1 The articles and study guide lessons in this document are copyrighted material. They are made available for the preparation of instructors teaching within the Perspectives Study Program. If you would like to use the article in any other way, permission must be sought from William Carey Library (the publisher) at Lesson 12: Christian Community Development Key Readings Samuel Hugh Moffett Evangelism: the Leading Partner 598 Samuel J. Voorhies Transformational Development: 601 God at Work Changing People and Their Communities James W. Gustafson Pigs, Ponds, and the Gospel 693 Andres and Angelica Guzman Ourselves as Servants 700 Lausanne Committee on World The Lausanne Covenant 764 Evangelism Certificate Readings World Relief Corporation State of World Need 592 Bryant Myers What is Poverty Anyway? 607 Viv Grigg The Urban Poor: Who Are We? 610 John Dawson Healing the Wounds of the World 622 Credit Readings Don Richardson Do Missionaries Destroy Cultures? 486 Dale W. Kietzman and The Missionaries Role in Culture Change 503 William A. Smalley
2 Evangelism The Leading Partner Samuel Hugh Moffett The New Testament uses the word evangelize in what seems to be a shockingly narrow sense. A whole cluster of verbs, actually, is used to describe evangelism: preaching the word (Acts 8:4), heralding the kingdom (Luke 9:2) and proclaiming the good news (Luke 4:18; 8:1). But in essence, what all these words describe is simply the telling of the good news (the gospel) that Jesus the Messiah is the saving King. Evangelism is the announcement of Christ s kingdom. However, it is more than an announcement it is also an invitation to enter that kingdom, by faith and with repentance. Samuel Hugh Moffett is the Henry Winters Luce Professor of Ecumenics and Mission, Emeritus, at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. He was born in Pyongyang, Korea, of missionary parents and served, himself, as a missionary to China and Korea. He has written numerous articles and books in the fields of missions, theology and history. What Evangelism is Not Evangelism, therefore, is not the whole of the Christian mission. It is only a part of the mission. Jesus and the disciples did many other things besides announce the kingdom and invite response. Evangelism is not worship or sacraments. Christ did not send me to baptize but to evangelize, said Paul (1 Cor 1:17). And it is not church growth or church planting. The planting and growth of the Church are surely goals of evangelism and its hoped-for results. But evangelism does not always produce a church or more members for it. Neither is evangelism confined to apologetics. Paul says, We try to persuade (2 Cor 5:11) but insists that he was sent to tell the good news without using the language of human wisdom (1 Cor 1:17,20). Finally, evangelism in the New Testament was not confused with Christian service, or Christian action and protest against the world s injustices. A revealing and disturbing incident in the Book of Acts tells how Greek-speaking Jews among the early Christians rose as a minority group to complain of discrimination in the distribution of funds. The reply of the apostles seems almost callously narrow: We cannot neglect the preaching of God s word to handle finances (Acts 6:1,2, TEV). Of course, they did immediately proceed to do something about the injustice. But they did not call it evangelism. In Kingdom Context In the context of the kingdom, however, the evangelistic proclamation was never so narrow that it became isolated from the immediate pressing needs of the poor, the imprisoned, the blind and the oppressed. 598 Chapter 94
3 samuel hugh moffett 599 Here I am reminded of Korean evangelism. I asked a pastor in the Philadelphia area why his church was growing so fast. He replied, When Koreans come in, first I get them jobs; I teach them some English; I help them when they get in trouble with their supervisors; I invite them to church, and then I preach to them the gospel. That is putting evangelism into context. But if there is anything worse than taking the text out of context, it is taking the context without the text. Just as Christ s salvation is never to be isolated from the immediate, real needs of the people, neither is it to be identified with those present needs. When Jesus quoted the Old Testament about good news to the poor and freedom for the oppressed, he did so on his own terms. His salvation is not Old Testament shalom, and his kingdom is not Israel. There is nothing quite so crippling to both evangelism and social action as to confuse them in definition or to separate them in practice. Our evangelists sometimes seem to be calling us to accept the King without His kingdom; while our prophets, just as narrow in their own way, seem to be trying to build the kingdom without the saving King. More Than Balance There was a time when most Christians believed that evangelism was the only priority. They were wrong. Then the Church swung too far the other way. The only Christian priority for some has been social justice through reconstruction. That, too, is an important priority, but it is not the only one. And when they made it the only clear mission of the Church, the result was a disaster. In trying to speak to the world, they almost lost the Church. Others tried to restore the balance by pointing out that Christ mediates God s new covenant through both salvation and service. Christians are called to engage in both evangelism and social action. But even that is not enough. What the Church needs for the future in mission is more than balance. It needs momentum. Not an uneasy truce between faith and works, but a partnership. Now in most practical, working partnerships, there must be a leading partner, a first among equals, or nothing gets done. Which should be the leading partner in mission: evangelism or social action? I submit that what makes the Christian mission different from other commendable and sincere attempts to improve the human condition is this: in the Christian mission our vertical relationship to God comes first. Our horizontal relationship to our neighbor Our evangelists sometimes seem to be calling us to accept the King without His kingdom; while our prophets, just as narrow in their own way, seem to be trying to build the kingdom without the saving King. is like unto it and is just as indispensable, but it is still second. The leading partner is evangelism. This is not to exalt the proclamation at the expense of Christian action. They belong together. But it does insist that, while without the accompanying deeds the good news is scarcely credible, without the word the news is not even comprehensible! Besides, the real good news is not what we in our benevolence do for others, but what God has done for us all in Christ. Evangelism, as has been said, is one beggar telling another where to find bread. The supreme task of the Church, then, now and for the future, is evangelism. It was the supreme task for the Church of the New Testament. It is also the supreme challenge facing the Church today. Half the World Unreached The determining factor in developing evangelistic strategies, I believe, is that evangelism moves always in the direction of the unreached. It must focus on those without the gospel. More than one-half of the world s people are still without the simplest knowledge of the good news of God s saving love in Jesus Christ. There is no greater challenge to evangelism in mission than that. Christians are rightly concerned about the
4 600 Chapter 94 evangelism: the leading partner grievous imbalances of wealth and food and freedom in the world. What about the most devastating imbalance of all: the unequal distribution of the light of the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ? I am not overly addicted to statistics. But what does it say about a six continent approach to evangelism, for example, to find that most of our church mission funds still go to ourselves on the sixth continent, which is between 70 and 80 percent at least nominally Christian? Africa, however, is perhaps 40 percent Christian by the same rough and imprecise standards. And Asia, which holds more than one-half of all the people in the world, is only three to four percent even nominally Christian. In the last ten years, the number of non- Christians that was be added to the population of Asia is greater than the entire present population of the United States (450 million, compared to 300 million). Treating all six continents as equals for strategical purposes is a selfish distortion of the evangelistic realities of the world. One last thought. There is an unexpected bonus to keeping the definition of evangelism simple. It means that anyone can get into the act. One of the happiest lessons I ever learned about evangelism came not from a professional evangelist, but from a watermelon vendor. It was in a Korean village, and my wife came up to ask the vendor how much a watermelon cost. He was so surprised at finding a long-nosed foreigner who spoke Korean that at first he was struck dumb. He even forgot to tell her the price. There was something more important he wanted to say. He asked, Are you a Christian? And when she replied, Yes, he smiled all over. Oh, I m so glad, he said, because if you weren t I was going to tell you how much you are missing. If more of us were so happy about what we have found in the Lord Jesus Christ that we couldn t wait to tell those who have not found him how much they are missing, we would need to worry no longer about the future of evangelism. Study Questions 1. In what ways does Moffett suggest that evangelism is to be the leading partner in Christian ministry among the poor? Do you agree or disagree? 2. What relationship exists between the imbalance of the distribution of wealth and food and the distribution of the light of Jesus? What is the primary reason cited by the author for the imbalance of the distribution of basic needs and the good news?
