The Mission and the Method

10 12 2011

  Kingdom Expansion

through the Kingdom method of Discipleship

following the specific  instructions of our King.

Before you read this page take a moment and view a short movie that has some value in setting up a new paradigm

Like the short video above, I want to propose a fresh perspective on taking the gospel to the nations.  Instead of taking the missionary models of the past century  and moving them to Africa I want to try to share with you what has been identified by myself and others as a  biblical model for missions.

There are  two passages in the Bible  we will look at for a plan for biblical insight into missions.  Matthew 28:16-20 and Luke 10:1-11.  It helps if you  are familiar with the rest of the New Testament since the Apostles followed this mandate and method in their mission.  Read this short article and then read Acts and see if you sense the Apostles following these instructions.   I am going to keep this simple but will gladly “drill down” with you in person if you want more details than this.  But here we go.

First let’s look at the first of the two passages:  The first Matt 28:16-20

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

GO:  Our mission includes going.  Okay that’s easy so far.

MAKE DISCIPLES : We are NOT making converts but disciples.  Disciples don’t just believe, they believe and follow .

We want to disciple believers to become and reproduce Kingdom Citizens, not nominal cultural Christians.  I am not going to Africa to Americanize them.  Nor am I going to give the an American version of the Gospel.  But rather we are teaching the Kingdom of God.  There is a King (Jesus), He has a realm ( a real Kingdom on this earth) , citizens (committed believers)  and they obey His rules (commands)  because they love and trust Him.  The Kingdom of God, in it’s purity, under His leadership with real world involvement and literal attendance is the greatest culture changing force in all the world.

And we learn from 2 Timothy 2:2 that disciples make disciples.

2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

ALL OVER  We must remember that our mission is mobile, fluid and flexible.  God is at work everywhere we can’t get overly committed to an area but rather stay committed to the vision of Kingdom Expansion.

BAPTIZING  Baptism is an integral part of spreading the Gospel.  It cannot be under emphasized and was a foundation in the Great Commission.  It must be foundational to us as well.

TEACHING THEM TO OBEY: EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED  This  command is many times left out of the Great Commission all together.   This is a huge part of the Great Commission and we tend to gloss over it.  We teach how to get saved, how to witness, a few important doctrinal points to avoid error, the importance of bible reading, baptism and going to church etc.  And those things are wonderful.  But are they everything that JESUS commanded?  Let’s be honest Jesus taught to drop your nets, take up your cross and follow Him completely.  He asked His disciples to love Him more than father, mother and children.  He told them to abandon this world and look to the next.  All the disciples decisions were made with a view of eternal Heavenly consequences.   Then He gave specific ways to live that included loving God and your brother in ways that sound outlandish to us.  He taught that we are to turn our cheek even to our enemies.  We are to give to those in need almost recklessly with little  regard to our own well being.   I could go on, but basically we take the words of Jesus that “He who loves me obeys my commands” and we teach that those commands are to be seriously obeyed.

I am with you always.  I AM IN THIS FOREVER (Jesus)

On to passage number two:  Luke 10:1-11

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’

GO,  Wait,  we already did this one.  We find Jesus in this passage  giving perhaps the most detailed explanation on a topic that is in the entire Gospel narrative.  He sent them to where HE was coming to next.  We pray for Jesus participation in our mission as well.

Here we are given instructions on how to go that contains some specific details.   He specifically sends them “unencumbered”.  There are no props, minimal provisions, no weapons, no equipment. They are positioned to move quick and often, unburdened by the normal supplies for traveling on a long trip.   This sounds strange to a nation of planning, programing and preparing  methodical people.  But  Jesus is liberating and releasing us to go without all the baggage and methods we so love to carry and apply.  We are simply to focus on the task at hand.  To major on the only thing that is important and be free of all that can slow us down.  Am I walking out of the Mwanza airport penniless and without food to feed on locust and honey as we proclaim like John the Baptist, REPENT!  No. You can see my plans with some specifics below.  Am I going unencumbered and trusting in the Lord for many of the detailed specifics?  Yes.  Our focus is the mission and His method.  And His method is unencumbered.

