Sunday, February 28

Galapagos Islands trip

Last week, February 16-22, three others and myself traveled from the Ecuadorian mainland to the island of Sta. Cruz in the Galapagos Islands. We had been invited by a couple of new believers to come teach, share, and help them start a house church.

Our plan was to disciple and train the 3-4 known believers living in Puerto Ayora (the largest town) and hopefully, by week's end, leave behind a house church which will continue to make new disciples and multiply.

By the end of our week-long stay, by God's grace, we left Puerto Ayora having baptized two of the new believers (two others having already been baptized.) The last night we laid hands on two of them as shepherd/elders of the newly planted gathering of believers. Everyday, for several hours, we met with the handful of believers and a few "almost-believers" for discipleship/training.

Most of our time was spent doing church and sharing with one another, rather than trying to classroom-teach how it should be done. It is easier to just do church, than to try and explain it all. My heart was warmed at the hunger for God and keen desire to learn and gather with other believers.

The Galapagos are truly an amazing place on planet earth. Pristine, natural, raw, organic, and rugged are a few words that come to mind in trying to describe the unique contrasts between God's original designs and mankind's "improvements."

Puerto Ayora (population 10,000+) represents the latter "improvements." The town is built around satisfying the visiting tourists coming from every corner of the globe. Bars, discotheques, hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, cyber cafes, and chartered tour agencies are every where. It seems the entire town is out to make a profit from the islands made famous by Charles Darwin.

Outside of Puerto Ayora, one immediately experiences what our planet must have felt like before man's improvements on God's original designs. The Galapagos are truly one of the few places left on earth virtually unspoiled by mankind. It is hard to describe the wonder of the sea life, the vegetation, the freely roaming wild life, magnificently painted landscapes, the rich colors, and the pristineness of the place.

For me personally, though, the Galapagos was more a lesson in slowing down. The details and wonder of God's creation call for us to pause and admire the wonder of God's amazing creation.

So much of my life is cluttered with things that simply do not matter. I expend vasts amounts of energy trying to control my world and what happens around me. All of that seems so senseless in a place like the Galapagos. There, one experiences wonder, and there is an undefined mystery to the cosmos. As Don Miller writes in his book, Through Painted Deserts, we find ourselves in a place where the why questions are so much more important than the how questions. Why are we here? What really matters in life? Why do we do the things we do, and act the way we act? And realize all our how questions (how do I pay this month's bills, how do I lose this excess weight, how do I get this job done, how can I be better known and respected, etc.) are all truly irrelevant questions in the bigger picture of life.

I have often thought life is just one continuous lesson in teaching us gratitude. Gratitude for the little things. Awareness of how good God really is. Life doesn't get any better than having a cold bottle of water to relieve one's thirst, or shade from the intense equatorial sun. Or a good's night's rest, and meaningful conversation with friends.

So even though we accomplished our mission of planting a church in the Galapagos, I think God accomplished his own mission this past week. Once again, I have been reminded, life is more about those things I tend to give little attention to, and less about those things that tend to absorb most of my time and attention. Will I ever learn?

To see photos click here.

Saturday, February 27

The news that didn't make the news

An example for the nations of the world to imitate.

Imagine what kinds of things God would begin to unleash upon the earth if all the nations followed Haiti's example of 1-million people setting aside three days for prayer and fasting? I believe this action by a desperate nation will not go unseen or unheard by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The "rest of the story" in Haiti has yet to be told.

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain,
or command locusts to devour the land
or send a plague among my people,

if my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.
Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive
to the prayers offered in this place.
(2 Chron. 7:13-15)

It is amazing to me that practically none of the major media outlets picked up on this story, and yet something very big took place as a nation humbled themselves before God and sought his forgiveness and healing.

Thursday, February 25

Can any believer baptize?

One of the issues continuing to resurface again and again in our church planting is whether or not individual believers (disciples) can baptize those whom they have led to Christ. The vast majority of evangelicals in Ecuador hold to the notion that only recognized (ordained) pastors, and missionaries are authorized to perform baptisms.

Was this Jesus intent when he gave us the Great Commission?

