I’m excited about the way our ministry has continued to offer opportunities for our friends to join us as we help serve the church around the world.  WDA has some great folks who volunteer their time and give of their own resources to travel around the world, serve in the local church, participate with our next generation ministry, and help here at the WDA Headquarters.

Here are a few examples:

Carroll and Shirley Coakley have been long time partners with WDA from our early days as we began a campus ministry at the University of Tennessee.  Carroll and Shirley have both also served WDA by teaching pastors overseas.  Their participation with our International Ministry has taken them to many countries to help teach pastors and leaders who do not have the ability to get biblical training elsewhere.  They have gone at risk to their health and also at their own financial cost.  The Coakley’s are two of our “unsung” heroes with WDA.

Roger Gillam is a professional electrician and building contractor who has gone with WDA on many missions’ trips to Africa and taken responsibility for building projects, particularly with the orphanage in Karatu, Tanzania.

Mike Wolf is working with the international team to help develop a new international training and policy manual.

Beverly Keller, having been trained as a Restoring Your Heart Leader in her local church, is now an integral part of developing materials for the Restorative Ministry and leading and training new leaders.

Recently our Headquarters Team has been blessed with volunteers like Sue Nichols, an elementary school teacher looking for work, who is using her ‘waiting’ time to help the Administrative Team by gathering information for our databases, mailing materials, and helping with other general office tasks.  Also, Jeff Edwards, a local CPA, is volunteering by assisting and assessing our bookkeeping department in the area of donor relations, receipting, payroll and staff accounts.

We have others, with backgrounds in building, electrical and landscaping, who help with our grounds and office building.

There are lots of ways for you to serve with WDA!  Currently, we’re asking God for an Alumni Coordinator to work with volunteer representatives from each WDA campus.  These folks would coordinate and contact alumni from our current and past Next Generation Ministries.  As we are approaching our 40th anniversary as an organization, we want to connect with as many of our ministry alumni as possible.  As a WDA alumnus, you may want to help us reconnect with your classmates from your particular school or ministry.

In order to learn about these and other opportunities, please visit our contact page and click on ”volunteer.”

Have you ever asked, “What qualifications do I need to disciple someone?” For much of my early years in WDA’s next generation ministry (which was once called campus ministry), I would have looked at the role of disciple builder as a bible teacher or small group leader. Teaching was one of the first things I recognized as a gift of the young men who were helping me establish my faith in my years as a student. As I have been looking back at my early years, I began to see that my understanding of the role of a disciple builder was limited and seen primarily though my gifting as a shepherd/teacher. The problem was that Jesus calls all who follow him “disciples” and not all of them are called to a teaching role!

Somewhere my view of a mature follower of Christ left out the majority of believers that I love and minister with. Disciple Builders were people who were really serious about their Christian faith and were involved in teaching others. In my world that meant leading a small group. I think Jesus disagrees with me! He is making disciples who have all the gifts and callings in scripture.

The church needs to see Jesus’ pattern for discipleship and grasp the long term vision of Christ in Matthew 28:19-20. We are called to a life of ministry, which involves participating in building mature followers of Jesus.

Many Christians are confused at this point. How can I fulfill Jesus’ command both to share the gospel and to help people grow to maturity, “teaching them all things I have commanded” when I don’t have a gift for teaching?

Why not start where Jesus did? The first thing he did was call some young men to follow Him. He began by building community! Why don’t you build a friendship and begin to read the bible together and talk about it. What you learn from others, explain to another person. If you can’t explain something, find another person who can help you. This doesn’t mean you pursue the role of a teacher, you are instead a fellow Christian who loves to share the things God is teaching you.

Every mature believer must understand how to participate in the growth of others! Certainly some are called to a particular task of teaching while others may be called to serve. In your loving of others you are teaching them! Being like Jesus speaks loudly in a culture that is skeptical of those who say one thing and do another.

I have realized that many people who have taught me spiritual principles were mature people who were following Christ and living their faith before me! So when someone loved me well by serving me, I learned to be like Jesus! Discipleship happens while we spend time together!

A church that is made up of mature Christians who have taken time to grow in Christ-likeness will have an impact on future generations. Sure, some are called to use teaching gifts and some will lead in many other ways. All are called to grow to maturity and be part of the mission of Christ!

How do you influence and participate in the discipling of others? What ways do we teach others?

Jesus also had a particular vision for disciple building. WDA has spent years looking at his life and ministry with a view toward providing the church with the foundational principles necessary to see Christian men and women grow to maturity. Learn more about WDA’s Biblical Approach to Disciple Building.

Get A Free digital pdf copy of Disciple Building: A Biblical Framework at the WDA Store