Producing Christ-like Disciples in Missions
By Watson, Malawi
We have seen the same challenges in both Zambia and Malawi, the two mission fields where we have spent the last 9 years of our lives. Some of those glaring challenges are:
1. churches with too many activities but very little spiritual growth,
2. too many leaders but few committed to participate in the ministries of the church,
3. pastors who are not clear about where they are leading their congregation members, and
4. too many huge congregations but without any passion for mission.
And we clearly sense that the main cause of this state of affairs is lack of discipleship. That has led to the birth of our 12 session Intentional Discipleship program for the church of Malawi.
Drawing on what Jesus as master discipler taught Drawing on what Jesus as master discipler taught and what Apostle Paul practised during his church planting ministry, topics in the program include Critical Need, Curriculum, Concise Definition, Call, Character, Choices, Cost, Commitment, Core values, Commission and Consistent ways.
Though most of the Malawians claim to be Christians, in true sense the Malawian economy is controlled by non-Christians of Asian origin whom we have identified as “unreached people”. One of the biggest challenges of reaching them with the Gospel is the failure of Malawian Christians to be true witnesses at their work places. Thus we have started preaching and teaching on Discipleship in churches with the aim of turning Malawian Church members into Christ like disciples, salt and light in the market place.
We have come to the conclusion that if the Malawian church fails to produce disciples it would unconsciously produce politicians within the church. Thus realizing that Discipleship is the most effective tool for the emergence of godly leadership, we are conducting Discipleship seminars for Pastors and lay leaders across the denominations. Those who are discipled, are now beginning to disciple their own congregation members.
In spite of Malawi receiving the Gospel at the same time as Asia, Malawi still remains as a mission field instead of being a mission force. It is quite clear from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 that Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. Our conclusion is Without discipleship there is no mission and Mission without discipleship is not mission at all. Thus we have been conducting series of mission conferences for pastors and lay leaders across the country, focusing first on Discipleship, then on prayer and finally on Mission.
Keeping in mind the fact that ultimately our mission work will be evaluated by only one thing, that is the disciples and disciplers we produce on the mission field.