WORLD MAP WORLD MISSIONARY ASSISTANCE PLAN â€˘ WINTER 2009
Albert Baisch, Frank Parrish and Don Richter with African leadership couple
A Passion for Truth at Nigeria Seminars
D I R E C T O R ’ S
P A G E
F R A N K
P A R R I S H
World MAP Seminars: Option Or Necessity?
HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF MINISTERING TO CHURCH LEADERS IN
NIGERIA in November of last year (see the report on page 4). And in February, World MAP will host two Spiritual Renewal And Equipping Seminars for more than 1,000 church leaders in India. With rising costs and challenging economic times, along with increased tensions in the countries of greatest need where World MAP focuses its efforts, why does World MAP continue to host or participate in seminars for church leaders? FIRST AND FOREMOST, God has made clear to us that it is a mandate from Him – He has called us to do our part in equipping and training His undershepherds who serve Him so diligently in some of the most difficult places on earth. He believes in them, and so do we; He has called them, and we are there to encourage and equip them to fulfill all that He purposed for them to do in His name. We trust Him to provide the direction and provision to accomplish this, as well as to protect and preserve us until He has seen fit to call us home. In addition, God does great and mighty things when leaders gather to seek Him and receive from Him. Let us look at some specifics for a moment: 1. EXPERIENCING GOD’S POWER We believe in the importance of 2
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giving church leaders the opportunity to experience firsthand the power of God at an increased dimension. As they learn that the Holy Spirit is alive and real, and fully available to them, their expectancy and faith to receive are raised. As they receive, they give – and lives are empowered for the Gospel’s sake all over the world. The pastors are also personally touched, healed, delivered, renewed and transformed by the power of God. This happens through sound, balanced Bible teaching and giving place for the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit at every gathering. A single encounter with God’s anointing and power can change a leader for a lifetime.
should be taught that way! At World MAP seminars, we often receive the sincere gratitude of pastors who thank us for teaching the timeless, line-upon-line truths of Scripture, instead of the latest trends or techniques for ministry. Our desire and strategy is to model to pastors the importance of teaching sound, balanced, thorough Bible principles in the same manner and spirit of Jesus’ words (John 6:63). This kind of teaching is relevant to every culture, every person, in every place – and is surely accompanied by God’s power and blessing.
2. TRAINED WITH THE LIVING WORD Much of what is called “training” is just the transmission of information. Though it is imperative that leaders understand critical principles and the doctrines of Scripture, the Bible is not just an encyclopedia of religious information or lifeless sayings. It is the living Word of God (Heb 4:12), and it
3. THE POWER OF UNITY Pastoring is not easy, even in the most congenial circumstances. But the church leaders to whom World MAP reaches face hostility, brutal persecution, and the grinding impact of poverty, disease and spiritual darkness. They often serve in remote villages and feel isolated and alone. And they can
World MAP Vol. 49 • No. 1 / Winter 2009
Table of Contents
World MAP Seminars: Option Or Necessity? .....................................2
A Passion For Truth At Nigeria Seminars........................................4 Kenyan Evangelist Nurtures What World MAP Donors Plant ..............7
Unreached People Group: The Sentinelese of North Sentinel Island..........8 Praying for the Nations: Israel and United Arab Emirates.................9 ACTS Excerpt: How God Prepares An Evangelist.............10
When Seeds Blossom....................................13
WORLD MAP BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Jon Cook, Skip Mahoney, Hank Morris, Frank Parrish, Vic Torres. WMAP CANADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Paul Dreher, Helmuth Lange, Dave McTaggart, Frank Parrish, Wendy Parrish, Horst Senkbeil, Alex Tingstad.
DIGEST STAFF: Frank and Wendy Parrish .......................Directors / Editors Gayla Dease ...............Publications Coordinator Keith Balser .....................................Copy Editor
VISION AND MISSION OF WORLD MAP World MAP (Missionary Assistance Plan) is a trans-denominational, nonprofit ministry dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission – making disciples of all nations – by: • Equipping indigenous church leaders in Third-World nations through biblically-based, Spirit-filled teaching resources and practical ministry training so that they can be more effective, and in turn raise up and equip still more leaders (2Tim 2:2). • Sharing the triumphs and trials of these front-line ministers with believers in Western nations, to inspire the Body of Christ to fervently pray and sacrificially give, so that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world” (Matt 24:14). The Third-World church stands poised and ready to reach the nations with the Gospel, if they could just be equipped to do so. Thank you for partnering with World MAP to supply this urgent need!
