We are excited to announce that we have three Everywhere to Everywhere (E2E) training events scheduled for this spring!
This three day training event will prepare you to make disciples who make disciples among the unreached.
You can learn more about the event by reading the program description and looking at a sample schedule a the Program Page.
You can find all your registration, training dates and pricing information at the Trainings Page.
I've been a Christian all of my life and this is the most practical training about sharing my faith that I have ever received!
E2E Training Location and Dates:
Wichita, Kansas - March 9 - 11 (register here)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota - April 26-28 (register here)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota [E2E Family Training] - May 31 - June 2 (learn more)
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Will you help us spread the word about these great training opportunities. Please take a moment to share this post on your favorite social media platform.
Feel free to print off a few of these flyers to hang up at your local church. [E2E Flyer]
Thanks so much!
I have heard the sentiment from a number of different people over the last few years - usually from moms.
Aren't there any missions experiences or training events that we can do as a family?
Too often, in order to get trained or to go out on a mission trip, we have to find someone to watch the kids and yet we want desperately to model for our kids what it means to live on mission.
Not easy to do when we are forced to leave the kids at home.
Everywhere to Everywhere has always been an event that is open to families coming and we've worked to create an experiential weekend of learning and training that older kids can enter into along with mom and dad.
Our regular E2E training weekends are good for high schoolers and mature junior high students who come with a parent. The learning is often discovery based and interactive and much of the weekend is experienced outside of the training room at the local mosque, ethnic restaurants and in neighborhoods.
But it still hasn't been conducive to a family with elementary aged children. And so in May we will have our very first E2E Family Weekend.
The idea is to create a weekend of learning and ministry that the whole family can come to together. It will be for school aged kids and above. We still aren't ready for babies and toddlers but are working to create a great weekend that the whole family can enter into together.
We will continue to working on the details and adjustments that need to be made and even today I came across another challenge that we need to consider: early bedtimes!
Our family is working together to create a weekend that your family can enter into together. But we'd love your feedback as well. Stop by and read through the program description page and then share your ideas in the comments for adaptations and adjustments that would help create a family friendly E2E weekend.
The dates for the first E2E Family will be May 31 - June 2 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Dyann was baptized just 5 years ago. She knew she was committed, but wasn’t sure what to do next. She decided to read through the Bible. On doing so she naturally evaluated her life against what she was learning about God and His people.
Coincidentally, her church was gearing up for an extended mission conference where there were many missionary guests. She was deeply moved by the whole-life surrender of the individuals and families she was meeting. She decided to take the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course and had her entire world opened up before her.
What she learned is that her role was to reach her neighbors, whoever they may be, with the good news of the Gospel.
“It really is my job to get to share this.”
Perhaps the most precious thing about her testimony is her heart that is obviously broken for the lost who do not know the love of God.
Dyann has already received training to share her faith and has begun training others to do the same even as she shares her own faith regularly. She has also served cross-culturally in Argentina, Lebanon and next up, Mexico.
Do you want to see this kind of transformation in your life?
We'd love to help you. Join us for our next Everywhere to Everywhere training event.
Learn about Perspectives
The Rock Community Church
Here is a question for you: Are you training or teaching your disciples?
You may be wondering, is there a difference?
There is a difference and despite the differences, they are both used powerfully by God to raise up disciples. Both are valuable and important, but we too often try to teach things that we should be training.
Teaching is the passing on and receiving of information to gain knowledge.
Training is the passing on and mastering of skills.
Again, both are important.
But consider the picture above. A man is helping a younger person become a bicycle mechanic.
There are many ways to become a bicycle mechanic. My wife once bought be a book called "Bicycle Maintenance" and it gave instructions on how to fix all sorts of problems that happen with a bicycle. There were even lots of pictures.
Reading a book is one way to learn about fixing my bicycle.
