MOMENTUM ENCOURAGING TO WORSHIP | WALK | WITNESS
May 2014| Issue 5
In this issue: Business Government Religion
The 7 Mountain Mandate Family, arts & entertainment, media, education, business, government and religion, the 7 culture shaping areas are the key to advancing the kingdom of God in the nations.
How Christians can impact politics and governance by NR Rayalu
3 Editorial | Mohan Varqhese Momentum is published in India by the Gateway Ministries family of churches, for circulation among members. Subscription free. Chief Editor Mohan Varghese Editorial Team Stanley Mehta David Selvan Editorial Consultants Anand Mahadevan Shobha Sreekumaran Design & Production 66ten.com Published by Gateway Ministries International B 215, 2nd floor (Deck Level), Belapur Railway Station Complex Tower no. 10, CBD, Navi Mumbai400 614 Maharashtra, India Telephone: +91- 2222150654 / 22189036 Email: email@example.com
6 I mind my own sacred business | Rajeev Menon 8 Mustard seed | Anil Thomas 9 Beauty beyond colour | Kavitha Emmanuel 10 Gallery 11 Power to Change | Arthur Thangiah 12 Church planting for transformation | Mohan 14 Rethinking mission | Rahul Thomas 16 Project Ashish | Clive Coelho 19 Readers write 20 GMI Vision
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the New International Version of the Bible. Articles featured in Momentum reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily those of Momentum or GMI family of churches - Editor
GMI Young Leadersâ€™ Views on 7 Mountain Mandate
Seven Mountains mandate fulfilling your God given assignment
When we look into the Bible we see repeated instances of God raising up ordinary men and w o m e n w h o w e re i n s t r u m e n t a l i n t h e advancement of God’s kingdom and the fulfilling of his eternal purposes. The heroes of the New Testament were also ordinary men and women who dared to do mighty exploits because they were building a kingdom that cannot be shaken. God has a strategy for transforming society; it is through his people who have been placed in each of the Seven mountains of culture. Today there is a growing awareness of the move of God in the workplace. The Lord has called forth an army of ordinary people to serve His Kingdom as marketplace ministers, with varied skills and exemplifying excellence in their field as they move in the power of the Holy Spirit. God has designed each person differently, with a unique mix of abilities, strengths, desires and spiritual gifts. God has an assignment for each person. We all are on a mission, some are called to plant churches, but most are called to the jungles of the marketplace. God has birthed in you the desire, the interest to become an accountant, a businessman, a lawyer, a bureaucrat , a teacher, a sportsman, a musician, etc…… all are full-time Christian workers.
The Kingdom of God influences culture in each of the seven mountains as men and women live their faith, putting Christ first, and by being bold in making a stand for excellence, for righteousness and for justice where God has placed them. During one of the most famous Naval battles of the British Fleet against the French and Spanish armada, Lord Nelson signalled to all his men this short message “ England expects every man to do his duty”. Every Englishmen responded and a great battle was won at Trafalgar. The call has rung out. It is time to serve the Kingdom of God and do our duty. As we continue with the theme of the Seven Mountains, this issue will cover the Mountains of Government, Business and Religion with the views of a wide range of people. We also carry some interesting reports of how the church in India is making an impact on some of these mountains. We hope you enjoy this issue and it will challenge you to involvement in the area of your skill and gifting.
Mohan Varghese pastors the Grace Tabernacle Ministries and oversees their churches. He is married to Sareeta and have three sons Adarsh, Ashok and Alex, the eldest is married to Tiqvah-El and they have a daughter Mireya.
How Christians can impact politics and governance by NR Rayalu
About the author: Mr NR Rayalu joined Civil Service in 1972 and retired in 2008 as deputy comptroller and auditor general of india. From 2008 to 2012, he worked as chief executive officer of the national pension system trust. Presently he is working as a consultant in Afghanistan. He lives in Delhi with his wife Santhi and two daughters Celestina and Christina. His elder daughter Clementina lives in Ahmedabad with her husband Deepak and two children. He credits Vic Gledhil and Stanley Mehta of having brought about a spiritual renewal in his and his family’s life. He and his family consider the four years from 1988 to 1992 that they spent worshipping at BBC, Colaba as their best years.
In1949, my father, who was a political detenue and was in prison then, wrote to Dr Kagawa, a great man of God, asking whether Christians could be in politics. Dr Kagawa’s immediate reply to him was “ why not “. That was when governments basically concerned themselves with the maintenance of law and order , defence, diplomacy and revenue generation. Today there is hardly any aspect of our life that is in some way or the other not touched by government. Given that Christians prayer and the mission in this world is to see His Kingdom come, the best place to start building God's Kingdom is to influence and impact the earthly governments. The answer to a question on a Christian's participation in government in today’s context should preferably be in the positive.
