A Great Debate: Missions VS. Missional

For the conference on RISK (FLINCH Conference), my friend and team leader John Ward & I were asked to lead a workshop on how missions and missional relate.

Here is the workshop description:

The new word missional is now everywhere in Christian-ese. The word missions has been around for centuries. These two words often create very different ministry targets. You are invited to a lively debate highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of polarizing missional and missions.

Unfortunately, this session wasn’t recorded, but I have posted the powerpoint for you to see the direction we headed with this workshop. Below is an outline with the major items of discussion:

The first exercise we had the group do was to take 5 minutes and do their best to define the two words: Missional & Missions.

I’d invite you to take a few moments and take a stab too!

 

Here is where John and I landed for our definitions:

Missional:
The Word missional is simply the adjective form of the noun missionary, and like any adjective it is used to modify a noun.*

Missions:
Missions is to move towards or go to those different than us –culturally, socially, ethnically, economically– by crossing over those barriers and sharing the gospel with the compassion and love of Jesus.

 

Another exercise for the group was to ask this question:  Does the church have a mission or does the mission have a church?

We realize it is a “both/and” answer.  Yet thinking about our God being a missional/sending God reframes our orientation to see mission as bigger than merely a “job” of the church, but to see mission as part of the very character of our God.

Along this line, we shared the following quote:

“Our task as His people is to discern what God is doing and join with Him. It is not so much that the church has a mission but that the mission has a church.”

– Alan Hirsch (The Permanent Revolution, p. 148)

 

Don’t we need to be reaching out in my neighborhood before we go to the rest of the globe?

global_localThe tension of Global mission and Local mission is a one that everyone sensitive to the mission of Jesus feels at a gut level.

In China, the country with the most Christians on the planet–87 million– hasn’t really made a dent in the total population of 1.3 BILLION people!** So we are delighted that there is great progress of the Gospel, but there are millions (a billion!) more people to reach!

Even here in the USA where there are approximately 84 million evangelical Christians, a much higher percentage than China, yet we still have 234 million people to reach!** So do we need more disciples, leaders and churches in China and the USA? Absolutely! We need to take serious the opportunity to reach those in our community who don’t know our Jesus yet!

At the same time, we must know about the plight of billions of people outside of the easy reach of the Gospel. Billions of people on our globe don’t have a Bible, Body of Christ or even a Believer in Jesus in their lifepath! We must be informed about this reality!

To close our time we watched the following CONVICTING video–You Should Know:

We hope that sharing this outline of our workshop has been helpful to you!  If you would like to chat with John or myself, please reach out to us via email at the links on our names above!


The Key Articles / Resources shared below were on a worksheet we gave to all the of the participants:
Missions vs Missional Resource Sheet [PDF]

Seed article for this Workshop:
Missions vs. Missional? Why We Really Need Both by Ed Stetzer 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/september/missions-vs-mission.html

Online debate about that article:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/missionalshift/2013/09/missions-vs-missional-what-ed-stetzer-gets-wrong/

Make sure to check out the video in that article:

Other Resources on the Topic:

Seamless Garment of Christian Mission:  http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-seamless-garment-of-christian-mission

Leadership Network article Defining Missional by Alan Hirsch:   http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2008/fall/17.20.html

Ed Stetzer on why Missional Churches don’t do Global Missions:  http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2009/september/five-reasons- missional-churches-dont-do-global-missions.html

*”History of the Missional Church” by Brad Brisco:
http://missionalchurchnetwork.com/history-of-missional-church/

Four Reasons We Should Be Passionate About the Nations by Matt Carter:  http://ow.ly/PUEd5

Institute of International Education. (2014). Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from
http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors/Data/International-Students

Video: You Should Know https://vimeo.com/32125879

Joshua Project: Research on Unreached People Groups – http://joshuaproject.net/


**Data via the Joshua Project. Retrieved from http://JoshuaProject.net on July 9, 2015

 