5 Transformational Development God at Work Changing People and Their Communities Samuel J. Voorhies Samuel J. Voorhies has worked in international relief and development through World Vision International for the last 27 years with a special focus on Africa. His recent work provided leadership and management training for 400 leaders in 70 countries. He has served as Adjunct Professor in International Development at Fuller Theological Seminary. We drove for hours across Africa. We had left the capital city four hours earlier, but even so, we would arrive at a small town well after dark. We planned to stay the night since we would have to drive another three hours on unpaved, rough secondary roads to reach our destination the next day. In the small town we met whom we hoped we would find the project officer for a development project we had come to observe. A small office for the endeavor was located in this small town because it was the nearest place to the remote development project that had telephones or electricity. The next morning, we met the staff of the development project. They told us why the project was launched. They explained that the area had once been a game preserve, but it was considered so remote that it had been neglected by the government. There were no basic human services such as education, healthcare and water. When people were forced to settle in the area, a previous government administration had made promises, but these had never been fulfilled. While some mission work had been carried out in the area, few NGOs (non-governmental organizations) or Christian aid agencies had come to bring any help. At last this particular agency explored how it might be able to help carry out transformational development in the area. The first step was to go through a process with community leaders and members to identify their community resources. With resources in view, they looked together as to how these resources could be used to solve the community s problems. It wasn t hard to see the problems: They lacked a clean source of water. There were no health services. There were no school facilities. The food production was inadequate to provide enough to supply the people until the next growing season. There had been no churches in the area. The area had been neglected by government and NGOs. We were assured, though, that we would find something different after we endured the rough three-hour ride to reach the community. Before we could step from the truck, women, men and children had gathered, singing a song in the local language, Up with development we can do it ourselves with God s help and to His glory we will become all that we Chapter
6 602 Chapter 95 Transformational Development can be. I was inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of these people. They had so little, yet, in very difficult circumstances with little help, they were doing so much. Sitting with the crowd under a big tree for the next hour, we heard progress reports from community representatives about what the people had done for themselves and what the agency had helped them to do. Then we were invited to walk around the community and see some of the improvements that they had made. They showed us their former water supply a pool of dirty water. This is where we used to get our drinking water. It is the same place the animals drink from, said one of the ladies. We walked a little further and there was a new well. It was covered with a concrete slab, surrounded by a neat fence with a pump for retrieving clean water from deep underground. With a big smile the lady began to pump the water. It s clean would you like a drink? she asked. I tasted the clean, fresh water. Another lady explained, When we drank from the pool, our children were always sick with stomach problems and diarrhea. Now they are much healthier. A little further on we saw a field where some beautiful corn was growing. I was given a loan of improved seed and trained in planting methods and using organic fertilizers to double the amount of corn I will harvest, said a farmer. He continued, The amount of corn I will get from this field will not only be enough to feed my family, but I will have enough left over to sell and help pay my children s school fees. I am planning to save some money each year and in three years, I will be able to buy oxen, cultivate more land and grow more crops. As we walked on to the primary school, a young boy pointed to a fig tree. This is where we used to sit for our lessons. There was no chalkboard or chairs just the hard ground, he explained. We went inside to the new classroom where desks had been built and a big chalkboard covered the front wall. Now we are able to learn our lessons much better! exclaimed another student. After finishing our walk, we sat together under the tree again. I asked them what had been the most significant achievement of the project so far. They responded, We are together now and organized to help ourselves. We can meet and talk about our problems and how we can solve them together. Before we were isolated, living apart and not helping each other. We realize that we can do something to help better our lives. We don t have to wait on the government. We realize that as women we were loved and valued by God. We can contribute something to the development of this community. Our husbands now treat us with respect and we have more time to spend with our children. The men have stopped drinking. We now have clean water and healthier children. We don t have to walk so far for water and that gives us more time with our families. It has been a dream come true. We never imagined that we could have our own well and have pure, clean drinking water. We praise God for His faithfulness to our prayers through the work of the Christian aid agency. The results of this project may seem like simple things. The availability of clean water; mothers with healthier children, who do not have to walk so far to get help when sick; children who have a school where they can sit and learn, and who can now hope and plan for the future. People with more confidence in themselves and their ability to work together and help change their future. Yet these technical and social interventions were much more. They were a powerful witness for the gospel. All things have an origin. With the assistance of dedicated local Christian workers, people understand that this assistance comes because God loves them and has demonstrated His care for the community through other believers. The community had pulled together. With some assistance from the agency, they had organized committees in collaboration with the government and traditional leadership to take responsibility for and to lead the development initiatives in the community.
7 Samuel J. Voorhies 603 People in the community were working together to bring about changed lives, to support each other in sustained programs and to meet both physical and spiritual needs. Churches were launched to offer instruction and to foment hope by prayers, playing a vital part to demonstrate kingdom values. People recognized that their help ultimately came from God and they sought to know more about Him, giving Him glory and sincere thanks. Does it sound too good to be true? Are there problems, failures, conflicts and differences? Of course. More needs to be done at the political level to change policies. Issues of gender and the environment need more careful consideration. More training is needed to equip the local pastors and to provide biblical resources. Yet, the truth is that we are seeing simple efforts by ordinary people bring about marvelous changes in their own societies. These people are prac ticing principles that we have come to call the process of holistic Christian transformational development. It is development because it refers to the intentional process of facilitating change throughout a community or region. The idea of transformation speaks of change in the whole of the person material, social and spiritual as well as in the community economics, social and political. It is Christian transformation because there is a vision of people throughout whole communities being changed to be like Christ, being transformed into His likeness (2 Cor 3:18). Christian transformation looks toward the hope that Christ s likeness is not only the goal, but that the living Christ will bring about substantial changes for good through the practice of kingdom values. 1 Different Perspectives of Development There are four basic approaches to alleviating poverty. The four strategies can be compared by setting two basic methods against two basic foci of action in a simple matrix. Each of these strategies has been referred to as Simple efforts by ordinary people bring about marvelous changes in their own societies. development. Each has a different focus concerning the nature of the problem and therefore, the nature of the solution. The matrix suggests two approaches to development. One focuses on aid brought from outside while the other seeks to facilitate changes from within. Each approach has validity. For the most part, they are interdependent and complementary. Each aspect should be considered as Christians seek to meet basic needs of human communities in the name of Christ. Strategy I: Economic Growth External aid usually comes in the form of money or technical assistance. Economic growth is most often determined through increases in macroeconomic measurements, such as higher per capita income and/or improvements in the balance of trade. In the recent past, the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) have led economic development programs by providing loans on the basis of nations agreeing to structural adjustment. In general, structural adjustment involves a balancing of the nation s budget against its tax base, lowering government expenditure (which usually means laying off government employees and selling government businesses) and a liberalization of the currency and economic policies. This involves a lowering of trade barriers and tariffs and, usually, a devaluation of the country s currency to reflect real market value. In the long run, this is intended to lower government debt and increase trade and production to bring in more revenue, o Method tru ture ee Help from without tr te onomi ro wth tr te elief Help from within tr te oliti l o tr te ommunit e elopment
8 604 Chapter 95 Transformational Development benefiting all. In the short run, it usually means many people lose their jobs with no alternative sources of income. Those with some income have less purchasing power because of increased inflation and currency devaluation. While in the recent past some countries, such as the Asian Tigers, have experienced economic growth through such policies, it has yet to be demonstrated that the poorest people will see significant improvements in People understand that this assistance comes because God loves them and has demonstrated His care for the community through other believers. their incomes and life circumstances. Furthermore, the conditions necessary to replicate the success in Asia have not been demonstrated to exist elsewhere. Christians have kept such global economic policies in view, but have rarely depended on them to bring the desired changes. Mission efforts particularly have focused instead on bringing about microeconomic development for helping the poor. Time and again it has been demonstrated that when determined people are provided with training and a small amount of capital, they can achieve economic success in their local context. One woman in Malawi was given a small loan (about $40) to start a small bakery. She baked various fast food items like rolls and muffins and sold them in the market each day. From this small investment, she was able to pay back the loan in six months and generate enough surplus income to send her four children to school. She was also able to purchase clothes, soap, school supplies and food to supplement what they grew. She and her husband had not had this buying power before. As a result of her business success, she indicated they were able to support their local church with their increased income. She was now earning as much a local primary school teacher. When asked if she had a dream or future plans, she quickly explained that she had plans to expand her business and open a restaurant. When asked what was the source of her success, she mentioned the training provided by the aid agency but then gave credit to God for what she had been able to achieve. Strategy II: Political Advocacy In contrast with seeking to bolster the existing government, the political advocacy strategy tends to challenge the national government along with systems of international trade and economic policies. The systems are seen as the primary problem. This approach calls for direct interface with governments, at local, national and international levels. Changes are sought in the areas of unfair and unfavorable government policies as well as international trade agreements. In the most extreme cases, political advocacy can lead to violent conflict with government, such as what we have seen in Zimbabwe or Myanmar in recent years. In most cases, it involves local and international lobbying to bring about change that will benefit the majority of people. Throughout history, Christians have been a powerful force in policy matters such as land reform, refugee rights and the abolition of slavery. While it is important that Christians continue to address these kinds of issues, their primary role today must be to support and assist local people to take the lead in calling for internal political change. Nationals must take the leading role in their situation. Western Christians can also act as advocates back home at points where they see their own government s policies perpetuating injustice for the poor. Political advocacy has not been seen to bring about lasting positive change without some measure of Strategy IV (Transformational Development). Structural and policy changes will only be as effective as the people who are implementing them. Without personal spiritual liberation, development will always be limited to the greed and corruption of individuals. Working to promote justice and peace is a biblical mandate and must be done with great prayer and sensitivity. Success will be limited, however, if not combined with the spiritual development of the individuals who run governments and implement policies.