Were his commands to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach intended for:

1) the gathered disciples and them alone,
2) the local church throughout the ages, or
3) all disciples of Christ down through the ages?

If your interpretation is #1, then sit back and relax, there is little for you to worry about. It's not your business what God chooses to do with the untold millions who are on their way to an eternity separated from Christ. As strange as it sounds, I have dialogued with many believers who don't like to admit it, but by their actions actually hold to this position. They feel their responsibility is only to those the Lord brings directly into their life. They have been pacified in their conscience that God only "calls" certain ones of us for this kind of work. They, of course, are not part of this select group.

If the second interpretation is where you find peace, then you believe that every believer is charged by Christ to:

a) go,
b) make disciples,
c) ?
d) teach these new believers.

What happened to "c"? Why is it skipped? Those holding to this position feel that baptism as an ordinance is reserved only for those proper administrators, someone who has been given a separate and special authority to baptize.

In other words, all of us can do three of the four commands of Christ. But only certain individuals can do all four. Was that Christ's intent when he charged his disciples with carrying out the Great Commission? Did He consider baptism something in a separate class to the other tasks of going, disicipling and teaching? Is it something so special that it can only be administered by a select group of authorized individuals? If so, who are those individuals? How do they get to be the lucky ones to get to obey ALL that Christ said?

My own understanding, and the way we teach, points me to the third option...

I feel the plain reading of the GC lends itself to just what it says: ALL followers of Christ who consider themselves to be His disciples. We are the ones charged with carrying out Jesus' commission.

We are all part of the Body of Christ. There are no individual followers of Christ who have "more authority" than others. Any differences amongst those making up the Body, are functional, not authoritative.

The Spirit has given gifts to each for the building up of the Body of Christ. To begin to elevate persons over others is to go down the road leading to the whole sacerdotal/priestly function like we find entrenched in the Roman Catholic Church. There a clear separation exists between the professional clergy (who have authority), and the laity (who do not.) Clergy are authorized to perform the ceremonies of the church; the laity are not. There we find classes of Christians, distinctions.

Imagine with me for a moment the following scenario...

What would happen if every Dick, Jane, Bill and Harry were to get it into their heads that, yes, THEY are responsible for the Great Commission? Not just a select chosen few, but ALL of us! Like Peter, James, and John, we too have been vested with authority by Jesus Christ himself (Matt.28:18). It is for us to fulfill--not in part--but ALL of the Great Commission! I dare say, we would be far closer to finishing the task than we are today.

What do you think?

P.S. I appear baptizing in the photo above modeling how it is done. The sister on the right is a new believer and is participating in her first baptism. It is kind of a "passing the baton" where we do the first baptism with them assisting. After this, they will perform any future baptisms.

Sunday, February 21

Kingdom finances

Lately there has been a lot of talk going around in the blog world about tithing. Are Old Testament laws and practices binding upon New Testament believers? Should we give 10% of our income to our local church budget (Malachi 3 "storehouse giving"), or are followers of Christ free to give as the Lord leads?

As much as I would like to engage with these questions, my purpose here is NOT to express my own convictions about tithing. Rather, I would like to share some things observed and learned over the years about Kingdom finances.

All the endless discussion about tithing, giving, money, budgets, financial crisis in our institutions, churches, and organizations seems to not take into account that Kingdom math is not the same as Earthly mathematics. I do not mean to over-spiritualize, or place myself in any way above the concerns we all have about financial matters. But the truth is, very few of us have ever understood how finances really work in the Kingdom.

For a long time now, I have observed that amounts of our income given to the Lord--whether 1%-5%-10%-25%-90%--are irrelevant in regards to Kingdom economics. In Kingdom dollars, $10 can buy $1000 worth of goods. It is not the amount that we have on hand that counts; but whether or not the need is truly in the interests of the King. We confuse our own wants and desires, and think them one and the same with those of our King.
And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on." (Mar 12:41-44)
Jesus declares that the two copper coins (1-cent) given by the widow were MORE than all the contributors to the treasury. More? How can 1-cent be more than all the rest gave? It doesn't make sense.

Unless, of course, the King anoints and blesses that 1-cent!