World MAP DIGEST is published quarterly by World Missionary Assistance Plan, whose editorial and business offices are at 1419 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank CA 91504. The subscription price is $5.00 per year. Receipts for contributions are tax-deductible. Periodicals postage paid at N. Hollywood, California 91605 and additional mailing offices (USPS 692240). Postmaster: Please send form 3579 to 1419 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, California 91504. HOW TO CONTACT US: Visit us at our website on the Internet at www.world-map.com • Email us at email@example.com • Call us at 1-818-843-7233 • Fax us at 1-818-845-5000
become discouraged and want to give up. Drawing them together at a World MAP conference helps them discover that they are not alone in the challenges and hardships they face. When they meet, they become connected to their fellow church leaders, realizing they are together a part of God’s plan to do a mighty work in their nation. Prayer groups are formed, and mutual support and accountability are established. By gathering in the name of Jesus, and under the power of the Holy Spirit, barriers between leaders are broken down and unity is fostered. The devil’s strategies to promote division and jealousy in the Body of Christ are exposed and confronted. Pastors are enabled to truly understand and experience the outpouring of God’s Spirit as “brethren… dwell together in unity” (Ps 133:1). Forgiveness and reconciliation flows, and common purpose in Christ is established. 4. THE PRINCIPLE OF INCARNATION When we read the Bible, we see that God gave revelation to men through the Law, the prophets and the written Word. Yet He did not stop there. His final and ultimate revelation of His heart was when “the Word become flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) in the Person of Jesus. When God’s Son took on mortal flesh and came to this world, humanity could finally “see” what God was like. Not His physical appearance, but rather the heart of God. As the apostle John explains in his first epistle: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life [Jesus!] … we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us” (1John 1:1,3 – emphasis added). What John describes here is the incarnational principle – the Word becoming flesh. By coming into the world in the Person of His Son Jesus and living among people, God could be right there with them to:
World Missionary Assistance Plan
answer their questions (Matt 22:35-40; Matt 24:3ff; Luke 10:2937); • encourage and comfort them (Matt 5:11,12; John 14:1-3); • set an example of service (John 13:3-15); • inspire them with missionary zeal (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). World MAP follows this incarnational principle by not just sending the teaching materials (ACTS Magazine and The Shepherd’s Staff), but also by going into the developing nations with Spiritual Renewal and Equipping seminars.
We teach the church leaders directly and answer their questions, exhorting them to “teach others also” (2Tim 2:2) and to be an example of servant-leadership as fellow sons of God Most High. OUR PRIVILEGE AND CALL World MAP Spiritual Renewal seminars are a vital and key part of ministering to, encouraging and equipping this and future generations of church leaders. Whether it is in the continent of Africa, the islands of the Pacific, the underground churches in dozens of nations, or the Amazon jungles – it is our privilege and call to serve the pastors and leaders of Christ’s Body. As you pray and partner with the ministry of World MAP, you too become part of God’s hand extended to His called and chosen servants around the world. What a joy to partner with you in serving the Lord and His Church in these great days of endtime Harvest! Winter 2009 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 3
THE LIVING WORD
A Passion For Tru
MY MOST RECENT TRIP TO AFRICA (November 2008) to participate in seminars for church leaders afforded me my first visit to the country of Nigeria. When ministering for the first time in a country or region, I try to learn as much as I can about the people and culture where I will be going. My schedule did not allow me to spend as much time studying about Nigeria as I would have liked before this trip. Yet God, in His grace, provided an unexpected blessing: He arranged for me to sit next to a Nigerian brother in Christ on my flight from New York to Lagos, Nigeria. So I had 11 hours of private tutoring (minus a short sleep break) to learn from my new friend about his fascinating country and its people.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Nigeria has had a long and rich history. According to archeologists, this geographical area has been occupied since approximately 9,000 B.C. Over the centuries, many large
aching e r p e t a n o Passi
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and powerful kingdoms have inhabited the hills and plains of present-day Nigeria. More recent history has seen Portuguese explorers landing there in the 15th century, naming the now largest city of Lagos. By the 19th century Nigeria had become a British colony, but eventually gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. What followed Nigeria’s newfound freedom was an unfortunate series of military coups, widespread unrest with civil disorder, and chronic government corruption at all levels. Finally, in 1999, Nigeria reestablished a democratic rule, but was still not without controversy and problems.
As with most African nations, tribal conflict and favoritism – combined with excessive corruption – continue to cripple healthy growth and prevent stability in Nigeria. Compounding this are the very real
e God r o f e b e w A
th At Nigeria Seminars
by Frank R. Parrish
and often explosive religious tensions that virtually split the country. The northern region of Nigeria is predominantly Muslim, while the southern half is Christian. Currently, the Christian population is increasing, primarily because of conversion growth among traditional or cultural Muslims. As to be expected, this angers Muslim religious leaders (clerics), who then incite the Muslim population to violence against the Christians. As recently as late November of 2008, murderous violence was sparked by disputed election results in central Nigeria. The mayhem was used as a pretense to target Christians; attacks on believers resulted in the slaying of six pastors and the destruction of 40 churches. These same Muslim extremists attacked schools and even a police station. When the dust settled, hundreds of people from both sides were dead and
more than 25,000 were displaced and seeking temporary shelter.
