As part of TWR Canada’s vision to reach the world for Christ so that lasting fruit is produced, they are investing in discipleship-focused projects that equip believers to confidently instruct others in Biblical doctrine and daily Christ-like living. One of their projects is Discipleship Essentials (DE), a multiple-format discipleship training tool developed to meet the overwhelming need of the worldwide Church for teaching and instruction. In 2020, TWR Canada started using DE to train radio home group leaders in Bangladesh and we are thankful to report that a movement of believers discipling believers is underway!
A radio home group involves 7-10 believers and seekers who gather regularly to study the Word of God through audio programming and fellowship with one another. In a country like Bangladesh with high illiteracy rates, radio home groups effectively use media to reach believers. Each radio home group has a leader, but due to a lack of trained pastors and inadequate theological resources in Bangladesh these leaders struggle to find materials that strengthen their biblical knowledge. This is where DE has become an incredible tool. As a free library of discipleship resources, DE dovetails nicely with radio home groups as a tool that assists leaders to grow in spiritual maturity, which then helps them to better disciple their group members.
In June 2022, TWR Bangladesh held a DE training event for 35 radio home group leaders where each leader received a USB with the DE training materials (video, audio, and PDF files). They also held a refresher training for 45 leaders during this time.
The feedback received encourages us that leaders are getting the resources they need.
One radio home group leader shared, “I am very pleased to get this wonderful opportunity. I have attended many training events and seminars, but I did not know much about salvation and that we can receive it without any cost. Before, I was not certain whether I was going to heaven. Many people have asked me where I would go if I died tonight. But now I know where I will go, where my destination is. I am clear on the assurance of salvation and have learned a lot through this training. Since the beginning of our training, the scope of my knowledge has been gradually increasing. Now, I realize the importance of the DE training, and I am ready to use these wonderful materials in my church.”
Preloaded tablets with the DE materials are also given to radio home group coordinators to help them train the leaders they oversee. From April to June 2022, the coordinators taught DE to approximately 3,800 radio home group leaders at their follow-up meetings. We received this response from a coordinator on the benefit of DE training:
“I am a pastor in a rural area and a radio home group coordinator. I have received DE training. There I heard the teachings of Jesus in a beautiful and fluent way through short videos and conversations that touched my heart. I watched these videos on the provided tablets and have learned many basic truths about Christian life like the assurance of salvation, the importance of a personal relationship with God, the Christian characteristic of being born again, and much more. I am continuously learning from these DE lessons.
“I am applying these teachings in my church to build them up spiritually. As a radio home group coordinator, I use these lessons at my monthly follow-up meetings with radio home group leaders and show these videos using a tablet from TWR. After watching these videos, we discuss and answer questions from the theme of each video. The leaders of radio home groups say that these lessons are helpful for them to lead and build up their spiritual lives. Using these DE materials, me, my church members and the radio home group leaders benefit and grow day-by-day in spirituality and faith in Christ.”
Because of the impact and effectiveness of the radio home group leader training, TWR Bangladesh has expanded their use of DE to start a project called Christian Workers’ Discipleship Essentials Training, which has a goal to provide teaching tools and materials to 180 Christian workers in Bangladesh.
Through this partnership, TWR Bangladesh has already provided DE materials and training to 120 staff, pastors, and youth of Compassion International Bangladesh-supported church projects. A training event attendee shared, “I work as an instructor. Many of my misconceptions about Bible teaching have been addressed in this training. I have learned a lot in the last two days, but the most significant thing is that I did not have the certainty of salvation before this training. Now I have it, and I know I will go to heaven if I die today. If I commit another sin, the blood of Jesus can wash me clean like unclean clothes. Thank you to TWR and everyone who helped organize this session.”
The stories of DE’s impact among believers remind us of Jesus’ words in John 8:31-32: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (ESV). As DE strengthens the faith of leaders, we see trained and mature Christ-followers reaching and discipling the next generation of Christian leaders.
Please join us in praising God for the discipleship movement we are seeing in Bangladesh and pray that DE would continue to bridge the gap between new believers and the impact the Church makes. Please pray that the DE training for radio home group leaders would strengthen their faith and equip them to lead their groups well.