Stubborn Perseverance

James Nyman

Since the early 1990s James Nyman and his wife have been seeking to reach Muslim Unreached People Groups (UPGs) in Indonesia. In the beginning they used a strategy of evangelism, discipleship, small groups, and leadership development they learned in college through their involvement with Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC).

In 1999, they read and incorporated David Garrison’s booklet Church Planting Movements. That same year, they began using chronological Bible stories.

In 2002, they attended a CPM workshop lead by David Watson. They began using his discovery questions with his chronological Bible stories. Working with twenty-five Indonesian colleagues from 1997–2008, the Nymans saw about twenty people come to the Lord and start a few churches in their homes, but they weren’t seeing the new believers start additional groups or raise up local leaders.

In 2004, the Nymans attended a second CPM training by David Watson.

In 2008, as part of James’ D.Min. studies through Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, he studied twenty-two forms of Chronological Bible Storying (CBS), the vast majority of which were CPM-oriented, including several versions of Training for Trainers (T4T). Variants studied included the “textbook” version, “storying T4T” and T4RT (Training for Rural Trainers). James was pleased to find his college experience with CCC had already guided the Nymans to incorporate most of T4T’s underlying principles from the start of their ministry. One thing he gained from this study was a conviction that chronological Bible stories studied in a discovery format could be effective in launching CPMs among UPGs.

As part of his 2008 studies, James also conducted a worldview study of the Nymans’ target people and then developed a chronological Bible story series with the goal of facilitating a CPM among them. James field tested this story set for two years through interviews and written reports from field workers.

In 2009, the Nymans took Stan Parks’ three week CPM course. Then as part of their field research, they held a retreat for their twenty-five Indonesian colleagues in which they re-taught CPM principles. The Nymans challenged their colleagues to form discovery groups (DGs) to study chronological Bible stories. Five of their leaders dropped out, but each of the remaining twenty eventually started at least one DG.

DGs either become house churches or disband. Several of these first DGs did not continue beyond the end of 2010. But at the end of 2012, there were sixteen DGs.

At the end of 2013, there were thirty-four DGs and fourteen house churches, including two second-generation house churches, a third-generation house church, and a fourth-generation DG.

At the end of 2014, there were thirty-three DGs, and two new house fellowships to replace two that had disbanded, for a total of fourteen churches meeting in homes.

As of 2015, the Nymans were formally or informally coaching eleven missionary teams, and had trained over 600 workers in the United States and internationally.

James Nyman and his wife serve with Beyond