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Canada Field Story North America

Multiplication: Hall of Tyrannus

"God is still very much moving and active .... I love his timing and that He knows there is more than one thing going on at a time."

Twelve years ago my field director in Avant introduced me to a secular book on teaching that blew my mind. These concepts of Learning Centered Design were formulated by Jane Vella.  She sought to inspire and equip teachers to be actively accountable for making sure their students actually learned.

Around the same time, our church planting team in Prague was introduced to a disciple making approach that did exactly this, Discovery Bible Study (DBS). This approach was how nearly all the new believers came to Jesus.

Two years ago I was given the chance to teach a modular class for Millar College of the Bible called, “Alternate Church Planting Methods”. Starting with Avant’s Church Metrics (which open the mind to Biblical principles for a healthy church that can take shape beyond normal Canadian cultural forms of church), we explored DBS and the Biblical principles of Church Planting Movements. From this, one student determined to patiently seek ways to implement this learning in his new role as a youth pastor. Covid-19 suddenly furnished the necessity for employing such adaptions. He has seen 4 junior high students go through the Zume training, get baptized, and be eager to multiply themselves. All the while, Ty was working to engage in the Great Commission as a neighbor.


Skip forward two years when, this last week, I commenced teaching another modular course for Millar’s Sunnybrae campus in BC on Principles of Teaching. It was a bit of head-trip to be teaching about teaching while making sure that they were learning through experiencing me practicing everything I was teaching. A big piece of this is moving beyond monologues into dialogues that ensure interaction with new concepts creating an accountability loop which measures if they’re picking up what’s being laid down. 

On Thursday night I was reviewing the next day’s lesson plans on The Power of the Gospel, Divine Serendipity, God’s Ability, and the Primacy of Prayer ... when this series of text messages came in, real time, from Ty: (Ty) - My neighbor James just knocked on my door with tears in his eyes asking if he could come to church and that he needs Jesus. Meeting with him on Saturday morning to start looking at who Jesus is. He said he will take as much as I can throw at him and that I can lay it on thick and he’ll take it all. He basically gave full permission to do DBS and he is starting to read the book of John before then.

He was a man clearly undone and compelled by the Holy Spirit. God is so good. 
I’m still in shock really
 
And feeling convicted for not sharing sooner, but this is a clear display of God’s promise that he will draw people to himself Be praying that the conviction would remain heavy on him until it is satisfied in trusting Christ. And pray that I would establish a discipleship DNA in him from the start 

This is so surreal. But I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised! We serve a God who loves to make himself known. Looking forward to sharing more about how things go 

(Jon) - Please do. This is very wonderful to “watch” from the second row. 

(Ty - short while later) - Ok actually meeting with James tonight after youth bible study. He’s eager and willing
As I was delighting in these text messages from Ty, I turned back to continue prepping the lesson for the next day (outlined as such back in July) that was to articulate from Acts 8 & 10 these exact things that Ty was writing about (Divine timing and coordination or what?!). I set about incorporating his testimony into the morning session.

I felt compelled to practice what I was going to be teaching, so I switched to writing every rapid-response prayer circle I could think of to be interceding (Ty) Man. I met with James last night after youth Bible study for about 2 hours. He’s all in. From the moment I prayed for him after he came to my door he experienced a tangible joy and love outside of himself that resulted in him having the best night he’s had with his daughter in a long time. Said he loved her with some kind of greater love, and she responded so well to it. Said it was the first time he’s felt anything in 15 years. 

Told him that I want to disciple him and he’s all in. He wants it all. Shared with him the greatest blessing and he said he wants that and has already told numerous people about his experience yesterday. Going to invite his cousin to join us for DBS as well. 

I’ve never seen the Spirit’s work in someone’s life so obviously in real time. It was like watching his heart be regenerated before my very eyes. He is so eager to learn and so eager to share, and he is eager to serve and follow Jesus. 

It is honestly so encouraging to me to know that this kind of stuff doesn’t just happen a long time ago or somewhere far away. It happened yesterday, right next door. God is still very much moving and active.

(Jon) Oh man!!! Praise the Lord most powerful wonderful worker of Acts! What a privilege eh?

(Ty) - Yeah it truly is incredible. I could hardly sleep cause I was so giddy. Truly a privilege, and a true display of God’s transforming power

(Jon) I’m going to share this in class right now as I get them to facilitate their first DBS. Pray for inspiration, and praise of God. 

(Ty) I most certainly will. I love his timing and that He knows there is more than one thing going on at a time. Praying for traction and that they catch the vision of movement!!

”It is honestly so encouraging to me to know that this kind of stuff doesn’t just happen a long time ago or somewhere far away. It happened yesterday, right next door. God is still very much moving and active .... I love his timing and that He knows there is more than one thing going on at a time." 

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