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For this week's memo, I've pulled out a bit of my own personal story, of how I got started with memorization, and the impact it has had on my life. It's the perfect article given that enrollment in our Breakout Challenge is closing in just a few days. Get ready!

‘Men

Making disciples involves more than just doing evangelism. Real disciple-making is connecting people to the real disciple-maker: Jesus Christ. At least, that's how I've come to view it after nearly 30 years of full-time ministry.

Jesus made this point exactly in his parting instructions to the church: "go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" by 1) "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" and then 2) "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-2019 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen., NKJV). It is both calling people to follow Christ, and then helping them grow in their walk with Him, together, that makes up the Great Commission.

“Real disciple-making is connecting people to the real disciple-maker: Jesus Christ.”

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I became a Christian as a young college student, just a couple months into my twenties, after reading a copy of the Desire of Ages that I had stumbled on to in a used book store. Through a series of additional providential steps, the Lord soon brought me into his endtime church, and I was baptized. That was part one of the Great Commission.

Fortunately, I had some friends around able to help me with part two. A handful of guys from the university I attended, took me under their wing and began to teach me the basics of the Christian walk: how to pray, study the Bible, deal with temptation, manage my time, share my testimony, and more.

Perhaps most important--they taught me the one thing Jesus said we should teach every new believer: how to "observe" the things Christ commanded. By introducing me to the basic nuts and bolts of Bible memorization, they gave me a skill that completely transformed my life.

“In discovering the basic nuts and bolts of Bible memorization, I gained a skill that completely transformed my life.”

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You see, the word "observe" in the Great Commission comes from a Greek word meaning to guard or keep. It's used in Matthew 27:54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. to describe how the centurion was assigned to "watch" Jesus on the cross. And in Acts 16:23And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:, it's used to describe how the jailor was charged with "keeping" Paul and Silas locked up in prison. And in Jude 1:6And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day., it's used to describe how the fallen angels are being "reserved" in chains until their judgment.

Together, these verses suggest "observing" means to lock up God's Word so securely, it can never be taken from you. To me, that sounds like memorization!

Through memorization, I could fix my eyes on Jesus anywhere--by simply meditating on verses I knew. Through memorization I was able to lock up the Bible in my mind, and prevent it from slipping away. Through memorization, I was able to reserve the Scriptures, so they would be available for any trial I faced. Basically, memorizing connected me to the One who gave us the Word.

It wasn't easy, at first. I didn't have a great memory, and I had little exposure to the Bible growing up--so it was all brand new to me. But I was determined, and persevered in investing whatever time it took to get my verses learned each week. I learned to memorize word-perfect, the secret to long term retention, how to remember references, and more. Little by little, my store of verses began to grow.

At one point, something clicked. I had probably accumulated 50 or 60 verses, when I started noticing them popping up in sermons. Or I'd be studying a passage in my devotions, and some verse I had memorized would come to mind, shedding light on what I was reading. Or I'd be praying about something, and I'd suddenly think of a promise directly related to that request. And old temptations began losing their hold in my life, as I discovered how powerful quoting Scripture can be. When asked a question, it seemed I always happened to have just the verse I needed to explain my faith. It was as if Jesus were right there at my side, day by day.

In fact, the more it happened, the more exciting it got. At the time, I had a job that enabled me to memorize while at work--and I took advantage of it. Soon I had moved from 2-3 verses a week to 2-3 verses a day. Memorization was getting easier, and I couldn't seem to get enough. The Bible became "the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jeremiah 15:16Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.).

And it soon began to open doors. Though young, and quite new to the church, I was soon asked to teach the lesson study in my church. And then to do prayer meeting. Soon I was preaching sermons.

Looking back now, I'm amazed at the doors God opened. With no formal training, I was soon invited to teach Bible at a local academy. Then a second academy. Then a small college. I went on to serve as an administrator in two evangelistic training centers. And ultimately, was asked to pastor a church in the Chicago suburbs--where I was ordained to the Gospel ministry. I've preached in hundreds of churches in more than a dozen countries. The last two decades have just been a blur of amazing adventures.

I'm fully convinced these doors opened, because years earlier, a handful of college friends took some interest in me, and taught me how to memorize Scripture. How to "observe" the teachings of the Bible.

These doors opened for me, because those friends were true disciple-makers, connecting me to the real disciple-maker. Jesus Christ. And following Him is never anything less than an amazing adventure!



Comments

How important is it to combine evangelism with follow-up and training? How important is it to make sure our training connects people to Jesus, the real disciple-maker? How important is memorization in the life of a believer? Share a thought or two in the comments below...

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Posted by Dan Vis on 10/17/23 - Coach
Nice summary Marian. Agree completely! :)
Posted by Marian Atolagbe on 10/17/23
Memorization is surely the way to know the Bible, understand the plan of redemption and stay focused on Jesus.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/12/23 - Coach
Thank you SO much for your kind words Rebecca. It's a great community here, and I'm thankful you are a part of it! :)
Posted by Rebecca Gottfried on 10/12/23 - Coach
I don’t see how a Christian can stand against the devil without an effective means of memorizing the Bible.

