Just Obey: God Can See What We Do Not
I knew God spoke to people, though I hadn’t experienced it much. I’d been a Christian since childhood. Bible reading and church attendance were part of my normal life. Hearing God’s voice…not so much. Not until I joined an organization filled with people who regularly listened to God and expected Him to speak- Youth With A Mission. I then found the great joy of hearing His personal words and direction often.
A Primary Value In Our Mission
One of Youth With A Mission’s values is hearing God’s voice. In every Discipleship Training School, there is teaching on how to hear God speak. The importance of quickly obeying what He says to do is emphasized. This foundational teaching of Youth With A Mission has deeply transformed my life. It’s shaped the ministry I’ve had the privilege of being involved in over the past thirty years.
From asking God to show me how to intercede during corporate times of prayer, to direction on where to serve, His voice has been my guide.
A few years ago, the Lord led me to take a few months of sabbatical. I needed rest after an intense season. We’d just handed over the leadership of Youth With A Mission Frontier Missions in South Asia to another leader. During that rest period, I asked God what He wanted me to do in the coming years.
The Father spoke to me about writing and blogging. In response, I started the Dmmsfrontiermissions.com website. I began to write every week about some kind of Disciple Making Movement-related topic. The writing was something I enjoyed, but I had no idea where God would take it all. Starting to blog was a simple act of obedience to His leading.
What’s Your Priority For This Year?
About fifteen years ago, I started a practice that has served me well.
Towards the beginning of each year, I go on a retreat. I ask God to show me what His priority is for me for that year. It’s not always immediately clear, but usually, over a few days of waiting and listening, He makes this known to me. I then make that “one thing” my primary focus for the year. No matter what, I’m going to give time to doing that thing He has shown me is His priority. These things are often not the same as what I was thinking I’d be doing.
In 2019, at the start of the year, I waited on Him. God said, “I want you to take the training you’ve been doing for workers in the field and put it online.” For many years I’d served as a Disciple Making Movement (DMM) trainer and coach in Asia. We’d created effective short training that was producing good results. I’d never thought about taking it online. Before this, I had no idea whatsoever about what was involved in that.
I hated having anyone take pictures of me or speaking on videos! I was a social media idiot and barely knew how to log in to Facebook, let alone other social media platforms.
Years of experience had taught me though, when God speaks, it pays to obey. The most fruitful things I’ve ever done have all come from a direct Word of the Lord.
“Okay, Lord, if you say so…I will,” I remembered the Luke five passage, and how Peter had been willing to cast his net on the other side because Jesus had said so. I determined to do the same.
Launching the First Online Course
Returning from a busy training trip to India, I found someone who could give some time to video recording. We set aside two days for this. We borrowed an office from another ministry. I put together the scripts for the training…basically taking into short video format what we had taught in our field training.
God brought across my path some great instructors and I took a few courses to help me learn about this world. I followed their instructions step by step.
I’d never set up a Facebook Ad before…it scared me to death. What in the world is a Facebook pixel? I wondered! I need to do Facebook LIVEs? Really? And write “sales” copy to share about the course and what it is with the world?! I was way out of my depth and doing things I’d never been trained in, and had little experience with.
Sometimes I think Jesus enjoys watching me have to lean hard on Him and have to squirm a bit. He likes showing me what is possible if I simply trust and obey!
In June of 2019, we opened the first course Getting Started in Disciple Making Movements: Even If You Are Busy, Can’t Speak the Language and Have No Money. I did my first webinar training and we promoted it through social media.
I had no idea if all this would work! Would we end up with ten students or fifty? God knew and that first cohort of students had seventy amazing students who joined and went through the course. Father worked in amazing ways. The glowing testimonies of how God was showing up and transforming the lives and perspectives of trainees brought joy to my heart. Oh, how good it is to obey His direction!
In January 2020, we ran the second cohort of the same course and doubled the number of students. The Send was happening in Brazil and our Youth With A Mission Brazil leaders wanted the course translated into Portuguese.
Then, Covid 19 Hit
Only God knew what was coming. In March 2020, while many of our Frontier Mission leaders gathered in Brazil, the pandemic surged. Borders closed and the world took a radical turn. Suddenly, travel and in-person training came to a sudden halt.
How would we continue to train and make disciples? Reach the unreached? Launch movements?
God, in His foresight, had already provided a solution! He knew what was about to happen and had prepared us.
Throughout 2020, and the first half of 2021, the Getting Started in Disciple Making Movements course grew. Many hundreds of students received training in this way. Because of what I’d learned, I was able to guide other Frontier Missions leaders in how to launch online training effectively too. New courses like Next Steps in Missions were developed and launched, along with the School of Missions Advocacy.
Today, there are four courses running on the Disciple Makers Increase platform (the name that this online training ministry and community). Several more are in development.
More than 1600 students have gone through these courses, and hundreds of new churches have been started as a result (both online and on-site).
We are now training people in many, many countries where we previously had no connections. God has truly helped us to cast our net in new waters.
Nike has a saying that has become known around the world, “Just Do It!” I hope the Youth With A Mission Frontier Missions mantra will be “Just Obey!”
- When God tells you to go…go.
- When He says to pray…pray.
- If He leads you to pioneer in an area where you have little experience…obey.
He knows what He is doing. God knows what He can do through you.
As we listen to His voice, take steps of faith and obedience, we will see the unreached reached. New movements of Jesus followers will take off all over the world.
What is God speaking to you? Are you listening to His voice and asking Him to reveal His priorities for you? Take a step of faith. Listen and obey.
Find out more about the Getting Started in Disciple Making Movements course and our other courses on the courses.disciplemakersincrease.org website.