Part Two: Training with Marc

9 08 2013

I landed in Nairobi and was picked up by a brother at the airport in the middle of the night.  I was taken to a part of town called Kayole.  To my Western eyes it looked like a bombed out, abandoned city.  It had every appearance, to me, of being dangerous and at this time of the night, deserted. I remember thinking I did NOT want to work in the city.  I wanted to go to the villages of Tanzania.  I was glad to being going somewhere else to serve.   Little was I to know that I would be planting house churches in this neighborhood in 6 months and would consider this the nicest area that I had churches in. This was NOT the slums.  More on this later.

Marc baptizing new believers in Kenya.

Marc baptizing new believers in Kenya.

The next day I boarded a bus and rode many hours to my friend and mentors home, Marc Carrier.  If you read my last post I shared that Marc had a very different vision of missionary work than what most are aware of.  Whereas, I was told I would need 50 to 80K to even GO to Africa, Marc had a different vision.  I came with a 500.00 commitment from my home church.  100.00 of that was to go to a translator and the rest to food and lodging and then of course travel, bibles and the rest.  It was my goal to raise another 500.00 in monthly pledges, but I failed.  I had commitments from my church, Island Community Church in Memphis, TN for the initial 500, but I only had 280 raised from other givers.  200 of that disappeared in the first 90 days as the person that pledged had a terrible business downturn. I know this sounds crazy but this was my original budget and now let me share my mission model.  It was my intention to buy one bicycle for myself and one for a translator.  We would go out door to door and share the Gospel of the Kingdom, leading the lost to Jesus, teaching them to obey the commands of Jesus, plant house churches and teaching door to door evangelism and discipleship.  I believed God would provide for the needed supplies like bibles and that we would rely on the “man of peace” that Jesus said to look for when you enter an area to share the Gospel.  See Luke 10, Matthew 10 and Luke 7.  You will get the idea.

I suggest you look on the tab on this blog entitled, The Mission and the Method to fully get the scriptures for my model. Click on that tab now if you want to see this next session in detail. There is also a cool movie.  GO! The great commission is to GO.  Make Disciples, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and TEACH them to OBEY all that Jesus commanded and lo I am with you even to the ends of the earth.  Notice it did not say go and preach the gospel and get people to pray the sinners prayer, or get them saved or converted.  Or even to get them to believe.  Nope we are to go and make disciples.  This is very different than what I had done most of my life.  But I learned I was doing evangelism the proscribed way by Western Christianity.  But I was simply avoiding and thus disobeying the Great Commission.  I now call that method the Not so great commission.  I like Jesus’ method better.

How did He call people to discipleship?  If any man wants to be My disciple He must lay down His life and take up His cross and follow me.  He must hate his mother, father, sister brother, children, YEAH even his own life and follow me.  In fact He says you must give up EVERYTHING and come and follow me.  Trust me almost everyone wants to explain to me that this is heresy.  I was actually told it was heresy just three weeks ago in a Facebook post.  Imagine, quoting Jesus almost word for word and being told that what you just said is heresy.  I guess Jesus was a heretic.  At least His preaching seems to be, when placed next to the teaching of the Reformers.  I have decided to follow Jesus.  We also teach and model the church in the house, discipleship, literal obedience to the commands of Jesus and other things taught and practiced by the early church.  Many no longer emphasized in the Western Church.  I will stop there an hope you went to my site and read the tab mentioned.

At Marc’s home I was welcomed and almost immediately we went out to watch Marc do a seminar on these types of teachings.  Teachings on expanding the Kingdom of God the way Jesus did it.  I studied diligently and took notes on everything Marc said.  I had NEVER, called men with this type of message to repentance.  Don’t get me wrong.  I emphasized repentance.   But sitting under Marc’s teaching I also learned that men needed to not only be sorry for sin, not only say I am a sinner and profess faith but to actually turn from that sin. When someone wanted to surrender to King Jesus, we were trained how to lead them in repentancee.  As I later learned to apply this, I would literally share some of my personal sins from when I repented.  I would then share how I turned from those sins and even renounced them to God.  Marc trained in repentance, renouncing, confessing and turning, openly and verbally from sins.  He even told of taking a lighter and writing down sins and then renouncing and repenting form them and burning the paper like in the book of Acts.  I was so looking forward to the seminar winding down from the teaching part and going with Marc to actually witness his sharing this new way of expanding the Kingdom.  At least new to me. I was really curious about this process of leading people to repent and renounce their sins.  That is NOT what Marc had in mind.