Man of Peace. We find and stay with a “man of peace”,  or someone who promotes peace, depending on your translation.  We may be introduced to this person as a leader when we arrive at a village.  This is a person receptive to the gospel and with a heart for hospitality.  We may preach the Gospel in public and one of the new believers offer us a place to stay.  The provision for this person is not specifically identified for us in this text.  I find this exciting.   We just know and expect God to provide this person from these instructions.   So we go out in prayer, expecting to identify this person,  knowing that this is in God’s hands.  We go looking for the “man of peace”.  This is a person of influence and a person who could later become a gifted disciple.  This is a point of great importance and we must rely on the Lords leading and provision.  We will always keep this person in mind for the next village, the next town and the next house church.

We carry a Blessing. This is an interesting aspect of Jesus commands for us in going out.  We are carrying a blessing for the “man of peace” his village and his house.  He can have this blessing or if he is unresponsive we can withdraw it.  This seems inconsequential to those that do not understand the power of Jesus teachings.  I claim no revelation in this area.  But I strongly suspect that as we bless those who receive us and withdraw that blessing from those that don’t, there we be a real and apparent consequence.  I believe that the Gospel will be furthered through this blessing and withholding, in ways we cannot foresee at this time.  But I imagine the villages witnessing God’s favor on the blessed will be influenced for the Kingdom.  Regardless we will obey.

Stay,   We don’t move around from this person’s house, in a given area, as we serve and work.  We may travel the area working and expounding the Kingdom, but we stay in this place, partaking and participating in their culture.

Heal the Sick.  For some of you this is a stretch.  The ministry of proclaiming the Kingdom of God, the Good News, is always accompanied by God’s provision and power.   God will be God as we go.  He is the God of miracles.

Tell them of the  Kingdom of God.  Again the Kingdom.  Everywhere Jesus and His Apostles went they preached the Kingdom.  That is the King (Jesus), His realm (His Kingdom, on earth as it is in Heaven) , His citizenship (How to enter and abide in His Kingdom)   and His commands ( following His teachings) . 

OK Glenn, this sounds simple, but how does it look in the real world ?

  • I will arrive in Africa and connect with my own national or regional  man of peace, a translator, ( and much more).  A brother who will provide me with geographical and cultural insight as well as interpret. This person may change from time to time.
  • We will use bicycles or perhaps scooters, with trailers  to get around.  The trailer and backpacks will carry provisions, bibles and literature.  We will walk a great deal.  We will go to villages and towns and simply share the gospel of the Kingdom while healing the sick, connecting and serving the “least of these”.   I am especially praying about those in prison or in jail.
  • We hope to stay in the homes of the locals  and persons of peace, but are prepared to camp out.
  • Our gospel will be asking men to “drop their nets”, “take up their cross” repent of their sins and come and follow Jesus.  We will teach them to obey Christ teachings.
  • We will stay in an area where we are welcomed and the people are receptive of the gospel, making disciples that will be instructed to teach and disciple others.  We will work from there and connect with those believers as we reach out to new villages and towns, teaching the disciples to do the same.
  • We will plant house churches that require no funding and train leadership that will be self sustaining.  We want to plant “pregnant” house churches, that are trained and expecting to plant other “pregnant” house churches.

Using this method I can move about and make disciples for only a few hundred dollars a month.  My expenses will be miniscule compared to traditional mission methods.  We will avoid the pitfalls of Americans being viewed as the rich elite and possible sources of money and  gain.  We will travel with little and rely on God’s provision and mercy.  We will carry enough funds for some food and to help the needy when the timing and opportunity is correct.  We will have rice and utensils to prepare a meal and purchase local meat and vegetables.  I will have a method to drink local water safety.   We will have bibles and literature, in Kiswahili . provided to us at cost from Kingdom Driven Ministries.  My friend Marc Carrier, the  principal at KDM, has written and translated both his and other books specifically to teach the Kingdom of God in Swahili speaking Africa.   By the way. And this is important.  We will NOT be critical of any and all that do things differently from a methodology standpoint.  We will interact with any existing Churches and Christians both national and foreign, and bless and assist them in any way we can.

