FAQ

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Our team wants to be a part of catalyzing disciple making and church planting movements so that Jesus receives his inheritance of people from every language, people, and nation.

To assist in that mission, we built a platform for any missionary, church, or group pursuing movements so they can each create and put a disciple making and church gathering app in the pocket of anyone, any language, anywhere.

What is the vision of the Pattern Platform? 

Our team wants to be a part of catalyzing disciple making and church planting movements so that Jesus receives his inheritance of people from every language, people, and nation. 

To assist in that mission, we built a platform for any missionary, church, or group pursuing movements so they can each create and put a disciple making and church gathering app in the pocket of anyone, any language, anywhere. 

We believe in a community-based discipleship application that passes from person to person, with content created at the very edge of the work, and that governments will find nearly impossible to stop its spread. It empowers every app partner with a resource for discipleship that can go from person to person, house to house, and city to city.  

With its content as a catalyst, and the fully customizable and easily managed architecture, PATTERN could be reformational and revolutionary for multiplying discipleship both in UPG MISSIONS and the existing CHURCH. We just created an affordable digital discipleship printing press and distribution system for everyone everywhere. 

What is generational disciple making and church planting? 

Jesus chose disciple making as his way to see the good news of kingdom spread throughout the world. “Go and make disciples” – simple as that. And it assumes that every disciple will repeat the pattern of making another disciple. Thus, a disciple making movement is a chain of disciples who make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Every healthy disciple of Jesus can make disciples. This thought is not new or even opposed, however, it very infrequently seen and experienced. 

Jesus called these gathering groups of believers his bride and his church. He saw them both as his church universal and his church in miniature. And when his disciples fulfilled the “go” portion of his command, new baby churches of disciples emerged throughout “Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts.” Acts, of course, is an exciting book reflect on how the Apostle Paul saw these rapidly multiplying movements of disciples and churches spread. 

So why do we reference these terms and this goal? 

We believe that by returning to the foundational principles and practices of being disciples of Jesus who share and multiply, and by embracing the simple principles and practices of what it means to be the church, we will be joining the Holy Spirit in his more quickly expanding work. When you look at the PatternApp, you will notice the simplicity of the principles and accompanying practices of discipleship and church. There is nothing fancy or inherently revolutionary about the app itself, just a guide to help people respond to the Holy Spirit and see his transforming power at work within them and within their families, circles of friends, and contexts. This is such a woefully inadequate explanation, so let us recommend the website of Zume.training as a place to go and to experience the principles in depth. 

We believe the Pattern Platform is uniquely prepared to assist teams and existing churches with sharing the simple strategy and methods in any language, anywhere. And, whether you “subscribe” to all of these ways of thinking or not, we believe the platfrom is well organized to assist any team or church with a way to easily share their discipleship resources. 

Enjoy! We pray this is a real gift to the nations. 

What do we mean by “a pattern”? 

The idea of a pattern comes from creation. God created time, days, nights, weeks, and seasons for the earth. God made every animal and type of vegetation to produce after their own kind. God made mankind in his image. God created the pattern of the Sabbath. God had the pattern of walking with humankind in the garden. Even after sin, God instituted a seemingly endless set of patterns relating to forgiveness and celebrations. Later, he told Moses to build the tabernacle “after the pattern I showed you on the mountain.” 

Jesus also lived within this world of routine and life patterns. He even exemplified many  that we are called to follow. The patterns of disciple-making, prayer, training, correction, loving, serving, miracles, going, and more. And to think of how simplified the challenging life of being a disciple to loving God and people, loving obedience and fruitfulness, and a life of living on the narrow road of the kingdom. He did it so gracefully, and mostly, by parables as his teaching and with questions as his rebuttal. 

The disciples began, both by tradition and by the guiding of the Holy Spirit, a new set of patterns. The early church patterns of Acts 2 and Acts 4 are beautiful as they describe the simplicity of the church pattern. Paul modeled patterns of sharing, worship, teaching, leader selection, and the rapid formation of simple churches. 

What does this mean in the application? 

The app attempts to provide a simple, biblical, context-neutral, simple pattern of apprenticeship and obedience-based discipleship for people to do in small, life-giving community groups. In the application, we believe you will see all the basic principles of discipleship modeled by Jesus and the simple characteristics of church from the book of Acts. The simple patterns can be memorable, reproducible, adaptable, and contain the core DNA of healthy discipleship and churches. 

