On Mission in a Moving World

missiographic - On The MoveIf you have ever moved, you know the disruption it causes to your life. Now imagine millions on the move sometimes in less than ideal circumstances. Some are simply moving to start a new life, but others are under much more extreme pressures. With a background of war, trafficking, job loss and countless other disruptors, people are finding themselves in many new places. What are you doing to meet them as they move?

Personal Reflection
A great place to start on the issues that surround the global movement of people is to identify with them. Think about a time when you have been new to a place. What feelings were dominant? What opportunities and challenges did you face? Then consider the people of Israel traveling through the desert, Jesus as a young boy in Egypt and Paul sitting under house arrest in Rome. What must they have been going through? As your empathy brings you face to face with real people in these situations, ask God how you should respond in love.

Engaging the Church
Do you know which communities of immigrants are within 20 miles of your church? It is easy to end up on Spiritual journeys of “sameness”. We can neglect those who are very close by but different than we are. Start by looking online to find out which immigrant communities are nearby. Then identify some of the ministries in town who are serving those communities. Also, find out if some of the countries where you are supporting mission work globally have communities of immigrants you can also be reaching out to. Find ways to include these communities within your community of faith. How can you show them God’s love as you invite them into your midst?

Recommended Resources from Missionaries in Chad

This is a list of the “recommended” books and resources that were shared with us during our time in Chad. The hyperlinks to purchase books go to the Encompass World Partners Amazon Storefront, which gives a small percentage of your sale to Encompass (More Info).  Enjoy!!!

 

Online Bibles (especially for Arabic )

 

Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa – by Steve Kemper

 

Church Planting Movements by David Garrison

Timothy Initiatives 

 

From Seed To Fruit: Global Trends, Fruitful Practices, and Emerging Issues among Muslims by J. Dudley Woodberry (Editor)

 

Where There Was No Church: Postcards from the Followers of Jesus in the Muslim World by Ej Martin

 

Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus by Jerry Trousdale

 

David Watson a key leader in finding effective ways for church planting movements  (even in Muslim environments)

 

Primal Fire: Reigniting the Church with the Five Gifts of Jesus by Neil Cole

 

Western Christians in Global Mission: What is the Role of the North American Church? by Paul Borthwick

  • “Borthwick has long been a spokesman for being globally mission-minded. This book of helpful and oft times stinging anecdotes communicates succinctly that the North American Church still has a role in global mission going forward. This book contains an important general & global perspective which provides an important contribution to mission literature. This is the type of book that is accessible for anyone who can read in English.” (via @MikeJentes review on Amazon.com)  http://bit.ly/KbrCP9

New Mission Frontiers Available

Mission Frontiers is has become the leading magazine for great content on disciple-making and church planting movements.

This month’s issue is a must read……

The March-April issue of Mission Frontiers is now available online. In this issue we are looking at how God uses field workers to pioneer movements among unreached peoples around the world. God is using their expertise in the U.S. in pursuit of similar movements among unreached peoples. These leaders have coined the term 4X4 Movement Starts to describe a minimum goal for movements starts where 4 lineages of disciple-makers are developing 4 more generations of disciples. Read on to find out more. (Full Issue)

 Kindle Download – Read it on any device that uses mobi files (Kindle, Kindle App for iPad/ iPhone/ Mac/ Android)

Featured Articles

Introducing… 4X4 Movement Starts

Ministries aim to grow wide (a regular audience of many members), but not deep (many generations). Ministries urge: “come to our meeting,” “listen to our message,” “read our materials,” or “visit our site.” Ministries ask members to invite others rather than training them to reproduce. Ministries tend to overextend leaders while leaving disciples dependent and underdeveloped. Movements on the other hand, equip members to obey and teach what they receive, often with little interaction two or more generations away.  (full article)

No Longer “Business as usual”