I covet your prayers and hope that you will engage with me on how you can participate.  You can click on a donation tab at the top of my blog page  to join us in this mission.  I am excited about this opportunity and challenge and hope you will prayerfully consider joining the team to take the Gospel of the Kingdom to the people of Tanzania.  We need to purchase bibles, bicycles or scooters, trailers, literature and need monthly funding to move forward.  To Him be the Glory.


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My mission

25 11 2011

Kingdom Expansion

through the Kingdom method of Discipleship

following the specific  instructions of our King.

Before you read this page take a moment and view a short movie that has some value in setting up a new paradigm

Like the short video above, I want to propose a fresh perspective on taking the gospel to the nations.  Instead of taking the missionary models of the past century  and moving them to Africa I want to try to share with you what has been identified by myself and others as a  biblical model for missions.

There are  two passages in the Bible  we will look at for a plan for biblical insight into missions.  Matthew 28:16-20 and Luke 10:1-11.  It helps if you  are familiar with the rest of the New Testament since the Apostles followed this mandate and method in their mission.  Read this short article and then read Acts and see if you sense the Apostles following these instructions.   I am going to keep this simple but will gladly “drill down” with you in person if you want more details than this.  But here we go.

First let’s look at the first of the two passages:  The first Matt 28:16-20

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

GO:  Our mission includes going.  Okay that’s easy so far.

MAKE DISCIPLES : We are NOT making converts but disciples.  Disciples don’t just believe, they believe and follow .

We want to disciple believers to become and reproduce Kingdom Citizens, not nominal cultural Christians.  I am not going to Africa to Americanize them.  Nor am I going to give the an American version of the Gospel.  But rather we are teaching the Kingdom of God.  There is a King (Jesus), He has a realm ( a real Kingdom on this earth) , citizens (committed believers)  and they obey His rules (commands)  because they love and trust Him.  The Kingdom of God, in it’s purity, under His leadership with real world involvement and literal attendance is the greatest culture changing force in all the world.

And we learn from 2 Timothy 2:2 that disciples make disciples.

2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

ALL OVER  We must remember that our mission is mobile, fluid and flexible.  God is at work everywhere we can’t get overly committed to an area but rather stay committed to the vision of Kingdom Expansion.

BAPTIZING  Baptism is an integral part of spreading the Gospel.  It cannot be under emphasized and was a foundation in the Great Commission.  It must be foundational to us as well.

TEACHING THEM TO OBEY: EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED  This  command is many times left out of the Great Commission all together.   This is a huge part of the Great Commission and we tend to gloss over it.  We teach how to get saved, how to witness, a few important doctrinal points to avoid error, the importance of bible reading, baptism and going to church etc.  And those things are wonderful.  But are they everything that JESUS commanded?  Let’s be honest Jesus taught to drop your nets, take up your cross and follow Him completely.  He asked His disciples to love Him more than father, mother and children.  He told them to abandon this world and look to the next.  All the disciples decisions were made with a view of eternal Heavenly consequences.   Then He gave specific ways to live that included loving God and your brother in ways that sound outlandish to us.  He taught that we are to turn our cheek even to our enemies.  We are to give to those in need almost recklessly with little  regard to our own well being.   I could go on, but basically we take the words of Jesus that “He who loves me obeys my commands” and we teach that those commands are to be seriously obeyed.

I am with you always.  I AM IN THIS FOREVER (Jesus)

On to passage number two:  Luke 10:1-11

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’

GO,  Wait,  we already did this one.  We find Jesus in this passage  giving perhaps the most detailed explanation on a topic that is in the entire Gospel narrative.  He sent them to where HE was coming to next.  We pray for Jesus participation in our mission as well.

Here we are given instructions on how to go that contains some specific details.   He specifically sends them “unencumbered”.  There are no props, minimal provisions, no weapons, no equipment. They are positioned to move quick and often, unburdened by the normal supplies for traveling on a long trip.   This sounds strange to a nation of planning, programing and preparing  methodical people.  But  Jesus is liberating and releasing us to go without all the baggage and methods we so love to carry and apply.  We are simply to focus on the task at hand.  To major on the only thing that is important and be free of all that can slow us down.  Am I walking out of the Mwanza airport penniless and without food to feed on locust and honey as we proclaim like John the Baptist, REPENT!  No. You can see my plans with some specifics below.  Am I going unencumbered and trusting in the Lord for many of the detailed specifics?  Yes.  Our focus is the mission and His method.  And His method is unencumbered.

