RETURN to Did You Know?
The Great Omission
Without discipleship, the Great Commission sadly becomes the Great Omission.
God has miraculously grown the Church in Iran – but a crisis has emerged: The number of Iranian believers is growing quickly, but the number of churches is not. Simply put, there are not enough churches where all these new believers can connect, be discipled in their faith, and grow to maturity. Church buildings are closed in Iran, and there are hundreds of thousands of baby Christians who need to be connected to a house church or online church in order to grow.
You see, evangelism is easy in Iran. The Lord has already prepared the hearts of the Iranian Muslims for the Gospel. A large number of Iranians – millions of people – already have rejected Islam and will come to Christ if the Gospel is presented to them clearly. Islam is so discredited in Iran that even imams are questioning its validity. By comparing Islam and Christianity, thousands of Muslims, including some clergy, are coming to Christ through Iran Alive every week . . .
Many Iranian Muslims, and even Islamic clergies are coming to Christ. But they need a church and someone to teach them the basics of the Christian faith . . .
But now, we have a big problem at Iran Alive: More than 1,000 people are coming to Christ through us every month, but we cannot provide churches for all these new believers. As you know, the Iranian government has closed all the church buildings, and house churches are few. In fact, it’s illegal to attend a house church.
People who attend house churches are charged with activities against the Islamic regime of Iran and are jailed. Just two weeks ago, two Christians were sentenced to 10 years in prison just because they were attending a house church.
We are using our satellite channel the best we can to take care of these new Christians, but that is not enough. We have weekly classes, live church services, and even live prayer meetings. Our live church service is the only church most Christians have, and it is the most watched and attended program in our weekly schedule. But that is not enough.
In Acts 2:46, we see that the 3,000 who came to Christ on the day of Pentecost attended both in large gatherings (temple) and in houses. Our media church functions as that large gathering in the temple, but people need to be a part of a small group so that they can grow in their faith.
The large gathering is very good and needed. It encourages all isolated and persecuted Christians of Iran by letting them know, “You are not alone. You have many brothers and sisters around the world. You are a part of a global church.” I will give Iran Alive a high score in evangelism and providing a large gathering church service. But I should give us a low score in taking care of all those who are coming to Christ weekly.
Muslims are coming to Christ faster than our speed of training house church and online church pastors. It takes time and effort to train such pastors. We want to develop processes and tools to make the training of small group leaders simple and fast. We want to give them tools so that they can lead others in studying the Bible, praying, and obeying the Word.
Without discipleship, the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, becomes the Great Omission because Jesus called us to make disciples and not just converts. My friends, we need your help to train new leaders and provide tools to help those leaders disciple their members . . .