In a good pattern everything you encounter/practice can be understood and reproduced by even the youngest of believers (or even pre-believers). The app uses questions and simple group action points to guide the gatherings. Discovery through questions paves the way for obedience to the Spirit’s voice through the scripture. It doesn’t attempt to remove mature believers from influence, instead it helps the mature believers fully empower (without creating dependency) the new disciples of Jesus to follow, obey, and be faithful with whatever they have seen and heard. 

The pattern established creates the same exact flow and use of questions for each lesson. There is no custom teaching or training for each lesson. Rather, each lesson uses the same introductory text and questions to assist the group in listening and responding to the Spirit while reading and interacting. It is a bit of a foreign concept to those used to a paradigm where truth is discovered and declared by a single person to the crowd/group. However, it establishes the ability of every believer to discover, apply, and follow what the Spirit says. The leader who creates the lessons is thereby challenged to craft simple, reproducible questions that allow the discovery and Spirit application from the text. 

As you set your pattern, choose your always repeating questions, and sometimes add special/custom questions into each set, you will be equipping people to eat the meat of God’s word and equipping them for works of service.  

Link to sample guide question for downloadable samples. 

Who can launch an application on the Pattern Platform? 

In short, any missions group or church who is willing to sign a partnership agreement for use of the software. The software is licensed free of charge with only minimal monthly fees to cover hosting and download expenses. The team also requests a donation to assist with the initial app creation and launching of the individual apps, however, the platform has a “never say no” policy to anyone in need.  

As a preliminary starting point, all app partners must fully agree with the Evangelical statement of faith: 

  • The Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy; and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 
  • One God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit 
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth, His sinless human life, His divine miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial work, and his personal return in power and glory. 
  • The Salvation of lost and sinful man through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith apart from works, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit. 
  • The Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the believer is enabled to live a holy life, to witness and work for the Lord Jesus Christ. 
  • The Unity of the Spirit of all true believers, the Church, the Body of Christ. 
  • The Resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. 
What is the process to create your own app? How long will that process take? 

Great question! Let’s not beat around the bush. It is a significant investment of time and finances. For groups that have large amounts of resources and their disciple making strategy created, it will take less time. However, if you don’t, then the process of creating the app will greatly help you formulate a simple and empowering process for generational disciple making.  

  1. Our team has created a robust onboarding system to guide you through the creation process. It will help you create strategy, make decisions, design your app, translate the app, and train you in using our content creator once the app is ready. 
  1. The amount of time needed will depend on the level of customization you desire. We make all of our existing lists, images, and plans available for you as a starting point. Depending on whether you choose to create your own artwork and lists, will determine the amount of time needed. On average, if you are not creating custom artwork, then the average time investment will be 40-60 hours.  
  1. Our system provides detailed illustrated “How to” tutorials for creating the text, art, and audio resources. And, our team stands ready to answer any questions.  
  1. We will also assign one of our team members as your specialist as you get started. They will help you track your progress, troubleshoot any issues, and connect you with other coaching resources that you need.  
  1. While the initial process can seem daunting, we encourage you to start simple and then make more improvements through time. Anything and everything can be changed and updated after you learn more from using the app with your people group! 
Do you own the software or do you license the software? 

You are a licensee of the software platform from the Pattern Resource Group, LLC. The requested launch donation is not a purchasing of the application suite. Instead the launch donation and monthly service fees cover the actual cost of hosting, distributing, maintaining, and improving the software.  

To use the software you are requested to sign a software license agreement. Like all legal documents we wish it could be shorter. So below is a summary of the intent of the license and also a summary of the services provided under the license.  

General license services: 

  • Client use of the software in agreed upon application/s for Android or iOS 
  • Client use of the software for the progressive web apps (website) 
  • Client use of the content creation and management tools 
  • Pattern Platform team to provide support for hosting and bug fixes 
  • Pattern Platform team to provide launch assistance 
  • Pattern Platform team to provide a growing repository of support resources for the software 

General license terms: 

