I had a very pleasant surprise this week. Having been away for a couple of weeks, I walked into the back of our Chapel for our Monday morning community meeting, and it was packed out. As I made my way along the side, I could see that the vast majority were young people around the age of twenty. This is the first time since the pandemic struck that we have been nearing a full house. Two of our DTSs were with us: one will go on outreach soon; the other was just back.
Community helps us grow
As good as that was, our purpose is not just to have a full house. We are committed to helping people become ever-growing disciples of Jesus. There is no doubt that living and learning in a community setting gives a great boost to growing in character and in the spirit. Dietrich Bonhoeffer realised that eighty years ago and trained his ordinands in community. Monasteries and other Christian orders discovered the same truth again and again through century after century in Christian history.
In our family
One of our granddaughters who is twenty-one has been living with us off and on for the last couple of years. Pre-Covid she went to a DTS in Kona, Hawaii. She arrived with no Christian faith, but the Holy Spirit turned her upside down in the first few weeks! Now she has had a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus. We were amazed at the change in her when she returned home after six months away. But it took more than a six-month DTS.
Her plans to carry on with more training were delayed by the pandemic, and during the delay some signs of the old instabilities, which had been part of her teen years, arose again. She had wanted to do a Bible core course in Norway but began to waver. Marti and I prayed and encouraged her, and with the first upturn in travel she attended the Norwegian course where she became grounded in the Scriptures. That has been a deep spiritual experience for her, and a growing knowledge of the Scriptures has transformed her into a zealous, wise, focussed disciple of Jesus, and a committed carrier of the Gospel. She now knows she is called to China.
Joy in our family—it’s our core business
With the joy that she brought back into our home (we also have a sixteen-year-old grandson living with us), and the experience of the full house in the Chapel, I reflected on the idea of our “core business”. Business consultants will always exhort business leaders to keep their eye on the core business because it’s easy to get distracted and put our energies into other activities. But if the core business dies, it all dies.
Our vision is the completion of the Great Commission. But our core business is expressed in 2 Timothy 2:2, which is multiplication. We aim to make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples….
The power of multiplication
It’s now 53 years since the first YWAM residential training course in Lausanne Switzerland which Marti and I had the privilege of attending in 1969. There are now millions of people who have participated, or who have been impacted by those who have done so. Some have gone on to become full-time missionaries in the classical sense, and most others are ambassadors for the Kingdom of God in the whole range of human endeavours. What a privilege to be focussed on our core business!