Does discipleship look the same in every culture? How does it look different? How has globalization made things similar? Is discipleship a program? A relationship? Or both? How do we disciple those who may come from a different background than us? These are just some of the questions that come into our minds whenever we talk about the subject of discipleship in our modern world with special guest Ajith Fernando.
As our culture becomes more and more diverse and polycentric (all people going from everyone to everywhere), we will be interacting with those from different backgrounds. It is necessary then to learn about who they are in order that we might come alongside them and show them what it means to follow Jesus more effectively.
Today’s guest, who is here to talk to us about multicultural discipleship is Ajith Fernando. Ajith serves as Teaching Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka after being National Director for 35 years. These days his main responsibilities in YFC are counseling, mentoring, and teaching staff and volunteers. With his wife Nelun he is active in a Methodist Church just outside Colombo, most of whose members are recent believers. His grassroots ministry has been and is primarily with the urban poor.
Ajith has a wider counseling and mentoring ministry with Christian leaders and workers and a teaching ministry in conferences and theological schools in Sri Lanka and abroad. He is a regular visiting lecturer at Colombo Theological Seminary.
Ajith and Nelun have a son Asiri who is a Youth for Christ staff worker. His daughter Nirmali and daughter-in-Law Cheryl are YFC volunteers, and Nirmali’s husband Refuge is on the YFC staff.
Ajith is the author of Discipling in a Multicultural World (Cross, 2019), Acts (The NIV Application Commentary) (Zondervan, 2010), Deuteronomy: Loving Obedience to a Loving God (Preaching the Word) (Crossway, 2012), Jesus Driven Ministry (Crossway, 2007), Reclaiming Love: Radical Relationships in a Complex World (Zondervan, 2013), The Family Life of a Christian Leader (Crossway, 2016), The Call to Joy and Pain: Embracing Suffering in Your Ministry (Crossway, 2007), The Supremacy of Christ (Crossway, 1995), Crucial Questions About Hell (Crossway, 1994), Reclaiming Friendship: Relating to Each Other in a Frenzied World (Herald Press, 1993), Sharing the Truth in love: How to Relate to People Of Other Faiths (Our Daily Bread Publishing, 2014),
There were several episodes featured in today’s show:
Some of the biases we have as Westerners approaching the Scriptures:
For those who come from Asian backgrounds wanting to hear more interviews from Asian American Christians:
Other episodes referred to in the episode:
Conversation on racism:
Sign up for the Apollos Watered newsletter.
God continues to grow our ministry, but He calls people like you to help do it! Support the Ministry of Apollos Watered today!