Downline Ministries Pioneers Customized, Computer-Generated Discipleship Material
Thousands of discipleship resources line the shelves in Christian bookstores, but readers sometimes struggle to choose from so many options. A small group of spiritually mature teenage boys that meets weekly has needs that differ from those of a single mother who can meet only once a month.
To help bridge these gaps and make discipleship as personal as possible, Jason Seville (Th.M., 2010), director of resources at Downline Ministries came up with the idea of a web-based tool that helps leaders generate customized discipleship material based on the size, spiritual needs, and time commitments of a group or individual. The result is a new tool called Downline Builder.
Downline Builder Overview
Downline Ministries has also made a special 40% off discount available for the DTS family by using the coupon code "DTS".
Five Ways Download Builder is Unique
Jason was interviewed by the Gospel Coalition who asked him: "What makes this resource unique in the vast world of discipleship curricula?" Jason answered with the following five distinctives:
First, the ability to customize the Builder equips you to do contextual ministry. Once you log in, you have to fill out a page on the person you are discipling or group you are leading. Based on that information, we'll give you a blank table of contents and list of suggested lessons to cover.
Second, it requires relationship building. When you build a curriculum, you must plan what we call a "life on life" session after every two lessons that you put in your table of contents. You can't download or print your curriculum unless you include these fields. These will be things like working out together, running errands, sharing a meal, doing evangelism, engaging in a service project, and so on.
Third, the process equips you to be a disciple-maker as much as the product does. Thinking through various growth areas for each person you're discipling and personalizing a plan will hopefully train you to think more intentionally about what the next spiritual growth steps are for brothers and sisters in your areas of influence.
A fourth uniqueness is the ever-expanding library of doctrinal and practical lessons. You will never have to pay for a "volume two" of the Builder. We'll keep adding lessons (even ones that you suggest) and as long as you have access, you can use the new lessons we add.
Finally, we feel that our payment philosophy is rare, as evidenced by the fact that we've driven our marketing consultants crazy. Our primary objective has always been to have a tool that could help equip and ignite a movement of biblical discipleship across the globe. For this reason, we went with a subscription model that allows you annual access for a very affordable price. If you buy an annual subscription, it's "all you can eat" for the whole year. We could have gone with a pay-per-lesson model, but we didn't like the idea of people trying to see how little they could do and still be effective.
For more information about Downline Ministries and the Builder, visit downlineministries.com/builder where you can watch a demo video and download a sample. Use the coupon code "DTS" for a 40% discount.
On Jason Seville's time at DTS
Jason was also featured in a recent interview with the DTS Alumni department in which he described his time at DTS:
My wife, Kim (MABC 2008), and I moved to Memphis, Tennessee after I graduated to work with Downline Ministries, which was founded in 2005 by another DTS grad, Kennon Vaughan (MABS 2010). Downline focuses on restoring biblical discipleship in and through the local church. We've had several DTS professors and alumni come and teach for Downline Ministries.
I primarily serve as the Director of Resources at Downline Ministries. I have overseen the development of our new discipleship tool, called the Builder, which just launched at the end of January. I had the idea for the Builder while taking CE705 with Dr. Heinemann at DTS. We were looking over all the trusted discipleship curricula on the market and it struck me that most resources are "one size fits all." That seemed unwise to say the least. The Builder allows the user to produce customizable curriculum for biblical discipleship
Every year at DTS was better than the previous. I loved every minute of it. Some of my best memories are singing "All Hail the Power" in Chafer Chapel, lunches in Mitchell with my wife and my good friend Mike Newman, and life-changing classes with Dr. Bingham, Dr. Hannah, Dr. Horrell, "Dr. Jay", and Dr. Chisholm. Also, an essential part of my growth in seminary came as a result of working with at Denton Bible Church, though I don't miss the traffic on I-35!
One of my first—and most formative—memories from DTS was Dr. Jay Smith calling our NT101 class to individual faithfulness. "The playing field is not level," he said. "For some of you, it would be a sin to get a C. But for some of you, it would be a sin to get an A because you'd be neglecting other areas in your life."
DTS further equipped me to study Scripture, teach Scripture, and share my faith. The original languages and historical theology classes are indispensable in each of these disciplines. Seminary also gave me a new paradigm for theological method, solid research, and maintaining a life that is "academically devotional" and "devotionally academic."
I'm forever grateful to DTS and wish I could do it all over again!