We at Local Care have a vision to reach the locals with the Gospel, not with a focus on Church Planting but by focusing on what Jesus Christ ordered us to do and that is:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations”
The key difference is that discipling people require quality time with each person while Church Planting, even-do very popular, focuses on quantity and numbers (so many churches by the year xxxx). If you focus on Disipleship a church will be an natural cause.
We also believe that a key in this is that locals reach out to locals were possible. One thing we have learned from our time in Thailand is that Christianity is being seen as a foreign religion, and also that foreigners are very rich. And for us foreigners coming into remote areas trying to share the Gospel with the locals we right away confirm 2 of their believes by doing so! Trying to convince them that Christ came for them and is not something specific for foreigners will be an uphill battle!
The oppositite is also true if a well educated native person from their own culture comes with the Gospel it will raise questions:
- Why, as one of us, does he/she believe in a foreign religion?
- Why would he/she choose to come here instead of making a lot of money in the city?
Questions that will open the door to the locals.
As you may have noticed is that we mentioned wel educated native persons. We did this on purpose because in developing countries you have to be careful that you do not create a ministry that creates “Rice Christians”.
For foreigners it is hard to understand that very little for them can mean a lot for the locals and even small support infrastructure can mean a good income for locals.
From our experience in Thailand we took a great interest in Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC). Also very strong in Dicipleship but with a key focus on Universities. You could see that the people at CCC build close relations with Students and once they become a Christian they follow up on a daily base and guide them in their walk with Chris to obey His commands.
Another observation we made was when we worked for for the Baptist Student Centre (BSC). They would be getting Students from America dedicating 1-2 years to missions in developing countries, Journey Men we called them! They would get a small allowence every month for them to live from. They spend quality time with the students at BSC and build relations and introduce them to Christ. Some would move into fulltime ministry after they complete their studies but for most of them the 1 or 2 years they gave to this mission was a key highlight in their lives.
Just image if you could set-up a Journey men program for the locals! Combining what Campus Crusade for Christ is doing with the concept of the Journey man program that they had at BSC!
Having a program that enables educated/established people, young or old, giving a dedicated period (1 or 2 years) of their lives to go to remote areas and help local ministries making disciples in their own nation!
This is our vision!
Working with different Christian organization I believe this concept can be use in any developing country not only in Thailand (read more…)