Thank you for sharing your testimony. May we all be inspired to get serious in our discipleship journey with God. Prayer can bring people to God, but what is going to help them stay next to God is growing daily in their discipleship journey. I mean the discipleship journey that we are learning about here on FAST. I’m sure there may be other effective discipleship training elsewhere, but I’m glad I found this place because it’s the best I’ve experienced in my whole life as a Christian.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/18/23 - Coach
:)
Posted by Becca Mayorga on 09/18/23 - Coach
Dan love it!!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/18/23 - Coach
Another aspect that separates this from multi-level marketing Becca is that every participant in the Gospel gets full access to all the blessings that come with conversion. That's a 100% reward every single level all the way down the chain. No other program compares...

Amen Johnté. It just makes so much sense to me--that the goal has to be actually connecting people to Jesus. I remember an old bumper sticker about fishing for souls one time that said something like "you catch 'em, He'll clean 'em". (If you've ever fished before you know how good that sound). It makes a good point--we have to get the fish to Jesus...
Posted by Johnté Whyte on 09/07/23
Oh it’s so important to connect people to Jesus not only making sure they get baptized but also teaching them to walk with Jesus. I grew up a Christian but I did not learn how to study the Bible until I went to college. I read the stories of the Bible but I did not know how to search the scriptures and seek God’s will. I used to struggle a lot sharing what I believe because it was not personal to me I would repeat what I remembered from a sermon but that was not enough to ground my faith. Because of my experience I feel it is very important to teach a baby Christian how to stand firm in their faith in Jesus. Bible memorization has enriched my prayer life and daily witness, it gave me the confidence to share what I believe and grow in my walk with the Lord.
Posted by Becca Mayorga on 09/05/23 - Coach
That is an amazing story Dan! Thank you for sharing this with all of us at FAST as well. I am finding the same thing, as I memorize and review, I find facing trials easier and like you said it is as if Christ is right there walking beside me. Psalms 138:7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.; Hebrews 13:5,6Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. . . . So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Yes, introducing others to the real disciple Maker is important. It was mentioned in a group of my friends, that this sounded like a multi marketing, but not really. Because, Jesus, is the head of all and there are eternal results involved. Far more rewarding!

Hebrews 12:1,2
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, . . . Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/24/23 - Coach
And the Word was made flesh (John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.). Which of course is what we're seeking after in our own life, isn't it? Good post Carlota!
Posted by Carlota Belmo on 02/23/23
It’s so important, I know for me it is. I’m thankful for the connection of the word and Jesus. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/21/23 - Coach
Thanks for affirming how powerful memorization has been in your own life Angie. Keep sticking with it. It's not how quick we memorize but how faithfully.
Posted by Angie Leimena on 02/20/23
Great commission says “Go therefore make disciple of all nations. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you”, which covers calling people to follow Christ and then helping them to grow in their walk with Him.
Teaching to observe one meaning is to lock up God’s Word so securely, that it can never be taken away from you I agreed that memorization brings anyone to connect with the real disciple maker which is Jesus Christ
I had experienced that memorizing brings joy to my heart. Due to a number of things, I have been behind and had difficulty in memorizing, and made me sad. However, I will continue to try to relate with the Lord, because as I memorize, I also meditate and in doing so the Word gives me joy.
Bringing others to Jesus, one way includes encouraging them to memorize the Words, as it will connect people to Jesus.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/18/23 - Coach
You are a true jewel Sam! So glad you have had a good experience here. God has great plans for you, for sure! Memorization is one of those things that is easy to overlook, and neglect. But once we taste its power, there's no way we would ever want to give it up.

Maybe that's why God commanded it so repeatedly--so we wouldn't overlook it, and we'd give it enough a chance to taste it's real power! Nice post...
Posted by Shawnda McKnight on 02/15/23
Memorization is key to a life of a discipleship. I used to think we should memorize just because one day we won't have our Bibles anymore and with the Bible on the web, I didn't see an urgency in memorization. Now, taking this course, I am convinced that it is important for a joy filled life of a true Christian believer. I know because God said to do it, it should have been good enough for me. Not making excuses, but I was one of the ones who was left behind and not taught anything after baptism. What I am learning, I learned on my own and through FASTmissions.com! I am encouraged to pass this course on to everyone I can come in contact with. I feel it is truly something everyone should be apart of.
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/21/22 - Coach
Thanks Daniel! Glad this was helpful! :)
Posted by Daniel on 11/20/22
Encouraging Dan
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/13/22 - Coach
Some great verses Deanne, and I appreciate your points about the need for regular spiritual nourishment through the Word, and also the need to stick with and encourage new members for a good long while. Both so important!

