LeaderSource - Exponential Growth in the Persian-Speaking World

Exponential Growth in the Persian-Speaking World

The work of building healthy leaders in the Persian-Speaking World has only just begun.

In just one of the nations in the Persian-speaking world, there are 48 above-ground Persian-speaking churches. In many of these, five to ten people come to Christ every Sunday. This has created a significant challenge for pastors, who can’t possibly do the deep work of discipling everyone. Now, our partners in the region are mobilizing teams of more mature believers to follow up with new believers in the journey of discipleship through a program called Safar. The Safar program applies the ConneXions Model for holistic growth with new disciples over a period of 100 days, through the connective power of relationship and technology. 
Many new believers in the Persian-speaking world have been led to the Lord through social media, Skype, or some other means of technology. Safar uses the same channels to funnel high-quality, Scriptural content (video clips, documents, and teaching) along with discussion questions to each participant to aid in discipleship, and partners each new disciple with someone who can come alongside them in their journey, a hamsafar (traveling companion) who, ideally, is located in a nearby church. 
While Safar is a formalized process, it is flexible and conversational. As each disciple continues in the program, they experience the power of God’s Word through reading it every day. Then, every three to four days, disciple and hamsafar meet one-on-one through social media, video chat, phone calls, or in-person meetings in coffee shops, homes, and parks. During this time, they work through what the disciple has been learning together, pray together, discuss questions that arise, and provide vital fellowship, accountability, and guidance. 
On the days when they are not meeting together, they still touch base and provide relational accountability.
This program is immensely helpful to pastors in managing the number of new believers that come into their churches. One pastor recently shared:
“I am so glad to see new believers being quickly connected to someone for discipleship. Every week three to five people were coming to faith, but discipleship was so difficult. I feel more at ease now that new believers are connected with someone. People in the church are excited to disciple these new believers!”
Believers who have gone through Safar are equipped and mature enough in Christ to become hamsafars themselves, which enables exponential growth consistent with the number of converts pouring into the church in Persian-speaking regions. This growth in number is concurrent with a deep, holistic growth in God. One hamsafar shared:
“One of my challenges was that while I had heard a lot about Jesus and had teaching, I thought, where would I start if I were going to share with someone else about Jesus? Now I have Safar. The steps are intentional, have purpose, and are step-by-step. I myself can grow, and the new believer can grow too!”
Our partners have trained thousands of hamsafars now, who are discipling thousands of new believers currently – using the ConneXions Model as their basis for holistic health. Growth is exponential, and there are already multiple examples of third- and fourth-generation disciples. Along with this growth comes increased demand for Scripture translations, prompting a need to print 100,000 more New Testaments than anticipated last year. 
And the work has only just begun!


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