Mission

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Having YWAM Together 2016 here in KC the last week was such a blessing, God amazingly continued a conversion we have been having the last month, so many things on my heart and my prayers, speakers addressed.

It was so great to be back among YWAMers, got to see my old base leader John Dawson, and hear Loren Cunningham. Hear what God is doing through YWAM today in the earth like Ending Bible Poverty, being reminded the goal that the bible will be translated into every known language by 2020.

God moved powerfully in the worship and faith-stirring messages.

I believe God was talking to me a bout what I have been crying out to Him for the past two weeks, to walk with Him like Enoch did, as Elijah did. God seemed to be speaking to me through the example of the lifestyle of and message that Todd White gave. What it is like to be a man who walks with God, someone who imitates Paul as he imitated Jesus.

I have been praying that I need my prayer list answered, so I can move on to going and doing, be so busy going and doing that I have a new prayer list and that is what Todd does, lives a life busy doing, joining God in doing.

The day after the event ended, most of the YWAM leadership and attendees still in town came to Forerunner Christian Fellowship, George Otis spoke at the first service. He also was speaking to something I had been praying about the last month. That we need to have stories about fresh encounters with God, with what He is doing to tell others about. He articulated very well what I have been trying to tell God I need. I need stories like I had when I was in  YWAM, stories of what my God is doing, the sick healed, the blind see, the dead raised. Testimony of my prayers being answered. Stories of God moving, salvation, people being delivered. First-hand stories weekly, daily, so that no matter who I walk with, set down next to when the conversation starts I have a steady stream of fist hand stories that is what my God has done, is doing.

Action take away, I need to find where God is, what He is doing, where He is moving, no matter where in the world that is, and get involved with Him in what He is doing, get busy going and doing. So that I have stories, so I can begin to talk about once again the things I see and I encounter God doing. Not hearsay, but first-hand stories, not what I hear about, what someone else is doing, but like when I was in YWAM, hands-on participation in what God is doing.

Fell in love with an incredible worshiper of God, Lindy Conant, she was on the YWAM worship team that lead most of the worship. Her worship was so passionate, she is so passionate for Jesus, I could have worship all day and night with her. Talk about someone to worship and pray with, do ministry with, she’s my heart’s desire. People with that kind of passion for God, obsession with Jesus and the message, that’s the kind I want to do life with, live life with.

 

lindy-conantAbove photo Lindy Conant is on Right

Loved hearing all the YWAM stories, and being in a room with over 80 nations represented.

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And that I miss YWAM, the mission, the people, being part of God doing amazing things, I was also saddened by thinking about all I have missed out on, the things I could have joined God in what He was doing. How I could have had a life spent for Him on the mission field. That I would go back into YWAM in a heartbeat if it were possible. It is so true what they say once a YWAMer, always a YWAMer.

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I attended the YWAM Together (YWAM is Youth With A Mission for you none YWAMers) here in Kansas City on Monday, its a week long conference that YWAM  holds every two years Monday was open to the public and it was awesome in so many ways. First gathering with YWAMers from all over the world, being a YWAMer, being with YWAM three years back in the late 80’s, it was like going home. There is a saying in YWAM, once a YWAMer always a YWAMer, I can testify it is true.

It was so great to hear YWAM stories, people sharing what God is doing all over the world, getting to share my stories with other, priceless.
Seeing and hearing the leaders speak, like Loren Cunningham, John Dawson, who was the leader of the base I was at when I was in YWAM, and many others.

 

To hear all the new technology that is being implemented to spread the gospel around the world.

 

To hear that by 2020 that the bible will be translated into every known language in the world, and YWAM will have a base in every country in the world, fulling the bible verse Mark 13:10 “And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.”

 

When I was in YWAM I got to go on the Anastasis Hospital ship the largest of 3 ship they had at that time, today they have 8 ships, praise God.

 

Bottom line I miss YWAM.

 

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It seems every church, every person that calls them selves a Christian has their own definition of what it is to “follow Jesus” to be a “follower of Christ”. Their are a multitude of books, countless sermons on the subject, each with their own opinion of what it means.

Recently The Lord took me to Matthew 4:19 where Jesus says “And He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”.

When I think about these words, “Follow Me,” and being Jesus is clearly and absolutely worthy of far more than church attendance and casual association.

