The principle of identification is often cited as a missionary necessity, part and parcel of the work of proclaiming the gospel of Christ. Examples are found in Scripture of this principle. Continue reading “Peter the presbyter, example of identification”
On his personal blog Texas preacher Kevin Cauley wrote today something that is valid for churches the world over, and especially for those who tend toward the practical and toward efficiency:
This [emphasis on results] never works with the church because the church is not a product, the church is a people, and we should be people focused. People are not predictable. They have free-will. You never really know what they are going to do. For this reason, they can never be “results.” People are not results. When we look at people as if they are a result, we dehumanize them. They cease being people and start becoming a commodity. Jesus didn’t die for a commodity; He died for people. Things are commodities; people are not commodities. Things may be abused, misused, and destroyed. People may not be abused, misused, and destroyed. Our mistake is that we use people and love things when we should be loving people and using things (thank you Dick Sztanyo for this point)!
What do we lose when we are results oriented? People. People become means to an end.
Read the whole article here.
Among us, missions efforts go in many different directions. As people interested in, and involved in, missions, you might find this article, “What American churches can learn from the mission field,” to be of interest to you.
Additional points that others might add would be most welcome. Comments on the points listed are also desired.
I almost let the Gospel Progress website go by the wayside. There’s not much demand for it. Most missionaries and missions trainers already have too much to do, yours truly included. And what difference would one little website make in the big scheme of things?
But didn’t the Lord say that where one or two are gathered, he is there in their midst? The context? Saving a soul. Continue reading “The ongoing need for sustainable missions”
Jesus does not give to Christians the option of determining who should hear the message of salvation. The gospel is to be preached to “all creation” or to “every creature” Mk 16.15. We have no way to judge accurately who will accept and who will not. To judge receptivity, or the lack of it, in a person’s heart, before the message is shared, is to put ourselves in God’s place.
“In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching others.”
—Ibn Gabirol, quoted in R.L. Alden, Job, 318
If Jesus is the “Wisdom of God” Lk 11.49, the above quote can direct us well.
Mike Brooks writes from Bangladesh today in his regular “Field Notes” column over on the Forthright Magazine site, about the effects of poverty and prosperity upon evangelism and missions.
Almost always, the more a country begins to rise out of poverty and desperation into economic prosperity, the more difficult it is to preach the gospel effectively. Within the space of only a decade or two many former third world nations in which congregations grew rapidly have now suddenly shown marked decreases in conversions. It is not coincidence that these same nations have climbed into a more prosperous standard of living.
Mike provides two points on how Christian should respond. His article should provoke some thoughtful consideration.
This is a good quote from the CoE head man:
“When Pharaoh kept the people of God slaves he instructed them to make bricks but didn’t give them the straw they needed to make them. Our God is entirely the opposite – God charges us with a task then gives us what we need.”
Continue reading “‘God gives us what we need’”
In chapters 9 and 10, Luke records the limited commission of the Twelve and of the 72 others (besides the Twelve). It appears he makes symbolic use of the numbers. The Twelve represent the Jews. Twelve apostles, twelve tribes of Israel. The 72 represent the number of the nations of the world (see Gen 10; cf. NLT Study Bible).
Luke 10 appears near the beginning of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (9.51-19.27), during which he has in view their mission of preaching after his death (W. Kummel, Introdução ao Novo Testamento). Various elements, though not all, seem to look toward fulfillment after the beginning of the church, such as their prayer for more laborers. Continue reading “Mission math: Twelve plus 72 equals great commission”