VISION & MISSION OF THE GLOBAL HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT

VISION & MISSION OF THE GLOBAL HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT

David S. Lim, Ph.D.

 

How does the global house church movement (GHCM) understand its biblical vision and practical mission?  Here is a set of answers from the perspective of an Asian (Chinese-Filipino) house church leader who has been trained as a biblical theologian and has been advocating for house church movements in Asia since 1987 and fully practicing house churching since 2001.

In short, we believe that God desires His people to bring all peoples to inherit eternal life and enjoy abundant life (= shalom/peace) as they obey Him as their Creator and Master through their faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  He thus made a simple plan for world redemption called “church multiplication movements” (CMM) by which all peoples and nations will be made into disciples/followers of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. By His grace, the global house church networks will seek to work with all Jesus-followers to realize His reign on earth until He returns to set up His eternal kingdom (Rev. 11:1).

Biblical Basis of our Vision

  1. God created the world as good, and humanity in His image to develop cultures as stewards of His creation (Gen. 1-2; Ps. 8).
  2. Misery and evil in the world (including problems within a society and between societies) is the direct or indirect result of human sin, i.e., rebellion against God and His moral order (Gen. 3-4; Rom. 1-3).
  3. God has provided the way of reconciliation and restoration of all things through the redemptive work of Christ applied among those who submit to his rule as Lord over all of life, by the transforming power of His Spirit (2 Cor. 5:18-21; 1 Tim. 2:3-7).
  4. The role of Christ-followers (= the Church) is to disciple all peoples in all societies to follow his will, as people of His Peace (OT: shalom) or His kingdom of light, through holistic/transformational ministries, which include both evangelism and socio-political action, with signs and wonders (Mt. 28:18-20; Lk. 4:18-19; Rom. 15:18-19; 1 Pet. 2:9-10).
  5. Following the missionary method of Christ and the apostles (called “disciple-making”), the church models servant leadership, which persuades and equips people to live according to God’s will voluntarily rather than coerces or disempowers them, whether the church constitutes the majority or the “overwhelming minority” (Mk. 10:42-45; 1 Pet. 5:1-3).

Our Vision: Kingdomization or Societal Transformation

We shall pray and work for “societal transformation,” by which the individuals, families, communities and institutions in our nations will be enabled to relate with each other and with other communities with biblical (= God’s kingdom) norms and values.  We seek to build Christ-centered communities that are growing in righteousness and justice marked by self-giving love (Greek: agape).  Righteousness refers to right/moral relationships (usually using one word: “love”) between persons which promote goodness and discourage evil.   And justice (which is “love in the public sphere”) denotes moral relationships where every person and community is enabled (given the democratic space and skills) to participate actively in determining their destiny for the common good.

These Christ-centered individuals and communities will be living in harmony and cooperation, and empowered by their leaders (both religious and secular) who serve as facilitators in the holistic development of their personal and communal lives, so they can share their blessings as partners with other communities in establishing peace (shalom) in every nation, region and world.

Please refer to Appendix (see below) for more details of what any discipled or transformed nation will look like, especially with reference to God’s provisions in the Torah (Mosaic legislation).  The Appendix also includes the “Implications for our 21st Century mission.”

Principles to Achieve our Kingdom/Transformational Vision

Our objective is for the general population to accept the biblical worldview and behavioral patterns, which shall have been contextually institutionalized into laws, policies and structures.  This will be achieved through the processes of education, evangelization and disciple-making, using the democratic approach in all our programs and projects to form Christ-centered communities in places of residence (neighborhoods) and in places of work or study (schools, factories, government offices, banks, stores, etc.), where God’s word is discussed, applied and lived out relevantly in all aspects of life.  Note:  There is actually no need to build Christian or church buildings, for all properties of Christ-followers belong to (and should be used for) His kingdom!

We will find opportunities to network and partner with people of goodwill and any group (religious or secular, government or private) to address communal needs (following Matt. 5:13-16; 25:31-46; Rom. 13; Gal. 6:10).  We will initiate activities, and found and maintain structures, which can then be turned into public or private institutions as “common grace” functions of the state and the market.  Any action for social reforms will be done through peaceful means.

We will use all the technical, professional, financial and spiritual resources available in the body of Christ, mainly but not exclusively through church bodies (esp. our local churches, parish councils and ministerial fellowships), which will serve as close yet critical/prophetic partners with the socio-political counterparts at their local government units (LGU), as well as in national and inter-national bodies.

Evangelism is necessary for people to gain the right perspective and motivation to live meaningful lives to fill the world with God’s love here and hereafter.  We thus seek to persuade people to have a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, doing this with respect and sensitivity towards our audience and their (sub-)cultures.  Our missionary efforts locally and cross-culturally will include word, works and wonders in communion with all denominations that affirm “Jesus Christ alone is Lord and Savior.” (“Evangelical unity” will further include the affirmation that “the Bible is the final authority for all faith and practice”).

Biblical Basis of our Kingdom/Transformational Mission

We also hold the following seven (7) biblical basis of our Kingdom/transformational mission:

1.  God intended His redemption plan to be spread to all nations (from Jerusalem) in the quickest possible time – for His desire is to save all! (cf. 2 Pet.3:9, 1 Tim 2:3-5).

2.  For rapid fulfillment of His desire to save all, God’s plan of world evangelization must be simple, so simple that ordinary believers, including new, young and/or illiterate believers can do it!  The gospel message is simple, too: “Jesus Christ is Lord who alone gives eternal and abundant life,” which any believer can share immediately with others!

3. The quickest way possible is to mobilize as many believers as possible (if possible, every Christian), perhaps by the millions to evangelize and disciple the nations! The Great Commission is given to all believers.  This is the priesthood of every believer in real action (1 Pet. 2:9-10; cf. Exod. 19:5-6).

4.  Each believer can and should be discipled to become a disciple-maker.  It is possible to plant and program the right DNA into new converts, so that they will grow and develop into reproducing Christians for the rest of their life by the power of the Holy Spirit.

5.  Life is relationships; all the rest are details!   Hence to disciple means to equip others with just three relational skills: (a) hearing God through prayerful meditation to turn His word (logos) into a word (rhema) to be obeyed; (b) making disciples through leading a house or simple church in Bible reflection and sharing, thereby each one learns how to do personal devotions (or “Quiet Time” = lectio divina) with fellow believers; and (c) doing friendship evangelism to share what they learn of God and His will with their networks of non-believing kin and friends.

6.  These millions of reproducing believers can be produced through mentoring (or better, “discipling”) by disciple-makers (= servant-leaders) who seek to equip all believers (cf. Eph. 4:11-16) right in their house church meetings, usually in their residences and workplaces.

7.  This can be done through the disciple-making movement (DMM) or church multiplication movement (CMM) mission paradigm, so as to produce “people movements,” especially if combined with Community Development and C-5  (high contextualization) strategies, which many missiologists label as “insider movements” (IM) nowadays.  Thus we have found like-minded partners in the campus evangelism, marketplace ministry, business-as-mission and tentmaker movements globally.

Our Simple Mission: Effective Disciple-making

In the Philippine house church movement, disciple-making is being done effectively through catalyzing simple church multiplication movements (CMM) across the nations.  Our Lord Jesus trained his twelve apostles to do this “master plan for world evangelization” in and through the Jewish diaspora and they did it (Lk.9, 10)!  The Apostle Paul did it, and in seven years he testified that he had no more people (Jews and Gentiles) to evangelize in the northern Mediterranean area (Rom. 15:18-20, cf. Ac.19:1-10)!

Effective disciple-making consists of seven simple steps, all of which can be done in 6-10 months by beginners, and less than one month by experts.

  1. 1.       Make a second home.  When disciple-makers arrive in any new place, they should quietly settle down in such a way that people they will invite later will feel comfortable to visit their new home.  This includes: loving the people, learning the language, appreciating the culture and religion, and following their cultural customs as much as possible (1 Cor.9:19-23)!  They should never criticize their host culture (esp. politics and religion) in front of them, even in private.
  2. 2.       Make friends.  The disciplers must aim to make 2-6 “best friends” (called “men of peace” in Lk.10:6).  They must be approachable and sociable.  They must be good conversationalists by being good listeners.  They must spend much time with their new friends, making most of their interests their own, too.  As much as possible, they must give gifts in special occasions, be hospitable and invite their friends to eat, cook or even sleep overnight at their place.  Above all, they should help their friends in their time of need!
  3. 3.       Make friends with leaders.  They must try to make 1-2 leaders to be their friends, too.  Upon arrival, they should visit key leaders and give them a gift or at least offer to help in community affairs.  They must do their jobs well, as excellently as possible, and give extra free service sometimes.  They should participate in community activities, volunteer as member or officer in working or planning committees, and share any suggestion for improvement with their leader-friends, and proceed only with their approval.
  4. 4.       Make converts.  When opportunity arises (and there will be plenty), the disciplers should be ready to share Jesus with these friends (1 Pet.3:15).  According to their need or concern, they can share their testimony with them: how Jesus works in their life.  Then they can share about the life and teachings of Jesus that are relevant for them (each one may need a different emphasis).  Once they are sure that the friends truly want to follow Jesus as their leader, helper, forgiver and/or guide, they can invite them to be baptized; and when they freely consent, they can baptize them in private!  The key is to be sure that the friends have changed their allegiance from idols (religious or material) to Jesus! If trained, they can opt to wait until the time is ripe for the converts’ whole family or whole community to be converted and baptized!
  5. 5.       Make disciples.  They then must disciple the 2-6 converts in one-on-one and small group discipling relationships.  The more times they spend together right after their conversions, the better.  There is no need to use any materials; they just urge the new believers to read the Bible in the language(s) they understand, and discuss their questions and insights with them.  They must trust the Holy Spirit to speak to them through the Word, and they will have the wisdom to guide them to learn from the Bible (cf. Acts 20:28-32).  For “Bible sharing” sessions, they just choose a short passage and ask, “What lesson or insight do you get out of this text?” and “How do we apply what we have learned?”  The goal is to bring each one to spiritual maturity in Christ-likeness (Col.1:28-29), which is to live a life of obedience to God – a life full of agape-love/grace (out of sinful self-centeredness to sacrificial service for others, esp. the poor, cf. Matt.22:37-39; 25:31-46; Gal.6:1-10).
  6. 6.       Make disciple-makers.   As they are discipling their new converts, they should encourage the latter to make their own converts and disciples from among their own friends, relatives and neighbors, a few individuals or groups at a time.  Their disciples can start discipling their own disciples by just following what they have been doing with them.  The new disciplers just have to be a couple of steps ahead of their disciples!  They should lead their own group and not bring their disciples to the discipler’s group.  It’s best that they do not even visit their disciples’ groups. After all, their disciples will be growing spiritually faster as they learn to relate with Jesus and His Word directly, and as they lead their own group in our life-based (not material-based) interactive mutual learning model of discipling!
  7. 7.       Make a planned exit.  To disciple is to Model, Assist, Watch and Leave (M.A.W.L.)!  This is actually step no. 1: to plan to exit as soon as possible, so that our disciples “graduate” to be our equals – disciple-makers and servant-leaders in their own right! The discipler’s role is just to be a mentor, guide or coach for a while, and then stop meeting them regularly and tell them, “Greater works you will do without me,” just like what Jesus told his disciples when he was about to leave them (Jn.14:12).  They must not be surprised when their disciples (esp. the leader-types) do better (contextual) witness and multiplication than them!  Of course, they can keep in touch with them, as Paul did with his disciples.  Then God can send them to another unreached area, so that they can repeat the same process there!

In the Philippine HCM, we emphasize that our mission strategy is to plant a “people movement” that equips disciples to multiply simple biblical Christianity — contextualized, holistic and transformational “indigenous churches” that are truly replicable: self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating and self-theologizing.  They will be planting “churches” that will be copied by future generations of Christians, so they should avoid transplanting denominational churches (= complex Christianity) which are often non-contextual (= foreign-looking), hence have almost always produced marginalized Christians who are separated from their communities — despised and rejected by their family and friends, not because of the Gospel but because of their extra-biblical forms.

