things the apostles and churches did, but did not command)

Example: Baptizing converts immediately. We may practice them, too, but never prohibit them, because the apostles practiced or approved them. Neither can we command them as general church law, since only God has the authority to lay down laws for His universal church.

3rd level—Human customs (traditions or practices not mentioned in the New Testament)

Example: Using baptism as a graduation ceremony after weeks of doctrinal study. We cannot demand obedience to them as law. We can—and must—prohibit them if they hinder obedience. Most church traditions are good. They become evil when they hinder obedience.

Ask: "To which of these three Levels of Authority do the following church practices belong?" Avoid arguing.

The Lord’s Supper (Ans.: level 1)

Using one cup for the Lord’s Supper (2)

Serving the Lord’s Supper the first Sunday of the month (3)

Wearing robes in the pulpit (3)

Wearing a tie in the pulpit (3)

Not wearing a tie in the pulpit (3)

The pulpit (3)

Preaching the Word (1)

Sunday School with segregation by age (3)

Circumcision (2)

(Add more if you want.)