  • The software, its code, and its use in all applications and deployments remains the intellectual property of Pattern Resource Group LLC and it’s parent orgnization. 
  • The included text and audio scripts, not including actual scriptures, of the lesson guide and popup tutorials are considered copyright free and able to be used as needed by the client in the app and elsewhere. 
  • The icons, images, and videos used within the app are restricted to use within the app platform only. Permission must be requested for any other use. 
  • Scripture text and scripture audio portions are copyright restricted and can be used only within the application platform and only with the appropriate usage agreements in place. Usage of the app without an active license with Bible copyright holders is a violation of both this memorandum and international copyright law. 
  • The use of copyrighted text, images, audio, or video without proper permissions and attribution is strictly prohibited. Pattern Resource Group will require proof of ownership or permission for all items included within the application. 
  • After launch, the download repository will be under the management of the client, however, all copyright agreements must still be honored. 
  • The Pattern Resource Group does not require official attribution within the application, if the scripture copyright holders are made aware of the application use case.  
  • The client agrees that the development of customizations in the software, though paid for by the client, are considered a gift to the platform and all other users. The customization in code remains the intellectual property of the Pattern Resource Group. 
  • Failure to abide to abide by any of the above general partnership agreements may result in the removal of the software from Pattern Resource Group hosting and the loss of update and maintenance services. Further, the client will receive a cease and desist request for distribution of the application via any software stores or other websites.  
What about data security and security in hostile places? 

The basic security risks of an application or website such as Pattern 

  • Possible incrimination for having Bible verses on the phone. 
  • Possible incrimination for having an application that encourages the sharing of the gospel with others. 
  • Possible incrimination for sharing a Bible resource with other people digitally. 
  • Possible linking/exposing other believers/people because of the sharing. 
  • Possible exposure of personal information. 
  • Possible internet or digital tracking mechanisms. 

What are the security goals? 

  • To protect the user’s application information on the device. 
  • To protect the user from being tracked through our system either through identification numbers or through general internet traffic patterns. 
  • To protect the user from incrimination in basic searches of the phone or the opening of the application. 
  • To provide as much security as is possible for the sharing of the application and resources. 

What the security goals are not? 

  • To completely defeat the hacking or tracking abilities of governments. 
  • To completely remove the danger of having a Bible-based app on a device. 
What are the basic technology pieces used? 
  • A Home Church and Discipleship App. This is the application that is (or will be) installable on Android and Apple phones or tablets as well as a version that functions much like a normal website for other devices. This application (per the Pattern Resource Group license agreement) must always be free to the user and not contain requests for donations (per the license agreements with the Bible copyright holders). 
  • Content Creator App. This application facilitates the creation of journey sets and manages their availability for download across the system. 
  • Onboarding Website. This website assists the client in the creation of the application and also facilitates changes in application updates.  
  • Hosting System. Unseen but important, we created a system to manage all of the journey sets and to make them available for download to users. The system is tied into the Content Creator for management. 
How is the app content organized? 

This is perhaps the most important area of focus for the entire project. The goal is disciples who make disciples who make disciples, and churches/groups that form new groups that form new groups. The patterns and actions of obedience to Jesus we encourage in the app’s journeys will either encourage this or limit it. It seems so vital to generational fruit that they be simple & reproducible patterns for encountering the Spirit in the Word of God in an accountable and interacting spiritual community. 

The path of organization is the four connecting categories represented by the top four, connecting squares on the front page of the app. These are commonly referred to as the four fields, and circle of life growth plan.  For example, in the Pattern for Life English application, the sets of lessons in these are: 

  1. The empty field in need of seeds: God intends for us to go and generously/broadly sow the gospel among people. In this way the empty field with the falling seeds represents the intentional action of a sower to go out with the gospel. The field contains journeys for pre-believing people to discover the great story of God’s good news which was promised in Genesis. These journeys provide an entry point for Jesus pointing conversations
  1. The seeded and sprouting field: Jesus calls for loyal, allegiant followers to come and follow him. The gospel/good news that people embrace will determine the trajectory of their apprenticeship and obedience to Jesus. The journeys in the follow field represent the opportunity for people to take a journey into obedience based, apprenticeship with Jesus – responding to the Spirit and becoming a disciple. There is a lot going on under the soil as the seed first dies and then pushes through toward the sun. 
  1. The growing field: The ongoing journey of transformation takes place when people obey in word and deed to all that Jesus commands through time (not just in a moment). This is the field where, by their obedience or disobedience, people choose whether they will be choked and bear no fruit, or become super fruitful. The journeys in the field represent the path to making disciples. It seems easy to be a Christian without much ongoing transformation or gospel sharing, but it isn’t possible to be a true disciple without transformation and a life of sharing the good news. 
  1. The harvest/fruitful field: In our disciple making path we emphasize the power of spiritual community which Jesus called his bride/church. Just as Jesus left groups of believers in every place he visited, be believe that his true disciples are meant to do the same thing. The Apostle Paul lived this example of planting small churches everywhere he went. And those churches continued to plant churches until they spanned through and beyond the Roman empire. The journeys in this field encourage these groups of believers to believe and act like the rapidly multiplying early church. 

