Missions and Worship

“*Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.
Worship-fuel-goal600px
Design: Emi Negron

 

“Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions.It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.

“The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” (Ps 97:1). “Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” (Ps 67:3-4).
“But worship is also the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can’t commend what you don’t cherish.
“Missionaries will never call out, “Let the nations be glad!” who cannot say from the heart, “I rejoice in the Lord…I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High” (Ps 104:34, 9:2). Missions begins and ends in worship.”……
Read the rest of the article Let The Nations Be Glad by John Piper

Let the Nations Be Glad!
*This Excerpt is from John Piper’s 1993 book Let The Nations Be Glad

How Jesus Sends YOU

I found this post from JS Shaw on the Verge site and wanted to share it:

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21 ESV)

As the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus has sent us. That means that if we can discover how the Father sent Jesus, then we will see how we have now been sent.

sentSo, how was Jesus sent?

Tweet this: As the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus has sent us. So, how WAS Jesus sent? @VergeNations

The Father sent Jesus. . . .

Continue reading “How Jesus Sends YOU”

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?

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

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)

Mission Mixer in Long Beach – Sat Feb. 1st!

MissionMixerLongBeach

Saturday, February 1
6-9 pm

A great opportunity to socialize with Dave Guiles (Executive Director of Encompass World Partners) and others who are considering or doing cross-cultural mission!

Maybe you have gone on a short-term mission trip and are still dreaming about being involved in mission around the globe…. let’s have a conversation!

Maybe you are living out cross-cultural mission right now…and you want to connect with others who are doing it…. let’s have a conversation!

We will have a time to drop in and hang out together with some coffee, tea and desserts.

Mike & Mindi Jentes Residence
3718 Ostrom Ave. Long Beach, CA 90808

If you’ve got questions, contact me

Mission Mobilizers gather in the MidWest

MobilizersRetreat-2013_10On October 9-10, 2013, Encompass hosted a 24 Hour Retreat for Mobilization/Mission Pastors in central Ohio.  This gathering included leaders from five states. The retreat setting, campfire and all, created a flowing conversation ranging from short-term mission trips, to local church mission “successes” and even to how do churches create “pathways” to groom more cross-cultural workers.

The sharing of life, ministry, stories and principles invigorated everyone.  At the conclusion, each leader was challenged to a four-step application process:

1)   Think (spend some time working through all that was discussed)

2)   Draw  (put the current reality down on a piece of paper, and draw a future reality)

3)   Communicate (figure out good ways to share mobilization with the church)

4)   Experiment  (try some innovative ideas to mobilize many into cross-cultural mission)

 

Here’s a list of some of the “recommended resources” that were shared over the 24 hours:

Maximum Impact Short-Term Missions

Credible Study on the Impact of Short-Term Missions

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

What Every Church Member Should Know about Poverty by Bill Ehlig & Ruby Payne

“Mission Pastor’s Profile” by David Mays

Bible Study from Acts for Supporting Churches- “Behind the Goers” by Mike Jentes

Mobilizer Retreat Whiteboard 2013
This is a picture of the white board that we had for the weekend…

A Historic Wind is Blowing through the House of Islam

Mission-Frontiers-2013-08The latest Mission Frontiers. Available online. It’s free.

Contents:
God is Doing Something Historic – David Garrison
Why Are Muslims Coming to Jesus Like Never Before? – Robby Butler
Start a Disciple-Making Movement Among Your Muslim Neighbors – Paul Bartlett, Robby Butler
Any-3: Lead Muslims to Christ Now! – Mike Shipman
Guide Muslims to the Bible – AJ Hague
A Novice’s Guide to Fielding Common Muslim Objections – Shane Bennett
Kingdom Kernels: CPM Essentials On a Napkin – Steve Smith

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

The Multiplier Factor « Issachar Initiative | Extending the Reach of the Church

Thirteen people gather in a modest living room in central China. Their huge task is to reach and disciple an unreached people of several million. Thinking about this brave small group, we might be reminded of the boy’s bread and fish in John 6: “…how far will they go among so many?” But that small lunch was enough because Jesus brought the divine multiplier factor.

Does God have a divine multiplier factor for that team of 13 in China?