As a family we have witnessed door to door for decades, using whatever model was favored by our current local church. They were always encouraged, and the people to whose homes we went seemed more responsive with someone from out of town. And as we shared the gospel, we joyfully experienced GOD! But after we, with others, helped add 1,200 people to one church, these people eventually wandered away because there was no structure for discipleship and leadership development to equip the fruit of these evangelistic outreaches for multiplication. Now, in the tools that God has given us, we have a reproducing entry strategy, a reproducing gospel which new believers share right away, reproducing discipleship, reproducing gatherings of new believers, and multiplication of leaders. (full article)

No Longer “Church as usual”

I started my ministry as a pastor in 1990 in the usual way of “attractional” church. The traditional idea of “doing church” was to develop a program on Sundays that would draw those who were far from God to hear the Gospel and connect with the Lord and His people. But after more than 20 years doing it this way, something seemed very ineffective to me with this approach. I’ve said for a long time, “I’m way too old to play church!” Furthermore, I realized that in my 22 years as a pastor I had encouraged, challenged, rebuked, motivated, inspired and even scolded Christians toward disciple-making. But I had never taught them how to make a disciple. it had never occurred to me that my first responsibility as a pastor in “equipping the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:11-13 ESV) was to teach them how to make disciples who were abet to make disciples. (2 Tim 2:2) (full article)

No Longer “Discipleship as usual”

By 2010, I had been discipling others for 30 years and risen to national level leadership with the Navigators. Then a speaker introduced me to the book, Movements that Change the World. I was more than curious. This launched me on a three-year study of what God is doing around the world. The final book on my reading list was T4T: A Discipleship Re-revolution by Steve Smith and Ying Kai. As I started reading a voice in my head said, “Humble yourself and do this.” By now I had read hundreds of books on discipleship methods, and I wasn’t about to blindly start doing new stuff. But the Holy Spirit persisted in speaking to me, and I determined to obey. Never have I seen God do so much so quickly, nor to such depth. (full article)

Growing U.S. Movements to the Lost and the Unreached

We started our house church in October 2012. We just called it “porch church” since we started by meeting on our porch. We started with eight folks but only have seven now. We’ve intentionally not added new members but seek to start new churches with new folks. As of December 2013, we have multiple streams to the 5th generation or beyond and well over a dozen more to the 4th generation. All told there are about 200 downstream churches in the USA and 162 overseas, including several among previously unengaged people groups. The total number of new professions of faith is now over 10,500. Our vision is to make it the norm for followers of Christ to become multiplying disciple-makers. (full article)

Fostering Multigenerational Movements by Equipping Believer-Priests

I moved from traditional church ministry to pursuing a generational church movement in January 2005. A desire to reach the lost and an honest look at how the first-century world was discipled in reproducing churches inspired us to “Re-en-ACT” our approach to the Great Commission. As a result we’ve had approximately 1000 generational groups and churches started in our people group. We live outside our people group, but I have personally led two to faith who have started generational church streams. Also, a volunteer team I was with led another person to faith who started a large generational stream. As a result, my primary role shifted from evangelism to training. Discipling these new believers as partner-priests, rather than students, has fostered generational growth. (full article)

Disciples Unleashed

In Honduras, Kenya, Guatemala, Israel, Congo, Pakistan, and many other nations, the Body of Christ is stirring in a mighty way, hungry for God’s work. Pastors and church leaders all over the world are hearing the call to return to “the Jesus model” of making disciples. Applying the tools Jesus modeled for us is resulting to impact the world. (full article)
These and other articles are available at missionfrontiers.org. Join the conversation today.

Coalitions: A Model for Meaningful Engagement

The task of mobilizing churches and leaders for the sake of Jesus to our world is huge! Yet it is simpler today than in other eras because of: 1) globalization – the world is smaller (via technology, travel and social networking) and 2) collaboration – the atmosphere of work is in teams and groups together.

