Darrow Miller and Friends

Out of Africa: What Nation Discipling Looks Like

Jesus commanded His followers to disciple the nations. What does a discipled nation look like? In his forthcoming book, Emancipating the World, Darrow Miller writes:

Shaped by today’s values, the church has focused its evangelism and discipleship on individuals, blinded to the communal component of the Great Commission. Individuals must come to a saving knowledge of Christ, but this truth must not blind us to the biblical concept of community. …

Dallas Willard, philosophy professor at the University of Southern California, writes in The Divine Conspiracy: “You lead people to become disciples of Jesus by ravishing them with a vision of life in the kingdom of the heavens in the fellowship of Jesus. And you do this by proclaiming, manifesting, and teaching the kingdom to them in the manner learned from Jesus himself. You thereby change the belief system that governs their lives.”[1]

Jesus taught that his people are salt and light. Salt must come out of the shaker to flavor and preserve. Light cannot bring life, illuminate, or heal unless it comes out from under the bushel basket. Christians are salt and light, not theocrats; influencers, not autocrats; organic, not hierarchal; bottom up, not top down. We are to be people of light in a world of darkness, people of compassion in a world of cruelty, people of justice in a world of wrong, people of beauty in a world of the mundane. Christians are to be radicals in the traditional sense of the word: having roots, going to the origin. We are to call societies back to the root, back to first principles.

This excerpt is a great introduction to a story from Africa. Chris Ampadu serves with Harvest Foundation in Ghana. He’s been partnering with Mercy Ships to teach DNA concepts to local leaders. Chris’s report paints a picture of a remarkable beginning to the  inside-out transformation of a nation.

Last week’s experience in Kara with Mercy Ships was just wonderful as almost 400 community leaders were mobilized to be trained by us.

On the last day, l started by asking the participants to share a discipline of love done the previous day as a result of what they learned. We had over 50 people including Moslems who shared how they have changed their attitude towards their wives and started showing true love to them. This is a place where women do not have dignity and are disrespected. Some shared testimonies of reconciliations, while others have started planting flowers in their homes, creating beauty and taking the mantle of stewardship of nature and their environment.

For me, it was of great joy and beauty to see Christian pastors sharing lunch with Moslem heads, Imams, and others on the same table.

At the end of the conference, a steering Samaritan team was formed, fifteen members including the chief Imam, to continue with the agenda of love, unity and development.

l made a presentation of a copy of Hope for Africa to the chief Imam. Even though he was very grateful, he insisted in buying for himself “If Jesus were Mayor” to my surprise! Anyway, we are now friends and today, the Moslem youth leader called and said the committee has already met and a second meeting will be held on Monday 19th. He was full of praise and appreciation for our teachings and promised that they will do whatever it takes to realize the aim and objectives of Mercy Ships, i.e. “Partnership for Development”

To God be the glory.

[1] Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God (New York: HarperCollins), 305; emphasis added.

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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.


  1. Stephen Mosheni

    July 17, 2012 - 10:26 am

    The good news is that we are not just religious people who are to use our differences to identify each other and possibly hate one another. If we can see each other as God’s image bearer, but fallen ones, then it should not be a problem for us to share the Love of our Lord Jesus Christ as should. This is what will bring freedom.

    • admin

      July 18, 2012 - 12:34 pm

      Thanks, Stephen.