When Jesus blessed the five loaves and two fish, they were more than enough to feed five thousand men. Money in true Kingdom ministry works in the same way. It has nothing to do with the amount of money we have; and everything to do with God assigning value to our "copper coins". This just isn't theory, it is as real today as in Jesus miracles of multiplying the loaves and fish.

A few examples...

--In the past three months we have invested less than $500 in Kingdom related efforts. In return we have received back thousands of dollars in goods and services. Explaining the intricate details would take up more ink than most would care to read about (TMI!) Suffice it to say, the "copper coins" we had in hand have been multiplied far beyond their face value. They have produced more than if we had had the big bucks!

--Month after month I watch in amazement as fellow servants engaged in all-out service to the King have their needs provided for by the Lord with $ amounts that normally would cover a week's expenses, and yet, somehow, the money stretches to cover the entire month.

--A few years back, instead of selling a large quantity of discipleship materials, we freely gave them away, even allowing the receiver to put their own name and logos on our materials. Our team worked without remuneration over many weeks to disciple and train using "their" materials. I would roughly guess we "lost" about $3000 that we might have legitimately charged for our time and material. However, since then, we have received back from the Lord in goods and services at least three times this amount. Had we had $3000 it would not have come close to providing what we have received to date!

--I have seen countless times in house church gatherings where there was food in the pot for maybe 7-10 people, yet 20 ate their fill with leftovers to take home.

--I will never forget at a baptism celebration watching a 2-liter soda shared amongst believers stretching for an entire church of 20+ adults and children to all have a cool drink.

--A $1500 evangelism investment several years back has been used to touch the lives of over 3-million people in Guayaquil ($0.0005 per evangelistic contact!)

--Over the years, we have received modest monetary gifts for the ministry that bore ten-fold fruit in relation to the amounts given. Another way of saying this is that $2000 would not have accomplished what the $200 gift was able to do.

I have this gut feeling that God somehow "tags" each gift we give Him. Some gifts God rates as acceptable 5-star offerings. Others are "no-star" donations (remember Cain and Able?) The Kingdom impact of each offering depends upon the giver's heart, intent, sacrificial cost relative to the one giving, and the specific need for which the gift is intended.

The "tag" God assigns stays with the money. Even though it might be combined with thousands of other donated dollars, God makes sure that the 5-star gift directly finds its way to bless and impact far beyond the normal face value. The no-star monies are all those reluctantly given, mechanical tithing, or giving with questionable motives. These are all the funds that don't bless. They are part of that huge waste of money that gets spent in Christ's Name, but has little to do with true Kingdom priorities. As in Jesus day (see Mark 12 above), the 1-star gifts represent the vast majority of tithes, gifts, and offerings given to God. But these bear little to no lasting Kingdom spiritual fruit.

You might ask me for chapter and verse about the previous paragraphs, but I'll let someone smarter find the needed proof texts to cover my statements! (Smile) All I can say is how often I have seen this played out in real life.

Remodeling and upgrading the church office will probably cost dollar for dollar what it would cost anywhere else in town. But, say I have only $50 for Bibles for new believers when $500 is what is needed in order for there to be one Bible per family. $50 Kingdom Dollars is enough to buy $500 of the needed Bibles. Believe me!

To conclude, I am sure many can find plenty of gaping theological holes in what I have written. Yet, what I share seems to be more the norm than the exception. Kingdom math is simply different than earth math! What do you think? What has been your own personal experience with Kingdom finances and Kingdom math?

Friday, February 19

Weekend fun: Variations on Murphy's Law

Paul Burleson recently posted this list of humorous one-liners that I enjoyed, and thought you might too!


Everyone knows Murphy's law... "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Well here are some similar laws...variations on the same theme:

Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability -The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act

Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

Law of variation - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the evidence - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will..

Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theater or stadium - The people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or before the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance. [The aisle people also are very surly folk too.]

Law of gym Lockers - If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

Law of Public Speaking - A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Law of seeing a Doctor - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. But don't make an appointment, and you'll stay sick.

Law of Interior decor - The likelihood of a slice of buttered toast landing butter-side-down is directly proportional to the square of the price of the carpet. [added by Bob Cleveland to the original list]

Which brought a smile to your face?

