4 ways TEE is serving churches in Australasia
TEE Aotearoa (New Zealand) and TEE Australia are two of Increase’s newest core members. Other Increase members are also active in this region: several Korean churches have links with TEE Korea, and several Chinese churches with TMCC.
In addition to national churches, there are many diaspora churches in both these countries. This means that one of the challenges for the TEE teams is making sure churches have access to courses in different languages. Besides English, there is a need for materials in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Mongolian, Khmer, Filipino and many more.
It sometimes seems to us that for many Christians sharing their faith is not easy. This is partly because over the last decades the number of Christians has been going down continually. Another reason may be that Bible literacy is not a priority in all churches so some people may not know the words to use.
TEE courses help Christians grow in faith and in knowledge of God’s word. Through systematic and easy to follow courses every believer can gain a deeper understanding for God’s word, how to apply it to their lives and how to share it with others. That’s why we want to introduce it to churches here.
We also feel that TEE can benefit churches in the area of leadership. We see that there’s a lack of trained leaders and a lack of pathways for new Christians to grow into leadership. So a small number of people juggle a lot of responsibilities.
TEE does not rely on leaders who went to seminaries or have had years of training. The courses are run by facilitators who have first been part of a TEE group themselves and then receive (local) training on how to run a group themselves. This provides opportunities for mature believers to lead others and so relieve the pastors of some of their workload.
Addressing issues in churches
While we see how TEE can really benefit churches here, we need to find ways to explain the vision to them in a clear and contextual way. There are already many other programmes and church-based training formats, so we need to find good ways to show church leaders what TEE has to offer. We want to show churches that the challenges they face can be addressed with TEE.
Another challenge, and opportunity at the same time, is the number of diaspora churches. We will need to find ways to make course materials in quite a few languages affordable and easily accessible.
Sharing the vision
One of the priorities is to train more Group Leaders. We also want to connect with more churches to help them see what TEE can do for them. New materials to help us share the vision of TEE with a new generation and with current church leaders is a real need for us.
Another area of interest is to think about how video tools and digital resources can go alongside TEE materials in order to make it more contextual for the needs of churches here.