At the end of the book of Matthew, Jesus stood before His disciples and gave His final command before ascending to Heaven. These final instructions, known as the Great Commission, were to spread the Gospel to others, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (ESV). As Christians, this doesn’t simply inform the way we live, it transforms it. This transformation is something Haggai leader T, a pastor living and working in Indonesia, where only 10% of people follow Christ, has taken seriously.
For T, one of the most important ways to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world is through concrete actions. In T’s experience, pastoral work — visiting with neighbors, praying for the sick, and offering help where it is needed — is the best way to show Christ’s transformative power. In his city, it is risky to be a Christian, so providing spiritual and material support to new believers is paramount. He equips the Christian community under his care to become ministers themselves, dedicating his home as a space for instruction and fellowship.
“One of the risks they have to accept is being thrown out of their family, not getting an inheritance, and being ostracized by their community,” he says.
Despite the risks, T’s faithfulness is multiplying throughout his country. About a year ago, he shared the Gospel with four people. They accepted Jesus, and T began to disciple them weekly. After encouraging them to reach out to their relatives and friends with the Good News, one began sharing the Gospel with eight relatives who were practicing an ancestral religion.
In T’s city, it is risky to be a Christian, so providing spiritual and material support to new believers is paramount. T and his family dedicated their home as a space for instruction and fellowship, providing food and a safe space for believers each week.
T joined the man he’d discipled on a visit to these relatives. He brought a traditional gift of Sirih Pinang, a ceremonial tool for nut chewing that is often given as a sign of respect. A saying says, “the betel [type of nut] opens the door to the heart.” T hoped his gesture of respect would open these people’s hearts to receive the Gospel.
As T and the leader he equipped preached the Gospel to the man’s relatives and community, they could tell their audience was captivated by the story of Jesus. All eight relatives and many members of their community became followers of Christ that day. They were baptized and are currently being discipled.
On average, a Haggai leader shares the Gospel 802 times and equips 251 others to do the same. T does this “by sharing a life that has been changed by the power of the blood of Christ,” and God is multiplying his faithfulness as he carries out Christ’s last charge.
Written by Elin Weiner