When I was young, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, yet it took a while for me to become an actual doer of the Word. After stealing alcohol one day, I found myself in the back of a police car at age 15. There, at my lowest of lows, I had a sudden epiphany that I was using my gifts against God, rather than for Him. I repented and felt the Lord call me into a life of ministry right then and there.
A few years later, I headed off to college and joined a Christian organization that strongly emphasized the importance of discipleship. During this season of my life, God birthed within me a passion for reaching the nations. I developed a new personal goal—to plant at least one church on every major continent—and kicked off my efforts by spending three months on mission in Africa. After returning to the US and completing college, my home church in Indianapolis extended an offer for me to become a youth pastor and I accepted.
To my surprise, the new job was a blast and I greatly enjoyed leading the youth. As time progressed, I reconnected with a friend and mentor on staff at e3 Partners named Troy. One day, he asked me a life-altering question: “How are you doing with regard to making disciples?” You see, Troy had just returned from Southeast Asia where he witnessed the rapid multiplication of disciples and churches.
Initially, I thought I was doing a good job at discipleship. After all, as a youth pastor, I mentored young believers and helped them grow in their faith. The only trouble? None of us were sharing our faith outside the church! Suddenly, I realized I wasn’t leading any non-believers to Christ.
Troy’s question provoked a spiritual change within me. I wanted to be obedient to the Great Commission, so I invited one of my youth group members, John, to accompany me to the mall where we began sharing the love of Christ with people in our community. Additionally, I started learning about proven Gospel-sharing techniques from Troy—those that were resulting in professions of faith, baptisms, and new churches all around the globe.
In time, I started to develop a real zeal for equipping the youth at my church. I taught them how to read the Bible, tell non-believers about Jesus, lead discipleship groups, train other believers, and more. At long last, I began to see disciples and lives transformed!
In one instance, we instructed the head pastor’s daughter to draw her own personal “oikos” map—a network of non-believers in her sphere of influence that she would lift up in prayer. While she was certain these friends and acquaintances wouldn’t want anything to do with Christianity, she prayed for them anyway and two of these individuals began to hunger for Jesus!
By 2015, my wife and I decided to relocate to Kansas City, Missouri so I could pursue a seminary education. I continued to mentor John and together, we trained a tremendous number of believers to share the Gospel utilizing the many strategies that Troy had taught us over the years.
In late 2016, Troy suggested that I join the staff of e3 Partners. Today, as the VP of Field Operations, I have the humble privilege of serving missionaries all around the world and developing strategies to help them increase their reach. Looking back on my spiritual journey, I am so grateful that the Lord has given me the desire of my heart: to plant churches on every major continent!
My protégé from the youth group, John, has matured into an incredible man of God and now works as a full-time missionary in South Asia. It is so encouraging to see the good fruit the Lord has produced in him through our training with Troy.
This is the essence of what e3 Partners Ministry is all about. When we are willing to be trained, and then willing to train others, we can produce a chain reaction of Gospel shares that will multiply believers and churches around the world. Thanks for joining our efforts to reach each and every person with the hope of Jesus Christ, and may God bless you.
Note: John’s name has been changed in this article to ensure international safety and anonymity.