Psalm 11 verse 3 says “ When the foundations are being destroyed, What can the righteous do?" Much in every way, what we are witnessing today is a near collapse of all organs of the Indian State. Be it the political class, bureaucracy, judiciary, army, or for that matter, even the media. Each one of these organs of State are being accused of indulging in corruption, hubris, indifference, inefficiency and much else. This lack of integrity is the reason for the destruction of the foundations of government and governance in our country. Can Christians make a difference in this otherwise bleak situation? In the Scriptures, we have sterling examples of men and women who made a great difference to their governments and stood like rocks when everything around them
seemed to be collapsing. We have examples in Joseph, Daniel, Nehemiah or even Cornelius who made a huge difference to their governments and saved them from near collapse. While Cornelius may not have been mentioned in the scripture to have made a great difference to his government, he certainly made a difference to those working with him. All these men were known for their integrity, for being men of prayer, and for having withstood peer pressure, and not conforming to prevailing work culture. They were prepared to pay the price for their integrity and resisted the temptation to yield . They feared their God more than human threats, and looked for heavenly rewards than instant gratification in a human way. I have put in nearly forty years in government service and can say with conviction that it is possible to make an impact even in the prevailing situation of despair and cynicism. Like in other spheres of life, the herd mentality prevails even in the Government sphere. That is when people tend to follow their leaders and peers without much thought or questioning. If the herd mentality causes people to follow bad examples to the detriment of society, it also means that following
good examples can lead to the b e t t e r m e n t o f s o c i e t y. T h e challenge to Christians lies in being and providing those good examples. This makes it imperative that Christians should first occupy positions of influence in government. On any given day it is practically impossible for an Indian citizen to close the day without having some kind of interface with some government agency. It is this interface of the citizen with government that is the cause of much of public anger and frustration with government. Just imagine having a preponderance of Christians in these places of interface and the impact such a situation will have on this nation! By Christians I mean those who have biblical values guiding their professional life. When I joined the civil service in 1972 we were about 500 of us belonging to various services and when they surveyed our sociological background it was found that only 15 candidates professed they were Christians. Out of the fifteen 5 were from Kerala and 8 from northeastern states. The remaining two were from other states. To make an impact we must
first be there. Our Government gives its workers a reasonably good compensation package which is sufficient for a decent living and re s i s t i n g t e m p t a t i o n s . E v e r y Christian(believer) officer I have encountered during my service with government made an impact. Do they get relegated to unimportant work because of their integrity? Sometimes yes. But most often, they handle very sensitive and key assignments. I have myself, held many such assignments and my faith did not deprive me of good assignments. I must add here that Christians must first impact governance in their own organizations before they set out to influence others. Existing political culture does not permit many Christians being in politics. That can be achieved only if there are special constituencies for us as was the case at the time of independence. But they can strive to join bureaucracy, financial institutions, army and judiciary where the real impact takes place. With God on our side we can scale a wall, and He will make it possible for us to join and impact the government if we ask Him for it.
Why I see my future in serving as a bureaucrat? Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther, Joseph and King David are some biblical examples of men and women who obeyed God and influenced the governments of their time. Each of them arose in a time of great need. The government mountain is one that is talked about a great deal, but not ventured into by many. While it is safe to assume it is NOT easy being the government today, it is so encouraging to know that a day is coming when Jesus will come take His rightful place
as Ruler of the earth, and of the increase of HIS government there shall be no end. I am preparing for the civil service exams as a step of obedience to my King and this remains my confidence as I step into the unknown- while I donâ€™t know what the future holds, I know who holds my future. And this gives me inexplicable strength. DIVYA RUTH JOSE (Civil Services Aspirant, HYD)
I mind my own sacred business by Rajiv Menon
About the author: Rajeev Menon is India Rep for Expat Group Limited, a Global company that specialises in maximising the value of assets to owners. They are highly active in Hospitality and Real Estate development. Rajeev is married to Perola, a dentist by profession and they have a daughter Sunara and two sons Sumer and Shaehan. They live in Mumbai.
I was greatly blessed by reading Every Day With Jesus (EDWJ) by Selwyn Hughes. It’s a daily devotion that focuses on various life changing themes. I was convinced that every one in my previous church should read it . This devotional would allow them to discipline their life as it provides for enough bible reading time with systematic and focused learning. I started buying it in bulk and decided to sell it in the church so that people would value the same. I deployed my 10 year old son and my 15 year old daughter to do the business development. To my utter disbelief I overheard a senior, mature brother remark condescendingly about my son "after all he is the son of a business man”. I realized there was no point of getting upset because I too was brought up believing that the only way to reciprocate God’s goodness was to be a full time worker. The understanding was that sacred is related to the church and secular is
related to working or doing business outside the church. Due to God’s initiative and grace I was radically transformed from a Hindu belief system to Yeshua’s teachings 31 years back. Through me my father, mother, and my older brother decided to follow the ultimate guru, Yeshua. Now I was not as smart and outgoing as my brother. I thought that he would be perfectly suited for the secular world. While I considered becoming a full time evangelist, assuming it to be the higher calling. As I thought the smart go in the business world and not so smart in the sacred world of kingdom ministry (again a total misconception due to poor and substandard display of work and business ethics by Christians). God has a sense of humor, He took my brother on to the 'higher and sacred' calling and got me introduced