9 Samuel J. Voorhies 605 Strategy III: Relief Relief aims to address the emergency needs for victims of war, famine, disaster and prolonged injustice. Christian organizations have launched massive relief efforts, but these efforts only bring temporary help and must not be confused with development. Relief primarily focuses on what the outsider must do to help the victim, not what the people must do to help themselves. Such relief efforts can be viewed as detrimental if prolonged, because they take away incentive for local production and development. Some have criticized relief efforts coupled with evangelism for producing rice Christians someone who becomes a Christian to assure himself and/or his family of getting daily food. Relief assistance must never be conditioned on one s beliefs or on having to hear a gospel message. Relief must be given freely in love without condition, just as Jesus gave and loved freely without condition (John 13:34-35). It is this kind of love that identifies us as Christ s disciples to the world. Relief aid stops people from dying and keeps them from eating their seed-corn so there can be a restart of long-term growth and life. It is the long-range hope that moves Christians to search for answers to deep-seated problems. In such disastrous circumstances of war and famine, relief carried out unconditionally by Christians can be a powerful gospel witness. After receiving a day s portion of grain from a Christian aid camp in the height of a drought, one nomadic Muslim man was overheard saying, If this is the way Christians love those they don t even know, surely this is enough for me to believe in their God. Strategy IV: Transformational Development Transformational development addresses the causes of poverty with a long view. In deeply impoverished remote rural areas as well as many urban settings, the problems are usually quite complex. There may be a lack of infrastructure, such as passable roads or working vehicles, to bring crops to market or supplies to the community. Basic health care is often unavailable. A lack of a steady, clean water supply can devastate entire regions. Fuel is essential but in very scant supply in some areas. Approaching the complex of difficulties requires long-term local attention at the community level. Local people need to take leadership to bring about sustained changes. The work of Christian development workers is to facilitate change from within the society for an entire community or area. The core transformation is at the point of values and vision. Concerning vision, people come to see that their community can be made different and that they are not locked in an unchangeable despair. Concerning values, people come to see afresh that they are valuable. Understanding the values and hope of the kingdom of God greatly helps those who labor at this kind of development. Principles of Holistic Christian Transformational Development I see ten fundamental principles and values of holistic transformational development. Each of them has a rich biblical foundation. 1. Recognize the value of people. Respect and value people in the context of their local culture. 2. Understand and respect local culture. Yet discern that while each person is intrinsically valuable, every culture has both positive and negative aspects that may or may not be compatible with biblical teaching. 3. Believe in the person s capacity to contribute and determine his/her future. Help people meet their basic needs with dignity and self-respect. No matter how poor, every community and every individual has something to contribute. Identifying and starting with local resources is a key to people s sense of ownership and self-dignity Make people, rather than technology, the focal point. When local people are involved in making decisions, they ultimately take responsibility for determining their future. 5. Realize that poverty includes physical, material, spiritual and social dimensions. Involve the whole person mind, body and spirit, in any development effort. Avoid segregating these and design programs that address the whole problem and the whole person.
10 606 Chapter 95 Transformational Development 6. Approach development in a way that seeks to communicate Christ through word communicating the gospel of Christ; deed serving as Christ would, bringing healing and exemplifying righteousness; and sign working with God s help so that Christ s kingdom life is demonstrated. 7. Realize that all interventions into a group of people (social, technical, economic or educational) carry a message that must be understood and interpreted from the recipient s world view. 8. Recognize that God is already at work in the community. Part of the external facilitator s tasks is to discover what God is doing and support what may already be happening as a bridge to how God wants to use the external resource and revelation. 9. Believe that transformation in a person comes through a relationship with Christ. There is no substitute for a living, growing faith Recognize churches as foundational for sustained and abundant transformation. To strengthen existing churches, or to plant new ones where none exist, forms a powerful community of transformed lives empowered by God with hope and kingdom values. The Hope of Abundant Life In Ethiopia, the Ansokia Valley had been ravished by the famine of 1984 when some 20 people were dying every day from starvation. Today, this valley is a garden of hope for its people and those in the surrounding communities. Over 7000 households, some 45,000 people, have gone from the brink of starvation and destitution to abundance through a transformational development program. New innovations for crops, animal husbandry improvement and reforestation were adopted, resulting in people growing an abundance of food and having a safe, sustainable environment in which to live. Through the lives of Christians working in the community to help carry out these development efforts, it is estimated that some 700 people have come to Christ and now attend the first church to be established in the area. As one man noted, I resisted the call of Jesus from the witness of many of the development workers. But as I continued to be involved in development work, their accountability and dedication to the spiritual and physical work touched my heart. I watched them praying and talking about ways we could have a better life. Then last year I received Jesus. Now I share the joy, responsibility and work that the staff shared with us. I now understand why the staff came to share with us and help us improve our living. 4 I have been to Ansokia, both during the famine and several years later, after the transformational development program was implemented. Where there was death, today there is life abundant life where children and families are healthier, happier and have the assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Endnotes 1. Yamamori, Tetsunao, Serving With the Poor in Africa: Cases in Holistic Ministry, MARC Publications, Voorhies, Samuel I., Community Participation and Holistic Development, pp , in Yamamori, Tetsunao, Serving with the Poor in Africa: Cased in Holistic Ministry, MARC Publications, Cheyne, John R., Incarnational Agents: A Guide to Developmental Ministry, New Hope, Abebe, Mulugeta, From Relief to Development in Ethiopia, pp in Yamamori, Tetsunao, Serving With the Poor in Africa: Cases in Holistic Ministry, MARC Publications, Study Questions 1. What would happen if we apply the principles of community participation to the establishment and building of the church as we do for agricultural, health and school projects? 2. How does the idea of building people s capacity to plan and manage their own development relate to the establishment and sustainability of a local church and of the believer s spiritual life? 3. Underline the words and/or phrases and each of the ten principles of holistic Christian transformational development that suggest the distinctive quality of the principle. When and how does evangelism and church planting take place?