But I never really became a bicycle mechanic - I had a lot of knowledge, but I didn't master the skills. That is because fixing a bicycle is more about learning skills than it is about gaining a bunch of knowledge.
To become a competent bicycle mechanic, what I need to do is spend time with a bicycle mechanic - like the boy in the picture above.
I need to change hundreds of bicycle inner tubes. I need to adjust hundreds of bicycle break problems. I need to take a apart and put back together hundreds of bicycles.
Because the only way to get competent at fixing bikes is to fix lots of bikes.
Some aspects of being a bicycle mechanic are really just about knowledge.
But most of the work of a bicycle mechanic is a skill. And there is really only one way to get competent at a skill.
Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.
And it is that way in almost every area of life.
Anything that you do well, you do it well because you have done it a lot. You have mastered a skill.
So now let's step back and look at how we make disciples. Much of what we know to do in order to obey Jesus are actually skills that we have learned. We don't just know about prayer, we have become better at prayer as we have prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed.
We don't just know about reading our Bibles. We are a lot better at reading God's word and interacting with it and learning from it now than when we first began.
And with both, there was probably someone who modeled for you what prayer is and how to read your Bible and walked with you until you figured it out.
What are the things that disciples of Jesus do?
I would encourage you to make a list of five to ten things that you wish every member of your church was doing regularly as a disciple of Jesus and then ask yourself, "Have I trained them to do that?"
I'll give you one example that I am working to train as many disciples as I can in. We all know that as disciples of Jesus we are commanded to tell others about the gospel.
One way to do that is to share our personal testimony. Paul did this frequently in the book of Acts. In the video below you will see what we use at Everywhere to Everywhere events to train people how to share their testimony. We write out our testimonies and then we practice and practice and practice and practice until we have it memorized.
We won't be confident to share what we are not competent to share.
Learn it. Apply it. Share it. Today.
Last week we shared seven podcasts that we have found helpful to fuel the missions fire. Today we’d like to add to that list of resources and share with you seven video channels that will help you train unto the harvest and cast vision for the great commission. Some are focused purely on training and equipping the local church. Others are focused on helping the local church catch God’s vision for the nations. All have been inspiring and helpful and we hope they will do the same for you.
Everywhere to Everywhere (E2E) works to multiply healthy disciples and raise up missional leaders. We are challenged to inspire believers to cultivate a heart for the least reached locally, nationally and globally and to provide tools that will help them make a difference.
We hope that these seven video channels will support that effort.
At the bottom of the post, we’ve shared one video from each of these sites to give you a bit of the flavor of their content and we hope you will explore more.
[READ ALL OF THE 7 SERIES BLOG POSTS]
MB Mission believes in the power of story. Their videos will take you into the heart of mission all across the world, telling the stories of God’s engagement with and through his people. Powerful testimonies will encourage and inspire you.
Global Frontier Missions
Their GFM 101 series of videos have been especially helpful for casting vision with local churches and individuals. These short videos do a great job of unpacking the great commission and some key concepts that missionaries are wrestling with today.
Frontiers is one of the largest mission agencies focusing specifically on the Muslim world. These inspiring videos tell the story of God's working through his people across the Muslim world.
No Place Left Training
The No Place Left Network are a group of like minded individuals and churches who are working to see movements of disciples making disciples spread across the globe until there is no place left (Romans 15:23). In order to work toward that goal, they have been developing simple and accessible training tools. These they freely give to anyone who is interested in being a disciple who makes disciples and we have incorporated these tools into our Everywhere to Everywhere training events. The 411 Training module is a key component of E2E.
Curtis Sergeant Training for Multiplication
Curtis is one of the foremost trainers in movement methodology and has been a catalytic part of movements across the globe. His 28 multiplication concepts videos are a great first step into thinking about multiplication. They are accessible and easily understandable and at less than 10 minutes, each can be watched over a lunch break or after work.
