I had the privilege of training over 150 pastors and leaders in the country of Thailand in disciple making last week, and it was an incredible experience. Many of these leaders were from surrounding countries that are hostile toward Christianity. It was amazing how hungry these leaders were to hear about Jesus-style disciple making. As I reflect back on my week in Thailand, here are a few observations I have made.
First, many do not know! In the American Church, “discipleship” has become a very popular word. It is relevant and trendy to talk about disciple making in the American Church today. However, in some places, discipleship is still a foreign concept. During my time in Thailand, I was reminded of how many people still do not truly grasp the biblical concept of Jesus’ style of disciple making. I have a hunch that even in America, that is true. Many people talk about disciple making, but very few actually know how to do it.
Second, many are hungry to know more! There is something extremely powerful about 150 leaders sitting expectantly for an entire day learning more about disciple making. Unlike some places, pastors in Southeast Asia are willing to travel great distances, stay in crude accommodations, and listen for hours to learn more about what Jesus did two thousand years ago. Not one of those 150 pastors and leaders in this training came late, left early, or stayed on their cell phones all day. These men and women had an immense thirst for knowledge. I wish that we all could experience that same desire.
Third, many are willing to obey! Sometimes we like to debate instead of obeying. We like to argue about philosophies and styles as well as theology. The pastors and leaders I met in Thailand are more interesting in “doing” than debating. They are simply willing to obey what God says. Rather than picking disciple making apart, they are anxious to get started doing it. Following my training, I listened to pastor after pastor share their intentions to go back home and make disciples. No one had to pray about it. No one had to get approval. No one had to work it into their schedules. They just planned to start.
I was honored and humbled by my time training these ministers and leaders. I was also very convicted by their commitment and resolve to learn more about how to impact the world for Christ. May God bless their efforts and willingness to make His last command their first priority.
Impact Discipleship Ministries is committed to championing disciple making to the nations. If you would like to partner with us on a monthly basis or with an annual donation, your contribution could make a difference in the ministries of the pastors in Thailand and other pastors our ministry partners with around the world.
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