YUNNAN, China - There is a Chinese saying, "For a teacher to give a student a cup of water, they must have a bucket of water themselves." This is exactly how Zhang Xia, who attended the Life of Jesus Group Leader Training in March 2022, felt.
"You have to be taught before you can teach. This is a no-brainer," said Zhang with a beaming smile.
Training of Trainers (ToT) Who Will Make Disciples
The Life of Jesus Group Leader Training was designed and delivered using the ToT format. It was one of the initiatives that the local Chinese Christian Council made to address the shortage of preachers and leaders who are equipped to conduct discipleship programs in their growing Christian communities. The United Bible Societies (UBS) was proud to support the effort.
All participants in this training are expected to lead their own small group studies in the coming year upon completing the four-part training which requires in-depth study of the life and ministries of Jesus based on the Gospel of Matthew. It is envisioned that the joint efforts by these front-line preachers and Bible study group leaders from various places of Yunnan province will multiply disciple-making in southwestern China.
An Opportunity to Learn and Grow
Zhang Xia, 28, is a full-time preacher at a church in Dali, a city on the west of Yunnan province. Born and raised in a Christian family, she attended Sunday school as a child and has always been dedicated to serving in the local church since she graduated from Bible School.
Zhang appreciates how she has benefited from the contents of the Life of Jesus: "It’s a detailed and comprehensive study and provided me with some insights I hadn't been aware of over the years. It also inspired me to pay close attention to the details in my Bible reading and gave me a much deeper understanding of the life of Christ."
"I envisioned that through this study of the life of Jesus, they could have a better understanding of the meaning of salvation and have their faith strengthened.”
As Zhang went through the training, she kept in mind the believers she would be ministering to. She shared: “[The training] also shed light for me to see the needs of believers. I envisioned that through this study of the life of Jesus, they could have a better understanding of the meaning of salvation and have their faith strengthened.”
To Work Together
Fellowship with other trainees was another highlight of Zhang’s learning experience. “During the group discussions, we were able to open up and share our hearts for discipleship, crying and laughing, holding hands and praying. It brought all of us closer and gave us a sense of belonging, like a family. We are not alone.”
“The group leader training is very important. Unless you have learned it yourself, you cannot teach it to others.” Zhang was grateful for the ToT and looked forward to leading discipleship groups going forward.
Story: Marcus Xiao
Photo: UBS China Partnership
2023@UBS China Partnership