So, we prefer that they will not encourage their disciples to attend an international fellowship or denominational church, if there is any, perhaps except in special occasions.  They should just focus on making disciples and multiplying “simple churches,” for where two or three believers are gathered prayerfully, there is the church (Matt. 18:19-20)!   They should encourage their disciples to just “gossip Jesus” and form small “disciple-making groups” among their friends and kin in their neighborhoods and work-places.  They are to just do this spiritual “network marketing” of the Gospel from city to city – till the whole world knows and obeys Jesus!

Appendix:  Transformation through Insider Movements

Actually, Jesus’ mission paradigm was “Insider Movements” (IM).  His church multiplication movement (CMM) was radically contextualized – Jews multiplying disciples among Jews without creating another organized religious system parallel or counter to the synagogue (of early Judaism).  He did not intend to found a new religion (though his simple spiritual transformation became a complex religious institution later on).  He even had converts in Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, and perhaps through them, Gamaliel, who were entrenched in the Sanhedrin (the highest Jewish socio-political structure of his time!).

The early Christians followed the same pattern, too.  They reached out to their compatriots as Jews to Jews within the Temple and synagogue structures of Jewish society, and just met “from house to house,” evangelizing and discipling a few households at a time.  Within a few years of such IM, they had literally turned the Roman Empire upside down (Ac. 17:6 KJV).  They did not create a clergy class, nor construct (or even rent) a religious building nor hold regular religious services, except to break bread weekly in their homes.  It was the teaching and practice of the apostle Paul (perhaps the best model of a cross-cultural missionary) not to plant a growing “local church,” but an indigenous disciple-making movement in house churches that are formed by converts who did not have to be dislocated from their homes and communities (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19-23).  With just seven years of three missionary journeys, he claimed that he had no more region to evangelize “from Jerusalem to Illyricum” (Rom.15:18-20)!

This New Testament practice is not different from that of Old Testament (OT) Israel, which shows God’s design and structure for a reached, discipled or transformed people:

1) There were no local shrines or temples in each village or town.

(2) There were no weekly Sabbath worship services (synagogues came later in 200 B.C. for teaching Diaspora Jews).

(3)  There were no weekly nor monthly collection of tithes and offerings.  1 Cor. 16:1-4 shows weekly collection in the early church were mainly for immediate survival needs, esp. of widows and orphans (cf. Ac. 6:1; Js. 1:27).

(4)  There were no “full-time” clergy; the levitical priests were provided not just with cities, but also with pasturelands (Josh. 21).  They were not exempt from being stewards of God’s resources, thus they were shepherds and cowboys to provide livestock products for their neighbors and nation (cf. 2 Thess. 3:6-10). This was how the priests learned to be expert butchers for animal sacrifices in the Temple.

(5)  The OT Jews were required to celebrate communally as a people in the national Temple (note: God’s original design was a portable and transportable Tabernacle) only three times a year: Passover (= Holy Week), Pentecost (= church anniversary of each community) and Tabernacles (= Christmas or Harvest festival) (Dt. 16:16).

(6)  The actual teaching and obedience of the “way of God’s righteousness” and the commemoration of the Passover Meal were in the homes (Dt. 6:1-11)!

Biblical Christianity is therefore structured as a network of simple churches (usually called “house churches”).  It is not “churchless Christianity” nor “religionless Christianity, but “simple Christianity.” Its mission is to reproduce simple groups of Christ-worshippers without elaborate religiosity.  Thus the mission statement of the Philippine house church movement is: “to multiply God’s church throughout the world, one household at a time.”  This seeks to fulfill God’s covenants with Abraham that through him every family on earth will be blessed (Gen. 12:3, cf. Gal. 3:14, 29), and with Israel that she will be a kingdom of priests (Ex. 19:6, cf. 1 Pet. 2:9-10).

Implications for 21st century mission

Our vision for societal transformation includes the following:

Political – We will work for the development of nations into model democracies, each with (a) a sovereign charter which encourages citizens to work in solidarity with their neighbors to promote national, regional and international interests, and in freedom to chart their internal and international policies; (b) clean and honest elections; (c) a multi-party system in which each party stands on a clear ideology and program of governance; (d) a properly-paid professional bureaucracy (civil service), police, military and impartial judiciary which all serve the people honestly, effectively and efficiently; and (e) a commitment to decentralization (principle of subsidiarity), to devolve decision-making to the lowest government unit possible, that is, groups of ten families each (cf. Exod. 18).

Goal:  All will be truly empowered to participate in making the decisions that affect their lives in society  (Ps. 113:7-9, cf. Dt. 17:14-20).   Recommended strategy: strategic alliances with like-minded political advocacy groups.

Economic – We will work for economies where all basic needs are met, where all will enjoy affordable access to basic services, like education, housing, employment/livelihood, medical care, etc.  All will have equal opportunity to gain wealth and be freed from poverty and injustice.  Through wise policies, efficient government and honest business practices, the market will enhance our productive potentials through proper incentives for labor and profit, while also distributing justice, so that no one is exploited or oppressed, and all can share in the corporate prosperity of all.  Such developmental stewardship includes the care of our environment, God’s gift for us and our future generations.

Goal:  All will enjoy and share the fruit of their labors, and own a decent house and lot, as an inheritance for their children (Isa. 65:19-23, cf. Acts 4:34f).  Recommended strategy: savings-based cooperatives, micro-, small & medium enterprise development, including ecological income-generating projects.

Social – We will work for societies that respect each one’s human rights –across gender, socio-economic, ethnic and religious lines, and settles disputes by dialogue/debate and not by violence.  All will have the opportunity to develop their fullest character and professional potential — through a holistic educational system that encourages the development of loving personalities, disciplined lifestyles, sound pedagogy, professional work ethics, scientific research and creative arts.  The media shall enjoy press freedom to inform, educate and entertain the people for their common good.

Goal: All will live in loving harmony as civilized and creative people (Rom. 12:9-13:10; 1 Tim. 2:1-2).  Recommended strategy: leadership training programs for professionals and businesspeople on political advocacy.

Religious – We will work for societies where all are free to choose their own religion and propagate their religious beliefs as long as they do not disturb public peace.  We will maintain a clear separation between church and state, yet both in close coordination and cooperation, whereby church leaders and bodies can participate in all civil affairs and even partisan politics (esp. when moral issues are involved), but short of making absolute claims to divine authority in political pronouncements.

Goal: All will be free to choose their religion (1 Pet. 3:15; Col. 4:5-6).  Recommended strategy: inter-church (ecumenical) and inter-faith dialogues and development programs.

Note:  As people mature spiritually to trust solely in Christ and Him alone, their faith will ultimately develop simple religiosity, each living for God’s glory in obedience to His will.  They will be active in community services, with less and less need for religious services (Isa. 58:1-12; Mic. 6:6-8; Amos 5:21-24; Js. 2:14-26; 1 Jn. 3:16-18).  With confidence of having everything good in Christ (for God is always near and loves them forever), they will walk with Jesus humbly with a disciple-making lifestyle without having to act religious or do religious rituals!

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Towards Closure: Imperial or Incarnational Missions?

 Towards Closure: Imperial or Incarnational Missions?

David S. Lim, Ph.D.

Is it possible to finish the Great Commission or reach all the unreached people groups (UPG) in the world by our generation, let’s say by AD2025?

The AD 2000 Movement envisioned this “closure” when they convened the Global Congress on World Evangelization (GCOWE) in 1995 in Seoul, Korea.  At that time, I predicted that it was “Mission Impossible,” because almost all of the participants still used the traditional mission paradigm to extend Christendom through what I called “imperial (or denominational) missions,” instead of “incarnational (or integral or transformational) missions.” If we do not make this missional paradigm shift, I’m afraid I’ve to also repeat my pessimism that it’s “Mission Impossible” by 2025.  As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Yet I believe “closure in 10-15 years” can be “Mission Possible” – if, by the mercy of God, the mainstream of missions shifts into “incarnational missions” immediately.  All of us who share the passion to win the lost into the Kingdom of God share almost the same vision and mission.  Generally, we would all say that we are working to fulfil the Great Commission, bearing witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ to manifest the glory of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.

But we would differ on the basic strategic paradigm of missio dei (God’s mission), which includes 3  major aspects of bearing witness to Jesus as the way (Missiology), the truth (Christology) and the life (Ecclesiology):

Missiology: Imperial or Incarnational?

First of all, how do we do mission?  The predominant “imperial” traditional missiology focuses on the recruitment of “career missionaries” who are sent out from middle class churches to plant their church’s (= denominational) model in less developed regions from a position of wealth and control/power.

In contrast, “incarnational” missiology emphasizes the mobilization of all believers to go among their non-believing networks to make disciples (= followers of Jesus) through love and good works, from a position of simplicity and servanthood.  “Every heart with Christ is a missionary, and every heart without Christ is a mission field” – locally and cross-culturally.

Christology: Insulated or Incarnated?

Secondly, what truth/message do we communicate in our mission?  The “gospel of salvation” proclaimed by imperial missionaries highlights the spiritual aspect of Christ’s death on the cross, and thus has focused mainly on the eternal destiny of people to go to heaven or hell, with hardly any regard for their earthly welfare and especially for their “growth” into self-denying, cross-carrying discipleship/maturity, except to become loyal church-goers, attending as many religious/liturgical services as possible.

In contrast, the “gospel of the Kingdom” shared by incarnational missionaries promotes the holistic dimensions of Christ’s work on the cross (including peace-building, justice-seeking and community/reconciliation), and thus also the earthly ministry of Christians (as prophets, priests and kings like Jesus) and practical disciple-making so they will grow in Christ-like compassion in doing as many community services as possible.

 

Ecclesiology: Imported or Indigenous?

And thirdly, what kind of churches do our missions produce?  The ideal results of imperial missions are imported (or foreign) church forms (in liturgies, theologies, architectures, etc.) of the missionary’s sending church(es), which also magnify the role of expatriate missionaries who dispense funds raised from their supporting church(es).

In contrast, the ideal results of incarnational missions are indigenous simple churches (actually networks of house fellowships) which are from the start self-governing (with their own leaders), self-supporting (own budget and funding), self-propagating (own programs of action/ministry) and self-theologizing (own statement of faith), which aims at community conversion to Christ (not to a particular brand of Christianity) and community transformation through their obedience to Christ’s law (loving one another and their neighbours and enemies to the ends of the earth).

Please note that the visible result of incarnational mission is not in religion buildings (cathedrals or temples) for performing religious ceremonies (liturgies) led by religious leaders (pastors or priests), which often separate believers from their community and divide themselves into different denominations. Instead it is seen in transformed communities that experience peace, justice and righteousness emanating from their love for Jesus and for one another that emerges from their intimate fellowship, which discuss and apply God’s word facilitated by any believer who has been discipled by an earlier believer in a micro/simple/house church (in any building); existing church buildings may be turned into multi-purpose ministry centers, like the synagogues in New Testament times.

Main Models

The main models and proponents for incarnational mission are two: the global house church movements (HCM) and the Jesus (or kingdom or people or insider) movements (JM).  Their impact are now starting to be noticed in church and mission circles today, especially those movements in China (since ‘80s), India (especially among Punjabis and Dalits), U.S.A., and some regions of the Muslim world.

Their “best practices” combines three “Cs” = Church Multiplication + Contextualization + Community Development/Transformation. For this to happen, they simply just need to master the skills of making disciples (Jesus-followers) who can lead people to Christ through friendship evangelism, and disciple new converts in small Bible discussion groups.  The simplest method today is called the Viral Simple Bible Study (VSBS).  It asks only three questions of any chosen text: (1) What does the text say in your own words? (2) What does God require of us from the text? And (3) Who are the 3-5 people you can share what we learned with before we meet again next week? The disciple-maker aims to empower them to do likewise (as in 2 Tim. 2:2) by leaving them as soon as possible, so s/he can make new disciples elsewhere.

