Posts Tagged ‘unreached’
Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Jonathan
Several years ago, John Piper sat down with David Platt to ask him some questions about missions and his heart for the unreached. This 30 minute video gives a great glimpse into who David is and what he’s about.
(HT: Desiring God)
Posted on September 17th, 2014 by Jonathan
As many of us are leaving summer behind to return to school or get back into a regular routine at work, Matt is doing no such thing. Life is different for him. Matt lives in Central Asia and was sent out to serve mid-term by The Church at Brook Hill. Mid-term is described as a period of anywhere between two months and two years. For him, school looks more like learning a foreign language, and monotonous routine . . . well, there’s not much of that.
We asked Matt some questions about his life in Central Asia. Our hope is that his words might challenge those of us tempted to simply survive the next test or deadline. Our lives are intended for more than intention-less routines driven by purposeless attitudes. When we realize that God desires to use us to bring the nations to Himself, and when we hear of brothers and sisters whose devotion to Christ means harsh persecution, we see everything differently. The reality is, we have so much more to live for than the weekend.
Here’s what Matt had to say . . .
What has been the most surprising aspect about serving in this new context?
Time and time again, my team and I have been surprised at how quickly God answers the prayers of us and our supporters back home, and His answers to these prayers are often even better than we knew to ask for! We shouldn’t be afraid to ask Him to act in big ways to help us reach lost people. He desires and is worthy of the worship of all peoples and is actively working in hearts and lives all across the world.
What has been the most difficult part of your time there?
It has been difficult being part of a new team re-engaging a minority people group that has not been worked with for several years. Due to the difficulty of gaining access to our people’s homeland, we are in the process of establishing a business in a nearby country where there is a significant population of our people. This poses many challenges such as learning a minority language with few immersion experiences, balancing business and ministry responsibilities, and justifying to the community why we as Western businessmen spend so much time with this minority people and are learning their language.
Can you give us your highlight of the trip?
One of the biggest highlights so far has been growing closer as a team and becoming more like a family. Being part of such a small team, we spend a lot of time together, and the Lord has used that in teaching us more of what it means to be the body of Christ. Praying, worshiping, and having fun together, holding one another accountable, and being united in a common vision has helped us to encourage one another during the difficult times and overall thrive in our first year on the field.
What advice would you give to people considering going mid-term?
Utilize the time before you leave the U.S. to establish routines of engaging lost people where you are currently. Often times, we get caught up in enjoying the benefits of Christian community so much that we rarely put ourselves in places where we are surrounded by the lost. Going mid-term is a weird balance between a sprint and a marathon; the routines you are able to establish before arriving on the field will help you to make the most of the time you have in your new context.
What advice would you give to friends, family, and church members in terms of how they can support workers like you?
The way that is most obvious and yet often over-looked is to actively pray for that person, their ministry, and their people. Be proactive in asking for ways to pray for that person and in regularly praying for their boldness and evangelism opportunities. Also, we love hearing from friends, family, and supporters about what is happening back home and how we can be praying for them.
What is one big takeaway that the the Father has taught you in your experience as a mid-term worker?
I often feel like I am sitting on the front row watching Him prepare the harvest of these people in a way in which only the Creator of the universe is able! In our first month on the field, He answered our prayers by providing a language teacher, national believer, and friend all with a single person whom He had burdened to return to his family and country (at the risk of his life) to help reach his people with the gospel of Christ. The things we’ve seen happen over the past year are more than coincidences; no doubt the Lord is doing the same type of things in unreached people groups all across the world!
What is one thing you have learned from the national brothers and sisters that you are partnering with?
Extreme persecution is normal, expected, and worth the risk for the believers in this part of the world. Coming from a place, like the U.S, where it is “safe” to be a Christian, it is still difficult to fully understand what these national brothers and sisters experience everyday in living and dying for Christ. That being said, the Lord is using these terrible acts to bring others to faith, grow the church, and advance the gospel of Christ to the most difficult to reach people and places in the world.
Posted on June 13th, 2014 by Jonathan
The guys at CROSS would love to hear where the Lord is leading you since the conference last December. So if you attended CROSS and are going overseas in the next 2 years (short or long term), let them know by emailing email@example.com. Be sure to include where you’ll be going and how long you’ll be there. It’s possible that you could serve the next gathering!
Posted on June 10th, 2014 by Jonathan
“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'” (Luke 10:2)
If you went to CROSS Conference this past December, they’d love to hear how the Lord has led you since. So if you’re going anywhere in the next 2 years (short or long term), email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them about … it could be that your story serves to encourage others in an exciting CROSS project. Go here for more info.
If you missed the conference this past December, you can see all the talks at crosscon.com. Below is Pastor David’s message, “Mobilizing God’s Army for the Great Commission.”
