June Mobilization Update on Coalitions, Family and more from @MikeJentes

 

Mobilizing the Church for the Sake of the Least Reached

June 2015

I know I didn’t get this out at the beginning of the month, but since we are at the halfway point, I wanted to still send something out to you.

These last 6 weeks have held special times for our family…as we have multiple birthdays, end of the year concerts, award ceremonies, promotions, and a graduation from high school. Congrats to Kayla who graduated with honors from Los Alamitos High School.


We were blessed to have my Dad as well as Mindi’s Mom and Dad with us to celebrate several of these special milestones.

We are so blessed! Thanks for praying for us and standing with our family over many years!

Coalitions

Last month I shared about a vision trip heading to Chad, and that trip was a great success.  We are actually in the process of building at least 3 coalitions to aid the indigenous work there:

1. Chad Medical Coalition: Partnering with the Chadian church leaders and evangelists and to aid their self-sustaining medical clinics and build a new surgical center where it is really needed.
2. Chad Educational Coalition: Partnering with the Chadian church to help start new Christian elementary schools and help their teachers get the training/certification they need to lead those schools.
3. Reaching the Least Reached: Relational bridge building and future church planting in the capital city of N’Djamena.


St. James Way Coalition
A unique evangelistic opportunity is afforded by thousands of pilgrims walking on the Caminho de Santiago or the St. James Way. In Western Europe, where spiritual conversations are a rarity, this experience is fertile ground for the church to relationally and spiritually connect for evangelism, discipleship and leadership training. The faithful Via Portus Cale ministry in Porto, Portugal has become a strategic dual initiative: along the caminho and in therefugio.

Because of the potential of this ministry, we have a St. James Way Coalition to help the ministry prosper for the sake of reaching the lost, discipling believers and equipping leaders.

Two different groups (one pictured above) have gone to walk the St. James Way and to serve pilgrims in this last month. I was also able to help one of the outstanding young ladies from our church, Mariah Shope, to go and serve as an intern later this month! Pray for her and for the equipping of more hosts and guides for the ministry!

Encounter SoCal

A cross-cultural experience in one of the most ethnically diverse geographic regions of the world — Southern California.When: August 10-14, 2015 (Monday 9am thru Friday 4pm)

Who: A learning community of only 20 High School Seniors, College Students, and Adults

Individual/Group Sign Up: For applications and info email Haley, or call 678-992-5313 x49.

Donate nowThanks for your support!

I wanted to thank you for your prayers, they make all the difference! Also, if you want to continue to mobilize the church for the sake of the least reached, you can make a tax-deductible donation to support my work using the Donate button.

Press on,
Mike

Mike Jentes

Coordinator of Mobilization Initiatives
Encompass World Partners

Urbanization – Hope or Despair?

There is Hope for the City!
Cities will clearly dominate this century; with up to 70% of the world’s population living in an urban setting by 2050. What does this mean for reaching the lost and representing Christ? How do we deal with the paradox of urban settings that promise new opportunity but many times deliver pain and suffering?

Continue reading “Urbanization – Hope or Despair?”

Burk, Brasil and the Breaking Future

So this morning as I was praying, the Lord brought to mind the nation of Brasil. A large and important country in our world. I’ve been praying regularly for the church in Brasil to rise up and seize the opportunity afforded it by the World Cup being on their soil next summer.WorldCup-2014-Brasil

I quickly shot off an email to my colleagues, Steve Bailey and Bruce Triplehorn who serve @EncompassWorld for that nation. I found out earlier this week that Steve was on the ground there, and I wanted them to both be sowing seeds and listening to what the Holy Spirit might be stirring up. We are praying for a coalition of leaders, churches and ministries who would be mobilized to the ministry opportunities of relational evangelism, discipleship and church planting afforded by the World Cup in Brasil.

As that email left my computer, another came in from Tom Julien (who I always listen to):

A faithful warrior has entered heaven with his eternal “weight of glory”  (2 Corinthians 4:17).  What an example he was.

I quickly scrolled down in the email to find out who, and it was Bill Burk. “Amazon Bill” as he was affectionately known who served as a missionary taking the Gospel to the unreached along the Amazon river for 6 decades!  I remember as a child hearing the stories of the Amazon Rain Forest and the Good News going to people who had never heard about Jesus! I prayed for Bill and Imogene as a youngster.

In these moments, I’m reflecting on how the future of missions is breaking open in these two happenings around Brasil. A few musings:

  • Like Amazon Bill, we still need people who are crazy enough for Jesus that they’ll take the Gospel to the hardest places on our planet!
  • I’ve been challenged by the hundreds of “Unengaged, Unreached People Groups” in our world, and Bill Burk was going to those people groups decades before that “title” was dubbed in missions circles.
  • Our heritage @EncompassWorld and “our present” both are strong in taking the Good News to the unreached of our world!
  • The unreached are not just in the jungle anymore, they are in our cities…in the Urban Jungle.
  • The breaking future of reaching these unreached peoples in not just in solo, pioneer missionaries, but in coalitions of leaders, churches and ministries who will covenant together for the Great Commission.

burksMy deepest sympathies and prayers go out to Imogene and the whole Burk family.  They will miss their beloved here, and we all know that another “saint in glory stands.”