Incarnational “church-planters” (or better, “movement catalysts”) do not mind being unrecognized in history, though they will be lovingly remembered by his/her disciples (if they don’t die or get killed prematurely), for his/her objective is to decrease so that only Jesus Christ will increase (cf. Jn. 3:30; Mk. 9:28).  They are ordinary people who simply obey God’s call to be witnesses of Jesus.  If properly trained, even if they may not have high academic credentials or social status, they can strategically win “a person of peace” (cf. Lk. 10:5-6) in each place, and disciple a core group around this person to disciple the rest.

New converts are encouraged to remain in their communities, follow local cultural and religious practices (unless they are clearly idolatrous, immoral or unjust), aim at family and communal conversions, and study the Scriptures themselves (1 Cor. 7:17-24; Acts 17:11).  Almost all in the International Orality Network are already moving in this direction.

Other Approximate Models

Most Evangelical “para-church” movements and mission agencies in the past 50 years have struggled to thrive within the Christendom system, mainly because they depended on the giving and support of church people, especially their clergymen. So although their missiology leans toward the incarnational model, they often either compromised with or returned to the imperial/denominational model of ministry.

Among these are:

1)      Perhaps the closest are the new “church-planting movements (CPM)” or “church multiplication movements (CMM),” which plant as many house churches as possible, but have not made strict guidelines to keep the groups small and/or avoid uncontextualized forms of worship and lifestyle (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19-23).

2)      The second closest would be the communities that have been directly touched by Christian Development Organizations (CDOs), like World Vision, Compassion and Center for Community Transformation (CCT).  By trial-and-error, they’ve discovered that to reach and transform communities effectively, they have to minimize denominational forms and use simple Bible study groups in their portfolio of community activities.

3)      Third closest may be the campus ministries, like Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF), and especially Navigators, REACH, and Agape.  They have trained students and graduates/professionals to lead disciple-making movements without the need for clergymen to lead them in chapel activities.  Agape is now operating on the Jesus Movement (JM) mode, while Navigators and REACH are trying to move back to their original JM mode, too.

4)      Fourth may be the professional movements, like Tentmaker and/or Diaspora Ministries, Business as Mission (BAM), Marketplace or Workplace Ministries, Military and Police Outreaches, which have slowly relinquished their need for clergymen to lead churchy services in their life and ministry in the world.  Instead of doing ministry in local churches, these “lay-people” focus on reaching out to their partners, colleagues and subordinates in their God-given vocation.

5)      Lastly, we can include also some denominations which have emphasized “lay pastors,” (like Vineyard, Grace Communion International), though most of them still lead denomination-type weekly worship services, which deflects much of their time from doing community services (cf. Matt. 5:13-16; 25:31-46; Lk. 10:27-37; 1 Jn.3:16-18).

Challenge

So, let’s join hands and do incarnational missions together! Let’s finish the Great Commission together in our generation!  Yes, even in the next 10-15 years, God willing, by the power of the Holy Spirit (Ac. 1:8)!  Our Lord has promised, “I will build My church and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it,” and has given us the authority “to loose and to bind” (Mt. 16:18-19).  The harvest is still plentiful, but the workers remain few (Mt. 9:37-38).  Let’s prayerfully mobilize the whole church to share the whole Gospel with the whole world – servantly, holistically, contextually — incarnationally!

Please give feedback to me at: cmiphil53@gmail.com

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Effective Disciple-making Made Simple

Effective Disciple-making Made Simple (Luke 10:1-9)

We all know that God desires to save all peoples of the world (2 Pet.3:9; 1 Tim.2:3-4). If this is so, we can assume that His mission strategy to win the world and disciple the nations must not be complex, but simple.  It must be so simple so that the good news can spread and multiply rapidly through ordinary people, even without need for much training.

This is confirmed in the New Testament (NT) in the mission strategies of Jesus Christ and the early Christians, especially Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles (all non-Jews).  Jesus Christ trained 12 disciples and within 40 years they’ve evangelized as far east as India (by Thomas), as far north as Moscow (by Andrew), as far south as Ethiopia (by Matthew), as Paul and his apostolic team (including Priscilla and Aquila, Timothy, Titus, Epaphras, etc) had covered in eight years, the Roman Empire “from Jerusalem to Illyricum” (Rom.15:18-20, cf. Ac.19:1-10).

How did they do it? What was this simple yet effective mission strategy? Let us see how Jesus trained the disciples to do it, in Luke 10:1-9. He trained them to do “disciple-making” to reach Galileans, and after the resurrection He commissioned them to do the same to all peoples: “make disciples of all nations…” (Mt.28:18-20).

In Luke 10, the “72 others” (not including the original 12) were trained to do pioneering ministry: “where he was about to go” (v.1).  They were told that the harvest was plentiful (v.2) or ripe for reaping (Jn.4:35; cf. 2 Cor.6:2), and indeed they returned with joy, “Mission successful” (v.17). They cast out demons even if they were not instructed nor trained to do so!  And also they were told that it was a perilous mission. They were sent “as lambs among wolves” (v.3)!

Yet they were able to effectively make disciples for Jesus, without having to go back and do follow-up. Even in a cross-cultural situation, Jesus discipled Sychar city in two days without having to go back or leave any disciple to do further follow-up (Jn.4)!  To do effective disciple-making, Jesus gave them only three main instructions: Go simply, go strategically and go servantly!

Go simply.  “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals” (v.4a). The disciple-makers needed to just bring their bare necessities without having to bring extra luggage. God can (and often does) use ordinary people to make disciples in ordinary and simple ways.  No need to be sophisticated or “high tech” which often complicates one’s lifestyle, hereby making one look affluent thus unapproachable. What’s required in disciple-making is hi-touch, and often hi-tech diverts time from forming relationships and making friends.  Today’s tentmakers (cross-cultural disciple makers) just need to bring their Bibles, without having to bring Bible dictionaries and commentaries!

Go strategically. “Do not greet anyone on the road.  When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him… Stay in that house; eating and drinking whatever they give you…” (vv.4b-7).

The disciplers were told to focus and not be delayed or diverted from the master plan: just find a “person of peace,” and live with him/her and disciple him and through him, his family and friends! Enjoy his hospitality and share your “walk with Jesus” with him/her. In Jewish culture, visiting Jews are hosted by someone whose house has an upper room – for free for the first two days and on the third day, (s)he must help the host in his livelihood – let him who does not work, not eat! For natural entry and support in Jewish and Gentile communities Apostle Paul and his team had a tentmaking micro-business to share Jesus among them. Paul intentionally had a “secular” livelihood, in order to be model “work ethic” to his converts and disciples (2 Th.3:7-10). That’s why historically, the best missionaries (including “the father of modern missions” William Carey) were tentmakers!

Go servantly. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat whatever is set before you.  Heal the sick… and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you’” (vv.8-9).  They were to serve their host family and the community with the talents and gifts that they had.  Today, we can do friendship (or lifestyle or relational) evangelism while doing holistic ministry. Serve the people in their physical needs (esp. healing), psychological needs (esp. counseling), social needs (esp. community organizing) and spiritual needs (through prayer and Bible reflection in small groups).

Again, note that they did not have to bring outside resources which is often used unwisely and often turns the provider into an unwitting patron-dictator and the recipients into perennial dependents (beggars!). Unless done with much care and wisdom/expertise, outsiders and their resources often disempower rather than empower!  In fact the community (and even rural tribals) had survived and thrived even for centuries without outside help! The fact that a community exists show they have local resources to sustain them!

There is almost a 100% guarantee of success because if one can’t find a “person of peace” in a specific context, the disciple-maker can just move on to the next one (vv.10-15)! But if one finds a “person of peace” as will happen 95% of the time, following the disciple-making strategy as closely as possible will catalyze a spontaneous expansion of the Kingdom of God — an insider movement facilitated by a local leader to disciple his/her people!

Thus, the outsider just needs to disciple a local “person of peace”! To disciple is to Model, Assist, Watch, and Leave (M.A.W.L.).  Disciple-makers just need to model three skills that should form their disciples’ DNA like Jesus did (Mark 3:13-15). (1) Gather a small group (maximum of 12) to share life as fellow members of God’s global family. (2) Reflect together prayerfully on what it means to obey Jesus through Bible meditation – thereby teaching one another how to handle God’s Word individually; in short, how to have personal devotions to experience God “day and night.” And (3) Go to their relatives and/or friends to share Jesus and His powerful presence with them; in short, do friendship evangelism and discipling.

Once the discipler sees that his disciple can facilitate prayerful and practical Bible sharing with fellow believers, meditate regularly on God’s Word and obey what (s)he learns and share his/her faith with non-believers, (s)he can leave and go to make disciples in another people/context. (S)He must leave to prove that his/her disciple has truly been empowered – authorized to make their own disciples, as Paul instructed: “And the things you heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Tim.2:2).

This is quality discipleship, in contrast to the dominant “church growth” strategy that implants “church-goer” DNA in new believers who become “church officers/ministers” at best and nominal “Sunday Christians” at worst. Disciple-making strategy expects each new convert to quickly learn how to self-feed (self-theologize) from God’s Word, self-grow with other believers and self-reproduce in nonbelievers.  The aim is to produce mature believers whose Christ-like character is to love and serve others (Col.1:28-29; Lk.14:25-33) quickly demonstrated and tested under the guidance of the discipler.  Each disciple is expected to multiply like each cell in our body, and like each part of a starfish that can grow into another starfish!

Simple, isn’t it?  But most of us have to unlearn the “traditions of the elders” of our local church and denomination.  Let’s just go back to the simple mission strategy of Jesus – to multiply quality Christians effectively by simply multiplying disciple-makers. May each of us become an effective disciple-maker for the rest of our life – till we see all our neighbors worldwide become our brothers and sisters in Christ!

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The Only Way to Disciple Whole Nations:

The Only Way to Disciple Whole Nations:

Church Multiplication by Tentmakers

David S. Lim, Ph.D.

 

We have come to the Third Millennium, which is almost 2,000 years since our Lord Jesus gave His Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19-20). With His full authority over heaven and earth (v.18), and with his promise to build His church without hindrance from the powers of hell (16:18), why has His church failed to finish the job? Why is one-third of the world’s populations still largely unreached? May I humbly venture to suggest a possibility: the church has failed to faithfully move in His wisdom! The challenge before us is to think, plan and work strategically under the guidance of the Holy Spirit!


For the past two millennia, the church has been working on a self-defeating (or counter-productive) strategy, thereby disabling herself to mobilize the whole church to reach the whole world.  The early church was doing quite well, until Constantine made the church shift into the slow-paced mode of operation. If we continue this slow expansion, we will not be able to evangelize the world in another 1,000 years! Since AD 313, when Christianity became a state religion, the church has become dependent on “full-time missionaries” to reach the nations!  It’s no longer the whole church, but only a few “called ones” who answer the Great Commission to be witnesses for Christ to the ends of the earth!

 

A. What? The alternative mission strategy

 

Instead, the church should have remained under a “total mobilization” mode.  In the early church, cross-cultural (and local) missions had been done by almost all believers (Ac.8:1,4;11:19-21). Simple believers who scattered due to persecution in Jerusalem just used their homes to reach their neighbors and disciple them for Christ.  As the saying goes, “Everyone with Christ is a missionary, and everyone without Christ is a mission-field.”

 

In this strategy, cross-cultural missions happen “naturally” through all believers (so-called “lay-people”) making disciples of other (newer and/or younger) believers, and also being encouraged to migrate, work or study among the unreached as “tentmakers” (i.e. Christians using their vocations to go among the unreached to be models and witnesses for Christ).  Like the Apostle Paul, these “bi-vocationals” would not only be supporting themselves, but also subsidizing their co-workers and even helping the poor (Acts 20:34-35)!