CONFIDENCE AMID CHALLENGE
The Nigerian government claims to be secular (neutral, nonreligious) and not involved with the tribal and religious conflicts, other than to maintain order. Yet it remains uncertain as to their actual role in the conflicts. Nigeria has abundant natural resources that could potentially yield great wealth; yet the countryâ€™s chronic problems largely prevent the utilization of these resources for the development of programs and infrastructure that would benefit the general population. In spite of such complex challenges, however, the Nigerians seem to be a joyful people. Those we met did not seem shy or lacking in confidence, and were warm and friendly toward us. Our travels were primarily within the southern Christian regions, so we saw many churches ranging from huts to large concrete structures. There are groups of very committed Christians, some of whom have mid-day prayer meetings as well as multiple services throughout the week. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
f joy o s s e n l l u F
Winter 2009 / WORLD MAP DIGEST â€˘ 5
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 “THE TALK OF THE
It was a blessing to participate in ministering to pastors in Nigeria. The conferences had been coordinated by Dr. Chidiogo Ezennaya, a Christian college professor and leader in the larger Body of Christ in Nigeria. Also on the ministry team were Rev. Don Richter of Harvest Preparation International Ministries, as well as Rev. A.J. Baisch, senior pastor of New Harvest Church in South Carolina. The conferences were well-attended, with each day packed with both teaching sessions and ministry. There was a great hunger for solid, balanced, scripturallybased teaching. Because southern Nigeria has been open to the Gospel for some time, there have come a number of imbalanced and unsound doctrines. As guests in any nation, we do not attempt to take on the role of correcting the teachings of others. Rather, we teach from the Word of God as the Holy Spirit directs and invite Him to do the “correcting, reproving and instructing in righteousness” (2Tim 3:16). We trust that the Scriptures will bring transformation and conviction, providing genuine truth that will expose error. In this regard, it was also our privilege to arrange for copies of The Shepherd’s Staff and World MAP’s latest 64page issue of ACTS Equipping Magazine to be given to every pastor who attended the conference. Each pastor who so desired also had his name and address added to our growing list of church leaders who receive ACTS Magazine. The conferences were much appreciated, and we were warmly received by our Nigerian brothers and sisters. One key leader expressed it this way: “The testimony of the results of your “The testimony of teachings during the seminars has ever been the talk the results of your of the day. Almost everyteachings during the body is talking about the seminars – it was full of seminars has ever passion and life-changing.” Our heart and prayer is been the talk of the always that the pastors day. Almost every- would hear the voice of the body is talking about Lord and be transformed by Spirit and His Word – the seminars – it was His freshly anointed to be effective church leaders who full of passion and pursue holiness, honor the life-changing.” Scriptures and follow hard after Jesus Christ. - Nigerian pastor We thank the Lord for His grace that allowed us this fruitful time of ministry in Nigeria; and we thank you for your gifts that made it possible. You have truly blessed these pastors, and we pray that you in turn will receive multiplied blessing. [For more on why World MAP is involved in seminars for church leaders, please see the article on page 2.] 6
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Impassioned, balanced teaching.
Absorbing sound doctrine.
Exhorting to pursue holiness.
Kenyan Evangelist NURTURES Nurtures What World MAP Donors PLANT plant
By Gayla Dease & Keith G. Balser
vangelist David Mungai Karori is a highly resourceful preacher, evangelist and leadership-equipper with a passionate concern for his native people of Kenya. The Shepherd’s Staff is a key resource in his vigorous ministry strategy, an all-in-one field manual for the harvest. It came to him like seed to a Generous determined sower, and is a powerful tool in his hands. sowing by It was through The Shepherd’s Staff donors that God opened his eyes to his callenriches the ing. “After I received the Lord as harvest my personal savior on July 6, fields. 1982 I was convinced in my heart that God has called me as an evangelist/intercessor,” he recalls. “This is after studying your Shepherd’s Staff on the topic of the calling of God.” He adds that The Shepherd’s Staff’s teaching on soul-winning “has helped me a lot to participate in personal and mass evangelism. I have used The Shepherd’s Staff to study and teach many people. I do spread the Gospel everywhere I am, even supplying to pastors and church leaders for those who are willing to grow and evangelize. “I have conducted door-to-door evangelism, and it’s very effective, as per the topic in The Shepherd’s Staff. People of Nairobi do receive the Gospel but they need a lot of follow-up as they are so much busy in work and their business. We evangelize to them during lunch time hour, then supply them near our working place.” Timely Sowing – Eternal Fruit Evangelist Karori does more than study. He delves deeply into the scriptural riches expounded in The Shepherd’s Staff. He absorbs. He takes to heart. He sets his hand to the plow. His eye is on the ripe fields ahead, even when those fields are the teeming streets of a bustling African city. The Shepherd’s Staff chapter entitled “The Call Of The Harvest” clearly resonates with him; it is easy to imagine his excitement when reading such passages as: “The Harvest is an appointed time. It is a time of limited opportunity; it is a time that must be recognized, a moment that must not be missed… Jesus told us that there is a great climactic Harvest at the end of the age… We are living in the time of the ‘Harvest of all Harvests’.” David Karori is grateful that you are planting the seed and standing with him in this accelerating end-time harvest. Though half a world away, you are – through your steadfast giving – right there with him, gathering eternal fruit (John 4:36). “I have read a lot of literature but I have found The Shepherd’s Staff being one of the best for church leaders in the ministry. I love, pray and appreciate you. I will not forget about you people of America. May God bless you abundantly.” Winter 2009 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 7
UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP
North Sentinel Island
So little is known of these people that they have to be arbitrarily designated by the name of their island, a jungleshrouded speck of land ringed by coral reefs in the western Bay of Bengal. North Sentinel Island is technically part of India’s Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but the Sentinelese in a very real sense have no country. They are profoundly, disturbingly alien. No one knows their language. No one knows their religion. No one knows their culture, or if they have any. They appear to be hunter-gatherers. Bonfires have been observed on their island; but do they actually know how to make fire, or simply depend on lightning-strikes to make it for them? That too is a mystery. Now and then they appear out of the jungle to snatch up gifts left on the beach by scouting expeditions trying to make contact with them. Their benefactors then have to dodge an angry storm of arrows as they watch this seemingly unreachable tribe vanish back into the jungle and the dank mists of prehistory.
