August 12, 2017

Discipleship Means Multiplication in Papua New Guinea

Vania Chew, Keke Omoa, and Russell Woruba, Adventist Record

Seventh-day Adventist churches in central Papua New Guinea (PNG) are making new disciples thanks to training sessions at Hohola church, run by South Pacific Division (SPD) church region headquarters officers Leigh Rice, Peter Roennfeldt and Wayne Krause.

Bible Reading Groups established in the homes and front yards of members mean PNG residents are bringing access to the gospel to their neighbors and friends. [Photo: Adventist Record]

Five months after Roennfeldt conducted the initial seminar on discipleship, Central Papuan Conference (CPC) president Kove Tau invited the SPD team to return and witness the local churches’ implementation of the notion. Tau also requested that they train the local pastors and provide them with appropriate resources. The training and resources are based on Roennfeldt’s book Following Jesus.

We must have the second phase of the movement-building seminar as our churches are embracing the concept and running with it

“We must have the second phase of the movement-building seminar as our churches are embracing the concept and running with it,” said Tau.

Silva and Ted Wilson Memorial Adventist Church pastor Frank Lymabian has organized Sabbath School classes into residential zones and conducted Bible studies using the Discovery Bible Guide. As a result, the congregation has now planted more than 30 churches. Roennfeldt said that spending Sabbath morning with the groups was “one of the highlights of the visits.”

Meanwhile, Rice witnessed church members at Tubusereia starting Bible studies underneath homes and besides betel nut markets, under the leadership of Steven Bana. He also had the opportunity to meet and train church members at Gordons Church. When the appeal was made for members to start Bible study groups and begin disciple-making, a row of Pathfinders responded to the appeal by raising their hands. An overwhelmed Rice invited senior elder Abel Koivi to offer a special prayer of dedication for them.

SPD director of Mission to the Cities Wayne Krause was also thrilled with the excitement and commitment of church members in PNG. He accompanied Conference secretary Rex Koi to visit the Kinakon church plant at Pacific Adventist University.

From left to right, Pastors Leigh Rice, Wayne Krause and Peter Roennfeldt, who recently provided discipleship training in Papua New Guinea. [Photo: Adventist Record]

“The major takeaway from this was that first, we need to be intentional with discipleship and the nuances of dealing with change in the direction of ministry,” said CPC communication director Russell Woruba. “Discipleship does not imply a change but [to do what] Jesus has called us to do from the very beginning.”

Members at Gordons Church listen intently to Pastor Rice. [Photo: Adventist Record]