In 2013, John and I met Lyssh at the local market, when we had a booth set up there. We were later able to spend some time with her in Bible study, but the studies eventually “fizzled out.” It turns out that Lyssh is good friends with Dora, a local Christian whom I taught in 2014. While taking Make Disciples Training Program, Dora approached Lyssh with some questions and was able to set up a Bible study with her. Things went well. On the night of the sixth study, Dora asked me to keep my phone turned up and near my bed (it is normally charging on Do Not Disturb in another room), as the study would not finish until late at night. Around midnight of the 23rd of May, Dora called me saying, “You know what this is about.” Less than an hour later, I met with Dora, Lyssh, and Lyssh’s husband at Titahi Bay beach. I then baptized Lyssh into Christ (when it was 40°F outside)!
Praise God for adding to His church!
Lyssh (Left) with Dora (right) after Lyssh’s baptism
This past weekend, John Jones and I traveled to Auckland, New Zealand, to teach a nine-hour seminar on evangelism to about 20 students. This seminar was our attempt to give students tools for evangelism and Bible studies, while also drumming up interest in the full, ten-week program. We're sure we were successful.
We are now planning to travel to Auckland once a week to teach the ten-week program starting in January or February next year. Only one instructor is necessary for the program, but we limit our classes to fifteen students, and we have been told to anticipate enough students to warrant two classes at once.
Stay tuned for updates as plans unfold. Thank you for your interest in MDTP. God bless you.
It's been ten weeks already? At least, that is how I feel. We have graduated our first students from the Make Disciples Training Program! Yesterday morning (15 April), I preached on John 4:31-38. After worship, I asked the congregation to stick around while we honored the graduates. When receiving their certificate, I asked them to answer two questions:
What have I personally gained from Make Disciples Training Program?
What do I plan to do with my training from now on?
Their answers were very encouraging, and I hope they stirred up a bit of hype for the rest of the congregation, as we plan to offer MDTP later this year.
There is a lot of work and commitment required for MDTP students. I would have completely understood if one or more of the students came up to me three weeks in saying that they were unable to continue in the program. However, all thirteen students that began the program graduated yesterday.
Individually, the students completed:
30 hours of classroom time
1 hour of assignments each day
Together, the students...
had 293 religious conversations
set 40 Bible studies
conducted 28 Bible studies
And we rejoice to say there is one baptism to report.
Thank you to everyone who supports this work. As things continue to happen, we will post more updates, but it may be a bit quieter than it has been lately.
Please pray for the graduates as they continue to make disciples. God bless you all.
Thanks to Jeanette Raine for the photos. Two students were sick and unable make it to graduation.
The first wave of students have been going through MDTP for five and a half weeks (they're over halfway finished!). The photo is what I sit down to every Tuesday morning. We have class on Monday evenings, and the thirteen students turn in their previous week's assignments for me to grade. There are nearly 150 pages each week, but it's such a joy to go through! These students are increasing both their zeal and their knowledge for the Lord!
The assignments from two weeks ago included going through our personal Bible study on baptism, which we call, "In the Likeness of His Death and Resurrection." The study has proven so effective that, when completed, one student realized that she had not yet obeyed the gospel! With further study with a fellow MDTP student, she was baptized in a local river close to midnight!
So far, in the five and a half weeks, our students have begun 115 conversations, set 12 Bible studies, and conducted 4 Bible studies.
You can probably see why we are very excited about how well the program has begun. Please continue to pray for us!
The first thirteen students of Make Disciples Training Program are currently busy with their second week of assignments. We couldn't be happier with how this program has started, and we are excited to see what it will become. The students are eager, and they're soaking up the information and skills they are gaining in class. Let us pray that they are busy using them right now. Each day, they have certain assignments. The first week included an assignment of memorization. However, this week requires them to go out and speak to at least three people about the gospel using the tools they have gained in class. They have eight more weeks to go.
Please continue praying for us. We know that there will be a little bit of tweaking after this first round, but we are confident that the Lord has allowed us to build a program that is ready to train men and women to make disciples of all the nations. I will endeavor to keep you updated as this course progresses.
In a few days, MDTP will officially be live! We have been working very hard for twelve months to build this program from the ground up. We now have ten weeks' worth of classroom materials and assignments, which amount to about 240 pages of material for each of our students. We also have 38 Bible studies for our students to use for teaching their friends. They are in these categories:
Getting to Know the Lord and His Will
Studies on the Holy Spirit and Miracles
For My Religious Friends
On Monday, 5 February at 6pm (New Zealand time), I (Lance) will begin my first class of MDTP. I have thirteen eager students. Thank you to everyone who has prayed and contributed to this work.
We are thankful for the Christians in and around Chalmette, LA. Many of them donated to this work in the memory of a faithful Christian woman. The Dalraida church in Montgomery, AL, was also very helpful in providing funds to get things off of the ground for MDTP. We are also thankful for those men who contributed devotional lessons for us to include in our weekly assignments for our students. They are:
Jason H. Pierce
Tyler B. Naes
Kevin L. Moore
J. Randal Matheny
Please continue to pray for us. We'll let you know how it goes.
Dear friends of Make Disciples Training Program, Though it may not seem like it, a lot has been going on for MDTP. The website looks almost identical as it did on day one... to visitors. However, for the editors, a lot has happened behind the curtain. We have been working hard on developing the Bible studies that disciple-makers will be using during and after their training. We have also begun writing the curriculum for the classroom time.
We have dates set for the first two training programs–New Zealand (November 2017-January 2018) and Fiji (February-April 2018).
As we have been developing them, I have been using our Cross Course studies in my personal evangelism. Doing so has shown how the studies can be improved. We want this to be the best program it can be, so we will constantly revise the studies for flow and logistics; however, we rest on the fact that the gospel is unchanging!
While studying with the Cross Course studies, I have mainly used the online features that we have developed. But I have also been able to print off the studies when needed.
Stay tuned for more updates. In the meantime, spread the word of MDTP!