 

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

May Mobilization Update on Iraq, Chad, Communications and more from @MikeJentes

Newsletter-header-Encompass

Mobilizing the Church for the Sake of the Least Reached

May 2015

April held a special time for our family…as we got to take a special vacation. While we all looked pretty dapper, we got a family pic:

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

Networks

Last month, I shared about being involved in creating, facilitating and resourcing networks for Great Commission good. Two of the networks had special events in the month of April. I thought I would share those events with you:

Connect & Equip

  1. Communicators Network: This isn’t one I started, but a group of Grace Brethren communications folks have been getting together for a while now. They asked me to plan their April get together…and it was a very insightful time. I wrote a blog post with a recap, so if you are interested in more info about the Church & Social Media check it out: Communicators Communal Learning with special guest DJ Chuang.
  2. Northern Iraq Summit:  A variety of churches and ministries were called together around their work in this region to a one-day Summit at our Encompass headquarters in Atlanta. We had 13 people from 8 different churches and 7 different states for the day. Many stories were told and prayers were lifted for the peoples of this region.  If your church is involved in Iraq and wants to know more, send me a message!

Great people are involved in each of these networks and I’m so privileged to be able to connect and resource so many great efforts!

Chad and Coalitions

A short-term vision trip team is heading to Chad this month (but not me this time). The team consists of several pastors (who represent churches considering partnering with Chad), Encompass leadership, and individuals that are considering long-term work in Chad.

The overall goals of the trip are:
1. For Encompass leadership to meet with, encourage, and teach Chadian church leaders and evangelists and to discuss together the direction of the ministry.
2. To visit different ministries in the capital and to brainstorm how churches can partner with in N’Djamena.
3. For 3 prospective people to get a first taste of Chad and to pursue God as to whether or not he is calling them there full time.
4. For partners to be cultivated for 2-3 different coalitions to work together with the national church for greater fruitfulness!

I am very excited about this team of 18 people! (Special Note: this is the largest short term team Encompass has ever sent to Chad)

I want to encourage you to join with a some of my colleagues in a 10 day journey of daily prayer for this trip. They will send out daily prayer requests specific to each day beginning on May 6th and ending May 15th. Please make the commitment to praying for this trip by joining the  email group “10 Days of Prayer for Vision” by clicking here: 10 Days of Prayer for Vision.

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

April Encompass Newsletter

Newsletter-header-Encompass

Mobilizing the Church for the Sake of the Least Reached

April 2015

Sorry, it’s been a while since I sent out an update. This isn’t because the ministry is going slowly…quite the opposite!

I have changed email newsletter systems (now with Mail Chimp), so hopefully I transferred everyone’s email addresses correctly! Feel free to share this update with others so they can pray and be participators in this amazing work!

Thanks to many of you who have financially supported the work the Lord is allowing me to do. I have been fully supported each of my two full years with Encompass! Thanks!

Networks

This month I wanted to share with you some of the nitty gritty of my work (in one specific aspect). I’m heavily involved in creating, facilitating and resourcing networks for Great Commission good. I’d love to share five of them with you, so you know and can pray…and can even JUMP IN!

  1. Adoption, Orphan and Foster Care: This is one that the Bible is hot on…and we’ve been able to pull together some folks who are passionate about this into a Facebook group.  If you are interested, you should join it here!
  2. Women in Church Planting: This secret Facebook group is also a place for women involved in church planting around the world to connect, make friends, share stories, and share helpful stuff.  If you are a lady involved in church planting, this group is for you!
  3. Church Mobilizers Network: A group of nearly 30 of us gathered in Columbus, OH in February to be challenged on how we could create “pathways” for people in our church to grow as disciple-makers and to be deployed as missionaries to the least-reached!
  4. Communicators Network: This isn’t one I started, but a group of Grace Brethren communications folks have been getting together for a while now. They asked me to plan the next get together…and it’s gonna be great (ok…I’m biased).  You can find out more about it at Connect & Equip for FGBC Communicators.
  5. Northern Iraq Church to Church Partnerships: Grace Community Church in Goshen, IN was tapped on the shoulder by the Lord to DO SOMETHING to help in Iraq. Their journey has been amazing and they invited Encompass (and me) to walk with them and see what might be next. We are pulling together a Summit this month in Atlanta with some highly invested churches in the region. If your church is involved in Iraq and wants to be invited, send me a message!