Also a nice post Annalise. I appreciate your chicken and the egg illustration! :) And also the need for our own personal walk with God if we are to be effective in reaching out to and also discipling others.
Posted by Annalise Felkel on 11/13/22
Regarding the first question. When people enter/baptised/born again and come into the church as a new Christian, they are like a baby chicken that has just hatched out of the egg. What does the mother Hen do, does she force that chick out of nest to fend for itself , feed itself, learn to fly by itself? No she disciples that baby chicken by initially feeding it, cleaning it and nurturing it and then role modelling how it can take care of itself. As it matures the mother hen may take a less and less hands on approach, but she is still there to encourage, and nurture as required. Eventually that baby chicken has matured into an adult and now is capable of producing its own offspring and raising and discipling.
2Q. We can only connect people to Jesus if we ourselves are actively persistently connecting with Him for personal victory, personal discipleship, and as our guide on how to disciple others. I.e. The Gospel is the same , but there are varied ways of explaining this, for example someone may not understand words and may need visual illustrations. This is why we must personally connect with Christ (by daily prayer and devotion) so that He can instruct us on how to best disciple those we are associating with so that it best meets their level of understanding.
Posted by Deanne Reinke on 11/11/22
one more thought I would like to add: Eve's problem in the garden happened because she doubted God. It occurs to me that if we have scriptures memorized, then we remove all doubt from our minds . this gives us a powerful, strong faith!!!
Posted by Deanne Reinke on 11/11/22
John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - the word was with God and the word WAS God
John 17:17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. - We are Sanctified by the truth, God's word is truth
John 18:37Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.- Jesus said: for this reason I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.
John 1:4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.- Jesus was life and this life is the light of the world.
John 6:56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.- He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me And I in Him.

from these texts I deduce that my spiritual nourishment comes from God's word, God's word will provide light to show me the way to eternal life, by spending time in God's word I abide in Him, by God's word I am Sanctified. Every one who spends time in God's word knows the truth and hears Jesus voice speaking to them. To me. these verses confirm that internalizing God's word through memoriaztion means that ALL OF THESE BLESSINGS BELONG TO ME!! THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF MY WHOLE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. IF I HAVE HIS WORD MEMORIZED, THEN IT IS ALWAYS WITH ME AND CANNOT BE TAKEN FROM ME. MEMORIZATION IS EVERYTHING!
*
regarding evangelism with follow-up training--YES! this is ESSENTIAL!
very few converts stay if they do not have follow-up training! my experience has been that they need continuous support for up to 2 years so that they have time to process the new information, and hear it over and over and then have all their questions that come up fully answered and verified and reconfirmed and to get them established in their relationship with Jesus. memorizing texts helps them remember what they believe in and gives them points of reference to confirm what they believe. gives them reassurance that they are not mistaken or confused . This is also what it does for those who are not NEW disciples !!
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/09/22 - Coach
Right Louise. All of these different facets are important to doing a well-balanced work. Sounds like the program you did was well designed and well run. Great job!
Posted by Louise P on 11/08/22
Evangelism requires follow-up and training in a similar way that introducing lifestyle changes require follow-up and training e.g. our church participated in a 10-day Daniel challenge which included group meetings, information with worksheets, Facebook sharing forum and online cooking demonstrations. Many of our church members have continued with a plant-based diet, and are still supported via Facebook sharing and cooking demonstrations. Blessed!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/25/22 - Coach
We've got some great tips on that Gail in our Crash Course class. Or even better, consider doing our Breakout Challenge. Enrollment closes for that class in just a couple days...
Posted by Gail Lutton on 10/25/22
I look forward to practicing memorization, more. Bible verses come to me quite easily, but I need to learn to add their "addresses!" I find myself having to google the address when the verse pops into my head.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/25/22 - Coach
I really love your testimony Rebecca, about the power of memorization. That's actually the first verse we assign in our Survival Kit course--which is our basic introduction to memorization for small groups. Hiding God's Word in our heart is truly transformative!

And yes, we will definitely be talking more about how to help others grow in Revival School--though the first part of the class is more about how to make sure we are growing in all the key areas of our life.

Posted by Rebecca on 09/24/22
I’m grateful to you and your ministry for turning me on to memorization. I decided to make the effort with just one text. Jeremiah 31:3The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. as I memorized the text, breaking it down word by word, I fell in love, in more love with God! It was with ‘loving kindness’ that He drew me to him. Your right, texts now leap off the pages of the Bible as ones I know and live and a pile of texts on cards for future memorization. God has used this tool to change me. Follow up training is vital. I hope to learn more about how to disciple others.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/24/22 - Coach
Beautiful testimony Julio! There's definitely real power in the Word if we can just get seriously connected to it...

Great reasons for making sure our follow-up programs are strong Barbara! Also, I like your point that all our efforts should be to point people back to Jesus, the true disciple-maker. And yes, memorization helps equip us to help others. Good post!
Posted by Barbara E. LaRose on 09/24/22
How important is follow up? When we call others to Christ many don’t have any idea of what to do or how to do it. Following up encourages them to stay on task, gives them a feeling of community. Paul did this by going back and visiting the churches or writing letters to them. All our training needs to lead them to Jesus, the source of all true discipline. He has given us all the but and bolts of how to win others and how to implement them. Memorizing scriptures has given me the tools to help others when they are faced with great trials, hardship, pain, and temptations. It is a great encouragement to me.
I really like Jeremiah 15:16Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts..

