Bloom has learned, over decades of experience, what it takes to call, equip, and send believers into the mission field. That mission field can begin right in your own backyard with your family and friends, and then extend to your neighborhood, work place, local church and yes even to the utter ends of the earth. The material provided is designed to give you a resource you can start using now towards answering God’s call to “Go and Make Disciples”. Our prayer is that it will give you the confidence to trust God with your life as you step out in faith to answer the call to “Bloom where you are planted”.
As you begin to delve in to the learning process, there are a few attitudes that we ask you to cultivate. The material can be used in a variety of ways and settings, but it is good for you to know the heart behind Bloom’s approach to making disciples.
The following links will give you a detailed overview of this free resource and how to gain access to the entire course. Be sure to check out the sample of one of our teaching sessions and its listening guide.
Thanks for taking a look. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor. 13:14)
Table of Contents:
This disciple making training course teaches seven topics. Each of the seven topics is divided into four teaching modules. The first three modules are driven by a video presentation which runs approximately one hour each and can be either viewed on-line through the eBloom.tv website or through obtaining DVD’s of the series. The filming of each teaching module included participation from the students as they wrestled with the questions that were posed, offering their insight or asking other clarifying questions.
A popular approach to completing a topic is to go over one of its three teaching video modules each week for three weeks. Allowing additional time each week for the group to interact with the video with their own questions and comments is important and will add to the time commitment. We have found that allowing one and a half to two hours per module gives plenty of time for fellowship, getting settled in, and then enjoying the video and discussion. The fourth week is used for overall review of the teaching topic, more Q&A, personal exercise applications (PEAs), testimonies, encouragement, and prayer. In this example at the end of seven months the training would be completed. Of course, each group can go at their own pace and tailor it as to frequency, content, and location.
A number of learning aids are provided including a participant’s listening guide along with additional supportive reading resources. All the resources provided and their availability on-line offers a tremendous opportunity to begin passing along what has been learned.
The seven teaching topics were selected after decades of experience in the realm of disciple making. The seven topics should be viewed as essential and foundational. Each is like a wing on an airplane. If the plane is missing a wing, it won’t get off the ground. Each topic goes right to the heart of receiving that which God has given His children for life and godliness. Through mind renewal, each topic provides another key for the unlocking of motivations that produce a growing desire to purse God and live a holy life. The topics are presented in a specific order one building upon the other. If a participant misses a module, it is advised that they view the module either on-line or on the DVD as a makeup prior to the next module. Note however; each topic can be taught on a standalone basis.
Topic 1 or Session 1: The Call to Holy living (Is love a decision?). Here we begin with the “end in mind” by proclaiming the call and will of God for every believer. We explore and discover the role our will plays in answering that call. We unpack the P.O.D acronym (Spirit, Intimacy, and Power) and see what role each plays in assisting the child of God to live the holy life in union with Him.
Topic 2: The Fear of the Lord (The joy of fearing God correctly). This is the first of two major cornerstones foundational to developing a healthy motivation. It reveals the gift of the great treasure and joy of fearing God correctly and exposes the counterfeit of fearing man or anything of this world.
Topic 3: The Gospel of God’s Grace (Know your true identity). We explore the second of the two major cornerstones foundational for proper Christian motivation. Here we disclose God’s plan, by grace, for perfecting each part of our being, body, soul, and spirit. We help participants search for and find their true identity in Christ. We disclose the unholy trinities plan, Sin, Satan, and Self (our flesh) and how they each war against us in an attempt to get our needs met apart from Christ.
Topic 4: Mind Renewal (Solomon’s Temple). God declares that we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Scripture proclaims we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we have the mind of Christ. This is a fascinating journey as we look into the detailed design of Solomon’s temple as a model for the blue print of a believer. The parallels are stunning and help to unlock the mystery of mind renewal. We will not only look at the temple’s layout but at the temple furnishings and priestly rituals as well. We will help clear up the confusion caused by the so often interchangeable use of the terms; heart, spirit, soul, mind, will, and emotions. This is a pivotal session which paves the way to living the victorious life as an overcomer.
Topic 5: Hearing God’s voice (know His will). This is the believer’s heart’s desire. Here we will show the path, using scripture, into his presence. You will learn how to discern His still voice through His written word (Logos) or by direct revelation of the Holy Spirit (Rhema). You will learn how to test your thoughts to see if they are from God. Quieting yourself, looking for vision, and journaling the flow of thoughts and pictures are all discussed as keys to distinguishing His voice.
This session was strategically placed here because, quite frankly, if one is not willing in the first place to be obedient to God’s commands, it would be very difficult to hear from Him as the noise from the world and our flesh would drown out His voice. However, by now, after completing the first four sessions the ground work has been laid for desiring a greater intimacy with God and realizing that we are radically dependent upon Him for every good work. With that transformation of the heart, God is more than pleased to reveal more of Himself and open the door to clearer communication with Him.
