Pastor Chrysantha Tillekeratne

Assembly of God, Veliveriya
Sri Lanka

Share with us some of your thoughts and feelings when you first heard about the G12 Vision?

Well, I first heard about the G12 Vision back in 2004 when I received the wonderful opportunity to go to the United Kingdom (UK) for the G12 UK Conference. Personally for me, it was a life changing moment where everything seemed to click and make sense. I was so inspired, blessed and on fire to take up the challenge to find my 12. When I went back to Sri Lanka, I immediately introduced the Vision to leaders and my church.

As expected, there were some difficulties and hurdles as some members and leaders couldn't really catch the essence and purpose of G12. Some took a long time to get into the flow of things and some left the church. However, I was very determined to push on no matter what as I knew in my heart that G12 was the key to the growth of the church in Sri Lanka.

So I persevered against all difficulties, and looking back after nine years, I can happily say that the G12 Vision has really worked for us and taken off. I'm currently introducing the Vision to many other pastors, and I'm currently working with about 60 of them to get them to answer the G12 call. I really believe the G12 Vision is for Sri Lanka!

What were some positive transformations and changes that you have observed in Sri Lanka since implementing the Vision?

One of the things I have noticed is really the quality of the people that come forward to embrace the Vision. When I say quality, what I mean is the commitment, passion and drive towards fulfilling the Vision – something that I've never seen before. When I ask them why, the feedback that I get from them is that they are following the footsteps of Jesus of making disciples, so the personal journey of faith and your walk with God becomes so much more meaningful – and with a stronger purpose.

The other thing that I've noticed is the pro-activeness of the people starting cells and finding their G12 leaders. It's almost like there is a buzz that is spreading throughout Sri Lanka that's getting people excited and wanting to know more about what G12 is all about. It's really a wonderful thing to witness and a remarkable achievement for the Vision.

What is your general approach to seeding the G12 Vision to the general population of Sri Lanka – especially the younger generation?

Well, Sri Lanka culture is very different from western culture. Generally, the younger generation do obey and respect the older generation – so in a way, it's not too hard to get them to obey the commandments of the Lord.

So I can say that in Sri Lanka, we have a spirit of obedience in the people and it's not too much of an uphill task. In fact, most of them see the blessings in obedience, as Jesus himself said in John 8:31-32, "If you obey my commandments, you are called my disciples. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." So there is in fact freedom in obedience, and that's what we have been teaching and inculcating in the younger generation in Sri Lanka who have been latching on to this teaching pretty well. I am seeing more young people stepping up to play an even more active role to flow with G12 Vision and even share it with their peers as well.

How do you see the role of family in playing the part of discipleship and helping to fulfil the G12 Vision? And as a mother, what is your own view of the role of parents encouraging children to take up the G12 Vision?

Actually, I feel that it all boils down to leading by example. As parents, we are living examples on how we should behave as disciples of Jesus, and what we do as a family reflects the G12 Vision and the church.

Every time that we come together as a family, we speak to their lives as mother and father discipling our children, where we share God's Word with them, introduce them to the Vision and teach them about discipling others. So really, I feel the G12 Vision starts at home where you learn how to disciple your own children by teaching them what it really means to be disciples of Jesus.

When family and church come together to work with one goal and objective, discipling actually becomes quite natural and easy!

So how has this year's Conference been for you?

It has really been a blessing for us hearing from so many speakers from all over Asia. The key thing for us is that we can really identify with them as they went through so many things that we went through ourselves. The lessons that they have imparted to us have been invaluable, and we have learnt so much from them. It's such a joy to connect with people of the same mind, almost similar culture and learn from each other.

What Pastor Timothy Wu shared today really spoke to our hearts. Personally, what was clear to me was that the G12 Vision is really a "layman's" vision – anyone and everyone can do it! You don't have to be in full time ministry or something special or anointed. Everyone is a leader and that really challenged and fired us up during this Conference. So we're going to take it back and get even more people fired up so they will enter the flow with the Vision! We also identify really easily with the FCBC family and have been blessed just by coming here! That has been something that thrills our hearts and makes us look forward to this Conference every year. This is our 4th G12 Asia Conference and we look forward to bringing an even bigger group next year!