Some Obstacles We May Face

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While certainly not unique to Thailand, Christ’s church there has some issues that are almost certainly hindering the advancement of the gospel among the villages where there are no churches.  Here are a few obstacles we may face in Thailand (credit and attribution to a dear brother in Christ for these observations – he shall remain nameless, for obvious reasons):

a)      Most churches have a clergy/laity split that hinders personal evangelism, as the average Christian feels they are unqualified to preach the gospel, or that it’s not their job, i.e., the Pastor should do it.  Churches are hierarchical, with the Pastor at the top.  In some churches you wouldn’t be allowed to preach unless you have a degree.  All this makes it difficult to empower the saints for service.

b)      Many Christians are timid when it comes to sharing their faith.  Younger Christians have a problem, as it’s not culturally polite for a younger person to teach an older person.  This limits missions organizations like YWAM.  Many of their Thai staff are ineffective as evangelists.

c)      Laziness? I think that is an issue.  We rarely come across people from city churches witnessing in the villages we work in.  But we do see and hear about Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.  The fact is these groups put pressure on their members to witness and they do it!  Unfortunately in most churches witnessing is optional for the zealous few.

 

As noted, these issues are not unique to Thailand.  Indeed a) and c) can probably be said about most churches in the United States.  The issue of relative status – which can be based on age, or relative affluence, or occupation, or various other things – is not something we have to worry about much in the U.S.  I can see how this could hinder personal evangelism unless ALL of the saints – young, old, government workers, farmers, etc. – feel both empowered to witness and burdened for the lost.  Then, the young can witness to the young, the old to the old, etc.

Holy Spirit, instruct your children in Thailand about how You want to build Jesus Christ’s church!  Amen.