Continuing the Mission

Times are tough for many people today. Economies are bad all over the world, especially for many of our brothers and sisters serving God in countries hostile to the gospel. This is why we try to provide as many free or low cost resources as we can. This month alone, we have given away 725 copies of A Heart Hungry to Worship both in print and electronic form. We mean it when we say we are not in it for the money. All of us here at Ta Ethne volunteer and all profits are redistributed to national leaders in churches across the globe. Each month we will continue to provide free resources, as well as posting new podcasts and bible study materials on our site. Let others build up their ministries, we will continue building up the Kingdom of God. Looking forward into March, we have some new ideas to help us do just that. Keep us in your prayers as we seek out new ways to help resource God’s church.

Re-Teaching Guide Resource

This is a great resource, courtesy of BrookHills Church in Birmingham, Alabama. David Platt is the pastor there, and they have developed a re-teaching guide to help their members take a sermon and use it to teach others. This is a 7-day intensive exercise to expand the sermon from one hour a day into a week long discipleship course. The end goal is to allow each person to then re-teach the sermon to someone else. I have used a modified version of this for years with great results. Enjoy!

 

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Numbers

I wanted to share some numbers this morning that has me thinking. According to Christianity Today, the United States sent 127,000 missionaries to other countries (making us the largest sending nation) while receiving over 32,400 missionaries from other countries (making us the largest receiving country). On February 29th of this year, USA Today reported that during the last ten years (2000-2010) Islam increased 74% and Time reported on March 12th that 16% of the US population consider themselves unattached to any religion.

While many conclusions from these numbers can be drawn, here is my take. America is definitely a post-Christian nation where the churches have failed to even keep up with the population growth. While we have championed going out into the “lost world”, we have lost our own country. Perhaps we should treat the US as a foreign country and adopt the same strategies here to reach our own lost. We also must repent of the arrogance of believing that we have the answers for everyone else when we are losing our own people. Maybe, just maybe, we need to look at other countries where Christianity is growing, not shrinking, and ask them to teach us how to reach our own people. While I am grateful for those 32,400 missionaries coming here to help us, I am ashamed that we are losing so much ground.

Perhaps its time to admit that Christianity in America is cultural and not transformational. Until we repent of that and the churches get busy making disciples, we will continue to see us losing ground. We have the truth, the training, the resources – what I question is if we have the commitment, the desire, the love for Christ that will compel us to reaching the lost for Him.

What about you? When is the last time you were involved in bringing a person to faith in Jesus Christ and discipling them in the faith?

What Does It Mean To Wait On The Lord?

So many times I hear people telling me that they are waiting on the Lord, and what they mean by that is, they are sitting still, waiting for some move on God’s part to give them a clear direction. I would argue that the better understanding of waiting on the Lord is that of a waitress or waiter at a fancy restaurant. A good waitress or waiter is very attentive to the customer. They are there, asking is everything is okay, seeking to be there when the customer is ready to order and seeking to be there when they are ready to leave, seeking to be there when the customer has a need.

I would say that we are to wait on the Lord this way. Hovering, anticipating, ready at a moments notice to spring to His side when summoned. Willing to serve, knowing that there are things we are to do that is common to all His children: serving the poor, ministering to others, edifying the body, witnessing to the lost, discipling the brethren. Just as a waiter has jobs that he does for each customer – filling drinks, taking orders, etc. There is never a time when they are not busy working, even if a particular customer hasn’t summoned them yet.

Instead of sitting and doing nothing until we hear a specific call or direction, maybe we should be actively waiting – doing those things already commanded for us to do by our boss, the Lord Jesus.

You see, the two definitions of the word wait that show two completely different ideas. The first is to be in a state of  repose or to remain inactive until something expected happens. That is how most Christians define waiting on the Lord. The second is considered archaic,  to attend upon or escort, especially as a sign of respect. I would argue that it is this archaic definition that is the more biblical one.

How are you waiting on the Lord?

Highlights Around the World – #3 Canada

Vast stretches of farmland roll into the horizon, broken by silos and the occasional herd of mule deer. Welcome to the southern edge of Alberta and Saskatchewan. From Lethbridge to Swift Current, we have been able to  meet with people starting churches in cities both large and small. As one travels along the highways, one realizes that there are many smaller towns without an evangelical witness, some without a witness at all, evangelical or otherwise. Southern Canada is far from the Bible belt and a different culture from America altogether. Although very similar in lifestyle to Montana, where we are based at, there are enough differences for one to realize very quickly that approaches to starting churches in Canada must be different than they are in the States.

The believers in Canada are doing a wonderful job – they just are small in number compared to the overall population. There are a large number of immigrants arriving annually, a great number from Asia. These immigrants are seeking a better life filled with opportunity. How wonderful it would be if mature Asian Christians were in place to meet them and introduce them not only to Canadian life, but to Jesus Christ?

Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to raise up workers to go into the fields of Western Canada and establish churches that will reach those coming to seek a new life with a new life in Christ. Pray for us, that as invitations come, we will be faithful to encourage, uplift, and resource the believers there with what they need to continue spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God.