Did you ever wonder how to begin ministering and discipling others when a foreign language is a major barrier? In this episode, Shawn Walden discusses some of his experiences and best practices reaching people in a large metro area with many different languages. Shawn is part of the outreach staff of a very large congregation in Los Angeles, California. He was looking at ways to reach the large Spanish population when he was introduced to Zúme by Curtis Sergeant and Doug Lucas before Zúme branched out from the English language. Since then, Shawn has led many discipleship groups in Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic and Farsi. But how does it work when you are not fluent in the other languages? Shawn takes us through some of his techniques that have proven very successful.
In every new experience, there is some trial and error. Shawn explains how being familiar with the Zúme material is an important ingredient to success, especially when there are language barriers. It is also very helpful to have an assistant in a new discipleship group that acts as a translator or facilitator. Flexibility is key to teach new believers to disciple, given that each culture has its own unique characteristics. While Zúme has a structured approach to discipleship, the structure is not the most critical part – it is the obedience to the faith which bears fruit. Shawn shares how allowing God to water and nurture a newly planted seed is very rewarding and even sometimes unexpected. God can do extraordinary things through ordinary people of all walks of life.