Investing in Fourth-Soil People
“And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:8)
According to the Parable of the Sower, a Fourth-Soil Person includes the following: believes the gospel, perseveres and reproduces even when passing through a time of testing, and reproduces regardless of the threat and distractions of worry, riches, and pleasures of life.
Jesus provides additional information by describing the Fourth-Soil Person as a generous or hospitable person who multiplies (i.e., sees people come to know Jesus and makes new disciples) at a pace of thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or a hundredfold.
Becky has been investing in a young lady named Talia,* who she discipled and mobilized for ministry with international students in Wisconsin Dells. Talia is currently on a semester abroad in Hungary. She recently reached out asking for guidance. She believed the Lord was wanting her to start a faith community on campus because all of her classmates are from different places in the world, and do not speak Hungarian. However, they all do speak English and are very open to having spiritual discussions.
Becky helped connect her to another CM staff who was visiting family in Hungary at the time, and sent her some resources and tools to get her started in setting up a seeker-friendly discussion group. Talia invited her new international friends, and 16 students showed up to her small apartment eager to discuss religion and questions that night. None of them were Christian. They came from many different countries and backgrounds, including: Iran, Algeria, Morocco, China, and Pakistan.
After eating dinner together, they had a time to share their stories and beliefs (most identified as atheist or agnostic). A Chinese student then turned to Talia and asked, “So, what do you believe?” Talia went on to share her testimony and the gospel. The students were thankful to hear her story… for many, oppressive religion had pushed them away from God. The students from China expressed knowing very little about Jesus and Christianity, but wanted to learn more!
Talia plans to open her home each week to keep the discussions of faith going. She’s also already making plans to start a second group if the number of participants outgrows her little apartment!
How the gospel spread in the Book of Acts
Virgil met Amad* on the 17th floor of a building overlooking Battery Park during a snow storm in Manhattan, New York in 2018. Church Movements had just started and 25 people had been invited from around the USA to attend an introductory training. Amad was invited because of his work in starting churches in the USA in Ethiopian immigrant communities.
Amad had already been starting churches, but the training helped him start to multiply groups/churches around the USA.
And then, on a trip to Canada in 2020 – as the pandemic started – Amad become stuck in Winnipeg because of his visa status. But, that did not stop him. He quickly found a fulltime job, part time job and started conducting Zoom trainings, not only in the US and Canada, but around the world.
Recently, Virgil and Amad met at an Ethiopian restaurant in Winnipeg. Amad was surprised that Virgil had come all the way for a 2 ½ conversation. Virgil told him, “You are a 4th Soil person, I am 74 years old and need to be careful where I invest my time, and that is why I made the trip. I want to encourage you.”