Discipleship
12.04.16

It Takes a Movement



Catching the train to the Conference Office in Epping was the best option for me when I first arrived in Sydney. In fact, it has been something I have really enjoyed. Firstly, it reminds me of growing up in Hong Kong, where I would catch the MTR train every day to school. More significantly, though, it has given me a chance to spend 10mins every morning mingling with many people from the community.

The People of the Thornleigh Train Station

If you catch the 7:31am train at Thornleigh, there is always a father and a son chatting to each other, close to the edge of the platform. There are a couple of women in office uniforms and sneakers who always arrive at the station together. Once the yellow and grey train pulls in to the station, the shrill whistle of the station master gives you a warning nudge to keep you moving towards the train doors. As you step off the train at Epping, you walk through a wall of people waiting to get on the train and then catch sight of a buzzing community of girls in pink school uniforms scattered throughout the station hall like a flock of pink galas. It is exhilarating to be one of the 287 million journeys that customers make on the Sydney trains each year!

How Many of These People Know What We Know?

Yet, in the midst of the exhilaration, there is also that nagging thought. How many of these people know what we know? I mean, how many of them know that Jesus died on the Cross for them? That He is offering them the free gift of salvation and His righteousness? That the kingdom of God is at hand and that Jesus is coming soon? Most importantly, how many of them have accepted Jesus as their Saviour, Lord and Friend? And if they don’t know, how will we reach them?

The Stats

We have much to praise God for here in Sydney. In 2011, there were 11,701 people that said that they were Seventh-day Adventists when they filled out government surveys. Over the last 6 years, there have been between 160-320 people who have joined our church each year. Also, there are over 2.6 million people in Sydney who see themselves as Christians. Yet, this still leaves over 1.7 million people who publicly state that they don’t believe in Jesus. Even more sobering is the reality that many people who tick a box saying that they are Christian are not actually disciples of Jesus. How will we reach them?

A Movement to Reach a City

It has been said that it takes a movement to reach a city. A movement is a growing group of people who are united by a shared vision and a passionate commitment to a cause. Think of the African- American civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.   Or alternatively, think of the people in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt who overthrew whole governments in the Arab Spring in 2011. Movements have the power to change the course of history.

The Life of Jesus

Consider the life of Jesus. He never wrote a book. He never owned a house. He never started a business or ran for office. Yet, Jesus changed history by starting a discipleship-missionary movement that now spans the globe. In fact, if you were to take a satellite view of the global history of Jesus’ true church, the best way to describe it is that the church is a missional movement focused on sharing the good news about Jesus and His kingdom and preparing for His soon return. Revelation also depicts an end-time movement of people who have a special message for every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

A Supernatural Movement

It will take a supernatural movement to reach Sydney. Do you see yourself as part of that movement? Do you hunger to be part of the discipleship movement that Jesus started and the prophetic missionary movement that prepares the way for Jesus to come back?

If you’d like to know more about the Digital Discipleship Conference, where we will be discussing discipleship in the digital space, visit our website at http://digitaldisciples.info.

Click here to register for the Digital Discipleship Conference.

Sven Östring is the Director of Sabbath School, Stewardship and Discipleship, with a specific calling to grow the discipleship movement in Greater Sydney.