Discipling the Nations – Strategic Foundations

DtN’s strategy has five foundational factors: our vision and mission statements which then set the direction for our ethics, ethos, and values. These five components underpin our strategic objectives and their delivery.


Discipling the Nations exists to support churches and communities as they seek to develop accredited Bible Schools. The overall vision is for every Church in the UK and to the very ends of the earth.


To respond to Jesus’ words by applying them to the practical and emotional needs of those in the local church and community, whatever their background or beliefs, by providing care, help and support. These take place within the context of building loving relationships and doing loving actions (Mt. 22:36-40), thus seeking to break down barriers and prejudice.

Mt. 28: 18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

To achieve our vision and mission, we integrate our ethics (foundational document and body of belief) with our ethos (distinctive spirit and attitude) and our values (communal and intentional behaviours). This holistic approach sets the direction towards fulfilling our vision and mission.

3.      ETHICS

Ethics are the moral principles on which our concepts of belief and behaviour are based. The foundational document for our ethics is the Bible. Thus, our ethics shape our ethos and our values which are derived from and grounded in our love of God and His word given in the Bible.

4.      ETHOS

This is the culture we seek to foster in which DtN’s distinctive spirit and attitude operates.  Our ethos is shaped by four components: spiritual awareness, physical wellbeing, intellectual and emotional maturity, and social relationality. These guide our decision-making, fill our actions, and are a help when measuring DtN’s effectiveness:


    • Being Human means more than our bodies. It means an understanding that there is more to life than flesh and blood. DtN’s love for God and people remains at the core of all we do, with the Bible as the basis of our reflection and action.
    • That our partner churches and resultant students can grow in spiritual awareness during their time with us, irrespective of their perspective on God.


    • That we enable our partner churches, and our students achieve their full potential, helping them overcome any obstacles that might hinder this.
    • That our partner churches and students are equipped with tools that will make them effective.
    • That our partner churches and students learn people skills that will help them in all of life’s daily challenges.
    • That DtN will seek to enable stable wellbeing for all.
    • That we continue to develop to meet current needs, and support life-long growth and development for all individuals.


    • That our partner churches and students are equipped with frameworks and tools that will help them to grow and develop cognitively and affectively.
    • That our partner churches and students develop increased levels of emotional and intellectual maturity.
    • That all at DtN will encourage a balance between intellectual and cognitive development, and help each person achieve their full potential.
    • That all involved with DtN will be aided in their intellectual and emotional development.


    • That we at DtN continue to develop as a learning community.
    • That our partner churches and students at DtN reach their full potential in their social relationships, understanding the profound impact that social disability and weakness can cause.
    • That we develop active partnerships, engaging with other organisations and individuals, working with churches, employers, ministries, and other training providers.

5.      VALUES

These are the four qualities and ideals which DtN as a ‘living dispersed community’ cherishes and encourages all its’ members to exhibit in their life together. The values are not free-floating, individualistic, or rootless but aspirational, intentional, and communal. They are grounded and integrated within our ethics and ethos. By living out these values, our ethos and ethics are enhanced. The values are at the heart of DtN’s vision and mission. Many disciples in churches require teaching applied to their context, support, equipping and wholeness, and these values reflect this TRUTH (John 14:6) imagery.

5:1       Trust in God – a knowledge that you are not alone in this world. You are not an orphan* but have a wealth of resources behind you. This fosters an ability to remain steady under pressure and to know that it is possible to recover well after experiencing a setback, leading to a renewed sense of confidence and trust. It means accepting and engaging with challenges, changes and opposition and learning to thrive in them. It is marked by reliability, durability, and trustworthiness to stand firm in the challenges of life. It is hallmarked by an enduring Hope.
*John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans…
2 Cor 4:8,9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

5:1       Respect – treating others as we would wish to be treated is not only a legal obligation in the UK, but a Christian virtue born out of the words of Jesus, known universally as The Golden Rule*. It builds effective communities by offering dignity, accepting diversity, encouraging inclusiveness, and ensuring fairness.
*Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD”.

