This article is adapted from a message by Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, and was delivered at a Back to the Bible conference two years before his death in 1956, conveying his firm belief that God calls Christians to reproduce spiritually. Trotman, who helped develop follow-up discipleship materials for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, died at age 50 while rescuing a young woman who could not swim, following a boating accident.
When all things are right between you and the Lord, regardless of how much or how little you may know intellectually from the standpoint of the world, you can be a spiritual parent. And that, incidentally, may even be when you are young in the Lord.
A young lady [named Patricia] works at the telephone desk in our office in Colorado Springs. A year and a half ago, she was associated with the Young Communist League in Great Britain. She heard Billy Graham and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. Soon, she and a couple of other girls in her art and drama school were used of the Lord to win some girls to Christ.
We taught [Patricia] and some of the others, and they in turn taught the girls whom they led to Christ. Some of these have led still other girls to Christ, and they, too, are training their friends. Patricia is a [spiritual] great-grandmother already, though she is only about a year and four months old in the Lord.
How was this done? God used the pure channel of these young Christians’ lives in their exuberance and first love for Christ, and out of their hearts the incorruptible seed of the Word of God was sown in the hearts of other people. It took hold. Faith came by the hearing of the Word. They were born again by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They observed those Christians who led them to Christ and shared in the joy, the peace and the thrill of it all. And in their joy, they wanted someone else to know.
Soulwinners are not soulwinners because of what they know, but because of the Person they know, how well they know Him and how much they long for others to know Him.
“Oh, but I am afraid,” someone says. Remember: “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
Nothing under Heaven except sin, immaturity and lack of communion will put you in a position where you cannot reproduce. Furthermore, there is not anything under Heaven that can keep a newly born-again one from going on with the Lord if he has a spiritual parent to take care of him and give him the spiritual food God has provided for his normal growth.
Effects obey their causes by irresistible laws. When you sow the seed of God’s Word, you will get results. Not every heart will receive the Word but some will and the new birth will take place. When a soul is born, give it the care that Paul gave new believers. Paul believed in follow-up work. He was a busy evangelist, but he took time for follow-up. The New Testament is largely made up of the letters of Paul, which were follow-up letters to the converts.
You will find that God will direct you to those whom you can lead to Christ. Where is your man? Where is your woman? Where is your boy? Where is your girl? There are many hearts ready for the Gospel now.
Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, helped develop follow-up discipleship materials for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He died while rescuing a young woman who could not swim, following a boating accident in 1956.
Taken by permission from “Born to Reproduce” by Dawson Trotman,©2008 NavPress Publishing. Scripture taken from the King James Version.