If you’ve been following our blog, you’ve probably noticed a recent theme that runs from one posting to another. The theme is God’s mission for us as His followers – it’s about disciple making. I want to tell you a story within a story from this week that helps explain this in a very real way.
In South Africa, we use two booklets, The Story of Hope and The Way to Joy, to help us in our evangelism and disciple making. These resources come from ABWE and were developed through The Good Soil Evangelism & Development project. The name originates from Jesus’ parable of the seed and the soils; the seed being the message of the gospel. Last weekend Dr. Drullinger and I had a delightful time training our people to use this material, equipping them to better reach their family, friends, work colleagues and neighbors.
The real highlight of the training for me came when we closed the last session of this two-day program and asked for a couple of people to share their own salvation or faith story. Feeling pretty wiped-out from teaching for two days, I was already shifting gears in my mind, thinking about the full day of Sunday ministries ahead of me. Just then, one of our more quiet and reserved ladies leaped from her seat to share her faith story.
That’s when it hit me – the perspective of her salvation story in God’s greater redemptive story. My mind immediately raced back to the evenings in their home when both she and her husband came to faith in Jesus. As Chinese nationals, who immigrated to South Africa, their story is remarkable. There she was, proudly and boldly proclaiming how God rescued her using the same disciple-making material she was now trained to use to reach others with the gospel. As I sat and listened to her tell her story I was deeply moved… it was like God’s plan and His mission for us was being displayed before me. Her story is God’s story. Truly, a story of hope and the way to joy!
If you would like to know more about the Good Soil material just go the ABWE web site http://www.goodsoil.com. I realize I’m a bit biased; however, having good tools and helpful resources sure makes the process of planting the seeds of the gospel so much easier.
The Story of Hope is a chronological Bible study moving through the major events in the Bible while helping people discover God’s redemptive story. You can go through the material in summary fashion in as few as fifteen minutes, or you can extend it to twenty one-hour sessions. It’s good for one-on-one and group studies.
The Way to Joy booklet is intended primarily for use as an evangelistic one-on-one discipleship study. However, it can also be used in a small group context or as a study booklet for a new convert’s class. We especially appreciate the section on the work of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life, something we find missing in a lot of discipleship material, as well as the last two sections that emphasize the importance of the local church in a believer’s life and our responsibility to share our faith with others.
Thank you for praying us through this past weekend. If time allows, Mountain View has just launched a new web site http://www.mountainview.org.za. Check it out to see what’s happening in this part of the vineyard where you are highly invested and intricately involved.
All our love, Tom and Nancy