“…take root below & bear fruit above.” (Isaiah 37:31b)
We all know well the Great Commission – “Make disciples of all nations”. From evangelical ministry to follow up mentorship, from new believers to disciples – this is always the motto of our ministry.
During our first year in the mission field, we implemented the traditional discipleship approach. For example, encourage the believers to attend various retreats, & intensive trainings. We believe establishing theological knowledge will support stable spiritual growth. The result however, was not as ideal. We had set our expectations too high & too fast. A true understanding of the Bible and its values certainly requires time to digest and experience. We cannot expect to make disciples like we “microwave” meals in a second.
Half a year ago, we began to identify individuals at the end of training for additional mentorship. We have changed the approach to teach & mentor at the same time, which has yielded a more apparent and solid result. We see this in:
- One on one Evangelical Bible Study (EBS): We arranged a mother believer walking along with a mother seeker, both of whom are participating in a weekly EBS. After 17 sessions of study, the seeker committed to Christ! The believer was converted to Christ for 6 years; but, she never studied the basic Christianity from a biblical perspective. At the end of the series, not only did she grow in God’s Word, but also learned how to walk with a seeker (regular caring, sharing testimony, & building a trust relationship). Her family & friends also acknowledged her spiritual growth. Due to her positive changes, she has led her 10-year-old daughter to Christ!
- New Believers Follow-up Program: Felain invited a core member to do a follow-up program with a new believer. After 12 series of meeting, the new believer has steadily built up her spiritual foundation. At the same time, through demonstration & observation, the core member was equipped to be a follow-up leader. She said she learned the importance of active listening & open sharing. Though she was assigned to lead two topics, she was not worried about making mistakes because Felain was there as a support.
- Discipleship: There is a brother who used to be a Bible Study leader in Kassel. Due to the high turnover of Christians in a university town, it was difficult for him to find brothers to partner with on the spiritual journey. Lewis noticed his spiritual loneliness; and has invited him to attend discipleship training. Praise the Lord, through His love, the brother committed to Christ once again in search of a direction in life. He rekindled his passion in fellowship. He expressed interest in looking for work in Kassel, so he can help with the local fellowship ministry.
- Seize the Immediate Opportunity: There is a doctorate student who has been in Kassel for 12 years. She will be returning to China this summer. She converted to Christ recently. Another professor from Beijing came to Kassel for 1 year exchange. Two months ago, she committed to Christ, and she will be leaving in a few months. God wants them to return to China as an “ambassador for Christ”; when they teach in universities, may they display the life of Christ in the harvest field. When they learned we offer a Follow-up Program, they were eager to sign up with Lewis. As a result, 3 believers & 2 seekers committed to learn as much as they could. God’s work is miraculous! The 2 seekers committed to Christ in the first session & openly declared their faith in Christ.
- Ministry work never ends. In the university city, there is always a lack of time, resources for evangelical ministry. Despite the shortage in resources, God never asks us to think of more strategies to shorten the length of courses. In contrast, we feel a stronger burden to walk with them, hand in hand, as mentor & as friend. We are willing to spend more time in the process to “simmer” out disciples with a solid foundation for the Lord.
About Lewis and Felain Lam
Lewis and Felain were appointed as CBM Strategic Associates in 2012 to join the work of the Chans and Friends of Mission to Chinese in Germany. The team ministers to the large number of students from mainland China studying in German universities, bringing the Good News and love of Jesus Christ to these future professionals who return to China upon graduation.