April 21 – May 02, 2023 2023 Sierra Leone Mission Trip
Traveling into Sierra Leone we observed and encourage newly formed Disciple Making Movement (DMM) teams. Our intent was to meet with local groups started by key local leaders in the Freetown/Waterloo/Grafton areas. Our coaching times with the teams focused on Matthew 28, Great Commission; Mark 4, Parable of the Sower; John 4, Woman at the Well; Mark 5 Man with Demons; Acts 8, Philip in Samaria. We practiced the act of baptism and leading Communion. We had a fruitful visit and were grateful for our prayer teams back home praying for our safety and leadership of the Holy Spirit.
I personally learned a significant amount being in the field and with a senior coach and mentor. Bill brought much insight into how to effectively lead from behind using questions, drama, and music. I pray that a portion of his wisdom gathered from his 14 years in Thailand, 10 years in China, and from the over 100 countries he has visited is imparted to me.
We first met with a team comprised of 9 young (20–30-year-olds) MBB. The team was led by a MBB, who was led to Christ by one our local leaders who we trained in DMM. We began the sessions with two basic questions, “What is your name?” and “How did you come to know Christ?” We learned that most of the team was evangelized, baptized, and discipled by our local leader. He persistently pursued those that came to Christ with love and kindness despite initial rejection. His team has 6 DBS group leaders from those he has discipled. The leaders have groups located in 6 of the 19 chiefdoms in the Tonkolili district. We performed an assessment of their generational growth chart. The 6 leaders of DBS groups are collectively running 20 groups with 72 mostly MBB.
The second team that we met with was primarily comprised of 8 senior Christian leaders (Pastors/YWAMs/Gideons) primarily MBB. We started with a simple question, “What are your expectations for the session?” While we received a few expected responses, one person said breakfast, another said transport fees, and another said C. Anderson DMM training. This sent me scrambling to coordinate someone to fetch food. The good news is everyone’s request was met. Beyond meeting physical needs, we watched this group of Christian leaders grow spiritually. The word “accountability” was a key topic discussed among the team. The team discovered through the parable of the Sower how to work towards 100 times fertile soil through empowering others.
The third team that we met with was comprised of 6 people from the first group of leaders trained. We covered similar topics with this team. Focusing in on the parable of the Sower and the woman at the well. We used generational growth charts to assess the health of the DMM among leaders. We found some models that looked like a traditional centralized church model, some that had an appearance of the first group, but were not reproducing. One female MBB DMM leader, had the healthiest growth chart. She had 8 DBS groups with 2 led by her and 6 led by people she led to Christ. One of the groups has already reproduced. Overall, the current total number of people in her groups alone is 76 MBBs.
Key Mindset Shifts
The fact that deep relationship with a small number (<12) of DMM leaders is sustainable and fruitful, and that attempting to individually raise up many (>>12) DMM leaders is next to impossible to sustain and grow. The teams discovered that Persons of Peace (PoP) provide instant access to communities and are key to leading DBS. The generational growth charts provided the team insight into the health of their growth and ideas of how to increase their productiveness. Each team walked away feeling empowered to baptize and lead people in Communion.
- We had the opportunity to pray for healing of one of the leaders. He said that he was so troubled with his back, and he had been complaining of the severe pain. After we prayed he was relieved of the pain. Beyond physical issues, this young man had been blocked from his family because of his acceptance of Christ. He said that after his healing that he began to think about God removing this block. Knowing that God could do above and beyond what we can think. After praying this, his brother began to message him that very night! He said they called each other with tears and reconciliation. He asked his brother if he could pray for him. He said yes, please!
- A young Muslim girl was present during our training. By the end of the training, she said that she believed in Jesus and wanted to be baptized.