Engage Africa has put together a series of five videos unpacking their work to see multiplying movements happen across Africa. Hosted by African pastors and practitioners, these videos allow us to learn from local leaders on the ground in Africa. Filled with powerful teaching and amazing testimony, these videos are a great tool for learning about missions and movement.
Pioneers is another large mission agency whose focus is on unreached people groups across the globe. Their videos do a good job of telling the story of what God is doing among the nations. They also have a series of videos to help train and equip sending churches - great for pastors and mission committees.
If you know of other video channels like these, feel free to share them in the comments below.
GLOBAL FRONTIER MISSIONS
NO PLACE LEFT TRAINING
CURTIS SERGEANT TRAINING
It was a story that gripped the world for nearly two weeks. A Thai soccer team and their coach, trapped in a cave by rising waters were rescued in a daring and dangerous mission by Navy SEALS. It was with hope that the world watched the courage and tenacity of the rescue team and the resilliance of the boys.
Last week I recieved an update from a friend who had been in Thailand for a conference with OMF. He relayed the obeservations that one of his collegues made from the rescue mission in relation to reaching the unreached in our world. I recieved permission to share those observations here.
No doubt you’ve heard reports about the Thai soccer team rescued from a cave. Our friend, Larry Dinkins has shared some insightful observations to consider. Thank you for praying that God will thrust out scores of more missionaries to share Christ’s love with unreached people groups across East Asia. Larry shares these comments:
The rescue and the picture above I think gives us a graphic image of what it is going to take to reach the unreached: teamwork, dedication, perserverance, focus and hard work.
Are we up to the task?
Let us meditate on Paul's words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:3-7:
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
Jesus is worth all of our efforts; all of our sacrifice; all of our lives.
I first met Any McCullough at an international church in Central Asia. He was on an short trip preparing to move to our city and we had the privilege of taking them out to eat that day. As a language coach and a friend, I got to have a bit of a front row seat to the settling of his family and team into the cross cultural context of ministry. What I observed impressed me in so many ways and so when I saw he had written a book on how we should enter into new cultures, I was excited.
Global Humility: Attitudes for Mission is powerful, insightful and a must read for anyone interested in cross-cultural ministry. Broken into six different sections, Andy explores all facets of cross cultural work through the lens of what he believes is the most important aspect of this work: humility. Filled with first hand experience, personal stories, Biblical insight and sharp observation, Global Humility is a must read for anyone interested in learning from the global church and in moving cross-culturally as an ambassador of Christ. We will certainly be incorporating some of the lessons into the Becoming a Cross Cultural Ambassodor session of E2E.
In Andy’s own words, he hopes that this book will stimulate, provoke and challenge you and cause you to pray more, cause you to think about the world in a humbler way with a broader perspective.
Global Humility does just that.
Andy writes in an easy to read way that is engaging and insightful. There are so many nuggets of wisdom in this book and so here are some those nuggets that I found as I read: one from each chapter. I hope this will give you a taste of what the book is all about and motivate you to order your own today.
Click Here to Get Global Humility*
Section 1 - Moral Humility: Thinking About Sin
Chapter 1 - Tamar: Voice from the Margins
One of the great sins of those who cross cultures, particularly those who travel from the powerful to the powerless, is the sin of judging. The centre judges the margins. The strong judge the weak. The missionary judges the heathen. The Christian judges the non-Christian.
Chapter 2 - The Sins of Jonah
Humility is reading scripture and identifying with its weak characters. If Jonah had such gaping flaws, the chances are we do too. Jonah does not have much to teach us about strategy, but a whole load to teach us about our hearts.
Chapter 3 - The Men from James
The word of the gospel is able to keep and build the believers. All of the tree is in the seed. Everything is an enormous mature tree was originally in the seed; all the DNA necessary. A seed needs planting and watering and needs space clearing out for it to grow (James 1:21), but does not need adding to. So with the gospel of the grace of God in Christ!