11 James w. gustafson 693 This story was not a parable; Jesus faced the same barriers we were facing! All the Muslims we knew had been taught that to worship God through Christ they would have to leave their family and join the Christian group, who had been their enemies for 1400 years. But somehow Hassan and his family had seen things the way Jesus did: They could become true worshipers without leaving their community. Then we saw, for the first time, that Jesus had also taught the disciples how to plant a church within a community. In Luke 10, He told seventy disciples to look for a man of peace someone who would invite them into his own household. They were to remain in that household sharing the gospel with all who came into that home and not go from house to house. If no one in a particular village invited them into their household, they were told to leave and go on to another village. Amazingly clear! We had never thought of looking for people who would invite us into their family or community to talk about Jesus! But Jesus and the disciples had planted churches this way. We can copy what Jesus did! we realized. We can begin by telling our Muslim friends that worshiping God in spirit and truth does not require them to change religious systems. If some receive this news with joy and invite us back to tell their whole family, we can go into their community. As happened in Hassan s family, those who decide to follow Jesus can grow in faith together. Instead of trying to get believers from different communities to form a lasting new group, we could, like Jesus, establish a church inside their natural community. Conclusion After 15 years, we had learned church planting in communal cultures the hard way. We found that we couldn t plant a lasting church by gathering random believers into new groups. It didn t matter if they were contextualized or not, multi-cultural or mono-cultural. After a few months or years, these groups would fall apart. Instead we needed to find a person of peace who would invite us into their own community to share the gospel. Jesus was welcomed into the Samaritan village. The 70 disciples were welcomed into a home. In the same way, Peter was welcomed into Cornelius household, and Paul was welcomed by Lydia into her household. In each case, they were welcomed into a cohesive community, so the gospel was shared with the whole group. As a result, people already committed to each other came to faith together. A church was born within a natural community without creating a new group just for fellowship. It reminded us of something Ralph Winter had said: The church (in the sense of being a committed community) is already there, they just don t know Jesus yet! Pigs, Ponds and the Gospel James W. Gustafson James W. Gustafson is a founding member and President of Global Development Network, a non-profit development foundation in Thailand. He spent 27 years as a missionary in Thailand, serving in church planting and community development. He was also the Executive Director of World Mission for the Evangelical Covenant Church of America from 1998 to For decades, Christians have talked about integrating evangelism and development in world mission, but there have been obstacles. The foremost obstacle perhaps has been a narrow definition of evangelism, limiting it to the verbal presentation of the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ, however, is not simply a spoken word; it is a Living Word. The gospel is Life. It is the incarnation of the Word of God into the cultures and lives of humankind. The secular definition of development has been a second obstacle for mission-minded Christians. The secular approach to development focuses most often on economic growth. With the goal of increasing profit, this focus becomes individualistic and often pits entrepreneurs against one another. This emphasis on individualism and self-attainment contrasts with the Word of God. The Bible focuses on the good of the group, teaching self-denial and
12 694 Chapter 116 pigs, ponds and the gospel service to others. As Christians, it s important to remember that our definition of development comes from the principles and values of God s Word, not from Wall Street. A third obstacle to integrating development with evangelism arises when it is attempted by Christians who are not living out the transformation of Christ in their own lifestyles. I am deeply concerned about what I feel is a departure from the gospel of grace in the church today. We are duped by the religious value system of American society which teaches that humans must work at being morally good. It is only as Christians truly understand and believe the gospel of God s grace living out that grace in every aspect of organizational life and work that grace results in the ongoing transformation both of the Church and the society around it. A final obstacle to integrating development with evangelism is that the Church is presented in many settings as a cultural foreigner. This is especially true in Third World countries, where local cultures are seen by missionaries explicitly or implicitly as sinful. Western church forms are held up as pure. The result is that relevant forms of church life are not explored or established. Western Christianity remains foreign to the hearts and minds of non-western people. Integrated Holistic Development As a missionary of the Evangelical Covenant Church for the past 27 years in Northeast Thailand, an area also known as Issaan I was part of a ministry that seeks to overcome these obstacles to integrate development, church planting and evangelism. Several North American missionaries and a staff of Northeast Thai (150 as of 1998) are engaged in what we call integrated holistic development. It is development in that it seeks to transform people from what they are into what they are meant to be in Christ. It is holistic in that it deals with the whole person, with all areas of life. It is integrated in that all aspects of the ministry are tied together and do not function or exist independently. The ministry currently consists of the Thailand Covenant Church, the Issaan Development Foundation (which addresses social, economic and physical needs) and the Institute for Sustainable Development (which conducts research and curriculum development training for the Church). The ministry has one primary focus, that of enabling Jesus Christ to be born into Northeast Thai culture. Team members gifted in holy gab go out into villages to talk about Jesus. They don t talk about religion. Instead they say, We re not here to change your religion
13 james w. gustafson 695 because all religions are basically the same; they re all about making people good. Then they talk about knowing the Word, the Living Word who is Jesus Christ, Jesus who is above all religions. Many who have responded positively to this method of sharing the gospel were religious people searching for truth, yet not finding it in Buddhism. They agree that they can t possibly live up to the demands of religion, but by accepting Jesus they can find salvation. These new believers quickly began sharing the good news with their family members and friends. In this way, the Church continues to expand spontaneously. Some of our team members focus on train ing. They develop contextualized theology and study materials to ground new believers in the Word of God. Those who study the materials teach others. Instead of translating English materials into Thai, the team has Thai theologians working with missionaries to write Thai materials for Thai people. To date, the ministry has given birth to over 40 mother churches and over 250 daughter churches. Our team also has some people who specialize in the arts. It s their job to get the gospel into the cultural forms and expressions of the Thai people. When you visit these churches, you see gospel stories told by means of Thai drama and dance forms. You hear worship songs with Thai tunes accompanied by Thai instruments. Through all these means, we create a way for Jesus to come alive to the Northeast Thai and to be understood by them. The Northeast is the poverty belt of Thailand. There is a great need for development work, but we believe development must serve, not lead. Our development is always based in the local church. It is not viewed strictly as a means of evangelism. Rather, it is seen as a way for the local church to impact the social, economic and physical lives of the people. The centerpiece is the Udon Patina Farm, a complex of three different eco-system farms which demonstrates sustainable agriculture in the region. One of the farms involves a system of fish ponds, ducks and pigs. When duck and pig manure is composted with grasses on the surface of the ponds, the fish thrive on the phytoplankton that multiply. Pond water and dead fish provide organic fertilizer for the grasses and trees growing along the pond dikes. Ducks also feed on pig manure. The pigs, fish and ducks can be used for food or sold for profit to support the church work. These farms are the models for cooperative projects undertaken at the village level. A Cooperative Project in Action The village of Nong Hua Koo provides a good look at a cooperative project in action. Kitlow is a typical villager. He is a tenant farmer on someone else s land. Since half of his harvest goes back to the landlord, he was constantly in debt to moneylenders. His children often did not have enough to eat. Wunde is typical as As the local church is enabled and equipped to reach into its own context, evangelism and development will merge to bring about the true transformation of society. well. Although he owns a small rice field, the climate and the soil of the region are not good for growing rice. He, too, was often forced to borrow from moneylenders to make ends meet until harvest. With interest rates of 120% or more, it was impossible to make a decent living. The Issaan Development Foundation approached the Covenant church where Kitlow and Wunde are members. They offered help to start a fish-duck-pig cooperative. The foundation would lend the initial stock of animals, provide training in the business and donate a grant to buy land. For their part, co-op members would find land for sale, build pig and duck pens, dig a fish pond and agree to work together. Eventually, they would pay back the loan with their own animals. Kitlow s and Wunde s families, along with five others, accepted the offer. Now that the co-op is established, each family works for it one day a week. From this, they earn enough selling pigs and fish to avoid moneylenders. They don t go hungry because they eat about half the fish they raise. They tithe their profits to the church and also use another 10% for village projects like stocking the pond used for fish for the elementary school s lunches. Neighbors notice not only the generosity but
