Dawson Trotman in His Own Words

Dawson Trotman in his Own Words

By: NavPress Contributers (Albert, Fletcher, Hankins)

ISBN: 978-1617479212
READ: March 2017
RATING:  7/10

Summary: I enjoyed this book, but would have enjoyed it more if it weren’t misnamed. The vast majority of the book (90+%) isn’t Dawson’s words, but devotionals that are born out of his words. That’s only a problem because I was expecting most of it to be Dawson’s words. The book is organized around the concepts of the Wheel. A highlight for me was the items in the appendix. This lesser known sermons and articles were great. Overall, I thought it was worth the read because the passion of Dawson came through. His laser sharp focus on making disciples and getting down to business for Christ was challenging and encouraging.


Dawson is often called ‘the father of the modern discipleship movement. “In just twenty-five years of public ministry, Trotman left a legacy that is only now, more than a half-century after his death, being understood and appreciated.” pg. 17

Dawson’s father, Charles had been baptized in the Anglican church as an infant, but was a confirmed atheist as an adult. pg. 18

Dawson’s mother, Mildred, was a follower of Aimee Semple McPherson-a charismatic leader of the Four Square Pentecostal denomination. She and Charles divorced when Daws was in high school. pg. 18

Dawson briefly served as pastor for a church he helped form in Redondo Beach. pg. 20

Dawson was a firm believer in the person and work of the Holy Spirit in bringing illumination to people who diligently applied themselves to the study of God’s Word. pg. 23

Dawson had frustration with leaders of local churches who he thought were more interested in maintaining their jobs than in maturing their flocks. pg. 23

Dawson expected his men to be at church somewhere every Sunday, but he never expected them to act like there were actually members of any local church. pg. 24 (unclear what that really means).

Daws personally and significantly assisted with and developed Billy Graham Association, Wycliffe, Fuller Theological, Young Life, Youth for Christ, Campus Crusade, Intervarsity, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Overseas Missionary Fellowship, Africa Inland Mission, Evangelical Foreign Mission Association, Operation Mobilization, and Overseas Crusades. pg. 28

Dawson’s associates noted he could be demanding, over-bearing, insensitive, driven, aggressive, and lacking in patience. pg. 31

From a journal entry the following are evident: 1. The more the Word of God is poured into a person, the more it flows out of the person. 2. When the Word of God dwells richly in someone over a long period of time, the natural result is a life that is centered around Christ, that sees itself rightly related to Christ, and that seeks ultimately to glorify Christ. pg. 37

“It is my desire to be used of HIM to train men to live for HIM, and who will work out with a willingness to lay down their lives for HIM. I know He will grant this desire of my heart. He is partially granting it now.” pg. 39 from Daws journal.

“Daws built his ministry around making sure the sheep got fed, knew how to feed themselves, and knew how to teach others to do likewise.” pg. 43.

“…too much of their time, energy, and resources on building great churches rather than on building great Christians.” pg. 52

“…the purpose of The Navigators was to be used of God ‘to raise up living stones—monuments to His grace—yielded young men and women whose eyes [were] singled to His glory. Numbers were always a secondary concern.” pg. 53

“He wanted new Christians to begin reading the Bible, to memorize Scripture, and to apply it to their lives.” pg. 59

“Trotman challenged the men to consider the exaltation of the name of Jesus Christ the most important task.” pg. 62

“Daws understaood that it takes time and effort, toil and struggle, to bring baby Christians to maturity. Simply stated, making mature disciples is hard work. Children in Christ must know that they need to be taught, and teachers in Christ must know what they need to teach.” pg. 87

“Trotman believed that one of the main tools of the Enemy is to point out our insecurity within ourselves.” pg. 94

With over 1300 entries prayer was, “the most common topic Daws mentions is prayer. He recorded times spent in prayer, he agonized over specific items of prayer and he rejoiced in answers to prayers.” pg. 121

“The latest reliable surveys indicate that the average Christian spends about five minutes each day in prayer.” pg.124