Thursday, February 18

Message from God to his people today

I can't stand your religious meetings.
I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice--oceans of it.
I want fairness--rivers of it.
That's what I want.
That's all I want.

(Amos 5:21-24 The Message)

Wednesday, February 17

Apostolic challenges

Bob Roberts recently shared some thoughts related to apostolic challenges which I found helpful. What do you think about what Bob shares? Agree? Disagree? I have stated a couple of differences in italics, but overall, this is a good piece in my opinion.


Apostolic is not:
  • The original 12
  • A Spiritual gift [I would disagree with him about this one not being apostolic]
  • A position in the church
  • Not necessarily a large church pastor
  • Not necessarily a high profile pastor or church leader
Apostolic is:
  • Big Picture Perspective
  • Future Oriented
  • Entrepreneurial leadership
  • Pioneering
  • Multiplying
  • Connecting
  • Releasing
  • Leadership that calls to action and inspires
  • Modeling
  • A Leadership model & role in the church, recognized or not
  • [I would add to this list "empowering others" to go out and do]
Apostolic Challenges:
Communicating what you sense and where you see God leading. Because it’s fresh and intuitive and you’re not even sure where all it will take you, getting words and vocabulary around it can be hard, BUT, you must communicate immediately the stories. Stories communicate and drive more than processes and systems. To keep your people with you and moving forward - tell the story again and again and again. You can move forward without a system - albeit slowly - you cannot move forward without the story of God calling and working. The Old Testament is living proof of that.
Keeping people up to speed with you. You’re not an engineer, a programmer, a systems person - which is really easy for people to follow, but not necessarily as impactful. Apostolic leaders tend to submerge themselves in what they begin to see and learn so books, relationships, ideas all start flowing really fast. There will always be tension at moving forward and keeping people up to speed with you. Visionary leadership at its core is calling people to a future.
Building a staff and partners that see the direction, are excited about it, then can build the systems and processes to help you move forward. I’m convinced, for an apostolic pastor - not only is that pastor uniquely gifted - but the staff surrounding them must also be uniquely gifted. If not, they’ll grind things to a halt because they have to have all the answers - and that’s simply not the way an apostolic leader operates and sees, neither is it the way movements happen. Apostolic leaders are not driven by a book, concept, or process - but a vision, an idea, an impression with a sense this is going somewhere.
Keeping the big idea in front of and not traveling down all the different streams of a big undiscovered area. Stay in the main stream of this uncharted river you’ve found. There’s time to come back later and hit some of the tributaries, or send others back to discover. Some of the best stuff is down those tributaries, but if you don’t map the main thing first, along with where the tributaries are, you’ll never get to the core of the idea.

Monday, February 15

Stuff spinning around in my head these days

The "M Blog" is described as one missionary's thoughts, experiences and lessons learned. What goes on in the head of a missionary-church planting strategist? I can't speak for fellow M's, but can share the kinds of disjointed work-related thoughts that are bouncing around in my head these days...

  • wanting to restart in our home a house church to test some of the new concepts we are currently using in our training...problem is, we don't have a free night during the week
  • Neil Cole's new book, "Church 3.0" and how some of his thoughts might be integrated into what we are currently doing
  • how to personally contact the 100+ people we are currently training to encourage them and show interest in the details of their new church starts
  • identify key people who we can pour ourselves into to help us train a second wave of 100 church planters who are already in the wings waiting
  • how to raise badly needed money to finance the multiple missions/church planting projects going on, and yet doing so without creating dependency
  • ideas for fine-tuning our current nightly training sessions
  • the need to make time for more quiet, uninterrupted prayer and listening to God
  • planning a weekend retreat with the team to do a crash course in using the new training materials; who needs to be there, where to go, what dates, how to pay for it all
  • desperately needing to sit down with several key leaders to talk doctrinal issues and concerns and clear some of the piling up debris and misconceptions
  • setting up March, April, and May meetings with key leaders out in the coastal provinces
  • keeping the ten2b prayer virus alive and spreading
  • the kind of leaders we need, and the kind of leader I need to be to others
  • urgent "To Do" list: multiple print jobs needing done yesterday, burning 1500 music CDs for trainees, finding someone who can fix the broken copier and video projector
  • finding time to make all the pending phone calls and visits
  • all the stuff pending around the house, emails needing responses
  • planning this week's CP training out in the Galapagos Islands
  • sitting down with the host of the Alcance Ecuador TV show to plan a series of upcoming TV interviews, and suggesting we use an assortment of the people currently being trained in starting simple churches as those we interview
So, who cares about the kinds of things circulating within this particular M's head? Where is all of this leading? What is the point?