Jeremiah 15:16
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Posted by Julio Useche on 09/24/22
Bible memorization has been a huge blessing in my life. Exactly as you described it, after starting to memorize scripture I also began reciting memorized verses in prayer, in answer to questions and in bible study. They've been a guard to me in temptation and a tremendous stress reliever! They've been a practical guide in daily decisions, and business decisions. They've been a comfort, and strength to my soul! God's word truly is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pat!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/23/22 - Coach
Nice prayer Teverly! Learning to see God in those around us. That potential! It's powerful isn't it?

I once heard someone say fellowship was two fellows in the same ship. The way you wrote about being in this "disciple-ship" kind made me think of that. We are in this all together!
Posted by Tev Gray on 09/23/22
An amazing testimony of how God can work in and through us and the people He sends in our lives.

My prayer is that I'll always see God in those around me and have that love in action, to want salvation for them and to be diligent at it. In this disciple-ship, I am claiming God's promise in Proverbs 13:4The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. that the soul of the diligent will be made fat.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/23/22 - Coach
Yes Louise! I'm so thankful for those young men--all fellow college students. My first time to really be around a group of Christian peers. I've lost track of them, but am SO grateful for their influence in my life!

As for that Greek word, TEREO, track that down through the New Testament. It shows up in other very surprising places! :)
Posted by Louise P on 09/23/22
What a wonderful testimony to God’s goodness! Also noteworthy is friends who connected with you and helped strengthen your connection with Jesus!
Lovely enrichment of ‘observe’ in Matthew 28:20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. - thank you for further insight into the Word!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/21/22 - Coach
That's a powerful testimony of your friend's ministry in your life Tonya! I had a family doing something similar for me. Very grateful! We can all be that someone to the next person!

You're right, it is a simple process Richard. But it's powerful because it is centered in real-life discipleship. And once people get connected to Jesus, He changes everything! :)
Posted by Richard on 09/21/22
Indeed a very powerful testimony of what God can do through his word. That clearly illustrates the simple process that we have covered in our study guide for this week The Call to Commitment on our practical suggestions. The end result of spending time with the Word, Prayer, Obedience, we will become great witnesses for Jesus     
Posted by Tonya Anspach on 09/21/22
I came to the church through a friend at work. We were fairly new acquaintances and I was just trying to get to know her. We took walks together after work almost every day. I would ask her about her religion. Eventually she invited me to some seminars and the rest was history. However, that history included her feeding me books that brought me closer to God and having me and my husband over for fellowship. Without her and her husband's efforts and follow through I'm not sure I would have stayed with the church. We all need support in our new found faith. I pray God uses me in that way as well.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/20/22 - Coach
Sadly people are sometimes baptized without being well grounded in the basic teachings of the Bible, there is limited or no follow-up, and because strong ties and relationships are limited, people go off on tangents.

I've got an article on this you might find interesting Sam. It's entitled, Death in the Pot.
Posted by Shawnda McKnight on 09/20/22
Follow up is very important. I had a friend in the church whom I thought believes the way I do. We would always talk about God and His goodness. Then one day I mentioned that we don't get to the Father except through Jesus and she laughed.. ( I was so taken aback) After all of these years she doesn't believe that Jesus is God! If I had asked questions early on.... I know I cant blame myself bc she studied for herself and this is what she came up with.. Lets keep her and others that don't believe in the Creator/Savior/Word come to life....
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/19/21 - Coach
I think those are indeed the critical skills: internalizing Scripture, and then learning to apply it. The third thing I gleaned from them that was really foundational was multiplication. That's still the bedrock of our ministry: take it in, live it out, pass it on.

For a fun verse Valerie, take a look at Ezra 7:10For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 10/17/21 - Coach
Dan,
I always gain something new from this story. First, I love the fact that you had friends that taught you how to memorize and to study the Scriptures. They cared about you enough to lead you to Christ.

This time I learned that your primary training came from the Holy Spirit through the knowledge and application of God’s Word. The formal training came after you were equipped by God to work in His vineyard. Truly an example of being chosen. (Many are called, but few are chosen.)
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/11/21 - Coach
That's a powerful cross reference there in John 3:33He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true., and yes this process is definitely an important aspect of the New Covenant (Hebrews 10:16-1716 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.). I also really like your emphasis on relationship Paul, both our personal relationship with God, and how well we are able to help others have that experience. Good post!
Posted by Paul Carson on 10/11/21
You nail it with the line from Jeremiah 15:16Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. in that God's word is good (full of nutrients) for the soul.
Additionally John 3:33He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. indicates to me that receiving God's word (His testimony, His covenant), is related to the sealing work of the Holy Spirit upon the believer.
It follows that our impact as disciple-makers is directly correlated to the relational connection that God has established for us - that of engaging with Him through His word.
We can only impart that which we have tasted, and testified to, as making a difference in our own lives.
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/23/20 - Coach
You are very welcome Carlos. I remember that day very fondly. Thanks for going on to become the first Project CALL leader in our church the following year. You started a sequence that continued for 7 generations and is still going today...

