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Making Good "I Will" Statements

Updated: May 3, 2021

Chloe didn't settle for vague applications of Scripture. You shouldn't either.

Obedience is inseparable from following Jesus. However, helping unbelievers, new believers, or even Christians take practical steps of obedience can be surprisingly challenging. In her story, Chloe describes how she coached someone to apply God's Word to their lives in a way that leads to more disciples!

A DBS with a Muslim-Background Believer

My friend Pam is a new believer from a Muslim background whose story I shared last year. You can catch up on her story here. Recently, I facilitated a Discovery Bible Study (DBS) on Isaiah 53.

I always love doing DBS on Isaiah 53 because of its powerful depiction of the humility and beauty of Jesus. Pam reflected on the passage saying, "Wow, I can give everything to Jesus. He takes all my sorrows and griefs."

How to Respond to Vague "I Will" Statements

After discussing Isaiah 53 further, the time to make our "I will" statements arrived. I asked her, "Okay, what are we going to do about this?"

"I am going to trust God more," Pam stated.

Pam's statement, while positive, was not very practical. So, I pressed in a little—"What could you do to trust God more?"

"I need to pray everyday so I can remember to rely on Him and trust Him."

I thought to myself, "We've already been doing DBS together for a while, and Pam calls herself a believer. I know that God could do more through Pam here."

Persistence Led to A 2nd Generation DBS

I decided to keep nudging her. "That's great that you want to pray more. Is there anything you could do to put yourself in a position where you have to trust God more?"

Pam thought for a moment. "Oh! You know what I need to do? I need to contact this friend of a friend from my home country who is interested in following God. I want to start reading the stories of the Bible with her. I've been afraid to contact her because of security reasons. But, I need to trust God and do it!"

My heart leap with joy. "Okay! When do you want to do it?"

"I'll do it tomorrow," Pam agreed.

The next day, I messaged Pam and asked if she messaged her friend.

"Yeah!" Pam replied, "She's really excited to start reading the Bible with me!"

"That's awesome!" I continued, "It's so great to do this in groups. Is there anyone else your friend knows who might want to join?" Pam is going to ask her friend if there's anyone else she'd like to invite. I'm excited to see where God will take this!

Lessons Learned:

God's Word equates obedience with loving God. That's why obedience is a core DNA of a disciple-maker. Pam and Chloe's story communicates the need for disciples to help others obey God's Word through practical steps. Whether unbelievers, new believers, or long-time Christians, we often make positive-sounding applications of Scripture that aren't very measurable or practical. Chloe responded tactfully with questions when Pam made vague commitment statements in response to reading the Bible. Disciple-makers should keep asking questions until participants make "I Will" statements that are practical, measurable, and attainable.


Podcast on "I Will" Statements That Will Ruin Your DBS

Just like we read in Chloe and Pam's story, an "I Will" statement is your answer to one of the most important questions in a Discovery Bible Study, "If this passage is from God, how must we change?" An "I Will" statement can make or break your DBS. The difference between being a convert and a disciple is obedience. So here are some applications people often give that can be detrimental to a fruitful Discovery Group, and how to respond to them! Listen here.

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