A pattern has emerged through the first five sessions. You should see that indeed our good Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) leading to obedient holy living in union with Him. Out of a grateful heart, you begin to respond to His voice in ways that you know are pleasing to Him. But what about when the going gets tough, you find yourself in harm’s way or are confused about God’s love because of the pain and suffering you experience and see all around you? That leads us to the next two topic six and seven.
Topic 6: Hope/Blessings (His reward standards). This is where the doctrine of eternal rewards plays a vital role. Here you will learn the basis of God given motivation. You will see more clearly what moves us to do what we do. We will look at the difference between having an eternal or temporal view of reality. You will see how hope is truly “an anchor to our soul” and how all other motivators, including love, fall away in a time of severe testing except hope and the promises of eternal blessings or rewards. We will clear up many of the miss teachings and misconceptions that have prevented the liberating truth of this glorious doctrine from being properly proclaimed and received.
Topic 7: God’s Love and Finding your Purpose (Mapping your future). During this session’s three modules, A, B and C, we will cover several things. First, in module A we will take a closer look at God’s love but from the perspective of the unchanging unity of all His other attributes bringing them up to the same level of importance; His truth, His holiness, His sovereignty, His wrath, His jealousy, His justice, His grace and mercy, and so on. We will answer the question; is God’s love only unconditional?
In the second module B we will look deeply into the number one objection to Christianity. If God is good why does He allow evil and suffering? You will come away with a good way to respond to this challenge to our faith. You will also be strengthened in your own faith and more able to stand firm when the going gets tough.
We will conclude the “seven session training” in module C, similar to how we began session one with a call to holy living. This time we will help you describe “the call” by crafting your own personal purpose statement. We call the process “Mapping your Future”. It will serve as a road map, compass and vision as to where God would have you go and what to do. It will help to live the specific call He has placed on your life based on your unique giftedness and experience.
When you step out by faith into the mission field, you will be fulfilling the goal and purpose for this ministry that is, “To Call, To Equip and To Send”. You will have become one who is “Reproducing disciples who experience God’s love and transforming power” by “Blooming where you are planted.”
Final comments: Another theme is woven throughout all seven topics. That theme is spiritual warfare. When putting this ministry together we were impressed by the Lord to keep the main focus on Him; He says by My Spirit in a growing intimacy with Me, will My power come forth. Therefore, we “keep the main thing the main thing”. We mention what we are warring against but emphasize everything God has given us to overcome the wiles of the enemy so that we can be more than conquerors!
Delight in the Disciplines: As we mentioned elsewhere the Bloom training should be viewed as foundational and complementary to other teaching and training your local church might provide or you should seek. These other areas should be regarded as spiritual disciplines or activities of daily living. They are for the purpose of bringing you into and keeping you in God’s presence. They would include: 1. Identification of your spiritual gifts and training to enhance their effectiveness as well as pursing those in which you are weak, 2. How to pray more powerfully and how to have a healthy and consistent quite time, 3. How to read the Bible to get the most from it, 4. Evangelism training both “life style” and “proclamation” styles should be embraced and learned, 5. Relational skills in marriage, as a parent, as a single and in fellowship with others, and 6. Develop other spiritual disciples such as; fasting, solitude and silence, journaling, study and meditation, confession, simplicity, stewardship and sacrifice, and worship and gratefulness.
Here is a sample of one of the teaching session modules. This one is from topic one “The Call to Holy Living” module C “Is love a decision?”.
Here is a link to the companion Session 1C Participant’s Listening Guide for this module.
Here are a few tips, which will help enhance the learning experience. Note: these are only quick tips. There is a more complete discussion for equipping facilitators under the Facilitator’s Tab on the eBloom.tv website.
Participants listening guide: Each of the accompanying video teaching modules has a companion listen guide. Each guide tracks the video presentation quite closely. There are several place were the participants are asked to fill in a blank. Also, there is space provided to write in your own thoughts or comments regarding the many questions that are asked. There is a Facilitator’s Listening Guide under the Facilitator’s Tab, which has the blanks filled in and some addition comments to help with answering questions that were posed.
The Power of the Pause: Each video presentation captures audience participation as they grappled with questions that have been asked and grapple with comments that have been made. It is strongly suggested to pause the video, in many cases, right after a question has been asked so the new small group can respond with their thoughts and insights. Resume play to see how the filmed audience responded. We have found the response from both groups to be complementary and enriching.
Asking good questions: There is an art to asking and responding to questions. For good discussion, please try to avoid question that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Asking “why” questions help participants evaluate their feelings and thoughts. Be sensitive to others by not dominating a discussion. Try to avoid chasing rabbit trails with questions or comments that can take the group off point. Silence, the pregnant pause, is good as the Holy Spirit helps each individual process the thought. Some are slower than others, give them time to respond. More is said about this in the Facilitators Manual under “The art of asking good questions”.
