The Shumaker Family's Blog

Does a lack of literacy negate the responsibility of discipleship? Part 1

There is a major problem with literacy in Burkina Faso.  Actually, we are the lowest in the world at a little over 20%.  This does create a major obstacle for the church in their responsibility to disciple their believers.  When a person can’t read the Bible, how can they be active in the Word?   Does this mean that God doesn’t want them to grow, hear, or read the Word of God each day?  I don’t believe that the job of discipleship was given only to those who could read.  I would imagine that many people wouldn’t have been able to read and most would not be able to write in Jesus’ day.   We are to Go (win souls), baptize and disciple.  I don’t read an exemption clause in Matt. 28:19-20.

We have been trying to develop a very effective discipleship program at Water of Life Baptist Church over the past few years.  I believe that it can be improved, and we are working at it. Currently we have 12 people that are doing discipleship with at least one other person during the week.  Some are doing it with 4 or 5.  The struggle we have is with those who don’t read or write.  Every Sunday after the morning service, we do have 2 ladies who meet with 4-5 others that do not read for discipleship, but the ladies in the group still cannot read their Bibles on a daily basis.  A few people at Water of Life Baptist Church are illiterate, but in the village it is virtually everybody.

I don’t think that a lack of literacy should keep somebody from growing in their relationship with Christ so we have come up with a plan so that all can be discipled.  I will talk about it in the next blog.

The greatest hindrance in my opinion to discipleship in 2012 isn’t a lack of being able to read or write, but a lack of mature Christians that are willing to devote their lives to another.  People are too busy and many times too selfish.  Discipleship is just life on life.  Loving Jesus with all your heart and letting somebody learn how to love Jesus.

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    Rome Baptist Temple
    P.O. Box 1023
    Rome, GA 30162
    Pastor: Dr. Billy Goolesby
    Phone: (706)232-8969

    06 BP 9460 Ouagadougou 06
    Burkina Faso
    Phone: (706)534-8965

    Macedonia World Baptist Missions Inc.
    P. O. Box 519
    Braselton, GA 30517

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