“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38
Apply God’s truth, perform Acts of Love, and conduct yourselves in obedience to God. These are the three core ideas behind the teachings of TCT. Often we find that the Church in Asia is one-track-minded, focusing on evangelism and not expanding beyond that. Churches see their soul purpose as serving the spiritual needs of their community and gaining more followers of Christ.
However, there are more and more churches in Asia that see their responsibility reaching beyond spiritual needs. One such church is led by Pastor Phillip. He grew up in a small agricultural village, attended Bible school as a young adult and then returned to his home village to minister to his community. He has helped to grow an amazing community of believers that truly believe in God’s power and want to share His love with everyone around them.
Two years ago Pastor Phillip and his church decided to join the TCT training program. When new churches begin receiving TCT training we usually see them progress at different speeds. Generally they start with baby steps and gradually progress to a steady run, performing Acts of Love around their communities on a larger, more frequent basis. Phillip’s church has already made it to a full out sprint. Over the past two years, this church has helped facilitate change in their village.
There is one main road that runs through the area near Pastor Phillip’s church. It is a large road that connects four villages. Over the years no one has taken ownership of it—not the government and not the villagers—so gradually it has fallen into disrepair. It is muddy and filled with potholes, and villagers have become scared to drive on it due to frequent accidents.
The Church’s Response:
After beginning their TCT training, the church realized that repairing the road was a need that they could fill. Though they were a small, monetarily poor church, they knew they could love their community with some extra gravel and dirt. They filled the potholes, making the road safer for everyone. However, fixing the road with rocks and dirt was only a temporary fix, and so the church committed to maintaining it every six months.
The Government’s response:
Seeing the difference the road maintenance made in the area, the government stepped in and agreed to widen and pave the road. For the past two months the government has been working on the project and has made significant improvements to the road. God used the government to multiply the efforts that the church had initiated.
The government response was unexpected to say the least. Traditionally the church had not been welcomed in the area. They were merely tolerated by government officials. However, the government has now seen the change the church members are helping bring to the community and want to see that change continue to spread. The government has even gone so far as to request that the church invite non-Christian members of the community to come to church!
Members of Phillip’s church are continuing to seek new ways they can love their neighbor. They regularly give love offerings of money and rice to be distributed amongst the vulnerable. Each morning hundreds of people gather at the church to pray before heading to their fields similar to the early church in Acts 2:44-47. Also, they are crossing religious barriers and showing love to those who previously denied Christ. Pastor Phillip’s church is a challenging example of what love in action looks like, and how God shows up when we are obedient. Has your church ever done something similar in your community? We’d love to hear about it!