“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19).
How often have we read and proclaimed this Bible verse, but did not stop to answer or even ask the question, “What does it mean to make disciples of all nations?”
Looking back at our five and a half years of mission in Costa Rica, we can now see the times when the Holy Spirit was raising up disciples. These were the people who responded to the Gospel with eagerness and who put it into practice. We can also see that we felt greater fulfillment and joy when those to whom we ministered became disciples, and were not just recipients of our missionary activity.
Over the past few years, FMC leadership has been seeking the best way to help our missionaries in this all-important task of making disciples. Their hope is that our missionaries receive tools to help them fulfill the Great Commission and become more intentional in forming disciples. Reach More, a training developed by the lay organization Evangelical Catholic, is the fruit of that search.
Reach More includes a series of training sessions given over twelve weeks in a small group setting. It uses Jesus’ apostolic model of no more than twelve people per training group. The training also includes daily reflections, one-on-one meetings with an FMC point person, and exercises to develop the habits and heart of a disciple-maker.
When we first come to know Jesus, our hearts are transformed by His Love. Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, each of us can bring others to know Jesus and journey alongside them to become a true disciple.
The hope is that Reach More will ultimately help our missionaries turn the disciples they are forming into disciple-makers themselves.
Reach More helps our missionaries to become better disciples themselves, and equips them with tools to help them improve their ability to make disciples. The hope is that Reach More will ultimately help our missionaries turn the disciples they are forming into disciple makers themselves. In this way, our missionaries’ efforts will multiply.
When the Lord called us to leave Costa Rica in July 2021, we assumed that He would be sending us to another country right away. Instead, He invited us to help FMC inaugurate the Reach More training. We are very happy we accepted the invitation! It has been a blessing to see our missionaries respond to this training and to see it bear fruit in our own lives. Going forward our own family will be more intentional with disciple-making.
In July we concluded our first two training courses. One was given here in person to missionaries serving at Big Woods. The second was given over video calls to our missionaries serving in different countries. Thanks be to God, both courses were well received and beneficial to our missionaries. As facilitators, we were especially blessed by the small communities of friendship that formed in each of these training sessions. Here are some of the fruits of the course:
– Even before completing the training, a missionary in the Philippines began utilizing aspects of Reach More to help her disciple three young adults who assist her mission.
– A missionary in Peru hopes to teach a Reach More training course to other FMC missionaries serving in her area as well as to some local Peruvian women.
– A missionary couple in Costa Rica recently began to facilitate a faith-sharing group in their parish. In leading this group they plan to implement what they learned through Reach More training.
– A missionary in Ecuador hopes to begin a small faith-sharing group for women in her community.
In July a group of new missionaries began formation (known as Intake) at Big Woods. They will be sent out to their posts in January. As part of their formation, they are receiving the Reach More training. And in August we began two more training groups. As before, one is in person and one is remote. Both are off to a good start. The hope is that all of our missionaries and all future Intakes will receive Reach More training.
Every person is called to answer Jesus’ Great Commission right where you are. We hope you join us!
If you would like to learn more about the Reach More process, visit ecreachmore.com.
The Geerlings were living in Indianapolis, Indiana, when they heard God’s call to serve as foreign missionaries. They were commissioned in 2015 and have served in Costa Rica with their three daughters.