The Last 24

20 02 2013

The Last 24 Hours

In the last 24 hours I am been told my teaching is not needed and asked to ransom a goat.    I rejoice in both.

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I do seminars about twice a month on Luke 10 Evangelism, House Church Planting and Discipleship.  During those lessons I teach some hard things about the teachings of Jesus, the role of leadership in the church, the Great Commission and many other topics that seem common to everyone but I have a bit of a twist.  We teach exactly what the bible says and do not filter it through Western Theology.

You see when I teach on the Great Commission I am pretty critical of making converts because that is not what Jesus commanded. He said make disciples.  Jesus also said as part of the Great Commission to teach people to observe all he commanded.    Jesus taught many things and doctrine was pretty low on his radar.  Jesus taught some radical things.  Turning the other cheek, loving our enemies, selling possession and giving to the poor.  His idea of leadership is quite revolutionary.  The greatest among you should serve the least and let no man call you father or teacher.  You might also be surprised to know that there are NO church buildings in the New Testament.  They met in houses.  It may shock you to realized that there is no sinners prayer in the bible, but rather repentance and baptism are presented as the entry points into the Kingdom of God.  I could go on.

In our world of the strong emphasis on grace and God’s love and Jesus being portrayed with glowing skin and hair that looks like he belongs in a Breck commercial in the 70’s, we omit some truths.   Jesus said  if you want to be His disciple you must hate your mother, father, children yes even your own life and come and follow Him.  That was Jesus alter call.  It is now mine.  I don’t beg people to come to Jesus to get saved.  I challenge people that it cost everything to follow Jesus.  He is Lord and you must obey Him as Lord.  We tend to try to be good.  We ask Jesus to forgive us when we aren’t.  That’s fine but Jesus said if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  Seems He was a bit more serious about sin.

I am sure by now you are wondering what the heck Glenn is doing.  You may agree with the elder of the church I just spoke at.  Throw the bum out!  Well, we did wind up leaving.  Now understand the pastor of this church was in a car wreck recently and not feeling well.  He asked a rather young elder to host me and be the churches leader in the seminar.  The pastor had read a book written by Marc Carrier that I give in advance of booking my seminar so the pastor is on the same page.  I wanted to make sure the pastor is certain he is comfortable with what I am going to teach.  I am blunt and bold in explaining it to him and REQUIRE  he read Marc’s book on Kingdom Expansion. This particular pastor had seen his church stall some time back and found even his leadership would not come to a planned meeting unless he fed them.  He was looking for answers and open to the concept of the house church and going door to door in evangelism.  He had decided he wanted disciples, since converts were not willing to participate in the work of the ministry.  We were on the same page.  However, it is a long walk from the pastors house to the church and the young elder was in charge.

After a day of teaching, just as we were preparing to take out 20 people on door to door witnessing I asked if there were questions.  The young elder raised his hand.  He did not have a question, but rather a dissertation as to all the things he disagreed with.  I listened for five minutes and then I began my answer.  I reminded him I had only quoted the bible.  I reminded him we were using Jesus model of making disciples and Jesus call to discipleship.  I reminded him of the many verses mentioning the church in the house and told of the amazing success of house churches all over the world.  Basically he rejected everything.  Since he was the leader and we realized that, in his mind, we were teaching things contrary to what he was perfectly happy with, we had to stop.  I told him that in light of his resounding rejection of our teachings, which he shared publicly to the whole group, we would withdraw and he seemed to think this was just fine.

Now the pastor has contacted us and apologized but for now he does not know what to do.  So we all wait and pray. Turns out the young elder was also the church’s paid full time evangelist.  No wonder he objected.  No wonder he had shared that they had professionals do the evangelism and that it was working just fine.  Although I was a bit shocked when I was told this enormous church that could obviously hold 500 people had only 70 in attendance.  No wonder the pastor was looking for answers.

This morning I went and shared the Gospel of the Kingdom with a widow named Colletta we have been helping.  She was saved as a young married wife but her and her husband fell away from the Lord.  He recently died and we stepped in to help her and her six children.  It has been great.  She has repented and is now attending our house church.  But she had a problem.  Her middle boy passed out after eating this week and she rushed him to the hospital.  Turns out he had Malaria and pneumonia.  He is home now and fine.  But the goat is gone.

Now understand Coletta has almost nothing.  She lives on a tiny piece of land in two shanties and a goat stall.  Now, there is no goat.  This means the children have no milk.   She borrowed the equivalent of 9 dollars to pay her sons hospital bill.  Here, you want to go home from the doctor?  You pay the bill.  One night, two days stay with Malaria medicine and doctors visits including nurse care? Nine bucks.  Great unless you don’t have any money.  So she borrowed it from a neighbor.  Well the neighbors here can leave something to be desired.  About half of them brew alcohol for a living.  So after a day and she had not paid back the money, he came and took the goat and then sold it for fifteen thousand shillings. Nine dollars.  She asked if I could ransom her goat.  I must say I bust out laughing.  I have gotten men out of jail, paid utility bills in America and bought groceries.  But I had never ransomed a goat.  I love Africa.  Everyday it is something new.  Some are funny and such a blessing.  Some are more challenging.

I left Collettas happy to be able to help my sister and chucking over retrieving a goat.  I left the church yesterday also in good spirits.  I realized the brother who rejected my message was probably just being protective of the pastor I am sure he loves.  His pastor may have never shared his disappointment over his church. The accident had prevented the pastor from being there. Perhaps the elder thought he would no longer be wanted or needed if we began Luke 10 evangelism.   In the end no harm done.  I know Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders almost everywhere he went.  This is really the first time anyone has publicly rejected what I have taught.  I love that young elder.  I love his pastor.  I hope I have young leaders working with me one day that would stand up for what they believe even when it is hard.    I appreciate the passion and the character it takes to stand up to a mzungu that has been teaching your leaders  for 14 hours in two days.  We must be merciful to those we disagree with and still stand strong for our convictions.  And sometimes we must rescue families by ransoming goats.  Its all in a days work here in Africa.  At least in the last 24 hours.

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