While in Kerema, Papua New Guinea, recently, I had my photo taken with two Calvyns. It is not unusual that I have my photo taken. But my middle name is also Calvyn. So there were three people named Calvyn in the picture. The two men were a little younger than me and we all work for the Church.
One was the secretary treasurer of the South West Papua Mission and the other was the education director for the Mission. But there was another link—we were all named after my father. My dad’s name is Calvyn and it is a bit of a family tradition that the eldest son gets the first name of their father as their middle name. However what about the others?
Back in the 1970s my dad mentored, trained and developed both of these men’s fathers. They would travel together, pray and study together, teach and train pastors and church members together. In the process they all became disciple-making disciples. Because of the discipling relationship Dad had with these two men, they named their sons after him.
My grandfather once told me he named my dad Calvyn in honour of the great Swiss Reformer John Calvin. Calvin, like all reformers, had a strong personality and was known for his deep intellect and theological insights and for creating Christian community.
All of us need a Calvyn in our lives. Each of us needs to be a Calvyn to others. Strong, community-minded, searching and seeking God, supporting and developing others on the journey as a Christian. This is how disciple-making works and how a disciple-making movement begins and grows.