to the big secular world of Nestle , HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Times Bank, and then as an entrepreneur, heading a technology company, infrastructure and real estate. During my working life, I always thought that someday I would serve Christ on a fulltime basis. My first visit to the US (Atlanta), 1999 – 2000 exposed me to a ministry called FCCI ( Fellowship of Companies for Christ International). This ministry radically changed my perspective and there was a paradigm shift; I realized that there was no such thing as secular work for a Christian. Every business, service or profession that you perform is sacred, as long as you are doing it for the glory of God. I did not chose to be in business or professional work, as it was a calling from God, so I am expected to deliver well with a spirit of excellence. Hence my business and work is equated to a pastor serving the church. It has been a challenge to bring this teaching to the Church as every fulltime Christian leader or pastor feels they have made a huge sacrifice by serving the church. Their sacrifice is always celebrated and looked upon as some one who has intentionally given up the worldly pleasures to follow the holy and ultimate Savior. Not realizing that just as they were called, Christians are called to a sacred service when they are at work in the secular world too. I believe my work is sacred in nature, so every Monday when I go to work, it's like going to Church. God has called us to be a fragrance or aroma of Christ to those who are perishing. It’s Christ in us, who is the hope of Glory not Christ and myself in isolation. Through the years, I have been greatly disturbed by the selfabasement of many of my Christian friends who were not in so-called “full-time Christian service.” They consistently have thought of
themselves as second-class citizens in the kingdom of God. They often viewed their occupations, as being, spiritually fruitless and frustrating. I cannot emphasize too strongly that such thinking is deplorable because it is unbiblical. “By the sweat of your brow you will eat food until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19).The mistaken thoughts of many Christians today is that the one who engages in secular work cannot be truly spiritual, or involved in any significant ministry, and must simply settle for the second best and that if one is to have a meaningful ministry, he or she must leave the secular world to do so. Secular work is competitive and antithetical to spiritual ministry. I run a business, and I believe that God owns this business , I hold the business with open hands as I serve the people and deliver excellent products and services as though I am serving God. I am called to be a good steward and I am responsible to give my best , cause when I serve or work, I do it for God. The objective of my business is always about relationship and impacting lives through the task that is entrusted to me. That is how character is defined, who you are when no one is watching. God does not distinguish between secular and spiritual, but only between that which is of the flesh and that which is of the Spirit (Romans 8). The Old Testament distinctions have been eliminated by the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. This includes the distinctions between clean and unclean (Acts 10), clergy and laity (1 Peter 2:9), holy and unholy (Colossians 2:8-19), circumcision and un-circumcision, and free and bond slaves (1Corinthians 7:17-24; Colossians 3:11). Whatever we do is to be done as to the Lord.
Work was cursed after the fall and sadly we still consider it and that’s why Christians don’t make good candidates to recruit. What Christ did was to restore work to its original place. And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17). So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). The deciding factor here is to see if the work you do is done in the power of the Spirit or in the power of the flesh. God desires to be glorified by His saints, whether it is in the assembly line or in the pulpit. First and foremost, we are called to be saints (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2). One will manifest the character of God and bring glory to Him as a missionary; another will glorify God as a mechanic. Both are needed and will bring glory to God as they serve Him through the strength He provides. God does not measure the significance of ministry as men do. Man has a built-in tendency to stratify the worthwhileness of any activity. The church’s mission field is the marketplace where 99% of the congregation spends 80% of their awake life. So every individual should seek their life career goals as a calling from God . He should be intentional about being an aroma for Christ by being an excellent worker as someone who would be highly sought after. This needs to be celebrated by the Church !! Imagine if the church endorses and teaches this strongly, Church will not lack any resources and God’s purpose of the great commission will be fulfilled much faster.
Our God was a worker and the creation mandate was to work .
Mustard Seed by Anil Thomas There is a general perception among believers that those in full time ministry are the ones who are compelled to live by faith. Our journey as entrepreneurs, has truly been a journey of faith. There have been highs and lows but He has sustained us through both.
About the author:
Anil Thomas is the Principal Facilitator of Mustard Seed Training & Assessment Systems. Mustard seed Training was founded by Deepa & Anil in October 2007 Their distinct forte is in conducting Leadership and Personal development programs for Corporate Professionals and Entrepreneurs.
After a very clear direction from The Lord, Mustard Seed Training was founded by my wife, Deepa and me, in Oct,2007. Our distinct forte has been in conducting Leadership and Personal development programs for Corporate Professionals and Entrepreneurs. We have leading companies as our loyal clients. Before the programs we always agree and pray for Godâ€™s anointing and that the participants will be inspired to change and follow the principles that we share. We have had several occasions when the participants connected at a personal level after the program and remained in touch ever since. These are opportunities where we are able to share our personal testimony and faith. One such instance which is unforgettable, was about a lady participant, a Senior Leader of the firm. She walked up to me after the
program, and confessed that she had attempted suicide the previous week. But having attended our program, she said that she was leaving with a resolve to never ever attempt such a thing again. In 2011, we were challenged to be a positive influence within our community and were inspired to start CSR work. We conducted free programs for the young workforce in call centres and BPOs and Leadership Programs for Senior Police Officers of the Commissioner of Police, Navi Mumbai & IG, Konkan Range. In association with the police we have been able to teach life skills to more than 150 youth in the Turbhe slum, which is an active breeding ground for crime. We are also Training partners for Navjeevan, a Christian NGO that is active in rehabilitation of commercial sex workers (CSW) and their children. Finally, we want to testify that Our Lord has enabled and equipped us in this journey thus far and we are truly blessed. We continue to seek fuller expression and expansion of His love and gifts in us.