We are talking about the Savior King of the universe and the Righteous Judge of all, God in the flesh saying, “Follow Me.” Just let it soak in, the thought alone is Mind-boggling when you realize Who’s speaking here. God. And when He speaks you don’t just memorize it.

When Jesus comes to you and says, “Follow Me,” this is not a minor thing, there’s no potential for a casual response here. It’s either turn and run or bow and worship. You ether say No or Yes Lord!

So one can establish right off the bat that following Jesus is far more than church attendance, casual association, simply being a fan of Jesus. Imagine yourself standing before Jesus and Him saying to you “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”. How would your life change from that moment on.

As you know if somebody gets hit by a Simi Truck they look different. How much more when a person comes face-to-face with the God of the universe in the flesh, the Savior King of the nations and the Righteous Judge of all peoples Who is sovereign over everything in the world, when you meet Him…….you look different. Everything changes, you do not go on with life as it was, with the same goals, worldly ambitions, desires, purpose, lifestyle or even identity. Everything changes!

I go from doing what I want to do with my life, pursing what I want to do and be, to doing what Jesus says I am to do.

Jesus did not say follow me and ______________, you fill in the blank what that means, with what you want to do. No, He tells us what following Him means, what follows the word “and”. I don’t need to read commentaries, read volumes of books, ask Google to know what it is to be a follower, Jesus tells me here.

Jesus says, “I’m going to make you a fisher of men.” In other words, Jesus says, “I’m going to do a transforming work in your life that will enable you to spread My gospel all over the world. Your life is going to be spent for My purpose, being a fisher of men, that’s what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus.

Every follower of Jesus is to be a fisher of men according to Jesus in this passage.

And like I said in my last post, I want to be simple guy, be black and white, an authentic follower of Jesus. Just pick up my bible daily, read it, believe it, believe its for me, for today, and do it. That simple, that black and white.

So I pick up my bible, read Matthew 4:19 and Bingo, Jesus defines following Him, or maybe more precise, the result of being a follower perhaps. If we are following Him, He will make us fishers of men. Going back to my last post on Matthew 28:19-20 about “Go, make disciples”, put the two verses together it’s quite clear Jesus is saying if you are following Him,  you’re a fisher of men, you will be making disciples.

So according to Jesus, what does it look like to be a follower of Jesus, you are a fisher of men, you are making disciples. That’s your new identity, purpose, and lifestyle.

Again like I said before if I just start with scripture, say here’s what it says, then I would get up every morning and say this is my job today, to let Jesus make me a fisher of men, and go do it, go make disciples.

It’s just black and white stuff, if I just started with scripture, pick up the bible and read it, and believe it, say here’s what I would do. I would be a fisher of men, that would define who I am and I’d start making disciples!

According to Jesus’ own words, if someone ask what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus, I would answer, if you’re a following Jesus, your a fisher of men, busy making disciples. Is there more to it than that, Yes, but this is where you start, this is the core of what following Jesus is, to be a fisher of men, to Go make disciples.

See Jesus Says – Go make disciples.

When I was a kid we played a game called Simon Says, I doubt kids today even know it since it not played on a smart phone. How you play it is if the person who’s “it” says, Simon says pat your head, or jump on one leg, or bark like a dog, you have do it, because Simon said to, or your out. That’s what the game is about, if Simon says do something, no matter what it is, you have to do it because you must obey Simon’s commands.

It’s very simple game, but it’s so weird how in the church, Jesus Says is a totally different game. If Jesus says to do something you don’t have to do it, you just have to memorize it, talk about it, have bible studies about it, and that’s it, you don’t have to actually do it.

It doesn’t make any sense, Jesus tells us to Go and make disciples, but yet how many people in the churches are actually making disciples? They’ve memorized the verse, so what, is that what Jesus asked us to do, memorized His commands? Do bible studies on what it would be like to do it?

If you told your daughter or son to go clean their room, they wouldn’t come back to you two hours latter and go, I’ve memorize what you said. You said “go clean your room”…….. and I can say it in Greek too. And my friends are going to come over and where going to have a study on what it would look like if I clean my room. Tomorrow I’m going to start a discussion group on the theology of what you said, theorize as to if you really meant “I” should do it, what exactly you meant by clean, and and is descriptive of prescriptive.

