By Ryan Wall
A few years ago, after hearing a sermon from Francis Chan about being “lukewarm and loving it,” I decided to “jump in” to this whole church thing.
I did lots of the typical things new Christians do:
Joined a community group.
Bought a new Bible.
Went on fun retreats to outdoor locations.
I was learning a lot about God, and wanted to know, “What’s next?”
My answer, I figured, was to go to Africa. (I don’t know why, but it seems we always think that by going to Africa for a week/month/year we are somehow going to change the world.)
Find Your Mission
So, when Watermark offered a class called “Find Your Mission,” I planned to go and try to sign up for a trip. But as God would have it, they cancelled the class and I ended up taking “Sharing Your Faith with Authenticity” instead. In that class, we read a book about evangelism called The One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven. I quickly realized that I had never shared the gospel, never memorized Scripture, and never told people why my life was different: JESUS.
Ironically, taking the wrong class helped me to find my mission: always share your faith. My life changed a lot in the coming months, and I started being “on mission” here in Dallas. I began to live out my faith and share with friends, family, co-workers, and strangers. Sometimes I felt awkward, sometimes I felt overwhelmed, and I realized that sometimes I was not being very clear.
So, as I looked for opportunities to be trained to become a better disciple-maker here in Dallas, I was pointed towards a young adult trip to Ethiopia. I went to an informational meeting where I thought we were going to pay some money and go on a trip in a month or two. I was ready!!!!!!
But it didn't work how I thought. They wanted us to raise the money (so we could learn all of the things I was talking about—how to share with family, friends, co-workers, etc.). Also, they wanted to make sure that we got the most out of the trip, so we had 20+ training sessions over a 9 month period. WOW. That was a big ask, and didn't sound quite as exciting as the quick change-the-world trip I had envisioned.
I ended up going to Africa and Haiti last year. I could write lots of blog posts from my experiences. But Africa didn't change me, and I didn't change Africa. God used the training to change me, and God used me to make a small difference in Africa.
What’s Your Mission?
As Christians, I thought it was our job to go to Africa. But really, it’s our job to share the love of Christ with people we see every day—whether we’re in Dallas or halfway around the world.
If you are interested in learning more about taking part in an overseas discipleship trip, there are a few opportunities to do so over the next year. Watermark partners with Mission of Hope in Haiti and E3 Ministries in Ethiopia to regularly train and send people out to these areas of great need. To learn more, please join us for one of these upcoming informational meetings:
Tuesday, October 22 (today) or 29, immediately after The Porch, in the Loft.
Sunday, October 27, at 1:30 p.m. in Stage C on the 2nd floor of the Children’s Building.
If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not quite sure you are ready for an international trip? Please join us for our “in town” discipleship trip, Unashamed, November 8-10. Signups are open through Sunday, October 27. Please watch this video and contact Ryan Wall with any questions, at email@example.com.