Why is discipleship so important?
Connected to prayer
This article was first featured alongside our Prayer Diary in February 2019. You can download the February 2019 prayer points here or sign-up to receive future editions by post or email.
John and Hey Ran Kang have recently moved to Marsabit, Kenya, to open the Northern Bible Training Centre and support people like Matthew.
Matthew is a dentist who works as the youth worker in the AIC Marsabit church. The biggest challenge that he faces in that role, he says, is commitment among the youth. They often can’t afford to get an education or get married. When they are told that if they become a Muslim there would be financial help for them, it can be a hard decision. Matthew believes the answer is good discipleship and to encourage the youth to get stuck into the Word of God.
The Northern Bible Training Centre
Despite being the biggest county in Kenya, Marsabit County currently has no Bible training facilities. The local church has requested that someone come and set up a Bible training college, which will serve the many different people groups in the area. The seven board members represent a variety of those people groups, Borana, Samburu, Rendille and Gabbra, reflecting what John and Hey Ran hope the makeup of students will be. The Northern Bible Training Centre will have a focus on biblical teaching and discipleship, meeting the big needs in the area. If a pastor has never been discipled before, it can be hard to know how to disciple others. Discipleship is much needed; it is powerful, but it can also be slow and labour intensive. More missionaries are needed to do this work. Could you invest in discipling believers who could then disciple other believers?
There is a lack of theological training in Marsabit county, and the Bible isn’t always preached in churches. A lot of pastors here have to support themselves, which means that they don’t have a lot of time to prepare sermons, and they haven’t been taught to read the Bible themselves. Preachers often say what the congregation wants to hear, and there is a big focus on material things and the prosperity gospel.
Measuring the truth
When you know the Bible and read it for yourself, you know when someone is teaching something wrong. But when you can’t read, or if you don’t know the Bible, there’s no way to evaluate the truth of what they’re saying.
Theological training plays an important part in encouraging local believers in evangelism, but it needs to go hand in hand with commitment. Believers have to make the decision, “Yes, this is the Word of God, and I will stand by it”, especially when they are faced with cultural challenges.
Open doors in Marsabit
There are currently many opportunities for ministry in Marsabit. It is a strategic location, being the administrative centre for the surrounding county, and an area rapidly growing in population. In the next four years it is thought it will grow from 22,000 to about 35,000. 14 different people groups live in the surrounding area, many of them unreached, and they all come to Marsabit to access banks, schools, hospitals. This is a great opportunity to share the gospel with people from different people groups, who can then take it back to their families when they go home. To find out more click here.
Alan & Pauline Jordan
We serve with the Africa Inland Church at the Northern Bible Training Centre in Marsabit, northern Kenya. Alan teaches at the Centre, and Pauline is the Administrator of the local AIC primary school.Find out more…