Between 2003 and 2008, Burkinabé leaders from Assemblée Evangélique de Pentecôte and Mouvement des Jeunes Serviteurs de Dieu regularly invited John to present a “mobile academy of mission” to conferences of pastoral and missionary workers, trainees, students and other active and aspiring leaders and learners, in Léo and Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
The Missionary Academy teaching was well received and discussions took place about creating a printed resource that could be readily translated for use by leaders and learners alike.
Between 2009 and 2013, doctoral research guided the collection and analysis of data from over seventy Burkinabé participants, amongst five different Christian groups, including Assemblée Evangélique de Pentecôte and Mouvement des Jeunes Serviteurs de Dieu.
The doctoral research explored contextual concerns relating to scripturally-based discipleship and theological training and the critical distinctions between these two practices. Data analysis lead to defining characteristics of a contextually-appropriate, scripturally-based learning resource. This analysis directly informed the formulation and publication of Maize Plant Discipleship.