Great people are involved in each of these networks and I’m so privileged to be able to connect and resource so many great efforts!

Thanks for your support!

I wanted to get this out to say thanks, and to mobilize you to pray!

I also wanted to say that our family is looking forward to a special Family Vacation next week during Spring Break! We are excited!

Press on,
Mike


Mike Jentes
Coordinator of Mobilization Initiatives
Encompass World Partners

Pray for Japan…a Facebook Group

Japan-GoMakeDisciplesShoutout to Matt Higby and the Japanese Ministries of Greater LA for this plug via @EncompassWorld:

September E-newsletter from @MikeJentes

September 2014 E-Newsletter

Meeting in SoCal

Mindi and I meeting with ethnic leaders from SoCal! On Saturday, August 30 we had a little gathering of leaders from Cambodia and Latin America for a little breakfast get together with Jesús Muñoz (our Cambodian brother left before the picture and our Japanese friends were on a retreat!). This gathering may emerge into a network of ethnic leaders who can spur one another on to make disciples and plant churches in the nations of our world!

WHAT’S HAPPENED WITH ME
The Latest Scoop

Sorry it has been a while since I’ve communicated to you via this means.  The past few months have been full, as I’m sure they have for you!

Engagement Stations &
E Talks @FellowSHIFT

At the FellowShift Conference this summer, Encompass sought to do something which would engage people in reaching the nations. We set up stations we called “Engagement Stations” with a variety of different ways to participate. We also created an online version of the Engagment Stations so you can participate right now! Check out all 7 online!

We also shared a variety of short 8 minute or less Engaging Talks which we dubbed
E Talks. These were all videoed and will be available for viewing soon!  I was able to share on Coalitions as well, so stay tuned! If it turned out well, I’ll pass it on and if not, well…you’ll never know! 🙂

Cameroon Leadership Training Coalition

Just yesterday, I talked via Skype with Jason Carmean in Cameroon!  He and his family have been on the ground for one month and are adjusting well.

   I’m excited to be part of a coalition that has committed for 5 years to seeing dozens and dozens of pastoral leaders trained for the more than 45 churches and 30+ church plants in Cameroon.

   Dave Guiles has described this “as the greatest leadership development need the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches has seen in several generations.”

One of the ways you can help is by supporting the first modules of Bible training supporting the first modules of Bible training–please consider a gift!

Château

Pray for the Ongoing Ministry of the Château de St. Albain      

Yesterday, September 3, 2014, was declared as a Day of Prayer for the Château by

Joël Rongier, president of Château Association.

Please join in praying and fasting for God to supply the following personnel needs for the Château so that ministries will continue without interruption:

1) A European business manager and coordinator: Pray especially for wisdom and direction for the Château steering committee to find the right people to fit into ministry leadership.

2) An American support couple: To care for the responsibilities of welcoming visitors, preparing and serving meals, maintenance and grounds work.

Our Château Coalition is seeking to publish a coffee-table book (in English, French and German) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ministry and funds are needed to get it rolling.

Catalyzing Networks

Over the last few months, I’ve been part of catalyzing two really important networks:

One is around Women in Church Planting. All over the world, women are involved in the church planting endeavor– moms, businesswomen, educators, missionaries, single women, etc.  Many of these ladies don’t have a place to connect with others. Through the leadership of my friends Louise Klawitter and Jessica Robertson, this network has formed a Facebook group that is nurturing this network. It’s a secret group to hide the identities of some of our bravest women who are in closed countries, but if you send a message to Louise, she can get you synced up.
A second network is forming for those who are passionate about Adoption, Orphan & Foster Care.  This budding network, in addition to it’s Facebook Group is holding monthly Skype calls where folks from all over the world can call in and participate.  Find out more on my blog about this group.