Module Four, D: Remember that each of the seven topics is taught in four modules. The first three modules (A, B, and C) are video driven. The fourth module D for each topic is a time for more hands on personal interaction. We have created Personal Exercise Applications (PEA’s for the POD) with the purpose of helping to bring to life, through group interaction, the key points of the teaching topic. We also give each participant a “Remember Card”. Each of the seven sessions will have its own business-sized card with key points to remember on one side. On the other side, there is room to write down your favorite Bible verse to memorize, answer a most important question, and write down some application steps you are prompted to carry out.
POD mates: Those in your small group can be a real source of encouragement, prayer, insight and accountability. Being open, honest, and transparent will help foster an environment where real community is created.
Personal Application: The goal of the ministry is spiritual transformation. For this to occur the teaching needs to move from head knowledge to soul transformation. At the end of each teaching module’s listening guide is a page, which reminds each participant of the disciplines to be exercised in order to make that transformation. Repetition and time soaking in the word is essential. Each is asked to write down and commit to memory a few key verses and personal application/next steps. These steps are those, which the Holy Spirit is prompting one to accomplish.
The learning experience is founded on these three working together: 1. God’s Word and Spirit along with additional resources/articles, 2. Streaming video instruction, and 3. Small group interaction. These working together over an extending period will cause spiritual transformation resulting in personal application.
The FAT test: If you are Faithful (put into practice), Available (consistent attendance), and Teachable (humble, open minded and not argumentative) you will get the most of out of this process.
Meat or Milk? : There is more than enough content presented in this process to challenge the more mature believer. It definitely dishes out meat. For the less mature, you will be challenged not to get overwhelmed. Our advice is to continually ask the Holy Spirit what He would have you take away from the teaching. If you take away one or two things, that’s great. When you go through the material again and again each time, you will take away more as the Spirit leads you to dive deeper. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and pursue conversation with a more mature believer outside the normal meeting times.
The Bloom/POD training is for everyone. It is for the young and old, the mature and the immature and should be viewed as essential, vital and foundational. It is critical that each topic be learned to the point where it moves from head knowledge to a life transforming powerful possession. For transformation to occur the material must be read and reread, memorized and put into practice over a multi-year period. Remember, disciples are made not born. You should cultivate this attitude, “I can’t go over the teaching too much”. There is no quick and easy, “shake and bake”, way for the process to take place. A commitment must be made. Yes, the cost is high but the reward much greater. This is God’s economy.
Year one: Go through the seven teaching sessions. Read the additional articles that are provided in the resource guide. Read a recommended book or two. Begin sharing what you are hearing with others. Sharing is by far the most effective way to learning what you were taught.
Year two: Go through the seven teaching sessions another time but this time with a friend or two with you. Read one or more of the books that are recommended with each teaching topic. Continue sharing with others what you have learned.
Year three and beyond: You should now be in a position to team up with other POD mates and continue to multiply the teaching by forming your own small group by introducing the process to your local church or to your POD mates sphere of friends. Note: The Bloom ministry makes available resources on how to facilitate a small group by providing a Facilitator’s Manual, and a “7 Session Facilitator’s Discussion Guide”. Each will help you guide others thru the video training module by module.
The goal is to reproduce disciples through spiritual transformation.
On-line video streaming and resources that are completely free!
Uses multiple teaching techniques in a combination that has been proven effective: prayer, focus on God and His word, audio visual, writing, reading, active and interactive group discussion where “iron sharpens iron”, application drills, memory cards, short testimonies, journaling, scripture memorization, review, additional reading resources.
High quality teaching videos with PowerPoint, and visual aids with video and musical clips.
Promotes one-on-one or small group formation for fellowship, encouragement, accountability and iron sharpening iron.
Varied depths of material to feed all levels of maturity from babes to the more mature.
Participants and Facilitator’s Listening Guides.
“7 Session Facilitator’s Discussion Guide”.
Personal Exercise Applications (P.E.A.’s for the POD) to encourage personal application and interaction.
“Remember Cards” with key take-a-ways, key Bible verses, and next steps.
Addresses essential foundational elements needed for obedient living. It’s a unique form of bible study.
POD creates disciples and equips them to disciple others. It’s a model for spiritual reproduction.
Solid teaching (food) that goes right to the root issues that hold back believers from living the Holy life.
It hits at the heart of motivation and the interaction of God’s will and our free will.
Only a facilitator or small group leader is required not a skilled teacher.
Easily transferable concepts.
The process produces spiritual multipliers by calling, equipping and sending them into the marketplace. (Just as the church is commissioned to do)
Facilitators/small group leaders provide guidance, encouragement, coaching, and accountability
Repetition is vital, therefore participants are encouraged to go through the entire process once again the following year and invite others to participate.
Behavior modification is viewed as an inside out undertaking moving from spirt to soul to body behavior.
Proclaims and demonstrates God’s strategy to motivate us to holy obedient living.
The work of the Holy Spirit, Intimacy with God and operating in His power are carefully woven throughout.