Posted on May 1st, 2014 by Jonathan
As we commit to pray for Turkey throughout May, here are some compelling figures to keep in mind. The following information was taken from Joshua Project and Hope for Turkey–our official prayer focus website. Check HopeForTurkey.com regularly for updates and prayer requests this month, and be sure to take advantage of the 31-day prayer guide.
People Groups: 60
Unreached People Groups: 42
Evangelical Christian: (0.01%); 4,000
Posted on April 30th, 2014 by Jonathan
If you missed Secret Church on Good Friday and have not yet been able to participate in the simulcast replay, then you may have also missed our prayer focus. Together, throughout the month of May, we’ll be focusing our prayers on the Peoples of Turkey. You can find out about Turkey, the people groups that live there, and the unique culture of the country at HopeForTurkey.com, our official prayer focus website.
To assist you in knowing how to specifically pray, we’d encourage you to use this beautiful 31-day prayer guide. It includes various general topics as well as specific requests.
We are praying with expectancy, excited to see what our Father in heaven does as thousands of people lift up Turkey on a consistent basis for the next 31 days. We hope you’ll join us, starting tomorrow!
Posted on April 16th, 2014 by Jonathan
The missionary question is not, “Where are there unbelievers?”
The missionary question is, “Where are there peoples who don’t have any Christians among them?”
HT: Justin Taylor
Many of you may be familiar with Joshua Project. Joshua Project is an amazing resource ministry that can be used to learn about, pray for, and go to people groups all over the world for the sake of the gospel. We wanted to let you know that they have a new updated look that is sure to make it easier to learn more about the different peoples of the world.
They make it easy to:
1. Find people groups by country, language, listings, and maps.
2. Find accurate global statistics.
Posted on March 17th, 2014 by Jonathan
In case you missed it, the prayer focus for the upcoming Secret Church (“The Cross and Everyday Life”) is the peoples of Turkey. Today, Turkey is 99% Muslim. Though there are only a handful of believers there now, there was a day when Christianity thrived in the region. Join us as we learn more about this country and the rich Christian history of a region now dominated by mosques.
Secret Church 14, “The Cross and Everyday Life,” takes place on Good Friday, April 18, 2014. You can find out more information and register for the simulcast at SecretChurch.org.
Posted on March 14th, 2014 by David Burnette
David Sills’ recent post is a powerful reminder of the urgency of our mission as followers of Christ. Reaching the unreached must remain a priority, for as Sills notes, “The tragedy of those who depart this life without hope in Christ is a horror beyond description.” However, this reality should also give us an urgency to teach the saved, that is, to see new believers grow and become stable and mature in their faith.
Here’s Sills’ reflection on the tsunami that hit Asia not too long ago, killing more than 200,000 people who in all likelihood did not know Christ:
“However, as I thought about the staggering reality of that vast number of souls who perished in one day during a massive tsunami in Southeast Asia, feeling the temptation to strategize to reach the rest of the world to give them at least John 3:16, I remembered something else. Virtually the same number of people died in one day in Haiti, a country that is considered Christian by almost any modern standard. Indeed, even CNN coverage noted those who were praying and singing hymns in the rubble. Haiti was deemed reached and left in the hands of the nationals, while many missionaries turned their attention to the unreached areas of the world. Yet, missiologists report that about 90 percent of Haiti’s population adheres to Voodoo, the brand of paganism that emerged during the colonial era that incorporates many Christian elements, adding Jesus to the pantheon of spirits that address all needs, fears or concerns of life.
There are many sincere evangelical Christians among the Haitian population, godly men and women who are burdened by the syncretism they see every day. There are countless more whom we have considered to be believers, but who are deceived by Voodoo and blinded by demonic forces. The same number of people died in Haiti in one day as died in the tsunami in one day. One group was never reached, the other was never taught what it means to know Christ truly, to turn away from the old, to repent and be born again. Can we begin to measure which one is worse? Are they not both unbearable?
Look back a few more years, to what was arguably the most reached country in Africa, with more than 90 percent of the population being baptized Christians. Yet, while the West blinked, almost one million were hacked to death by their “Christian” brothers. Between 800,000 and one million people died in less than 100 days in the worst genocide we have known – among “Christians.” They called themselves reached Christians; we called them that, too.”
This is a good reminder of the central thrust of Christ’s commission in Matthew 28:18 – to “make disciples.” Sills points out that we shouldn’t simply aim to let others know about Jesus (obviously a great and necessary starting point), but rather to see disciples grow and flourish in their faith. Of course we want these disciples to multiply in their own contexts, but this won’t happen in a healthy and sustained way for those who are nominal or immature Christians. Here’s how Sills closes:
“There should be no dichotomy between search and harvest, as if one is more biblical than the other, as if one is essential, crucial, imperative and urgent while the other is less important. Reaching the unreached is an absolute necessity and unquestionably the Christ-given task of the church. Teaching the reached is its twin duty – equal in importance, urgency and biblical origin.
Reaching the lost and teaching the saved is the task of missions.”
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