Leaving a Lasting Imprint
Dave Patty | April 2016
It’s not just what you learn, but when you learn it.
Do you remember learning your first language? The complicated grammar, endless new vocabulary, and difficult pronunciation? My guess is that you don’t remember, nor do you have a sense of how difficult it was. Small children absorb language like a sponge, treating it all like some fun game, practicing new words and sounds all the time without even knowing why.
Their minds are optimized for this kind of learning, and they can acquire without discarding, because no other language stands in the way. In the same way, believers are especially teachable when they are young. A lifestyle of disciple making is acquired much more easily when spectator Christianity doesn’t have to be unlearned.
That is why this month is especially strategic for the JV team. Close to a thousand young leaders will be trained in disciple making principles at three national conferences, in Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic.
The conference in Slovakia will focus on our identity as adopted children of the Father, and how to stream his Father heart to others. In Poland, our team will equip youth leaders to shepherd new believers from spiritual infancy all the way to maturity. In Czech, we will teach key leaders how to be more effective at spreading the gospel.
Does it make a difference? Recently I met with with a veteran pastor who is training hundreds of church planters across Europe. “Are you seeing any trends in the people who are engaging in church planting?” I asked.
“Yes”, he said, “a high percentage of them were trained in disciple making principles when they were young – by the Josiah Venture team. Today’s church planters are effective because they acquired a lifestyle of discipleship from JV staff while they were still in youth groups.”
Young people are like hot wax – shaping can be made quickly during these formative years and bear lasting fruit for the rest of their lives. Pray with us that these training events leave a powerful and lasting imprint of Jesus.
Grateful for you,