A Historic Wind is Blowing through the House of Islam

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

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

Where does the North American Church fit in the Global Movement?

The following notes I took at an insightful couple of presentations by missiologist Paul Borthwick. This topic is addressed more fully in Borthwick’s new book: Western Christians in Global Mission: What’s the Role of the North American Church?   (See also My Highlights from the book)

Since they are notes, I haven’t made the attempt to write them as prose, but mere bullet points. Maybe this will be helpful to you. (download a PDF)

Connection Tour by Missio Nexus – Serving the Great Commission Community of North America with Paul Borthwick
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 @ US Center for World Mission

Topic of the Day: WHERE DO WE FIT? What is the role of the North American Church in the Global Mission Movement – Paul Borthwick

Truth be told, this book is full of anecdotal opinions – coming from his extensive work alongside indigenous leaders, not a “full scientific survey”

Does North America have a role in the future of global mission?
Paul’s answer is a firm — “It Depends” ☺

We must avoid both extremes of:
1) get out of the way of the Majority World Church (his preferred term for the Latin, African & Asian Church conglomerate)
2) continue to clamour for superiority in global mission

Some people use the “baton has been passed” to the Majority Church analogy
Fundamentally this is wrong because – we can’t leave/quit the race.

We do have something to offer the Majority World Mission Movement – We have a longer history and more mistakes made. They don’t have to make our mistakes again!…we need to pass them on.

We in North America are somebody else’s “ends of the earth”

Majority World churches asked a penetrating question, “ Will the North American Mission Movement march in the Global parade if we aren’t leading it?”

5 Tensions For North American Mission Agencies/Movement:

1) What does it mean to be an international agency?

  • a. How many Africians (internationals) do we have on our board?
  • b. What does it mean to be international …equal seat for everyone?
  • c. Where will we partner with national leaders?
  • d. Partnering with indigenous agencies?
  • Eldon Porter – help North American agencies via Missio Nexus

2) How elastic are we with theological tolerance?

  • – International theologizing (self-theologizing)
  • – Nigeria question – what do you think of Benny Hinn? (people were healed by touching their TV when he was preaching/healing
  • – “The rest of the world doesn’t know that the Book of Acts is over. They really believe that stuff.”
  • • Where do relatives fit in theology, “whole households” African and Asian questions are familial, not individual
  • • Do we have the capacity to suspend judgment on some theological issues?

3) What does Biblical Partnership look like?

  • a. What does it mean? Who is the PRINCIPAL partner?
  • b. Are we a Golf Team (bunch of individuals tabulating a group score) or a Rugby Team (everyone key and in the scrum)
  • c. Westerners think of partnerships in transactional terms – time ending,
  • d. Africans think of partnerships in family terms
  • i. Recommendations to do partnering without money
  • ii. Then after trust and relationship do small amounts of money, culturally appropriate
  • iii. Highly Recommend – Mary Leiderleitner’s book Cross-Cultural Partnerships : Money and Missions

4) What is the role for the North American church in pioneering and leaving?

  • Our greatest strengths
  • • Initiative
  • • Positivity
  • • Forward looking/ Future
  • ( sometimes its actually Naïve optimism )
  • We must Listen & ask questions (Facilitator’s)
  • Observe and listen 4Xs as much as we talk! (2 eyes & ears, 1 mouth)

Letters to Dear Dr. Robert A. Blincoe, in the book are insightful:
Western Christians in Global Mission: What’s the Role of the North American Church? (Kindle Location 2170). Kindle Edition.  

5) What is our role in globalizing the North American Church?

  • -The conviction “we have a story to take to the nations” is diminishing.
  • -Today it seems “Missional” just means my neighborhood
  • – Stop speaking mission-ese
  • Our churches role in the great commission –
  • “back translation” What do you think? 30% would be great(business mind)
  • 1040 Window (2 weeks before April 15th) ☺


Part/Session 2 – Where do we fit? (Geared to Local Churches / Mission Pastors)

We are in a time where Mission is From Every Nation To Every Nation!

3 Trends in the Local Church Mission Action
1) Same Old, Same Old Group
(Just keep doing it the same way)

2) Heck with Mission Agencies, Let’s Do it Our Own Way
(streamlined, but a little dangerous & no collaboration)

3) Let’s Stay Home
(fix America first, the Majority World has more converts than us)

5 Challenges in Local Church Global Mission Engagement
1) Under 30 challenge

  • a. People don’t give in the same way
  • b. People don’t go in the same way
  • c. Do they have a long enough attention span to do pioneer mission?
  • d. Unreached people groups are long, hard work

2) Global Local Challenge

  • a. Across the street, across the ocean
  • b. World religions are here, not an exotic something from over there.
  • c. Here and There
  • i. Offer an introduction on talking to ethnic people, other religions, help give people practical tips
  • ii. Call on Mission Agency for help
  • iii. The first 5 questions you ask your Hindu neighbor, or an Islamic person, or Buddist…

3) Partnership Challenge

  • a. What are other people doing?
  • b. Intentional Reciprocity – are we going and what do they have to teach us (Co-equal partners)
  • c. Is their anything we can do to serve what God is already doing?
  • d. Take Listening trips…really listen…
  • e. Why is partnership a one-way street? Don’t treat it like a franchise, or a subsidiary!
  • i. Here’s what we have to offer…do you need this?
  • ii. Here’s what we would like to learn…
  • • Partnership is not based on transactional things (MOU’s) but on relationships
  • • Secondary Impact Partnerships
  • o Work with people who can go places that you can’t go… Latinos to Islamic pockets
  • o The Multi-Cultural face of our North American church is key to reaching our “global” world.