 

Or better, global missions will be mainly through sending our leading disciple-makers to train Christians near the major unreached peoples to do this “natural” church multiplication strategy (or “church planting movement”). They will aim to disciple just a few (perhaps a dozen, like what our Lord Jesus did in His earthly ministry) “faithful people who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim.2:2).  To go cross-cultural, these disciplers just have to focus on a few contacts who are bi-lingual or bi-cultural; and these disciples will be able, usually within a few months’ time, to make new disciples among their compatriots through the “natural” webs of relationships (esp. kin and friends) – almost always with greater effectively, more cultural sensitivity and faster “multiplier effect.”

 

The best instance that I know of was done by an American tentmaker in China. After a few weeks in China, he sought God’s guidance for the fastest way to evangelize his target people. He thought of one strategy: win one convert to Christ each day. But he calculated that even if he faithfully did this, he would hardly make a dent among his people-group of 6 million souls!  He was 25 years old, so if he retired at 65, he had 40 years to make 365 converts per year, that totals only less than 15,000.  So at the end of 40 years of faithful ministry, there will still be 5,985,000 still unreached!

 

Then he thought of a second strategy: together with his Chinese Christian friends, they will form 20 church planting teams, each planting one church per year.  With a church for every 1,200 people in the region, he needed to plant at least 5,000 churches.  How many years will it take to plant 5,000 churches, if 20 are planted per year?  250 years!  By then, at least 8 generations would have died, and the population would have increased to 60 million or more!

 

It’s good that he knew of the explosive growth in the house church networks in China. So he though of a third strategy: rapid church multiplication through planting reproducible churches!  That means, each church should be able to plant another church within one year.  The result?  He can plant 5,000 churches within 13.25 years only!  Achievable!  The key is to plant reproducible churches.  When he implemented this strategy with his Chinese friends,  they had 55,000 believers (from an original group of about 60) meeting in about 4,000 cells or house churches within 3 years!  He left them very soon, in order to repeat the same process elsewhere.  He has been training other missionaries to do “church  multiplication” since then.

 

He has come up with 5 characteristics of “reproducible churches,” with the acronym”P.O.U.C.H.” These are” (1) Participative group meetings – the leader is a facilitator of discussion around God’s Word, instead of a lecturer or preacher; (2) Obedience – the goal of meetings is to make disciples, to teach them to obey God’s word; (3) Unpaid lay leaders (read: tentmakers!) – they found out that the most effective leaders were housewives who hardly finished Grade 3! (4) Cells or small groups – Maximum size is 15 adults; before reaching that number, the house church must start another house church; and (5) Houses or venues that do not require rent or lot purchase.  With almost no “overhead costs,” believers can start new churches among their friends and contacts through “natural relationships” and simple witnessing for Christ in their hometowns and in their friends’ facilities!

 

B. Why? Back to Basics: Biblical missiology

 

From my observation, experience, biblical studies and theological reflection, this alternative mission strategy follows that of Jesus, Paul and the early church in the New Testament.  It is based on a simple doctrine (“priesthood of all believers”) and a simple practice (“making disciples”) in a simple structure (“house churches”).  We have inherited quite a complex Christianity filled with man-made traditions, so that it has become harder for us to practice “basic Christianity” (prayer, Bible study, fellowship and witnessing) in “basic Christian Communities” (small groups, called “house-churches” in the NT). So we think that missions can be done only by experts to plant (actually, to transplant) our (traditional/denominational) local church to other lands/cultures.

 

But in the NT mission paradigm, every Christian is expected to become a disciple-maker (a spiritually mature reproducing believer).  After all, the NT teaches that every believer is a prophet, priest and king (servant-leader) in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only and unique Second Moses, High Priest and Royal Messiah (with no mediators in between).  It is “upon all flesh” that the Spirit is poured out at Pentecost, so we all (not just professional evangelists) can declare God’s words and works to the nations (Ac. 2:17-18; 1 Pet.3:15). It is the “entire people of God” that functions as a priesthood (1 Pet 2:9-10; Rev. 1:6 etc), so that we all (not just ordained pastors and priests) can intercede for people and offer sacrifices of praise and obedience to God (Heb.13:15-16; Rom. 12:1-8). And it is the “whole body of Christ” that reigns with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6-7), so that we all (not just “full-time” church workers) can work for the transformation of cultures and structures through the use of our spiritual gifts in loving service to all humankind (Mt. 5:13-16; 2 Cor. 10:3-5).

 

I believe this was the original strategy that our Lord Jesus used when He was on earth: to win the world, he just used this simple disciple-making strategy:  He called 12 ordinary people (mostly rural folks!)  After discipling them for a while (Mk. 3:13-15), he sent them out two by two (that’s 6 pairs) to make 12 disciples themselves (Matt. 9:35-10:16).  When he sent his disciples out the second time, he didn’t send out the 12, but the “72 others” (Lk. 10:1,17).  These “72 others” were sent out two by two: that’s 36 pairs going forth to make 12 new disciples each, thereby making 432 new disciples in all!  1 Corinthians 15:6 mentions that after the resurrection, our Lord appeared to more than 500 (432 + 72) brethren!  If these 500 paired up, that’s 250 making 12 new disciples each.  Then they would be able to disciple exactly 3,000 new converts!  And that’s exactly what happened on the birthday of the church at Pentecost: all converts were baptized immediately, since the apostles knew they would all be followed up and disciples in at least 250 house churches in Jerusalem (“from house to house”, cf. Acts 2:41-47).  No wonder their numbers increased DAILY!

 

Of course, there is a place for church leaders who will serve more or less “full-time.”  But they are to serve as equippers (read: teachers and trainers), not to monopolize the ministry, but to empower all the saints to do the ministry so that the whole church may be built up (Eph. 4:11-13). The ministry is therefore that of “making disciples,” training a group of “faithful people” who will be able to disciple others also (2Tim. 2:2). The role of these “tried and tested” disciple-makers is to model how to facilitate and coordinate the partnership of the house churches, as well as monitor and help enhance their qualitative growth.

 

C. How?  Effective implementation of strategy

 

In light of this, every Christian should belong to a “disciple-making group” (not more than 15 members, lest the group loses the informal and intimate sharing of its body life) where s/he can participate actively and meaningfully. In this cell, s/he discovers her/his calling as s/he uses her/his spiritual gifts to serve and edify others in faith, hope and love (1 Cor. 14:26; Heb. 10:24).  Note that Christian ministry is repeatedly described as done to “one another” in mutual service and submission – 1 Th. 5:12-22; Mt. 18:15-20; Js. 5:16, etc). S/he is thereby empowered and sent by the Spirit through such body life to go into the world (far or near) to be salt and light, making disciples wherever s/he goes!

 

To become a disciple-maker, every Christian just needs to learn two basic skills: “friendship evangelism” and “leading cells.”  (A) Each learns how to share the gospel and their personal testimony after making a friendly approach to their non-Christian relatives, friends, colleagues and even strangers.  At each instance of their life, they should be praying for a few non-believers among their contacts, and focus evangelistically on one or two of them at a time.  Converts and potential converts are then brought to her/his cell,  or better, encouraged to start an evangelistic cell at their convenient place and time. (B) And then it becomes necessary to also learn how to lead small group discussions where one can facilitate a meeting where all members can participate in setting the group’s agenda and in seeking the proper interpretation and application of God’s Word for the issues relevant to their personal lives and social contexts.

 

An excellent model of this mission paradigm is that of ”Prayer Evangelism:” the goal is to equip “every Christian to be a minister/missionary,” and mobilize “every Christian home to be a church.” They are trained to bless, befriend, serve, evangelize and then disciple their neighbors one by one in their house (as a “lighthouse” of prayer and evangelism).  This model is now being used in many parts of the world.

 

Each house-church should be given freedom to manage their body-life (as prescribed in Ac. 2:42), according to their unique combinations of spiritual gifts.  They should be able to collect and use their own funds for their own ministries (including about 10% for the support of the pastor and/or the “elders’ council” in which their “servant-leaders” belong), as well as their own missions.  Preferably at least 50% of their common fund” should be used to subsidize their own outreaches to non-Christians locally and internationally.

 

The wonderful thing about this “total mobilization” strategy is that it is persecution-proof. In fact, it thrives under persecution!  This is especially significant since most, if not all, unreached people groups (mainly Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Communist or animist) are warily (and often violently) opposed to any attempt to do overt evangelism among them!  This low-key strategy may be the best, if not the only way to evangelize the vast unevangelized peoples in the world, esp. Asia!

 

Thank God that in these last twenty years, the churches in China, Vietnam, and Cuba have somehow learned to survive and even thrive under great duress with this paradigm.  Am most recently, also the churches in India, Cambodia and Sri Lanka (that I clearly know of). There are more and more churches and mission groups that have started to adopt this model of missions, too.

 

They all have proven that this strategy is even also poverty-proof: poor churches can multiply this way without the need for external financial help!  They have learned to KISS (“keep it simple and small”) and MULTIPLY! Hence, the “Back to Jerusalem” movement of the house churches in China can optimistically plan to send 100,000 missionaries (mostly micro-entrepreneurs) among the unreached. And the “tentmaker movement” of the Philippine churches can plan to train and send a million effective missionaries (mostly skilled workers and professionals) by 2020!


Conclusion

 

So, can we transform churches to use this best strategy of missions? Actually in the Philippines, several Evangelical groups (like Philippine Missions Association, Center for Community Transformation, Fellowship of Christians in Government, Agape, Navigators, Cru, Inter-Varsity, etc.) have been moving in this direction already!  If all of us, go full blast on this, we can surely “finish the Great Commission in our generation” at last!

 

Let’s stop maintaining “complex Christianity” (which can hardly reproduce in five years) and start spreading “simple Christianity” (which can easily multiply 2 or 3 times every year!)  Let’s promote “church multiplication” through mobilization of our “laity” as local disciple-makers and global tentmakers.  Let’s challenge the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world – quickest – “and then the end will come” (cf. Mt. 24:14).  Maranatha!

 

Helpful references:

 

Allen, Roland. Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? Eerdmans, 1962.

________. The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church. Eerdmans, 1962.

Banks, Robert & Julia. The Church Comes Home.  Albatross Books, 1989.

Barret, Lois. Building the House Church. Herald Press, 1986.

Coleman, Robert. The Master Plan of Evangelism. Revell, 1964.

Dawn Report, Issue no.49 (December 2002).

Eims, Leroy. The Lost Art of Disciple Making. NavPress, 1981.

Garrison, David. Church Planting Movements. International Mission Board of Southern

Baptist Convention, 1999.

Lim, David. The Servant Nature of the Church in the Pauline Corpus. Ph.D. Diss., Fuller

Theological Seminary, 1987.

Montgomery, Jim. I’m Gonna Let It Shine! Carey Library, 2001.

Neighbor, Ralph, Jr. Where Do We Go from Here? Touch Publications, 1990.

Ogden, Greg. The New Reformation. Zondervan, 1990.

Petersen, Jim. Church Without Walls. NavPress, 1992.

Ringma, Charles. Catch the Wind. OMF Literature, 1994.

Simson, Wolfgang. Houses That Change the World. Paternoster, 2001.

Snyder, Howard.  The Problem of Wineskins. IVP, 1975.

Tillapaugh, Frank. Unleashing the Church. Regal Books, 1992.

 

For feedback, please email: cmiphil53@yahoo.com

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Yearend Newsletter 2015

December 24, 2015

Dearest friends and partners in missions,

“A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR” to you! It’s been a wonderful year – and so full that it’s now Christmas Eve! I hope that you are in the best of health, as we end one more year in this age of social media. This past year has been full of drama, with a balance of both tragedy and comedy, and with Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bombers, Syrian refugees, Donald Trump & gay marriage added to our top concerns. Most countries in Asia continue to prosper, though not as much as the previous year, while the Federal Reserve finally showed that the financial crisis of 2008 is officially over in USA. For Filipinos, it feels good to celebrate this season with hope for a better year ahead, in spite of this year’s share of setbacks. Yet overall, we can sing “Joy to the world,” for His reign of shalom is being realized among us (Emmanuel)!

