No Regrets in India – a Message from Steve Sonderman

Shortly after the death of Christ the apostle Thomas made his way to India to bring the good news of Jesus to the people of India. Since that time the population of India has grown to over 1.4 billion people- surpassing China as the largest country in the world. While the church has seen significant growth it still lags behind Hinduism and Islam.  Hindus account for 80% of the population of India, and Islamic believers at 12%.  Less than 4% of the population of India are Christian believers. 

It is in this context that I was invited by my good friend Saji Lukos, the founder of Reaching Indians Ministry International, to come partner with them in launching a movement of men’s discipleship. Their vision is to start 10 men’s discipleship groups in each of the 30 Indian states this year, to gather 2000 men next year in Nagpur, to develop a national board, and to hire a full-time director of men’s discipleship. Their vision is to mobilize 500,000 men in the next ten years! 

My role was to come alongside their team and begin to train local pastors to reach men for Jesus, root them in Jesus and release them for Kingdom impact. It was absolutely thrilling and inspiring to work with key pastors and leaders in both large cities and rural settings. Each day brought a new group of 150 pastors eager to learn, grow and be equipped to make disciples, who make disciples who make disciples. Using Jesus as the model of what a disciple-maker looks like I supported their vision for spreading the gospel with ever-expanding small group ministry and gave them the tools needed to get started in their context. Jesus trained leaders to launch a movement 2000 years ago and his methods have not changed. Using 2 Timothy 2:2 as my text I challenged each pastor to find three men and spend the next year investing in them and then release them to do the same with three more men next year. 

While the trip was exhausting because of my need to travel from place to place at night, it was, at the same time, inspiring to see these pastors envision so much for the kingdom in spite of limited resources. I spent one day in Hyderabad with a pastor who had already planted 40 churches and, on this day, gathered 135 pastors he had personally trained and wanted to further equip as disciple-makers. What a privilege!

In every city, village and town I went to, I met people who ignored persecution and hardship and moved forward with taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who need to hear it, just as Thomas did 2000 years ago. 

I want to thank each of you for your prayers and support that made this trip happen. I could not do this without you. Please continue to pray for the church in India and our partnership with RIMI. May we have wisdom to know how to train leaders in all 30 states and help them reach their goal of mobilizing 500,000 men for the kingdom of God. 

For the Cause that Counts, 

Steve Sonderman

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others”

 II Timothy 2:2 – NIV

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