 

THANK YOU!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank YOU for your prayers and support which are vital to the Lord’s work in our world.  I’m humbled and privileged to serve our King and alongside you!

Thanks so much for your financial gifts to support the work of reaching the least reached! Some of you have remained very diligent even without a lot of info from me! My work continues to be fruitful, so I want to encourage you to continue your pledge or consider a monthly gift!

 

Read the entire September 2014 E-newsletter online 

My E-newsletter Archive:
Read my February 2014 e-newsletter

Read my December 2013 E-Newsletter
Read my August 2013 e-newsletter
Read my June 2013 e-newsletter
Read my May 2013 e-newsletter
Read my April 2013 e-newsletter

Adoption Conversation Continues

Yesterday we had a conversation via SKYPE about ways people who are passionate about orphans, adoption & foster care can network together for greater encouragement, resourcing, and effectiveness.

It was our first OPEN meeting…where anyone can jump into the conversation. It was good to have a new voice join the conversation.

Here were a couple of helpful quotes/ideas:

OrphanologyThe book Orphanology by Tony Merida & Rick Morton
Could be helpful for churches, individuals starting local ministries & support groups.

Below are my notes from today just to share all the resources and ideas which were bounced around. OrphanAdoptFosterConvo2014_08-21

You can see a little Facebook page we started at http://www.facebook.com/groups/557467357708956 It’s got some cool conversations and stories already rolling on it! This page is being used quite a bit and we will probably promote other events, etc. via that group.

It was suggested for a regular monthly call, using Skype. So let’s plan on the 3rd THURSDAY of the Month at 4pm Eastern, 3pm Central, 1pm Pacific. We will schedule this out for 3 months:

I’ll be facilitating the conversation by Skype. My Skype name is “mikejentes” send me a friend request so I can add you to the call!

If I don’t know you, please feel free to  email me your name (and Skype name) and introduce yourself  so I can get in touch with you! Make the time  for one of these calls  and invite your friends wo are passionate about caring for orphans!

 

Adoption, Foster and Orphan Care Network

A burgeoning conversation has been going on over the last few months about adoption, orphan and foster care with some people who I really like, and who are INSPIRATIONAL! These folks aren’t just pontificators…they are difference makers!Adoption-heart-words

Continue reading “Adoption, Foster and Orphan Care Network”

Honor-Shame Conversation in Long Beach!

I’m so excited to learn alongside an expert on Honor-Shame cultures. I find myself interacting with many people from Asia and this conversation will help me understand them and myself much better. I hope you can be there!

Have a conversation with an expert on HonorShame cultures! Jayson Georges is the missiologist-in-residence from Encompass World Partners. He will be here from Atlanta to share some of his latest learning on HonorShame cultures and how we can better sow the Gospel and grow relationships across cultures!
Did you know that there are three major cultural worldview orientations? The one which predominates the Western world is Justice-Guilt, but the Asian world is predominantly Honor-Shame. These orientations are important to undertand as we continue to live in a globalized world. They are really important as we look to live and share the Gospel across the street and around the world! Continue reading “Honor-Shame Conversation in Long Beach!”

HonorShame Conversation for Happy Hour in Long Beach July 1

honor_shame_logo_web1

HonorShame Convo for Happy Hour

Jayson Georges & Local Organizer Mike Jentes

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (PDT)

At SEKA Coffee on campus of Grace Long Beach, 3590 Elm Ave. Long Beach, CA

Have a conversation with an expert on HonorShame cultures! Jayson Georges is the missiologist-in-residence from Encompass World Partners. He will be here from Atlanta to share some of his latest learning on HonorShame cultures and how we can better sow the Gospel and grow relationships across cultures!

