How God is Sweeping Through South Asia – Part 2
– By the “Walker” family –
In part 1 we shared the unfolding of a CPM in South Asia, from our vantage point as expatriates, and the vantage point of our key partner Sanjay. Here are a few of the many lessons we learned in the process:
- Matthew 10, Luke 9 and 10 offer an effective strategy for connecting to lost people.
- Miracles (healing and/or demonic deliverance) are a consistent component of people entering the Kingdom.
- The easier the Discovery Process is, the more effective. Thus, we simplified the tool several times.
- Training from God’s Word is more powerful, effective, and replicable than human made tools and methods.
- It is better to go deep in empowering people who are applying CPM principles than focusing on doing more trainings.
- Everyone is to lovingly obey Jesus, and everyone is to pass on the training to someone else.
- It is vital to point out when someone is following tradition rather than the Word, but only with cultural sensitivity and growing trust, not as an attack.
- It is vital to reach households, not just individuals.
- Use Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) for both pre-churches and churches.
- Empowering illiterate and semi-literate disciples to do the work yields the most fruit. To that end, we provide rechargeable, inexpensive speakers with story sets on memory cards to those who can’t read. Roughly half of the churches have been planted through the use of these speakers. Disciples sit together, listen to the stories and apply them to their lives.
- Leadership circles provide sustainable and reproducible mutual mentoring for leaders.
- Intercessory prayer and listening prayer are critical.
The movement has consistently reached beyond the 4th generation of groups in many places. In a few locations, it has reached 29 generations. In fact, this is not just one movement, but multiple movements, in 6+ geographical regions, multiple languages and multiple religious backgrounds. Only a handful of churches use special buildings or rented space; nearly all are house churches, meeting in a home or courtyard, or under a tree.
Our Roles as Outside Catalysts (Expats)
- We offer simple, replicable, biblical paradigm shifts.
- We provide strong prayer support as a team, and also mobilize strategic prayer support from abroad.
- We ask questions.
- We train nationals to train others.
- We provide guidance if/when the next step is unclear.
- We are very careful when facing an issue about which we might disagree with Sanjay and John. We consider them as more important than ourselves. They are not our employees, but co-laborers seeking to obey the Lord together. Thus, we encourage them to not just take our word for any issue, but also seek the Lord personally to see what He is saying.
- We sometimes invite our personal DMM mentor to meet with Sanjay and John so they can hear from someone who has seen and done more than we have.
- We strive to decrease their feelings of dependence upon us. We actively choose to get out of the way as quickly as possible.
- We provide tools for discipling leaders (Bible trainings and leadership growth trainings), and tools for discipling churches (Discovery Study).
The Role of Women in the Movement
Female leaders have emerged in disciple making streams facilitated by male leaders. Female leaders have also multiplied and developed other female leaders. In fact, female leaders make up a key component of the work, possibly up to 30-40% of the core leaders of the movements. Women, even young women, lead house churches, plant new churches and baptize other women.
The Role of Key Inside Leaders
Nationals are the ones who do the “real” work. They walk the dusty roads, enter homes, and pray for miracles and deliverance. They are the ones who start Bible studies with simple farmers and their families, staying in their homes and eating their food, even when it’s over 100 degrees (F) and there’s no electricity or water. They do the work and are thrilled about the fruit they are bearing! Their stories fuel the rest of us to keep going.
Key Factors in Progress
- Listening prayer. Praying is our job. The Lord has changed and adjusted our approaches many times through prayer. Listening is an important part of prayer. There have been so many changes along the way. So many questions: What’s next? Shall we work with this person? We’ve hit a “roadblock”; what Scriptures shall we use for the next training? Is this a good use of our funding? Is it time to release this brother who’s not applying the model, or shall we give him one more chance? Should we continue training in this city or is this a dead end? We, the entire team, have learned to sit and wait for God’s answer, no matter what the question.
- Miracles. The movement has grown primarily along relational lines through miracles. We have seen many healings and deliverances from demons. Miracles not only open doors for a DBS, but news about miracles spreads along familial and relationship lines so that other households open. For instance, a disciple might find an opportunity to pray for a demonized person. When the person is delivered, the word spreads throughout their family, including relatives who live in other villages. Those extended relatives ask the disciple to also come pray for them. When the disciple and newly delivered person go and pray, very often a miracle happens for the relatives, too, and another DBS starts. In this way, simple, uneducated people – including those barely in the Kingdom – are seeing God’s Kingdom grow.
- Evaluation. We ask a lot of questions: “How are we doing? Will our current actions get us to where we want to go? If we do _____, can the nationals do it without us? Can they replicate it?”
- We are very cautious about the use of funds.
- We adapt our material. We are selective about the materials we use. If a new resource we’ve been given doesn’t quite fit, we adjust it. There is no one formula that works for all.
- We are centered in Scripture. Any “good teaching” we might give would never be as effective as what the Holy Spirit can impress on people’s hearts through the Word. So every training we conduct has a strong scriptural basis. During trainings, everyone makes observations, asks questions, and digs deep.
- Everyone shares with others what he or she learns. No one is a pond; we are all rivers. Disciples are expected to pass down every training they receive to their own discipleship chains.
We praise God for the great work he has done since our team began focusing solely on the command to make disciples of all nations.
The “Walker” family began cross-cultural work in 2001. In 2006, they joined Beyond (www.beyond.org) and in 2011 started applying CPM principles. They were joined by “Phoebe” in 2013. Phoebe and the Walkers moved countries in 2016, and have been supporting the movements from a distance.
This is expanded from an article that appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of Mission Frontiers and includes material excerpted from the book Dear Mom and Dad: An Adventure in Obedience, by R. Rekedal Smith; published in full on pages 121-129 of the book 24:14 – A Testimony to All Peoples, available from 24:14 or Amazon.