​Evangelism and Discipleship Within Prison Walls

July 17 2018

What do you do when nothing is working?

Ronnie, an Every Community for Christ (ECC) worker in the Philippines, faced such a question. Ronnie has a very pleasing and likable personality, but he also has a profound hearing loss. Unable to afford a good set of hearing aids, Ronnie struggled with making contacts, evangelizing, discipling, and planting new churches. He tried everything, but nothing was working.

That is … until the Christmas season came.

The mayor of Ronnie’s community approached him and asked Ronnie if he would make the Christmas star that would represent the community in the contest among the communities in their area. Ronnie agreed, but the project was bigger than he could handle. So, he enlisted help from the police department, who got the prisoners in their local jails involved.

Christmas passed. The star represented the community well, but Ronnie was not finished with his contacts with the prisoners. He started visiting the local jail. He began Bible studies within the cells. He sought out resources the prisoners needed like food, fans, checkerboards, and more. The prisoners accepted him. Prayer support grew. Prisoners entered a relationship with Christ. They got baptized. Ronnie began to reach out to other prisons, and to the families of prisoners. Ronnie had found his niche in ministry.

Today, Ronnie ministers within 10 different provincial jails in the Philippines. He has baptized over 150 prisoners. He sees an average attendance of 372 prisoners in worshiping groups or “cell churches” in the prisons. Ronnie is seeing lives transformed. He is equipping leaders who can assist in the ministry and start house churches when they are discharged into the community again.

Ronnie now has a partner in the ministry. He met a man named Jaimie in the prison. He helped Jaimie enter a relationship with Christ and discipled him. Jaimie was serving a life sentence for using and selling narcotics (and related crimes). Through a turn of events demonstrating God’s intervention, Jaime was released and is now committed to doing all he can to go back into the prisons with the Gospel. He wants to disciple those who make decisions for Christ.

Feeling like nothing is working for you? Persevere like Ronnie. God may have a wonderful role in ministry for you to step into, just like Ronnie, to help others hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel.

Tags: prison ministry, evangelism, discipleship, philippines,

​Ministering to the TE Disciples

August 3 2017

What do you need? How can the One Mission Society Theological Education (TE) team best support and assist you in your ministry? These were the key questions I asked the OMS national and missionary leaders from Across Europe early in 2016. Their answers: 1) training in discipleship and 2) opportunities for fellowship with OMS European colleagues.

Armed with that information, we planned a special conference in the fall of 2016. With a starting budget of “two fish and five loaves” and the assurance that God had given the vision, plans were put in motion to invite a team from the Inspire Movement to lead a seminar on discipleship in Manchester, UK in May 2017.

And God provided over and over.

From November through May, those attending took turns calling one another to prayer through weekly emails that went out in English, Spanish, and French. Conference attendees came from Russia, Israel, Spain, Estonia, Ukraine, France, Hungary, Sweden, Ireland, Wales, and the U.S.

From May 8-11, along with the team from the Inspire Movement, we learned, practiced, and experienced discipleship. We discussed how we could contextualize the concepts and practices in our unique ministry contexts, and we fellowshipped, worshiped, and prayed together.

Here are a few of the take aways:

I think that the greatest blessing to me was spending time with fellow coworkers in the region.
I was blessed by being part of a team.
Meeting up with my European colleagues for the first time was just wonderful.
I loved the prayer time on the last night where we prayed as a group for one another's prayer concerns.

During the conference, God helped me to see the answers to some questions about my further ministry to him.
The theme of the seminar was very important for me. I think that the principles of deep communication in threes are applicable in our ministry to pastors of Blagovest Association and to members of the churches.
For me personally, having the affirmation from Inspire to focus on discipleship was very affirming and encouraged me that we're heading in the right direction.
The necessity, practicality, and simplicity of joining together as disciples in the name of Jesus.
I need to be a disciple before I can hope to make any.