Chapter 4 - Softening Your Certainty
Our greatest theologians have only read the first line of the first page of an infinite library which is the knowledge of God. May our speech, our self-perception and our approach to God and others be softer!
Chapter 5 - Humanity as Victim
We must not forget that Sin as Tyrant is as big a theme in the biblical witness as Sin as Choice. The latter is still true, and the Christian formulation of sin includes both, but one of the things that makes Christianity unique as a world religion is the picture of sin as a power oppressing humankind and hence, necessitating a Savior. Islam, for instance, would teach Sin as Choice but not Sin as Tyrant. We, however, have a Savior who came not to judge but to save the world! If we can see people in this way, then instead of blaming we will serve and instead of judging we will empathise.
Section 2 - Public Humility: Thinking About the World
Chapter 6 - Whose Story?
The geographical heartlands of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam are still where they have always been, and the faithful go their on pilgrimage. Not so with Christianity.
Chapter 7 - On Memory
When introducing yourself to someone from a high-context culture, they don’t just want to know who you are as an individual, but who your father and grandfather were, where your people come from originally, where your village is. Third generation urban migrants still talk about their village, even if they have never been there. One of the major differences between identity in the East and the West is the role of memory.
Section 3 - Semantic Humility: Thinking About Language
Chapter 8 - Nimrod Versus Abram
That is why Christian mission must be dominated by an Abrahamic ‘go’ rather than a Nimrodian ‘come’. In multicultural cities and towns of Europe the same dynamic is true. There are many in your town who can never come to your church, the geographic, linguistic, cultural barriers are too many. You may think your church is accessible because it has a good website and a wheelchair ramp, but what about emotional and cultural accessibility? Instead, you must go to them!
Chapter 9 - Heart Language
In any cross-cultural relationship, language is an invisible power differential. If our whole desire is to see local responsibility, local leadership, local ownership in the Church, one of the most decisive ways to achieve this is local language.
Chapter 10 - Translatability
One of the most important things about Christianity is its translatability. I can talk to God in my own heart language. God can speak to me (through the scriptures) in my own mother tongue. I don’t have to learn a sacred language - the gospel invades my language and renders it sacred!
Section 4 - Intercultural Humility: Thinking About Differences
Chapter 11 - Whose Reason?
Have you ever noticed that in the Old Testament there are very few ‘photographic’ descriptions of appearance, whether of people or of buildings? But there is an obsession with the process of building. This because in the East, verbs are more important than nouns. For the biblical writers, describing what the temple looked like was not as important as describing how it was made.
Chapter 12 - I Am Because We Are
We have learned that when Westerners talk about church as ‘family’ they mean something very different to what Easterners expect. If you are going to use that word, are you prepared to live up to the implications? Family pool financial resources to send a nephew to university, or to buy a married couple a house. Family find jobs for each other. Family is invasive, comments on everything, admits no no-go areas.
Chapter 13 - Honour Motivation
There is a Turkish proverb, ‘A stone is weighty in its place.’ Where you are from, where you are known, you have weight.
Chapter 14 - Multisense
… if we discount all form and ritual, then we are making informality a gospel essential, when it is only a cultural preference. We must learn to contextualize to high-context cultures!
Section 5 - Incarnational Humility: Thinking About Leadership
Chapter 15 - Contextualize Yourself!
Although it is rare for cross-cultural workers to genuinely ‘become’ local, the effort that you make to expose yourself to the same lifestyle as those you are seeking to reach - your schooling options, accomodation, work hours, food - will go a long way to communicating the compassion of Christ who lived among Jewish men as a Jewish man.
Chapter 16 - Sent Like Jesus
We are servants of the Sent One! Jesus’ incarnation is the model for our incarnation. His vulnerability is the template for our vulnerability. His humility, the prototype for our humility. His pain, the pattern for our pain.
Chapter 17 - Scaffolding
Reaching the unreached requires collaboration between different apostolic spheres, open-handedness and a non-possessive approach.