Beauty beyond colour by Kavitha Emmanuel I had a father write to me recently about how his 7 year old daughter wants to use a fairness cream. Where did she get the idea from? Obviously from the television screen that keeps telling her that fair skin is beautiful and she can use a cream on her face to get it. Many of these advertisements equate ‘dark skin’ to something that people have to get rid of. And when brands get celebrities to endorse these products people fall a prey to their trap. Launched in 2009 by Women of Worth (WOW), the Dark is Beautiful campaign, challenges the toxic belief that the value and beauty of a person is determined by the fairness of their skin. This belief, shaped by societal attitudes and reinforced by media messages, is corroding the self-worth of countless girls and women in India. The campaign went viral in March 2013 on Social media. The participation and support of
celebrities like Nandita Das, Shekar Kapur, Gul Panag, Tannishtha Chaterjee, Kushboo, Vishaka Singh, Anu Hasan, Wilbur Sargunaraj and others has helped the campaign gain momentum and media attention. The campaign also received widespread international media coverage in about 20 countries including the UK, USA, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, China, Austria, Singapore, Pakistan, Australia, Zambia, South Africa, Germany and France. With a petition that calls for responsible advertising, contests, media literacy workshops, making of documentary films through the help of partners and supporters, the campaign continues to grow, showcasing the need to address this age old bias. While we battle toxic notions of beauty based on skin colour, our hope is to help people celebrate who they are for their innate worth and value. Every person man or woman, dark or fair, is made in the image of God. According to the
scriptures the equality of people irrespective of their skin tones, gender, or ethnicity, is undeniable from Genesis to Revelation (Galatians 3:28, Revelation 7:9). The process of change in perceptions of beauty begins with us. We need to embrace the truth of God’s image in us, and be channels through whom God can pass on that value and worth to those we come across. Here are a few practical ways in which we can contribute to the process of change: ✦ Do not judge people based on skin colour or use hurtful nicknames ✦ Do not compare siblings on skin colour or choose your life partner solely on skin colour ✦ Find ways to celebrate dark skin. Do not shy away from talking to people about the need to address the issue of skin colour bias
DARK IS BEAUTIFUL
Sylvester + Adah
Jamie + Namrata
Raja + Sravani
John + Arpita
Vinamzi + Joanna
Arun + Payal
Karan + Esther
Jason + Freda
Power to change by Arthur Thangiah It would be fair to say that the church in Mumbai has not seen anything like this before: The P o w e r To C h a n g e , h a r v e s t impacting media campaign was held from the 15th of November to the 15th of December, 2013 and was subsequently extended to the 31 st of December 2013. The Power To Change strategy is one among other strategies to sow seeds for the harvest field. This unique spirit inspired campaign, is designed to harness contemporary multi media as a communication tool to reach the lost. The Vision: The vision was to use outdoor hoardings, cable T.V, newspaper ads, radio, social media, to reach Mumbai’s 22 million people. The advertisements through all these sources declared that a power to change was available, and if interested they could ask for a free booklet on the same by calling a toll free number.
Church members were mobilized to answer calls at a call center in response to the media blitz. All callers were given a testimony booklet free in English, Hindi or Marathi based on testimonies of a cross section of churches from multi ethnic, religious and socio economic backgrounds. A n u n p re c e d e n t e d u n i t e d effort: The first step was the setting up of a core committee consisting of recognized Senior Pastors, and Christian business leaders with a financial and FCRA legal advisor , who were willing to, sacrificially and voluntarily work together, with an understanding of mutual respect and accountability. Subsequently full time paid staff were appointed. The city was then broken up into zones and sub zones ,managed by carefully appointed, willing and capable zonal and sub zonal voluntary coordinators, who met weekly for
the 3 months before the launch of the campaign at the call center itself. The net result by God’s grace and in response to prayer:A total number of 1687 Church pastors and leaders registered with the Power to Change Campaign. 3816 call center volunteers and 11554 book distribution volunteers were mobilized along with about 5 0 , 0 0 0 p r a y e r i n t e rc e s s o r s . 1,41,322 unique calls were received requesting for the book of testimonies. At least 200 churches have reported new people attending their services, as a result of the event. The greatest benefit has been the unity among the churches and the working together as one body. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.
Church planting for transformation by Mohan The purpose of ‘this Mission is to achieve sustained disciple-making that accomplishes a Christian presence in every village/ community This Mission was born out of a vision for the Nation, has a very focused objective and a definite strategy. By the Grace of God the strategy has been implemented in a very focused manner for the last 12 years. As a result of this, a Movement has developed. The Word of God is the one that transforms the people, communities and the nations. This is about presenting the Gospel to the people with responsibility, in a relationship that they will accept the Gospel through the personal encounter with the Lord and through His Word they will be transformed. “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do”. Said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said German poet,
playwright, dramatist and novelist. He went on to say “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world”
information we can neither name the Mission nor the people involved. Following stories of transformation speak for themselves.
