Discipling in a Multicultural World

By Ajith Fernando, Foreword by Robert E. Coleman

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Discipling in a Multicultural World

By Ajith Fernando, Foreword by Robert E. Coleman

... Show All

Our multicultural world needs countercultural disciplers.

People from all over the world are coming to Christ from a variety of backgrounds. This requires more people who are willing to commit to the effort and sacrifice it takes to invest in new believers.

Rooted in over four decades of multicultural discipleship experience, Ajith Fernando offers biblical principles for discipling and presents examples showing how they apply to daily life and ministry. He addresses key cultural challenges, such as the value of honor and shame, honoring family commitments, and dealing with persecution, and helps us think realistically about the cost and commitment required for productive cross-cultural ministry. This practical guide to discipleship will help us help others grow into mature and godly followers of Christ.

Read Chapter 1


Ajith Fernando

Ajith Fernando (ThM, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the teaching director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka after serving as the ministry's national director for thirty-five years. He and his wife, Nelun, are active in a church ministering primarily to the urban poor, and his ministry includes counseling and mentoring younger staff and pastors. He is the author of twenty-one books published in twenty-four languages. Ajith lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with his wife, and they have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Product Details

Category: Evangelism & Missions
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 288
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 13.97 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-6285-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-6285-3
ISBN-UPC: 9781433562853
Case Quantity: 44
Published: February 28, 2019

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert E. Coleman
Bible Versions Used

Part 1: Introducing Spiritual Parenthood 

  1. Spiritual Parenthood: So Needed, but Why So Neglected?
  2. Objections and Pitfalls 
  3. Born into a Family, Incorporated into a Body 
  4. Belonging to Two Families 
  5. Facing Suffering, Persecution, and Loss of Honor
  6. Mission, Ambition, and Exhortation

Part 2: How Christians Change

  1. The Change Process
  2. Learning the Truth
  3. Praying 
  4. Confronting Guilt and Receiving Forgiveness 
  5. Understanding Biblical Honor and Shame 
  6. Experiencing Liberation and Power 
  7. Healing for Wounds

Appendix 1: What We Aim for in Discipling 
Appendix 2: Other Issues to Talk about During Meetings
Appendix 3: Ingredients Needed in a Follow-Up Course
General Index
Scripture Index


“A gifted teacher, communicator, and evangelist, Ajith Fernando has produced a most timely resource to equip today’s generation. In recent decades the church in the West has struggled to develop mature disciples. We have retreated into our dwindling communities with the occasional foray outside in the attempt to make converts. Fernando calls us to the task of developing mature disciples, and through the deepening of our faith we are better equipped to engage in the wider world.”
Stephen Skuce, Director of Global Relationships, The Methodist Church in Britain

“Grounded in Scripture, rooted in decades of ministry, and colorfully illustrated from Sri Lanka and around the world, Ajith Fernando’s Discipling in a Multicultural World will enrich God’s people as we seek to make disciples among all nations. Much more than a classroom guide, it will motivate us to follow Fernando’s example, pouring our lives into others just as others poured their lives into his.”
David Greenlee, Director of Missiological Research and Evaluation, Operation Mobilization

“How do we make disciples of Jesus in contexts of increasing ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity? Few people are as qualified to answer this question as the global Christian statesman Ajith Fernando. Drawing upon four decades of ministry worldwide and a seasoned scholar’s understanding of Scripture, Fernando provides us with a rich and wise guide to forming disciples among those from various cultural backgrounds. Essential insights for effective ministry today!”
Harold Netland, Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Intercultural Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“In Discipling in a Multicultural World, Ajith Fernando moves beyond techniques and programs to the life-on-life realities of discipleship in the emerging context of multiculturalism. This book is a gem for those who are prepared to come face-to-face with the real cost of discipleship. Filled with practical examples, the book is a real-life tutorial from one of the great giants of discipleship in our day. A truly formational book!”
Timothy C. Tennent, President and Professor of World Christianity, Asbury Theological Seminary

“Ajith Fernando has been living the message of this book for more than four decades, and now he shares his insights in this comprehensive work. Integrating thorough biblical study, extensive experience, deep understanding of cultural dynamics, and vulnerable story-telling, Discipling in a Multicultural World is essential reading for any leader who—like Paul the apostle—aspires to ‘present everyone mature in Christ’ (Col. 1:28).”
Paul Borthwick, Senior Consultant, Development Associates International; coauthor, The Fellowship of the Suffering

“If I were selecting someone to write a book titled Discipling in a Multicultural World, Ajith Fernando would be my first choice. I know of no one more qualified to address this topic. Fernando has a scholar’s mind, a pastor’s heart, and a practitioner’s skill—all of which have been tested and proven in the crucible of multicultural experience. These chapters reflect not an ivory-tower author but one who knows the joys and heartaches of real life in the trenches. I heartily commend this book to all who want a deeper understanding of and motivation for ‘making disciples of all nations.’”
Timothy K. Beougher, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Invitation to Evangelism

“Ajith Fernando has written a very helpful, deep, mature, and biblical book on disciple making in real life from a multicultural perspective. He draws from his many years of ministry experience in preaching and teaching, evangelism, discipling, and mentoring, especially with Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka. I highly recommend Discipling in a Multicultural World as essential reading for all Christians!”
Siang-Yang Tan, Professor of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor, First Evangelical Church, Glendale, California; author, Counseling and Psychotherapy