An Astonishing Movement Launches Through a Partnership
About ten years ago, YWAM Frontier Missions (YWAM-FM) entered into a partnership with a group of Baptist churches. The aim was to reach a Muslim people group in South Asia.
YWAM already had a team on the ground who regularly invested in a few MBBs (Muslim Background Believers.) They gave simple training and coaching using Disciple-Making Movement principles.
One of these MBBs was Ali. He had done a YWAM Discipleship Training School years ago and longed for more input. A bit of a wild card, he had some rough edges, but it was also clear that God had anointed him in a special way.
The partnership was set up like this. The Baptist churches would provide needed funds, and YWAM-FM would provide training and coaching to Ali.
An Abundant Seed Sower
The team immediately saw that Ali was a man with an incredible passion to share the good news. He told people about Isa (Jesus) wherever he went.
He abundantly sowed seeds of the gospel to everyone he knew. It didn’t matter if they were strangers or religious leaders.
Ali continued to receive coaching from this couple and some others from our organization. He learned quickly and began to apply multiplication principles in the work. Within a few years, hundreds of Muslims had become followers of Isa-al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah)!
Of course, he also faced many challenges both from within his own context and from outside it.
Time to Move On
Ali persevered and continued to serve as a leader of what was emerging into a people movement to Christ. After some time, the YWAM team prayed and evaluated, they felt their season of investing in this movement was ending. We discontinued the official partnership as YWAM with the Baptist church and with Ali. They took time together to celebrate what God had done through the partnership. The YWAM team prayed and blessed the others, believing and trusting the work would continue to advance.
At that point, about 700 people had obeyed Jesus in baptism. They were worshiping in scores of jamats (house churches). They all rejoiced and praised God for what He had done!
Since that time, the movement has become totally indigenous, meaning that it is now led completely by local believers. The growth that is happening is through them and without outside help.
Here’s how it happened…
– A mentor stepped in to continue coaching Ali for a while.
– As he learned from this man, he, in turn, passed on those lessons to a group of local leaders. They came from various geographical locations to be trained.
-These leaders then trained the believers in the house churches.
-They then passed the same training on to those whom they were leading to Christ.
Multiplication! Kind of reminds you of 2 Timothy 2:2 doesn’t it? Paul discipled Timothy, he taught faithful men, and they taught others also!
No Longer Counting
God’s Spirit has been continuing to move among this people group.
A year ago, an assessment was done of this movement. It was found that about 7,000 people had become Christ-followers. The jamats (house churches) had multiplied into the hundreds.
In one of our recent conversations with Ali, he told us that an imam (Muslim teacher) had recently come to the Lord. He also said that disciples and house churches were multiplying consistently. The numbers have grown so much that they are no longer counting.
Jesus said, “My Father is working and I also am working” (John 5:17). This is certainly true in this Muslim group in South Asia. Truly God is doing an incredible thing!
A Fruitful Strategy
Partnering with local evangelists and other like-minded churches can be a fruitful strategy. Sometimes the people God chooses are not the ones you would choose. But as you keep your eyes and heart open, God will bring the right people to you. Watch for them. Then you will have the opportunity to play a role.
“Paul planted and Apollos watered…” 1 Corinthians 3:6 RSV.
What role might you play in launching a movement? Find some others with a similar vision to see multiplication. Then get started.
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