14 696 Chapter 116 pigs, ponds and the gospel the unusual cooperation as well. They see members filling in for someone who is sick or less able, yet still sharing the profits equally. Village cooperatives like this one improve the economic situations of participating families and provide resources for the church. Most importantly, they provide the opportunity for members to live out their faith learning to love, serve and forgive each other. In addition to agricultural projects, the foundation also helps local churches impact their communities with vocational training in skills like sewing or mechanics, with primary health training, and with meeting the basic needs of the rural poor. All the programs focus on the participation of groups of people rather than individuals. In this way, new communities are being established in Northeast Thailand filled with people who are being transformed. The people grow in a new relationship with God, with others and with nature. In response to God s grace, they develop a dynamic new lifestyle, the result of a change in their entire value system. There are seven basic principles at the heart of this ministry: 1. Authority Central to all of our activities is a firm belief in the authority of the Word of God. The gospel of God s grace, with all its implications, forms the set of beliefs on which all policies and practices of the ministry are based. 2. Integration Every aspect of the ministry is tied together by the grace of God. We manage our organization and our lives by grace. We plan, implement, evaluate and correct problems by referring to the principle of grace as our model and guide, by depending on the power of grace. 3. Flexibility We try to do everything possible to allow God s grace to be communicated to the Northeast Thai. To reach that goal, we are willing to change anything and everything about our organizations if necessary. 4. Contextualization People communicate clearly only if they share a common culture. Effective communication is what is understood, not necessarily what is spoken or meant. Thus, the worship and life of the local church, as well as the structure and management system of the development programs, have grown out of local Northeast Thai culture. 5. Power Encounter As the gospel of grace is incarnated into Northeast Thai culture and into every area of our ministry, it is brought to bear on the local cultural value system in a powerful and effective way. The result is transformation at the level of values and mind-sets. 6. Process/Broker Approach The institute and foundation are in a process/broker relationship with the local church. Process means going down and in. Development starts with people themselves, especially with the poor at the bottom of society. It begins with dialogue that involves them in a participatory approach. The broker function involves going up and out. The foundation can link local churches to outside settings and resources. It can assess markets as well as research technology. 7. Local Church Focus The local church as the basic unit of Christian society is the obvious starting point for holistic development. The final goal is that the local church become the local development organization that impacts its own larger community with the transforming power of God s grace. This ministry has not been without problems. The first was the tendency to grow too large. An increasing number of staff meant that the basic philosophy behind the work became watered down, especially in the lives of those at the periphery. When we reduced the size of the organizations, we were able to reconsecrate ourselves to our basic core values. As we had grown larger, there was also a tendency to have the financial support of the organizations become the highest priority. When we found that we were more focused on support for operational costs than on mission, we knew we must cut down to a more manageable size. Another problem was a failure to relate honestly and to address wrong values in
15 david l. Watson and paul D. watson 697 ourselves and in others. Thai culture, just like Western culture, has a natural tendency to avoid such encounters. In order to grow in power for service, we needed to learn how to talk to each other and to counter each other in love. Other problems in our work could be mentioned, but they all come back to the central point: the more we have learned to deny ourselves, to accept our weaknesses and to depend on God in every detail, the more we have found His wisdom and strength to be sufficient for all our needs. The role of mission agencies, Christian aid agencies and local development organizations includes the ongoing integration of evangelism and development at the local church level. Both elements are critical ingredients of the mission of the Church, and this is where the transformation of society begins. As the local church in every culture is enabled and equipped to reach into its own context with the power of God s grace, evangelism and development will merge to bring about the true transformation of society. A Movement of God Among the Bhojpuri of North India David L. Watson and Paul D. Watson David Watson serves as the Vice President of Global Church Planting with CityTeam Ministries. He works to catalyze church planting movements (CPMs) in difficult-to-reach cities and countries around the world and conducts training for church planting leaders. David has been involved in unreached people work since 1986 and has started two mission agencies that focus on unreached peoples and CPMs. Paul Watson is the son of David Watson. He helps to catalyze church planting movements among English-speaking members of the Online Generation. He works with a team to provide podcasts, manuals and other electronic resources for church planting movement (CPM) trainers and practitioners. None of us, in our wildest dreams, ever thought we would witness what was happening. We planned on establishing a single beachhead church where there was none. We had no plans for seeing hundreds or thousands of churches started. We didn t think it was possible in the places we were trying to reach, for they had demonstrated great resistance to the gospel. We were doing everything we could think of in hopes that something would work and at least one church would get started. Failure God, I can t plant churches anymore. I didn t sign on to love people, train people, send people and get them killed. Six men that I had worked with had been martyred over the last 18 months. I can t live in the area you called me to reach. The Indian government expelled our family from the country. Over 2500 miles and an ocean separated our house in Singapore from the Bhojpuri people in North India. The task is too big. There were 80 million Bhojpuri living in an area known as the graveyard of missions and missionaries. There isn t enough help. There were only 27 evangelical churches in the area. They struggled to survive. Less than 1000 believers lived among the Bhojpuri at that time. Take away my call. I will go back to the States. I m good at business. I will give lots of money to missions. Let someone else plant churches. Let me go. Release me from my call. Every day for two months we had the same conversation. Every day I went to my office, sat in the dark and begged God to take away my call. And every day He refused. Fine. You have to teach me how to plant
16 700 Chapter 118 ourselves as servants working with God and the people He has prepared, rather than trying to force the gospel on people who aren t ready. We Are Millionaires A couple of years ago I sat down with Victor John. I am a millionaire, he said. What do you mean? He grinned. This year we baptized the one millionth Bhojpuri into the Kingdom. In God s economy, that makes me a millionaire. I couldn t stop the tears. Over one million new brothers and sisters over 12 years over 40,000 new churches. I had no idea that people would look back on what God did with my failure and call it a movement. I never dreamed He would make me a millionaire. Ourselves as Servants Latin American Workers in the Middle East Andres and Angelica Guzman Andres and Angelica Guzman are a Latin American couple who have worked in professional relief and development for 20 years. They have been members of several secular and Christian humanitarian organizations and have written multiple articles and books. During our 15 years of humanitarian work The opportunity came, and a year later we in the Middle East, our Latin American arrived in the city where we would supervise team had the privilege of witnessing a movement for Jesus. It took place as our closest medical supplies in coordination with two a project to create a system to distribute friends and mentorees taught the life and humanitarian organizations. Besides working teachings of Jesus Christ to many hundreds to provide a steady supply of medicines, we of people within their own people group. The set up the computer systems for the main movement came about, not solely as a result warehouse and also for the large distribution of our