This has been an exciting time for the Smiths and our new Disciple-making adventure called True^North. The simplest way to describe True^North is this – It is a holistic local church-based discipleship program where people learn to Read-Understand-Apply the Bible in community with other believers. Moreover, another vital aspect of this ministry is for me to train-the-trainers so they will become Disciple-makers themselves. Since our initial weekend workshop in August, we have traveled across the country speaking in 10 different churches of various size (largest 4,000; smallest 75) and 4 large ministry events with hundreds of pastors and ministry leaders. It has been a joy to be resourced by both College Wesleyan Church and Indiana Wesleyan University as you have allowed me time away to serve the Lord and His Churches in this new capacity.
Allow me to summarize this fall’s travels and teaching for you. People are hungry and longing to hear a fresh word from the Lord. Yet, almost without exception, most people in the churches we visited have the same experience with reading the Word. They have been handed a Bible and simply told to “read.” Without any introductory Bible study skills, they feel as if the ancient text is nearly impossible to understand, with nearly 1200 chapters and scores of various cultural contexts. Privately, they have shared with me that they are ashamed to report their Bible-reading deficiency to anyone and ask for help. My great joy is to report to you that at the end of each True^North workshop, people openly declare that they feel so much more equipped to read, understand and apply the Word to their own lives. But the great delight for me is that they plan to Disciple someone else in their journey of faith. You just have to love “contagious Christianity!”
Would you please pray for Angie and me this next spring as we travel and teach people on three different continents how to re-calibrate their lives according to God’s True^North?