As we enter the 16th year of this century, the next 4 years look bright as we seek to do effective missions by March 2021 (the 500th anniversary of planting the cross on Phil. soil), as the United Nations got global agreements to control climate change and eliminate poverty by 2030. Closure to the Great Commission (Matt. 24:14) is more realistic than ever! The paradigm shift in mission strategy from the dominant Christendom’s imperial (with elaborate religious services) to transformational missions’ incarnational approach (with humble community services) has become more mainstream, both in mission theology and in missionary practice. I was asked to write a scholarly article for Regnum Books (Oxford): “Diakonia and Evangelism as Functions of Mission: Theological Reflections,” and I’ve just finished another paper for SEANET (the global network to reach the Buddhist world): “Transformational Missions in Fear Cultures in the Buddhist World and Beyond.” Both will be published next year.

As for my family, we moved house last Oct. 9 from Cubao (where I’ve stayed for the past 17 years) to Sucat, Paranaque, a more serene & less polluted location. My wife Marie has become an online transcriptionist. Jeff and his wife Gayle have given birth to their second daughter, my second grandchild! And Tsina (Kibi) looks forward to finishing her Nursing studies at UP-Manila in 1.5 more years. Meanwhile, Marie accompanied me to Singapore, where I taught “Urban Evangelism” at Bethany International University (BIU) for the sixth successive year.

I end this year with great optimism, esp. for my life-goal: “the evangelization and transformation of ASIA.” Amidst the natural disasters, increasing militarization and political turmoils, multitudes are being brought into the Kingdom through contextual “disciple multiplication movements (DMM)” or “Insider Movements (IM)” in Asia and beyond. Although it remains tough for us in the “frontier missions” movement to call the mainstream churches to do DMM, I rejoice to see many more missionaries make the shift quite significantly in recent years. As we pray and work for more “house/simple/organic church” networks through DMMs, I’m quite sure that there will be much multiplication and exponential growth hereafter!

1. As the President/CEO of Asian School of Development and Cross-cultural Studies (ASDECS), I rejoice to see us go truly global this year. Through our certificate program, we have spread to Paterson, New Jersey. Through our PhD program, we have also spread to Chiangmai (Thailand), Semarang (Indonesia), Yangon (Myanmar) and Sydney (Australia). We also graduated 8 more MDM students in Laos, and the first 9 students in our Master of Arts in Community Development (MACD) major in Language Development and 2 in Master in Community Development (MCD) held in partnership with the Translators Association of the Phil. (TAP) in June, too.

When I taught “Servant Leadership” in our Cambodian program, I heard the testimony of Lenly Gula, our first Country Coordinator there (2004-8). She is a young Ilonga missionary who finished only 11 courses of our MDM and was appointed Country Director of Food for the Hungry-Cambodia 7 years ago. They will receive a gold medal this month from the King of Cambodia for effectively transforming the regions in 2 provinces where the former Khmer Rouge soldiers who massacred their compatriots from 1975-79 were isolated/exiled. In 5 years of ministry, her local staff were able to bring hope and empowerment to this unreached people group from their hopelessness and despair. They were told that “If you mention the name of Jesus only once, we kill you all,” yet all of these ex-traitors have become Christ-followers, for within a month, one of their leaders saw Jesus tell him in a dream that he must ask this team to tell them about Him. A Christ-centered transformational movement has been launched from among them!

2. For national transformation, the Philippine House Church Movement, now called the Star Grass Coalition, had another fruitful planning summit last Aug. 10-15, in Davao City, and made programs to multiply disciples and simple churches across the land. We clarified our ongoing campaign to turn this nation into a “land of cooperatives and social enterprises” through “Investment Clubs,” where any group of up to 15 members can pool their savings together to develop a social business. We also decided to lead the Phil. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Network, to empower our farmers to do Natural Farming and trade their products communally, as well as to join the Phil. Movement for Transformational Leadership (PMTL), to mobilize the faith-based sector to campaign for a democratically-chosen set of candidates for Election 2016. [My Kapatiran Party has decided to lead the advocacy for System Change (from presidential to parliamentary federal system) and COMELEC Reforms through a “Boycott 2016” campaign]. Meanwhile we have built 6 permanent houses with 10 more to be finished by June next year for some survivors of supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda through Operation Hope, as we model transformational rehabilitation in 3 municipalities in Leyte (donations are still welcome). We also joined the Thai House Network Church movement in hosting the 5th Asian House Church Summit (May 26-27) and the 2nd Global House Church Summit in Bangkok last May 28-30, 2015.

3. And for global transformation, Lausanne-Phil. looks forward to hosting the Global Workplace Forum from April 5-8, 2017. Meanwhile I will be one of the Mentors at the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Jakarta from Aug. 3-10, 2016. After a day break, I will be co-facilitating the Southeast Asia House Church Leaders Summit in Jakarta, too, to be hosted by the Indonesian house church leaders from Aug. 12-14. The Philippine Missions Association (PMA) with Rev. Nono Badoy at the helm continues to pray and work for 5 million intercessors for the nations, 2 million trained in Tentmaker Missions, and deploy 1 million Outstanding Faithful Witnesses/missionaries by 2020. We’re trying to set up an OFW Ministry Desk in every church, barangay, and town/city nationally, and in every Filipino embassy or consulate globally, so that we can maximize our opportunities to train OFWs to be tentmakers.

I hope our DMM mission model will be promoted more and more as I also serve with the leaders of the China Ministries International-Philippines, Asian Frontier Missions Initiative (AFMI), Asian Society of Frontier Missions, Global House Church Movement and International Council of Higher Education. May there be more partnership and real impact for the whole church to share the whole gospel with the whole world effectively!

Besides the 2 articles that I mentioned above, I’ve had four more published this year:
1. “Effective Disciple-making Made Simple.” Asian Missions Advance 46 (January 2015): 6-7.
2. (In Korean) “Indigenous Mission Movement of the Philippines,” Korean Mission Quarterly No. 54, Vol. 14.4 (Summer 2015): 82-95. (English version uploaded in http://www.asdecs.academia.edu).
3. “Directing Emphasis to One Over-arching Goal: Reproducing Church Planting Movements.” Asian Missions Advance 48 (July 2015): 2-9.
4. “Contextualizing Ancestor Veneration: A Historical Review.” International Journal of Frontier Mission 32.3 (Fall 2015): 109-115.

You may write me for a copy of any of these 6 articles. In all these, I’ve sought to promote what I believe is God’s simple (not complex) master-plan on how to disciple all nations fastest! We can accomplish world evangelization by equipping all Christ-followers (esp. the 99% non-clergy) to exercise their royal priesthood, to intentionally befriend and make disciples of their neighbors. Properly discipled to make disciples,we can do community, campus and marketplace ministries to reach today’s non-Christians globally! I’m mentoring some folks, including some in Africa, in doing DMM via Facebook, too!

I thank God for your partnership in the Gospel! May God bless you abundantly in the new year, so that you and your family will be channels of His blessings to all who He’ll bring into your life!

With best wishes for you in 2016,

David S. Lim

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Year-end Newsletter 2014

December 31, 2014

Dearest friends and partners in ministry,

“A belated MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR” to you all! It’s been a wonderful year – and so full that it’s now New Year’s Eve, my second time to write my year-end newsletter at the last minute! I hope that you are in the best of health, as we end one more year in this age of social media. This past year has been full of drama, with a balance of both tragedy and comedy, and with Ebola, Ferguson, Boko Haram and Islamic State (ISIS) added to our consciousness. Most countries in Asia (esp. China & Philippines!) continue to prosper, though not as much as the previous year, while the West continues to recover slowly from the financial crisis of 2008. For Filipinos, it feels good to celebrate this season with hope for a better year ahead (a poll says 93% of us look forward to 2015!), in spite of this year’s share of bad news, like the slow prosecution of massacre and corruption cases, and the poor rehabilitation efforts for survivors of supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda! Yet overall, we can sing “Crown Him with many crowns,” for His reign of justice & shalom is being realized among us (Emmanuel)!

As we enter the 15th year of this century, the next 5 years look bright as we seek to do effective missions by March 2021 (the 500th anniversary of planting the cross on Phil. soil), even with the global challenges of militant Islam, secular humanism and consumerist materialism. Closure to the Great Commission (Matt. 24:14) is more realistic than ever! The paradigm shift in mission strategy from the dominant Christendom’s imperial (with elaborate religious services) to transformational missions’ incarnational approach (with humble community services) has become more mainstream, both in mission theology and in missionary practice. I was asked to present a plenary paper for SVM2’s Mission Mobilizers Summit next month entitled: “Directing Emphasis to One Overarching Goal: Reproducing Church Planting Movements,” and I’m finishing another paper for SEANET (the global network to reach the Buddhist world): “Transforming Power Encounters into People Movements in the Buddhist World and Beyond.”

Thus I end this year with great optimism, esp. for my life-goal: “the evangelization and transformation of ASIA.” Thanks for praying with me as I pray, “Lord, give me Asia, or I die”! Amidst the natural disasters, increasing militarization and political turmoils, multitudes are being brought into the Kingdom through holistic and contextual “disciple multiplication movements (DMM)” in Asia and beyond! As for my family, my wife Marie has become a branch manager of Philplans. Jeff continues to be a responsible family man, with his car repair shop; while Tsina Grace (Kibi) looks forward to finishing her Nursing studies at UP-Manila in two more years. We had a nice family vacation in our hometown Bacolod City last Nov. 5-11.

For me, 2014 has been a “Year of Flying High,” esp. for my advocacy of setting up Christ-centered transformational communities (where God’s shalom/kingdom prevails) through “disciple multiplication movements” (DMM) in Asia and beyond. Although it remains very difficult for us in the “frontier missions” movement to call the mainstream church to do DMM, I rejoice to see many more missionaries and mission leaders make the shift quite significantly in recent years. As we pray and work for more “family-oriented” and “house/simple/organic church” strategies for DMM, I’m quite sure that there will be much multiplication and exponential growth hereafter!

As I retired from my 3-year stint as the National Director of Philippine Missions Association (PMA), I’ll focus more in being the President/CEO of Asian School of Development and Cross-cultural Studies (ASDECS). Our certificate-granting Center for Transformational Development (CTD) continues to train church and mission leaders to become change agents in their community as “elders of the city.” As we begin our 13th year of operations, we’re glad our 4 Masters and 2 PhD programs have received another 5 years of accreditation from the International Council of Higher Education (ICHE)! We had our first batch of 10 MTL graduates in the Philippines held at U.P.’s Church of the Risen Lord last June 28. We also we look forward to the graduation of 8 MDM students in Laos and the first 10 students in our Master of Arts in Community Development (MACD) major in Language Development, held in partnership with the Translators Association of the Phil. (TAP), in June next year, too. For details, pls. check our website: http://www.asdecs.com.

2. For national transformation, the Philippine House Church Movement, now called the Star Grass Coalition, had another fruitful strategic planning summit last Aug. 7-10, this time in Iloilo City, and clarified our programs in multiplying disciples and simple/organic churches across the land. Besides our ongoing “barangay to barangay” and workplace DMM, we’re going to promote our ongoing campaign to turn this nation into a “land of cooperatives and social enterprises” through “Investment Clubs,” where any group of up to 15 members can pool their savings together to develop a social business. May our people learn how to become employers and not just be employees! After waiting for government clearance for a year, we have started to build 15 permanent houses for some survivors of supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda through Operation Hope, as we aim to model transformational rehabilitation in 3 municipalities in Leyte. Most of all, we’re joining the Asian House Church Movement in hosting the 2nd Global House Church Summit in Chiangmai this coming May 28-30, 2015.

