“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to everything I have commanded you.”
Known as the Great Commission, these words of Christ crystallize our mission in Nigeria. Making disciples is more than evangelism. It equally includes teaching them to obey God’s word. Though nearly half of all Nigerians profess to be Christians, Nigeria ranks among the most corrupt countries in the world. This incongruent situation arises because many do not obey the teaching of Christ. Someone remarked, “In Africa, Christianity is a mile wide, but only an inch deep.”
Foundational to making disciples is teaching others to obey God. Rosie and I teach and make disciples in the context of marriage and family relationships. We’ve found that the most effective means of influencing spiritual growth and obedience is through small groups, like the HomeBuilders groups we lead. We just finished a HomeBuilders group with six couples, five of which included recently married doctors I am training. It is gratifying to not only pass on medical instruction, but also to teach them to obey God’s principles for marriage. Having just celebrated their 25th anniversary, the sixth couple, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, provided good insights. The group looked to them as role models, yet they expressed new growth in their relationship.
Some comments from the group express how it changed lives:
“Staying Close [the book we use] is a great and unique book, because it makes you apply the teaching to your own marriage every week.”
“This study has brought us closer to God and developed our daily devotional life.”
“It has revealed the real threat of isolation in marriage.”
“We have seen the need for the power of the Holy Spirit in our marriage.”
“Through the chapter on communication, we have learned not to allow problems to pile up.”
“I learned the tremendous responsibility of the home.”
“This study was the framework for God at work in our marriage, and my husband is a changed man.”
My mission to the doctors I train is not only to provide them the clinical skills to treat disease, but to challenge them to recognize that God intends their lives to be a ministry to others. By modeling small group discipleship, we equip and challenge them to disciple other couples in the same way. We pray that God will work in and through them to teach others to obey everything that Christ taught.
Privileged to partner with you to help fulfill the Great Commission in Nigeria,
Tom & Rosie