West Africa


One thing travel does to me is remind me of the magnitude of the task of discipling the nations. Nigeria is country of 170 million people. Half of them are muslim. One in five Africans on the planet is a Nigerian.

Africa is an immense continent. If we begin with the end in mind we just don’t have the people, the money or the time to reach Africa with the methods of the past. Whatever methods we use must be low cost, simple, reproducing, and indigenous. Africans — dependent on the Word and the Spirit — must reach Africa.

The good news is that we already have some impressive disciple making movements in Africa. I’ve just finished reading Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus by Jerry Trousdale, an account of movements of muslim background believers in West Africa.

When someone labels these movements in Africa as “half a mile wide and half an inch deep” I like to ask them whether they are really describing the modern-postmodern church in the affluent West.

These movements take discipleship seriously. They don’t disciples converts, they disciple to conversion. Discipleship leads to conversion and continues beyond it. Simple groups gathered around the Word, learning to obey Jesus.

The case studies are African, but the principles are universal. The same radical dependency on the Word and the Spirit is yielding fruit all around the world.