My name is Herb Hodges. I have been a believer in Christ and attempting to faithfully follow Him (though erratically) for 59 years now. I have been in the Christian ministry by call and commitment for 58 of those years. I am the writer and producer of all of the materials on this website. So I would like to state my preference concerning the way these materials might be used. I am aware that there is plenty of teaching and preaching material here. I have personally taught and/or preached many of the studies/messages provided on this site, so I know they can be productively used in that manner. However, since the Holy Spirit began to open my eyes to the dominant Biblical concept of disciple-making, I have never taught anything without an eye on the disciple-making process. I have used almost every session printed on this site in teaching/training disciples, and the results have been beyond my highest, fondest, wildest dreams. God has been incredibly good to me, in spite of every roadblock that my flesh throws in His path. I have searched His Word and sifted my heart by it for years, seeking always to adjust to His Truth instead of my tastes. Indeed, I have sought to bring my tastes into alignment with His Truth.
This is my preference with regard to the use of these materials—that you, the reader and user, might find and implement God’s Strategy for “building World-visionary, World-impacting disciples of Jesus Christ who will reproduce others of the same kind, and thus will multiply to the ends of the earth until the end of time.” I ask you to look up the study on this site that explores and explains that Mission Statement. It will help you to see the reasons for my preference for the use of the materials here. Once you begin to see and realize what Biblical disciple-making is, and how very important it is in God’s heart by looking at Jesus and listening to Him in the Gospels, and exploring the implications of His Command in the Great Commission, you will see why everything I do is bent toward the following of His Model as seen in the Gospels and the fulfilling of His Mandate as commanded in the Great Commission. I have slowly but surely developed (before God) my mind, my heart, my life, around the concept of disciple-making and have sought to follow the course He has given, based on His Word, for over forty years now.
The studies presented on this website fall into three categories: (1) The Strategy of World-impacting Disciple-making; (2) Devotional and Supportive Studies—that is, studies that support the Strategy; and (3) Curriculum Studies—the texts, topics and themes that you teach “the man God gives you” (Jesus’ description in John seventeen) as His disciple and your responsibility. The text that identifies this website gives you the reason for my preference. Look up and read the session(s) that deal with the Great Commission. There you have it! So I would prefer that these studies not be primarily used for mere classroom teaching and preaching or pulpit pronouncement (a style Jesus did not follow), but rather for “on-the-job, on-the-move, mobile teaching and training of disciples” (the style Jesus did follow). My preference is that these sessions be taught in homes, in restaurants, in vehicles, in “retreat” settings—that is, “where the water hits the wheel and the rubber hits the road” in real life. Many of these sessions were first “caught” by disciples in the close quarters of automobile, or airplane, or bus, or other vehicle travel, as well as in booths or tables of restaurants, in the living rooms or dens of homes, in “side sections” of gymnasiums, etc. Thus, from the beginning, they do not address the psyche of the recipient as “religious” ideas. They are Christian, which must be distinguished from mere “religion” or “religious studies”.
If pastors read these words (I, too, was a pastor for many years, and had a ministry that was regarded as “successful” in the eyes of people), I would say that if you preach these studies, that is fine, but dare to develop a practical strategy by which you ALSO may greatly maximize them by strategically building them into disciples who will thus become disciple-makers, using these studies repetitively for the remainder of their lives. The very process of disciple-making is definitively declared to “enable those taught to teach OTHERS also” (II Timothy 2:2). This does not typically happen “in church”, so this strategy goes far beyond the functions of “church”.
Many of the men I have been privileged to disciple have tried to estimate how many disciples have been generated over the years. Many have researched the many trips I have made to overseas countries where I have been blessed to teach tens of thousands of overseas pastors and leaders, and the numbers are astronomical. We have had annual disciple-making retreats for many years now, beginning years ago in Texas, then moving to Alabama, then moving the multiple retreats annually over the country. At these retreats, the teaching staff has largely been comprised of “laymen”, and the results have been staggering. The statistical disciples have tried to add the numbers of men impacted in a revolutionary way at the annual retreats. And numerous overseas ministries of teams of these men have burgeoned into the building of thousands of disciples and disciple-makers there, also. These facts are easily verifiable by the ministries and testimonies of an army of reproducing disciples. Though such statements are likely to invite the charge of people not “in the know” that we are exaggerating, the truth is that we are being very conservative.
BY THE GRACE OF GOD ALONE, we have been remarkably privileged to see His Endorsement on His Strategy! Without question, these disciples/disciple-makers are at the top of the list as being the most motivated, dominated, strategic, “LORDSHIP CHRISTIANS”, that I have ever met. While being in the ministry for 58 years, the ministry of one-on-one, one-on-small-group, disciple-making has been the most gratifying and by far the most productive ministry I have ever been involved in. My preference, then, is that these materials be used to generate that same kind of disciples/disciple-makers, and that Total World Impact will be the result—for the glory of God and the good of many, many, many people all over the world. “Now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). And may all of this be used to powerfully impact “OTHERS also” (II Timothy 2:2). And may the nations of the world continue to receive the mighty impact of an Army of believers who will “turn people into disciples in all nations” (Matthew 28:19). And may God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit receive maximum glory! This is my preference.