I love crazy people. Crazy people like the Ecuadorian hermano (brother) who came over yesterday to ask for our help in making one million disciples of Christ in '08-'09. I told him his "crazy plan" trumped our own crazy 500,000 disciples in five years!
But this wasn't just any "kook" mouthing off numbers. He was dead serious. My visitor was one of the top heads of the Assemblies of God churches here in Ecuador. My heart was warmed beyond expression that KINGDOM trumps denominational ties. Here was an AoG leader asking our (Baptist) church planting team for help. His way of putting it was: share with us your process, discipleship materials and training; we'll provide the passion and people, and through the power of the Holy Spirit working through us all, bring in a harvest of a million souls! Isn't that the way it is supposed to be in the Body of Christ?
We can talk about unity until we are blue in the face, but until we sit down and begin sharing our plans with one another and drawing from each others strengths, we will never fulfill the Great Commission. I happen to be one of those crazy people who actually believe that we can fulfill the Great Commission in this generation (at least here in Ecuador.) I'd rather be around other crazy-thinking people like that, than the so-called "sane" amongst us who can only find reasons for not partnering, and can only point out all the negatives involved!
But we have got to begin doing the kinds of things that are more than just talk. Materials have to be shared; not withheld. We have to be willing to appear on stage at THEIR meetings. Partner with them how all these things are going to work. We have to make room on our calendar for training THEM, as well as our own projects, assignments, goals. We have to be willing to feel a bit of discomfort at being around those with minor doctrinal differences and practices. Personally, I can put up with a little tongues speaking and charismatic practices in exchange for a million souls!
So, how did all this come about?
Our people are taught to obey Christ's command to pray the Lord of the harvest for laborers (Luke 10:2). We pray daily for the 500,000 disciples in five years. We pray for passion, perseverance and power from on high to complete the task. But most importantly, we pray,
"THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE."
By praying these two phrases incessantly to the Lord, we are letting Him know we want HIS WILL and KINGDOM to come, not our own. We are not telling Him HOW it will be done, only praying that it WILL be done. The choice is God's as to how it will all be worked out. His Kingdom is about JESUS, not us, not our plans, our strategies, our team, our denomination, our church.
So we continue to pray, and wait for God to open doors. When He does, like yesterday, we must be ready to walk through them in faith and with resolve.
The thing about KINGDOM work is that God gets the glory. If even a tenth of the AoG million are won next year, that's 100,000 disciples! Who knows how many newly planted churches will come out of it all? Guess how many we will be able to report on our IMB annual statistics? ZERO! Yet, if this crazy plan is only moderately successful, there will be THOUSANDS of new brothers and sisters in Christ added to the Kingdom. The AoG will get to show the numbers on paper, but what really counts is that Jesus will have to stay busy a while longer building mansions in Heaven for all these new folks!