EncompassIn my role with Encompass World Partners, we want to leverage a new model of engaging our world. We want to see leaders, churches and ministries working together to get the Gospel to the least-reached on our globe. Below is a brief outline of what we are calling coalitions.

Coalitions:
A model for meaningful engagement

Definition
A coalition is covenant group of churches, leaders or ministries
cooperating in joint action together for a common purpose.

Values

1. Focus on Collaborative Mission
Coalitions are created to meet needs, whether spiritual or material. Members of coalitions understand that they are a joining an action group that shares a common commitment to pool resources to achieve a specific purpose. While reflection and discussion are an important element in developing appropriate responses to needs, members understand that they are working together to do ministry in viable and meaningful ways.

2. Submit to the Guidance of the Holy Spirit
Above all, Coalitions recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the vital role of the Holy Spirit. Toward that end, the members of Coalitions commit to prayer that leads to vision that leads to risk-taking faith. Coalitions must be birthed in prayer, their goals must be forged in the crucible of prayer, their members must be selected as a result of prayer, and their actions must arise from an ongoing commitment to prayer.

3. Build upon Mutual Trust
“Can two walk together if they are not in agreement?” asked the prophet Amos. Teamwork is essential to any meaningful spiritual endeavor, and building the trust needed for effective teamwork requires a ongoing commitment to walk in the Spirit, to listen to our brothers and sisters, and to submit to one another out of love for Christ. Members of Coalitions are willing to invest the relational time required to develop mutual trust.

4. Organize around Gifts and Experience
When Christ places us in his body, we acknowledge that he is our head, and that we flourish in an interdependent relationship in which unity and diversity are encouraged and valued. In the same way, Coalitions embrace the fact that their members come to the table with a variety of gifts and ministry experiences. Coalitions should define the roles of leaders and members in such a way as to value experience and provide opportunities to exercise spiritual gifts.

5. Commit to Sound Missiology and Cross-cultural Sensitivity
In the crucible of its successes and failures, the modern missions movement is creating a wealth of principles and practical resources. Coalitions should build upon this reservoir of knowledge and experience to ensure that their efforts reflect ‘best practices’ in the mission world and sensitivity to local cultures. Since most Coalitions will consist of partners from more than one cultural context, it is essential that members avoid superimposing their cultural values on others.

 

Here is a fuller document for download:  Coalitions: Definition & Values (PDF)

Behind the “Goers” – What did the Church do in the Book of Acts?

book_of_actsI just wanted to share with you a little Bible study that was enlightening to me.  In reading through the book of Acts, I looked at the back story…not the leading characters who were “going” but the churches and believers who were literally behind the scenes.  I then compiled all these “incidental” verses which survey what happened “Behind the Goers.”  I thought there were some interesting things to be uncovered.

What did the church do? You will see it for yourself in these verses!

Examine for yourself the support and relationship that sending / receiving churches had in the story.

Download / Print “Behind The Goers” (PDF)

 

Turning theory of church planting movements into practice by Steve Addison

MovementsThatChangeTheWorldEarlier this year Australian Missiologist Steve Addison did an interview with Dan Harding of Mission Platform. Dan asked about how Steve got interested in Movements and what he’s learning about turning theory into practice. This engaging interview has some good movement principles and good practices as well:

Reposted from Steve Addison’s Blog — Movements.net
Turning theory of church planting movements into practice.

Praying for the “New America”

On this eve of the “National Day of Prayer,” I wrote a little ditty for @LosAltosGrace and compelled folks to actually pray on this day… and even tried to create some white space to help it happen.

Then I was scrolling through my email and came across a forward article about our nation from a patriot in our @LosAltosGrace Church family.  The title of the email article was “We Are Not Coming Back.” It caught my attention because it was written by a Rabbi…

It was written originally in the days following the 2012 Presidential Election (Read it on his blog here). It certainly talked about politics and was very insightful. The part that grabbed me was this paragraph:

Obama also knows that the electorate has changed – that whites will soon be a minority in America (they’re already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a different world, and a different America . Obama is part of that different America , knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.

