When people ask about how we are progressing with being equipped for mission, are we bold enough to return the question with “How is your mission work going?” You are the epicentre of what God is doing in your life, but there is an outward ripple effect. As Sharon Sampson says, “As a stone dropped into water makes rings which move outward, so Jesus moves us outward”.
When I was making a career decision a few years ago I needed to make a choice which had monetary implications. When I asked a friend for advice, he said to me, “Brad, don’t worry about the money, always chase value”.
Sometimes we look at what we’re giving up instead of what will be replaced by what we’ve given up. We’ll never know what God will replace those things with until we are willing to give up the things we hold onto. So, chase value. Where is the real value found? It’s in what God replaces those other things with. But you’ll never know if you don’t give up the things that might stop you seeking first His Kingdom.
In this article, Tim Chester, writes about Jim Elliot and his co-workers who chased real value.
If you were at our Spring Connect Workshop, you’ll remember we traced God’s heart for the Nations and how, while we must Enjoy His Grace, if it stops there it is incomplete. Together with Enjoying His Grace we must always seek to Extend His Glory. As his Image-Bearers, that is what we are made for.
I enjoyed reading how John Piper expressed this same idea. I think you will to.
Real opportunities exist among the First Australians who want to learn and be taught in their heart language. Richard Trudgen, CEO of Why Warriors, and an interviewee on W.I.L.D. Australia, explains how the original Australian languages are what Indigenous groups – like Yolngu people – speak, think and learn in.
This article by Chris Watkins is helpful as you progress through Modules 4 and 6. Here, Chris Watkins shares a tool he developed to help breakdown a local culture down into seven key questions that can be loosely mapped onto a creation-fall-redemption-consummation schema, and make it easier to compare a local culture to the Biblical Narrative.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is, what strategy you have, how gifted you are or how impressively resourced you are; if you don’t have both the humility to learn and the humility to invite others to help you do that, you will always struggle in cross-cultural ministry.
If you’re interested in learning about church planting in hard places, 20Schemes is a great resource from a team of people seeking to plant churches in the housing schemes of Scotland. Read how a 20Schemes worker learnt the importance of adopting a posture of humility.
I appreciate resources such as Radical.net and the books which started these kinds of blogs like David Platt’s “Radical”. They give us a kick in the pants and from time to time, we all need that. But what resources and books like these do, even if unintentionally, is discount the ordinary.
Ordinary! Just writing and saying that word in my head, almost feels less than ordinary. It feels sub-ordinary. But it’s not. In fact, it is normal and good. I mean let’s face it, we all wish we were much more “excellent” and “radical” than we really are. But for most of us, wearing that mantle leads to comparitive living and striving. To illustrate a better way, can I talk about a cricketer? (Sorry ladies, please stay with me).
Glen McGrath is one of Australias finest fast bowlers. He has taken more wickets than any other fast bowler in Australian cricket history. Why was he so good? Was he the fastest? No. Was he unplayable? No. Did he have a trick ball that mesmerised the batsman? No. Glen McGrath gift was that he was very good at being ordinary. He would consistently land the ball in the right spot on the pitch that stood the best chance of getting the bastman out if he continued to keep landing the ball in the same spot, time after time after time.
As we seek to equip ourselves for cross-cultural ministry, let’s focus less on being “radical” or “excellent”, but rather let’s seek to do the ordinary things well, time after time with consistency, believeing that God will sustain us to endure and be effective in long-term minsitry and extending His Glory among the Nations.
In closing, here is a recent article from Radical.net, calling for less “radicalness” but rather, “faithfulness”.
Have you ever wanted to use God’s Word to pray for some of the neediest people in the world who have no access to His Word or the knowledge of His Son, Jesus? Here are a few verses that will help you do that. Couple these verses with a tool like the “Unreached of The Day” App, or The Joshua Project. Just fill in the name of the people group you are praying for.
Psalm 86:9 “Lord I pray that all the _____________ people you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; I pray the _____________ people will bring glory to your name.”
Psalm 113:4 “Lord, may you be exalted over all the _____________ people, your glory over the heavens.”
Isaiah 42:8 “You are the Lord and this your name! I pray your glory will not be given to another. I pray the _____________ people will not give your praise to idols.”
Psalm 96:3 “Lord send workers to declare your glory among the _____________ people, your marvelous deeds among all the _____________ people.”
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matt 6:10
We have more than a few Connect participants who are studying full time. So here’s a helpful article about how to belong and thrive in a local church while living student life.
People are on the move all around the world. Many of the 1 million refugees entering Europe intially arrive in Greece. Jesus in Athens is the compelling story of the ways Christians are serving migrants, and how Muslims are encountering the love of God and Christians, believing the gospel, and forming churches. You can watch it on Amazon Prime for free by registering for a free 30 day trial.