“Christians where are your spiritual children? Are you seeing to their nurture and growth, their care and development, or have you abandoned them for others to raise or to perish alone?” pg. 158

“God has always done His greatest work through a man. The Lord will use us if we are willing.” Daws. 167

“The magazine Christ’s Ambassadors called The Navigators, ‘that wide-awake generation of Christian servicemen who are always busy with their Bibles.’” pg. 167-168

“If the Gospel is the greatest thing in the world, then it is worthy of the greatest investment.” pg. 168

“…we focus too much of our attention on the word ‘go’ and too little on the words ‘make disciples’ and ‘teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” pg. 171

“Church history today is not what GOD did through a denomination. It is the result, in most cases, of what He did thru the man Luther, the man Calvin, the man Wesley, the man Moody. Modern missions are not the result of mass movements, but of what HE could do thru men such as Livingston, Morrison, Carey, Taylor, Mary Slessor, and Judson…Is GOD going to change HIS plan in reaching the World today? Will it be the radio, the printing press, the airplane which will do the job? These will all play their part, but the need of the hour is for men--and not just one man.” Dawson Trotman in Faithful Men pg. 177

“The main need is not further training, but further doing of the Gospel.” pg. 179

“Follow-up” is, in effect, spiritual pediatrics. –Daws in Power to Recreate. pg. 186

Follow-up is primarily a spiritual process whereby we learn to love God with heart, mind, soul, and strength. pg. 187

“Herein lies the tragedy. We lead a soul to Christ, and because that soul is not followed up and taught, his potential is lost. He is sterile. And all the seed that might have come to him is lost. “ Trotman in “Discipleship Park Street Spire.” pg. 188

“All over the world, men and women are reaching their neighbors for Christ. They are not Super-Christians, but simply those who have believed the Gospel, learned how to feed themselves on the Word of God and been encouraged to pass it on to someone else. Some of us have gotten no further than ‘Jerusalem’ with our witness (Acts 1:8). Some have not even witnessed at home. May God help us feed our own soul daily with the Word, live it before others as we speak it with the authority of God’s messengers…and then train our ‘babes’ in Christ to follow Him!” –Trotman Navlog #76 April 1959 pg. 191

“The first words of commandment in the Bible are, “Be fruitful and multiply”. –Trotman Park Street Spire v.2 no3. June 1956 (pg. 205)

“Every true believer born into the family of God has the potential of being a reproducer.” pg. 205

“We are constantly looking for new methods and materials. If the printing press, the radio, television, and all the things we think we need today had been essential to the evangelization of their generation, Jesus Christ would have given those things to the disciples, right?” Trotman Park Street Spire v.2 no3. June 1956 (pg. 206)

“Follow-up simply means stick with a convert until he is a disciple.” Trotman Park Street Spire v.2 no3. June 1956 (pg. 207)

“Primarily The Navigators is a service-organization.” Trotman Park Street Spire v.2 no3. June 1956 (pg. 207)

“It [the job] is so possible in any age to look at the difficulties and measure the possibilities by the difficulties. How much of our whole lives are conditioned by that which we expect because of that which we have seen. When we hear a missionary stand-up and radiantly tell what marvelous things God is doing in his field, our hearts are warmed. And we think, ‘I wonder if God could do that for me in my work?’” Trotman Park Street Spire v.2 no3. June 1956 (pg. 210)

“The problem is how do we expect God to do in a large way what we haven’t even seen Him do in a small way. This is our problem.” Trotman Park Street Spire v.2 no3. June 1956 (pg. 211)

“So expect to start little. Little faithfulness—little fruit. More faithfulness—more fruit. Much faithfulness, much pruning—much fruit. Fruit, more fruit, much fruit. That’s the order. That’s what He wants. That’s what He says He wants.” Trotman Park Street Spire v.2 no3. June 1956 (pg. 211)

“The work of follow-up is done by someone, not something.” pg. 227, from Follow-Up Conserving the Fruits of Evangelism.