Your friendship has been a huge blessing to me!
Posted by Carlos Vera on 11/21/20
It was ten years ago in October 2010 that I heard a new Pastor had just started at North Aurora SDA church. I visited and was sold on the vision of transforming the church into a training center. The flyer for Project CALL starting in January 2011 was exactly what I felt I needed and the first day of Survival Kit confirmed it was definitely for me.

Thank you for sharing your ministry with us and for continuing to make this incredible content available. I know I am blessed by what I study and learn here.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/18/20 - Coach
That's awesome Tina, that people could be drawn to you through your quiet and peaceable life. And yes, every little effort adds up, doesn't it?

That's the exact progression Richard we should all seek: spiritual babe, mature disciple, and finally worker. That's going from seedling to mature plant to multiplying fruit in the parable of the sower. Let's all aim to be good soil for the seed!
Posted by Richard on 10/16/20
That is an amazing experience, that is a practicle summary of the process of a through desciple. Being a baby Christian, to a Desciple, to a Worker. We all need to experience similar growth in our spiritual journey with God   
Posted by Tina Deetua Glentworth on 10/15/20
I do agree that real disciple is about living a faithful Faith life around people we are connected, the Holy spirit worked in those souls around us to open their eyes to see the presence of God in us. I did have experience where people around me noticed that my life is full of life and peace and they wanted that life for themselves the life that Christ is made Lord in all aspect. And when i saw this happened it gave e joy to see that a quiet walk with God can also see God's mighty work of saving souls. let's not weary in doing small little thing in every day walk with God. Holy Spirit God can do great things!!   
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/13/20 - Coach
Petrona , yes definitely! Not only will it help us stay on the right path, but also those we work with. Good post!

Lupita, actually they reached out to me. It's a good point worth mentioning, that new believers rarely know what they need. Which is why we should take the initiative in reaching out to them. :)

Jeannie, I've moved your question to a dedicated forum post as I think it is a super important topic and deserves some dedicated attention and discussion...
Posted by Jeannie Marcoux on 10/12/20 - Coach
Dan So, if the discipleship training ends with Revival Keys vs. Team Tactics, how does one move a group in an in-person setting to the evangelistic component?   Already, the discipleship course with Team Tactics, and excluding Revival Keys took 8–9 months. Just trying to understand how to do it better next time around.   
Posted by Lupita on 10/12/20
How did you find these friends? How were you drawn to them?
Posted by Petrona Spaulding on 10/12/20
I think it’s important to combine evangelism with follow-up and training to ensure that we are staying on the right path, and being consistent in the Word of God. Connecting people to Jesus through training will also empower them to help others get connected to Jesus. Memorizing scriptures will keep us walking close to Christ and living by His every word.
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/21/20 - Coach
That's great Dicky! I just saw your post there--and made this exact recommendation. :)

In our new discipleship track, we're recommending Revival Keys instead of Team Tactics for our level three course. Team Tactics is now part of our Evangelism track, along side several other ministry components. Revival Keys is more a refresher on basic principles of discipleship, combined with an emphasis on preparation for ministry by seeking the power of the Holy Spirit for ministry. If you haven't taken it yet, that's our current promotional class.
Posted by Dicky on 08/20/20
I decided to take up the Lost Art course, instead of TT. Yes, I have 2 persons in mind I am praying before meeting them. They had completed SK, BT, and TT some time back, as my church signed up with FAST in 2012-2013. Pray that God's Spirit will move their hearts.
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/14/20 - Coach
God is good Dicky! I pray the Lord gives you someone (or a group) you can help invest in and disciple. It will be a wonderful experience!

