CONTENTS V OL . 9
FA L L 2 0 1 8
2 FROM OUR PRESIDENT: 2018 PROMISES by Mark Brand
CFN FELLOWSHIP OF MINISTERS AND CHURCHES MAGAZINE VOL. 9 FALL 2018
3 THE STEWARDSHIP OF INFLUENCE by Mark Brand
5 WHY VOTE
by Connie Hudson
MAGAZINE STAFF Managing Editor: Polly Harder Graphic Designer: Jennifer Cooper
The mission of CFN FMC is to be a fellowship of people who have purposed to follow the Holy Spirit and be faithful in motivating one another to glorify God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and to obey Christ’s mandate to preach the gospel and to make disciples of all nations. We are committed to serving and equipping our members in carrying out their respective missions; to license and ordain qualified ministers, church elders and leaders in the Body of Christ; and to be a covering for ministers and churches who decide to affiliate with CFN FMC. Our offices are located at 3404 Conway St., Dallas, TX 75224.
7 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT by Chet Campbell
9 ALIGNMENT CONNECTION CONFERENCE by Chris Juhl
11 INFLUENCER OR INFECTOR by Alisa Burns
13 HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL ON THE MISSION FIELD by Nickie Geldenhuys
We welcome your feedback. Please send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or to: CFN FMC Magazine, P.O. Box 769000, Dallas, TX 75376-9000. Reprint Policy: CFN Fellowship of Ministers and Churches Magazine and CFN Fellowship of Ministers and Churches Magazine Online has obtained a license to reprint and use these images, but does not have permission to allow others to use them. Owners of the images actively search online — and charge violators — for unauthorized uses. You must seek permission from the copyright holder. No material from CFN Fellowship of Ministers and Churches Magazine and CFN Fellowship of Ministers and Churches Magazine Online may be reprinted without obtaining permission. If requesting permission for reprint of an article or image, please be sure to include the volume number, issue number, and year of the magazine. Your request should include the name of the publication, the total distribution and the distribution channels. Copies are not permitted to be published, used for resale or published on the internet once permission has been granted. Postmaster: Send address changes to: CFN FMC P.O. Box 769000, Dallas, TX 75376-9000.
CHRIST FORTHE NATIONS
For upcoming events, please visit: www.cfn.org
Feb - Mar
GET CONNECTED BREAKFAST
Jerusalem Hall, Christian Center on CFN Campus Dallas, TX. 8:45 a.m.
GET CONNECTED BREAKFAST
Jerusalem Hall, Christian Center on CFN Campus Dallas, TX. 8:45 a.m.
CFN Credential Service Dallas, TX. 7:00 p.m.
ALIGNMENT CONNECTION CONFERENCE
Dallas, TX. (see website for speaker schedule and times)
A WORD FROM OUR PRESIDENT
2018 PROMISES . . . Dear FMC Family, Greetings to each one of you in the precious name of Jesus! Mark Brand
“… [and He
did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church];” (Ephesians 4:12, Amplified).
At our annual Presbyters meeting several weeks ago, our Fellowship of Ministers and Churches leadership elected me to serve as the next President of our ministry network. I was not expecting this, and I am deeply humbled and honored by their action. I thank God for the outstanding service of Dr. Sidney Westbrook in this role over the past couple of years and for his friendship and support as I assume this new responsibility. With the ongoing help and extremely capable efforts of Chris and Jenny Juhl, who oversee the day-to-day operations of the FMC and that of the rest of our Executive Team, I am convinced Jesus will lead us all forward into a fresh, rich season of blessing and fruitfulness. The Lord has planted Ephesians 4:12 deep into my spirit as the core of His calling upon the FMC. While we fulfill several important functions, including the licensing and ordination of CFNI graduates and other Christian servants, everything we do is an expression of this primary mandate: To build up the Body of Christ around the world by equipping, supporting, and encouraging you and our other members in your ministries. Our lineup of speakers and workshops at our upcoming FMC Conference will be centered around this theme. My wife, Teresa and I would love to meet you in person, and we look forward to getting to know you better at the Conference. In the meantime, please make it a point to drop by the FMC office or by our Antioch Church campus the next time you are in town. May God’s empowering presence be with you as you serve Him! Mark Brand
Stewardship OF I N F L U E N C E
One of the most famous definitions of leadership is one given by John Maxell: “Leadership is influence.” As we follow Jesus, He sometimes opens unexpected doors for us to exercise influence in unusual ways. Teresa and I saw God do this during the years we lived in France. More recently, we have witnessed God give our small church plant an entire city block in the heart of downtown Dallas, located directly on the main DART rail station platform. It includes two commercial parking lots, which net our church enough income to completely underwrite all of our facilities expense. The city recently granted us the right to put advertising on the side of our building that will generate enough revenue to enable us to begin developing its upper floors without using a single penny of our tithes and offerings! We are arguably the least likely and the least qualified people to undertake this vision. The miracles God has done to help us do it prove that, “God is not looking for ability; He is looking for availability!” Teresa and I recently experienced this kind of favor in answer to a prayer I prayed several years ago. During