Your kids know better than that, and so why do we think we’re  going to come before The Judge one day, before the one we say is our Lord. Stand before Jesus and quote everything that He said, talk about how much you know, and Jesus will say “well done good and faithful servant”? Really!

Note the key word in His statement is “done“, its a action, a verb, meaning you have completed a task you where given to do. The only way you can hear well done is if you do what Jesus said to do.

It’s just black and white stuff, if I just started with scripture, pick up the bible and read it, and believe it, here’s what I would do. I’d start making disciples!

I would Not just memorize it, do a bible study on what it would be like to do it, read two dozen books on the theology of it, argue whether or not it was for then only or for today, or is it’s descriptive or prescriptive. That’s not what I would do, I would say, Yes Lord Jesus and start making disciples.

If I just start with scripture, say here’s what it says, then I would get up every morning and say this is my job today, to make disciples of Jesus, and go do it.

I would just Go and make disciples……… baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded. (Matthew 28:19-20)

And when you combined that with Jesus saying:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23

Jesus’ very words to us are if you love Me you will do as I say, and He said, Go and make disciples. So ether we love and obey, or don’t and make excuses. that’s are only two choices.

I want to be simple guy, be black and white, an authentic follower of Jesus. Just pick up my bible daily, read it, believe it, believe its for me, for today, and do it. That simple, that black and white.

See part two: Jesus Says, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

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Francis Chan, my favorite pastor and David Platt, (in my top 10)  have been teaming up on a new venture to help followers of Jesus to fulfill the Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all nations, ….” (Matt. 28:18-20).

You can see their new Multiply Website with resources to help us make disciples.

The free and downloadable Multiply Material will be contain a 24-session discipleship experience where one person helps another understand what it means to follow Jesus, study Scripture, and be the church.

And there will be a Multiply Gathering that is a free, once-a-year webcast with Chan and Platt, where followers of Christ can gather and encourage one another in the disciple-making process.

You can register for the Free gathering here. The first two online events in 2012 will be on Friday, November 9 (7-10 PM, CST), and Saturday, November 10 (6-9 PM, PST).

megachurch

I’m tired of going to church and seeing a big production. I’m tired of feeling like I’m at a rock concert or a funeral  when it comes time to worship in church. I’m tired of hearing shallow sermons presented with a flashy power-point and HD videos. Tired of message that are carefully filtered to be PC, not to offend anyone, so that it would Not Convince, rebuke, or exhort anyone. I don’t go to church to be entertained, I can entertain myself well enough on my own time. I don’t go to hear a sermon that sounds like a self help book. Of going to church that you do not need to bring your bible to. I feel that it would be too much to ask to simply have a pastor open the bible and expound on the word of God. I come to church to be with others on the same mission, Jesus’ mission He sent us on and to be equipped for that mission, to share the gospel and make disciples.

When I read the scriptures that is what I am longing for, what I read about in Acts, what I read church to be, is want I long for.

I want to erase everything I have learned about church in America, in bible college, seminars, books and the church. I want to open my bible and do what it say church is! Read what is God saying in the scriptures church is about and what the first church did, read it and go and do it. I want a church that looks just like that, what I see in the bible. I Would not come up with what we have in America as church by simply reading scripture, that’s not what would I come up with for what church is if I just read the scriptures, not what I see today. (more…)

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Unless we make a shift in our thinking, many Christians will continue to look at missions as a sub-division of the church, or as a special “calling” for a “special group of people”. I spent three years on “the mission field”, I went to “be missionary” with YWAM. While I was in YWAM, I did not think much about doing “missions,” since I lived my daily life focused on what God wanted me to do. I did not start my day focused on being a missionary, but rather doing the task set before me that God had given our mission base to do. My everyday routine was doing work for God and for the Kingdom of God. And set out to look for and take advantage of every opportunity that came my way to preach the gospel, rescue a child off the streets, out of prostitution, out of drugs. Counsel someone hurting. Distribute food to those in need. Hold a bible study. Pray for someone. It was just life, normal everyday life with God for Christ for me.

Missions should be just that, being part of God’s plan, just a normal everyday way of living. He desires each and every person to be involved in His mission. What is God’s mission?

