My Privilege

Last night was our leaders meeting, and I finally feel like we have some purposeful direction there. These students are by and large the most faithful, and they’re very interested in their own future as Christians as well as the future of our Bible study. So last night I explained to the them that as our goal for our Saturday meetings is to bring in large numbers and give them an opportunity to hear the Gospel and meet Jesus, our goal for our Sunday night leaders meeting was to prepare teachers.

So we’ve begun an extremely basic 10-lesson discipleship study. Last night we gave each one of them a notebook and the notes from last week’s lesson about “who is God?” When some of them have finished all ten lessons, we’ll have some kind of a certification or something to honor them at our big meeting. Then I’d like to find other people from our Saturday Bible study who are interested in studying the Bible more in depth and give our leaders a chance to start their own small study group, going over these same ten lessons. Hopefully this will give us a feasible means of grounding large numbers of people in the basics of the faith.

There were different reactions to this plan. Some seemed indifferent, some were excited (my wife said some of them read their verses with particular enthusiasm), some were a little intimidated by the thought of teaching others. I think the general feeling though is one of doubt – they don’t really believe that they could ever teach the Bible. This has to be a key goal in the next ten weeks – to give them confidence in the Word of God and in the Holy Spirit that can and will use them.

Last night we talked about the church. I explained to them how we really aren’t one yet, but that we hope to have one in the future. It was fairly thorough – we talked about the definition, beginning, purpose, support, leadership, structure, identity, and a bunch more characteristics of the church. First time we’ve talked about giving. They seemed to get it, but as long as we don’t pass the plate there’s no real reason for anyone to get excited.

A couple of them seem really interested in the prospect of starting a church. St., in particular, asked me last night, “So when is it? When are we starting?” I told him that we will hopefully kick it off in a couple months. Some of them were anxious to make sure our church will have music (as our Bible study does not – trying to save that card for church time). But I think a general interest was stoked.

Great time of fellowship last night. This is one of the most exciting things. These students are not only becoming friends with my wife and I, they are building relationships with each other, and we often all have a great time together now. Last night I felt so thankful to have been here in China for such a short time and yet to have a good number of real friends. But we really felt like a little family of some sort last night. Last night one of the girls was leaving and stopped to thank me for taking the time to teach the Bible to them. Trust me, it’s my privilege.

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