4) Short-term Mission Challenge

  • a. Lots of benefits, Lots of critiques
  • b. “Short-term missions is the first time in Christian Mission History when the missionary is the primary beneficiary.”
  • c. How do we link with locals?
  • d. Short-term mission trips, with a long-term effect.
  • e. Freak-show Missions – Draw a crowd and it can be used.
  • f. Poverty-voyeurs, pigeonaries (fly in crap all over everything and leave)
  • g. Please stop sending us your children – Mexico
  • i. Could not see poverty at home unless they go to Mexico and see people in a village in poverty
  • ii. What is the cost of short-term missions? What is the cost of NOT doing short-term missions?

5) North American Comfort Zone Challenge

  • a. Re-evaluate our lifestyles
  • b. Affluence comes naturally
  • c. How do we prepare people to downsize their lifestyle, living more simply
  • d. Example of MoveIn – commitment to be incarnational people in apartment, low-income housing
  • e. We have an addiction to stuff
  • f. Progress Paradox – Why does the richest place on earth have the most, mood altering, drug use, choices, different bottles of water?
  • Middleclass Americans actually are the Top 1% of the rich people who have lived in all of human history

Download/Print PDF of these Notes

See also My Highlights from the book

UNREACHED People Groups and our rationalization…

Almost every time I speak about unreached people groups, I hear a comment like, “We’ve got plenty of unreached people right here where we live, without worrying about groups halfway across the world.” And that’s true. There are more individuals living within already “reached” people groups, than there are in all the unreached people groups of the world. However, there is one major difference. Most people in the West have great access to the message of Christ through media, local churches, and believers. For 300 million people in the unengaged, unreached people groups of the world, there is no way, outside of divine revelation, to hear the message of Christ. There is no church, no missionary, and not one verse of Scripture translated into their language. How much longer will we wait until we go to these groups, and put them on our priority list for funding and manpower?

pauleshlemanBy Paul Eshelman // Director of Finishing The Task)

Read the rest of Paul’s article  in Mission Frontiers


Hear Paul tell the story of when God grabbed his heart for the unreached 


Peoples on the Move: A God-Ordained Opportunity for Reaching the Unreached by J.D. Payne

Frank Obien, in his book Building Bridges of Love: A Handbook for Sharing God’s Love with International Students, wrote that in the 1960s he noticed that while missionaries were traveling the world, international students were coming to the United States—only to return without anyone sharing the gospel with them. Don Bjork, in a 1985 Christianity Today article, attempted to raise awareness of the migration of the nations to the United States. Commenting on the realities in the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote:

Millions of strange new faces began appearing on the streets of American cities, collectively changing the face of the nation itself. But who in the church really noticed? Unseen or unheeded, the fields at home were long since ‘white unto harvest.’ Yet right down to the end of the 1970s, few missions leaders really knew what was going on. The ‘invisible migrants’ took no pains to hide, yet it seemed few missions took pains to seek.

Progress has been made since Bjork‘s article, but unfortunately it is too little and too slow. While such discussions have taken place in the past, most evangelicals have been slow to respond. The good news is that more and more people, churches, networks, denominations, societies, and mission agencies are talking about this topic once again and starting to act on the need.

…read the rest of this article in Mission Frontiers – Peoples on the Move: A God-Ordained Opportunity for Reaching the Unreached.

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation 1863

Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Interesting Facts for Global Church Planters

  • There are 9,608 ethnic people groups and 15,942 people-in-country groups, counting each group once per country of residence.
  • Of the 15,942 total groups, 6,430 are Least-Reached, totaling 2,576,038,000 individuals.
  • Of these 6,430 groups, 4,975 are in 10/40 Window countries. That means 77% of the unreached / least-reached people groups are in the 10/40 Window.
  • The largest least-reached group is the Japanese, with over 120,000,000 individuals.
  • 3,285 groups are primarily Muslim, totaling nearly 1,300,000,000 individuals.
  • 2,436 groups are primarily Hindu, totaling about 900,000,000 individuals.
  • 561 groups are primarily Buddhist, totaling nearly 375,000,000 individuals.
  • 6,486 groups are primarily Christian, totaling over 2,000,000,000 individuals. “Christian” is defined here as Christian adherents, not restricted to evangelicals.
  • The Mandarin Chinese is the largest people group, being in 98 countries with a total of about 793,000,000 individuals, and with 783,000,000 of those in China.
  • Jews are found in 130 countries, Arabs in 84 countries, and Chinese groups in 117 countries.

There is still lots of work to be done!

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

The Least-Reached and Secular Humanists in America Need the Lord

Never before has the climate for evangelism and church planting been riper for taking the love of Jesus to least-reached people right here in America! Not only are there over 800,000 least-reached people living within our shores, but there is a tremendous spiritual vacuum created by three generations influenced by secular humanism. People are searching for meaning, security and significance. New churches are timely, relevant and connect easily with their communities. Now is the time to plant more and better churches! Now is the time for existing churches to multiply and reap the harvest fields around them. Historically, church planting is proven to be the most effective form of evangelism.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

Least-Reached in U.S.

Reaching the least-reached in the United States with the love of Jesus
Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

Definition of an Unreached People Group

The Joshua Project gives the following definition of an Unreached or Least-reached People Group:

“A people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.”

The original Joshua Project editorial committee selected the critieria less than 2% Evangelical Christian and less than 5% Christian Adherents. While these percentage figures are somewhat arbitrary, there are some that suggest that the percentage of a population needed to be influenced to impact the whole group is 2%. Joshua Project uses the terms Unreached People Group (UPG) and Least-reached People Group interchangably.

If they are to be reached, churches must be planted.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

God Desires to Bless the Nations

Psalm 67

God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us–that Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for Thou wilt judge the peoples with uprightness, and guide the nations on the earth. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller
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