relief and development work, but also pharmacies run by the government s Ministry through Bible translation, leadership formation and incarnational living. dures to be used in the warehouse and of Health. We created the forms and proce- Before we had finished our medical studies, and before being married, my wife and I We provided feedback to the main pharma- pharmacy stores, and we trained the staff. both felt stirred by scriptures like Isaiah 49:6, I cies to determine appropriate drug distribution, monitored children s growth to assess will also make you a light for the nations, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the the impact of nutritional programs and did earth. It took a few years for us to realize our vaccination surveys. We developed training calling to serve the peoples of the earth because programs for procedures in nursing, surgery, we knew no other people who were interested emergency medicine, dental care and for lay in this. We had never heard about unreached village health workers. Beside the medical people groups and had no idea that God was projects, we also worked toward creating a moving throughout Latin America to mobilize center for widows and displaced women that his Church to fulfill the Great Commission. educated them in important survival skills. Immediately after our wedding, we went to another country to obtain our cross-cultural Incarnational Living training and began asking God to take us to the We did all this not simply to convert anybody place where he wanted us to serve. We knew or to provide an excuse for our presence. that God was not calling us to be professional Instead, we were motivated by a love of God missionaries, but to join him in his mission and a love toward our fellow human beings, to light the world by serving the needy, while based on the person and teachings of the living and talking as disciples of Jesus. Lord Jesus. We desired to demonstrate that
17 andres and Angelica guzman 701 the kingdom of God was already among us. We did hope that they would notice a difference in our service, but there were no strings attached to our help. We had a team from Latin America with members from Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and a Canadian medical doctor who is married to one of the Mexicans. We made many friends: government officials and some of their family members, business people, neighbors, language helpers and staff members and their friends. We learned many things from them: their culture, their modesty, their respect for elders, their religious practices, their delicious food, their hospitality, their beautiful clothing, their jubilant dancing and creative minds. We lived among them as disciples of Jesus able to persevere without being paralyzed by the fear that gripped many because of instability and conflict in the region. We were able to live with joy in the midst of tension, lack of electricity and scarcity of water. We shared with them our jokes, our unconditional friendship, our rest from the religious struggle to impress God and our ability to hear God. We spoke to them about our confidence in God s supernatural healing and our authority to rebuke, bind and throw away demons. We also shared our assurance that the good news about the person and teachings of Jesus belongs to every nation, to the people of every tribe, family, religious background and gender and every social class. Bible Translation We were able to help the Bible society translate the New Testament into the minority language of the people of our area and encouraged the distribution of the Bible. We found that many respected leaders shared our belief that it is the right of every people to have the opportunity to read this respected Book. Our Muslim friends were ready to receive the Bible, because their prophet had urged them to read the holy books (the Old and New Testaments) that were written before their holy book (the Qu ran). A New Movement Through all of this, several of our friends decided to become followers of Jesus. Some (not encouraged by us) decided to follow him as Christians and some (through their own choice) decided to follow Jesus while remaining religiously Muslim. Most decided to stay outside established of religious institutions, simply calling themselves believers. The believer movement astonished us by how quickly it multiplied in the first years. Several fellowships sprouted up. We believe that there were many important reasons for this: 1. They had the experience of seeing real disciples of Jesus first hand; most unreached peoples in the world never do. This helped them to see the beauty of the person and teachings of Jesus, unclouded by the smoke of popular ideas about Christians as immoral, greedy, proud and hateful toward Muslims. Our lives were not perfect, but by God s grace we modeled how to live as disciples, including what we are supposed to do when we fail. When they met imperfect but real disciples of Jesus, they became interested to know more about him. 2. The Lord Jesus manifested himself to many. Again and again the Lord himself intervened to lead the seekers to himself. He appeared to them in dreams and confirmed the truth they had heard. They saw instant and gradual healing as we prayed for people. They experienced visions and supernatural protection. 3. They had the opportunity to understand that commitment to Christ and cultural conversion are not the same. We were the ones who converted to their culture, not the opposite. We always encouraged them about the value of their rich traditions and culture. Even when they didn t quite believe in themselves and in their future as a people group, we did, and we encouraged them to serve their people and their families. 4. They had the opportunity to understand that commitment to the Lord Jesus is open for people from all backgrounds. They were surprised to see that though we were from a Christian background, even we had to become disciples of Jesus according to what the New Testament states in John 8: This helped them to understand that any person from any religious
18 702 Chapter 119 ourselves as servants background can become a follower of Jesus by reading, believing and applying the New Testament, asking Jesus to be their guide. They saw that, regardless of their decision to stay within their own religious community or not, they could live as followers of Jesus. 5. They were encouraged to be a blessing by remaining in their families, sharing in all the important life events like weddings and funerals. We encouraged them to eagerly help the needy, respect authorities, be good workers and good bosses and in many other ways, honor their circle of family and neighbors. Of course, they also became a blessing by sharing the grace of really knowing God among their network of relatives and good friends, thus keeping their valuable personal relationships. 6. From the beginning they followed the Lord Jesus and not us. They learned to always ask, What does the Bible say? We encouraged them to question our beliefs and actions and to find answers to their questions through the Holy Spirit, by prayer and study of the Bible. 7. A core group of believers made a serious commitment to share the blessings of the person and teachings of Jesus with their people. These believers became leaders of the network of small groups scattered throughout their nation. The movement is growing steadily, but not as fast as in the beginning. The main reason for the slowdown, from our point of view, is the tendency for some workers to introduce practices and forms from Christian traditions in the Middle East and Europe. These have served to distract the new believers from the powerful bare teachings of the New Testament. The other factor has been the influence of the rich, mediafriendly Western churches and formalityinclined Oriental churches that have kept some of the best leaders occupied with other things. Motivated by Love This entire movement toward the Lord Jesus happened while we were very busy doing our best to provide high quality relief and development work. We gave no enticement for religious conversion like distributing Bibles or Christian literature with our medical supplies or blankets, or showing the Jesus Film after performing surgery. We served everybody in the same way, motivated by the love of our Lord Jesus toward them and following his example of feeding, healing and blessing everyone regardless of whether they would follow him. Motivated by love instead of by strategy, we were not concerned that people might change their religious faith because they hoped for benefits for themselves or their families. As a result, we were free of the problem that has developed in other contexts in We gave no enticement for religious conversion like distributing Bibles or Christian literature with our medical supplies or blankets. which so-called rice Christians convert to the religious faith of their benefactors, hoping to attain increased benefits from them. We know our approach may be controversial for some. On the one hand some will say that our approach ignores the urgency of presenting the gospel to everyone. Our simple response is that we followed the path of the Lord Jesus who came to serve and the way of the apostle Paul who was glad to become the servant of all. The Great Commission does not cancel the Great Commandment. On the other hand, others may blame us for mentioning Jesus at all with our friends, feeling that by doing so we compromised our humanitarian work. But no real follower of Jesus can remain silent if asked about the source of the fruit in his life, and all humanitarian work has philosophical motivations that are indirectly reflected in the way work is done. If we serve humankind and fail to acknowledge the true source of our service, we are preaching ourselves and receiving credit that does not belong to us. We find the right balance in 2 Corinthians 4:5: we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake.