Man of Peace. We find and stay with a “man of peace”,  or someone who promotes peace, depending on your translation.  We may be introduced to this person as a leader when we arrive at a village.  This is a person receptive to the gospel and with a heart for hospitality.  We may preach the Gospel in public and one of the new believers offer us a place to stay.  The provision for this person is not specifically identified for us in this text.  I find this exciting.   We just know and expect God to provide this person from these instructions.   So we go out in prayer, expecting to identify this person,  knowing that this is in God’s hands.  We go looking for the “man of peace”.  This is a person of influence and a person who could later become a gifted disciple.  This is a point of great importance and we must rely on the Lords leading and provision.  We will always keep this person in mind for the next village, the next town and the next house church.

We carry a Blessing. This is an interesting aspect of Jesus commands for us in going out.  We are carrying a blessing for the “man of peace” his village and his house.  He can have this blessing or if he is unresponsive we can withdraw it.  This seems inconsequential to those that do not understand the power of Jesus teachings.  I claim no revelation in this area.  But I strongly suspect that as we bless those who receive us and withdraw that blessing from those that don’t, there we be a real and apparent consequence.  I believe that the Gospel will be furthered through this blessing and withholding, in ways we cannot foresee at this time.  But I imagine the villages witnessing God’s favor on the blessed will be influenced for the Kingdom.  Regardless we will obey.

Stay,   We don’t move around from this person’s house, in a given area, as we serve and work.  We may travel the area working and expounding the Kingdom, but we stay in this place, partaking and participating in their culture.

Heal the Sick.  For some of you this is a stretch.  The ministry of proclaiming the Kingdom of God, the Good News, is always accompanied by God’s provision and power.   God will be God as we go.  He is the God of miracles.

Tell them of the  Kingdom of God.  Again the Kingdom.  Everywhere Jesus and His Apostles went they preached the Kingdom.  That is the King (Jesus), His realm (His Kingdom, on earth as it is in Heaven) , His citizenship (How to enter and abide in His Kingdom)   and His commands ( following His teachings) .

OK Glenn, this sounds simple, but how does it look in the real world ?

  • I will arrive in Africa and connect with my own national or regional  man of peace, a translator, ( and much more).  A brother who will provide me with geographical and cultural insight as well as interpret. This person may change from time to time.
  • We will use bicycles or perhaps scooters, with trailers  to get around.  The trailer and backpacks will carry provisions, bibles and literature.  We will walk a great deal.  We will go to villages and towns and simply share the gospel of the Kingdom while healing the sick, connecting and serving the “least of these”.   I am especially praying about those in prison or in jail.
  • We hope to stay in the homes of the locals  and persons of peace, but are prepared to camp out.
  • Our gospel will be asking men to “drop their nets”, “take up their cross” repent of their sins and come and follow Jesus.  We will teach them to obey Christ teachings.
  • We will stay in an area where we are welcomed and the people are receptive of the gospel, making disciples that will be instructed to teach and disciple others.  We will work from there and connect with those believers as we reach out to new villages and towns, teaching the disciples to do the same.
  • We will plant house churches that require no funding and train leadership that will be self sustaining.  We want to plant “pregnant” house churches, that are trained and expecting to plant other “pregnant” house churches.

Using this method I can move about and make disciples for only a few hundred dollars a month.  My expenses will be miniscule compared to traditional mission methods.  We will avoid the pitfalls of Americans being viewed as the rich elite and possible sources of money and  gain.  We will travel with little and rely on God’s provision and mercy.  We will carry enough funds for some food and to help the needy when the timing and opportunity is correct.  We will have rice and utensils to prepare a meal and purchase local meat and vegetables.  I will have a method to drink local water safety.   We will have bibles and literature, in Kiswahili . provided to us at cost from Kingdom Driven Ministries.  My friend Marc Carrier, the  principal at KDM, has written and translated both his and other books specifically to teach the Kingdom of God in Swahili speaking Africa.   By the way. And this is important.  We will NOT be critical of any and all that do things differently from a methodology standpoint.  We will interact with any existing Churches and Christians both national and foreign, and bless and assist them in any way we can.

