Partnering with Workplace Discipleship Initiative
North Sea Baptist Church is an international church body in Stavanger, Norway. Like all international churches it has a percentage of expats and military people who have a limited time within our midst. And so, we seek both to build up the body of Christ corporately and also enable those who move through to be equipped for God’s further call upon their lives.
At the 2018 IBC Annual Meeting in Madrid, I had the pleasure of meeting Darren Ho and hearing his vision of the Workplace Discipleship Initiative. WDI is a transformational experience designed by Missional Impact, and it had two aspects of its aim that fitted our needs: seeking the Lord collectively to transform and multiply us. Ho, along with Jim Lapinski, came for a week to Stavanger to coach the first generation of disciple-makers. This 1:1 coaching focused on leadership, vision, disciplines, and outcomes.
This “Residency Week” approach, with one-hour meetings five times during the week, simulates “doing life” together, as you would with your families, friends, and colleagues at work. The purpose is to really understand our role, leadership situation, workplace, and life context to better help in clarifying the vision God has for us and in our work.
After our residency week, the six of us split into two triads which then met over 12 weeks, continuing the learning and helping each other grow in our individual Kingdom vision, disciplines, and outcomes.
This is what we found after completing our first generation of disciples:
- Being personally invited works! For whatever reason they accepted the invitation it was clear God had already made them ‘right and ready.’
- Because WDI is a 15-week initiative in total, it involves a regular time commitment. We learned that we had to say ‘no’ to something to say ‘yes’ to this. And yet we found that while this could be a concern, it was not. Once we committed, we were faithful and benefitted greatly from the consistency of fellowship and prayer.
- The 1:1 coaching greatly helped direct, empower, and set God’s vision for each of us in our family and work.
- The triads were really a great success and blessing. Keeping it small and intimate aided in allowing honesty, joy, and love to hear God’s wisdom in the process.
Most of us came in with no expectations from the program. What most of us thought was our ‘mission map’ of who we should be missional with turned out to include areas and people we had not considered. God has clearly worked in this process and as we move to the next generation, we are expectant of how God will move because we realize the work He has done in us.
Rebecca van den Brink