God to open up a way to reach these seemingly unreachable people, and open their hearts to the Gospel. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen 18:14)
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Join Us In Praying for the Nations
Many of you faithfully prayed for the life-changing church leaders’ seminars that took place in Nigeria last fall. Because of your diligent partnership in prayer, the pastors who attended and those whom they shepherd will be eternally transformed by what God did by His Spirit and through the teaching of His Word. The role you play as an intercessor in World MAP’s Prayer Corps is a key component of what God is doing around the world today. Just knowing that we – and the pastors’ training conferences we conduct – are being so faithfully covered in daily prayer is a tremendous blessing to us and the pastors who attend. Many of us can give of our resource; some of us can go to other nations; but all of us can PRAY! Because of Christ’s finished work, we all as believers have free access to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). And as World MAP continues to conduct ministry-equipping seminars in crisis-torn nations such as India, the need for prayer is profound… as it is also in often-overlooked corners of the harvest field: Israel… the United Arab Emirates… the mysterious world of the Sentinelese… The need is profound, yet so are the opportunities – for “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1John 5:14). Please take this opportunity to join with the band of hundreds who already receive our monthly World MAP Prayer Corps bulletins and emergency prayer alerts. Simply write to us – or E-mail us at WMAPPrayercorps@aol.com – and send us your name and address or E-mail address. It is a privilege and honor to join with our Father in Heaven through prayer as He moves to bring people from every tribe, tongue and nation to His Son in these days of both challenge and promise!
FORGOTTEN MISSION FIELD
Population: 7,112,359 76.4% Jewish* * 67.1% native to Israel * 22.6% European- and Americanborn * 5.9% African-born * 4.2% Asian-born 16% Muslim 1.7% Arab Christian 0.4% Other Christian 1.6% Druze (breakaway Muslim) 3.9% Unspecified
President of the State of Israel: Shimon Peres Prime Minister: Ehud Olmert (resigned September 2008; serving as acting prime minister until new government is formed) Embattled remnant: Currently 10,000-15,000 Israelis are practicing “Messianic Jews” – Jews who acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament – and their number, while still a bare fraction of the population, has nearly tripled over the past decade. Over a hundred Messianic congregations are active in Israel, up by 50% from 10 years ago. This growth has sparked heated opposition. Literally. Earlier last year Orthodox Jewish students allegedly seized hundreds of Bibles and pamphlets Messianic missionaries had distributed among Ethiopian immigrants… and burned them. There have also been reports of intimidation and violence by Orthodox extremists against Messianic Jews. Ironically, though scorned by the Orthodox as traitors to true Judaism, Messianics strive vigorously to maintain a strongly Jewish identity within both Israel and the Christian Church at large: insistently and pointedly using Hebrew terms rather than English translations from the Greek New Testament (e.g., Yeshua HaMashiach rather than Jesus Christ); celebrating Jewish feasts such as Passover; and adhering to Old Testament ceremonial laws.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) ISLAM’S MADISON AVENUE FACE Population: 4,621,399 19% Emirati (UAE natives) 23% Other Arab & Iranian 50% South Asian 8% Other foreign nationals (Westerners and East Asians) Religion: 96% Muslim 4% Christian, Hindu, other
P r a y ing for the Nations
PRAY FOR: • A swift end to both the vicious terrorist assaults upon the State of Israel and the anti-Christian persecution within Israel. • Growth of a strong evangelical movement transcending racial, ethnic and religious-origin boundaries. • Safeguarding of Messianic congregations against Pharisaic legalism and elitism.
President of the United Arab Emirates: His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan Vice President and Prime Minister: Dubai Crown Prince Muhammad bin Rashid Al-Maktum (proud owner of the world’s most massive yacht, the 525-foot Platinum, berthed at UAE’s Jebel Ali Port, the largest man-made harbor in the world) E pluribus unum: UAE is a federation of seven emirates (from amir, Arabic for “chief” or “ruler”) with certain authority specifically delegated to the UAE federal government while considerable powers are retained by the individual emirates (Abu Dhabi, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Sharjah, Dubai, Ra's al Khaymah, Quwayn). The president and vice-president are elected by the Federal Supreme Council consisting of the seven emirate rulers. There is no popular vote. Entrepreneur’s paradise: To Western tycoons and jet-setters, UAE is a gleaming showcase of cutting-edge technology and sleek upscale sophistication. Its premier city, Dubai, is a futuristic wonderland boasting the world’s tallest hotel, a colossal architectural replica of an ancient Red Sea trading vessel’s sail. Mecca of tolerance: UAE is living proof that amiably accommodating other religions is good for business. The government not only allows, but has actually built, Christian churches and Hindu temples. Every December, the 1,200-store Dubai Mall glistens with Christmas trees, artificial snowflakes and smiling Santas. PRAY FOR: • Western missions agencies to reach out to UAE’s teeming underclass of foreign contract workers who build the soaring skyscrapers in searing heat that can hit 105°-117°. • Christian businessmen and tourists to flock to UAE – not just to buy and sell, but to offer to share the Good News of the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
JOIN THE WORLD MAP PRAYER CORPS AS WE CIRCLE THE GLOBE WITH INTERCESSION FOR THE ADVANCE OF GOD’S KINGDOM.
