New Year and New Opportunity to Engage Churches in Greater Ministry to the Nations!

Encompass

I have had the privilege over the last couple of months to dialogue with Dave Guiles, Executive Director of Encompass World Partners about how I could help advance the cause of Christ in mobilizing disciples, leaders and churches toward more meaningful engagement with cross-cultural ministries. It has been inspiring for me to hear and see how God is working in this way already.

Encompass World PartnersJust before Christmas, we solidified a plan to partner together for the mobilization of disciples, leaders and churches in our Grace Brethren family and beyond. This part-time role will be as the “Coordinator of Mobilization Initiatives” with Encompass World Partners.

The newly emerging architecture for this effort will be in two areas: 1) Coalitions and 2 ) Coaching/consulting.

1) The Coalitions will be groups of 5-6 churches, some from the USA and some from the foreign field, who will covenant together to have a laser-like focus on a mission opportunity or initiative. Encompass will serve these coalitions in coordination and in cross-cultural expertise.

For example, there is already a Coalition of Churches to the Philippines:

2) The Coaching/Consulting piece will be to recruit, orient and market a team of gifted individuals whose skill sets add value to local churches in cross-cultural ministries.

I’m so excited to be joining the Encompass Team and to see God use this architecture to multiply the transformational impact of Jesus to the nations of our world. My role is 3 year assignment with much to accomplish!  All the Encompass staff must raise prayer and financial support.

For my assignment, I need to raise $15,000 per year for my ministry budget and salary. Encompass is contributing above and beyond that to my ministry budget and salary.

The sooner I get fully supported, the sooner I can get to work serving churches! I need to get there in actual gifts or pledges for 2013.  If you want to sneak in a gift before the end of 2012, that is welcome too!

You can give online with a credit card:

http://www.encompassworldpartners.org/give/give-to-a-missionary

( My name isn’t on the list yet, so enter it as “Mike Jentes” in the box that looks like this: EnterNameEncompassGift

)

 

 

You can send a check:
Please make checks payable to “Encompass World Partners” with “Mike Jentes Support” on the memo line, and mail to the secure lockbox at
Encompass World Partners
Box 80065
City of Industry, CA 91716-8065

Or contact me directly with your pledge for the year to come!

 

I’ve already got $1500 in gifts and pledges before even publishing this post! So I’m 10% there!

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UPDATE ON JANUARY 8: Thanks to a variety of folks responding, I’m at 49% with gifts and pledges at this point!

 

 

Proud of our Church Family

LAGBCLogo300x300pxJust thinking about the actual activities of this weekend, I’m really proud to be part of this church family.  Here’s 3 things that prompt this short post puffed with pride:

  1. AngelTree: a great initiative to gift presents to children whose parent is in prison.  We get to participate in the name of Jesus and in the name of their parent!  This year we blessed more than a dozen children!
  2. College / Young Adult class: Our Sunday morning meeting in the upper room was lead by Matt Vidovich.  He challenged us to put feet to our faith. He brought a gift card and “put it on the altar” for us to take and deliver to someone who we could bless by it. We got up and left the classroom to hit the streets.  We drove and prayed and asked God to show us someone to bless. With in minutes Jesus led us to a gas station and drew our attention to a man with significant challenges– in a wheelchair and very unkempt.  We jumped out of the car and introduced ourselves and gave him the gift card and prayed for Bruce.
  3. Choir – His Love is Reaching: the title of our choir’s performance for this Christmas season is “His Love is Reaching.” That is a perfect description of these prior 2 points!

I’m proud of our @LosAltosGrace Church family!!!

Enjoy 12.12.12…and Make Disciples

It’s a special day because of the number 12.  It numbers our day, month and year! I thought I’d add a little more spice to this 12 thing and send this out at 12:12pm (Pacific) as well! I truly hope you enjoy this day and these thoughts below..

In this season many think of the 12 Days of Christmas, but I wanted to turn your attention to another 12… The Twelve who followed Jesus and were called by Him.
121212

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Luke  6:12-16  NIV

Jesus and the 11This Twelve with the training and commissioning of our King Jesus and the abiding Holy Spirit turned the world upside-down.

(Well Judas sealed his own doom, but was replaced by Matthias as outlined in the book of Acts. The Painting shows only the 11.)

These Twelve Apostles loved, lived, and demonstrated the power and presence of Jesus. They weren’t the most educated or the most powerful, but were rather ordinary.  We know that God the Father revealed these to Jesus to be appointed for the special work of laying a foundation for the Church through our age. They were identified as “unlikely” by the religious leaders in Jerusalem, but still powerful because of one thing.

Listen to this accusation:

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:13 NIV

On this day of 12.12.12, I’m thankful for those Twelve who in a special commissioning of our Lord were appointed as Apostles who would communicate and catalyze the Gospel movements that have swept our world. As these 12 were ordinary and unschooled, but transformed into fully trained and extraordinary by being with Jesus, may we do the same! Be with Jesus and help others follow Him too!

