Seventh-day Adventist churches are making disciples in Papua New Guinea (PNG), thanks to training sessions at Hohola church, run by Pastors Leigh Rice, Peter Roennfeldt and Wayne Krause from the South Pacific Division (SPD).
Five months after Pastor Roennfeldt conducted the initial seminar on discipleship, Central Papuan Conference (CPC) president Pastor Kove Tau invited the SPD team to return and witness how the discipleship framework was being implemented by local churches. Pastor Tau also requested that they train the local pastors and provide them with appropriate resources. The training and resources are based on Pastor 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,” said Pastor Tau.
The Silva and Ted Wilson Memorial Adventist Church, pastored by Pastor Frank Lymabian, has organised 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. Pastor Roennfeldt said that spending Sabbath morning with the groups was “one of the highlights of the visits.”
Meanwhile, Pastor Rice witnessed church members at Tubusereia starting Bible studies underneath homes and besides betel nut markets under the leadership of their pastor 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 Pastor Rice invited senior elder Abel Koivi to offer a special prayer of dedication for them.
Pastor Wayne Krause, SPD director of Mission to the Cities, was also thrilled with the excitement and commitment of the church members in PNG. He was able to accompany Conference secretary Pastor Rex Koi in visiting the Kinakon church plant at Pacific Adventist University.
“The major take-away from this was firstly the need to be intentional with discipleship and the nuances of dealing with change in the direction of ministry,” said CPC communications director Russell Woruba. “Discipleship is not a change but what Jesus has called us to do from the very beginning.”