The 3 aspects of the work that the mission does are
Story of Transformation (of an Individual)
1) Sharing the good news of salvation,
Mr. Kailash is a young man from a village in Uttarakhand. He was working as a truck driver on a monthly salary of ₹ 5000. He used to steal some ₹ 200-300, remnant money from the fuel bill. He did not believe in Jesus, however, on the persuasion of a believer brother, he started reading the Bible every day. The Word of God touched his heart and one day he asked his brother if it was right to steal the surplus of fuel money. His brother counter questioned him if he was reading the Bible every day as per his advice. He acknowledged that he was. His brother asked him if felt convicted and if the Word of God said anything on his actions
2) Standing against the evil in the world and finally 3) Bringing the kingdom of heaven down on earth. To understand the Mountain of Religion from mission perspective, we have to understand what a vibrant Spirit-filled relationship with our loving Father through our Lord Jesus can do to transform individual lives and even communities. This is being witnessed through a movement of Church Planting in villages IN North India. For sensitiveness of
of stealing. Kailash acknowledged that what he was doing was not right. He said that he would go to his employer the next day and confess, even if it meant that he would be sacked from his job. Next day at the end of the driving duty, for the first time he handed back the remnant ₹ 300 from the fuel bills to the owner. The owner was taken aback in surprise and wanted to know the reason for the money being returned from the fuel bill. Kailash confessed that he had been stealing the remnant money daily and added that from that day he would not steal as he was going to follow Lord Jesus Christ. The owner of the truck was silent for a long time and stared at him in shock. He told him to sit down. Finally, said that his monthly salary was being increased from ₹ 5000 to ₹ 11,000! It was Kailash's turn to be shocked for the Grace and forgiveness of God. He is now a member of the Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand) Church (this Mission established). Story of Transformation (of an Individual) Mr. Ashok is a 60-year-old man from village Raghikanagala, which is on the bank of Budi Ganga. It is a forested area covered with tall elephant grass. He is from the lower caste. Few years back, one of his kinsman was killed by a high caste person. He was enraged by the injustice done to his family. In order to fight against the oppression and injustice he took to gun and sought revenge. He eventually became a dacoit and a murderer. He had 21 members in his gang and faced several criminal charges. A few years later, his son also joined him. He got worried and was in deep state of unrest. He cared for his son and his family in the face of all the threats that his life of crime had earned him. A mission worker, used to visit a house in this village which was four houses from the house of. Ashok. One day Ashok curiously attended the meeting led by the mission
worker in the neighborhood, when the story of the Prodigal son was being narrated using a flip chart. He was moved by the character of the father, who forgave his repentant son, and welcomed him back with open arms. He approached the mission worker and asked him to be prayed over and requested him to come to his house to pray over his family. Shortly, thereafter, the whole family turned to the Lord. He and his son left the life of crime. Now, instead of stealing, they are giving to the Lord and to others from their earning from the farm. Instead of taking life, they are saving the lives of others by sharing the Gospel, in two to three villages assigned to them. Many of the charges against them have been dropped by the Police. Transformation of Community Prayer for the Nation| This is a very important reason for transformation through the Churches in UP Villages. This is helping people to rise above their own personal concerns and pray for the Nation, in a nation-building role. Prayers for the Nation were held simultaneously on 30 Nov 2011 between 11 AM to 1 PM by 156,087 people in about 19,800 villages under the leadership of about 17,892 village level leaders. On 30 Nov 2012, 116,372 people in about 14,225 villages under the leadership of about 14,054 village level leaders. Community Work at Local Level The church transforms a person from being just an individual to being an agent in transformation of his community. Community work has not been common in the Villages in North India. They must be modelled in obedience to Greatest Commandment “Loving God and Loving People”. The churches being established through this Mission in V i l l a g e s r a i s e t h e re s o u rc e s themselves and serve voluntarily in teams. This brings in participation of people in local community life and also helps developing teamwork. These social projects are
transforming the local community and creating in them a nationbuilding role Conclusion In “Church Planting” the pitfalls are many. This mission has learned that when is haste to plant there can be great waste of resources. The lack of proper accountability and feedback, through periodic training on the ground is a major drawback. Another pitfall, would be when we limit ourselves to only thinking and knowing the concepts scripturally, and NOT applying the truths by doing or learning how to do them. This will never lead to progress.. Success will be possible only if we can sustain the process, and truthfully acknowledge mistakes while continuing to maintain focus. When mission becomes the focus of a Christian organisation, it is i m p o r t a n t t o b u i l d a s t ro n g foundation. If the foundation is not built with Kingdom in perspective, then there is always the danger that the mission is building for its own glory, not for Gods glory. Before churches can be planted, there has to be much sustained prayer that goes out into the areas where mission is to take root. Prayer has to be the key strategy. When prayer is the bedrock, then it helps to break the strongholds of the enemy, which otherwise keep people blind to the spiritual realities. Intercession opens doors to find ‘the man of peace’ and then start the process of sharing the good news to small groups. As people turn from sin, and are baptized, they become disciples who go through a process of training to help them to engage with their community and help bring transformation. The ultimate goal is to see transformation as lives are changed by the power of the gospel. The new believers, in turn, begin to see their role in being agents of transformation of lives and communities.
