Monday, March 21, 2016

Feedback and Tweaks

DML Team at King Jesus in Bungoma, starting DML in April
When starting a new program, ongoing learning and listening is very important.  The Discipling Marketplace Leaders (DML) ministry is now three years old - the age of a toddler in many ways - and there is much to learn.  So I am in my third week in Kenya at this time, and have completed many hours of interviews to learn what is working and what is not.
Meeting with the DML cooperative in Kisumu

The exciting news is that in all the interviews with pastors who are implementing this work in their church, 100% have said that they have seen increases in the following three areas:  members, participation of business people in the ministry of the church, and giving.  That is exciting.  We heard testimony after testimony of members and pastors sharing how people are implementing various aspects of the quadruple bottom line in their business:  reaching out spiritually as Marketplace Ministers to people around them, socially to the community and employees, working to care for the environment, and growing economically.

It has also been interesting to see which pastors completely own this ministry as their own and are setting the pace and vision for how this ministry can grow, develop, and more forward. There is something called the "Innovation adoption curve" that shows the percent of people who can expect to run with a new product, those who join later, and those who are the laggards.  We clearly are seeing some of the innovators as well as some early adopters.  We want to be intentional to continue to learn from those early innovators for what works and what does not.  We are also seeing churches who are welcoming DML into their church but are not owning it for themselves.  Because it is difficult to have pastors come to Kitale for an eight day training on the theological foundation of Business as Mission (as we used to require), we are now introducing a two-day intensive training for pastors that will be offered in the various regions where we are working.  We hope that will increase the buy-in by the pastors and bishops of the various denominations.  The other challenge we have is that business people get this very quickly and want us to begin training yesterday.  But we need to hold off on their demands until we can get the church leadership on board, especially if we want this to be about discipleship and not just another program or training.

So, it's's's being open and flexible to God's leading as He continues to unfold how this ministry can be used to build His church. 
Dr. Walker with one of the many bishops with whom we met, who has planted 100 churches.
After working in Kenya for over three years, I finally had my first sighting of Lake Victoria, with two of my favorite brothers, Rev. Elly Kisala and Rev. Johnfred Ajwang
The obligatory flat tire on our way from Kisumu to Mumias, to meet with a Deliverance Church in Mumias