Field Staff with Navigators Military Ministry, Doug has been a part of discipleship ministries for over 30 years, both on the island of Honshu (Japan) and in the United States. Doug believes firmly that the church is central to God's purposes. Yet many churches naturally (to use a sports analogy) field a small group of starters. Meaning, relatively few are engaged in disciple-making, while many "sit on the bench." Doug has seen that pastors know some on the team are clearly not ready, but with all the burdens of ministry, struggle to offer scrimage (training) time.
Many in our churches are cheering from the sidelines, encouraged by what they see. Some wonder if they could do as well if given a chance. Some are saying, "Put me in coach!" And some,.. yes, some are content to be sidelined,.. secretly terrified of what it would mean to further enter the arena and onto a field of play.
Our leaders know this is not a contest of five to 11 players; it's a much larger arena than those defined by property lines, a building, and parking lot. What is before them (and before us) is a sprawling field with amazingly long furrows (Matthew 9:38). And it's no game―lives are very much at stake. Doug's heart is to train members of Christ's body to see themselves as more than mere believers. Doug knows that those who identify as disciples follow Jesus; these are the folks who are actively committed to go out every day and enter into the fight.