an exceedingly difficult time in our ministry, we stumbled onto a part of the coast of Florida untouched by any significant level of development. As I lay on sugar-white sands gazing at the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico with my family beside me and no one else in sight, my eye caught a beach house in the distance. My mind flashed to the many missionaries I know who need such a vacation, but cannot afford it. Words welled up in my spirit and burst from my lips, “God, put it on someone’s heart to buy such a place as an investment they can cashflow by renting it out during the high season and then make it available to missionaries for little or no cost during the off-season!” In the years that followed, I found myself praying this every time we vacationed there. Earlier this year, God answered. Following the sudden sale of our home in old East Dallas at an unexpectedly strong price and our move into an apartment in the CFNI Courts of Praise complex, the Lord gave us the opportunity to purchase and remodel a decrepit old cabin just a few hundred yards away from both beach and bay. When HGTV heard about it, they decided to feature our renovation
project in an hour-long episode on their network, and as a result, we suddenly found ourselves stewarding an entirely new and unexpected sphere of influence. This has required a lot of sacrifice, including a willingness to follow Dave Ramsay’s dictum: “If you are willing to live differently than others today, you will be able to live differently than others tomorrow!” It has also opened doors for us into new levels of financial responsibility and it has given us the privilege of blessing some of God’s choicest servants in an unusual way. When I was a child, my mother used to sing a song that included the phrase, “It is no secret what God can do, what He’s done for others, He’ll do for you!” Wrap your heart around that reality. Infuse it with your faith. Steward well whatever degree of influence you already have and you will see the words of Jesus come to pass in your own circumstances: “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:23, NIV).
Mark and Teresa Brand
Born in 1960, Mark Brand was raised by ministry parents in the USA and South America. A fourth generation pastor, he sensed his own call at a very young age. Before coming to Dallas in 2003, Mark ministered as an itinerant preacher, Bible school instructor, and career overseas missionary in partnership with Teresa, his best
friend and wife of 29 years. While living in Paris, they helped lead a Frenchlanguage congregation and trained emerging spiritual leaders throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2011, the Antioch Church family embraced Mark’s vision to relocate into the heart of downtown Dallas. Mark and Teresa’s greatest earthly joy is their two children, Charity and Jean-Marc, who were born to them as answers to prayer following many years of infertility. In addition to serving as a Team Antioch ministry volunteer, Teresa home-schools their children in partnership with the Coram Deo Academy where she teaches Kindergarten. Mark was recently elected as the President of the CFN FMC.
The American Dream is on its way back! No, it’s not a house with a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot; it is life, liberty, and the Connie Hudson pursuit of happiness. We just had a miracle election leaving the left, media, and establishment reeling Connie Hudson became active in with hate. BUT GOD! politics in 1984 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Don’t let them bully you into She married Giles Hudson in 1986, passivity. We are standing for truth, and they came to CFNI, graduating righteousness, and life. The battle is in 1988. She has worked as a raging. We have a President who is children’s pastor, trained Latin working harder for Christians than any American leaders, served on other in our lifetime. The job rate is setting several ministry boards, and records, and we are in the midst of the biggest speaks at conferences. In 1994 peace-time, economic growth in our history. Connie became active in city Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due campaigns—2004, Denton time you will reap a reward. County Precinct Chair; 2007Some will say, “Why not let God be God, 2015, Legacy Republican focus on the gospel, and stay out of the culture Club President; 2007-09, the wars?” Silence is deadly. The 2016 Presidential and Corresponding Secretary of Congressional election spent $6.5 billion to get your Denton GOP; 2011, Denton vote. That’s a lot of influencing. County Republican Party Our vote can bring good leaders who can bring 3rd Vice Chair, Precinct prosperity to our nation through lower taxes and less Chair Development. She regulations. It can also help keep our nation sovereign is the Area Leader over and safe, save millions of unborn babies, give us the The Colony and has right to speak freely at churches and meetings, allow us to defend ourselves, allow us to make our own choices for our served on Senate District children’s education and welfare, deal with drug and crime committees. issues, and stop impediments that could bring revival to our land. Luke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” We need to use this authority in every area of our lives. The heart and soul of our nation is at stake. Our vote and voice is needed to win these spiritual and physical battles. Here are ten reasons to get yourself and as many like-minded people to the polls as you can. 1. Vote
because you love God and your neighbors as yourself. At the heart of the debate, the fight rages between a nation that honors and serves Jesus or world leadership that wants global socialism (see UN Agenda 2030). We should care deeply about policies that impact
BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD our neighbors’ lives. Overcome evil with good. Not voting is like a selfish, lazy, apathetic parent watching their naughty child become out of control, doing nothing. Our inaction will only worsen the situation. The unborn are dying, lawlessness abounds, and God is mocked throughout our society. 2.
