Over the next two weeks, we’ll hear from Ian Kristofer, missionary and author of the book ‘Making disciples and leading others to make them’*
Ian’s story – from the US to Africa
In this episode, Ian shares his story of growing up in the US. He comes to faith in Jesus through his father’s bible study and then has two radical encounters with God as a teenager. After meeting his wife Carla during college in the late 90s, his call to missions was confirmed from these encounters. Fifteen years later, after giving up the passion to play baseball and reaching the heights of a worship song writing ministry, God opened the door for the family to move to Africa in 2015.
Starting off in central Mozambique working with the Shona people, God slowly started to show Ian what ministry would look like whilst Carla worked in the medical field. Ian highlights the inward shifts God needed to do to from hearing the voice of man to hearing the voice of God. The fruit of this was seen in Ian and Carla creating a school for hearing God’s voice.
After relocating to a village in the north of Mozambique, God started to show Ian disciple making movement principles in the Gospels and Acts. It was at this time that Ian met ‘Life’, a local Muslim boy who had a miraculous encounter, and a movement was birthed. God’s heart and call to the Muslim people was also ignited in Ian.
‘Many are called but few are chosen’ (Matt 22:14)
Ian unpacks his own experience and understanding of the call of God into missions. He shares more of his own encounter and invitation to follow Jesus. Reflecting on two passages from Jesus’ prayer in John 17, Ian describes how even though everyone is called not everyone chooses to be chosen.
“My prayer is not for [my disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” (John 17:20). Ian reflects that those who the disciples would reach after the resurrection would also be called and have the same option to ‘get out of the boat’.
“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do (John 17:4)”. He shares how this ‘work’ must be Jesus’ discipling of others over the past three years. So too are we invited to be ‘all in’ and invest ourselves in the discipling of others. We can be chosen.
The definite switch between called and chosen Ian depicts with a baseball metaphor. As an ex-baseball player, he and his teammates were all called to play baseball. But not everyone was going to bat a particular position in the lineup. This player was chosen by the coach with clear directions of how to play for the team from that position. Just like a player and coach, it is our choice to listen and obey Jesus. We choose to be chosen, making the core of who we are a place of intimacy and obedience to God.
Word of encouragement and prayer
Ian encourages and prays for those of us who are responding to being sent by God from Isaiah 6 and Luke 5:8-10. Just as Isaiah and Peter confessed how they were sinful men, Ian prays that we too would have the courage to speak the truth of who we think we are. As we do, God will then show us who we really are – those who become ‘fishers of men’.
*Click here to download Ian’s book as an audio book via apple books