Press Release from Encompass World Partners 

2007 Interview about Amazon Bill’s Legacy and his “Plumb Line”  by GraceConnect

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.

 

Lessons Can be Learned from Successful Cities by Kurt Miller

In the May 3, 2007 issue of “Economist” magazine there was an article entitled, “The Reinvention Test.” The article was about durable cities and pointed the reader to the idea that successful cities must expect to go through several rebirths over time. Enjoy a portion of the article and then respond to my musing at the end.

“CITIES are durable. Most last longer than the countries that surround them, or indeed any other human institutions. But some thrive, whereas others merely mark time (Cleveland, Minsk, Pyongyang), go into apparently long-term decline (Detroit, New Orleans, Venice) or disappear (Tenochtitlán, Tikal, Troy). What are the characteristics of a successful city? The short answer is good government and a flourishing economy. But such attributes may come and go in the life of a metropolis. In order to be continuously successful, a city has to be able to reinvent itself, perhaps several times.”

Harvard’s Edward Glaeser describes how Boston has done this three times—“in the early 19th century as the provider of seafaring human capital for a far-flung maritime trading and fishing empire, in the late 19th century as a factory town built on immigrant labour and Brahmin capital, and finally in the 20th century as a centre of the information economy.” On each occasion, human capital provided the secret to Boston’s rebirth. A strong base of skilled workers, writes Mr Glaeser, has been a source of long-run urban health.

Education was important from the first in Boston. But Mr Glaeser draws attention to other characteristics of the city that were present even in colonial times. It had a strong set of community organisations, because of its church structure, and something like the rule of law. It also had a tradition of “democratic egalitarianism”.

Law has been essential for urban life since Babylonian times, both because cities have usually been centres of commerce, and trade needs regulation, and because cities tend to draw different kinds of people, whose success in living together depends on common rules of behaviour. Democracy, too, has served cities well, providing a shock-absorber for changing economic times and a mechanism whereby immigrants can join the mainstream.

Immigration, or at least an ethnic and religious mix, has also been closely associated with urban success. As Joel Kotkin points out in “The City”, Chinese towns at the end of the first millennium AD showed the same cosmopolitan mixture as did Alexandria, Cairo, Antioch and Venice. Pre-1492 Seville, 16th-century London and 19th-century Bombay (now Mumbai) all contained a variety of different peoples, whether Muslims, Jews, Parsis or others.

Throughout history, cities open to the world have benefited both from an exchange of goods and from a trade in ideas from abroad. Japan, by closing its doors to foreigners, condemned its cities to slow marination in their own culture until the country’s opening up after 1853. Today the burgeoning cities with the best chance of overcoming their difficulties are those in Asia and Latin America that can gain from globalisation. Africa’s cities, largely excluded from this phenomenon, are winning relatively little investment, trade or entrepreneurial fizz from foreigners.

Some cities in the rich world, too, have been much more successful than others at exploiting globalisation. The ones that have done best are those that have plugged into global industries and been able to capture the headquarters or lesser corporate centres of globalised companies, especially banks and other financial firms, argues Saskia Sassen, of the University of Chicago. London, New York and Tokyo are pre-eminent in this, but some other cities—Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, São Paulo, Mexico City—are not far behind.

Not every city can “go global” or will even want to. There are other types of raison d’être. One is simply to be a pleasant place to live and work, pleasant meaning different things to different people, of course. In the developing world most people would be delighted to live in a city that was prosperous and well governed, if that meant jobs were available, officials were honest, the streets were safe, housing was affordable and transport, sanitation and basic utilities operated to minimum standards. Even in rich countries not all these things can be taken for granted.

Mercer, a consulting firm, publishes a ranking of big cities each year based on an assessment of about 40 factors falling into ten categories (political, economic, cultural, medical, educational, public-service, recreational, consumer-goods, housing and environmental). Last year the top ten cities were Zurich, Geneva, Vancouver, Vienna, Auckland, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Bern and Sydney.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister organisation to The Economist, carries out a similar exercise (see table). Five of its top ten cities for 2005 were also in Mercer’s top ten. All ten in each list, with the exception of Sydney and Calgary, might be considered rather homely, even dull. The cities that have done most to excite attention the world over—New York, Chicago and Los Angeles—are also-rans. Smallish countries mostly do well, and Australia, the most urbanised country of all, ranks notably highly, at least in the EIU list.

No list includes the ability to reinvent itself among the desirable qualities of a city. That may, however, be increasingly put to the test, for some people believe that cities have had their day.”Kurt Miller

Could the Church learn lessons from the histories of cities? If so, what might they be?

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From thechurchplanter blog by Kurt Miller

 

The Great Challenges of the City by Albert Mohler

“An honest evaluation of church history should serve to remind Christians that there has often been some hesitation to embrace the city. After all, when in the Book of Genesis Lot chose the cities of the plain for his habitation, it led to disaster. With the exception of Jerusalem, most cities referenced in the Bible are mentioned with considerable concern, if not outright judgment. Think of Nineveh, Babylon, Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, Gomorrah, Corinth, and Rome.”

To read the entire article please go to Albert Mohler’s blog
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From thechurchplanter blog by Kurt Miller
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