5:2       Understanding of God and His Word – in a world desperately lacking an understanding of God and His Word, at the heart of an enriched life is the ability to God’s truth to even in the smallest thing. However, the wisdom of grasp the impact of Knowing God and His Word  requires humility, hard work and perseverance and is demonstrated in compassion and care to ourselves and to others. All of this is rooted in an irrepressible joy*.
* Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always.
Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the Lord is our strength.

5:4       Togetherness* – which is shown through honesty and truthfulness in attitude and action to all those around us. It requires a commitment and loyalty to GDF as a ‘living dispersed community’. This is demonstrated by an inclusive and open approach to the churches and organisations we work with, to the nation to which we belong, and to humanity worldwide. This value promotes cohesion, teamwork, leadership, and followership. While this promotes a steely determination not to let oneself or others down, it must be tempered with a gentle and kind spirit of love and compassion.*
Matthew 9:36 ‘When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them…’
Acts 4:32-34 ‘All the believers were in one heart and mind. There were no needy persons among them.’

5:5       Holistic Growth* – is a prerequisite when considering applied theological understanding. Quality education and training balances out truth with love; affective and emotive; care and challenge. Balancing out knowledge and action with wisdom is vital and essential for anyone who wants to mature as a disciple.
*Matthew 13 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Deut. 6:4-7 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.


Our strategic principles emerge from and are grounded in the vision, mission, ethics, ethos, and values described above. In line with the mission statement, they are categorized as “reaching out to those in difficulty” and “ensuring a secure base from which to support those in need”.

  1.   Reaching out to Churches and Communities in the UK

        1.1       Reaching out

          • To widen access and participation in the vision of DtN.
          • To maintain outreach to new partners at a level that makes proper use of funds.

        1.2       Geographical reach

          • To make DtN accessible to anyone living in the UK.
          • To widen the geographical reach of DtN through establishing new partnerships
          • To encourage DtN partnerships beyond the UK.

        1.3       National and international profile

          • To forge productive partnerships with like-minded organisations, that will make DtN more widely known in the UK and beyond, not restricted by its physical locations.

        1.4       Spheres of Influence

          • To influence Society, local communities in the UK, and the wider Christian community.
          • To serve and support the local communities and churches in the UK in appropriate ways.
          • To resource and inspire Community and Christian leaders.
          • To engage with other training organisations.

        1.5       Range of provision

          • To seek to meet the needs identified by the DtN Trustees.
          • To widen the portfolio of meeting the training needs of churches and communities as appropriate.
  1. Ensuring a secure base from which to support those in need.

        2.1      Seeking Truth

          • To review continuously all aspects of DtN, in order to constantly improve quality and all aspects of delivery and maintain national standards.
          • To model that God’s TRUTH is a vital component for all that DtN stands for.
          • To demonstrate quality reflection by addressing contemporary cultural, pastoral, and theological issues in the field of training and development.
          • To ensure that all stakeholders in DtN are engaged in the monitoring and review process. 
          • To recruit staff and volunteers of the highest calibre.

        2.2       Governance

          • To ensure the ongoing re-affirmation of the values and beliefs at the core of DtN.
          • To give clear and effective leadership to DtN at Board of Trustees and management level, ensuring that vision, mission, values and relevant strategic goals are understood and pursued.
          • To ensure that robust systems and structures exist, within which the Board and the DtN management can operate effectively and with appropriate accountability.
          • To ensure that the beneficiaries voice is heard and taken account of at all levels of DtN.
          • To plan ahead for operational continuity and leadership development.

        2.3       Financial stability and resourcing

          • To continue the development of a healthy financial culture, enabling confident medium, and long-term planning.
          • To develop income streams, reducing dependency on any specified source and so enabling secure strategic planning and development.
          • To take the costs and risks associated with DtN arrangements for growth and development.
          • To make best use of DtN resources, partnerships, and other assets both physical and intellectual.
CB and TrusteesDecember 2021Version 1.1