Converts or Disciples?
Attend services at any of Ho Chi Minh City’s larger churches and you are likely to witness a steady stream of people “praying the prayer” to receive Jesus as their Savior. Whether in regular services or special outreach events, altar calls are often made. Praise God that his church in Vietnam is so concerned for evangelism and is seeing fruit!
But while there is a visible, steady stream of people making commitments, there is also a less visible, but equally as steady, exodus. Only about one in 10 of those who “pray the prayer” actually make it to baptism. Many are not integrate into church life, but even those who attend regularly, even for some years, gradually slip away when trials or competing commitments come.
Linh is a pastor’s wife with a deep love for God. But the only teaching style she knew was one-way, lecture-style teaching as happens in Vietnamese schools. Respect for teachers means that people do not question what is taught and learning is done by rote. Bible study focuses on memorizing verses rather than understanding the meaning and application.
Linh began to study the Bible with her foreign friend. A5 they discussed. And prayed together, Linh grew enormously. Two other ladies joined the group-both had been believers for a number of years, but neither seemed to be able to apply the Bible to their lives. Eight women now meet together, and hopefully they will soon start up groups of their own.
Because community is very important in Vietnamese culture, small-group discussion-style Bible study results in wonderful tight-knit fellowship. In universities where Christian gatherings cannot happen openly, small group Bible studies have developed out of the necessity. The Lord is using these studies to grow mature young people who may be the Christian leaders of the future.
- Praise the Lord for so many who have taken initial steps of faith.
- Pray for more people concerned to share the gospel and help others become really rooted and established in the Bible.
- Pray for those who are pioneering new ways of Bible teaching that 1elp people apply the word or God to their lives.