We have included to more categories to help also. In the English app we use these for training/leadership lessons and topical study sets. 

How is the app content created? 

This application management and content creation system may be without it’s equal when it comes to equipping the teams and churches using application. We are not trying to brag, it’s just going to be that helpful and transformative for teams and churches as they empower multiplying community discipleship groups and home churches.  

  • Optimized and responsive to any device. Manage and create on your laptop or your phone. 
  • Every app and companion website has it’s own user-login for the management site. 
  • A robust and yet incredibly simple template and lesson/journey set creator will enable content creation with minimal time invested in the process. 
  • Audio capability to auto-magically sew the audio pieces together for each journey and place the timing mark for each tab of the journey. We can’t take away the work of preparing the audio pieces, but we make using them hassle-free. 
  • Scripture picker for the journey which uses the scripture markup file for which the user-group has permission. 
  • Icon library for the journey sets (if you choose to not create your own) 
  • Publishing and editing to control the central repository of files that the Android, iOS, or website applications draw from. 
Can we customize the app to fit our needs?

Yes! The basic appearance and functions of the app are the same for everyone. However, every image, animation, color, title, tutorial, and piece of content is customizable. We built so much customization into the app that the developers are not happy with us, but we did it because we want the app to truly be your own. Our onboarding process walks you through the entire process! 

Is there a sample set of lessons in the categories available? 

Yes. Anything we have, you can use. So much of what you see was freely given to us, so we freely give it to you. Download the set of scriptures we use in our discovery Bible lessons here

Is there a sample set of lesson guides available?

Yes. And just like everything else, we freely give it to you as a starting point. You can download our different examples of lesson guides here.

How much can the lessons be customized?

The lesson/gathering guides can be segmented into either three or four segments.  

Three Tab System

  • We created the three-tab template to represent discipleship/church gatherings in the simplest form. The emphasis is on simple, repeating patterns of interaction for the group with an emphasis on discovery style questions as empowering basic Bible interpretation and application skills for every person.  

  • This represents a large paradigm shift for many people who are accustomed to large amounts of time and writing for each separate topic. In that paradigm of teaching the expert’s ability to discover, digest, and re-serve the meaning is the goal. However, in a discovery question based gathering the emphasis is on empowering a skill of discovery followed by pattern of listening to the Spirit and obeying by each person in the group. 

  • A three-tab system encourages the creator of the journey set to remain faithful to core gathering and Bible application questions, while still enabling them to add a question to the template that can apply to the entire journey set. For example, a common extra question in Pattern’s “God’s Story in the Beginning” set could be “What do you notice about how God’s big story continues with this story?” Or a topic set about marriage might add an extra question like “How do you think God’s interactions with people are the same as a husband and wife to each other? 

Four Tab System

We created the four-tab system as a way to remain true to simple, repeatable gatherings and skill while also allowing a location for additional input about the journey subject. The goal of our template system is to empower simplicity and reproducibility of discipleship by every participating member; however, we also understand that outside voices and teaching are also needed. The insertion of a custom text tab following the scripture and discovery/application questions is meant to empower this. 

What does it take to legally use the Bible in an application? 

This app honors international copyright law. This means that we or you must arrange copyright permissions with the scripture version you prefer to use. Our app places this copyright permission information after every scripture and the client must make sure an abbreviated version is part of any accompanying audio files. Our onboarding process walks you through this process. This license can take several months to secure. 

What kind of team is recommended? 

The Pattern Platform team endeavors to make this launching process as easy as possible, but there are still a lot of tasks to be accomplished in a project of this size.

  • Project Lead (vision, scripture copyright coordination, finances, project coordinator, marketing) 
  • Content Lead (all general application text such as the tutorials and creation of all desired study sets) 
  • Translation lead (all language files for the app text and created content) 
  • Art Lead (color scheme, custom icons, custom images, branding) 
  • Media Lead (all recorded audio or animations) 

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