Proverbs 27:3 "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” We are what we think about. Kind of scary, huh?

I share all of this to say, for me, blogging helps order my thoughts. Writing is a valuable tool helping me connect random ideas into more meaningful and effective ministry. Loose ends--like those described above--often have a way of eventually coming together as blog posts. Clarity comes as I struggle to put something down in writing.

What kinds of things are spinning around in your head? Maybe I'll add them to my own list above!

Thursday, February 11

How to train fleas

You don't have to know Spanish to get the message of this one-minute video we use in training to start simple churches.

The questions we ask after showing are:

1) who are the fleas?
2) what does the jar represent?
3) who are the jar lids?

We then discuss how all of this greatly affects the way we carry out the Great Commission.

Needless to say, some people get pretty upset after viewing and talking through these three questions. What do you think? Is this a realistic way to portray what has happened to the church today?

Tuesday, February 9

The Team

In over 530 blog posts to date, I have never blogged on "the team" we work with! Of course their stories have been shared and referred to many times over the years, but never have I actually blogged about the entire group of men and women that make up our church planting team.

In the above photo, taken yesterday, six of our team are missing. Marcos was outside working on his car when the picture was taken. Mercedes was at home recuperating from an eye surgery. I don't know where Juán was. Manuel and Esperanza are out doing evangelism in the southern part of the country trying to start a new church near the Peruvian border. Fabiola couldn't be there today (she is our prayer coordinator), and Linda (my wife) was at home teaching our daughter in home school.

Linda, Barbara, and myself are all from Texas. The rest of our team are Ecuadorians. Except for Julieta, all were either won to Christ through discipleship and church planting efforts, or were trained in one of our church planting training schools.

We have been meeting every Monday afternoon for many years now. Over time, some have moved on, and others have taken their place. Our meetings usually last three hours with most of the time listening to each other's exciting stories about what God is doing. We seldom get around to taking care of "business", so those matters are generally taken care of by Geovanny and myself on the way home in the car after the meeting.

Approximately 80 churches have been planted to date by the individuals pictured above. When taking into account all the people trained by those in the photo, the number of church plants swells into the hundreds.

Click on the linked names below for a related story about that person(s). All of these are great stories and worth clicking on to read (at least I think so!)

Our team leader is Geovanny. He is the tall young man standing to my right. I personally do not know of a more gifted church planter/trainer and sold-out believer to Jesus Christ than this dear brother and best friend.

Barbara is the other Texas missionary here in Guayaquil, third to the left, who has served for 23 years with the IMB. She has a ministry working with women engaged in prostitution.

On the far left is Julieta. She served ten years as a church planting missionary in Asia, but is currently working as our mobilizer to mobilize Ecuadorians into missions, and in charge of our Guayas Para Cristo project.

José met Zarai (standing to the left of Barbara) in Peru last year. In Nov/09 they got married, and are now preparing to go back to the jungles of Peru to work as a newlywed couple with the Ashenika, an unreached, indigenous People Group.

Marlene is one of the most gifted evangelists I know. She has been used to disciple many people to the Lord and start new churches. Two of her disciples are Medardo and his wife Mónica. I have written many stories in the past couple of years about these two. Currently, they are working with five different house churches started in their neighborhood, and on weekends travel to the neighboring province of Manabí for a new church plant they started near the town of Paján.

Felipe, Bladimir, Pedro, and Juán are all church planters and trainers. Three of the four have begun working out in the provinces on weekends starting simple churches in areas where there is little or no evangelical work.

Marcos, along with his wife Tania (she is the one holding the little girl) are very engaged in evangelism, discipleship, and church planting.