Continue reading “HonorShame Conversation for Happy Hour in Long Beach July 1”

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?

Sugar Cubes and the Château

Chateau-Apr2014As a 5th grade boy, I remember working on a project with hundreds of sugar cubes. (Some of those got popped into my mouth…I was a boy!) This Sunday School project was to build a replica of the Château that our French missionaries were using to share the Gospel. In my minds eye it was quite a masterpiece as we glued together dozens of sugar cubes to formed this castle.

Now years later, this same Château has caught my fancy. (Although I’m not popping as much sugar these days.) One of my heroes, Tom Julien was the entrepreneur of the acquisition and use of the Château de Saint Albain for building relational bridges with the French to sow the Good News. That ministry began 50 years ago this year! Amazing!

So in the celebration of their 50th anniversary of ministry (of course the building is much older!), there are a variety of ways to be apart. Our Encompass World Partners board of directors are actually meeting on-site for annual meetings this week. This weekend is the first celebration of many for this year.

There are at least 5 ways you can get involved:

Facebook Page for the Chateau1) The easiest way to support the Château and get info about the ministry is on their Facebook page.  Like it RIGHT NOW!

 

2) Another ways you can be apart is helping “kickstart” the printing of a commemorative coffee table book. Much of the design work on the book is already done, but we need funding to actually print the project with our French publishing house Éditions Clé. Your donation will actually be “doubled” bless the work of the Château—so your donation of $100 dollars actually gets the book published and can generate up to $200 toward the ministry! Donate now and help us get this project rolling!

 

chateau100club

3) Soon there will be the restarting of the Château 100 Club where people can become members of the Château ministry with a $100 donation to support the work! You can start right now (on the Project list select FRANCE- $100 Club)!

 

4) You can always go on a Short-Term Trip! At least 4 teams going from the USA this year. Talk to our Mobilizers in the Encompass office to find out how and when you can go. Contact a mobilizer

 

Chateau_banner5) Is the Château calling you?!?!  One of the evolutions in the Château’s ministry over the last 10 years has been to put the leadership firmly into the hands of the European leaders. Today, our North American workers mainly contribute through an on-site support couple.  The current couple, Bob & Lisa Keiffer fulfill their commitment at the end of this year.  We are in need of a new support couple to live in at the Château and serve the nations! Would you be praying for this important role to be filled? Maybe you are interested in serving in this role…  Want to find out more>>

 

Maybe the Château has caught your fancy?!?!….I hope so!  Get involved!

 

Learn more about Encompass World Partner’s work in France and at the Château in the following video:

Challenge From Chad

Mike & HutIt was a privilege to be asked by our Community of Elders to share with our entire Los Altos Grace family about my trip to Chad.  I hope that you were challenged, informed and encouraged by my sharing on Sunday.

If you weren’t able to join us, here is an overview video of the work in Chad (by Encompass). This video is really helpful and you should see it!

Synthesizing two weeks into a few sentences isn’t easy, but here are a few of the things I brought home:

Our Brethren in Chad spur us on!
In spite of poverty, our Brethren brothers and sisters have figured out how to survive, how to spread the Gospel, how to use medicine for the Gospel, how to start churches and more. They have as many churches as we do in the USA!

Mission isn’t about civilization
The economic contrast glared out on my flights between Paris and Chad. Yet we need workers in Paris to make disciples, train leaders and start churches in the same way we need them in the capital city of Chad (N’Djamena). If we can use tools of medicine and education for the Gospel, that is awesome. Living and sharing the Gospel is vital no matter what the “civilization” level of the culture is.

You are Needed!
No matter who you are, as a follower of Jesus, you are needed to continue to sow the Gospel and make disciples. YOU are needed across the street and across cultures as Jesus builds His Church!

A recording of the entire message is on the @LosAltosGrace website

A “movie” of the powerpoint slides is online too is on

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