"It won't work here." is the most common response whenever I tell a story of what God is doing. It doesn't matter if the story comes from Nairobi, Sydney, Glasgow, or the third century AD. It doesn't matter if the hearer lives in the next suburb, or half way around the world. "It's not going to work in our context."
I scour scripture, history, and the world for examples of movements that multiply disciples and communities. The lessons are there to be learned. What we lack is the humility and desperation to fuel our curiosity, and the courage to act.
Mission has become a mind game of vague concepts, and popular catchphrases. Drop the right words ,and you're in.
I can't get away from what did Jesus DID, and what did Jesus CONTINUES to do through his people in the Acts.
Back to Neil Perry. Neil is a "successful" church planter, but listen to his five minute story. He's not talking about Neil Perry, he's talking about lost people finding salvation in Jesus Christ. He's talking about a former crack dealer and pimp sharing the gospel, making disciples and planting churches. These are real stories about real people finding salvation and passing it on to others.
It's happening in Beijing, in northern India, in New York, Nairobi, and Forest City North Carolina. It's what Jesus began, and continues to do.
Next time you're tempted to think the grace of God is somehow impotent in your "context," remember the cloud of witnesses that surrounds you (Heb 12:1), and watch, listen, and learn from what God does.