Take two equally gifted Disciple Makers, both with sincere intent and genuine faith. Does the disciple maker with means make more disciples than the disciple maker without means? Before answering that question, let me share a real life example. As many of you know, my wife and I are missionaries in the Cloud Forest region of Ecuador. This is a vast region of pocket communities, towns, and villages dispersed throughout the Andes Mountains.
Getting to these regions to effectively bring the gospel where it is not known requires mobility. As we no longer have a vehicle (long story), we rely on public transportation, bicycling, walking, etc. When we do go out to visit people in these communities we depend on outside funding for transportation. A faithful band of brothers and sisters are always ready to go out with or without us and disciple people. But, without that funding, our mobility and impact is greatly restricted. We are making disciples, many of them, but it’s because we have the means to do it. The means, resources, and empowerment enable us to do what we do.
My purpose here is not to get into a debate regarding creating sustainable disciple making movements. I’ve written on that before. My purpose is to propose that that there exists among the church (the entire body of Christ), a large segment of disenfranchised disciple makers. There are those who can afford to go about making disciples and those who are limited by their means. There are those who are privileged to be able to be missional and speak at conferences, travel, write books, and still make disciples. There are those who can not travel, do not have the opportunity to speak anywhere, and can not disseminate their insights to other disciple makers. There are those who can take time off from their daily work to disciple others and those who can’t.
If we were to consider this group, philosophically equal to any other marginalized or disenfranchised group, then what would be some possible solutions?