19 The Lausanne Covenant The Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland (July 16-25, 1974), brought together over 4,000 participants, including evangelists, missionaries, mission leaders, theologians, pastors and national church leaders from over 150 nations. A drafting committee headed by John R. W. Stott incorporated the ideas of main speakers and submissions from hundreds of participants. On the final day, Billy Graham and the leaders and participants signed the document in a moving public ceremony. By the 1980 s virtually every major evangelical mission agency in North America, and many in other countries, had endorsed the Covenant to replace or supplement their statement of faith. In this way, the 15 tightly packed sections of the Covenant quickly spread the essence of Lausanne s emphasis on biblical world evangelization, and helped spark what became known as the Lausanne Movement. An Asian theologian has written: History may show this Covenant to be the most significant ecumenical confession on evangelism that the church has ever produced. Introduction We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, from more than 150 nations, participants in the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, praise God for his great salvation and rejoice in the fellowship he has given us with himself and with each other. We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the gospel is God s good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ s commission to proclaim it to every person and to make disciples of every nation. We desire, therefore, to affirm our faith and our resolve, and to make public our covenant. 1. The Purpose of God We affirm our belief in the one eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that even when borne by earthen vessels the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew. Isa 40:28; Matt 28:19; Eph 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6,18; Eph 4:12; Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 5:10; 2 Cor 4:72 2. The Authority and Power of the Bible We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written Word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God s Word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and 764 Chapter 136
20 the lausanne covenant 765 thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God. 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21; lsa 55:11; Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:21; John 10:35; Matt 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph 1:17,18 3. The Uniqueness and Universality of Christ We affirm that there is only one Savior and only one Gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognize that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialog which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as the Savior of the world is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather, it is to proclaim God s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Savior and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord. Gal 1:6-9; Rom 1:18-32; 1 Tim 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; 2 Pet 3:9; 2 Th 1:7-9; John 4:42; Matt 11:28; Eph 1:20,21; Phil 2: The Nature of Evangelism To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gift of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialog whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Savior and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation, we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world. 1 Cor 15:3,4; Acts 2:32-39; John 20:21; 1 Cor 1:23; 2 Cor 4:5; 2 Cor 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10: Christian Social Responsibility We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, color, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here, too, we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation; nevertheless, we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbor and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ, they are born again into his kingdom, and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation
Devotion NT298 CHILDREN S DEVOTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF: LESSON TITLE: Paul s First Missionary Journey THEME: God has a calling on the lives of every one of His children! SCRIPTURE: Acts 12:25 13:52 Dear Parents
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70 Bible Ethics LESSON 5 God Gives You Standards for Living Imagine that you are considering buying a bicycle. In the shop you see a beautiful bicycle, just the kind you have always wanted. Of course you
Devotion NT285 CHILDREN S DEVOTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF: LESSON TITLE: The Day of Pentecost THEME: Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower us. Dear Parents SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:1-41 Dear Parents, Welcome
Devotion NT224 CHILDREN S DEVOTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF: LESSON TITLE: The Woman at the Well THEME: Jesus knows all about us and He loves us. SCRIPTURE: John 4:1-42 Dear Parents Welcome to Bible Time for Kids!
GUESS WHO CAME TO DINNER? (John 12:1-8) Adapted from: www.sermonseeds.org/master%20index.htm For more downloadable teachings see: www.altogetherlovely.org (FREE TEACHINGS) Scripture taken from the HOLY
BIBLE STUDY (Ephesians 2:1-9) What s This Passage All About? Writing to the Christians in the city of Ephesus (modern-day Turkey), St. Paul calls on them to take a step back and examine their salvation
Prayer Service to Celebrate the Ministry of Teachers During Catholic Schools Week 2015 You Will Need A large candle with the words Love, Kindness, Joy, Truth and Justice (the final page of this document
Living Faith: Chapter 7 - "God's Church" Page 1 of 6 Living Faith - Chapter 7 - God's Church 7.1 The Church 7.1.1 The church is Christ together with his people called both to worship and to serve him in
The mission of the arises out of faith in God who calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and intends for us the blessing of wholeness and harmony with God, with creation, with
Who Are the Evangelists of Ephesians 4:11? And what is their ministry in the New Testament Local Church today? INTRODUCTION By Dr. Jim Bearss For people who take the Bible seriously, when the choice comes
Devotion NT249 CHILDREN S DEVOTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF: LESSON TITLE: Jesus Visits Mary and Martha THEME: Jesus wants us to spend time with \ Him. SCRIPTURE: Luke 10:38-42 Dear Parents Welcome to Bible Time
JUDGMENT DAY And the Books Were Opened 1 And the Books Were Opened Hebrews 9:27 INTRODUCTION: A. Have you thought of the reality of the judgment day? 1. Judgment day is a real day! 2. Judgment day is a
Lesson 2: God s Plan for Your Life Intro When old, many people look back at their lives and soberingly ask: That was it? To ask that question at the end of a lifetime is a great tragedy! When you choose
Devotion NT257 CHILDREN S DEVOTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF: LESSON TITLE: Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus THEME: Jesus always has time for us! SCRIPTURE: Mark 10:46-52 Dear Parents Welcome to Bible Time for Kids!
Louisiana We are so proud to announce that we are 100% debt free! Praise God! We started our business with over a million and a half dollars in debt. God has been good to us and true to His Word. Brother
The Challenges of Evangelism Sharing your faith in the 21 st Century Definitions What is Evangelism? Evangelism, definitions of: zealous preaching and dissemination of the gospel, as through missionary
6 DAY DEVOTION GUIDE FOR FASTING & PRAYER WEEK There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who
Intro. Chapter pg 1a Seasonal Getting to know you Call To Faith 6th Grade Activities will be in your boxes with supply needed to develop the activities. Title Overview Scripture Chapter Words Activities
1 Jesus Inaugural Sermon Scripture: Luke 4:14-30 By Pastor John H. Noordhof Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church February 3, 2013 Morning Service People of God: When you are on vacation, as I was for
THE REQUIREMENTS OF COMMITTED MEMBERS Part 2 We need to give strong support. We cannot give strong support unless we become mighty men. None of us should fail because this is God s plan. God wants us to
(from 2008 preliminary minutes page 183) CATECHISM (adopted 2008) FOR CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CONFESSION OF FAITH 1. Who is God? God is the one living, active Creator of all that is, seen and unseen. 2.
Acts: Seeing the Spirit at Work Sunday Morning Bible Study Lesson Three Acts 3:1-4:31 Jesus has returned to heaven before the very eyes of the astounded disciples. Matthias has been chosen to replace Judas.
9 marks of A Healthy New Testament Church 1. Preaching What is it? An expositional sermon takes the main point of a passage of Scripture, makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today.
Medjugorje visionary, Ivan, speaking to several thousand pilgrims today, August 18, 2010. Ivan was given special instructions from Our Lady concerning the youth and family. Being married to an American
This includes: 1. Leader Preparation 2. Lesson Guide UNDERSTANDING OTHER RELIGIONS Week 3: Islam 1. LEADER PREPARATION LESSON OVERVIEW When you look at the major world religions, Islam is one of the youngest.
Fundamental Principles of the Brothers of Saint Francis Xavier Adapted for use in Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools Friend, You have freely chosen to respond to the call of God to live a life of love
The Book of Ephesians A study using 18 questions per chapter The purpose of this study is to find out What the Bible says. THE WORD FOR THE WORLD STUDIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by Bill DeLaughter Bill DeLaughter
~ The Great Banquet ~ You can learn much more about this story by doing these three things: 1. Read Luke 14:1-24 2. Discover key cultural and historical insights. 3. Answer the reflective questions. 1.
LOVE OUT LOUD 365 DEVOTIONS FOR LOVING GOD, LOVING YOURSELF, AND LOVING OTHERS JOYCE MEYER NEW YORK BOSTON NASHVILLE Copyright 2011 by Joyce Meyer All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S.
Knowing and Using Your Gifts for God's Glory How Can I Serve God at Hyde Park United Methodist Church? Know your gifts & abilities Follow your heart & passions Just do it Get involved Used with permission
Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 BIBLE INTAKE Do not think about this important discipline with a
What are you worried about? Looking Deeper Looking Deeper What are you worried about? Some of us lie awake at night worrying about family members, health, finances or a thousand other things. Worry can
OUR LIFE WITH JESUS Faith and Life Series 3 Third Edition Contents Note to Parents... 7 1. God Loves Us... 9 2. God Created the World... 13 3. Learning about God.... 17 4. The Promise of a Savior... 23
Communion Table Talks By Matt Dabbs http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com These talks are designed for taking the Lord s Supper at tables and having a discussion led at teach table in order to take the Lord s
This booklet contains a message of love and hope. An exciting adventure awaits all who discover these life-changing truths. The following four principles will help you discover how to know God personally
Devotion NT319 CHILDREN S DEVOTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF: LESSON TITLE: Spiritual Gifts THEME: God gives us all different gifts to serve Him and to serve others! SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 14:1-40 Dear
Father Master Bridegroom King A Bible Study in 6 Sessions on the Kingdom Parables FatherMaster BridegroomKing A Bible Study in 6 Sessions on the Kingdom Parables When the Son of Man comes, will he find
Reality 2: God Pursues a Continuing Love Relationship with You that is Real and Personal Reality 2: God Pursues a Continuing Love Relationship with You that is Real and Personal Created for a Love Relationship
Lesson 2, page 1 HE DWELT AMONG US THE GOSPEL OF JOHN LESSON 2 Chapter 1:19-51 The Beginning of Jesus Public Ministry Very little is recorded about Jesus childhood in the scriptures. We are told, the Child
Devotion NT213 CHILDREN S DEVOTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF: LESSON TITLE: John the Baptist THEME: The goodness of God leads us to repentance. SCRIPTURE: Luke 3:1-22 Dear Parents Welcome to Bible Time for Kids!
