Nadar and his wife continue to choose to serve in their home country of Pakistan where they work to see many more Jesus followers equipped and inspired to share their faith with neighbours and friends. Photo by Ellyn Schellenberg.

The core of discipleship

Nadar and his wife continue to choose to serve in their home country of Pakistan where they work to see many more Jesus followers equipped and inspired to share their faith with neighbours and friends.

“I know that if one person gives their life to Jesus, that person can change their family as well; that person will impact others,” says Nadar*, an OM worker in Pakistan. He is passionate about reaching people of the majority faith in his home country, knowing that the multiplication of Jesus followers will impact entire villages and communities and bring lasting change.

Nadar came to faith as a child attending a Sunday School camp and is now an elder at that same church, using his personal experiences with God to impact others. “From 1992, when I accepted Jesus Christ, until now, I am following Him and doing my best for Him…God has changed my heart and my life, and I am very committed to following him day by day.” Through God’s work in his own life, Nadar has seen the need to make disciples that go out and share their faith with others. He  and his wife work with OM in their home country of Pakistan. Alongside his job as operations manager, Nadar helps run a missions school for Pakistani students and leads a ministry that aids Afghan refugees.

Multiplication is an essential concept at the heart of the missions school where Nadar is on the leadership team. Rather than focusing only on individual decisions to follow Christ, the school staff emphasise building communities of Jesus followers that rely on discipleship through relationships. Students are taught to share the gospel with their own families and communities and to invest in building stronger relationships with others. In a relational culture such as in Pakistan, Nadar explains, the greatest impact comes from men and women within the community, as change is often slow when initiated by outsiders due to a lack of trust and relationship.

Each year, 20 young men and women are trained, discipled and sent in teams on month-long outreaches all over Pakistan before returning home. While at school, students receive biblical teachings, grow in their faith and learn how to share their personal experiences with others. Nadar and his wife teach the students the joy of sharing the gospel with their neighbours and encourage them to take responsibility for their communities. He says: “If your heart is changed, you have received Jesus Christ, then you need to reach others with the good news as well.”

Building trust

At the core of the discipleship practised is the importance of building relationships, following a model set by Jesus, whose ministry was marked by long-term friendships and people who journeyed and lived in community with Him. A man Nadar befriended 18 years ago recently called Nadar for help when his son got sick. Nadar helped get the boy the care he needed, and the old friends talked about hope in uncertain times. Though the men come from different religious backgrounds, they have remained friends, and Nadar continues to pray that this man’s heart will be turned toward Jesus. Nadar sees that many of his professional friends have no contact with Jesus’ followers and that, by maintaining relationships, he can support these men during difficult times and share words of hope and truth.

Through relationships centred around discipleship and sharing their faith in Jesus, Nadar and his wife have seen the impact that Jesus followers can have on their communities. Through the missions school, they work to raise up more young Pakistanis who are steady in their faith and passionate about sharing it in their own communities. As students return home and live out their faith, intentionally deepening relationships with their families and neighbours, many around them are coming to faith. Nadar says he is seeing sustainable communities of Jesus followers and seekers grow all over Pakistan.

Discipleship of Jesus followers does not happen overnight, nor does the decision to follow Christ or the impact on entire communities. Nadar’s hope that everyone in Pakistan would one day know Jesus and become ambassadors to their families is what keeps him motivated to serve. “This ministry is long-term, but the open doors to the gospel, created by friendships with people of the majority faith, encourage me to continue in prayer.”

*name changed

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