Two millenia after the selection of the first twelve, still more disciples need to be made…around the world and across the street. Today, let us be about that work.

Press on!

Looking back at a Defintion of Church from Jim Montgomery

whatischurch

Missionary strategist Jim Montgomery challenged us to plant 7 million more churches over a decade ago. In his passionate work, he had to take some time to define what he meant by church. These words ring true for many now, but in their first delivery they were revolutionary!

“CHURCH”
An understanding of how DAWN  [the ministry acronym for Discipling A Whole Nation ] defines “church” is fundamental to any challenge to plant 5 to 7 million more churches. If by “church” is meant a solidly built edifice with plenty of parking space, a full-time, seminary trained pastoral staff and a fully-orbed program of ministries for every age group and every interest, the goal will be a bit out of range.

I’m impressed with how a group of Christians faced this most fundamental question in China:

Concerning [this] question, many older Christians said that they could not predict the future form of Chinese churches. So they turned to the Bible for an answer. They found in the Bible that the house-church form was a legitimate church.Paul mentions a house church in I Cor. 16:19: “Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church in their house” (NIV); also in Col. 4:15 “give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church at her house.”

Later, we found a book by Wang Ming-dao [perhaps the most highly respected believer in China who languished in jail for more than 20 years] on the institution of the church. He held that where there were Christians, there was a church. We were happy about this. We assumed that, although our group consisted of only a few people, we actually were a church, and our head was Jesus.

“Where there are Christians, there is a church,” is a profound definition, coming as it does from a Church growing rapidly and laboring under the most difficult of circumstances.whatischurch

The DAWN idea is to see Jesus Christ become incarnate in every small group of mankind. How many believers does it take to incarnate our risen Lord? Jesus said that “. . . where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:20).

The goal set in 1966 and reported by Ed Dayton that I mentioned previously suggests we ought to work toward “ten witnessing Christians in every town of more than 500 people.”

Two or three committed believers could possibly impact 50 or 100 others. Ten witnessing Christians in time could perhaps reach out effectively to 500. To call such groups of two or three or of ten a “church” might be stretching it a bit. In our thinking, by minimum definition there is a church when at least a small group of believers led by an elder meets on a regular basis for worship, instruction, the basic New Testament sacraments and for witness and service. Where they meet, whether or not they pay their pastor and like questions are not of particular concern for our definition.

Denominations, however, tend to have a few more requirements. Most would include a minimum number of active adult believers that might range anywhere from five – as is the case of the rapidly growing Southern Baptists in Southern India – to 50. Some distinguish between “chapels” or “meeting places” and “churches” with the type of meeting place being a determining factor. Some draw the line based on whether or not the pastor is ordained and others have various combinations of these.

DAWN does not try to bring uniformity or impose any definition on the Church of a country. However, so as not to end up comparing oranges with apples, we suggest for statistical purposes the inclusion of all congregations of whatever definition. This would not include evangelistic Bible study groups or home groups that meet for fellowship as an additional activity to church attendance.

But it is some such definition of “church” as this that we have in mind when we suggest 7 million more are needed in the world.

 

This excerpt is taken directly from DAWN 2000: 7 Million Churches to Go by Jim Montgomery

Skunk Works are Needed

Skunk Works

In 1943, at the height of World War II, the engineers coming from the same schools being taught by the same professors were not producing the technological breakthroughs that were needed. To get faster and better results, Lockheed decided to try something different. The company selected its most creative engineers and put them all in a tent set up at the end of a runway next to a plastics factory in Burbank, California. The engineers were told to think together outside the box on a specific project.

The members of this group began to push boundaries and try new things. Without all the red tape of the standard business bureaucracy, they were able to get things done much faster, usually ahead of schedule, and often with nothing more than a verbal agreement and a handshake.

Skunk WorksThey became known as “skunk works” because of the smell of the plastic factory wafting into the tent. The name came from the Li’l Abner comic strip, and it stuck. Today skunk works has become a technical term in research and development and in the diffusion of innovation. It is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, often tasked with working on advanced or secret projects…. Read the rest here

Excerpted from “Church Transfusion: Changing Your Church Organically From the Inside Out” by Neil Cole and Phil Helfer (Jossey-Bass, © 2012)

A Quite Peculiar Introduction to the Messiah

While reading along in Luke today I was struck by something old and something new:

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12 NIV – Emphasis Mine)

He was a baby lying in a manger…nothing new right?!?!

But then the irony of this situation startled me. The Angels announce the birth of the Messiah, the King, the One who was to come.

And they tell the shepherds the sign of how you will know you have seen this new King — the baby who is laying in a feeding trough and wrapped with torn rags. What?!?!

Our Messiah came in an upside-down way. He came humbly and on the fringe. What an introduction!

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C.S. Lewis – On God and Time [Audio – In His Own Voice]

C.S. Lewis

Listen to a Rare BBC recording of C.S. Lewis discussing God and time >> 

 

 

Later, these teachings would be gathered into the important book Mere Christianity.  

 

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