Because some have asked for me to describe our ministry, I will give a short overview here.
The aim of this ministry is to equip indigenous leaders and church planters to “Go therefore [based on the authority in Christ] and make disciples of all nations [ethnos or ethne, all people groups – over 17,000]. Rather than going and spending years learning a language and becoming immersed in a culture we are not familiar with, we look for persons who are potentially “faithful Timothys in that culture or people group who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). None of this can happen unless those we train are empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). That means, missionary efforts by us or those we train must come under the absolute authority and power of the Spirit (see John 15:5; 16:13). By His working in us and those we train, the gospel will reach every unengaged and unreached people group at the “end of the earth.”
Our objective is to train and equip faithful disciples who will be able to do the same with other faithful disciples. In 2018, we launched a new training tool, God’s Plan for His Disciples, which grew out of a need by church planters in Vietnam. They were seeing many persons come to Christ through their evangelism, but were struggling with how to get them established in their faith as Paul did in churches he planted (Acts 14:21-23).
“When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” This is indigenous church planting and making sure they are well established. For Paul, it only took about four months in each place.
As this work of training by NFI is accomplished, we then want to go out of sight as quickly as possible and let the indigenous leaders carry on the work. We have found that it often takes many visits to help the leaders gain the confidence they can do this work, or get over their dependence on us or western methods. We want them to become self-sustaining, self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating.
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