“At this point in the week we are getting into some material that really makes my heart beat a little bit faster, and that’s the idea that we can view bringing a new person into ministry in our context as a form of making a disciple. I would say, without a doubt, that we who minister cross-culturally in a different location other than the one we personally come from are deeply committed to the Great Commission that says wherever God’s sending you be faithful to make disciples, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. We do that as part of the Great Commission and we definitely act that out with those that are around us, especially those that are from the culture that we are living in. But do we also view that as what are are doing with new missionaries that we are working with to onboard, to bring them up to speed, to be on to track in ministry?
I truly think that discipleship brings people all the way from being far away from God and totally rebellious against him, totally excluding him from their lives, to the place of putting their trust in Him, believing in Him, repenting, allowing Him to bring them into Christian community, becoming a new person and beginning to serve Him and with Him and eventually even leading into ministry. All of this can be seen across the whole spectrum as making a disciple. So could we shift our view and see that what we’re doing with a person who’s new to our field or our place or our team as not only developing another person for ministry but making a disciple and even multiplying yourself into that other person? The things that God has blessed you with, brought you along with, and made you able to serve through, you can now build into this other person. Disciple-making, modeling, multiplication are really core to ministry and bringing a person onto a ministry team can really be a form of disciple-making when you multiply people in ministry. And don’t forget that you can, in a very real way, be increasing the footprint of how you’re causing ministry to happen in your place by building into the others that are around you.
In the next activity you’re asked to read the closing chapter in the book that really impacted me as a college student many years ago. The thesis of the book is that if you want to see lasting results in the ministry that you’re doing, disciple people. In other words lead them toward being everyday, all-day followers of Jesus. I don’t think that any of us would ever disagree with the proposition, yet somehow we sometimes tend to get off track. As you read this last chapter of this book, I’d like you to do so looking through the lens of interpreting onboarding as a type of disciple making and see if that will not refresh, to some extent, your commitment to developing new missionaries in their next steps of walking with Jesus as disciples.”