Chapter 18 - Leadership is Not Like Riding a Bicycle
The science of leadership is one of the most prevalent forms of neo-colonialism around in the Church today.
Section 6 - Theological Humility: Thinking About Thinking
Chapter 19 - Narrative
The goal of missions is indigenous expression of ancient truth. The danger for missionaries is bringing the gospel plus something additional.
Chapter 20 - Parable
Jesus was unafraid to say ‘the kingdom of heaven is like . . .’ In fact, he knew that the only way our tiny human brains could conceive of the divine was through the medium of comparison to the material, everyday world.
Chapter 21 - Theology as a Verb
Theology should be taught as a verb and not as a noun. To theolog-ise. Especially cross-culturally. We must teach people how to think, not what to think.
Chapter 22 - De-Westernising Your Eschatology
Eurocentrism is rarely more evident in Bible interpretation than in the history of the interpretation of Revelation.
Chapter 23 - Apostolic Plurality
If an Indian reads a verse one way, and an Inuit reads it another way, because of cultural lenses affecting their reading, who is right? Who is wrong? And how can these be reconciled? How different should a Middle Eastern theology be from a North American theology? I know this is a mind boggling question, but we have to have the courage to ask it.
Click Here to Get Global Humility*
Take a moment to watch Andy talk about his book below.
* The links to this book are affiliate links.
In 1792, William Carey published his rather long titled manifesto of missions, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens. The title reflects the times in which he lived both in its length and in its use of the word "heathen" and yet, its publication along with his subsequent founding of the Baptist Missionary Society later that same year began what we now know as the modern missions movement.
Many were to follow in Cary’s footsteps, taking the gospel from the West where it had been firmly established for over 1,000 years to the East and South where it had yet to be shared. In 1900 Africa was less than 10% Christian.(1) In 1950, 100 years after Hudson Taylor arrived, the population of Christians in China was a mere 3.4 million out of a total population of 550 million.
This was the reality in which the paradigm of modern missions developed. It was the need of the hour. The vast majority of those whose faith in Christ compelled them to take the great commission seriously lived in the West and so, through much sacrifice, they supported and sent their sons and daughters to what David Bryant calls “the widest end of the gap.”
The world in which they lived dictated that they sail slowly to these lands, that they send occasional correspondence back to home churches which remained far away, across a vast expanse of land and ocean. The work of missions then was “over there” and it was left to those who felt called to go. For the rest of us, “over here”, well we did our best to support their work, to pray, to give to the missionaries and occasionally, to go ourselves. But mostly we got on with the work of doing church in places where we were the majority culture.
And the paradigm through which we view the great commission increasingly became something for someone else to do.
Doug Birdsall, quoted in the book Western Christians in Global Mission says, “The Great Commission is for every church in every culture in every generation. There are no exclusions. But . . . every church in every culture in every generation must determine the way in which they respond to this responsibility -- in a way that is appropriate to time and context."
For those in William Carey’s and Hudson Taylor’s time, sending missionaries overseas was the only responsible response to the vast numbers of people living outside of any real access to the gospel. The only way to bring the gospel to China was to go there. Those generations in those churches determined the best way to complete the great commission was to send missionaries.
The problem is that this paradigm for how to complete the great commission became the status quo and each new generation of churches simply continued to do what previous generations had done. They improved upon the mistakes of previous generations thankfully, but the basic idea of mission stayed the same and the church by and large, remained on the outside looking in.
In the last twenty years however, the context of our world has changed in unprecedented ways. Those changes demand that this generation reassess the church’s role in Jesus commission to His church as we see it in Matthew 28:18-20. We cannot continue to merely do what previous generations in the West have done. To do so would be irresponsible!
When Hudson Taylor went to China in the 1850s, his friends and sending churches back in England knew very little about China. None of them had ever met anyone from China. It was quite literally on the other side of a very big world.