Rethinking Mission by Rahul Thomas What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “missions”? It could be moving to a new location to plant a church, preaching the Gospel, winning souls for Christ, and so on. All of them are correct but I believe missions involve much more than this. You may think of missions in the very place that you currently are in.
James 2:5 “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”
We are the church. Does the church have a mission? Yes. Is it building the church? No.
Was Jesus active is social work? Of course He was. What we see of Jesus’ life in the Gospels includes so much of social work. Every time He would serve the people and meet their needs, he would take that opportunity to preach and teach. When it comes to the Royal Law, Jesus speaks about loving our neighbours, and He gives the best possible example of how we can love them. He mentions the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story of social work work; of showing compassion. The Good Samaritan, in showing love to his neighbour, meets his physical, material, medical, financial, nutritional, emotional and relational needs. He provides protection and
Jesus says in Mat 16:18 that He will build His church. But He has given us the keys of the Kingdom and our mission is to ‘Establish His Kingdom’. One of the ways we establish God’s Kingdom is by looking after the poor and the needy. Rahul Thomas is married to Anubhuti. They recently had a baby girl named Meisha. They attend the GMI-linked church in Chembur, Mumbai. Rahul works with Sahaara Charitable Society as the Donor Coordinator.
The Bible has much to say about God’s heart for the poor and needy. Isaiah 25:4 “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.
God loves the poor and needy. He has called us to PREACH the gospel. But He has also called us to BE the gospel.
transportation for a man with dire social needs. My point is that Jesus used this story to tell us how we can obey the Royal Law â€“ the most important commandment. So there is no ambiguity concerning whether we must be involved in social work or in showing compassion. It is not an option if you want to obey the Royal Law. This brings us to the concept of Integral Mission. Integral mission is the p ro c l a m a t i o n a n d demonstration of the Gospel wherein, our p ro c l a m a t i o n h a s social consequences and our social involvement has e v a n g e l i s t i c consequences. It is often taken to mean that there can be no authentic Christian social action without the verbal proclamation of the Gospel (evangelism). Similarly, there can be no authentic proclamation without social action.
continue to remember the poor (Gal 2:9-10). The church in action There are many churches reaching out and meeting the needs of the community around them. One such church is the GMI-linked church in Chembur, Mumbai, headed by Santosh. He was on his bike
the community lacked adequate warm clothes. The church spread awareness about the needs of this community to the nearby staff colony of a petrochemical firm. This led to many people donating warm clothes for the people in Shanti Nagar. There was an old lady in the community, who lived in extremely unhygienic conditions and had become very weak due to lack of proper nutrition. Some church members brought her to the church premises; helped clean her up; took her to the hospital, provided daily meals and ensured she was in better health. All of this was done with the intention of sharing the love of Christ in action. Today, the church has won the trust and favour of t h e c o m m u n i t y. There are weekly Bible classes conducted for the children and many are prayed over.
Integral mission is the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel wherein, our proclamation has social consequences and our social involvement has evangelistic consequences.
What does God have to say concerning our involvement with society? Deuteronomy 15:7 tells us not to be hard-hearted and tight-fisted t o w a rd s o u r p o o r b ro t h e r s . Leviticus 19:9-10 tell us to leave the edges of our field for the poor and the alien. Isaiah 58:6 speaks about a kind of fasting that requires us to be responsible towards our society. Luke 3:11 tell us to share our food and clothes with those who do not have any. Fourteen years after Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus, he went up again to Jerusalem to set before the apostles the gospel that he was preaching to the Gentiles. Peter, James and John agreed that Paul should go to the Gentiles. All they asked was that he should
p a s s i n g t h ro u g h a n a re a i n Chembur called Shanti Nagar and saw the condition of the people dwelling in the slums. Moved by what he saw, he felt God laying a burden on his heart for these people. He started by praying for them, and at the same time, shared the burden on his heart with some of the people in the church. Within six months, there were some people from the church, who expressed a desire and willingness to work towards the welfare of the community at Shanti Nagar. Not long after, a few volunteers started an English Literacy and Hygiene classes for the children in the area. As they continued to work among the community, their eyes were opened to more needs. While most of us enjoy the rains, the people of this community feared it. Because rain water would leak through the roofs of their hutments. The church decided to buy plastic sheets to be laid on top of the roofs of the huts. During the winters, the people in
As mentioned earlier, Christian social involvement has evangelistic consequences, even as proclamation of the Gospel has social consequences. We cannot share the love of Christ only in words. When accompanied by actions, it accomplishes holistic transformation. I hope this challenges our understanding and implementation of missions.
Why do we expect to be better treated in this world than Jesus was ? - Leonard Ravenhill
Project Ashish Clive Coelho We, at Victorious Community Church of Vasai were so deeply moved by the plight of the HIV +ve patients in the Vasai–Virar belt that we launched Project Aashish (Blessings) about a year and a half ago. Speaking of this altruistic venture, our main motivation has been the love of Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “True religion is t a k i n g c a re o f w i d o w s a n d orphans.” After much prayer the Lord Jesus first led us to a handful of HIV +ve women who were widows and this has slowly grown in number. We trace HIV +ve and AIDS patients through hospitals which treat them. Currently, Project Aashish covers the Vasai-Virar region and certain sections of the highway. As of now, this project helps approximately twenty families. A family may avail of aid anywhere from Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000 per annum covering
expenses towards their medication, f o o d g r a i n s a n d c h i l d r e n ’s education.
run riot in our society, therefore the infected are often deprived of earning a living.
