What we do and how we work

Some Background

The book Bible Basics was published in 1992, and is, we believe, a sound statement of the Truth as understood by Christadelphians. This book has been the backbone of our preaching work. Prior to this, the course now known as Introducing Bible Basics was used to spread the Truth. 

We hate ‘numbering Israel’ as it were but perhaps a few statistics are in order to explain the exciting extent of the work.

 


Some Figures

Over the past 15 years we have advertised Introducing Bible Basics and since 1992 Bible Basics and associated work world-wide. This has resulted in around 2000 baptisms by God’s grace. These have been in:-

The Americas - Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Trinidad, USA [18 to date]

Europe - Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Turkey, U.K., Ukraine, Yugoslavia

Asia - Afghanistan, China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Middle East / North Africa - Eritrea, Iran , Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, , Sudan, Tunisia

Africa - There were about 700 baptisms whilst we were in the Dawn fellowship, scattered throughout Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Most of these are now in Central fellowship and cared for by the C.B.M.

This is in addition to all the countries where we have made contacts and visited them but as yet with no baptisms- nevertheless a witness has been made. In the majority of those countries there has either developed or is developing a healthy, sound ecclesial base.

We believe that we have been used by the Lord to be at the cutting edge of taking the true Gospel into all the world before the Lord comes, therefore we have tried to follow the pattern of Paul in seeking to take Christ to where He has not been named by other preachers (2 Cor. 10:12-16) This is one of our guiding principles. Like Paul in the context of that quotation, we do not seek to interfere with others’ preaching nor to be in competition, only to take Christ to those who have not heard. We have contacts from almost every country on earth- at the time of writing we are hoping for our first baptisms soon in Iraq. Replies have been received very recently from Iceland and Greenland. We believe that it would be a tragedy to see this work curtailed- it has taken us 20 years of developing our resources and methodology to get into the position where, by God’s grace and blessing, the Truth is literally spreading to the furthest corners of the planet. In the course of this work we have distributed something like 100,000 copies of Bible Basics and over 200,000 copies of Introducing Bible Basics or its equivalent, in various languages. In the last 12 months, there has been an average of 4 baptisms / week as a result of God’s blessing upon our work. This is roughly a baptism every two days!

 


Our Method

Our Method is in 4 stages:-

  1. Initial development of interest

  2. Tutoring and following up contacts to baptism

  3. Encouraging the spiritual development of those baptized with the aim of them forming self-sustaining, independent ecclesias giving glory to our Father in Heaven and eagerly awaiting the return of His Son.

  4. Caring for the specific material needs of those baptized.

We’ll now look at these in more detail:


1) Initial development of interest

This is done by:-

  • Press adverts

  • Leaflet distribution

  • The internet

  • Encouraging existing contacts and converts to spread the message by giving them literature to distribute

  • Placing Bible Basics in libraries.

The amount of funds spent on this varies enormously year to year, in accordance with possibilities that arise. We have a guiding principle here of producing literature in the native language of those to whom we are preaching. We generally do not produce literature piecemeal; if we are going to go into a country, we try to produce enough literature so that the contact can learn all our doctrines through it. We see little point, e.g., in producing a booklet about baptism in, say, Zulu if there is no other literature to give to a Zulu-only speaking contact. We therefore aim to produce Bible Basics and preferably Introducing Bible Basics in the target language. We find ourselves led by the Lord in which countries to go for- e.g. work in Israel led to contacts with Falashas, and so an Ethiopian [Amharic] version was produced, and this led to contacts in Eritrea who were then baptized. They then fled to Sudan, thence to Libya, and this led to work and baptisms there. As long as we seek to work with the Lord and are willing to follow His providential leadings, we find the work blessed. Bible Basics has now been produced in over 50 languages and many more are ongoing.

Responses to our advertising are faithfully mailed out by brothers and sisters in various locations world-wide. If you or your ecclesia would like to get involved with such mail out work, please get in touch! We can assure you that a great bond of fellowship is developed in this work.


2) Tutoring and following up contacts to baptism

We believe it is vital for contacts to have a Bible in their own language. It is often hard for people in isolated areas or Islamic states to buy their own Bible and so we buy them from Western suppliers and mail out. Often the first piece of literature we send is the Bible Companion, as we try to encourage them to read the Bible for themselves personally above all.

We encourage any involved in tutoring to make at least some attempt to learn the language of the area they are working in. We like to hand over as much responsibility as possible for local preaching to local converts; we baptize them on the understanding that they are to be a light to their world, and we are there to support them as far as possible.  Tutoring in European languages is handled from within Eastern Europe; tutoring in English from England. If you would like to tutor contacts in English, either by email or by post, please do get in touch with us! Tutoring in other languages is either done through translation over the internet by our team, or by local brothers and sisters in the field who speak the language in question. We keep a central data base of all contacts who are actively studying with us. We have around 2,000, generating around 10 letters / day on average plus many e-mails.