Winter 2009 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 9
The Evangelist And Evangelism – Taking The Gospel Into All The World! By Julie A. Young Edited for ACTS by Frank and Wendy Parrish
How God Prepares An Evangelist
Part Eight-B • Series conclusion
Editor’s Note: The conclusion of this teaching is not the end for the reader, but a springboard of equipping for the demanding yet exhilarating task ahead. Biblical strategizing is stressed as the now thoroughly trained evangelist prepares to turn a dynamic new page in his God-given calling to proclaim the Gospel.
You Must Study God’s Word, The Bible The Bible is your source for Truth. You must daily read it, study it and memorize verses so that you can grow and mature, and then teach and preach well. You must never preach anything that cannot be fully supported by the whole counsel of Scripture. Much false teaching exists today. The Bible warns that false teachers and false doctrines will arise in the last days, and many will be led astray. As you are learning, search the Scriptures daily to ensure that what you are hearing is from the Word of God (Acts 17:11). A man who does not know the words of God cannot give the full counsel of God to people. The Lord directs, “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2Tim 2:15 nas). There is an evangelist in India who memorizes verses from the Bible every week. His children also memorize verses weekly. He has memorized thousands of verses. When he is needed to preach or counsel, or when he needs wisdom, he has stored the Word of God within his heart. This man knows the power of the Word of God to transform people and to guard himself from evil (Ps 119:11). You Must Be A Person Of Prayer Prayer in the life of the minister or disciple of Jesus is not an option – it is an essential command, found throughout the Scriptures! You must discipline yourself for prayer. Develop good prayer habits. Pray at a set time each day. Pray as you walk or sit. Pray continually, day and night (1Thess 5:17). Pray both in the spirit and with your understanding (1Cor 14:15). Fasting and praying breaks bondages over people and even regions. One evangelist in Africa asks different churches to fast and pray together. These meetings help unify the churches in purpose, and multiply their spiritual effectiveness. The work of the devil is thwarted when people gather in prayer! The churches are transformed and many people come to Christ because the churches and evangelists pray and work together.
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You cannot be the minister or evangelist that God intends you to be without prayer. In prayer you find freedom, forgiveness, strength and the guidance you need. Also devote regular times to pray with your team or with another leader. Find intercessors and ask them to pray for you every day. Take time to pray with others, and to pray alone. Pray over the land and people where you will preach.
Be A Continual Learner It may not be possible for you to attend a Bible college or seminary. Find God’s will on the matter and follow it with faith. If possible, attend teaching seminars or Bible classes in your area. Take opportunities to talk with other ministers and evangelists. Learn from them, and offer to serve with them or help them. If they are available, spend time asking them questions. Go to hear them preach. Listen, evaluate and learn. Many effective men and women of God have not had a formal Bible education, but have still done great things for God. The best ministers are those who study their Bibles diligently, keep on learning whatever they can, and then keep applying what they learn. Learning is more than taking a class. Learning is something one does for a lifetime. Find A Mentor In Christ; Be A Mentor To Another Pray and ask God to give you a teacher, a mentor in the Lord. This is someone who is mature in God, and who will help you grow. Mentors offer advice as they watch over your life. In many countries, a younger man asks an older man to be his “spiritual father”. This applies as well to women who need “spiritual mothers”. The role of the older person is to guide and teach the younger, to be a helper who gives wisdom. Paul had this kind of relationship with Timothy (1Tim 1:2; 2Tim 1:2). It was obvious that Paul loved Timothy and wanted the best for Timothy. Paul was willing to sacrifice and take time to help and teach Timothy.
The younger should respect the gift and experience of the older. In this way the younger gains important knowledge through the experience and wisdom that was learned over many years. It is God’s way to train a younger generation of leaders. You should also begin to look for one or two others to train, who need the benefit of your experience and learning (2Tim 2:2). Pray and God will show you whom you are to train and mentor.
Rejection And Trial The work of evangelists puts them in constant contact with those who will either accept or reject Christ. Those who reject Christ will often reject the evangelist as well. Not everyone accepted Jesus and His message when He preached. Some people will be angry with you or hate you because you bring the Good News. Some evangelists will be beaten and threatened for preaching Christ. Even family members may turn against you. Jesus told us that we would be persecuted because of Him (Matt 10:16-22). People may speak slander or make false accusations. It is important that you not let your hurt become offense or grow into bitterness, for that will defile you and others (Ps 37:8; Heb 12:15). Decide to not take offense when others wrong you. Neither should you seek revenge. This is not God’s way to deal with hurt (Rom 12:17-21). Man’s anger never produces God’s righteousness (Jas 1:20). You must forgive those who have wronged or hurt you (Matt 18:21-35). Come to God as to a loving Father who deeply cares for you and accepts you (Rom 15:7; Eph 1:6). You can pour out your pain to God and ask Him to heal you (Ps 42:4; 62:8). Let your heavenly Father comfort, shape and transform you in your trials. If you do not let God take care of your wounds of rejection, the devil will try to use them against you when you are preaching the Gospel. You may be tempted to compromise your message in order to gain the acceptance of people. The Bible calls this dreadful trap “the fear of man” (Prov 29:25). Beware also of the trap of success. Success in evangelism may lead you to begin to take credit and glory for yourself. You can easily fall into the sin of pride and begin to minister from fleshly motivation. Beware of pride (Prov 11:2; 16:18; 1Pet 5:5-9). We must come humbly to God with our hurts, repent of our selfishness and pride, forgive those who have wronged us, and ask God for His healing in our lives.
