Jacki and I have been spending some time with a few groups of Thai Christians in the past month. At one particular small group, a visiting teacher asked a question, “Why don’t Thai Christians tell others about Jesus?” The young Christians responded with two answers:
Because we’re afraid.
Because we don’t know enough about the Bible to tell them.
These responses highlight two hard realities facing the Thai church right now. Thai Christians are a minority. They make up less that 1% of the population. When Thai’s leave Buddhism or Animism to follow Jesus, in the eyes of their culture, they are turning their back on being Thai. These college students are afraid that if they tell their family and friends about Jesus, they will lose them. Most Thai Christians contend with the feelings of being outcasts in their own homes.
The second roadblock that the Thai church faces is a lack of discipleship. Thais often feel ill-equipped to share their faith, much less disciple their friends and families. Most often a Thai accepts Christ because of a missionary’s effort or a friend’s influence, but then they are left to figure out what it means on their own. Sadly, many drop out of their new found faith because no one takes them in and disciples them.
So what do we do about it?