Mariana was part of the very first house church training school we did back in July 2000. She has been faithful all these years to travel every weekend out to a small village where she started a church. She continues to evangelize and disciple those in the village.

There are so many stories that could be told about each of these. All are my "heroes" and I have the greatest admiration and respect for each member of our team.

Which story linked to an individual did you like the best? I would love to share with our team some of your comments about their stories. It would thrill them more than you can imagine!

Would you take a moment to just pray over us all? Gracias!

Saturday, February 6

Jesus follower

Under Religious Views on my Facebook profile, I state "Jesus follower." But, what does following Jesus actually entail? In reading the Gospels one finds a whole lot more detail and explanation than just going to church on Sunday, reading the Bible & praying, not cussing, smoking, drinking, or gambling.

One can land in just about any chapter of the Gospels and discover first hand what the twelve experienced with Jesus as they followed Him on a daily basis. It entails quite a different set of activities from what most of us modern disciples routinely experience.

Take a look at some of the things the disciples go through with Jesus in just a couple of pages (chapters 8 and 9) ...
  • going through a storm and nearly losing their lives
  • watching Jesus perform a miracle of calming the winds and sea
  • coming out of the storm only to face demon-possessed men (fringe/marginal people)
  • pigs running off a cliff and the locals traumatized
  • people begging you to leave their region (being unwelcome)
  • forgiving sins in Jesus Name (are we supposed to do this kind of thing?)
  • healing paralytics (those unable to walk on their own)
  • confronting religious opposition for doing what is good and right
  • identifying with sinners and outcasts of society (the non-church folks)
  • calling on sinners to leave what they are doing and follow Christ
  • going to a party, eating/drinking with non-followers of Christ
  • being given a lesson on mercy and what that means by seeing it first hand
  • being questioned about religious practices and traditions and answering
  • healing a sick woman
  • raising a dead child
  • healing the blind
  • driving out more demons
  • going from town to town teaching in synagogues
  • preaching Good News of the Kingdom
  • healing every disease and sickness
  • having compassion for the crowds
  • instructing disciples to pray for laborers
  • pointing out the abundant harvest to disciples
Does this sound like a typical follower of Christ today? Can we identify with the way Jesus lived and taught his own disciples and the kinds of things He exposed them to?

I am struck that these first followers of Christ spent so much time healing the sick and demon possessed. Yes, there is also the preaching, teaching element of discipleship, but a lot of time was spent healing and ministering to the sick and oppressed.

How much of my time is spent in these kinds of activities? How much of the above list would characterize my own walk as a follower of Jesus?

How about your own?

Thursday, February 4

Ecuador Photos

Beautiful photos of Ecuador and the people who live here. Taken from The Nelson Press the blog of fellow IMB M's Ken and Kirsten Nelson.

Tuesday, February 2

Thought-provoking one liners from India

The following thought-provoking one liners come from the pre-conference sessions at the World House Church Conference in India, as shared by Felicity Dale on her blog Simply Church. They are from talks given by the leader of a church planting movement that baptized more than 300,000 on the Day of Pentecost in 2009. Worth taking note!

Jesus never said, "Be baptized." He said, "You baptize."

You disciple--you baptize.

Jesus baptized Peter--but only his feet.

You will not see a movement without signs and wonders. Ninety five percent of our house churches have signs and wonders.

Apostolic teaching is the teaching to GO.

There are 19 commands of Jesus to be found in the New Testament. All lead to the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Hospitality is the secret to precipitating a movement.

Sit and soak, and you stagnate. Eat and chat and you will multiply.

Goat prayers are "meeee" prayers. They focus on me and my needs, my family and my situation.

Use the newspaper headlines as your prayer list.

Theologians think, not from Genesis to Revelation but from genetics to evolution.

We need a problem-based theology. In our house churches we solve problems--finances, sickness etc.


So, which of the above grabs your attention? For me the ones that speak loudest are the ones about baptism. Mainly, because, this is an issue we deal with regularly in our own trainings. I am convinced if we could accept the above statement, "You disciple--You baptize" we would see a Church Planting Movement in Ecuador.