It must be noted here that we encourage them to work. Though
We strongly advise that people should not have sex outside marriage. We are very clear that fornication and adultery is not at all acceptable. Through the teachings of Christ, we imbibe in them a life that is of pure love and righteousness. Fortunately, not many children under Project Aashish are HIV +ve. There are very few children infected, as most children are immunized at childbirth, hence the incidence is rather low. There is nothing much we can do for the children who are infected other than ensure that timely medication is ministered to them, educate them and above all shower our love over them.
True religion is taking care of widows and orphans. treatment has been made free by the Indian Government, the affected patients would like to remain anonymous and hence some of them are hesitant to collect their medicine fearing being ostracized socially. We honor that and help them. Treatment for HIV/ AIDS is expensive, but the Lord Jesus provides. Many fear the virus to be contagious and this keep them at bay. These are misconceptions that
Clive Coelho is pastor of Victorious Community Church, Vasai. He is Married to Lourdes.
| GMI Young leaders speak
My political awakening
The big, hard world of business
Jacob Sreekumaran I was never the guy who cared about politics ever and often never read the newspapers. Maybe, I considered that politics was too ‘dirty’ for a ‘holy’ Christian like me. Even when the 7 mountain was introduced as a concept to me several years back, I was only focused on the media mountain; where I work.
Over the last few years, I have realized that my heart has started to get tuned towards the state of my nation, the injustice people face here, the reforms we as a nation require. I realize that all this is connected to governance and change here is not possible without politics. I may not be campaigning for any particular political party; but I know for sure that God has asked me to be the Salt and Light in the world. The least I can do is pray for my nation, its governance, its leaders and seek information on the candidates in my area and their vision. The 7 mountain mandate has helped me to realize that I am not alone. The corporate vision of our church too is to influence the 7 mountains, the political mountain being one of them. I know that my leaders and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will back me up in prayer and whatever support they can offer. For example, I shared the election dates state-wise with my church and every Sunday we have a time for prayer for the elections. Lastly, my job has required me to travel to parts of the nation I’ve never been to before. I’ve realized that the election is the most cherished point of conversation in any part of the country right from rickshaw drivers to top corporate executives. It has given me several opportunities to talk about the true hope of our nation!
The corporate jungle, as many would know, is more of a jungle and less of a corporate. The first few weeks in a new job are often spent evaluating people, feeling the pulse and testing the waters. To love your neighbour as yourself would be almost akin to going to a battlefield unarmed and with a bouquet of orchids for your opponent. I joined a leading audit and consulting firm recently and was appalled at what I saw. The amount of insecurity with which people relate to each other amazed me. In an environment such as this, acts of love and kindness are often misconstrued to be strategic moves. However, over time people are able to recognize the genuineness of one's actions. The average joe spends a little over 5100 days of his life working. That comprises a little over 14 years of his short life. Imagine 14 years of criticism, betrayal and excessive pressure among all the gossip and so much more! That's what so many of our friends go through. Though Jesus came to give life and life in its fullness, many of us are enslaved by the jobs we have. The only bible that many of these joes may read, is our lives. Yet, many work places, including mine, lack ambassadors of Christ. Having witnessed the harsh realities of the corporate world, I feel a deeper sense of responsibility to be a fragrance of God's love in the workplace. Is it tough? Absolutely! Do I get tired being Christ-like? Of course! Yet, the love of Christ, as Paul says, compels me to push forward knowing God will give me the grace. The mountain of business is one that will challenge us to live lives worthy of the calling that God has for us!
I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: ﬁrst, it is impossible, then it is diﬃcult, then it is done - Hudson Taylor 17
| GMI Young leaders speak
This mountain is intimidating - but I will take it one day at a time | David Sinchury Daydreaming was my favorite pastime during school days. While teachers were busy teaching lessons I was busy dreaming about Deep Purple, Metallica, GnR and other rock bands. But after coming to Christ, taking music as a career took a back seat as many Christians gave me an impression that the media & music industry would lead me astray. I believed it and disconnected myself not just from a dream but also people who had similar dreams. I won’t forget that Sunday morning as I sat listening to what the preacher had to say: “The church of Christ is not the number of lives you impact within these walls but those impacted outside.” I believe it was sometime during these days that the dream of going into an unchurched place/job for kingdom advancement took birth. I say took birth cause the focus and reason for taking up music this time round was different. It was not music for the sake of music but was music for the sake of Christ. Musicians live a different lifestyle. Is it right or wrong? I do not want to be the one to judge. But one thing I have realized is that without rooting oneself in the word, without prayer, accountability and discipleship it is impossible to please God within this field. Every day I need to check my heart and motives and have my mentors check me as well, a way to keep me grounded. Reaching out to the mountain of media seems intimidating. Hence I try to just be faithful and persevering one day at a time. Here are some tips on encouraging different arts: ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦
Do not look at musician with prejudice, not all of us are on drugs, alcohol and wayward. Pray for them or with them. Change their dreams to visions. Listen to good secular music it will help you connect with youth; it’s their language. Encourage and be open to listen before shutting them out. Get involved by hanging out at coffee lounges or a college fest with the youth. Explore. Challenge the impossible. Chill out. Love them, even if their music doesn’t appeal to you.