Today, we can learn anything we want about China with a click of a button. Nearly everything we own was made in China and with very little effort, we can befriend a Chinese student who wants to practice English online. Over 350,000 Chinese are studying in U.S. universities and there are Chinese restaurants in most every town. Because of entrepreneurial opportunities, every city in America has Chinese residents.
And it’s not just China. Sioux Falls - a small Midwestern city in South Dakota of just under 200,000, is home to over 140 different languages from countries. A vast majority of the workforce at John Morrell - Sioux Falls’ third largest employer - is foreign born. Just up the road at South Dakota State University in Brookings, students from all over the world are working toward both bachelors and advanced degrees.
Globalization is a reality that has moved forward at a lightning quick pace. Driven by technological advances that have connected our world like never before, by the rise of English as a global trade language and by the greatest migrations of people the world has ever known, globalization is changing the context of the world in which we live.
And it is this changing context that demands we rethink the role local churches and individual Christians play in in the great commission.
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
God is on the move. While the kingdom of America is changing and those changes won’t be without their challenges, the Kingdom of God is not in trouble. God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 was that all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.
God is keen to keep His promises and the witness of the Old and the New Testament alike is of a God who is passionate that all the nations of the earth - all people groups - would know His glory and be reconciled to Him.
And God intends to see that vision come to fruition, to see the day when great multitudes that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, are standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They will be wearing white robes and will be holding palm branches in their hands. And they will cry out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9-10)”
That is the mission of God! It is what the narrative of scripture is all about. Christopher Wright has said that “it’s not so much that the church has a mission as it is that the mission of God has a church.”
Globalization is real. It will have tangible effects on our lives. It will present very real challenges. And yet with it come new and amazing opportunities for the church to be a part of the great commission in ways that were not possible even 20 years ago.
But the question is, as always, how will we respond?
Global migration is increasing rapidly. According to PEW Research, in 2015, nearly 250 million people lived outside of the their country of birth. This is three times more than in 1960. This is due in part to the global refugee crisis but also to the rise of a global middle class. More and more people across the globe are simply able to immigrate to wealthier countries. They come for education, for a better job or to avoid some of the inherent challenges of making a life in a developing country.
A friend of mine immigrated with his parents to Canada when he was fourteen. His father was an entrepreneur and had started several successful businesses in Western China but was continually frustrated by the communist government bureaucracy and so decided he’d try his luck in Canada.
My friend was Hui Chinese, a Muslim minority people. He had been raised in a Muslim home and educated in Chinese schools where he was indoctrinated with atheistic teaching. His chance of meeting a Christian or hearing the gospel in his hometown in China was slim to none.
Global migration trends mean that the chances are increasingly likely that you will have a neighbor, a co-worker or perhaps a doctor who comes from another country. Your children will go to school with children who may not speak English at home. You may say hello to a young man at a coffee shop like I did with my friend and discover that he is part of a people group of nearly 14 million people that is less than 0.01% Christian.
Global Migration creates tremendous new opportunities for churches in the West. It would be irresponsible to ignore these opportunities and so I’d like to offer a few ideas for how you can step into the work that God is doing here as he brings the nations to us.
First, begin praying! God is on the move and He’s inviting you into his mission to reach the nations. You may need to begin praying first for your own heart - I get that. There is a lot in the news that would lead you to be fearful of this talk of global migration trends. You may be nervous or scared or even filled with thoughts and ideas that are decidedly not like Jesus. Dive into the scriptures and let God’s word shape your heart as you pray for Jesus to take away your fear and replace it with compassion.
And then begin praying for the nations among us. Pray for opportunities to build relationships with people who have not heard the good news of Jesus. Pray for their blessing and protection. Pray that they would have an opportunity to respond to the gospel.
Start praying and don’t stop.
Next, do some research. Who is coming to your town? Where are they coming from and why? What do they believe? Are they African or Latin American Christians - our brothers and sisters in Christ from whom we could learn a thing or two? Are they Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist? Are they from an unreached people group or perhaps even from an unengaged people group?