After the last period of teaching, Marc announced that now some brothers from his ministry would actually take out pastors, elders, leaders and deacons and share so others could learn.  I could not wait to go and was really hoping that Marc would train me personally.  He did.  He told me to take a group out and show them how to do it.  My mouth fell open.  But I have not done it.  Marc asked me if I took notes and paid attention? I told him I did.  He told me he knew I could do it and for me to take a group of pastors.  So here I go with 5, yes 5 pastors in tow waiting on ME to teach them how to do it.  Well I went out that day and shared about five times that afternoon and one time the next morning. Now of course the first person rejected the Good News but then there were five guys sitting on a bench I shared with. I shared OK but did a terrible job of leading them in the repentance part.  But the next morning I followed the instructions exactly.  To my amazement a young man  was  ready to lay down his life and surrender everything to Jesus, naming his sins and turning from them and towards the Kingdom of God and Jesus the King of that Kingdom.  I very slowly had him name and renounce the sins he wanted to repent from.  He had sexual sin and was also involved in the occult.  He was very ashamed but confessed and repented.  He removed the occult objects and we took him straight to the river for baptizm.  Marc baptized new believes that afternoon. I was so excited.  I had led my first person to the Lord in true repentance since becoming a missionary in Africa.

Now this is how I train to share the Gospel.  Repentance.  Real repentance.  We name sins and renounced them.  I asked men and women if they will give up everything for Jesus.  I have been known to carry a lighter to set booze, pornography and simple sheets of paper on fire, with sins written on them, after repentance.  I began to ask men and women to renounce their sins.  Think of Paul at Ephesus .  They brought out their books and things of sorcery and set them on fire, renouncing them. There was a fire in Ephesus, and now, there have been fires in Africa. I know this is backwards to the way we do things in the West.  We want people to get saved, believe and get baptized.  Usually we asked them to realize they are a sinner and tell God they are sorry, repent, and accept what Jesus did on the cross for our sins as we pray a sinners prayer making sure we touch all of these theological points.  Good points by the way.   Then we hope over the years that they grow up into a mature believers and we refer to this process as sanctification.  Sanctification is a process that both happens when God sets us apart unto Himself and it happens in us in the here and now as we grow. We want to get them saved and then we hope that some day they will grow into a disciple.  That is the opposite of Jesus.  He called them to be disciples from day ONE.  To give up everything, right off at the point of making a decision.  He nor the Apostles spent time during the initial sermons preaching the wonderful effects calvary has on the believer.  We love those truths.  However, if you look at Peters first sermon in Acts he barely mentions Jesus death on the cross.  In fact he talks about it only to mention that after death Jesus ROSE.  The whole nation of Israel and thew world was waiting for the Messiah, the annointed one, the Christ.  And Peter and the Apostles in Acts over and over proclaim Him to be the King.  Christ is not Jesus last name.  The Christ is the annointed promised King that came to introduce a new Kingdom that will never end and will crush all Kingdoms.  And indeed, even now it crushes the kingdoms of darkness in all that surrender to their Kings. It is the Kingdom that will never in active in the lives of all the follow and are disciples of Jesus.  Sorry, got excited.

We all in the past believed that you just get them saved and hope they became disciples.  It was a long ongoing process that few attained to.  But Jesus showed us how to lead men.  He called them to discipleship.  To lay down everything, to sell all and buy the field with the treasure in it that is like the pearl of great price.   That was Jesus standard.  Marc ask a question.  Wo gave us the  right to lower the standard of becoming a disciple.  Jesus set the standard for discipleship very high didn’t He?  He says you have to give up everything to follow Him.  Again,  who gave us permission to lower it? Moving on.

We were to go on another seminar but after a very long journey the brother that had set up the seminar turned out to be ‘not ready”.  So we returned home. During that next week Marc shared with me, answered questions and took me to house church meetings.  Cindy his lovely wife, cooked great meals and modeled the Proverbs 31 wife for me and the community as she raised her 20 kids.  Only kidding. I think she has seven or is it nine.  I love them all.   I left Marc eager to get started on my own, practicing church planting reaching the lost and making disciples.

Got decorated with lizards at Marc's house.

Got decorated with lizards at Marc’s house.

I soon left Kenya and headed to Tanzania.  The country I would call home for two years.  My missionary work would actually begin in earnest.  I would find me a translator/disciple and head out into the wilds of Africa and begin to share the Gospel of the Kingdom.  Turns out, that is NOT how things worked out. See you on the next post.