The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed
; ” Luke 4:18

and “For the son of man came to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 10:19). That’s why He came and that’s what He wants each of us to be a part of. Jesus told us to do the same thing, to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). We are also told to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19).

And I set out to do all of that every single day in YWAM, that was my daily to do list, and it still should be today.

How do I disciple a nation, one person at a time if need be. I do not know if I will ever preach the gospel to an entire nation (I sure want to), but I can preach the gospel to a neighbor, a waitress, a store clerk or a co-worker, a room full of people or even crowed street corner.

So what is missions? It is personally being involved in what is on God’s heart: seeking and saving that which is lost. And that is a full time job, a title we all can put on our card, resumes. Every one who claims to be a Christian is to be a missionary, full time missionary.

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I was reminded today of the words of Jesus “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” that is so often quoted. But if you read the entire verse, and the two before it, that are the complete statement of Jesus. I think we might just learn that His statement “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” does not mean what everyone thinks it does.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Mat 28:17-20

His words I am with you always seem to be linked to going, doing all the tings He mentions before those those famous words, that is what is known as the great commission. (more…)

061110This year is the 50th anniversary of Youth With A Mission, YWAM, they have sent over 2 million into the mission field in those 50 years. And I thank God to have been one of them, I spent 3 years with YWAM as a missionary. They where 3 of the best years in my life so far, I spent my time working to rescue teens living on the streets, mostly girls under the age of 18 whom where victims of human trafficking. We worked the streets in an area estimated to have around 30,000 to 40,000 teens living on the streets, all of them in prostitution, and drugs as well. The youngest rescued by our ministry was 11, yes a 11 year old girl living on the streets selling her self to survive. They were trying years, it was a hard ministry to do most of the time, the things I witnessed, man at his worst, but also was a time of great joy, so many teens where rescue, the community life I had with my fellow YWAM’s was true church in action, the true Christian life seen the books of Acts.

On November 28, 2010, yammers and friends of YWAM from around the globe will converge on the UofN Kona campus for a six day ­celebration of YWAM’s 50th Jubilee. I will share some of my stories and experiences in YWAM between now and the end of the year.

See YWAM 50th anniversary website>>>

041210I listen to a reading of a sermon preached by C H Spurgeon from April 27, 1856, over a 150 years ago called ‘Gospel Missions’, in today church lingo it could have been called ‘Gospel Centered Church’ or ‘Missional Church’. It could have, it should be given in the church today. Here we have a sermon on what is at the heart of being a missional church given 150 years ago.

Amazingly Spurgeon hits the key points about what the church is lacking today.


Things he says is missing in the church:

First, We have not apostolic men.
Second, They do not set about their work in an apostolic style.
Third, We do not have apostolic churches.
Fourth, We have not the apostolic influence of the Holy Spirit in the measure that the first church had.

“We have few Apostolic men in these times, preachers of God’s truth.”

“We have not men with Apostolic zeal like Paul, His zeal was so earnest, and so burning. Whether he did eat, or drink, or whatsoever he did, he did all for the glory of his God; he never wasted an hour.”

He went on to say:

“We lack men filled with the Holy Spirit of fire, we have not men with apostolic zeal. Men like Paul who preached the word everywhere, who say “Wow unto me if I preach not the gospel.” You had a convection when you saw him, that he was a man who felt he had a work to do. And must do it and could not contain himself unless he did do it.”

“Oh! if you could have seen Paul preach you would not have gone away as you do today with half a convection that we (pastors) do not mean what we say. I seldom hear a solitary sermon that comes up to the mark in earnest deep passionate longing for the souls of men.”

I gave a big AMEN to all that, and I really loved this:

“Oh had you seen an apostolic church, what a different thing it would have appeared to one of our churches. As different as light and dark. Where is our prayerfulness? Oh, if we prayed as deeply and as earnestly as they did we would have as much success. They broke bread from house to house, they ate their meat with singleness of heart giving glory to God. There was not a member of the church who was half hearted. They gave their heart solely to God.”

Just a few quotes from the sermon, all pastors, all Christians should hear this sermon, it will fire you up if their is even a smoldering amber of the Holy Spirit in you.

Download the sermon here (mp3 22.4 mb).