You can learn a lot about people groups at the two sites listed below. These are two organizations working to keep the church informed on how we are doing with the Great Commission.
Finally, meet someone! Say hello. Bring a plate of cookies to someone’s door. Be a good neighbor.
It is not nearly as difficult or complicated as we seem to think it will be. Being a good neighbor doesn’t require a degree in rocket science.
Are their things you’ll want and need to learn? Of course.
Will you need to enter the relationship with humility, actively seeking to learn from and about your new friend? Yes.
Will there be a language barrier? That depends, but if there is, you’ll have an amazing opportunity to practice humility and show kindness by having them help you learn some of their language as you help them learn English.
Will you get to try new foods? Probably, and you’ll most likely be overwhelmed by your new friend’s hospitality.
Will it be hard? Absolutely yes. Relationships generally have their ups and downs and cross cultural relationships are no different. How you respond during the hard moments can and will be a powerful testimony to the transformative work of Jesus in your life.
Here is the reality. You may be the one whom Christ uses to bring one of His lost sheep into His kingdom. He will do that and is doing that everyday all across the globe. You can say, “Yes, I want to be a part of what God is doing.” or you can say "no".
It’s up to you.
While global migration is bringing the people of the world into your neighborhood, technology is increasingly making it possible for you to go into the neighborhoods of the nations of the world.
Call centers are located in India. Doctors are connecting with translators in Africa to help interpret for their appointments with new Americans still working to learn English. Entrepreneurs are outsourcing tech support to the Philippines. Millions of connections are made daily across the world wide web creating space for conversations and relationships that would not have been possible even twenty years ago.
How does the church tap into this new space and redeem it for Christ’s global purposes?
Millions of people in countries where there is little if any access to the gospel are learning English. They won’t meet a Christian on their block. There are no churches in their neighborhood and perhaps not even in their city. But they are going online in order to find new friends with whom they can practice English and learn about American culture.
Embassy, a ministry of Crescent Project, is working to ensure that they connect with a follower of Jesus. By helping Christians find online platforms where language learners gather and equipping them with the tools to build relationships and share their faith, Embassy is helping the church reach into some of the remotest corners of the Earth with a faithful witness of the gospel.
From your own living room you can meet a Muslim from Saudi Arabia, get to know them and their family as they get to know you. You’ll be able to encourage them and learn from them and in it all, share about your love for Jesus.
[Read about my experience with Embassy]
And so whether you live in New York City or in Platte, South Dakota you now have easy access to opportunities to share the love of Jesus with people who have never heard His name. You don’t need to be the prototypical missionary to be a part of the mission of God to reach every tribe and people and nation.
There are over 2 billion people who have no access to the good news of Jesus Christ.
A New Paradigm
Historically, the paradigm of missions was that of churches here supporting a few through prayer, encouragement and financial giving to go and live cross culturally.
We called those few missionaries.
We now live in a new time and a new context and so we need a new paradigm, one that sees missions as everywhere to everywhere. One that sees all of the church involved in all of God’s mission.
What if the mission of the King was our primary mission? Locally, nationally and globally?
What if missions were not just about us providing, praying for and provisioning missionaries to go over there, but we moved into this new paradigm of everywhere to everywhere.
We could work toward more robust partnerships where missionaries and churches partnered together to complete the great commission together? Missionaries returning on furlough could spend time training us to minister more effectively with what they have learned on the field.
Our young people going to university could invest in the lives of international students coming to study in the in the U.S. from within the the places of the world that are least reached.
With God using globalization to bring the nations to the United States, what if Christians here in American won Muslims to Christ who then took their new faith back to their families and communities in their home country?
And what if our churches began functioning more as missional training centers, equipping the saints to proclaim the gospel and make disciples - making our main vision not to grow our own church but to see the great commission completed - locally, nationally and globally?
