Sam Newman Testimony
During the fall of 2014, I then began to pray for a group of 10 or less Christians in my church who had servant hearts and were teachable and open to learning how to disciple someone one-on-one to the point where their Timothys would go out and do the same. I personally shared with each of them what God was doing in my life and invited them to join me once a week as a group. We started in February of 2015 and after the first four sessions I led them to either match up in the group or better yet go ahead and engage with a “Timothy” in their life in a Paul and Timothy type relationship.
The Holy Spirit began to move. In two and a half years since then we have had 13 DiscipleMaker groups of 10 or less people and 81 people equipped to be DiscipleMakers. Honestly we have lost track of how many lives have been impacted but I know that well over 200 people have engaged in a Paul and Timothy life to life relationship. My personal mission statement has also been changed from “Love God, Love People, Make Disciples” to “Love God, Love People, Make Disciples that make Disciples.” That’s a big difference! I am actually staying with the guys I work with up to a year or more to the point that they go out and do the same instead of just passing them off to a Sunday School class alone. It’s encouraging that now after 33 years in ministry God is still stretching me and teaching me.
Honestly I am more fulfilled now than ever before in ministry. This year I had the privilege of leading at the KBC Super Saturdays in a discussion of Craig Etheredge’s book, Bold Moves, which discusses his journey in DiscipleMaking. Like Craig, I have made some Bold Moves in my own ministry away from programs to process, from religious activity to relational investment, and from addition to multiplication. I have adjusted my ministry schedule to allow myself to currently disciple and do life with 8 guys one-on-one throughout my week while I continue to lead a group of 10 or less in a DiscipleMaking group each semester. I have also started leading DiscipleMaking groups at our Association and am starting to see the second generation of disciples being equipped to start the third.
I am now a spiritual Grandpa several times over! It’s exiting ya’ll! Ministry is messy because people are a mess but I simply cannot wait to get up each day and engage with those God has placed in my journey. I pray that you will also seek to “Follow Jesus” and go and do the same.
Sam Newman serves as Minister of Education & Discipleship at First Baptist Church, Richmond, Kentucky.