• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Mobilization discipleship

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with Simon here in Australia.  We were talking about mobilizing new workers when he ‘rephrased’ the task by saying: “People don’t want you to tell them what to do in the discovery process. They want you to journey with them as they discover, with you, what God is leading them into.”

It’s not necessarily about recruiting or convincing someone to join with us.  It’s about journeying with a person and discipling them on the journey as they discover more and more God’s passion for the world.  Call it: mobilization discipleship. 

Looking at the need for new workers in this light should change the way we go about the process.  First, our effort to mobilize new workers must be highly relational.  You cannot journey with a person if there is not regular, ongoing contact.  Second, the process can be messy as people journey in different ways and at different speeds.  And finally, we’ll need to take a more facilitative approach in the journey; listening more and asking questions that cause the other to reflect more deeply on how he/she wants to engage in God’s mission.

God calls us to pray more workers into His work force.  God also calls us to journey with those potential workers as they discern God’s call on their lives.




10 Responses

  1. David, I both like and resonate with your reflections concerning “mobilization discipleship.” We must seek to cooperate with all that God is already doing in the person’s journey. He is clearly the Lord of the Harvest; He who instructs the hearts of His disciples, who calls and who thrusts them forth into that harvest. May we learn to more effectively join Him in His activity.

    • What I realized in talking with Simon was that I often look at a mobilization conversation more from the standpoint of trying to convince the other person to come and work with us. Now there is nothing wrong with that desire, but I am not really listening to the ‘heart’ of that person; trying to discover how God is leading him/her and walking with them in this part of the journey which may lead them to work with us.

  2. And I agree with this too. In fact, I just hung up from a lengthy Skype call with new workers to one of our fields. And it was such a rich conversation. What I noticed as we talked is that each time we converse we build on what we have discovered about each other and God from the previous dialogue. So, yes, mobilization discipleship. And also a continuing co-journey experience once workers are on the field. We followers of Him are usually on a constant discovery of what God is saying to us. And we need each other to journey with us as we discover the ministry of the Spirit in our lives and communities.

    • I think you describe it well when you talk about the richness of the conversation. That is what is often missing from my conversations with others when I am talking to them about WT. It’s there from time to time, but Simon’s words challenged me about seeing mobilization opportunities more as times to ‘co-journey’ with a person in discovering God’s direction as well as sharing wisdom and insight.

  3. This is exactly what Noah Huss was great at. He was an excellent example of journeying with people as they investigated missions, WT and other ambitions simultaneously. He always pointed people to seek God and His will first. In listening well to their experiences, prayers, dreams and hopes, he earned the respect of many and as a result he gained permission to effectively speak into their lives.

    • Noah was a good example of this kind of mobilization discipleship. There are others though who are also good at this. And I believe there are even others who would be really good at this if they had this mindset. Thanks for providing us with a good example!

  4. Love this post and the ensuing comments – as a field mobilizer, i have come to understand this “approach” so much better. Doesn’t it always just come down to relationships? When we are really listening well to people, and helping them journey down whatvever path God has them on…it truly doesn’t matter if we “close the deal” or they ever more towards missions…it is about whether or not they’ve moved closer to their Savior and responded in obedience to His call on their lives. That truth is freeing and allows us to be more genuine with folks, which they feel deeply, enabling them to trust us with the things they are wrestling with about missions. It is a win-win situation all around.

    • Yes, yes and yes! It is all about relationships, but I think what Simon pointed out to me (and what you underscore in your comment) is that it is a journey together where we engage the other, listen to the other, counsel the other, and then trust that God will lead the person to the right place of service. That kind of journey-ing with another actually makes it easier to turn over responsibilities to this new person when they join one of our teams, or in other words, we simply continue the journey.

  5. Yes! to this post. And it is why I no longer use the term “recruiting” and instead prefer “mobilization”. It’s not about drawing the person to our agenda. It’s about facilitating the person to God’s design for them. Of course we need to inform them of our needs and our WT ways and means. (True confession); I sometimes laugh and say “God loves you and I have a wonderful plan for your life.” But in the end, I pray that my interest in them and resourcing of them (ideas beyond WT) conveys a genuine desire to see them respond only to HIM.

    • ‘Yes’ to your comment! Our stance needs to be one more of facilitation than direction (as if we know God’s will for a person’s life). It’s an adventure and journey as we see how God works in a person’s life, and we can rejoice wherever God leads the person.

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