Credit Expectation When we go to see a movie, my wife and I remain in our seats to watch the credits after the closing scene. Frequently, we are the last ones to leave the theater. Sometimes it is the name of an actor we are looking for. At other times a song has grabbed our attention, and we want to know the title, who wrote it, or identify the performer. Scenery is always important. It is fun to identify where films are made. Occasionally, we will have been to one of the places we have seen scrolling across the screen. Most of the people identified in the credits want their name to be known. That is how they build a reputation and a career. They want to make a name for themselves. In the movie business getting credit for one’s work is part of the deal; it is expected.
Here at Disciple Daily, we have recently completed a major project. It would have been impossible for any one of us to do this alone. We needed each other. None of the people who are deserving of credit for their part in this project care anything about making a name for themselves. Rather, they are more concerned about making God’s name known… here, near, and far. Nonetheless, I think it is important for you to see how the Body of Messiah has come together to produce what could become a very important tool in the disciple making toolkit of Jesus’s Russian speaking followers.
Credit To Come – “Well Done!” First, “to God be the glory, great things He has done.” All of the folks mentioned here were placed in my life by the Lord at various times and seasons. Only their first names will be used for security reasons.
I was discipled by a number of men. Jack, Larry, Russell, Buzz, Acie, and Arnold. All played an indispensable role in my spiritual formation. In their own way each one taught me how to approach my own study, practice, and teaching of the Bible. Arnold helped to establish an awareness of the Bible’s historical, grammatical, geographical, and cultural context. The Bible is a Jewish book. To understand and apply its teaching accurately, the Jewish context of the Bible is critical.
Disciple Daily was founded in March 2011. The team that provides covering for our work is comprised of Kent, Kathy, Keith, Alice, Derrick and Sarah.
About four years ago, I started working on a series of key Bible stories with a friend, Nelson. The idea was to create an easily learned disciple making strategy based on oral transference. They are foundational stories that form the backbone of the Bible. They provide an overview of the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelation. Nelson’s partnership with me kick-started the development of the Stories of God series.
Not long after these stories began taking shape, I was invited by Steve to Georgia and Tajikistan to teach at two pastors’ conferences. It was there that I was exposed to many who have now become friends and ministry partners. One of these was the organizer of the two conferences, Ivan. God has used this young man to spur me towards greater love and good deeds in advancing the cause of making disciples everywhere. Through Ivan, I met many disciple makers from across the Russian speaking world. These amazing men and women use sports and games to disciple non-believers towards their own faith in Jesus. From there, they train them how to become disciple makers in their own right. Firuz, Suman, Rahim, and Munira provided a home and hearts to explore the earliest Russian language editions of the Stories of God.
Andriy has become a good friend and partner. After attending a week-long training on our stories in the home of Sasha and Irina, Andriy decided to spearhead the translation of all of our completed stories into Russian. He identified Anastasiya and Jhenya as translators. In just a few weeks, our stories were translated and ready for the next stage of development, the creation of a core training group.
The Admirals Academy of Moldova is led by Nick and Uliana. Using basketball as their training platform, they work with a very solid group of young men who are learning to make disciples who make disciples. I was invited to come to Nick and Uliana’s home to train the Admirals Academy leadership in the use of our disciple making stories. That was one of the best weeks of my life. I was able to watch as Eugene learned the stories, told them to the team he coaches, and to learn later how they were being told in the homes of his players. This was a picture of 2 Timothy 2:2 in action.
Together, Andriy and Nick identified twelve disciple makers from across Eurasia who would be attending a month-long training in Chisinau this past July. Each was assigned one of the twelve stories in this collection. They were to memorize it and come to the training prepared to be video recorded. Enter Evghenia. Evghenia was responsible for directing, recording, and editing all of the stories. The last of these stories was just completed.
As this posting was being written, our Russian language Stories of God videos and the accompanying Russian Storyteller’s Guide were uploaded to two private access platforms for the use of those who have freedom to share their faith in open countries and also by those who live in restricted and closed access countries.
All of this was accomplished by a team, a team united in a single goal. That goal is to equip believers in Jesus to become His disciples, disciples who make disciples one story at a time. The team was much larger than the individuals identified in this posting. This team provides an illustration for the entire Body of Messiah of what can happen when organizational and institutional barriers are removed and the talents and gifts of God’s people are unleashed and employed in Great Commission endeavors. For this reason, the Stories of God are now available for use by disciples across the Russian speaking world absolutely free of charge. Our network produced them to be given away!
This material was produced organically by a broad based network of committed disciple makers. The Disciple Daily Network doesn’t own buildings, have offices, employ people, or have the financial needs of most ministry institutions. That is what has enabled our group to produce this proven disciple making tool in both English and Russian for less than $7,500 over the span of four years.
Now that we have the material field tested and understand what it takes to make this material available in another language, our next goal is to assemble teams to produce the Stories of God in Hebrew, Arabic, and Spanish.
I would be remiss if I did not specifically identify one of the most important contributors to this project. Her name is Noemi. Even when it was not clear where all of this was headed, she believed.