Currently there are over 5,000 sub-districts in Thailand that do not have a church. The population in all of these sub-districts is about 44 million people. There is a need for dedicated Christians to leave their home and go live in these communities to share Christ and establish churches. They don’t have to be foreign missionaries, although they can be. They could be Thai, or Thai nationals from ethnic minorities. New churches have more converts than older churches. The presence of a church in a community means that people in that community have the opportunity to hear, discuss, and see the gospel. The more workers there are, who are deployed into these sub-districts without churches, the more likely it is that the growth rate will be sustained and increase.
The key migration pattern at this point is the hill tribe people movement off the mountains into the rest of Thailand. The minorities are able to go anywhere in Thailand as they are Thai citizens and because they were educated in Thai they can speak the language. It is not a question of will they go, but will they make disciples for Christ as they go? If this migration is as spiritually fruitful as the rural to urban migration that started in the 1970s it will have a big impact.
Social stress is a key factor. The social stresses in Thailand among the Thai are increasing. I am thankful that Thai Christians are active in prayer for their country, in finding ways to love and serve their neighbours with hope, purpose and joy in Christ.
Finally there needs to be more attention given to sharing the gospel within the extended family networks. One Thai church that has intentionally reached out in this way, has established new churches in 12 different provinces and is looking to do more!
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