We are the salt and light of the world. In Bible times, when salt lost its flavor, it was used to make roads. We are not called to live in darkness and be trampled on. We are to overcome the darkness with light. We are His mouthpiece, hands, and feet. We are to do His bidding and glorify God in every part of our lives. Our nation was founded on Christian principles. The Pilgrims came with a 400year plan to reach the world with the Gospel. They sacrificed their lives for their children to grow up strong in the Lord and had faith that they were a part of a larger plan that would reach the generations. This is our watch. We are history makers; our actions will determine either the blessings or curses over ourselves, nation, and future. We have a very real possibility of overturning Roe vs. Wade. Do it for your children and future generations. God judges a nation by its judges. When we vote, we are voting in a team of people. Deuteronomy 1:13, “Choose for yourselves wise, understanding, experienced, and respected men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as heads (leaders) over you.” Then they should choose likeminded “teams.” Judges who take bribes will be a downfall to a nation, causing wickedness, lawlessness, and chaos. Good judges will restore lawfulness, respect, righteousness, peace and order. This is a way to obey the Lord. When you stand in the voting booth, it is between you
and our Lord. He sees and honors your vote, even if your selection doesn’t make it into office. God blesses obedience. 6.
We are blessed to live in a Republic where we can worship God freely. Others have lost this freedom of religion and the financial resources to spread the Gospel. A decision to do nothing is a decision to allow the ungodly to choose your destiny. Choosing godly people can help keep the door open to revival and survival.
Politics are essentially policies. We choose our policies by choosing people who agree with our worldview. Our leaders will choose which policies we live by. May they be Godhonoring policies.
Our politicians will either bless or curse Israel, and our nation will reap the effects of their decision.
What happens to America affects the rest of the world. Stability and strength versus unrest and weakness. Our decision can increase or decrease the level of persecution and terrorism throughout the world. When we are weak, our enemies and terrorists are emboldened and empowered. The international agreements and UN will be either for Christ and His people—or against them.
It is a deep lack of integrity to burden our children with a debt and tax burden with our wants and foolishness. It is time to vote for responsible and wise stewards of our money and our future. CHOOSE LIFE AND LET YOUR VOTE AND VOICE BE HEARD.