Yes, because they aren’t a team of just 13 people. One church in North America has told them: “In reality, you have 3,013 members on your team because every person in our congregation is a part of your team too. Whatever you need, ask for it from a member who is back here in our church. We’re in this together!”

The local church is God’s multiplier factor for missions today! Individuals can make a tremendous contribution to missions. Technology can have a great impact too. But the multiplier factor only comes into play when we engage the local church. Why?

1. The power multiplier

“I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it,” Jesus declared. It is the church to whom Jesus promises success as she assaults the forces of evil.

We are in a cosmic spiritual battle. Paul called the Ephesian church to stand with him in the fearless proclamation of the gospel with “all kinds of prayers” because the struggle is against the powers of darkness (Eph. 6:18-19). If the Apostle Paul was dependent on the engagement of the church, who are we to think we can go it alone?

Winning is not dependent on technology, education, political power, or money. But it is dependent on a powerful team fighting on their knees. One pastor told me with joy that when his congregation came face to face with the desperate needs of the unreached, they began to pray “BIG prayers.” Big prayers impact the church itself, the community, and yes, the ends of the earth. Only the deeply engaged local church has the potential to exponentially multiply the prayer power. Only that prayer power will go far enough, deep enough, and last long enough.

2. The leadership multiplier

Saul was a “Type A” entrepreneur, gifted and passionate to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. But in Acts 13:1-3, God pushed the pause button. In essence He said, “Wait! I want the local church, especially the leaders of the local church, to be the engine of the missions process.” The Holy Spirit speaks to the leaders of the Antioch church, “You send Paul and Barnabas.”

In the 21st century, the local church continues to be the best engine for missions engagement. Here’s what happened when one church responded:

“Our elders identified people in our church who were seriously involved in ministry and who they felt might be gifted to serve cross-culturally,” an elder in a local church in Pennsylvania explains. “We developed a two-year class, and eventually from that group, we sent a team to Cambodia. Each member struggled at times with the decision to move ahead, but they kept coming back to this fact: This isn’t an individual goal nor a decision made hastily. This is the vision of my church, and we have the full confidence of our church leaders.”

God continues to call the church to prepare and send some of its best today. But will our generation complete the Great Commission? We can’t be sure. So the local church must also, right now, be raising up tomorrow’s missions leaders. How? By involving members of every age in Acts 1:8 efforts. Missions is caught better than taught, and the church is where those with powerful vision should be incubating it!

 3. The resources multiplier

My life changed when a man in our congregation said to me, “This is the first time in decades of running a business that I ever saw any way take what I’ve learned and use it for God.”

At the time, I was directing missions in my local church and had just recruited this businessman to be part of a short-term team offering business seminars in Eastern Europe. Suddenly I realized that our church was full of people who had all different types of expertise—professional, business, hobbies, sports, etc.—that was being wasted. And most of them were not uninvolved because they were resistant. They were uninvolved because they didn’t know they were needed and they had never been asked.

To stake Jesus’ claim over every inch of this planet requires the full engagement of every member of the church. God has already built the vast variety of abilities needed into what He describes as His Body—a complex organism with an amazing variety of distinct parts. These parts are designed to work in tandem to reach common goals (Eph. 4:16).

No individual and no other organization on earth can get the job done. God has called the church to the task because no lesser institution can be successful. The local church is God’s multiplier factor. What’s God calling your church to do?

Ellen Livingood is the coordinator of All Means (www.AllMeans.org) and the president of Catalyst Services (www.CatalystServices.org). Both efforts are dedicated to multiplying the global impact of local churches.

Issachar Blogs highlight 10 Elements of the Great Commission found in Scripture. This blog relates to Element #9, Mobilizing People and Finances, based on the promise in Luke 6:38 to “give and it will be given to you,” and the command in Isaiah 6:8 to “listen to our Lord’s voice and be ready to go wherever He calls us.

 

The Multiplier Factor « Issachar Initiative | Extending the Reach of the Church.

Cross Cultural Books to Recommend

I’ve been learning lots about cross cultural ministry over the last few months. I’ve interacted with these books below:

I haven’t finished reading them all, but they come with HIGH recommendations. I’ll let you know more as I finish and use them!

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