New Faces, New Disciples

South Asian people

Living in a city of 12 million people means you see new faces all the time. Unlike in the United States, where I can almost guarantee I’ll run into someone I know in the grocery store, it’s a rarity to see the same person twice in South Asia.

This plethora of new faces is not just a number but people who need to hear and respond to the gospel. It’s an opportunity for discipleship to begin with those who need it most.

For example, take Priya*. She’s a nursing student whom I met a year and a half ago. At that time, my teammates and I were leading her and her first-year classmates in a Bible study on discipleship. It was our prayer that several girls from this study would want to lead the next group of “first years” in the same Bible study during the next school year.

We began praying and talked with the girls to see who would be interested in knowing more about being a leader. To our surprise, Priya was one of the girls who was interested. She was one of the more soft-spoken girls participating in the Bible study and not one we thought of as a leader.

Now, Priya is one of our most obedient leaders. While she hasn’t lost her soft-spoken nature, she boldly leads the new first-year students in Bible study, along with our other leaders. With a little encouragement and training, Priya has discovered that she, as a follower of Jesus, is also a disciple maker.

Every new face we meet has the potential to be a disciple maker. We must honor the call of the Great Commission by first, leading them to be a disciple of Jesus and second, challenging them to make disciples themselves.

We see Jesus challenge His 12 disciples to be not just His disciples but also faithful disciple makers.

“He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14).

As believers, our calling is to spend time with Jesus and tell others about Him, making faithful disciples in the process. Our God uses all kinds of people to advance His kingdom and make disciples. Whether it’s a short, soft-spoken South Asian girl, a co-worker, a neighbor, or a friend, each new face we meet has potential.

Emily Todd* is a cross-cultural worker serving among the people of South Asia.

*Names changed.

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