Candidates for baptism are typically expected to have completed Bible Basics and to have had discussion with us by post about baptism before we even think of visiting them; this is because we are dealing with such a wide geographical area that it is impossible to send workers out to meet contacts just for discussion. Where possible we try to gather contacts together for Bible Schools and to get local brothers and sisters to visit them. We are baptizing an average of 3 Bible Basics contacts / week. This number is increasing as the converts themselves start to perform interviews and baptisms and they in turn spread the message to their network of contacts, who if converted, spread it to theirs, etc.

We baptize candidates on the basis of their believing the essence of the BASF and committing themselves to a Godly life in Christ thereafter. Our ideal is for there to be a brother and sister at each interview, preferably one of them a local convert, and for the interview to be conducted wherever possible in the native language of the candidate. Circumstances may prevent this in every case but this is our ideal. We believe every effort should be made to enable candidates to be interviewed as quickly as possible once they have stated their desire for baptism. This part of our budget includes travel to visit and baptize contacts.


3) Encouraging the spiritual development of those baptized with the aim of them forming self-sustaining, independent ecclesias giving glory to our Father in Heaven and eagerly awaiting the return of His Son. This is our final aim.

As soon as someone is baptized, they are:

  • Strongly encouraged to use the Bible Companion which they have been sent during their study, and to break bread alone if necessary each week as explained in the final chapter of Bible Basics. We place a priority in getting the Bible Companion translated into the local languages.

  • Sent a literature pack containing Christadelphian books for further study, lessons and leaflets for distribution etc. This is sent in English to those who know English and in Russian to those who know Russian. Over 30 major Christadelphian books have been produced in Russian and some in Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian. We are working on producing more material in other languages.

  • Sent exhortations for the breaking of bread. This service is in English and Russian but we are needing to expand it to cover other languages.

  • Their address is given to a group of brothers and sisters who send them greetings for their baptism and seek to develop a personal bond with them through correspondence. If you would like to be involved in this- please ask!

  • Sent literature for their children or young relatives in English or Russian. We are working on developing children’s materials in other languages. One of our guiding principles is that the new converts should teach their children and families systematically about the Truth.

  • Sent Gospel News magazine. They are encouraged to write articles and news and to have contact with other brothers and sisters in similar circumstances to them or speaking the same language. They are encouraged, and funded where appropriate, to travel to meet with their nearest believers. We believe the newly baptized should express themselves in writing about their feelings and Bible studies and share these with other brothers and sisters. Gospel News and other local journals enable this. We are concerned about the dearth of resources in languages apart from English, Russian & Spanish.

  • Invited to Bible Schools where possible so that they can meet with other converts like themselves. If you would like to attend a Bible School in a mission area, we would be delighted to see you!

  • Introduced to appropriate local brothers and sisters and encouraged to form ecclesias.

 

4) Caring for the specific material needs of those baptized.

Increasingly those baptized from Bible Basics work are from areas where there is serious persecution or major instability and poverty. Be it rural Latvia, Islamic countries like Iran where baptism carries the death sentence, or poverty stricken members of persecuted ethnic minorities - e.g. Serbs in Albanian held territory, Russians in Kazakhstan- there are very real and large welfare items constantly coming up. The break-up of the USSR caused major social upheaval, the extent of which is not widely recognized  . Many need re-housing, and the privatisation of medical services results in increased need to fund operations from cataracts to Caesarians. There are also major expenses involved with those who have had to flee their homelands after baptism due to Islamic persecution. They arrive in foreign lands or distant cities destitute, having sacrificed all they have for the Truth, and require our major support. There are also those who have problems connected with their conscientious objection to military service. This may require them to flee to another country, flee elsewhere and apply for asylum, or to go underground for some years within their native country. This all creates a large demand for funds with which to support them. These cases often require emergency visits to be made to assess needs and find ways forward to help and sustain them, as well as to support them in tribunals and appeals to the UN. We hasten to add that we do not respond to requests for funds by merely handing over whatever is requested.


Something we feel has often been overlooked is the unaddressed trauma that many of the new converts go through. This is not only due to persecution but to the exceptional difficulties which people in poor societies suffer. Death, often violent or tragic, is a frequent part of their experience; often they do not understand health issues. We have a good network of counsellors, shoulders to cry on, doctors, psychologists and other specialists to whom we refer such cases. We urgently desire to expand that network. If you have any skills, or if you’re just willing to correspond with someone in need, grief or hurt, please get in touch!