Around the Asia-Pacific region leaders are finding new ways to expand the kingdom of God. One of these innovative leaders is Dr. Daniel Saguichai from Thailand. Aside from serving as Chapman International College‘s Academic Supervisor for Thailand, Dr. Saguichai also serves in what he calls the mobile church.
It began with a CIC students who wanted to plant a new church, but had difficulty finding a property for their congregation. “We came back and asked ourselves, ‘what are we going to do with the mission we have as church planters’?” said Dr. Saguichai. “Because we could not find a place for our meetings, for weeks we kept moving from house to house. All of that house-to-house moving eventually became our identity.”
Although it has been a challenging model, Dr. Saguichi reported that the response from the mobile congregation is now positive. “The idea of mobile church is a new idea here, but people seem to be taking it very well,” he reports. “Even though the Gospel came to Thailand over 200 years ago, there are still relatively few Christians…So we decided to try a new model, and at the moment it seems to be working. We get to have contact with more people, and the response has been positive.”
Dr. Saguichai reports that a vital part of the mobile church has been its leadership team. “I chose eight people to be the core group,” he reports. “I selected these people based on their maturity. Some of them have been with me for all these years, and I have observed their growth. Basically I’m training them to be the next generation of leaders.”
This effort to train the next generation of leaders is vital to the health of the mobile church. As Dr. Saguichai shares, “We have a lady who is a business person…and she has been helping her employees to come to know Christ. And so my role is to support her by providing materials and trainings. As a result some of those employees are now our members.” These discipleship efforts have focused on the middle class in Thailand. “We [as trained pastors] sometimes have trouble reaching out to people who are unchurched. By using middle class people and training them to be evangelists…we are able to reach out to people to whom we could not think of reaching out.”
Finally, Dr. Saguichai shared his vision for both the mobile church and future congregations. “The vision we have for this group is one day we will be able to establish a church, but with the mobile mentality, meaning we get to spread out this mobile idea to a new generation of people. That is, you don’t have to have buildings. If you want to start a church you don’t have to have a place to start a church. All you need to have is the heart to serve God to see people come to Christ.”