3. And for global transformation, Lausanne-Phil. looks forward to hosting the Global Diaspora Network conference from March 23-27 next year, and have started to plan to host the Global Workplace Forum to be held sometime in March 2017. May there be more cooperation and partnership for the whole church to share the whole gospel with the whole world at the soonest possible time!

The Philippine Missions Association (PMA) held the Phil. Missions Conference last October 24-25 with the theme “Crossing Borders – Pursuing God’s Call to be a Missionary-sending Nation.” We formally launched the Global OFW Advance Movement (GOAM) for churches to set up “OFW & Family Care Services” locally in their town and city, as well as globally in each Phil. Embassy or Consulate. Then, after having served as PMA National Director for 3 years, I also passed on its leadership to Rev. Nono Badoy. We continue to pray and work for 5 million intercessors for the nations, 2 million trained in Tentmaker Missions, and deploy 1 million Outstanding Faithful Witnesses/missionaries by 2020.

My mission, China Ministries International-Phil. (CMI-Phil) has come to know that there are more OFWs entering China without going through any mission agencies any more. To me this is a good sign that our seminars and trainings in PMA are working. Tentmakers are expected to build their support system in the land where God sends them to live and work, for the resources for God’s harvest are in the harvest-field! We hope to mobilize 10 more by the end of next year. I hope our DMM mission model will be promoted more and more as I also serve with the leaders of the Asian Frontier Missions Initiative (AFMI), Asian House Church Movement and International Council of Higher Education.

Besides the 2 papers that I mentioned above, I’ve had three articles published this year:
1. “Transformational Development in Doing Relief and Rehabilitation Mission.” PMA Missions Post, 31.1(January-April 2014): 1, 3 & 6.
2. “Missiological Framework for the Contextualization of Christ-Centered Communities.” Asian Missions Advance 44 (July 2014): 20-22.
3. “Challenges of Equipping for Effective Filipino Missions.” PMA Missions Post, 31.2 (May-October 2014): 1 & 4.

You may write me for a copy of any of these 5 articles. In all these, I’ve sought to promote what I believe is God’s simple (not complex) master-plan on how to disciple all nations fastest! Though 27% of the world remains totally unreached and 86% of today’s unreached do not have a Christian friend, we can accomplish total world evangelization by equipping all Christians (esp. the 99% non-clergy) to exercise their royal priesthood, to intentionally befriend and make disciples of their neighbors across borders – without committing the blunder of “extraction evangelism”! Properly trained in DMM, anyone can do community, campus and marketplace ministries to reach today’s non-Christians (Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Communists, Tribals, etc.)! I’m mentoring some folks in DMM via Facebook, too!

I thank God for your partnership in the Gospel! May I hear from you, too? May God bless you abundantly in 2015, so that you and your family will be channels of His blessings to all who He’ll bring into your circle of influence!

With best wishes for you in the new year,
david

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Year-end Newsletter 2013

December 31, 2013

To my dearest friends,

“A belated MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR” to you!  It’s been a wonderful year – and so full that it’s now New Year’s Eve, my first time ever to write my year-end newsletter at the very last minute!  I hope that you are in the best of health, physically, financially and spiritually, as we end one more year in this fast-changing world!  In this past year, democracy remains dominant, and we end the year with the recognition of Pope Francis as Time’s (and my) “Person of the Year,” and the celebrative funeral of Nelson Mandela, although the Middle East and Africa swayed in various upheavals. Most countries in Asia (esp. China, Japan & Philippines!) continue to prosper, while the West shows clear signs of recovery from the financial crisis of 2008.  For Filipinos, it feels good to truly celebrate this season with hope for a better year ahead (a poll says 94% of us look at 2014 optimistically!), in spite the tragic earthquake in Bohol and the massive devastation caused by supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Visayas almost two months ago!  I rejoice that the elite’s unrighteousness in our land has been given full coverage by the media and has agitated the middle class to march in the streets!  We can truly sing “Joy to the world, the Lord is come,” for His reign of justice & shalom is being realized among us (“Emmanuel”)!

As we enter the 14th year of the 21st century, the next 6 years look bright as we seek to do effective missions in our generation, even with the big challenges of militant Islam, secular humanism and consumerist materialism.  Closure to the Great Commission (Matt. 24:14) is more realistic than ever!  The paradigm shift in mission strategy from the dominant Christendom’s imperial (with wealth & power) to transformational missions’ incarnational approach (with love and good works) has become mainstream, at least in practice, and I hope soon also in missiology.  Asian Missions Advance (of the Asia Missions Association) in its latest issue (October 2013) featured my two articles: “History and Ministry of Philippine Missions Association: Leading the Global Shift to Tentmaker Missions” as well as “Asian Mission Movements in Asia Today.”

Thus I end this year with great optimism, esp. for my life-goal: “the evangelization and transformation of ASIA.”  Thanks for praying with me as I pray, “Lord, give me Asia, or I die”!  Amidst the natural disasters, increasing militarization and political turmoils, multitudes are being brought into the Kingdom through holistic and contextual “disciple multiplication movements (DMM)” in Asia and beyond!  I thank God for my 60th birthday (yes, I’m a senior citizen now!) and the warm response of all my friends to my 7-year marriage to Maria Rosel Sumagaysay (nicknamed “Marie”); she has proven to be a most wonderful partner in my life and ministry.  Jeff continues to be a simple yet effective family man and businessman; while Tsina Grace (Kibi) continues to excel in her Nursing studies at UP-Manila and in sharing leadership in her sorority there.

For me, 2013 has been a “Year of Soaring High,” esp. for my advocacy of setting up Christ-centered transformational communities (where God’s shalom/kingdom prevails) through “disciple multiplication movements” (DMM) in Asia and beyond.  Although it remains very difficult for us in the “frontier missions” movement to call the mainstream church to do DMM, I rejoice to see many more missionaries and mission leaders make the shift quite significantly in recent years. As we pray and work for more “family-oriented” and “house/simple/organic church” strategies for DMM, I’m quite sure that there will be much multiplication and exponential growth in 2014 and thereafter!

2013 has truly been the year of “soaring high” — navigating and floating at high altitude, having reached the “normal height of flying at 36,000 ft.”! I see and feel this in my 4 major involvements: 

1.  As a member of Senior Associate for Tentmaking Berit Kloster’s core group and as Board chair of  Lausanne-Philippines, I had the opportunity to be one of the 350 delegates to the Lausanne Global Leadership Forum held in Bangalore last June 17-21, as we planned for consultations to highlight the strategies that the global church must use to make a transformational impact in our generation.  I was privileged a week thereafter to present at the Asian Church Leaders Forum (organized by the Asia Lausanne in which I serve in its Executive Committee) in Seoul a paper on “(Mission Strategies of ) Asian Mission Movements in Asia Today.” This conference was held upon the request of  China’s house church leaders, who rejoiced to attend a major international conference for the first time, having missed Lausanne’s Capetown 2010.  May there be more cooperation and partnership among Asian missionaries as we seek to win the unreached in Asia at the soonest possible time.

2.  For community transformation, my school Asian School of Development and Cross-cultural Studies (ASDECS) has had our 4th batches of international graduates in our Masters in Development Management (MDM) program – 14 (for a total of 43 grads in Laos) and 10 (for a total of 37 alumni in Cambodia).  Our certificate-granting Center for Transformational Development (CTD) continue to train church and mission leaders to become change agents in their community as “elders of the city” in Cebu, Baguio, Tabaco/Legazpi and soon also to Cabanatuan. As we begin our 12th year of operations, we’re glad to be offering Bachelors in Transformational Leadership (BTL) major in Community Development, and also to launch our Ph.D. in International Development (or Asian Studies) this year! We’ll be training about 25-30 students for the Master of Arts in Community Development (MACD) major in Language Development with the Translators Association of the Phil. (TAP) starting June 2014, too. 

3.  For national transformation, the Philippine House Church Movement, now called the Star Grass Coalition, had another fruitful strategic planning summit last Aug. 15-18, this time at Babatngon, and clarified our programs in multiplying disciples and simple/organic churches across the land.  Besides our ongoing “barangay to barangay” and workplace DMM, we’re going to promote “healthy lifestyles” and “organic farming/gardening” as we seek to find and empower “persons of peace/shalom” in each community. This will be supplemented by our ongoing campaign to turn this nation into a “land of cooperatives and social enterprises” through “Investors Clubs,” where any group of up to 15 members can pool their savings together to develop a social business.  May our people learn how to become employers and not just be employees! We officially adopted the Iloilo-based NGO led by Edwin Arana, Creative Community Foundation, Inc. (CCFI) to serve as our government registered entity.  So when supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit the Visayas real hard, we were ready to lead Operation Hope right in “Ground Zero,” as we aim to model transformational relief and rehabilitation in 3 municipalities in Leyte for the next two years.

4.  And for global transformation, the Philippine Mission Mobilization Movement (PM3), launched our flagship program for each church to set up an “OFW ministry” desk last April 2011. In October 2013, we launched the Global OFW Advance Movement (GOAM) for churches to set up “OFW & Family Care Services” locally in their town and city, as well as globally in each Phil. Embassy or Consulate. We continue to pray and work for 5 million intercessors for the nations, 2 million trained in Tentmaker Missions, and deploy 1 million Outstanding Faithful Witnesses/missionaries by 2020.  As I finish my 3 year stint as the National Director of Phil. Missions Association (PMA) next year, I hope to hold a series of consultations on “the Best Practices of Filipino Missions,” and perhaps organize the Phil. Society of Missiology for our “reflective practitioners.”

My mission, China Ministries International-Phil. (CMI-Phil) has come to know that there are more OFWs entering China without going through any mission agencies any more.  To me this is a good sign that our seminars and trainings in PM3 are working.  Tentmakers are expected to build their support system in the land where God sends them to live and work, believing that the resources for God’s harvest are in the harvest-field!  We hope to mobilize 20 more by the end of next year.  I hope our DMM mission model will be promoted more and more as I also serve with the leaders of the Asian Frontier Missions Initiative (AFMI), Asian House Church Movement and International Council of Higher Education.

This has been another productive year of writing for me, too.  Besides the two I mentioned above, also presented or published were six:

1.  “Contextualizing the Gospel in Ancestor-Venerating Cultures.” In Melba Maggay (ed.). The Gospel in Culture: Contextualization Issues in an Asian Context.  Mandaluyong City: OMF Literature.

2.  “Developing Transformational Leaders for Church Multiplication Movements in the Buddhist World.” In Paul de Neui (ed.). Developing Indigenous Leaders: Lessons in Mission from Buddhist Asia.  Pasadena: William Carey Library.

3.  “Missiological Framework for Contextualizing Christ-Centered Communities in the Buddhist World and Beyond.” presented at SEANET’s 10th Missiological Forum, Jan. 8-9, 2013 (to be published 2014).

4.  “The House Church Movements in Asia.” Asian Missions Advance 35 (January): 3-7.

5.  “Curriculum for Economic Transformation.” William Carey International Development Journal 2.4 (October).  In http://www.wciujournal.org/journal/article/curriculum-for-economic-transformation.

6.  “Missional Discipleship in Roman Catholic Context.”  Paper presented at Asia Missions Association (AMA) 11th Triennial Convention, October 7-11, 2013 (to be published 2014).

You may write me for a copy of any of these 8 articles.  In all these, I’ve sought to promote what I believe is God’s simple (not complex) master-plan on how to disciple all nations fastest!  Though 27% of the world remains totally unreached and 86% of today’s unreached do not have a Christian friend, we can accomplish total world evangelization by equipping all Christians (esp. the 99.95% non-clergy) to exercise their royal priesthood, to intentionally befriend and make disciples of their neighbors across borders – without committing the blunder of “extraction evangelism”!  Properly trained in DMM, anyone can do community, campus and marketplace ministries to reach today’s non-Christians (Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Communists, Tribals, etc.)! I’m discipling DMM’ers via email and Facebook, too!