REMEMBER TO VOTE: NOVEMBER 6, 2018
MEMBER WHY WASN’T JESUS CRUCIFIED ALONE? John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (KJV) Chet Campbell That day, when the Ultimate Arena (Earth) had been prepared to the finest detail, for the Ultimate Champion, Jesus the Christ, Who was qualified by the fulfillment of every personal and heavenly qualification and prophecy, why were there two thieves on either side of Him? One or two of Jesus’ own disciples might easily have been arrested and crucified with Him that day; instead, God purposed that it be these two thieves. They were not disciples of Jesus! By their own words they were guilty as charged. So, Why were there three crosses and three men crucified? With so much at stake, with so much time, preparation, history and prophecy being fulfilled: Why wasn’t Jesus crucified alone? Why wasn’t Jesus the complete focus of attention? The answer is that this incredible cosmic hour was the culmination and apex of the collision of both heavenly and HUMAN history! It was not only the absolute defeat of the serpent, but the absolute deliverance, liberation and redemption of believing mankind from the power of Satan and sin! God the Father also ordained that these two (and only two) thieves be crucified, one on the right and one on the left as representatives (and symbolic types) of all of mankind; both of whom had the same witness, experience, backgrounds and condemnation. Yet, with equal opportunity to see, hear, feel and experience the most epic event in history, one repented and chose to believe in Jesus as his Savior and coming King; the other, unrepentant chose to reject Him in disbelief! When the repentant thief expressed his faith, Jesus was condemned, ridiculed, rejected and forsaken to die on the cross just as he was. It
is one thing to express faith in one who is at the top of their sphere of influence; it is quite contrary to express faith in one whose life is about to end in failure (in the world’s eyes), condemned, crucified and rejected! What right did this thief have to believe? Nobody in Jerusalem, Israel or the entire planet, for that matter, had a kind word, encouraging word, loving word or faithful word for Jesus while He suffered on the cross in agony! Neither did His Father speak from Heaven. No one verbally expressed faith in Jesus as the Christ, but this thief! No one, after His three years of incredible public ministry, (preaching, teaching, performing unheard of miracles and raising the dead), expressed belief and faith on that day, but this thief! Only by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit did this thief see, believe and confess Jesus as Lord! Oh, how the words of this dying, repentant thief must have encouraged and comforted Jesus, as he alone had compassion on Him, rebuking the other mocking thief on the opposite side of Jesus, defending Him as innocent and confessing Him as Lord! It must have given Jesus some measure of renewed strength and resolve to remain on the cross and complete His course. The believing thief had compassion on Christ and rebuked the other thief. He asked him a good question. Don’t you fear God? He included himself as well, “We are here justly; we deserve to be here; it is the consequence of our own actions.” Although those words were not addressed to Jesus directly, He most certainly heard them! It had to comfort Jesus, to some degree, to hear any positive statement on His behalf. He was
TLIGHT Chet Campbell graduated from Christ For The Nations Institute, in Dallas, Texas, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Theology from L.I.F.E. Bible College. He has served as a pastor of The Whole Word Church located in Chula Vista, California, and was one of the founding presbyters of Christ For The Nations Fellowship of Ministers and Churches. (CFN FMC) He also conducts multiple youth, pastor, family, and church conventions in countries such as India, Sikkim, Myanmar, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi), and Mexico. For 25 years, he worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies as a senior computer analyst, and for 10 years as an independent programming consultant.
innocent! Even the centurion in charge of the crucifixion said at the last, “Certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47)! We all fall into one camp and category or the other. There is no middle ground or inbetween. One thief said in unbelief: If you are God, set me free; you owe me. The other thief said in belief: Because You are God, remember me; I owe You. God will remember those who remember and honor Him! We are all thieves of one sort or another. We have all sinned, and we are all condemned without Christ. Only faith in Jesus as the Son of God and our only Savior will save us! Which thief represents you and your heart towards Him? Do you have a humble and believing heart! Jesus’ arms were and still are opened wide to all of the world. Their choice to believe or not to believe determined their fate, just as our own choice will determine ours! This is an excerpt from Chet’s new book, John 3:16, LARGER THAN LIFE.
To get a copy, go to: www.john316ltl.com
Chris and Jenny Juhl CFN FMC Directors
It’s time to ENGAGE …
As we began to make preparations for next year’s conference, the word “ENGAGE” stirred in our spirits. The Scripture in Luke 19:11-13 talks about a nobleman giving instructions to his stewards, “... to engage in business until I come back” (HSBC). We felt there is a need for the Body of Christ to reevaluate how we can influence the culture more effectively. When we engage in the Father’s business, we will equip, empower and influence all spheres in which we function such as family, ministry, marketplace, culture, etc. We are extremely excited about our guest speakers and believe they can teach us how to do this from their experiences. You are encouraged to read their bios, get excited and want to come. Prayerfully set aside time and resources to come to Dallas, February 28 to March 2, 2019, for the Alignment Connection “ENGAGE” conference.
• Come and learn from “experienced voices.” • Expect the unexpected. • Experience Holy Spirit-filled ministry and worship. • Receive Encouragement. • Enjoy fellowship with those of like passion during coffee breaks and mealtimes. Our primary mandate is to equip, support, and encourage you and our other members in your callings and giftings. So, while conferences are not like a vacation, they can be a place of refreshing and renewal.
SAVE THE DATE: February 28 - March 2, 2019 “ENGAGE”
214-302-6456 | f mc @c f n i. org
c f n f mc . org
Our confirmed plenum speakers bring a wealth of different ministry and life experiences with them, and I am glad to introduce them to you.
