At this time of year, I begin thinking about what God has done since January, compiling a summary report for our partners and supporters. That report will be published soon. For now, I want to say that this year has been a strangely wonderful mix of surprises and challenges. There have been tears and laughter. There have been successes and failures. In it all, we are confident that God is conforming us into the image of His Son. We are grateful that in all things, He is the constant faithful One!
As Noemi and I have considered what God is doing at this stage of our lives, we realize how connected we are to Kingdom work that is being done around the world. We are building on the foundations laid by others here, near, and far away. Without a doubt, God has mightily used Christian institutions and organizations over the last 100 years. That being said, around the world a huge paradigm shift is occurring. It has, and will continue to, dramatically alter Kingdom building strategies and the resources that support them.
The analog systems of the 20th Century have been stretched to the point of breaking. The intricate inner workings of Swiss watches is and example of an analog system. At one point, not long ago, the Swiss owned 80% of the global wristwatch market. They refused to acknowledge the advent and advantages of digital watches. Almost overnight Swiss market share plummeted to less than 10% worldwide. Japanese watches represented almost 60% of the market. Enter the digital revolution. A refusal to acknowledge technological advances and harness them for greater accuracy and lower costs resulted in Swiss watchmakers being driven out of business.
New strategies and structures relying less on tradition and organizational structure and more on the fluidity of individual creativity and ideas have become the new norm. In the olden days, companies like Microsoft and Apple owned the ideas and inventions of the people they employed or contracted with. This approach maximized the profits of these technology brands and protected the products they created from piracy by other companies. For a long time this was an effective business model.
A new approach to creating new products and delivering them to people everywhere at the least possible cost is creating a tidal wave. It is called “open source.” In open sourcing, a network community owns an idea and works together to create products and services for the betterment of the local community and beyond. Wikipedia is a classic example of this open source approach. The digital revolution has initiated an assault not only on everyday products like watches and alarm clocks, but also on organizations secular and sacred.
Open sourcing is the idea behind what God is doing at Disciple Daily. The foundation of open sourcing is “synergy.”
Synergy – A state in which two or more things work together in a particularly fruitful way, producing an even effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. Synergy can be expressed as “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Synergy enables individuals with gifts and abilities, looking for a place to employ them, to plug into a project that they believe in and contribute what they have to offer. In the process they meet others who are also committed to the same objectives by building productive relationships. Doesn’t this sounds a bit like what is recorded in the Books of Acts?
So then, those who had received his (Peter’s) word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. – Acts 2:41-47
None of contemporary Christendom’s trappings are observed in Book of Acts, when the Holy Spirit initiated and empowered open sourcing and synergy among all the believers. This resulted in the supernatural expansion of the Church that Jesus was building from Jerusalem, throughout all Judea and Samaria, and into the rest of the world. The explosive growth of the early Church was not the result of institutional organization. Traditional church models could never accommodate or care for the kind of rapid growth reported in Acts 2. Something completely different happened then. We believe it could happen again.
Disciple Daily is building a global network where people like us can employ the gifts and resources God has entrusted us with to multiply our personal impact in the lives of others. We are an open source network making disciples of Jesus who make more disciples. Through the synergy God is creating, we have the potential to accomplish far more than isolated individuals and/or brand driven institutions.
Part of the process of building synergy is ensuring that all the various components of the open source community are moving in the same direction. That begins with us. Noemi and I have been evaluating my own lives and what we are working on within this community.
Throughout 2020, we will be refocusing our own personal ministry at home, in our neighborhood. Our prayer is that others will see God blessing that effort and decide to do the same in their neighborhoods. We will invite our neighbors into our home on a regular basis, build caring relationships, and introduce them to Jesus through our oral Bible discovery strategy.
Starting in January, the Carpenters Class at San Antonio’s Wayside Chapel will transition from my personal weekly teaching, to a team teaching approach. The content will be centered on our Disciple Daily’s Stories of God strategy. Our prayer is that others in our class will follow our example and begin working in their own neighborhoods to win people to Christ and train them as His disciples.
What About You?
Maybe you are feeling burdened for your neighborhood, your workmates, or the people you hang out with? If you live in the San Antonio area and would like some help introducing others to the Good News, you are invited to join us in the Carpenters Class starting January 5, 2020 at 9:15 AM. We meet at Wayside Chapel at 104 Ivywood.
Disciple Daily Network is just getting started. It is my prayer that you will join us and at this time next year we will all look back and testify to what God has wrought among us, declaring together, “to God be the glory, great things He has done!”