I’ve often wondered why the biblical worldview teaching of Disciple Nations Alliance finds such a receptive audience in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia but a less receptive audience in Western nations like the United States, Canada, and Europe.
When the ministry started in 1997, with our first Vision Conference in Lima, Peru, not only did we find genuine receptivity but a real hunger for what we were sharing. Following Lima, requests for our training started coming in so rapidly that it took our breath away. Within two years, we conducted Vision Conferences in Kenya, Myanmar, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and many other nations in the Global South.
God was behind this. That was very evident, and it was the thrill of a lifetime. But what exactly was God doing?
In hindsight, I can see that God was using DNA to respond to a burning question that many Christians in the Global South were asking. That question went something like this: Why, in our nations where the church is multiplying rapidly and where a majority of people are attending Sunday worship services, do we suffer from so much poverty and corruption? Why are our nations so broken and underdeveloped?
In many of these nations, missionaries and evangelists had brought the Gospel a century ago. They planted churches and brought a message of personal, spiritual salvation. But too often, they neglected to disciple new converts in a comprehensive, biblical worldview that would replace the equally comprehensive indigenous worldviews that had shaped local cultures for millennia. These worldviews were ancient forms of animism, fatalism, and ancestor worship, overlaid with a mixture of beliefs from Islam, Buddhism, or even Western secularism. The Christian gospel of spiritual salvation was placed like a veneer over existing cultural thinking. As a result, Christians had hope for heaven, but they remained mired in false worldview beliefs that continued to perpetuate poverty and corruption.
Something was wrong, and they were looking for answers. I believe God raised up DNA, in large part, in response to this problem.
Last fall, I had the pleasure of participating in our DNA Global Forum near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I met a young computer engineer from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) named Aurelien, who shared his story with me over a meal. He shared how a burning question had nagged him since his youth. Why did his nation seem so poor and backward compared to nations like England, the United States, or South Korea? He felt convinced that what he was reading in the Bible was not what he was experiencing in church and society.
He grew frustrated at his inability to find answers. Some Christian acquaintances even discouraged him from asking such questions. Christianity, they argued, isn’t concerned with issues of culture or about forming prosperous, thriving nations. This fallen world is destined for destruction. Faithful Christians should be concerned with the hereafter–about rescuing people out of the world and not trying to transform it. Our mission is to save souls for heaven and plant churches. Anything that goes beyond this is a distraction.
In his search for truth, he participated in more than 30 training courses. Finally, he found DNA’s free online Kingdomizer Training Program and his life was changed.
Through the training, he discovered that his beloved nation’s poverty and brokenness didn’t mean it was somehow inferior. He learned that the prosperity of the West was a byproduct of centuries of discipleship in a biblical worldview. Indeed, salvation through faith in Jesus is the central truth of the biblical worldview, but it isn’t the only one. He discovered many others as well. Truths that, when lived out faithfully, have the power to shape a culture and a civilization. Truths like God created all people in His image with inherent dignity and worth. That men are not superior to women. That work is part of our human dignity and a blessing, not a curse. That the source of wealth is the “ultimate resource,” the human mind and human creativity. That Jesus Christ is so powerful that they need not fear witches and the spirits of deceased ancestors. Sadly, the efforts of the early missionaries neglected discipleship in these foundational biblical principles. They measured “success” by the number of conversions and churches planted, not in cultures transformed by the faithful, lived-out application of biblical truth. As a result, churches and nations are languishing. We must help our fellow believers understand the biblical worldview and its power for transforming people and societies.
The DNA training gave Aurelien hope. Christians in Côte d’Ivoire had all they needed to begin to heal their broken nation. They didn’t need to wait for help from wealthy outside benefactors. They already had new life through faith in Jesus Christ. They had the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, and now, they had the neglected part–powerful, biblical principles that counter the cultural lies that underpin poverty and brokenness. National healing will be a byproduct as believers faithfully apply these foundational biblical principles in their families, communities, and vocations.
