How do we reach people in Canada? We do it through D5, which is our vision for disciple-making. First, we start with our most important step: being DEVOTED to God in prayer and the reading of His Word. If we don’t prepare ourselves spiritually using these two essential tools, we won’t be effective on the mission field. Likewise, our prayers should reflect an evangelistic intention as we plead with God on behalf of the lost, ask the Holy Spirit to open the doors of people’s hearts, and invite Christ to teach us how to declare the gospel clearly and compassionately. Colossians 4:2-4 tells us we must “devote [ourselves] to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” To do those things and answer people’s questions with wisdom and clarity, we must know what God’s Word commands and promises.
The next step in D5 is to DIRECT our lives toward the lost souls of this world the same way Jesus did when He spoke intentionally with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well and called Zacchaeus by name to come down from the tree. Christ has a habit of making unseen people seen, of seeking broken people and making them whole. If we, unlike Him, only spend time with Christians, our availability for gospel opportunities and the discipleship of new believers will be limited. It is essential that we not only engage with our churches in Christian fellowship but, perhaps most importantly, pursue community events that allow us to meet countless lost people.
Then, we have the chance to DEVELOP new friendships, as Jesus did with Zacchaeus when He said, “I must stay at your house today.” There is no doubt that Jesus developed a relationship with Zacchaeus on the walk to his home, speaking with him about many things and getting to know him personally. Because of this interaction, Zacchaeus went from living as a sinner to living saved in a matter of moments. If we are going to form new friendships with people, we must initiate an encounter as Jesus did. It might be as simple as inviting a neighbor over for dinner, asking a co-worker to meet you for coffee, or offering to pursue a common interest (like walking, fishing, sports, or another hobby) with them. Once a relationship starts to grow, we can wait for an open door to ask spiritual questions as Jesus did with the Samaritan woman. When God opens the door for a gospel conversation, it is our responsibility to move on to the next step, which is:
DECLARE the gospel! Being devoted to God is not enough, nor is directing our lives to the lost, nor developing new relationships if we miss the most significant thing: DECLARING the gospel. We can do this by offering a clear presentation of the Good News to our befriended unbelievers and by giving them an opportunity to repent and choose to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We must invite the person to pray, acknowledge and turn away from their sin, and receive Christ fully with their whole heart. If we claim to preach the gospel but never ask someone to repent, believe, and pray to receive Jesus, then we haven’t shared the gospel fully and clearly. Such good news demands a response, for in it lies the truth about Christ, the Author and Finisher of the greatest story ever told.
Lastly, our vision calls us to DISCIPLE new believers. Without discipleship through the teaching of God’s Word (a truly full-circle element of the D5 process), spiritual growth won’t happen. We cannot leave people with only the gospel, for the Great Commission calls us to declare and teach everything God has commanded. Discipleship must be progressive so that the new believer can confirm his decision, have an assurance of salvation, and grow in understanding God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, the purpose of the church (and its mission), and the ordinances of God. Likewise, a healthy knowledge of the importance of prayer and how to pray will be critical in bringing about spiritual growth in a new believer and demonstrating what it means to love God and others with all their heart.
That’s the basis for how we minister to Hispanics in Canada. Sometimes it takes years to see fruit in people, while others are called quickly and grow swiftly, living fully on mission for Jesus according to His will for their lives. We don’t know who will receive Christ when we live D5. Likely, we won’t know until we reach the glorious gates of Heaven. We know one thing, though: that we are called to seek the lost of this world, love them, share His story with them, and teach them to “go make disciples of all nations.”
Here at Global Missions 365, we are all about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and helping train believers to engage in personal and corporate ministry. The D5 model (as outlined by our Canadian partnership team, the Parra family) of devotion to God, a direction toward the lost, the development of relationships, the declaration of the gospel, and the discipleship of new believers, illustrates how Christians all around the world can be effective in multiplying the Kingdom of God for His ultimate glory. We encourage you to pray about how the Holy Spirit might lead you to pursue the D5 vision for disciple-making in your own life, city, workplace, or church. There is no limit to what God can do, and when we partner with Him and become true “fishers of people,” we will have the opportunity to see Him work and move in ways we could never have imagined. Please check out our website at www.globalmissions365.org for more information on the Parra family as well as how you can be involved in seeing people’s lives change because of what the Lord is doing in and through Global Missions 365.