CZECH CHRISTIANS: DISCIPLES MAKING DISCIPLES
In September, for the first time, our team in Brno, Czech Republic, hosted a training on how to share our faith naturally and organically with friends, family, and co-workers. Typically, an event like this would involve us bringing in speakers and materials from outside the Czech culture. Doing this would often lead to a disconnect with Czech Christians because they would view sharing what Jesus had done for them as an “American thing.” However, September’s training was different. It was completely created and led by Czechs! We think it was very special and powerful for Czechs to hear from their own national brothers and sisters how sharing their faith is necessary and possible for everyone. Especially inspiring was hearing the trainers’ stories of showing value to a neighbor or friend, which led to a spiritual conversation, and, in turn, led to starting a small group Bible study with them.
The training is focused on giving simple and reproducible tools, like a 15-second testimony of what God has done in our life, a very basic image explaining God’s story, or a model of Bible study that doesn’t need a leader or extra material. The simplicity of these tools means the participants at the training have an easy time memorizing and practicing them. Perhaps more importantly is that simplicity means participants can easily teach these tools to someone else. This is where the idea of a multiplicative movement can begin: the disciples we are influencing now have the tools to equip the disciples they will be influencing who will then have the tools for their own disciples. The prayer for our field and this nation is that the disciples of disciples of disciples would have no direct contact or training from us but would still take seriously the heart to share that God is at work in their lives.
The follow-up from this event has been exciting. The participants of the training have started mission groups that meet regularly to affirm, encourage, practice, hold accountable, and ask God what the next step is in the coming week. One of the participants came to her first mission group saying, “I made sure I prayed with a few of my friends and family members because I knew we would hold each other accountable during this time!” This same person has always thought of faith as something personal and private — not something to be shared. The training solidified the faith of another participant enough that after the event he decided to get baptized. We are praying that God would use these tools to continue to equip Czech believers to be able to start spiritual conversations and encourage those people within their circles of influence to sit and read what can be discovered from God’s Word.