When you allow God to heal you, you will have more of God’s confidence and love. You will recognize that He loves you, and that you are valuable to Him. You will then be able to love the people who reject and hate you from your position in Christ – a place of overcoming strength and unconditional acceptance.
Have A Strategy For Ministry 1) Vision Do you know where your ministry is headed? Do you have a vision from God for your work in life? If you don’t, you can ask God to give you His vision and direction for your life. If He has given you a calling and assignment for ministry, He wants to show you what to do to fulfill that call! In a very unique visitation, Isaiah saw the Lord in a vision (Isaiah 6). Isaiah recognized his sinful condition and repented, and was changed. God called him as a prophet and revealed direction and purpose for Isaiah’s life. This type of visitation was not common, and usually reserved for very specific people in Scripture for whom God had a unique calling (such as Isaiah, and Saul in Acts 9:1-19). But God has called you for ministry. He has a purpose for you to fulfill. As you seek Him with diligence and spend time in prayer, God will help you begin to understand His desires for your life and ministry. He may give you dreams or visions. Or He may just quietly unfold His purposes as you trust and obey Him day by day (Prov 3:5,6; Matt 6:33). Jesus did only the things His Father revealed to Him. He said, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19). Jesus did the Father’s will. He did not do or speak anything except what the Father revealed to Him. Jesus modeled for us our need to be completely dependent on the Father. God has revealed Himself and His purpose throughout the Bible. One of the best ways to discover God and His purposes for you is to study the Bible as much as you can. The Bible is a “light to our path” (Ps 119:105). It illuminates our way, helping us to see where to walk. Allow God to show you afresh the truths of Scripture to lead you in His ways. God may also give you specific direction about
S whathe are the ver th Gosp e resp el, onse.
Continued on page 14
Winter 2009 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 11
by Keith G. Balser
Highly Equipped For Their High Calling Through World MAP Resources
Low-lying areas are home to many Third-World church leaders – mangrove swamps, river valleys, rain forests and jungle clearings. Heat and humidity stifle the atmosphere. Even more oppressive are the political corruption, economic malaise and spiritual darkness that are endemic to the countries many of them live in. It can be hard to be “Heavenly-minded” in such environments. These frontier Gospel ministers need refreshment and encouragement. So we are grateful to report that ACTS Magazine and The Shepherd’s Staff are a breath of fresh air to them – with a breadth and depth of fresh insight into the Word of God. World MAP’s equipping resources build them up and keep them looking up – setting their minds “on the things above” (Col 3:2 nas). Church leaders often figuratively jump for joy when seeing a crisp copy of The Shepherd’s Staff for the first time, or a new issue of ACTS Magazine. Or literally, as with this Nigerian pastor: “I have received the Shepherd’s Staff you sent to me. I caused a drama the day I got to the post office to collect it. Just with the joy of seeing the pack bearing the ‘World MAP’ name, I jumped up and shouted, so that people around me wondered what kind of parcel I got.” As they sit down to actually study these materials with their open Bibles, something even more profound happens: Their ministry standards rise, along with their evangelistic zeal. “Thank you very much for your remembrance to send me ACTS on ‘The Spiritual Life’,” writes a deaconess from Ghana. “Upon reading and studying it, I have realized that my calling and ministry is from God.” This sense of high calling brings a humbling awareness of the lofty responsibility of being a minister of the Gospel. “Your ACTS raises the profile of the ministry. It upgrades the efficiency in leadership for growth, feeding the members with accurate messages and growing more disciples for Jesus Christ. It takes away every form of mediocrity in ministry. It has given me a wider range of knowledge, illumination and strategies to serve Jesus Christ at my very best. ACTS is helping me to stop at nothing – moving in His direction always and in all ways”.
Eagle’s-Eye View One pastor we heard from recently lives in a place where it is hard to have a skyward vision and you need to keep a close watch on the ground around you. The coastal town in Ghana where he pastors sits on a low, narrow spit of land between a wide fresh-water lagoon teeming with birdlife and the aggressive salt waves of the Atlantic. Long-time residents remember or have heard stories passed down of the ocean washing parts of the town away. ACTS Magazine is shoring up this pastor’s reservoir of constructively practical and edifying scriptural knowledge. “I was very much happy,” he writes, “when a copy of your magazine ACTS [“The Spiritual Life”] was handed over to me by my senior pastor. I delved vigorously with eagle’s eye into all the topics treated and found them to be very useful. The two most important topics that inspired me in the magazine are ‘Spiritual Essentials’ on page 11 and ‘Holy Spirit Guidance’ on page 29. I treated it concisely with the whole church and the brethren were so much enthused. Questions were asked and answers were provided with precision just as in ACTS Magazine. “For your information, my senior pastor to whom you have been sending the magazine is no more in active service because of age: He is 94 years. I have taken over from him as the new pastor of the church.” Like so many other ACTS and Shepherd’s Staff readers, this pastor is fully equipped with a forward-looking focus – keeping Kingdom work his highest priority as he “press[es] toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).
