Hello everyone, Chris here.
Life has really started to pick up for us again here in Thailand, and with that, we are really pressing in to pursue exactly what the Lord has us here for. Most of you know my strong conviction about discipleship and reaching the entire unreached world with the Gospel. I know that I can come off pretty strong with all of this, and I have been asking the Lord if I am always doing this for His kingdom and glory or mine? Big numbers sound great, but I know that every single one of those numbers are individuals that are uniquely created in God’s image. As I wrestle with all of these things, I am really examining my heart and motives behind seeing fast results of sharing the Gospel here in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.
For those who don’t know, I was very invested into starting reproducible discipleship groups, called DNA huddles, for the years we lived in Pensacola. The idea was that we start with 3 disciples, and after 12 weeks, those 3 disciples go and make 3 of their own disciples, which becomes 12 disciples. Then I go on to the next group and make 3 more disciples who make 3 disciples, which is another 12. Of course, every individual from the group would be sent out to make 3 disciples. Three people may not sound like much, but when considering the multiplication, the numbers are staggering.
If I only ever did one group, would you believe that those 3 disciples would become 177,147 by the 10th generation!!!!??? This sounds amazing right!? What’s astonishing, is that after leading 24 people through these groups…guess how many reproduced? NONE. Now, if you are one of those people and you are reading this, please don’t feel any shame! It is actually my fault! Here is what I believe that God is showing me. It is unrealistic to think that I can be deeply connected and in an accountability relationship with 24 people! After having that experience, and then seeing what only a few faithful people can do here in Thailand, I am beginning to understand how I can not abandon this method of reaching the world, but just simply change a few small, yet very important details, to see eternal fruit reproduced.
Here is what I mean. What I was doing in my DNA huddles was Modeling the method of discipleship for 12 weeks and then Leaving. I capitalized Modeling and Leaving because I am going to give you an acronym. M.A.W.L.:
I left out the Assist and the Watch phase of true discipleship, or spiritual fathering. Here is what I should have done, and what I am working towards now here in Thailand.
Instead of moving on to another group after leading my 3, 5, 10, or even 1 disciples, I should not break relationship with them ever!
When I taught Addie how to ride a bike, it wouldn’t have been any good if I just hopped on the bike and then disappeared. Instead, I Model it for her first. Then I Assist her by helping her keep her balance and running beside her as she gains speed, being sure to catch her when she falls. Once she is confident by herself, then I stay around and Watch her to make sure that she understands some of the dangers, like riding in a neighborhood with cars or big hills. Once I’m confident that she is capable and fully aware of the dangers, then I Leave as she rides her bike in our driveway. As she matures, she will be allowed to ride her bike through the neighborhood, and one day, even down the roads and highways.
This is the process of discipleship that we are leaning towards, with a key reminder that you cannot reproduce who you aren’t. We must be walking and living in love and genuine kindness and fellowship with Holy Spirit. We must be seeking the Lord with all that we are, in all of our thoughts, songs, words and actions. Consider asking God to give you 3 people of your gender to father or mother into a true life of discipleship and passion for Jesus. Don’t rush them, but encourage them and hold them accountable. This isn’t about ministry; it’s about life. Please reach out to us if you would like some more resources or have any questions. Stay in tune, because we are going to share some stories and testimonies as we walk this journey out. God has been highlighting some very specific individuals that we are to be investing in this way.
We couldn’t be here doing this without your support. Thank all of you so much for your sacrificial giving, prayers, love and support.