Pastor Tim Dilena
Pastor Tim Dilena is a graduate of the Oxford Center of Christian Apologetics, England, and has studied at Baylor and Wayne State University. Tim has pastored in Detroit, Michigan, for 30 years. He is the founding pastor of Revival Tabernacle, having converted a 900-seat pornographic movie theater into a great inner-city church. In 2010 Tim, his wife Cindy and their 4 children moved to New York City, where he served on the pastoral team at the 14,000 member Brooklyn Tabernacle Church. He is presently the lead pastor at the 3,000 member Our Savior’s Church in Lafayette, Louisiana. He has also been the visiting pastor at Times Square Church for over 16 years Pastor Tim speaks for Major League Baseball and NFL team chapels, as well as the corporate and entertainment industry chapel services. He ministers cross denominationally in colleges and seminaries and has written for magazines and periodicals. Gail Stathis is the Executive Director, Vice President and one of the co-founders of European and Middle Eastern (EME) Ministries. She serves as the Lead Pastor of the Glyfada Christian Center in Athens, Greece, and is the Founder/Administrator of the Glyfada Christian Academy (K-12 program in Greece). She has served on the mission field for more than 30 years, in Greece, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Gail hosts and ministers in Women’s, Children’s, Youth and Family conferences and conducts evangelistic crusades. She also assists in overseeing, supporting and planting churches. She serves as primary leadership for EME missionaries on the field. She is the Western European Zone Leader for Vision International Educational Network and is the co-author of a Leadership and Mangement curriculum for the University, as well as other books and music.
The following breakout sessions are planned with more added, as we confirm speakers:
HOW TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE AND MAKE DISCIPLES TRANSITIONS IN MINISTRY EMPOWERING WOMEN IN MINISTRY MAKING MARRIAGE IN MINISTRY WORK FINISHING THE RACE WELL Are you a church/ministry leader? Why not present this to your team as an opportunity for team building? Come to Christ For The Nations for a time of renewal.
FYI—A combined Worship and Leadership Conference will not take place next year.
nfluencer or nfector By Alisa Burns
From time to time, I believe a healthy question we can ask ourselves is: “Am I a good influence to society and my fellow believers, or am I allowing society to affect me?” Too often, in our current surroundings, we get trapped in the day-to-day grind of life, and we lose sight of our attitude and our position in Christ, getting caught up in the moment of what is going on around us.
Take for example standing in a really, long line at the grocery store or when something goes wrong with an item you have purchased. What attitude do you take on? Does it resemble the world or Christ? Do you make it easy for those around you, (especially customer service), by being pleasant in nature and exhibiting the light that you are to be walking in? (Leaving an opportunity to share the Gospel). More often than I would like to admit, I find myself letting the attitudes of those I’m around infect me, instead of me affecting them. This can be an ongoing challenge, but since we have access to Heaven and all the fruits and gifts of the Spirit, there should not be any excuse for selfish behavior. Love has to be our goal in everyday dealings. When we make decisions in our day-to-day tasks, they not only affect us, but they are also affecting or infecting other peoples’ lives as well. God showed me that whenever we allow compromise on a daily basis, it not only affects us, but in turn it infects the Body of Christ as a whole, because we are one. We not only bring an offense to those around us by our attitudes and judgements, but to Christ as well. When we hurt a body part, it sends a message to our brain that says, “Ow!” In some cases, that pain can extend for days. It can affect how we function if it is extremely painful. In the same way, when we allow negative words to come out of our mouths, bad attitudes at home and in the marketplace, etc., we cause pain and infect the entire Body of Christ at large. In 1 Corinthians 12:25-27, we see, “Now you are Christ’s BODY and individually members of it ... ”
I know this may be hard to picture, but just as I would not purposefully infect someone with a rare disease, we should not be doing it by our actions, deeds or words, either. On another note, our homes can be one of the toughest places to be Christ-like because we get so comfortable and let our guard down. When in fact, our family members are our neighbor, and we are to love them as ourselves. We are the hands and feet of Jesus; we are the ONLY LIGHT some will EVER see in our coming and goings. And that example needs to be carried on in our own homes, so our children won’t carry on the same habit patterns and attitudes that we excuse and pass off as the flesh. (Romans 8:13) Summarized—live after the spirit not the flesh! Let Christ be formed in us, so there will be no reason for us to not continually walk in the light as He is in the light, if we know and love God. One of the greatest requests Jesus made in John 17:21 was, “Father, that they be as one as we are as one.” That is a heavy task to accomplish; yet, it was His desire. So as a believer, one of our greatest ambitions should be to fulfill His desire. See through the eyes of love and unity, rather than self-centeredness. Just like we would never infect someone with a rare disease intentionally, often we see the disease of offense spread so rampantly in the Body of Christ because Love hasn’t had its perfect action yet. So, in conclusion, you have the ability to either positively influence someone or negatively infect them with your actions, words or deeds. As our words can change the very course of our lives—for the good or the bad—so can we also influence others. Make the decision, today, to be an Influencer, and His light will shine brighter and brighter because of it.