Uniting Church in Sweden A Theological Foundation Introduction 1. There is only one true and living God The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit who creates, saves, and gives life. Creation and salvation
LINA AND HER NURSE. SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNI0 N, 200 MULBERRY-STREET, N. Y. LINA AND HER NURSE. SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION, 200 MULBERRY-STREET, NEW YORK. LINA AND HER NURSE. L INA lived away in that land of the East
The Ten Talents Matthew 18:21-35 PPT Title The Ten Talents Main Point: God gives each of us gifts and abilities. We should use them to glorify Him. Key Verse: God s gifts of grace come in many forms. Each
The Invitation (Evangelism Brushup) ' = next PowerPoint slide ' Intro: - Matt. 28:18-20 Great Commission, passed from generation to generation (2 Tim. 2:2) - from the time Jesus commissioned the apostles,
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. (Mt. 28:19a, 20) Catechist Certification Guidelines
NEW BELIEVERS STUDY TABLE OF CONTENTS BIBLE STUDY 1: SALVATION 1 BIBLE STUDY 2: FAITH AND ASSURANCE 4 BIBLE STUDY 3: POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 7 BIBLE STUDY 4: TRIALS 10 BIBLE STUDY 1: SALVATION SCRIPTURE
Series: Freedom From Your Fears - Part 7 of 10 Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust in God means safety. (Living Bible) INTRODUCTION Today we're looking at the Fear of Rejection.
Whiplash 1 Matthew 16:21-28 (NRSV) From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes,
Pastor Spotlight Martha Fisher, CBC Women s Pastor Inspiration Martha Fisher, Women s Pastor at Community Bible Church, leads with a passion to reach, teach and help the women of our community for Jesus.
Shepherding School Notes As you put a found sheep upon your shoulders, you need to lead them to a full understanding of the following subjects within the first month of your contact with them. 1. THE WAY
Session 1 : Alive - Ephesians 2:1-10 Rewind We can!t jump into chapter two without first reviewing the first chapter of Ephesians. As was the custom with first century letters, Paul began by identifying
Living Water Church Ministry Training Center He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38 1000 Hall Valley Drive Bridgeport, WV 26301
How to Analyze a Bible Passage The kind of study that can help you examine a small passage of Scripture is called analytical Bible study. Analytical Bible study gives you a detailed view of a Bible book.
Graceful Christianity: The Law, Legalism, and Love Matthew 22:34-40 A Sermon Preached by Ernest Thompson June 1, 2014 First Presbyterian Church Wilmington, NC Last Sunday we started a new sermon series
Psalm 128: The Worshiper s Blessings Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor, blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful
Level 2 Lesson 7 HEALING IS IN THE ATONEMENT By Andrew Wommack Today s session is about healing and how it is part of what Jesus has already purchased for us. In Mark 2 and Luke 5 Jesus was teaching in
L e s s o n 1 *March 31 April 6 Defining Evangelism and Witnessing Sab b a t h Af t e r n o o n Read for This Week s Study: Acts 4:33, 13:48, 1 John 1:3, Acts 13:1 49, 22:2 21, 1 Pet. 3:15. Memory Text:
WILL YE ALSO GO AWAY JOHN 6:60-69 Text: John 6:67 John 6:67 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Introduction: Toward the close of John chapter 6, there is a sad and arresting verse.
BOOK 1, PART 3, LESSON 4 THE FORGIVING FATHER THE BIBLE: Luke 15:11-32 THEME: We can discover what Jesus wants us to do and be by hearing the parables Jesus told. PREPARING FOR THE LESSON MAIN IDEA: Jesus
Leadership and Church Partnership Information Thank you for your interest in partnering with Redeemed2Repeat, Inc. to walk alongside, equip and care for those who struggle with addiction. People are lost
Bible for Children presents THE MAN OF FIRE Written by: Edward Hughes Illustrated by: Lazarus Adapted by: E. Frischbutter Produced by: Bible for Children www.m1914.org 2007 Bible for Children, Inc. License:
CHAPTER 4 Jesus Teaches About Prayer Jesus prayed. He prayed for Himself, His disciples, and for future believers. He also taught about prayer. Prayer is our way of communicating with God whenever we want
Baptism: Should I be Baptized? The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated
Prayer Ministry Handbook October 2012 Edition 510 New Bloomfield Road P.O. Box 155, Duncannon, PA 17020 717.834.5444 www.aharvest.org www.facebook.com/ahcduncannon Matthew Zang, Senior Pastor Prayer Ministry
Course Title: Sure Foundation Two subjects are covered in this class. The Integrity of the Word expounds on the truth, surety, and infallibility of God s Word. Christian Philosophy shows us that we all
Joy Scripture Verses In The New Testament (Matthew 13:20) The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. (Matthew 13:44) "The kingdom
Discover Your Spiritual Gifts! By Gene Wilkes Ken Hemphill defines a spiritual gift as an individual manifestation of grace from the Father that enables you to serve Him and thus play a vital role in His
Sunday School/ Small Group Lessons Soul-Winning Commitment Day Purpose of Lesson: This guide is for the purpose of preparing older children through adult Sunday school members to understand the importance
PRAYING FOR OTHER PEOPLE SESSION ONE HOW TO PRAY FOR OTHER PEOPLE When friends get together, they talk about their problems. Sometimes your friends will share with you about their own personal difficulties
The Lord is here. God s Spirit is with us. Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord. Schedule 3 Alternative Great Thanksgivings Alternative Great Thanksgiving A (alternative to Thanksgiving of the
2006 Spring Newsletter Detroit Bible Students P.O. Box 51 Southfield, Mi 48037-0051 The Lord told his disciples, Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which
The Church: Evangelism Acts 1:1-8 Introduction: This is the introductory lesson in the series, The Doctrine of the Church. Throughout these lessons we will exam the church from the perspective of its mission,
Dakotas Conference Lay Speaking Ministries Basic Course 2009 Barbara E. Goodman, Ph.D., Facilitator based on Lay Speaking Ministries Leader s Guide to accompany Lay Speaking Ministries Participant s Book
TRAINING WORSHIP LEADERS SESSION ONE LIVING FOR GOD S GLORY Junko is a gifted singer. She also loves to sing praise songs. So her small group leader asked Junko to use her talents and gifts by becoming
1 1 The Structure of the Bible MEMORIZE: 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: G od
Message for THE LORD S DAY MORNING, February 12,2012 Christian Hope Church of Christ, Plymouth, North Carolina by Reggie A. Braziel, Minister REVIVALS How To Recover Your Spiritual Edge? II Kings 6:1-7
The Fellowship Files (1) Why Church Membership? Becoming a member of a local church is not just a good idea, it is God s idea. To be a committed Christian who is committed to Christian people pleases God.
Discover The God Who Believes In You I AM LOVED The most basic fact of the Bible is that there is a God. He made everything that is, including you, and loves you with an everlasting love. God has loved