Our study guide courses are a whole different experience when they are done in a group, face to face. Or even by skype/zoom. Something about the interaction that's really powerful and life-changing...
Posted by Dicky on 08/13/20
Reading your testimony excites me, inducing a desire for similar experience. I guess, I have experienced partially some of what you shared. Praise the Lord for His goodness, and FAST mission ministry.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/29/19 - Coach
Stay encouraged friend!
Posted by Chrstian Emenike on 10/29/19
Thanks and I really appreciate the effort. Stay bless
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/29/19 - Coach
We sometimes get sponsorships for our Study Center Chrstian, but I don't have any available at the moment. We'll see what happens. But do feel free to take advantage of our free tools and classes. We try to open up a different class every month!
Posted by Chrstian Emenike on 10/28/19
One of the challenges I am facing is the ability to meet certain financials. I am determine to succeed in life only through the power of Jesus Christ. I was to join if there is a kind of scholarship to assist me in my learning.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/10/19 - Coach
That's wonderful Bert! We're thrilled to have you here. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help. And thanks so much for sharing about us in your sermon!!! :)
Posted by Bert Hopkins on 10/10/19
I am very happy to have found the Fast Missions Ministry and I thank God for the opportunity it gives me to memorise Scripture. I am trying to get my Church involved and included in my last Sermon. I want to start at least a team and God willing the Church.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/10/19 - Coach
Happy to share my experience Nan. God is good, and His Word is powerful! It's a blessing to share it. :)
Posted by Nan on 10/09/19
Thank you brother Vis for your powerful testimony. I was greatly blessed! It reminded me of Acts 4:13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.. Knowing and sharing the Word is the life of evangelism and Abba's opportunity to bless his children as He did with you!
May Abba continue to bless you as you do unto others as it has been done unto you!😊
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/09/19 - Coach
Amen Carol. Anything we can do to help others get going strong in their walk with God is a blessing to the cause of Christ!
Posted by Carol Lathen on 10/09/19
Dan, what a beautiful testimony how God connected you with some Christian friends that took you under their wings and taught you the basic of the Christian walk how to pray, study the bible, and share your testimony and etc. God wants us to do the same after they are brought in through evangelism we are to follow up with training. Thank God for the ones that took it serious with you and follow up with training. As a result we have FAST MISSION. Praise GOD!!!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/08/19 - Coach
That's a great testimony Carole! Hoping you'll be able to find a way to help get someone else started memorizing too. Exciting times. :)
Posted by Carole Bliss on 10/07/19
Today I visited a lady in the nursing home, as I talked, scripture came to mind, I started repeating it to her, and she looked at me in agreement. This example tells us the importance of knowing scripture.
BLESSINGS
Carole
Posted by Laurie Wissink on 03/02/19 - Coach
I never heard that cliche before Dan, but it is so true!
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/02/19 - Coach
Glad I could share something that was helpful Laurie. God truly is good, and there is power in the Word.

Reminds me of the old cliche about how we're just one beggar telling another beggar where there's some bread!
Posted by Laurie Wissink on 03/01/19 - Coach
I agree with David where he said, "I want to affirm you by boldly saying, "Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen(well-not literally with mine own eyes, Pastor) in me(you, Pastor), DO(emphasis supplied): and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.)" I studied Philippians 4:9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. just a few weeks ago and I thought of Pastor Dan too! Thank you brother (Dan) for sharing what God has shown you about discipleship with us!!!
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/22/19 - Coach
There's definitely power in the Word Leslie! Making some room to let that power start getting and working within us, that's the challenge isn't it?
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/20/19 - Coach
A wonderful testimony Floride! I'm sure the Lord has a special reward in mind for those friends who helped you and your husband... :)
Posted by Floride Leonce on 02/19/19
Hi Dan, my experience is similar to yours. When we got baltized, my husband (my fiancé then) and I, there was a couple in the church that were like mentors to us. They taught us everything: singing, praying, studying Scripture, etc. The husband was very much involved in lay activities; so, he took my husband with him to every visit. When we got married, they came to our house to pray every week, and they were the ones who introduced me to group prayer meetings. I can say that they’re the ones who really helped shape my Christian life and I will always be grateful that God had put them into our paths. All that is to say it is very important to take care of new believers and make sure they get all the help that they can to have and enjoy a great Christian experience.

Memorization is very important. Sometimes, as I go through stuff in my life, I feel encouraged and find comfort as certain verses pop up in my head. Or if I’m asked a question, the reference just comes to my head easily. And I believe if the verses come handy now, they will be handy even more when are faced with trials and tribulations, and the only treasure we will be able to draw from is what is in our heads.

So, thank you for this important lesson! My prayer is that God help me to apply it and make me be more consistent in my studies.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/18/19 - Coach
That's wonderful Carole! It really is amazing how the internalized Word can change our life, isn't it?

David, I just love your post! So full of excitement, joy, and confidence. God is good, and His Word is powerful. We are all definitely on a journey, but it is exciting when things really click, and we begin to experience the power of Scripture in the heart. As you put it, let's keep pressing forward till Jesus comes!
Posted by David Jeffrey Grabe on 02/18/19 - Coach
Greetings, All FAST Friends, in the Abiding, Abounding, & Abundant Name of Jesus Christ our Lord & Saviour!

Thank you, Pastor Dan, for this MM on "Real Disciple-Making" I want to affirm you by boldly saying, "Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen(well-not literally with mine own eyes, Pastor) in me(you, Pastor), DO(emphasis supplied): and the God of peace shall be with you." (Philippians 4:9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.)
This is what has transpired in my life for the past 4 years(not a coincidence that I became a part of FAST Missions over 4-nearly 5 years ago!). What you said regarding "something clicking" has slowly-but steadily begun to take shape in my life!