• WORLD MAP DIGEST / Winter 2009
Ministries Flourish Through ACTS Magazine And The Shepherd’s Staff
WHEN SEEDS BLOSSOM
“Whenever I am invited to other churches as a teacher or speaker, my first option is to look for topics in ACTS Magazine or The Shepherd’s Staff.” – Deacon Francisco O. Abesamis, Sr., Philippines “I thank God so much for the kind of love He has given unto you, such that you have always shared bountifully with us your brothers and sisters in Africa and Uganda in particular. I am very thankful for my gift of The Shepherd’s Staff. It is helping me so much since I am now pastoring a new church in the village. I am getting to know more of God’s Word through this book.” – Richard Daniel Koneka, Uganda
“My name is Johannes Kahuadi from Namibia doing mission work in Botswana among the Basarwa tribe [a hunter-gatherer people of the Kalihari Desert]. We have planted five house churches in our village in different wards through the teachings of ACTS.” – Johannes & Beauty Kahuadi, Botswana
“When I was trying to understand and was seeking the will of God for my life, I came across this article in ACTS [“Knowing God’s Will”, ACTS May/June 1990] and it helped me understand that I was being called to the ministry; and I know many, many other pastors and Christians that were
very affected by this article and it helped them find God’s will for their lives.” – Pastor Joseph Likavo, Kenya
“I received my copy of The Shepherd’s Staff in 2002. Since then I have been training my church members from it to be effective workers of the Gospel. And it was a great help for me. As a result we are grown to more than 100 people. I have taught my co-workers how to use The Shepherd’s Staff in training people to be effective workers for the Gospel. Here in Eritrea we are under persecution…” – Y. M., Eritrea
“Brethren, ACTS has done me a great deal. It has, completely, changed my ministerial ethics, in all ramification without any reservation. In fact, since I imbibed the use of ACTS, I’ve done a whole lot of impact, in the lives of many people; and the people I introduced to ACTS subscription and usage are doing tremendously well in
their respective geographic locations. Brethren, I want to let You People know this very fact, in case you don’t know, that you have given many Ministries the reason to excel; to flourish and to blossom. I also want to let You People know that you are the brain behind every success we’ve made so far in the Ministry and the ones we’ll make in the future. Brethren, may the good LORD, Who knows how to reward People, reward You People more and more abundantly, IN JESUS’ NAME, AMEN.” – Evangelist Emmanuel A. O. Chigbo, Nigeria
“Once again I thank God for the ACTS Magazine that provides me a green light to my path. It’s very helpful, concerning maintaining my spiritual life, as I continue to teach what is in ACTS. Also it expands my limited knowledge in knowing who God is and what He is to me.” – Joseph Selauru, Solomon Islands
“I have been receiving ACTS for two years. My spirit is being nourished, especially in our nation Ethiopia considering the current situation. The messages are an answer to my prayers and petitions to God. I also share these messages in my church in the congregation and with other members in our prayer meetings. Times are hard here, and as a church minister I do not have much to bless you financially at present, yet I do ask our Heavenly Father to put wealth into your hands so you are ever able to honor His holy name.” –Tarekegn Yacob Sadamo, Ethiopia
Winter 2009 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 13
ACTS excerpt, “The Evangelist” continued from page 11
ministry assignments. Do you want to reach a certain town for Christ? Have you prayed and asked God for His strategy? Have you asked Him if He has a specific way for evangelism to take place, or how a church should be planted? God will sometimes give you very specific steps to take in order to do His will. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you and guide you in making decisions – such as where to preach, what to say, who to work with. Do not be eager to build a following or get a reputation. Do not be eager to build your ministry or have “success”. We work for eternal fruit (John 15:16), not for reward on earth (Matt 6:1-4). Be willing to go and work – when and where the Spirit directs you, for God’s glory. Each city or town is different; so the strategies for reaching each place or people group may be different. The Apostle Paul had been given a strategy for his missions. He preached to the religious Jewish people first; then he went to the non-Jewish people. On his second mission trip, he wanted to go north and east; but God stopped him. He had a dream in which a man from Macedonia (Europe) was calling to him to come and help (Acts 16:9,10). Paul was trying to do the will of God but he was about to go in the wrong direction. God wanted Paul and his team to go west, into Europe with the Gospel. In Macedonia, Paul met Lydia, who became the first convert in Europe (Acts 16:12-15). Lydia owned a business. She offered her house to Paul to use for his work, and it became the first church in Europe. This house also became a base for evangelism into Europe. Lydia and her network of contacts surely helped Paul in spreading the Gospel. God had a clear strategy, but Paul had to understand that strategy in order to fulfill God’s desire. Wait on the Lord, praying and ministering to Him. Sing to Jesus; praise Him; pour out your heart to Him; and then wait to hear from Him. He will release His desires to you. God may give you specific vision or strategy, or reveal His will in mental pictures or by words and impressions in your mind. Write down and date what He tells you and shows to you. Pray over these things, and submit them to other godly people whom you trust. Then begin to step out in faith to do what God has shown you to do!
2) Mission Statement Once you have a sense of direction or vision, it is helpful to write down a mission statement. A mission statement tells in a very short form what you are called to do. This statement is more useful when it is general rather than too specific. For example, instead of writing, “We will plant five churches and two orphanages and hold meetings this year”, it is better to write, “We will spread the Gospel by planting churches and doing social works as the Lord directs so that Jesus is glorified.” Separate the areas of work into specific goals and write them down. For instance, if God calls you to also start a school, include that in your mission statement as well.
