I’m currently thoroughly enjoying an advance copy of a book by an author that will be a new name to most of you. Drew Dyck is managing editor of Leadership Journal and the book is titled Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying. A copy came to me through HarperCollins Christian Publishing, not through the Wednesday Link List connections you might expect.
I’ll have more to say about the book closer to its May release date, and since you’re not supposed use excerpts until the final edition is ready, I want to draw attention to something Drew quoted from a Christian missions agency in south Asia, Asian Access. Drew introduces this by saying that in North America or Western Europe, we might ask people superficial questions like, ‘Do you like contemporary or traditional worship music?’ At Asian Access the questions are quite different:
Seven questions for new converts
Asian Access (or A2), a Christian missions agency in South Asia, listed a series of questions that church planters must ask new believers who are considering baptism. (Due to safety concerns, Asian Access does not mention the country’s name.) The country is predominantly Hindu, but over the past few decades Christianity has grown in popularity—especially among poor and tribal peoples. These are the seven questions asked to help determine a new convert’s readiness to follow Christ:
- Are you willing to leave home and lose the blessing of your father?
- Are you willing to lose your job?
- Are you willing to go to the village and those who persecute you, forgive them, and share the love of Christ with them?
- Are you willing to give an offering to the Lord?
- Are you willing to be beaten rather than deny your faith?
- Are you willing to go to prison?
- Are you willing to die for Jesus?
If the new convert answers yes to all of these questions, then A2 leaders invite that person to sign on the bottom of the paper that of their own free will they have decided to follow Jesus. But here’s the risk: if a new convert signs the paper and is caught by the government, he or she will spend three years behind bars. The one who did the evangelizing faces six years in prison.
I have no doubt that people there are willing to embrace this. Perhaps our problem here is that we call people to so much less, so we shouldn’t be surprised we get less response.