I have a long, long way to go, but by His amazing grace, I will "grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ." (Ephesians 4:15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:)

And as you said, "To me "observing" means to lock up God's Word so securely, it can never be taken from you. To me, that sounds like memorization! " Indeed! What a change has He wrought in my life just this decision & commitment to the rest of my lifetime to "lock His word in my heart!
The Lord does it all-with our cooperation, of course!
He writes it in my heart(Deuteronomy 6:6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:; Jeremiah 31:33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.; II Corinthians 3:3Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.; Hebrews 10:16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
He sends His Spirit to remind, recall, rehearse (John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.;16:7,8,13)
He gives me the "joy & rejoicing" in there! (Jeremiah 15:16Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.)
He hides it in there, so I won't choose to sin against Him; but would rather taste death instead(Psalms 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.; Revelation 12:11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.)

Blessings to ALL the FAST Community!

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;(for He is faithful that promised." (Hebrews 10:23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;))
"Let us hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith & love, which is in Christ Jesus." (II Timothy 1:13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.)
And finally,
brethren, Our Saviour says,

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.)


Looking forward to the "Disciple-Making" Class!
Posted by Carole Bliss on 02/18/19
I have been memorizing for a year or longer. I carry index cards when I walk, my desire is to knoe the scripture, live it and share it with others. What people need most of all, is to know Jesus. His love and to show Him to others.
Inspiring message. Blessings. Carole
Posted by Hazel Brereton on 11/01/18
From my own experience when we memorize bible verses, the holy spirit brings back these verses to us just when we need it, sometimes to encourage us as we go through our own struggles, to encourage others along the way or when biblical discussions come up. God also uses it to communicate with us.combining evangelism with follow up training is important in helping people to grow in Jesus.When a baby is born we do not leave him to figure life out for himself, if we did he would die. We are responsible for the baby's needs until he can do so himself, it's the same in the spiritual world.
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/01/18 - Coach
Thank you Miriam for affirming these important points. And glad FAST could play some small part in shifting your thinking this direction a bit! Glad to have you a part of our community. :)
Posted by Miriam Andres on 11/01/18
Combining evangelism with follow-up or nurture or discipleship and training is extremely important. The discipleship part of the great commission has been left out in many if not most of the Christian churches, including our own SDA church. Unknowingly or knowingly, we have been heavy on the doctrines, rather than "connecting people to the real disciple-maker Jesus Christ." I believe its time to shift our direction to prepare a people to meet the Lord.

Having had expanded my understanding through FAST about the power and the real reason for memorization, the more I agree that it will enliven our Christian experience as it will connect us to Him- our Lord and Savior the source and giver of life and all things.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/31/18 - Coach
Welcome to FAST Miriam, and you are soon going to discover how amazing our brain is at memorizing when we just follow a few simple principles. And thank you for your years of service to the children of our church!
Posted by Miriam Andres on 10/30/18
I have always believed in the power of memorizing Bible verses. In fact, when I was still working for Children's Ministries at the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, one activity I enjoy the most was listening to children as they recite Bible verses. In one occasion, an 8 yr old boy recited more than 200 bible verses. And yet I thought I couldn't memorize anymore because I am retired.

Thanks to FAST for providing me hope that I can fulfill my desire of remaining in God's presence through memorizing Bible verses.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/28/18 - Coach
Amen Debra Searle, agree completely! So glad you will be joining us for our upcoming Breakout Memory Challenge! :)
Posted by Debra Searle on 10/27/18
Bible memorisation is to me a strong faith encouragement. I fully believe there is power in God's Holy Word to grow stronger in my faith and overcoming sin by claiming His precious promises.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/21/18 - Coach
That's true Qing. The more we experience life transformation through the Word, the more confident we become in its power.

And welcome Nancy! So glad to have you here and joining with us in our shared quest for a deeper experience in the Word of God. I pray your time here at FAST will be a blessing for you!
Posted by Nancy on 10/21/18
I am excited for the extra help and insight, i can gain from all of you. Scripture has helped me immensely, and the spirit has been calling me to continue to come up higher. Resighting a verse when i needed it most has given great peace and comfort. Ready to go deeper.
Posted by Qing Ling on 10/19/18 - Coach
great post to share with others - i can relate to many of your experiences in how the Word slowly became a powerful part of your life, Dan. victory over sin is a strong reason for people to want to take up the habit of scripture memorisation!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/18/18 - Coach
Thanks for the affirmation Patricia! We do our best to provide valuable training for all our members, regardless. And God manages to take care of us. :)
Posted by Patricia Jones on 10/18/18
I third the idea to take the Crash Course here at FAST Melody. It was one of the first classes I took here. In fact all I took was free classes for my first year or two here and was glad when things turned around enough to be able to become a partner and support the ministry.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/18/18 - Coach
Hi Joyce! So great to hear from you. Hope all is well. Give my greetings to the good folks in your church for me. :)

And thanks Diana for your point about the importance of example. By applying Scripture, and helping others to do as well, we can indeed plant powerful seeds all around us, that God can then water and cause to germinate. Good post!
Posted by Diana David on 10/18/18
Thanks. I like this article and couldn't agree more that discipleship is pointing others to Jesus and sharing how to apply Scripture to our lives. People may not be quick to embrace our faith but the seeds of truth can still be sown and in time there will surely be a harvest.
Posted by Joyce Ann Combes on 10/17/18
It is a powerful way to live! It has changed my spiritual life and spills over into every other aspect! Soon we will be without our Bibles and oh how important to have the Word hidden in our hearts!! Thanks so much for this spirit-filled ministry!

