(1) What’s new since Downline? Any updates on family, work, and church?
Since graduating from Downline, my wife and I have relocated to Conway. I accepted a position to be the student pastor at Fellowship Bible Church and we are loving life in Conway and have been here for about 7 months
(2) What has disciple-making looked like for you since Downline?
After graduating from the Downline Institute, disciple-making has taken a much more intentional approach than ever before. Before Downline, I lacked vision and confidence for my discipleship time with students. I had good intentions, but Downline helped me develop a vision for multiplication in that it didn’t end with them. Now, God has opened up opportunities to invest truth and life in students for them to do the same with others, and train ministry leaders to do the same. Paradigm shift complete.
(3) What did you learn in Downline that you’ve used most or has most shaped the way you make disciples?
God really taught me a lot through the Bible Overview portion of DL. I knew truth, but what I didn’t have a firm grasp on was the frame work for the biblical story. My spiritual growth process will forever be impacted by our time in the Word, and then taking a step back to see the big picture of how God is inviting us into this bigger story that plays out in scripture. Besides Bible Overview, I have used all of the introductory lessons in our DL Year, as well as the Matthew and Romans series to invest in the people I meet with. The introductory lessons of the “why” we make disciples are crucial in my opinion.
(4) Biggest challenge of making disciples?
The biggest challenge in making disciples is the time commitment and uncertainty of visibly being able to see fruit early on in the process. If it’s going to work and the discipleship process doesn’t end with them, then you have to commit your time and efforts to investing sound doctrine and life and that can be draining. There will always be something that challenges your time, but it’s a commitment well worth the cost.
(5) Most satisfying part of making disciples?
When you have a chance to see the people you have discipled turn around and do the same with others- there is nothing more gratifying in the discipleship process. It brings joy because you see that they get it. They understand that it’s a calling on their life as well as ours. Then you begin to see a vision of God using your hard work and investment that in turn reaches the nations through the multiplication process. All of this is made possible because you committed your time to a few. There is nothing better than to see reproducing disciples of Jesus taking the message to others.
(6) What encouragement would you offer to your fellow DL alumni?
Be willing to commit to the process of disciple-making. It’s not easy and it gets harder the further away you are from your Downline year. Discipleship is a process. Personally invest in being a disciple of Jesus, so that you can be a multiplying disciple-maker. Life happens and it’s easy to get discouraged, but remember what God has done