How Jesus grew leaders for a multiplying movement.
We normally think of a person of peace (Luke 10:1-11) as someone far from God who welcomes the messenger, the message, and signs up for the mission of reaching their community. Sometimes the person of peace is already a believer, and God uses the messenger to activate them.
My teammate Steve and I were out visiting homes on a nearby housing estate in Tilbury. Something we do together every Wednesday.
We connect and care for people by offering to pray for them, then ask "Can we tell you how we came near to God?" Typically 60% of people say yes when we offer to share in this way, so we go ahead and share the gospel with them using the 3 Circles.
That morning we were having a great time and decided to visit just one more home before lunch. So we knocked on Paul's door.
His sister-in-law answered with Paul quickly joining us. We prayed for them and shared the gospel. There and then we invited them to follow Jesus and discovered they are already believers. In fact, Paul's sister-in-law had been wanting to go out onto their estate to share the gospel with people but was unsure how to do this, so had prayed that morning that God would show her how to do this. Then we knocked on her door!
Steve and his wife began meeting with the whole family to teach them the 'Commands of Jesus' and train them to make disciples.
Over the weeks Paul was able to free up the time to join us every Wednesday connecting with people and sharing the gospel. He has become a faithful servant sharing the gospel with many people in his town.
Recently Paul and I traveled to train in another UK city. On the way home he shared he had dreamt that two white guys came to his home and invited him to follow them, and the Lord had told him he should go with them. He reminded me of the day we met on his doorstep, and told me that I was the man he saw in his dream!
There are God-prepared people in your community waiting for you right now. How will you find them?
Now that we're back in Australia, we're out training with the intent of building teams and coalitions that pursue NoPlaceLeft. Troy Cooper explains what that looks like.
This strategy is already up and running. It ties in nicely with the Great Commission Pipeline.
Persians in Los Angeles, Punjabi Sikhs in Queens, Moroccan Jews in Toronto. Global Gates has produced a list of least-evangelized people in North America.
Catch my interview with Brad Wall, co-founder of Global Gates.
Recently the Pope got into some hot water over hell. From time to time Francis catches up for a chat with Eugenio Scalfari, 93, an Italian journalist. They talk. It’s off the record. The journalist doesn’t take notes.
Scalfari claims the Pope denied the existence of hell. The Pope says the journalist had a faulty memory and hell is real.
Fortunately, the existence of hell does not depend on the whim of the Pope. It depends on God and he’s made it pretty clear that hell is real. Jesus often warned of the danger of hell. He didn’t come to judge, but to save. But by his coming, the world has been judged. Eternity hinges on our response to him (John 5:24).
The urgency of Jesus' mission is in part explained by his belief in the separation between heaven and hell. Our lack of urgency is partly explained by our belief that somehow it will be alright in the end for those who don’t know Christ. It won’t.
Over time movements settle down and lose their urgency. We want to lower the tension with the world around us. The notion of hell is embarrassing.
Lack of conviction explains why church mission statements are often so insipid. Their mission has become merely improving life in this world. As though that was Jesus’ priority.
Jesus fed the hungry and said, “I am the bread of life.” He gave sight to the blind and proclaimed, “I am the light of the world.” He raised the dead and announced, “I am the resurrection and the life.” His acts of compassion called people to turn and put their faith in him. When the crowds only wanted bread, he abandoned them (John 6:15).
Jesus was on a mission to save lost people. Being missional has become everything but that. Jesus gave his life as a ransom for many. That was his highest priority. It should be ours.
Oggie and Jeanette Martin are on their way home from three months in Peru. Oggie writes,
After three months in the field, in Peru, we are returning home to Florida, I want to thank everyone that prayed for us and invested in this awesome work that God is doing. Many churches where planted by locals, and leaders are being raised from the harvest, a witch doctor in Cusco got healed and now six people from his family turned to follow Christ and his wife is sharing Jesus with everyone in the neighborhood. Different cities now have teams that are working together and getting in the harvest weekly and many more stories from the harvest that I can't fit here.
Oggie's mission field is the world's 500 million Spanish-speakers. If you speak Spanish or know someone who does, here's how Oggie trains in Spanish.
My recent interview with Oggie.