Myanmar, Southeast Asia Field: It is said that our perception of the world defines our reality. In Myanmar a new understanding and perception of what it means to be “Church” has redefined their reality and planted a vision for revival!
On March 23-25, twelve pastors and lay leaders from the Myanmar District met in Tahan Province with team member Bill Kwon, who serves as the District Superintendent. Their goal was to take an in-depth look at the structure of districts and what it means to be the “local church.”
One of the primary resources used for this training was the newly released Nazarene Essentials, a brief and easily accessible publication, written in plain language, that covers the basics of the church’s teaching, history, theology, mission, funding and connections.
As Kwon began to share about the vision of the church, revelation began to show on the faces of the leaders. Throughout their 31 years of history in Myanmar, they had come to understand that a church was only established when there were funds available for a building and the support of a pastor.
It was discussed that the Christian church constructed no church buildings during the first 200 years of church history; that the concepts of dedicated church buildings, property, and full-time pastors for churches came later. The Holy Spirit is leading the church to reproduce itself in new ways. Each church is a church planting church. Each individual believer has the potential to be a church planter!
Excitement began to build in the room. With this understanding of the definition of church, the leaders immediately identified 10-12 new churches that already existed on the Myanmar District! What could this mean? The leaders began to dream and envision the future. Currently there are 23 churches and approximately 2,500 members on the Myanmar District. Where could they be in 5 years?
By God’s grace the Myanmar leaders are envisioning a new future for Myanmar. They are casting the vision that by 2020, they will have 200 churches, 15,000 members, 200 pastors, and 500 small groups, with work in 6 areas of the country.
While the meeting was intended for district leaders, a lay evangelist, Mr. Thana, also came to explore his own hunger and calling to serve the church. Thana was moved to tears as he listened to the discussion and inspiring definition of what it means to be “church.”
He approached Kwon, letting him know that he already has several small groups that have formed, but he never realized that these groups, which meet regularly, could be considered as churches.
The meeting continued as the leaders made plans for opening the Course of Study to lay leaders in Fall, 2015. They will prioritize lay leadership development, churches planting churches, and children’s evangelism and discipleship. They will also begin sending a 3-4 member team into a new area that does not yet have a gathering for the Church of the Nazarene.
But more than casting vision for the future, they began moving forward immediately! The District Secretary is holding revival services from April 12-19, during a national holiday season. They also realized that they already have funds available to send out their first district missionary to a neighboring province, one of the new areas.
In order to prepare for a massive number of new members in 5 years, the district feels it is vital to translate solid membership material into 3 languages.
So, the Myanmar District is leading the way in proposing to translate Nazarene Essentials into the languages of Mizo Chins, Burmese, and possibly Karen.
Into which languages of the districts on your field would you be ready to grow using Nazarene Essentials?
What is your perception of Church defining your reality for ministry? In China every new believer is called to be a church planter, and every church a church planting church. The result? A growth from 2 million to more than 100 million Christians!
– Please continue to pray for the Myanmar church as together they embrace the vision to make Christlike disciples.
– Please pray for the upcoming revival services to be held April 12-19.
— Submission: Southeast Asia Communications