Nepal mission and music flow together Gyan Lama, Pastor KIF
In Nepal, music and youth are like two sides of the same coin. Music greatly i n f l u e n c e s p e o p l e ’s lifestyle. The language, the fashion, and the style of a person is shaped by the kind of music he listens. Music is crucial even in family affairs or cultural events. People’s interest in music seems to be ever increasing. It has really become a big part of their life. Engaging the arts and entertainment mountain us connect with unbelievers better.
through music helps
If you organize a music event, you will be able to invite your friends and their friends. They will actively get involved in whatever role you give them for the event. This makes it easier to invite them to our other church events and social cause programs. This helps us to start our first conversation with new people. Music breaks down the walls of all other barriers. At Kathmandu International Fellowship, we started with events like get2gether, fun, food, friends & music, momo & music etc. We had friends (non-believers) and their friends at our home jamming up secular, positive songs about hope, love and friendship. (We do not encourage songs that lead to wrong impact.) We also organized Friday Live Music at restaurants and bars. We even organized a miniconcert to spend time with new friends and families when we had a team of musically gifted guys visit from Bombay Baptist Church, Mumbai. Secular music has been one of our great ways of connecting with non-believers. Nepal Mission and Music flow together.
The most critical need of the church at this moment is men, bold men, free men. The church must seek, in prayer and much humility, the coming again of men made of the stuﬀ of which prophets and martyrs are made - A W Tozer 18
Vinu Paul, NFI Thank you for sending us the E news. Very fascinating to see the gospel advancing in all seven directions. We are pressing through a similar vision called "GOSPEL ADVANCE." In our recent conference we could hear number of stories of gospel advance. Your model has given me food for thought. Is this going to be a one off thing or will there be a continual edition as well? Thank you once again.
| readers write Sital Bellani
Thanks Stanley. Good quality stuff. Could you please add me in your distribution list for future subscription? My only suggestion is whether we can come up with a flip-book version, similar to the Salt&Light e-magazine. Makes ereading more interesting especially on a touch-based platform. Of course, will add on the cost! Not a major issue, just a thought.
Chacko Thomas, Go-to-Market Leader David Fernandes My cursory glance at the magazine says it a high quality one. Would need to spend some more time reading each article as the substance looks well researched by reflective practioners . Thanks for sending it to me. Do you produce a hard copy?
Don & Anita Lazarus Loving greetings from Melaka. Thanks for connecting me to the Momentum magazine. It was a pleasure going through it and seeing those who are younger afire with God's vision. I was really touched to read it and to know how God is moving through GMI. What a vision! I was touched much more to sense your call to families. God bless you and Esme and enlarge that vision. Good and keep up the input in that area. Well done! It's a good vision that is being systematically presented. I like the professional look and high quality of articles. Mohan is to be congratulated. We surely need quality literature in the marketplace of life. Not just ideas, but also so many practical ideas for anyone who is on the lookout. I enjoyed Glen and Jaya's articles too.
Steven Thomas, Salt + Light Once again, I think you have done a marvellous job with Momentum. I thought the lay out and graphics were even better, the theme and the articles good. Great. Every blessing.
This is Brilliant work. I have not seen such content before on the seven mountains and its application in the Kingdom with such detail. Very good design work as well. It looks like God is putting together value differentiation (Kingdom approach versus Worldly approach) around the content topics and the people to own their specialized areas for a larger impact to the Body of Christ. I can see charts, power point decks, workshop material, etc backing up each of these content areas. I can also see this being taken across different churches for equipping purposes across India and global. The magazine name is also prophetic in the sense that you are "gaining momentum for the Kingdom of God around these 7 mountains." The P2C campaign that we learned about in Mumbai is an outward expression of this impact in the world of Media (as an example). Once again I will say "Brilliant."
Arun Kunder Thanks for sending me "Momentum". Didn't get round to reading all the articles - read about 3 of them. But it was a wonderful read. Glenn's article in this issue was great. Overall, terrific work and lovely presentation. Please keep it going forward.
Priscilla Roxburgh It's very good. Artwork is getting better with each issue. Your article was very good as always.
Doug Kreighbaum Thanks for sending these out. This one is really good (as they all are). Hope you don't mind if we share these with others.
| gmi vision
It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance and encouragement. It is the dream of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands of residents in and around Mumbai It is the dream of welcoming 10,000 members into the fellowship of our church family-loving, learning, laughing and living in harmony together. It is the dream of developing people to spiritual maturity through discipling and bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats and a Bible school for our members. It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover gifts and talents God gave them. It is the dream of sending our members on short- term mission projects and as missionaries & church workers into major cities of India, to different states within India, to our neighboring countries and ultimately to other nations of the world. It is the dream of planting daughter- churches in every local language. It is the dream of becoming â€œSalt and lightâ€? in the community, thereby influencing every sphere around us with the Kingdom values, namely sphere of families, education, judiciary, arts & entertainment, Media, politics, business, industry, economics, social services, etc.