3) Goals After writing a mission statement, prayerfully describe in writing how you will make your vision and mission happen. Do you have a plan to carry this out? Write down the goals you are led to meet. This is the time to be more specific. For example: “In two years we will train two pastors and plant two churches in this area; in five years we will have five more churches.” Or, “Our team will preach the Gospel to every village in this area – in one village a month, for the next three years.” Or, “We will distribute 10,000 Gospel tracts in this city in the next six months. We will also hold street evangelism meetings in all four areas of the city once a week.” Making a strategy will help you be consistent in your work. Through prayer and listening to the Lord, you will understand His strategy for you. The Lord will also give you strategies to help the churches work together in evangelism. Your mission statement and your goals should be very familiar to you, always in your mind, ready to be spoken to anyone who asks. You should pray over these writings often, and be willing to make changes and adjustments as they are necessary. Hearing from God and then working out the details in faith will allow you to be effective in fulfilling God’s purposes for you. Others will also find it easy to understand and support you and your work.
hip: s w o l l e f rk and Teamvwiotal to ministry
• WORLD MAP DIGEST / Winter 2009
Build An Evangelism Team Jesus built a team of twelve. And He sent His workers out by twos; they came back for more instruction and interaction, and then went out again. The Apostle Paul built teams. He sometimes went alone, but he preferred to work with a team.
Each person on your team will have different gifts than you. These additions will increase your effectiveness in ministry. One evangelist has a woman on her team who has the gift of healing. This person often sees the miracle power of Jesus heal people in the meetings. Many people are open to the message of the Gospel when they see Jesus heal people through this woman’s ministry. Another man on this team has the skills to organize large campaigns (crusades) in cities. This evangelist has also trained other evangelists on her team. There are three evangelists on the team who can all preach in the markets, visit prisons or hospitals, or do whatever else is necessary to share the message of salvation. Raising up and encouraging workers who can help support your evangelism outreach will help you make a greater impact. A team becomes like a family where needs are met and the goals of the mission are accomplished.
Be A Kingdom Servant God does not call anyone to build his or her own ministry. God calls you for His purposes, and allows you to partner with Him as Jesus builds the Kingdom of God! Some church leaders want to serve God, but they also want to build a big name for themselves. They despise and ignore other leaders and ministries. They are selfish, and do not serve other ministries as a partner. They think their ministry is the best one, and their work the only important work. How sad for the world and for the Church! This kind of leader is focused on himself – not on the needs of others, and not on God’s true Kingdom work. This is not the Spirit of Christ. Partnering with people and other ministries brings greater glory to God and more effectiveness to the work. Encouraging and helping other ministries brings God’s greater blessing on your ministry. When you give, you will receive (Luke 6:38). When you lose your life (and desires) for Christ’s sake, you will gain true life (Matt 16:25). When you take the “lower place” of serving other ministers and ministries, God will promote you (Luke 14:10,11). Your vision should include working with other groups, churches and ministries. This is building the larger Kingdom of God, not just a single church, denomination or ministry. When ministries work together, people see unity in the Body of Christ and God’s blessing comes (Ps 133:1-3). Evangelists who gather and work with many churches in a city bring great blessing to that city.
Take Time To Rest Many workers have “burned out” like old embers in a fire because they did not take time to rest. Their physical bodies became sick; their minds became tired; their spirit became weak and could not resist temptation. God commands that we spend a day each week to rest. We all need rest! Every minister – and every person – must take at
least one day each week to renew themselves in God and to rest the physical body, the mind and the spirit. There may be times when your schedule will require you to give much more than should be normal. But you must make time to rest and find calming activities that refresh you. When Jesus and His disciples were ministering, so many people were coming and going that Jesus and the apostles didn’t even have a chance to eat. Jesus told them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Jesus took regular time away for rest and for prayer. He, as our example, helps us to understand that no one is exempt from God’s command to rest.
A Vessel Of Honor Remember, people will receive what you say far more readily if they respect who you are and how you live your life. Bringing yourself under the full rule of God’s Kingdom is a lifelong process. You should always be growing, learning and submitting to God’s transforming work and purpose for you. Evangelist, God has called you to carry His message of salvation to others. You can be a living example of the transforming work of God in a person’s life. Watch over your personal life as to its purity, focus and discipline. God is committed to your transformation as you seek out His help. He will love and strengthen you for your work by changing you from the inside out. You must obey and follow His Word. Take time to examine yourself in God’s presence and respond to His words and work in your life and family. You will then be an evangelist and minister of the Gospel who is a vessel of honor, fit for the Master’s use!
The Most Important Things Your character – what you are becoming – is far more valuable to God than what you will do for Him. God is more interested in transforming you to become more like Jesus than in how much work you can do for Him. Obedience and devotion to God are far more important to Him than successful meetings and numbers. The desire to see Jesus known for who He really is – in all His glory, power, majesty and splendor – should far outweigh, even replace, any desire to further your own reputation. Keep these thoughts in mind as you daily go about your ministry. These guidelines and teachings are meant to help you become a highly skilled worker for the Lord Jesus Christ. Apply yourself to these things and trust the Lord to use you for His sake and glory! Reprinted by permission of the author, Julie A. Young.
Editor’s Note: If you have missed earlier parts of this series, you may access them online at www.worldmap.com or request a copy by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter 2009 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 15
Again and again ACTS Magazine and Shepherd’s Staff readers acclaim these equipping resources as clear and simple to understand. Equally clear and simple is the goal of this equipping: pastors empowered to proclaim the Word of Life in all its redemptive fullness.
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