Posted tagged ‘Obedience’

Seven Basic Commands Of Jesus

July 28, 2013

The Lord gave Moses and the Nation of Israel the Ten Commandments. The Commandments revealed the holiness of God and provided the people with guidelines for their relationships with Holy God and one another.

Jewish rabbis wrote 613 laws to help the people keep the Ten Commandments. These commandments, while intended for good, only enslaved the people to the Law and provided a basis for people to judge people.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. During the course of His earthly ministry, Jesus gave more than 100 commands to His disciples.

George Patterson, veteran missionary and church planter coach, helps us understand the 100 commands of Christ by saying that seven summarize most of the others.

These seven are:

  1. Change your mind and believe in Me. (Mark 1:14,15; John 14:1-7)
  2. Baptize new believers. (Matthew 28:18-20)
  3. Love God, neighbor, one another, and your enemies. (Mark 12:30,31; John 15:9-14; Matthew 5:43-48)
  4. Pray to God using My name. (John14:10-14; 16:23,24)
  5. Celebrate My death. (Luke 22:17-20; I Corinthians 11:23-26)
  6. Give generously. (Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:37,38)
  7. Make others My disciples. (Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:36-47)

Listen to George Patterson discuss the Seven Basic Commands of Jesus in this video.

“The Great Imbalance”

March 26, 2013

“Only 24,000 missionaries out of the Global Evangelical Missionary-force of 253,000 are working within the estimated  8,000 unreached groups. That means that 9 times as many foreign missionaries work within reached people groups than those doing the more difficult work of establishing breakthroughs within unreached peoples.”

Or, to put it another way, 90% of all evangelical missionaries in the world today work with the 11.9% of the world’s population that are professing Christians, the 20.5% of the world’s population who are nominal Christians, and the 27.3% of the world’s population that are non-Christians within reached groups. Only 10% of the world’s evangelical missionaries work among the 40.3% of the world’s population who are non-Christian within unreached people groups. (Perspectives, A Reader, p.543)

In Matthew 24:14, the Lord Jesus Christ said –

“And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations (“people groups”) and then the end will come.”

If we say that we know Jesus as our Savior …

if we are serious about our faith in and commitment to Him as our Lord, and …

if we are going to be obedient to His will and command to carry the Gospel to all of the people groups of the world so that His Name might be known among them …

we must take a look at the numbers and percentages above, repent of our failure to obey Jesus’ command to disciple all nations (‘people groups”), deny ourselves, and commit ourselves afresh to His use for the fulfilling of the Great Commission, for His glory.

Then, and only then, will the end come.

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Note: I posted this article a couple of days ago, but because of some formatting errors, I have re-written, editted, and re-posted it.

Five HUGE Lessons From CPM

July 22, 2012

The LORD is using Church Planting Movements – the rapid multiplication of disciples and churches – to reach the “nations” of the world for Christ. These CPMs are occurring in third world and developing nations, countries such as China, India, and those of Southeast Asia. They are happening among peoples such as Muslims in Northern Africa and Central Asia, the Ketchi of Guatemala, and the Gypsies of France and Spain.

This is a fact that is documented by CPM practitioners and researchers, men such as David Garrison, Steve Addison, and Steve Smith, and missions agencies such as the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and Greater Europe Mission. Common elements and characteristics that are shared by Church Planting Movements, wherever they are taking place, among different people groups, have also been identified.

When we in the West look at and study these amazing movements of God, many of us ask the question, “Why are CPM not happening in the West, in the United States?” And, we pray, asking, “What on our side of the ‘God’s sovereignty-our responsibility’ equation can we do to ‘set the sails’ for the movement of God through the multiplication of disciples and reproducing churches?”

In an article, It’s Huge – Five Lessons The American Church Is Learning From Church Planting Movements, Carol Davis, missions strategist and mobilizer, may have some answers to the latter question. In the article, Carol identifies five lessons that American pastors are learning, and can learn, from Church Planting Movements, that when applied to our Western ministries can make a tremendous impact on the reaching and discipling of our homes and communities for Christ.

The lessons are:

  1. Come & Go: The shift from inviting unbelievers to come to our programs and building to sending believers into the world.
  2. Group Conversions: The shift to multiplying groups of disciples not just individual disciples.
  3. Counting Generations: The shift to count and do whatever it takes to regularly and quickly get to the 4th generation and beyond of disciples, groups, and churches (II Timothy 2:2).
  4. Reproducibility: The shift from lengthy training, policy-driven structures and more academic materials and the reproducibility of means, methods, tools, and structures.
  5. Obedience-Based Learning: The shift from teaching  for knowledge of what the Word says – to teaching and accountability for obedience to what the Word says.

Carol expands on each of the five lessons in her article.

In the concluding paragraph, Carol writes:

“The lessons from CPMs for the U.S. church are huge. The reexamination has taken us back to the Scriptures for both principles and practice. However, the reframing and retooling continues to be a bit messy. Let us persist with the reframing and the retooling until this way of life becomes the new normal.”

There are no formulas that can be applied to our ministries that will guarantee a movement of God called Church Planting Movements. But, there are truths, principles and elements of ministry that we discover in Scripture and CPM that, when applied to our Western context ministries, will go a long way to “setting the sails” for the effective and fruitful multiplication of disciples and churches.

Carol’s article presents five huge lessons from CPM that God is teaching us today. The question is: Are we teachable … are we paying attention … will we apply these lessons to our ministries in My Town, USA?

You can read Carol’s article here.

DMT – Discipleship Multiplication Training: Ignite A Movement

July 17, 2012

I have known about the T4T-Training for Trainers material for a number of years. I have been through the six sessions, and like many of you, have read the T4T book co-authored by Steve Smith and Ying Kai.

Next month, August 6-9, I will participate in a four-day intensive T4T training event. The event is called Discipleship Multiplication Training (DMT).  The sub-title of the event is “igniting discipleship movements locally and globally.”

The DMT will be conducted in Houston, Texas and is a ministry of Greater Europe Mission. The Houston training is one of three events GEM will be conducting over the next couple of months. The other two are in Denver, Colorado and Prague, Czech Republic. Smith and Kai will facilitate the training.

This training comes at a very strategic point in our personal ministry. In September, I will begin facilitating a T4T group at our local church as a part of the church’s small group ministry. I have shared with people that the sessions will be an excellent discipleship time for old and new believers alike, but the emphasis of the material, and mine, will be evangelism, the multiplication of disciples, and the formation of new CPM church-type small groups. Once the six sessions of T4T have been completed, the groups are intended to continue as a group that worships together, evangelizes and disciples people, forms new groups, develops leaders, and repeats the process.

The DMT will also be a great equipping event as we have a vision for a Church Planting  Movement on the campus of our local university, Texas A&M. A&M is the nation’s seventh largest public university with a student enrollment of over 50,000 young men and women.

For more information about GEM’s Discipleship Multiplication Training events, check out their DMT pages here.

Whose Power?

June 16, 2012

“God’s power is most evident when ours is most absent.”

WIGTake @ TAMU?

June 14, 2012

Texas A&M University 2011 fall enrollment: 49,861 + 4,750 international students from 126 nations of the world.

WIGTake to reach them for Christ?

It’s Worth It

May 5, 2012

“The worthiness of a task is what counts, not its difficulty … The glory of God in all the Earth is worthy of the sacrifices we will have to make.”

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 (Rick Wood, Mission Frontiers, March/April 2011, pp. 4,5 )