‘Come and See’, ‘Follow me’ and ‘Go and Make’

‘By this my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.’ (John 15:8)

At the recently concluded NAMS India Training meetings in Golpapur-on-sea, Orissa, India, the Scripture above, as well as other relevant passages were brought alive to us, as we discovered afresh the primary calling of all disciples to both abide consistently in the word of Jesus, to love the community of disciples and to bear abundant fruit in discipling others, as a result.

30 pastors, church-planters and leaders, both men and women, attended the NAMS meetings led by Pranab Kumar, NAMS South Asia Regional Team leader. He was supported by Manik Corea, NAMS GE and Joel Regmi, a pastor from Nepal associated with our work there.

Throughout the 3 days together from October 17-19, 2017, there was a renewed sense of call and equipping to continue in the mission of Jesus, to be and become disciple-making leaders seeking to plant and multiply new communities to bring transformation to their communities.

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We were blessed to have met at an economically-priced St. Vincent Roman Catholic Retreat centre in Golpapur-on-sea, which was a short 10 minute stroll to the Bay of Bengal. The facilities were simple but clean and adequate, with ample food and beverages, complete with requisite spice and curries, feeding us well for the 3 days.

Each of the three mornings began with a time of worship and a devotional sharing. We worshipped and prayed in Oriya, an Indo-aryan spoken by the majority people in the State. The talks were mostly translated from English.

The focus of our time together was squarely on how Jesus wants us to fulfill His final command that disciples be made of all nations, in the context of their work in state of Orissa. Sessions focused on the process of making disciples, planting churches and raising disciple-making leaders and how this applied to various aspects of personal, family and communal life.

For example Manik led a session on the pathway of true discipleship that can be divided into three distinct phases, each characterized by different phrases – 1) ‘come and see’ (John 1:39) is the invitational welcoming phase of sharing and communicating the Gospel to not-yet-believers, 2) ‘follow me’ (John 1:43) denotes the call to intentional discipleship, nurture and growth after Jesus as the focus and goal of all our life and 3) ‘go and make disciples’ (Matthew 28:19) – the multiplying effect of our lives on others where we help them to find and follow Jesus as new disciples.

Joel’s session on 8 principles that distinguished a biblically faithful church from a disobedient, unfruitful one was particularly well received. Citing his experience in Nepal, he showed that healthy faithful churches had a consistent emphasis on disciple-making, moved from classroom training to life training, were outward-focused and were characterized by God-dependency rather that self-sufficiency. He said, ‘we are not the manufacturers of God’s blessings but are called to be distributors of His favor to our communities.’

Each evening ended with opportunity for reflection, feedback and prayer over what God has been speaking to them during the teaching sessions.

There was also opportunity in the course of the meetings to address the growing concern about rising persecution by Hindu extremists in the land. We encouraged them to have faith and hope in the midst of the challenge of staying faithful to the witness and life of Christ in us.

From the feedback of participants, this was a wonderfully blessed and fruitful time of encouragement and equipping. Participants expressed thankfulness to NAMS Companions, friends and supporters who gave and prayed so we could be together.

May His Kingdom come in Orissa and all over the South Asia continent.

 

 

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‘Come and See’, ‘Follow me’ and ‘Go and Make’

Global Mission Stories (I) — Mission to Orissa State, INDIA.

“Do you know Jesus?” Pranab asked the man on the bus. When he said he didn’t, Pranab told him about Jesus. That day, God also began to open Pranab’s eyes to the millions in his home state of Orissa, India, who were just like this stranger on the bus.

Soon after, Pranab began a missionary organization called New Life for India, seeking to mobilize church planters to take the Gospel to his state and beyond. That was 1997. By 2000, he had a network of about 11 pastors and evangelists visiting unreached villages in their region.

Pranab first heard about NAMS at a 2013 global mission gathering in Bangkok, Thailand. He instantly felt a connection to our vision and strategy. A friendship in the Gospel was formed. Two years later, at a regional NAMS gathering, also in Bangkok, he asked if he could work under NAMS for India and the South Asia region.

In December 2015, two of our NAMS regional team leaders visited him at his home, and met his wife and young son, as well as the village church that Pranab also leads.

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He has now entered into our training system and is being discipled by one of our leaders. He has become one of our NAMS Companions and is giving leadership throughout his nation. Now after two years, NAMS Southeast Asia region leader Manik Corea is mounting a five day mission trip to Orissa, with the support of two leaders from our NAMS Himalyan/Tibetan base.

What will we teach and do? We will love them in Christ Jesus. We will share with them all that God has been teaching us about discipling the nations. We will listen carefully to their stories and find ways to partner with them for the spread of God’s kingdom. The gospel will be preached. Rising leaders will be identified and helped. The possibility of new works to spread the kingdom will be prayed over. A deepening bond in the mission of Jesus Christ will be sealed. From this mission, the work of spreading the gospel throughout the region will be strengthened. NAMS leadership from three different nations will be yoked in partnership.

This is what NAMS does. We pioneer with those the Lord sends to us. We preach and teach Jesus Christ and him crucified. We plant new churches wherever the Lord opens the doors. We obey the Holy Spirit. We live in conformity to the Holy Scriptures.

NAMS will never subsidize men like Pastor Pranab in such a way as to undermine them, but we do partner with men like him so that the gospel mission of Jesus can be carried forward throughout the world. The Lord God has always used some of those to whom much has been given to help those to whom little has been given.

Will you help us to help men like Pranab? Can you make a monthly gift to help us spread the kingdom of God to every nation?

Global Mission Stories (I) — Mission to Orissa State, INDIA.