Monday, June 22, 2015

Why Did You Return? A Growing Burden for My Own Country

One year has passed since I was last in India, a country that I once called home and forever will hold a special place in my heart. I sincerely hope that I eventually will be in a position where I can visit India 2-4 times a year, but for now I can only continue to pray for this nation and its people groups.

Over the last year and a half I have continually received the questions: Why did you come back? and Do you think you will ever go back? Although many of you have heard some form of my answer, I would like to address these two questions here.

My work in India was a catalytic role that was about making disciples that make disciples that formed new communities of faith. It was all about movement of seeing the least reached country in the world reached. By God's grace the small part that he allowed me to play touched on a section of that vast lostness as I equipped and coached numerous leaders in disciple making that led to numerous church starts that are still going and have reproduced themselves.

Why did you come back? I returned to the U.S. with a growing burden for the peoples in my own country to know and worship Jesus. To see people from my own country experience the freedom and family found at the table Jesus has prepared. I want to be used by God to see here in my own country, what he used me to see there in India. This is the reason that I joined the Table Network because this is their heart as well.

Do you think you will ever go back? I have already mentioned my desire to go as often as possible each year if I get in a position to do so, but what most people mean by this question is whether or not we will ever move back to India to live. Unfortunately this is not a yes or no answer because I believe that all followers of Christ should give a blank check to God with their lives to be open to where he will have them to go. I tell most people that we do not foresee returning anytime soon if ever, but that we are open to going wherever God would have us to go, so if that means returning to India then absolutely we would go back.

For now I am running with a family known as the Table Network, operating as the Mid-South Regional Director, as we help Kingdom-minded leaders disciple others into the freedom of Christ, seeking to see new church families along the way. Let me know if you would like to join us!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Knowledge ≠ Understanding

The above video, the backwards brain bicycle, is a great reflection of how many of us that grew up within the church culture are often stuck doing things that don't work. This is not a knock on tradition or even introducing a new way of doing ministry, but meant to be thought provoking in how you are making disciples.

In many ways the above video describes my own up bringing in church and how I viewed life and ministry. Instead of resting in the freedom that Christ gives us, I fell into a rigid way of thinking in my head that I couldn't change even when I wanted to. It was only through actually slowing down and resting in the freedom and family that Christ offers that things started to click for me. And it wasn't changing to something new, but returning to an old way of doing things, a New Testament way of loving people and discipling them to Jesus.

Being absorbed in the church culture taught me a similar lesson pointed out in the above video. Knowledge ≠ Understanding, which we often mistakenly think that it does. I'll finish by reflecting on one of the things that we are told in the Great Commission, to teach obedience to the commands of God, not just the knowledge of them.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Serve God's Purpose in Your Generation

For David served the purpose of God in his own generation.
Acts 13:36a

Over the weekend I came across this verse in Acts 13 describing the life of David. If you know anything about David then you know that he was a man after God's own heart, but we also know that David was not a sinless man. But throughout his life he was mostly faithful to God, which allowed it to be said of  him that he fulfilled the purpose of God for his own generation.

Fulfilling my purpose in my generation is something that I think about a lot and I tend to think that if every believer fully embraced their role as full-time missionaries to whatever culture they are in then how different would our own generation look. I really don't think that it would be quite as difficult as we often make it if we would all live in the freedom and family found at the table Jesus has prepared.

It would require every believer to embrace the Great Commission fully and it would require faithfulness to God throughout our lives. By doing this we too could serve the purpose of God in our own generation. I think back to when I lived in S. Asia and the amounts of lostness that surround me; but if it could be said of every believer here that they served God's purpose in their own generation how different this place would look in not too many years.

So what should one of our goals be as followers of Christ? That we would always be faithful to God and let it one day be said of us that we too served the purpose of God in our own generation.