I covet your prayers and hope that you will engage with me on how you can participate.  You can click on a donation tab at the top of my blog page  to join us in this mission.  I am excited about this opportunity and challenge and hope you will prayerfully consider joining the team to take the Gospel of the Kingdom to the people of Tanzania.  We need to purchase bibles, bicycles or scooters, trailers, literature and need monthly funding to move forward.  To Him be the Glory.





Almost an African Accident

16 10 2011

Glenn Roseberry

Here I am on my last trip to Africa!

Clearly we were horsing around light heatedly in this picture.  Just a few minutes before I had first startled some hippos and then was scared to death by a large monkey. It all started innocently enough.

I was told all along that the guides in the Serengeti would NOT let you out of a vehicle under any circumstances.  Right away I was a bit curious as to the bath room breaks schedule.  Before the day was done our guide let us out three times.  The first time was to smell some truly putrid hippos swimming in their own secretions.  Not pretty.

 

Phew Dr. Brawner!

 

The third time was the charm.  We exited the jeep and went across a swinging bridge.  Just narrow and wobbly enough to make a tourist wonder about their safety.  As we crossed over we could see crocodiles leering up at us from 30 ft below.  They looked huge.  Maybe 18 plus feet.  Dirty  and nasty.  After reaching the other side everyone stayed together and looked around.  But our guide wandered off and to a guy with a lot of  “little boy” still in him, that meant that I was officially free to go it on my own.  And that is what I did.

From the bridge


I took off down a trail.  I looked over my shoulder and no one was following me nor trying to get me to stay.  So onward!  I glanced back one more time and saw my guide tippy toeing around like he did not know what would be behind the next giant leaf.    It did not occur to me that even HE never got out of the vehicle and that one of our sponsors had bribed him big time for this opportunity.  He seemed as scared as anyone walking around.  Now don’t get me wrong I was not scared, not yet.

As I came to some trail heads I noticed that 4 separate trails all came together where I was standing.  Wow this area is heavily traveled by someone or something.   I knew that the next 25 feet of my trail adventure would be blind, meaning I would not be able to see anything in any direction until I hit the top of a small knoll through some high brush.  About that time I heard low menacing grunts and the pounding of feet.  Everyone knows that the most dangerous animal in Africa is the hippo.  More people are killed by being trampled by a hippo than any other animal.  They are fiercely territorial and fast.  However, they also can be startled and run AWAY from you and that is what happened.  However, just as my heart started to slow from 300 to 200 I was attacked.  A huge man killing creature from high in the tree tops was bearing down on me in a display of ferocity hitherto never seen by this author.   Well almost.  It turns out a monkey about half my size was startled during all the hippo commotion and had fallen several feet towards me.  He began to screech loudly as he was certain I was a monster, or more likely a predator, out to eat him.  I began to run determined that he, the fast approaching monster in the sky, was out to get me.

I escaped and my guide who was running my direction by now due to all the commotion, told me that it was some sort of tree dwelling monkey that never touched the ground and that I had startled him.  As we walked back towards the swinging bridge I remembered that the crocs were sitting on that sand bar just down the hill and I thought I would break away one more time and get a sneaky close up with my cheap digital camera.  I went down a steep trail that I calculated would bring me about 25 yards from where the crocs were sunning.  I got almost to the waters edge and pushed back the foliage that would block my view.  No crocodiles, bummer.  Where were they?  No worries, while I was quietly sneaking down the bank to get my clandestine picture they were listening to my every move and had strategically positioned them selves to be right at the point that I would come out of the trail.  I saw something move below me and there was a monster crocodile just 10 feet away staring at me.  We had both made our calculations almost perfectly.  Mine to come up just to their right about 25 yards away from where they were before and his to be waiting on me right as I exited the brush towards the water.  Praise God what we neither realized was that where the trail came out was at a little 6′ bluff.  meaning that while the predator was just feet in front of me he was also way below where I had appeared.   I was safe, snapped my picture and left the frustrated crocodile alone to mourn the loss of the fat and tasty snack that seemed surely within his grasp.

Too Close!

One of my companions said, “your mom would really be fussing at you right now”.  How true.

I lived to see another day.