Alisa and Alan Burns founded Rivers of Life Apostolic Center. Alisa is a 1990 Christ For The Nations graduate. She is a gifted teacher and the author of Loving Beyond Limits—A Return to Authentic Christianity. She has also co-authored The Esther Mandate—A War for America’s Destiny with J. Nicole Williamson.
By Nickie Geldenhuys Every believer is called to participate in the fulfillment of the Great Commission of Matthew 28 and Mark 16. Some are set apart by the Spirit for cross-cultural missions. (Acts 13) Not surprisingly, missionaries often find themselves struggling in their host culture, which becomes a spiritual battlefield. Having a clear, undeniable calling from God is foundational to lasting success in the field. Commissioning by a spiritually healthy leadership, ongoing support from, and accountability to, the sending Church are also important. Wider support by other congregations and individuals are equally needful for success. Missionaries, like all believers, must maintain their relationship with the Lord through consistent prayer and Bible study. Personal devotion often gives way to many activities that demand attention, but must remain foundational to our spiritual lives. Acts, chapter 20, contains valuable principles for success. Verse 18: "You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia ….”
Living among the people you serve is essential in bonding with them and understanding them. Verse 19 speaks of servanthood, humility, and vulnerability. The people saw Paul persist against attacks from his own. “… serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews.” Verse 20 shows his conviction that his message was their hope; direct engagement with them reinforced his conviction. In Romans 1:16 Paul wrote: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes …” Verse 21 repeats the essentials, “… repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
14 Success is inseparably linked to the recipients’ clear understanding of the message you bring, lest they syncretize it with their own beliefs.
Beyond learning is the need to understand how the host people think, and why they do what they do. Unless this understanding takes root, serving them will be like swimming against a strong current.
Verse 24, “… The ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” underscores the surety of your calling and content of your work. ‘Grace’ is what sends and will uphold you; it is an essential for success in the field. Paul elaborates about unselfishly giving himself to the people in verses 26 and 33, “I am innocent of the blood of all,” and “I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.” Your hosts must clearly understand that you are there for their benefit.
Being successful on the mission field hinges on these areas: 1. A consistent dependence on grace, which includes a strong personal devotion to God, His Word, and prayer; 2. A clear calling, being set apart by the Holy Spirit and confirmed by spiritual oversight; 3. A protective support base that also requires accountability; 4. The conviction that the gospel is God’s plan and His best for the recipients; 5. An undeterred adaptability; 6. An expressed desire to serve in love without compromise; 7. Raising local leaders to whom the work must be entrusted, sooner rather than later.
As a missionary, work hard from day one to find, equip, and establish leaders from among the host people. Paul showed how he did just that in verse 28. His admonitions to Timothy and Titus show that this is essential to the continuation of the task at hand. The chapter has much more to say about the topic. IN SUMMARY: Be open with the people who are different from yourself and be willing to step out of your comfort zone to initiate and sustain relationships in a world of cultural differences. Welcome them into your presence. They will accept you only to the level of your acceptance of them. Acceptance goes hand in hand with trust. Trust is built by first showing it—not easy in a culture very different from your own! Trust in turn grows by a willingness to learn from the local people. Moses exemplified this in Numbers 10:29.
Nickie Geldenhuys serves as the Manager of the Native Church Program and the Literature For The Nations Department at Christ For The Nations. He has visited more than 30 countries, where he flows in his teaching gift with a prophetic edge. Nickie graduated from Christ For The Nations Institute’s School of Missions in 1996. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology degree from Global University. He teaches “Cross-Cultural Dynamics in the Global Missions Major at CFNI. He is married to Sandi. They live in Dallas, Texas.
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