A Discovery Bible Study (DBS) group movement is gaining momentum amongst new and pre-believing Uni students in Southeast Asia. The movement has grown to more than 100 teenagers and young adults in several groups. They discuss God’s scriptures (both in the Bible and their holy book) together. Among them are 11 young leaders who came together recently to be trained.
A real factor in this movement is the transient nature of Uni students. In the book of Acts we see a lot of transient leaders raised up by Paul and his team. We see that people moving actually helped create disciple making movements. Paul’s team sowed into ‘moving leaders’ like Priscilla and Aquila for some time as he himself moved from city to city. We then see how Priscilla and Aquila are empowered and able to multiply into other leaders like Apollos. This is the task of an apostolic team. To multiply movement leaders, who are often on the move.
A challenge faced by our team is not allowing these groups to get stuck
These DBS groups have been meeting for over two years studying the scriptures in both holy books. So we are now seeking to help coach the young leaders to become ‘church’. Again, looking at Acts, we can see from the beginning (Acts 2) that baptism is central to church formation.
Having some of the majority religion’s background believers join the team recently has brought breakthrough. These inside leaders are sharing with these dozen or so young leaders. They are helping them to see how they can practically follow Jesus even in their majority religion context.
The 11 young leaders are continuing to run DBS but since the inside leaders have joined the team, we are seeing a shift take place in the focus of the groups. Their goal is to now see the groups make a commitment to follow Jesus and agree to baptism.
Some of the comments from the Uni students recently highlights this paradigm shift:
“… at first we didn’t really know who Jesus Christ was from our holy book. After a recent conversation (from an inside leader), we found clues including what is contained in our holy book about him.”
“… we have a better understanding now of what the Bible is from our own [cultural and religious perspective]…”
“…So we as God’s people are discovering that we must believe and follow Jesus Christ because he is the way. At the same time he is the Word of God. He is the saviour for mankind, for those who believe in him…”
What will church look like amongst these university students?
We will have to wait and see as this story unfolds. But our team in this nation is praying it will continue to look a lot like the Jesus movement did in the book of Acts.