Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Intercultural Missions (Part 2)

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. (Matthew 28:18-20)

 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

We are to be witnesses to the person and work of Jesus and make His disciples in every segment of every community both locally and globally. This is the King's order. If we belong to His Kingdom, if He is indeed our King, then this Great Commission orders our lives. It comes with the sense of urgency and weight.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

With new life in Christ, we have entered into a different reality. Our life is no longer really about making a living and reaching our life goals. It is now about kingdoms at war. Yes, our real life in Christ is far more grandeur and extra-ordinary than we are willing to admit. Our true reality in Christ is more like Narnia (of C.S. Lewis) than England during the World War II.

Of course, we don't get to walk around daily, dressed like a prince or a princess with a sword on our side (as Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy did in Narnia). Nonetheless, we are to bring the full weight of who we are in Christ to bear on our world each day as a son or a daughter of one True King of kings and Lord of lords.

I regularly meet pastors of newer churches that are living like that. It's inspiring to learn from them that their churches are already loving their neighbors globally as well as locally even though they are young (less than 2 years old). Instead of excusing themselves by saying that they are still too young or too new to be involved in global missions, they embrace the world in Jesus' name from day one of their existence as a congregation.

What enables them to do that? It's the perspective that they now live in a different reality - in the world at spiritual war - and, perhaps more importantly, their faith by which they are living out that true reality every day.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Discipleadership (Part 3)

Over the weekend, I had the joy and privilege of leading a seminar at Mission Fest Seattle held at Westminster Chapel, Bellevue, WA.

I shared my journey with Acts 8 Ministries, particularly how God is transforming the lives through the process I call discipleadership.

Discipleadership is a journey of discovering and living out our true identity in Christ (the new self). To be honest, it is nothing new. However, at least in my spiritual journey, I feel that this has been the missing link between the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).

And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment." (Mt 22:37-38).

The Great Commandment is about loving God. To love God fully, we need to know Him intimately. It is about who God is. However, inevitably who God is shapes who we are. Our love-relationship with God defines our identity.

"And a second one is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:38-39)

Love your neighbor as yourself. We cannot love our neighbors as God commands us to love them if we don't know who we are and how to love ourselves well.

Discipleadership is about discovering, learning and embracing who we truly are in Christ (by the grace of God, I might add!). Therefore, this journey is intimately related to the Great Commandment.

The Great Commission is about our mission. It is initiated by the Lord and begins by our coming together (Matt 28:16). Our work is preceded by worship (v.17). The Great Commission is about what we do. It is also what Jesus is doing in the world (v. 20).

It commands us to make disciples of all nations (v. 19). That means to lead others as we follow Jesus. We disciple others as we are being discipled by the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Timothy 2:2). In other words, unless we know who we are, we won't be able to disciple others well because truly effective discipleship flows out of our true self.

Discipleadership is spiritual multiplication. It is not only our personal journey but also walking with others who are in the same journey.