What are some of the things you sense God is leading you to undertake this year? Our small band of simple churches has determined to stick to our five-year plan of working towards seeing 500,000 come to know the Lord here on the coast of Ecuador.
Simple churches need a simple plan of action.
There are four things we are constantly focusing upon to accomplish this task:
1) Praying the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers.
This one is interesting because continually we see God answering this prayer request. I could share scores of examples, but will give you a recent one: Upon joining with other believers for a day of prayer for our city, a pastor came up to me and shared that he wanted to sit down and talk with me about small groups. On the spot I invited him and his wife to join us for lunch the following week. After the meal we began to share our hearts. One thing led to another and before they left the house we set up a time to begin training in his church. After only a few weeks they now have opened 3-4 new house churches (their goal is five by year's end!) If Jesus himself commanded us to pray the Lord of the Harvest for laborers, it is because it is a prayer he wants to answer!
2) Every church plant a church every year.
Can you imagine what would happen if every one of our churches simply reproduced itself once per year? How hard can this be, and yet year after year our churches get involved in all kinds of programs and another year goes by without planting new works. Our team feels that we need to use all our influence, every opportunity given us to get across to our pastors, churches, leaders to start new works. We aren't talking about planting hundreds of churches; just start ONE this year. Multiplication will take care of itself if we will do our part of working towards one new church plant each.
3) Every believer winning/discipling four others to Christ in a year's time.
Part of the difficulty we encounter here in Guayaquil is fierce competition from many good and noble emphasis going on all the time. There is a continuous stream of programs, conferences, concerts, etc. All these are good, but they have a way of terribly distracting us from the "main thing." What our team is saying to our people is FOCUS ON ONE THING and that is winning four people to the Lord this year and discipling them so that they become reproducing disciples themselves. Like #2 above, if we will do this faithfully, multiplication will get us to our goal of 500,000 in less than five years.
4) Repeat the above until we reach our goal of 500,000.
We feel the need to concentrate on a few things and do a few things well. We are trying not to be reactionary to what comes along, but be pro-active in a few things. Focus on the above three goals, repeat them over and over, and leave the results up to God.
What kinds of things is the Lord impressing upon you, or your ministry this year?