• Mark Alan Williams

100 Million Disciples, Why and How?

Updated: Jun 30, 2019

The vision of Discipleship Journeys with Jesus


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Not long ago I shared on this website an article about the vision of Discipleship Journeys

with Jesus (DJJ) to disciple 100 million people using our journey studies. If you missed

that article, please check it out here: A God-Sized Vision of 100 Million Disciples.


What I’d like to do in this article is to explain why the specific number 100 million, and a

little bit about how we hope to accomplish that daring number.


These precious Christians are studying Discipleship Journeys with Jesus in Kenya.

Why that particular number, 100 million?


First, there was a lot of prayer and after the confirmation vote by our DJJ Board of

Directors, a sense that God was definitely leading us to a vision of 100 million.


The rest of the answer is a little complex, but here goes:


We considered the percentage of the world’s Christians who are in the:


Global South (developing countries primarily in Africa, Asia, Latin America):

61%

Global North (N America, Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand): 39%


By Tradition Christians around the world are:


Catholic: 50.1%

Protestant: 36.7%

Orthodox: 11.9%

Other Christian: 1.3%


Our primary target is the 36.7% of the world’s Christians who are Protestant, totaling

801,528,000 Christians, and of these mainly the 61% who are in the Global South which

is 488,932,080 (almost 500 million).


Why mainly target the Global South? Because that is where the greatest needs exist. Those in

that region need:

  • Discipleship materials. (While we in the Global North have a wealth of Christian materials, they often have access to very few.)

  • Materials in their own languages.

Furthermore, the Global South is usually where the greatest growth of Christianity is

occurring and where passion for Christ is the highest.


Please note: Mainly targeting the Global South does not mean that we are neglecting or are uninterested in the Global North. Our ministry is worldwide and originates from the North. There is a tremendous need for the Gospel in both the Global North and the Global South.


Next, while in 2010 the percentage of the world’s population who claimed to be any kind

of Christian was 32%, only about 12% (about 1/3 of the total number of Christians) were

considered practicing Christians.


Finally, in the Global South, perhaps 40% of the Protestant Christians are already

discipled (or are being discipled) and perhaps 40% don’t want discipleship (nominal

Christians). Our primary target is the remaining 20% of the Protestant Christians in the

Global South who need and want discipleship.


Thus, the number of our vision (100 million) reflects 20% of the current total primary

target: the 500 million Protestant Christians in the Global South who need and want

discipleship.


NOTE: The main resource for the above statistics is Pew Research:

http://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/ (2010 numbers).

See also: https://joshuaproject.net/assets/media/articles/finishing-the-task.pdf


So how will we achieve this audacious number of 100 million?


This next question is the “how” question mentioned briefly in my previous article. You’ll

perhaps remember that the what comes before the how. So, we don’t know all the

answers, however we know some things and here they are.


How can we reach 100 million?


1. Via Multiplication


Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works

that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”

(John 14:12 ESV)


He didn’t mean greater works in quality, but in quantity. “Greater works” is how

there are today billions of Christians around the world. It’s through multiplication of

disciples.


As we inspire and resource churches and leaders to multiply disciples, it can look like

this, many times over:


1. 12 becomes 24

2. 24 becomes 48

3. 48 becomes 96

4. 96 becomes 192

5. 192 becomes 384

6. 384 becomes 768

7. 768 becomes 1,536

8. 1,536 becomes 3,072

9. 3,072 becomes 6,144

10. 6,144 becomes 12,288

11. 12,288 becomes 24,576

12. 24,576 becomes 49,152

…and so on.


Imagine this kind of multiplication going on all over the world in multitudes of

locations, with multitudes of leaders and you can see how the vision of 100 million is

viable.


2. Via the internet


We live in a unique time. We can communicate instantaneously around the world

through the worldwide web. Materials can be distributed immediately via the internet.

These opportunities have never before been available in the two thousand years since

Christ.


And worldwide access to the internet is increasing exponentially, even to the remotest

parts of the earth.


In addition, our DJJ materials are:

  • Free of charge

  • Simple, yet profound

  • Interdenominational and intercultural

  • Being translated into many languages

The barriers are removed.


3. Through the power of God


Jesus said, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

(Matthew 19:26 NLT)


We’re under no delusions. This must be a work of God. With God, it is possible.


4. With the partnership of many.


This vision will be accomplished by the many like you who:

a) Multiply disciples.


You can use the 52 FREE discipleship journeys to grow as a Christ-follower

and make disciples.


We’ve made it easy to access the materials online. Just go to

www.djjministry.org and click where it says, “START YOUR JOURNEYS

HERE.”


b) Volunteer their labors.


You can join our staff as a volunteer, part-time or full-time leader.


There’s a partial list of roles that need to be fulfilled on our website—just

click HERE.


c) Financially support this ministry.


In order to provide the discipleship lessons, it does indeed take financial

resources. Perhaps you’re part of the means by which God will supply us with

the resources to provide DJJ for others?


To donate to DJJ please click HERE.


Thank you.


A FINAL NOTE:


If you are not sure that you have received God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, learn

about how to be positive HERE.


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