This is perhaps the simplest overview of T4T that I have seen:
Tobias Issara is a missionary from Southeast Asia working in Southeast Asia. When done well, T4T is not the Christian version of multi-level marketing. T4T works best in contexts with no buildings, no budgets, and no locally paid staff. I am aware of a couple of places in the United States where Churches with buildings, budgets and staff are making a go of T4T. I am wondering how we might use the framework in our on-going efforts among our youth and young adults.
Candidly, I struggle with T4T: what about the pastoral care? A large portion of my congregation are seniors–how do they fit into this paradigm. The truth is that some seniors are very open to sharing their faith with their contemporaries. There are unspoken roadblocks in many American congregations–but let’s find them and address them. A big part of T4T is “casting vision”–do we as pastors and leaders cast the vision for seniors to witness to other seniors? Or do we only cast the vision of reaching the next generation? Do I follow up the vision with practical direction in our community context? Those are challenging questions.
One of the spoken roadblocks is “that’s not the way we’ve done it before”. That’s part of the reason why I need to be asking how do I intentionally build discipleship and disciple-making into our new congregations aimed at equipping and empowering youth and young adults? Whether we use T4T or another model, there needs to be a relational investment in the discipleship of individuals where the Church intentionally stretches people and commissions them to serve in the church and in the world.
Once again, I am practicing what I preach: engaging missions well builds a healthy home church which reaches out locally and to the ends of the earth. Care, Worship, Accountability, Vision, Lesson, Practice, and Prayerful Goals: Discipleship, not Entertainment.
Thank you Toby.