With this issue of MF we are issuing a clarion call for “all hands on deck.” Put on the full armor of God and prepare yourselves for spiritual battle! Every follower of Jesus who claims him as their savior has been called to live on mission with God—to proclaim the kingdom, make disciples and destroy the works of the devil. Everyone is needed—no exceptions.
In response to the great challenges of our time, God is calling his servants to act as catalysts in mobilizing the whole body of Christ to bless the nations through the transformation of people, churches and culture. That mission is being accomplished through a collaborative venture, called Transform World, that engages the generations in transforming nations through all spheres of cultrual influence.
We are at a kairos moment in world history. As we gaze across the world’s horizon, several issues urgently beckon the church to respond and engage. Nations are in an uproar, religious kingdoms are shaking, social order is declining, the poor continue to face abject poverty and injustice, and the marginalized—the orphans—are uncared for and unloved. These are some of the many serious challenges facing the church today.
Organizational structures are usually built to protect a “brand,” exercise quality control, enhance communication, secure property, or perpetuate and replicate processes. One needs a “brand” if the organization is raising capital from a broader public. And our natural default position when something good happens is to “program or package it” so that it can be scaled up. But structure and leadership consume a great amount of resources.
The vision for global change is strategic. God wants people to come to Christ and he uses people from all walks of life to be his agents for change in the world. He has brought many servant leaders together, through Transform World, who have a heart to be a part of God’s transforming work. In order to maximize the impact of the 2020 vision, we have created teams to address seven challenges. Each of the teams of leaders is moving forward with a strategic plan. Please take a few minutes to read these strategies. Allow God to speak to you about your involvement in changing the world for Jesus Christ
Bihar state, home to over 100 million people and considered in yester years as the “graveyard of missions,” is one of the most backward areas of India. Yet significant change has occurred here since late 2005, resulting in progressive growth and statewide development. A change in government leadership, the prayers of God’s people, and the first TW event of Jan 2006 all have been used as catalysts in producing major improvements here where less than 33% were literate a few years ago and where the per-capita income was US$35 per person per year then. Since 2005 multiplication of indigenous churches was spawned and hundreds of Christ groups have resulted. However, with a myriad of challenges before the burgeoning Church, there remains much work to be done.
In the January-February 2015 issue, we examined how two common Church-Planting Movement (CPM) approaches compare to each other. One is Training for Trainers (T4T) and the other is Disciple-Making Movements (DMM). Part Two examines the mechanics of T4T and DMM and how many CPM practitioners are blending elements of each.
I was recently conducting my two-day training on Church Planting Essentials in a North African country among workers from a variety of agencies. While we were discussing “How to disciple Muslim-background believers (MBBs)” a brother raised his hand and asked, “So where does baptism fit in here?” I confess to having been a bit bothered at first, thinking this is complicated and it would get us off-track. But I proceeded to give my normal song and dance about how the whole area of baptism needs more examination and how most ministries to Muslims haven’t sorted this one out yet. But even as I was speaking the thought arose in the back of my mind, “He’s right. I’m tired of muddling and dodging this issue.”
I am fully aware that readers of Mission Frontiers will think it is strange that a non-medical missionary like I am will dare to say anything about Ebola and AIDS in relation to mobilizing local resources. But I am looking for a sustainable practice to help stem the tide. Frantic searches are underway for a vaccine or other chemical responses for illnesses such as Ebola. However, like AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, the most important factor is prevention. In fact, without behavior change, if a vaccine were found today diseases such as these will continue.
If you go back to the earliest days of our organization, you could say we were founded on a number. Of course, that is way too simplistic, but a number was a driving force. Ralph D. Winter had spoken at the 1974 Lausanne Congress and talked about people groups within which there was no church—of any kind. He later used the figure of 16,750—which was how many cultures needed someone to bring the gospel. That number—16,750—led people to think that Winter had a list in his desk in Pasadena.