Joyce Ann
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/16/18 - Coach
Hey Melody! Go ahead and get started with our Crashcourse. It's completely FREE, as is the Engine. It doesn't cover everything in the Breakout Memory Challenge, but it's plenty to get you started.

Will pray things turn around for your family. It seems a lot people are having difficult times these days. All the best!

Thanks Clarris for the same suggestion! Just noticed you posted that.

And you are right Carole, back to the subject of this article--maintaining a connection with the people we want to see grow, and of course with Christ ourself, are two essential components! Good reminder.
Posted by Anita Huffman on 10/15/18
Clarris, Thank you for sharing the links. I watched both parts and was inspired by it. It was a wonderful story.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 10/15/18
Keeping people interested, and growing, you need to stay connected with them, and help them to continue to study and show thyself approved unto God. Its most important to meet and know JESUS. Not knowing about HIM, but, knowing Him.His Spirit is vital in our lives. Only when He is within us, can it make a difference in how we live, and present Jesus to others.

Blessings,
Carole
Posted by Clarris Magadza on 10/15/18
Then I would suggest the Crash Course Melody. When I first started with Fast I couldn't afford any paid courses either so I did the Crash Course and started memorizing. I only did the BMC the following year when the finances were better but by then I already had a Memorization schedule.
Posted by Melody on 10/15/18
I would sign up Dan Vis, but I honestly cannot afford another payment in my budget at this time. I lost my job due to after effects of bacterial menengitis and not being able to return to work quickly. My husband just graduated college, and has no full time work at this time. he is doing alot of odd jobs in masonery/concrete work to barely make ends meet. As I read your posts, I am inspired though. I am considering of finding a plan to start memorization for the reasons I listed, and more. Keep up the good work though, and I wish you many blessings.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/15/18 - Coach
Thanks Melody for sharing. Appreciate what you shared about the importance of follow-up. We should indeed feel a personal responsibility to look after new Christians. It's much harder to reach someone who has "tried" Christianity before only to have it not work for them, because they were not properly discipled.

As for memorization, do consider signing up for our Breakout Challenge. You'll find it a powerful help in getting started! I love your description of the benefits!
Posted by Melody on 10/15/18
Followup is extremely important. It always concerns me when someone shares that a person received Christ as their Savior say at our local food pantry where we take prayer requests and pray with people. I always ask, "Who is following up with them, do they have a church, where do they live, etc..." Usually the questions are answered with "I don't know, but praise God they got saved." They can easily fall back to their old ways and/or not know the next steps to take & feel just as alone as before if noone is following up and mentoring them. And yes, your training must connect people to Jesus. Without Him, you can do nothing, and He is the the ultimate instructer in training disciples. I don't do it but memorization is VERY important. It's a defense against the enemy, a prayer for any need, a blessing for any occassion, instruction in every area of life, encouragement for every struggle, praise always to our holy God, and more than I could write here.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/15/18 - Coach
Hi Clarris! Thanks for sharing that story. Sounds extraordinary. My first international trip was to Romania many years ago, not so long after the fall of communism--and I heard many amazing stories while there. Romanian was also the first language our materials were translated it. The church there had an amazing love for Scripture. And memorizing it. No doubt it was because they had gone so long without having free access to the Scriptures...

Thank you Berith, for your confirmation of the power of God's Word. It does open doors. Serious memorization would be my first recommendation for anyone who wanted to get more involved in ministry. I believe God will open doors for anyone who prepares them self to go through them. :)
Posted by Clarris Magadza on 10/15/18
What I have to share about the benefits of memorising scripture is not my own experience but something I watched on YouTube and it encouraged me and I told myself I would share it here.
A woman in Romania, an attorney, took on the government on a case, a dictatorship government, if I may just add. Anyway, long story short, there were multiple attempts on this woman's life and the one time, an assassin came on a mission to end her life and she had no way out and no one to call to for help. From all appearances, this was the end. But, she started preaching to this assassin using memorised scripture and he was converted and didn't kill her.
As I listened to this woman's interview, I was convinced even more that we need to commit scripture to memory.
And, as I am typing this, I realise that I am not telling it very well so I am going to include the link for those who would like to watch the clip on YouTube themselves. I think the woman even wrote a book about it as well. Look up Saving my assassin

Link to videos (it's a two part interview):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfsns7o1UOs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEI4ky62368
Posted by Berith Bermejo on 10/15/18
Dan, loved reading your testimony. Can't help but be amazed at how mine mirrors it: the tremendous spiritual growth since learning to keep God's words in my heart and opportunities for ministry opening. I praise the Lord for leading me to FAST. The past few years have been the most exciting of my life.

It's also such a joy to be able to share this with others and see them grow in the Lord. Truly precious!


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