What Kind of Dirt Are You?

What Kind of Dirt Are You?

Matt lives and works as a movement catalyst in a remote region. He wanted some of his local Christian friends from traditional churches to think about discipleship as Jesus does. So he asked if they wanted to look over the parable of the sower with him.

After reading through the passage together, Matt asked which kind of soil their respective churches represented. They both felt their church was the third kind of soil – where thorns choke out any fruitfulness or maturity. 

They read Jesus’ last command to his followers: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” They agreed that if Christians are in the third kind of soil, they are likely not keeping Jesus’ final command, and probably also not keeping many others.

Finally, Matt asked, “In which of the four soils does Jesus want his word to be planted?” 

“All of them!” they replied. But they added that Jesus wants his followers to grow and reproduce like seeds in the fourth soil, producing crops of one hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. 

Matt’s friends decided to invite others to join them in studying some Bible stories about Jesus. Please pray that they persevere in their seed sowing, and pray for a 100-fold harvest.

Related Reads:
Convicted to Clean out the Weeds
Lessons from a Movement
The Parable of Good Soils
Who is Defining the Priorities of our Church’s Missions Efforts
Ten Characteristics of a Book of Acts Church

“That Was in My Dream!”

“That Was in My Dream!”

“That’s the same message someone told me in my dream!” *Sue’s Muslim friend, *Masha, exclaimed after Sue shared some verses from Philippians with her.
“Wow,” Masha marveled, “God truly does see everything!”
Sue felt encouraged. Earlier in the week, she had discussed those verses with her house church. One of the questions they always ask is, “Who does the Father want me to share this passage with?” When Sue pondered that question, God brought Masha to her mind.
Sue has known Masha since first moving to her Middle Eastern home. She has shared Bible stories with her and has interceded for her many times. Masha had always been polite but never very interested, so Sue felt a bit nervous to share with her again.
“I thought I was just being obedient,” Sue says, “which is worthwhile, since I want to sow lots of seeds to find people open to the gospel. But this really motivates me to ask the Father with whom He wants me to share.” 
Pray for encouragement  for our field workers as they seek the Father’s guidance in everything they do. Pray they will be reminded daily that their role is to faithfully obey; God’s role is to bring in the harvest! 

Mentioning God Identifies us as Spiritual People

Mentioning God Identifies us as Spiritual People

One night on the metro, *Sue noticed two covered women, one of whom was wearing a dress she particularly liked. They happened to sit down next to her as they waited for the train. Sue complimented the woman on her dress and asked where she bought it. Surprised that Sue spoke their language, the three women struck up a cordial conversation. Soon they asked Sue what brought her to live in their Middle Eastern country. Sue replied, “I was praying, and God told me to move here to work, to see, and to learn.”

As they continued talking, the woman asked Sue to pray for her, especially for her job. “Because,” the woman said, “we don’t know whose prayers God will grant. So maybe if you pray for me, God will answer your prayers.” Earlier that day, Sue and her team had read John 15 where Jesus says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Sue shared and explained Jesus’ words to her, offering to pray right there on the train, but she declined, probably in part because it was such a public setting. One stop later, all three ladies got up to transfer to another metro line, all heading to the same line and walking in the same direction. The Muslim women, however, very politely said their goodbyes and walked off ahead of Sue.

Though the two women were not yet ready to pursue Jesus, we can look to this encounter to illustrate a simple method of searching for people of peace, called a “shema statement” (from the Hebrew word “shema” which means “hear or listen”). In Deuteronomy 6:7, God instructs His people to talk about His commandments “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”

So wherever we go, and with whomever we meet, we can naturally, honestly mention God early in a conversation which identifies us as spiritual people and followers of Jesus Christ. People who are hungry and curious will respond with clear interest to the truth we share. But others, who aren’t yet ready, will make that clear, too, just as Sue’s metro friends did by ending the conversation, even though they were getting off and transferring to the same line as Sue.

While sad, it’s okay that they weren’t ready in that moment. We are looking for people and households of peace (Luke 9, 10, and Matt. 10) who God has already prepared to hear the Gospel and who will respond eagerly, like Lydia and her family in Acts 16 who heard and were baptized the same day Paul shared with them. People of peace, like Lydia, will share the Good News with their whole family, a group of friends, or even their coworkers.

Shema statements are a simple, natural way to gauge whether someone is interested in hearing more. Sue and so many others testify that Shema statements have been life-changing for themselves and their ministries. Let’s ask the Lord to give us specific shema statements, get creative, and watch how He uses them for His glory.


“How do You Express Your Faith in America?”

“How do You Express Your Faith in America?”


*Thui was a Thai Buddhist when he got his job at an international school in Thailand. He began participating in a Bible study, and soon some believers told him he should remove all the idols from his house. He knew he should do it, but he was afraid of angering the spirits. Together they prayed, and Thui asked for God’s help. Not long after, thieves broke into Thui’s house, and, among other stuff, they stole the idols!! Thui feels that God helped him by answering their prayer in this unusual way.


Once a week *Elena meets for English club at the local mosque. Sitting on the porch’s cool tile steps, the participants discuss current events in small groups. One day the discussion topic was about religion. Someone asked a perfect, door-opening question of Elena, “How do you express your faith in America?” Immediately, she thought of her ongoing Disciple Making Movement training where she had learned to use the great commandment as a “shema statement.” Elena responded, “Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength is how we should all express our faith, and, of course, we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”

After further discussion on the topic, Elena invited them to study the Word of God for themselves. Two Muslim men, *Ardin and *Rukmat, showed interest in reading stories about the prophets, so Elena is handing them off to Gerald, a teammate she is coaching in Disciple Making Movements. Rather than challenging Ardin and Rukmat to believe as they do, Elena and Gerald are trusting the Holy Spirit to lead them into truth through their examination of the Word. Pray for lasting fruit from their studies.


*Khampan had lived a dissolute life using drugs in dirty places. He grew sick and lay for months, pale and unable to get up. Everyone thought he had AIDS. One day, however, Christians came to his neighborhood and told him Jesus could heal him. He believed and prayed with them. Immediately, Khampan knew he would get better. It took several months, but now he is fully healed, working full-time, and supporting himself and his mom. Recently he was riding his motorbike on a broad, high-speed road. A pickup forced him off the road into sharp rocks. He panicked and instinctively wanted to brake, but a voice said, “No! Give it gas!” He did. His front tire found a deep rut that launched him up and over the rocks. He landed on flat ground, both he and the motorbike unharmed! Khampan believes that, as God’s child, an angel protected him.

*pseudonyms used