The bigger question for me is not how the elections will go in this different and new America, but how can we see the Gospel and disciples of Jesus penetrate this different…and new America.  This “new America” has long been rooted in our urban areas. I saw it for 8 years as I lived in downtown Columbus, Ohio.  And now I’m living in one of the largest urban areas in the world…I’m still praying and wrestling with what is it gonna take?

This different or “new America” provides us with great challenges and opportunities for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s take our energy, prayers and creativity and leverage them toward seeing our Jesus draw many to Himself!

Many prayers in the next 24 hours will be made for “revival” and I’m in favor of that.  But what about our prayers for the thousands of people in our country who have never had a “__vival”; that is a “first life with Christ”, been “born again” nor even known about Jesus. We must pray for these and for the church and Jesus’ disciples to sow the Good News!

We see the fields white for harvest. Isn’t that what we should see in this different and new America?  God is bringing the world to us and let’s see Jesus bring the world to Himself through US.

 

Seed of the Gospel and Indigenous Christianity

“The Gospel is like a seed and you have to sow it. When you sow the seed of the Gospel in Palestine, a plant that can be called Palestinian Christianity grows. When you sow it in Rome, a plant of Roman Christianity grows. You sow the Gospel in Great Britain and you get British Christianity. The seed of the Gospel is later brought to America, and a plant grows of American Christianity. Now, when missionaries came to our lands they brought not only the seed of the gospel, but their own plant of Christianity, flower not included! So, what we have to do is to break the flower pot, take out the seed of the gospel, sow it in our own cultural soil, and let our own version of Christianity grow.”
-D. T. Niles ( from Sri Lanka)

A hero of the faith speaks about obstacles – James Gribble

This is taken directly from the journal of James Gribble:

“There is no place in all the world more needy, no place more dark than [central Africa]. It seems as if all earth and hell have united in saying ‘No’ to the carrying of the Gospel there.

Yet we know that it shall be preached there, for the ‘Great Commission’ implies it. And we find that the church will be composed of representatives from every tongue, tribe and nation (Rev. 5:9).

“So even if the obstacles that confront us tower up to heaven, we know that we will, by the grace of God, overcome them.”
– James Gribble

20130319-105815.jpg

If you’d like to know more about James Gribble and his story, I’d recommend this video “A Grain of Wheat” by my friend Dave Guiles who masterfully tells the story.

Be Fruitful & Multiply – An Important Scripture from the Inception of the Brethren Movement

I’ve been doing some research over the last few weeks on groups of 5-12 in the history of the Grace Brethren. The clear beginning of our movement happened when 8 men and women gathered together to be baptized as adults demonstrating their personal belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

“This is [Alexander] Mack Jr.’s description of the baptism, based on papers of his father and others, and reports of eyewitnesses:

Brethren Initial Baptism

After they were thus prepared, the said eight went out to the water called the Eder in the solitude of the morning. The brother upon whom the lot had fallen first baptized that brother [Mack] who wished to be baptized by the church of Christ. When the latter was baptized, he baptized him who had first baptized, and the other three brethren and three sisters. Thus all eight were baptized in an early morning hour. After they had all emerged from the water, and had dressed themselves again, they were all immediately clothed inwardly with great joyfulness. This significant word was then impressed upon them through grace: “Be fruitful and multiply!’*

The joy of doing what God wanted coursed through their veins! And the Scripture the Holy Spirit blew into the hearts of these founders of the Grace Brethren Movement – Be Fruitful and Multiply!

May we continue “through grace” to keep up the significant work of “Be fruitful and multiply!”

 

*Brethren Beginnings: The Origin of the Church of the Brethren in Early Eighteenth-Century Europe by Donald F. Durnbaugh (Brethren Encyclopedia: 1992) pg. 23 {ISBN 0936693231}

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...