Aurelien has now led more than 100 church leaders and lay people through the course in his denomination. As a result, hundreds of churches are impacting change in their communities, and even more local believers are now completing the training.
His story moved me to tears. This was someone I had never met, whom God had led to our free online training. The impact it had on his life, family, and church, as well as his entire denomination, is profound. I thought: God is using this young man to disciple his entire nation in faithfulness to Jesus’ Great Commission.
Thanks to your support for this vital ministry, DNA reaches hundreds of Christian leaders like Aurelien, who share the training with hundreds more, bringing transformation in communities and nations.
Worldview Questions Create Opportunities
I thought of Aurelien’s story this week when I read the moving account of how Ayaan Hirsi Ali recently confessed to believing in the Christian faith.
Ali is a fascinating public figure. She was born in Somalia but fled the wars in her homeland as a child to neighboring Kenya and was raised in the refugee camps. As a teenager, she was radicalized in her Muslim faith through the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Later, she resettled in Holland and eventually became a prominent political figure as a member of parliament.
The events of 9-11 profoundly shook her Muslim faith, which she abandoned, turning instead to secular atheism. She became friends and fellow travelers with well-known “new atheist” luminaries such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.
However, in recent years, she began to realize that secular atheism isn’t sufficient to sustain the civilizational values she believed in so sincerely–values like the dignity and worth of each individual, freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry and debate, and the rule of law and due process in the justice system.
This realization led to her asking a profound and life-altering question. A question not unlike the question raised by Aurelien in Côte d’Ivoire. Where did these values come from? From what religious root did they spring? The answer she discovered was Christianity. Further, she realized that because Christianity is more than a message of salvation, but indeed a comprehensive worldview, it is strong enough to counter today’s serious worldview threats to Western Civilization from a resurgent and assertive Chinese Communist Party, a resurgent fundamentalist Islamic movement, and the neo-Marxist “woke” worldview that has embedded itself in the heart of our Western institutions.
Atheism or secularized, democratic “liberalism” is too weak to counter these “strong” worldviews, but Christianity is not.
Two profound life-altering questions asked by two Africans in two different parts of the world:
Why is our nation so poor and broken, even though so many of us confess faith in Jesus and attend church?
What belief system gave rise to Western Civilization and the values we cherish, and how can these values and this civilization be preserved in the face of the enormous threats it faces?
The answer at the heart of both questions is the same. The answer is the biblical worldview, faithfully lived out in every part of life and grounded in a deeply personal faith in our risen and living Savior, Jesus Christ.
When people ask these kinds of questions, DNA training is a true revelation. It provides a life-changing “a-ha!” More and more people are asking these profound questions and searching for answers. We want to be ready to help them see the deep power and beauty of the biblical worldview, the power to both transform and sustain cultures and civilizations.
Thank you for your commitment to bring glory to God in every area of your life! Our ministry is incredibly thankful to have you as part of the DNA family! We feel God leading us to complete important projects in 2024 and rely on the support of ministry partners like you.
If you have the opportunity to make a year-end gift, please take time to submit that gift today! We would be grateful for your support!
A gift of any amount is appreciated and helps us further our reach to people of all ages in new and hard to reach places with important teaching about God’s purposes for believers to bring transformation to every sector of society.
Scott D. Allen, President
An Ongoing Legacy--Include DNA in Your Estate Planning
God will continue to use DNA’s mission to impact new generations. With support from DNA, believers will understand the comprehensive nature of a biblical worldview and build societies and nations that are strong and flourishing.
As you complete your will and estate planning, we hope you will consider including Disciple Nations Alliance. It has been a privilege to partner with so many believers in our ministry over the years and we look forward to decades of impact to come.
If you, or your attorney, would like to discuss this further, don’t hesitate to contact Tim Williams (602-345-1028, email@example.com)