I thank God for your partnership in the Gospel!  May I hear from you, too?  May God bless you abundantly in the new year, so that you and your family will be channels of His blessings to all who He’ll bring into your circle of influence!

With best wishes for you in 2014,

(signed) David Lim

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My writings -2013

1.  “Contextualizing the Gospel in Ancestor-Venerating Cultures.” In Melba Maggay (ed.). The Gospel in Culture: Contextualization Issues in an Asian Context.  Mandaluyong City: OMF Literature.  Pp. 377-415.

2.  “Developing Transformational Leaders for Church Multiplication Movements in the Buddhist World.”  In Paul de Neui (ed.). Developing Indigenous Leaders: Lessons in Mission from Buddhist Asia.  Pasadena: William Carey Library. Pp. 83-110.

3.  “Missiological Framework for Contextualizing Christ-Centered Communities in the Buddhist World and Beyond.” Paper presented at SEANET’s 10th Missiological Forum, January 8-9, 2013 (to be published 2014).

4.  “The House Church Movements in Asia.” Asian Missions Advance 35 (January): 3-7.

5.  “Curriculum for Economic Transformation.” William Carey International Development Journal 2.4 (October).  In http://www.wciujournal.org/journal/article/curriculum-for-economic-transformation.

6.  “Missional Discipleship in Roman Catholic Context.”  Paper presented at Asia Missions Association (AMA) 11th Triennial Convention, October 7-11, 2013 (to be published 2014).

7.  “History and Ministry of Philippine Missions Association: Leading the Global Shift to Tentmaker Missions.”  Asian Missions Advance 41 (October): 2-6.

8.  “Asian Mission Movements in Asia Today.” Asian Missions Advance 41 (October): 29-36.

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Strategies of Mission Movements in Asia Today

As we seek to share the Gospel of God’s Kingdom among the unreached people groups (UPGs) in Asia, let us take a good look at the mission strategies of our co-workers in the harvest-field.  Can the Christian minorities of our region (both nationals and expatriates) really reach out to our Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Communist, animist and secular humanist neighbors effectively, so that the Great Commission can be fulfilled among them, even in our generation?  If we are faithful in effectively doing our evangelization of Asia, we would help the global church in finishing the Great Commission among about 70% of the unreached living in our region today.  This paper seeks to show how the various churches in Asia are trying to do missions to reap the harvest in partnership with the global church in our respective neighborhoods and countries.

Why is the world, esp. Asia, not fully evangelized yet? The problem is not with God (who desires that all will be saved) nor with the lost (the Holy Spirit is convicting them of sin, righteousness and judgment, Jn.16:8-11), but appears to be with the church: it is not doing enough to send enough workers into the harvest, which seems to be ripe for reaping most, if not all of the time (Mt.9:36-38; Jn.4:34-38).  We thank God that many major missional initiatives have emerged from among us especially since the 1960s mainly through the maturation of student movements in India, the Philippines, Singapore, Hongkong and South Korea. Since then various indigenous mission movements and global mission agencies have continued to recruit and send out hundreds of Asian missionaries to Asia and the world.

However, in spite the zeal, sincerity, dedication, prayers and even sacrifices in our missions, there seems to be hardly any significant outcomes and impact among the UPGs in Asia: are our churches taking the whole gospel effectively to our region and the whole world?  As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  May I suggest that besides spiritual factors, finding and implementing the “right mission strategy” will be most significant in determining our success or failure to bring closure to the Great Commission in Asia and the world?  Sending more missionaries is good, but not good enough.  We must make sure that we are strategically sending the right quality of missionaries who will do effective mission work.

Hence as I present the dozens of mission movements in Asia today, I classify them according to their mission strategies and their intended and actual outcomes.There are five (5) main mission strategies which have developed globally and have been used by various mission movements in Asia, in the recent four decades since the first Lausanne Congress (1974). These are: (1) Church Growth through outreach programs; (2) Church Growth through cell multiplication; (3) Church Growth through intentional church planting; (4) Church Multiplication through church planting movements; and (5) Kingdom Expansion through disciple multiplication movements.

Strategy #1: Church Growth Through Outreach Programs

Most Asian churches and denominations as well as global mission organizations that are concerned for evangelism, church-planting and missions follow the Church Growth strategies and practices which have evolved through the past two centuries since William Carey (1792).  This traditional and mainstream mission strategy seeks to build congregations that will find ways to reach out to the community so as to attract the unchurched to become members of the congregation.

For local evangelism, several approaches are used. Among the main ones are: (1) house-to-house visitation, with the hope that an evangelistic Bible study may be started; (2) street (or commando) evangelism; (3) church fellowships, like Men’s, Women’s, Youth, Singles, Couples, Young Adults, etc.; (4) interest clubs, such as sports (basketball, football, bowling, golf, etc.), creative arts (painting, photography, etc.), camping, etc.; (5) use of mass media, like radio, television, tracts, films (esp. the “Jesus” film), and recently, websites and chat-rooms, often combined with correspondence courses.

The use of the above methods usually becomes more intense during special occasions, like: (1) special Sundays, esp. worship services, of religious festivals, like Easter, Christmas and Pentecost, “All Saints,” Thanksgiving, etc.; and public holidays like Mothers’, Fathers’, Independence, New Year, etc. (2) special seminars, like on parenting, marriage enrichment, etc.; (3) special meals, with some special features, like invited speakers or featured films; and (4) community events, like concerts and healing services.

Those who are  more community-oriented would  add “good works” or holistic ministries, like (1) social services, such as feeding programs, tutorials, medical clinics, often for free; and (2) counseling services, through coffeehouses, ministry centers, even half-way houses. Those who have more resources have sought to build Christian (read: church-owned) orphanages, schools and hospitals.  Most of these need external funding support, often from Christian development and mission organizations from the West and Asia’s developed countries.  In the past ten years, special focus has been on “child-focused development” to reach the 4/14 Window, promoted by the Mission as Transformation and Transform World Connections.

Special mention must be given to the Diaspora ministries, esp. to international workers and students in their midst.  Some churches and para-churches in major cities in Asia (esp. in Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines) sponsor ministries to expatriates by forming fellowships among them. Very few have incorporated these fellowships into the mainstream of the congregation to constitute a multi-ethnic church. Rather the majority has kept them as fellowships or has “hived them off” to form autonomous ethnic churches to reach their own compatriots.  Most significant may be a mission agency in Malaysia that ministered among Vietnamese workers there, and have their converts return to their homeland to start churches among UPGs there.  Many ministries to international students have also seen great results as their converts returned to their homelands after graduation to start ministries there.

Strategy #2: Church Growth Through Cell Multiplication

A new phenomenon since the 1980s is the rise of “cell churches,” esp. mega-churches in the cities of Asia and the world. They started as “churches with cells,” mainly with the strategy of Yoido Full Gospel Church founded in 1958 by David Yonggi Cho in Seoul, Korea.

Then in the 1990s, “seeker-friendly churches” (popularized by Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek Church and Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in U.S.A.) combined with the “cell-church” (two-winged: celebration on Sundays and small groups on weekdays only) aimed to grow “churches of cells,” popularized by Lawrence Khong in Singapore then.  A more recent strategy has focused on multiplying leaders for these cells, called “Groups of 12” (G-12) developed by Cesar Castellanos in Bogota, Colombia (now adopted by some churches and denominations in Asia), “Discipleship-group of 12” (D-12) by Christ’s Commission Fellowship (Manila), “Wiki-church” by Victory Christian Fellowship (Manila), and most recently “Disciplemaking church” of Edmund Chan’s Covenant Evangelical Free Church (Singapore).

The benchmark of this growth strategy is “cell multiplication.” Through a carefully planned lay leadership training program, the church is able to mobilize a good number of their church members to lead cell groups (called care groups, discipleship groups, prayer groups, etc.) in their places of residence, work, study and even recreation. Since most of these churches are theologically Pentecostal-charismatic, they also emphasize “power evangelism” or “signs and wonders” as they pray for miraculous healing and other spiritual manifestations, like tongues, “resting in (or slain by) the Spirit,” etc.). In association with other independent (and mostly also with the same theological bent) ministers and churches, they wage “spiritual warfare” as they jointly seek to evangelize and make disciples in their locality.

All of these “churches with cells” and attempted “churches of cells” therefore differ much in their strategy from Strategy #1. They are simpler by emphasizing only two major activities: cell multiplication and “seeker-friendly celebration” for local evangelism, and “modeling” and “church-planting” for foreign mission. As seen above, such simplicity is often just an ideal at the start, but often quickly gets complicated (and expensive!) to maintain, since the varied demands of the increasing number of members require really gifted leadership and management skills that require huge budgets.

Perhaps the best model of this type that approximates a movement may be that of Victory Christian Fellowship (Philippines) that has aimed to plant a “wiki-church” in every major city among the 55 countries in Asia.  Through its Every Nation Leadership Institute, it has trained church-planters who can start and nurture their cell-church approach, as short-termers, tentmakers or career missionaries.  They have already formed branches in about 40 nations, including Muslim- and Communist-dominated ones.

Strategy #3: Church Growth Through Intentional Church-Planting

The third mission strategy is that of intentional (or saturation) church-planting, which has been nurtured by the national movements in the Global Church Planting Network. A local church (or denomination) can envision and plan to start new churches in other areas through sending individual church-planters or church-planting teams, some even as big as an entire section of a congregation. The goal is to expand the presence, influence and ministry of the church to other communities, regions and nations. Oftentimes, the resultant church-plants become satellite churches or daughter churches which will eventually become sister-churches of the mother (or sending) churches.

The usual practice of church-planters is to do house-to-house visits, usually after some evangelistic event (like an evangelistic rally, healing crusade, etc.) to gain some contacts. The objective is to work towards the conversion and baptism of about twenty-five adults through evangelistic Bible studies and discipleship classes. A new church is considered “planted” or established when a consistent number of baptized believers can choose their own leaders (self-governing) to raise their own budget (self-supporting) to fund their expenses for a pastor, property/facilities and activities to keep Sunday worship services and evangelistic programs going (self-propagating).

With the rise and spread of “saturation evangelism” strategy of Discipling A Whole Nation (DAWN) movement developed by Jim Montgomery in the Philippines in the mid-1970s, the saturation church-planting (SCP) strategy has been introduced in many countries. “Church multiplication” or “church planting movements” (CPM) are being encouraged, to purposively escalate the number of churches being established within a period of time. Many evangelical denominations and national council of churches have adopted this vision and strategy. The outstanding ones in Asia (e.g., Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, and most recently Thailand) have aimed to organize churches which can reproduce or “give birth” to another church within 3-5 years. The goal is to work with other churches to saturate a region with churches in each municipality.  From my research, the Assemblies of God has been the main denomination that has most successfully used this strategy in the last two decades.

A recent trend is the use of a more holistic approach to church-planting, esp. among the urban poor. The initiative usually comes from Christian development organizations (CDOs) or mission agencies with holistic orientation. They work towards planting churches among the poor through incarnational workers (usually lay, with some community development training) who will eventually pass on the leadership of the new church to a local church or a pastor.

Strategy #4: Church Multiplication Through Church Planting Movements

Yet these three Church Growth strategies (including the mega-church kind) has not made any significant impact on the Muslim Ummah (community), Hindu castes, Communist lands, and Buddhist areas yet.  As our Lord’s Great Commission includes discipling these major blocs of people groups, which strategy will be effective in reaching these UPGs today that will bear fruit and even much fruit among them?

Thankfully there are Asian movements that are using two other mission strategies that have developed in recent years.  Though the concept of “total church mobilization” predates Lausanne 1974, it is only in the last two decades that this has become a concrete reality seen in various “church planting movements” (CPM) in Asia and the world. They view that the above three strategies, though used of God in the past and will continue to be used in the future, will not be able to reach the world for Christ, since they fail to use the full potential of the whole church to evangelize and multiply churches among the nations, esp. the UPGs.

