• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Lessons Learned❷

If the number❶ take-away was: Preach, proclaim, and share the Gospel fearlessly.  Then the number❷ take-away would have to be: Recognize that we are living in the 21st century.  Simply put, we have transitioned from the 20th century to a new era with a new context and new challenges.  We will need to adapt, shift, and yes even change some of our ministry methods and approaches.

In terms of technological advances, internet is a paradigm shifting media tool as was the printing press in its day.  Over one third of the population of a Gulf nation is on Facebook alone. We will need to harness its potential while resisting its alluring appeal to drive us farther away from God and face to face community.

In terms of social changes, there is more slavery and human trafficking occurring today than during the time of William Wilberforce who worked tirelessly to have slavery abolished throughout the United Kingdom.  Not that we should shift our focus from establishing communities of believers, but those communities must engage the world around them.  As John Piper said, “For the sake of Christ, we Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering.  If you feel a resistance to the second half of this statement, then you have a defective view of hell.  If you feel a resistance to the first half of this statement, then you have a defective heart.” 

In terms of changes in religious faiths, today over 1 billion people in the world call themselves M’s. Few are the resources that are being directed to reach out to this people.  Many M’s are in unengaged, unreached people groups with no known worker among them or being sent to reach them.  That reality must be taken into consideration as we seek to mobilize human, financial and prayer resources.

In terms of mission, it is becoming harder to mobilize workers to ministries.  “Support raising”, as traditionally understood, is taking longer.  We will need to find creative ways to “support” workers in ministries.  Workers are coming from everywhere wanting to be sent everywhere.  With this, come all the difficulties of communication in a multicultural team in a cross cultural context.

Recognizing that we are living in the 21st century should cause us to lean more dependently on God, listening to His voice as He enables us to adapt, change and serve him joyfully in a world in flux.

6 Responses

  1. I hope that you are familiar with TopC.com, the french web site that is having quite an impact on the M world as well as the indegenous peoples of Europe.

  2. These two take-aways are both fundamental to the task before us as a mission agency in the light of God’s mandate to His church.

    John Piper seems to always be able to put things in biblical balance in a succinct statement. I am concerned that too many in the evangelical movement are departed from that balance. They are no longer seeing the consequences of sin resulting in an eternal hell and are moving to justice and mercy ministries to the near exclusion of evangelism. This seems to be a growing trend in both mission agencies and churches today. Priorities are getting out of biblical balance.

    Your last paragraph is very important. Change is so rapid that we need to learn how to be proactive rather than always reactive. To do this we need need not only spiritual discernment but changes in our organizational structure, more efficient systems of decision-making, and a fundamental change in strategic planning. When I was serving actively as a mission executive I was often frustrated by being unable to respond in a timely way to strategic opportunities that fit our purpose as an agency. I am reading now a very thought provoking book, that although is not written from a biblical worldview nevertheless has some ideas that we should implement. The book is THE NONPROFIT STRATEGY REVOLUTION: REAL-TIME STRATEGIC PLANNING IN A RAPID-RESPONSE WORLD by David La Piana.

    I have some ideas about organizational structure and systems that would if implemented help enable us to proact in real-time. If there is interest in hearing these ideas I would be glad to share them with you.

    • Ed, I would love to hear your ideas as they will help to challenge us to better thinking and reflection. Any chance you can do a book review on La Piana’s book?

  3. Piper helps us keep a balance of eternal and physical. Could you give me the source of this quote?

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