Sometimes, the members of the body longing to be equipped for ministry are those who are already serving in leadership. The OMS Theological Education team desires to serve and support both those who are in leadership, as well as those who are in the beginning stages of their ministry leadership journey. Resources are needed to bring or send qualified instructors and practitioners, to purchase transportation tickets, and to provide lodging so that Christian workers come away for a time of refreshment, renewal, and mutual care for one another. Reading the take aways, we give thanks to God for the opportunity to ministry to the expressed needs of these precious men and women serving Christ in Europe.

By Colleen Fitch, OMS Regional Consultant for Europe, Theological Education Department



To give to the Leadership Discipleship and Development ministry fund, click here.

Tags: discipleship, theological education team, leadership training,

Transformed by HIS Love in Loja, Ecuador

June 27 2017

About a year ago, I went with another OMS missionary to check on our short-term missionaries working in the province of Loja, Ecuador. It was a trip we made regularly to encourage our short termers. We didn’t know that this visit would be a God-divine appointment.

A short time after arriving at the short termers’ house, we heard a knock at the door. Dario and Isaac, two friends of our short-term missionaries, were welcomed inside. They sat down and began to ask questions about God. They asked us to share more with them, thus beginning their faith journey.

Fast forward 12 months and the roles have shifted. Our team of 8 now lives in Loja. Recently, I was sitting in the home of Dario’s family, listening to him share about the Scriptures. He presented the plan of salvation and led two family members and a neighbor to Christ. Dario is the director of one of the main schools in town and is using his position to spread the Gospel. He has been inviting the students' parents to come together and listen to us (OMS Loja missionaries) share about godly parenting. He is casting a vision for children and youth programming so that all ages can be reached for Christ.

Why such a difference? Shortly after we began regularly meeting with Dario and his wife, Dayana, we learned that she was having trouble getting pregnant. In a culture where family is everything, a couple with no children was considered damaged goods. They shared their hearts with us, and we prayed together. We assured them that they were valued and important to Christ.

A few weeks ago, when our missionaries arrived for the discipleship meeting, Dayana had a sweet smirk on her face. As greetings were passed around, she motioned for her husband to look at the paper on the coffee table. Right there, the team and Dario found out that Dayana was pregnant!

Dayana and Dario did not choose to ask Christ into their lives to get what they wanted. They asked Christ into their lives so that they could be transformed by his love. They went from brokenness to restoration. After giving their all to Christ, they received the desires of their heart.

God is at work in Loja Province. This is just one story of how God is moving in the hearts of his people. Sometimes, the progress is quite slow; sometimes, the progress seems to come in like a rushing river. Please continue to pray for workers to help us reach a province full of hungry people searching for the truth of God’s Word.

By OMS Ecuador missionary, BJ Williamson

Tags: loja, ecuador, short-term missions, discipleship, following god,

T&M Leadership – On the Right Track

April 6 2015

Last week, we introduced you to Train and Multiply. This church multiplication method has been used in amazing ways to advance the kingdom of God.

But how exactly does T&M work?

One important distinction between T&M and other discipleship programs is its emphasis on leadership development. While the 64 booklets include resources on evangelism and discipleship, its strength lies in the development of healthy, well-equipped leaders, who are essential to a church multiplication movement. Without solid leadership to guide new church plants, multiplication will be slow and ineffective.

An illustration of the Train and Multiply process is below:

One rail is labeled ‘pastoral work.’ Every person involved in T&M is also involved in some form of ministry. It might be a simple church, a small group, or simply working with their family and friends. They have some place to immediately apply what they are learning. T&M is not training for ministry; it is training in ministry.

The second rail is labeled ‘home study.’ A T&M participant learns through weekly study of God’s Word, the T&M Pastoral Worker Training Booklets, and practical experience. T&M booklets are simple and practical biblical training guides. They are easily accessible. They can be used anywhere, at any time, with any number of people. And they only cost what it takes to print them.

But what ties this all together are the railroad ties labeled ‘meeting with trainer.’ Each T&M participant has a trainer who provides coaching and mentoring. Meeting biweekly or monthly, this trainer guides the participant through the leadership development process. They help the student plant their pastoral work and choose what to study. The trainer also encourages and holds the participant accountable.

Tags: multiplication, leadership, evengelism, discipleship, cpm, t7m, train and multiply,