Christians: Assorted Flavors

What can they do to help? As new believers come to Christ, what should we expect out of them? What can they do right away? How important is it that we set a precedent of action at the foundation of our work? How dangerous are the feelings of inadequacy and futility that new Christians experience? These are really important questions to me right now, as we have a small group of people who are willing to work but are far from battle-ready.

L., who has become a close friend of my wife, asked her after the leaders meeting Sunday night, “So what happens after we all graduate, and we don’t have time for the Bible study anymore?” Trust me, this was said in a much different spirit than it sounds. You see, students make up our entire Bible study. So L. doesn’t know any “grown-up” Christians. The only Christians of any real age that she knows are my wife and I, and we’re in the ministry. She said, “We’re not all going to be pastors, right? So what are we supposed to do?” Her point is this: what’s a Christian doctor do? What’s a Christian teacher do? What’s a Christian engineer do? I’ve been asked several times by the students, “What are the responsibilities of a Christian?”

How awesome is that? No preconceived notions – just a desire to know what God wants out of them. And we get to teach that. At the same time – how intimidating is that? What are my preconceived notions? What is the real answer to that question?

Fortunately, the question doesn’t take me off guard anymore. I’ve had time to think and pray about it. These students aren’t ready to teach Sunday school classes, or start their own Bible study, but God still wants to use their new life and zeal to influence others. So I’ve been telling them to start looking for a disciple of their own. Not because they’re an expert, but because they know more than someone who knows nothing! They just need someone they can share the Gospel with and teach the part of the Bible they know. This is such an awesome assignment for so many reasons!

Most importantly, it’s the assignment we never grow out of! No Christian reaches the “no-longer-necessary-to-make-disciples” echelon! When you explain to a new convert that this is every Christian’s purpose and that they can begin right away, I really believe this gives them some excitement. This removes some of the professionalism that often cuts off “regular people” from the ministry.

But probably my favorite part of this assignment is that it puts an emphasis on action, not on knowledge. I’m all for knowledge, but there was there was this one guy that said it has a tendency to puff up. More about this later.

So I tell the guys at our leaders meeting to go hunting for a disciple on Thursday night during the “hanging out” time after our Bible study. I’m trying to give them some basics on questions to ask, conversations to start, and some simple lessons that they can share with others. Pray for these guys!

One of them said during out leaders meeting, “If only we still had some friends from America here to help us, this would be much easier…” I pray someday they can look around and see people of their same race, language, and background that God has used in a great way.

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One Comment on “Christians: Assorted Flavors”

  1. Taiwan friend September 17, 2007 at 10:53 am #

    This is your friend from Taiwan.I finally got your address,sorry to say I forgot it the night you gave it to me. I am happy to hear your work continues to grow in numbers and more importantly in depth in the lives of the students. You are in our prayers

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