As a representative of MB Mission - a sending agency - I have to tell you that we absolutely need to continue to send missionaries into the world. We need to send more! 2 billion people living outside the reach of the gospel demands it.
But I am convinced that as you move toward discovering your roll in this new missions paradigm locally, your hearts will grow in such magnificent ways that one of the inevitable outcomes will be a greater commitment to the great commission globally.
Your prayers for the missionaries your church supports will grow. Your financial giving to reach the 2 billion lost in darkness will increase. Your desires to go and be a part of the work on short term mission trips will expand.
And in years to come, you will find that those coming back on furlough from China and Turkey and across the world will be some of the young people who are in your church today. Men and women of God whom you have raised up and trained and have sent.
May it be!
A Few Helpful Resources
What: Brief training/practice and then going out two by two to bless people, pray for people, proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom and search for God prepared peoples (Luke 10; Acts 17:26-27; John 6:44). The more we do this, the more we are convinced that Jesus' statement that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few is absolutely true.
When: Every 4th Saturday of the month from 9am-12pm until there is #NoPlaceLeft where the Gospel has not been proclaimed.
Where: We meet at various churches throughout Sioux Falls. (If your church would be willing to host a Sent Saturday please click here.)
Why: Love for Jesus and His commands, love for our city, hearts broken for the lost, to activate faith and obedience
***Open to all…No rsvp required…Pass it on…bring a friend!
Sent Saturday is a collaborative effort among local movement catalysts to train and activate Christians into a lifestyle of obedience-based disciple-making. Sent Saturday serves as an on-ramp to a simple, reproducible, Biblical 5-part strategy for disciple-making modeled by Jesus throughout the Gospels which includes:
For more information, to learn of upcoming training opportunities on each of these strategies, or to leave a reply click here.
There is that in the Gospel which demands expression and is never satisfied without propagating itself. We have seen again and again in the history of the Church that a Christianity which does not propagate itself languishes, if it does not perish.
I was recently at a seminar where Randy Friesen shared about the pomogranate. It's a fruit that isn't all that common in North America and yet it has a pecular place in the Bible. It is the fruit that is found adorning the hems of the robes of the priests (Exodus 28; Exodus 39) and is the only fruit decorating the the temple (1 Kings 7; 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 3).
Why such a special place for this special fruit?
It has to do with God's heart for multiplication. Throughout scripture we see princlples of multiplication and the idea that the glory of the Lord would spread throughout the earth. Genesis chapter one is filled with hints God's heart for multiplication. God's desire is to see his love, grace and salvation multiplied and we see in the methods of Jesus how he intends to do this: through disciples who make disciples who make disciples.
And that is the beauty of the pomegranate. It is the only fruit which is 100% seed. In every pomegranate, every bit of nourishement in it's fruit also carries the seed for reproduction.
And that is the way it is to be in Christ's church. We have too often fallen into the habbit of depending on the professionals to do the work of entering fields of lostness, sharing the good news of the gospel and discipling new believers.
But the expectation of Jesus and the example of the gospels, the book of Acts, the epistles and anywhere in church history where kingdom expansion is taking place is that all who call on the name of Jesus to be saved are also obeying Jesus and making disciples.
In Christ, we are made to reproduce. The Church isn't an apple where most of us are fruit and a few of us are made to do the work of making disciples. The church is a pomegranate and each us is compelled to obey Jesus and make disciples. It will look different for everyone, but we all have a part to play.
Do you know your part?
And do you know how to make disciples? Have you been equipped to enter into gospel conversations, to share your testimony and the a clear proclamation of the gospel and to lead someone to faith? And when they come to faith, are you prepared to train your new believing friend in the foundations of what it means to follow Jesus and make Him Lord of their lives?
If not, we'd love to help you learn.
We are a collection of practitioners and trainers seeking to multiply disciples and churches locally, nationally and globaly among every segment of society until there's no place left.