This fourth strategy called “Church Multiplication through CPMs” aims to have every Christian equipped to be a disciple-maker (in any place) and tentmaker (in cross-cultural contexts). Theologically, this is based on the biblical doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Practically, besides the few who are called to be church-supported leaders, every believer can be a local “lay pastor” and/or a cross-cultural “lay missionary.” They can lead churches not just in their places of residence, but also in their places of work or study. For this to be doable and duplicable, the key is to intentionally limit the size of churches, about 20 adults as maximum number per church; hence they have often been called “house churches” (in fact, this is the only type of church in the New Testament!) or any designation according to the venue of their meetings, such as “office churches,” “campus churches,” etc.  The small size makes it simple for ordinary people to participate and lead, as well as makes it flexible and humanly manageable. In many situations, this makes the church persecution-proof and poverty-proof. After all, the full presence of Christ is among them, even if only two or three are gathered in his name (Mt. 18:20)! Yet most importantly, the small size allows a simple body-life that develops transparency and mutual ministry in informal face-to-face relationships (cf. 1 Cor. 14:26). Believers are automatically trained “on the job” to become leaders as they learn to discover and use their spiritual gifts, participate in discussions and ministries, as well as take turns in leading group activities. Only discipled believers can reproduce and multiply (evangelize and disciple others); and disciples are made only in small groups with “high touch” relationships!

Thus, evangelism happens naturally through friendships that are formed. The fastest CPM today is “Training for Trainers” (T4T), where a tentmaker equipped his disciples to share their testimonies with their friends and kin, and once any of their contacts becomes a convert, they are incorporated into a “house church” and trained to also share their testimonies with their friends and kin… and so forth! Those who have learned to do such “friendship evangelism” and lead “house churches” become export-quality servant-leaders: they can be sent by God to any place in the world (with some cross-cultural training by their disciplers) and make disciple-makers there also. Cross-cultural mission happens naturally also as believers relocate for work as business people, managers, teachers, medical personnel, care-givers, seamen, even domestic helpers. Gladly, many of the global and Asian Christian development organizations and their partner networks are working with this mission approach already.  Most have developed into “house-church networks” (HCN) that empower the so-called laity to become “lay pastors” (disciple-makers) locally and “lay missionaries” (tentmakers) cross-culturally.  Many missionaries from the West (esp. North America), the Philippines and Indonesia have begun to shift to using this strategy in many regions today, too.

Strategy #5: Kingdom Expansion Through Disciple Multiplication Movements

Yet many CPMs (Strategy #4) are struggling to multiply as much as they should.  There has been another mission strategy called the “disciple multiplication movement” (DMM), which aims to produce “people movements,” especially using the best practices of community organizing and high contextualization strategies, which is also labeled “insider movements” (IM) nowadays. (For those familiar with the C1-C6 spectrum discussion in Western missiology, CPMs are generally C4, while DMMs and IMs are C5 and C6).

In my estimation, this fifth strategy is advocated and practiced by 80% of the house church movements (HCM) in Asia. The leaders in the HCMs in Asia have been organized and meeting informally since 2006, and found like-minded partners in the various lay-focused movements, like campus ministries (esp. Navigators), marketplace or workplace ministry, business-as-mission and tentmaker movements globally, as well as mission agencies (mainly Western, mostly in the International Orality Network) that do CPMs that avoid “church planting.” The leaders of all these movements have started to meet annually in conferences held by Asian Frontier Missions Initiative since 2007.  Perhaps the most intentional movement of this type is the Philippine Missions Mobilization Movement that seeks to bless the nations by training and commissioning a million diaspora Filipinos to be tentmaker (and about 5,000 career) missionaries to catalyze DMMs where they live and work. Believing that God desires His people to effectively bring all peoples to inherit eternal life and enjoy abundant life (= shalom/peace in Old Testament, and Kingdom of God in New Testament) as they obey Him as their Creator and Master through their faith in His Son Jesus Christ, it seems most reasonable to believe that He thus made a simple plan for world redemption by which all peoples and nations will be made into followers of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit – without extracting them from their community. This strategy works for “kingdom expansion” or “societal transformation,” by which the individuals, families, communities and institutions in our nations will be discipled to repent of their sins and build Christ-following communities that are growing in righteousness and justice marked by self-giving love (Greek: agape).

These Christ-centered individuals and families will be “incarnated” in the structures of their communities, naturally rising to servant leadership roles as they love and serve their neighbors in practical ways. As they facilitate the holistic development of their neighborhood, they transform their proximate communities “from the inside out” as they share their blessings as servant-partners with other communities in establishing shalom where they live and work. To achieve this objective, DMMs seek to simply follow the missionary method of Christ and the apostles called “disciple-making,” as they model servant leadership, which persuades and equips people to live according to God’s will voluntarily, whether the church constitutes the majority or the “overwhelming minority” (Mk.10:42-45; 1 Pet.5:1-3). Every Christ-follower is discipled to make their own disciples, through holistic and transformational ministries, which include both friendship evangelism and socio-political action, with signs and wonders (Mt.28:18-20; Lk.4:18f; Rom.15:18f; 1 Pet.2:9f) that will result in family and community conversions to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

DMMs and HCMs aim to catalyze “people movements” that equip disciples to multiply simple “biblical Christianity” — contextualized, holistic and transformational “indigenous churches” that are truly replicable: self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating and self-theologizing.  They will be planting “churches” that will be copied by future generations of Christians, so they should avoid transplanting denominational churches (= complex Christianity = Christendom) which are often non-contextual (= foreign-looking), hence have almost always produced marginalized Christians who are separated from their communities — despised and rejected by their family and friends, not only because of the Gospel but also because of their extra-biblical forms/traditions, often unknowingly, resulting from “extraction evangelism.”  This is to follow Apostle Paul’s instructions to expatriate missionaries to consider their hosts as masters, and to “become all things to all people” (1 Cor.9:19-23), and to local Christ-followers to retain and then develop holistically from their professional and socio-religious identities (1 Cor.7:17-24).

Many Christian development agencies have been doing this community-based non-extractive approach for some time already – often unintentionally due to the requirements of government and other secular fund sources. This raises the challenge for us: Are we ready to recognize Christ-worshippers who trust and obey Him as Lord within their socio-religious (read: non-Christendom) contexts? Can we welcome Christ-followers whose socio-religious identities remain Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Communist?  I really hope so, even if many of us will be very hesitant. Let us be reminded that most of our Christendom forms and practices have developed from those of European tribes which were converted to Christ through “people movements” without being extracted from their socio-religious identities, as these also happened in the evangelization of the Christianized populations in South India, the Philippines, Northeast India, Myanmar, Indonesia and most Pacific islands.

Conclusion

As shown above, most churches and missions have been using mission strategies that have systematically hindered our obedience to reach the nations for Jesus. The past four decades since Lausanne 1974 have seen improvements in the outreach programs of many local churches (Strategy #1) and the development of new strategies, like cell multiplication (Strategy #2) and intentional church-planting (Strategy #3). Yet we have also seen the (re)discovery of two strategies that have the potential of truly mobilizing  the whole church for global missions – through house church multiplication by mobilizing all believers to be disciple-makers or tentmakers for CPMs (Strategy #4), and most effectively through contextualized community-based CPMs, called DMMs (Strategy #5).  Let’s turn Christian-led houses and offices into “church buildings,” and church buildings into community ministry centers, managed by the local network of house churches, each with their own unique ministry contributions in their contexts.

Even if most of our churches would hesitate to make this paradigm shift themselves, they should at least start to encourage and support Strategy #4 and Strategy #5 ministries which aim at replicating “people movements” to Christ.  As far as simple mathematics go, it is the only hope we have to finish the Great Commission as soon as possible.  Let’s aim not only for more missional programs and activities, but also for quality missional results and effectiveness. Just compare the potential for evangelistic and transformational impact in a nation or a people group and their missionary outreach to the unchurched locally and the UPGs cross-culturally: one church of 200,000 members (Strategy #2), or 100 churches of 2,000 members each (Strategy #1), or 1,000 churches of 200 members each (Strategy #3), or 10,000 churches of 20 members each (Strategy #4), or 40,000 churches of 5 members each (Strategy #5).  In my estimation, the average annual growth rate for each strategy differs: 10% for Strategy #1, 20% for Strategy #2, 30% for Strategy#3, 60% for Strategy #4, and 100% or more for Strategy #5.

Let us develop mission movements that focus on church multiplication through CPMs (Strategy #4) and most especially on kingdom expansion through DMMs (Strategy #5) to effectively reach Asia and the world in our generation.  May the global church be mobilized to share the gospel effectively and strategically with our neighbors in Asia and the world “…and then the end will come” (Mt.24:14).  Maranatha!

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How Best to Evangelize China

Since the Communist takeover of China in 1949, two main kinds of churches have developed in China: the official Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM, with its partner Church of Christ in China) and the unregistered house-churches.  Both have experienced rapid church growth since the Cultural Revolution (1966-69).  Because of this, leadership training is their greatest need now.  As of 2012, there are official statistics of about 65 million Christians affiliated with TSPM churches while some observers estimate another 70-100 million in the house-churches, with tens of thousands of meeting-points and hundreds of unregistered training centers.

Those outside China who want to help in the evangelization of China immediately face the dilemma of choosing between the two groups.  My international mission agency believes that we should prioritize to help the house-churches on theological and practical grounds:

A.  Theological

Theologically, the ultimate head of the TSPM church is not Christ but the Communist religious policy and controlling agencies.  And measured against the standards of Christianity in the New Testament, the house-churches are obviously the main (if not the better and more biblical) manifestation of Christ’s church in China today.

House-church leaders constantly remind us that theologically, evangelicals should avoid supporting TSPM because it may become Satan’s tool (as it had before) in persecuting believers when religious policy changes.  Historically, the TSPM was developed by the Communist Party under the United Front policy and has been used by the party to persecute the house-churches when hard-line religious policies were enforced, and to monitor the house-churches within the “three designates” policy when the soft-line tolerant policies were implemented under Deng’s era.  House-church leaders have clear evidences that they are being “spied upon” by TSPM pastors and thus attribute many arrests of house-church leaders and closures of house-churches to TSPM reports to the Public Security Bureau (PSB, China’s police), even until today.

B.  Practical

Practically, the house-churches though not visible or outspoken are the dominant church in China, and are most worthy of full support, because theologically they honor the authority of the Bible and the headship of Christ, and historically they have refused control of the party and suffered the most for Christ under persecution.  They are zealous for the Lord and eager to evangelize locally and even cross-culturally.

The house-churches are the growing edge of the church in China.  TSPM churches maintain Christian activities within the confines of the church premises, while the house-churches are continuing to grow rapidly by actively reaching out and planting churches everywhere, even among urban intellectuals, rural farmers and tribal minorities.  Although a few TSPM churches are mission-minded, the overwhelming majority are ingrown and lack evangelistic vision and zeal.

Actually, the TSPM is complicated in her constituents of members and leaders.  Most of the TSPM members come from the house-churches.  Many of the present leadership were recruited from the house-churches who joined with a pastoral heart for the hungry souls in the church.  News from various sources reveals the politics among TSPM leaders.  In a pastoral team, one pastor may work for the Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB) and monitor house-church activities; another may have an evangelical heart and help nurture house-churches registered under TSPM; and a younger graduate from Nanjing Theological Seminary may refuse to obey his senior but obey the Bible instead.

In asking for outside help, on the one hand, most TSPM churches do not ask for ministry of the Word, but rather financial assistance in staff salaries or building construction.  If teaching or literature is offered, they are rejected by some, postponed by others, and received only by very few.  The rare few can be found in open regions with younger pastors and in places where the polarization between the TSPM and house-churches is not too serious.  (Of course, there are evangelical members and leaders in the TSPM churches who have genuine desire for teaching and training.  This requires care and discernment in the process of contact and cooperation).

On the other hand, house-church believers are hungry for the Word and request for ministry of the Word more than financial help.  In many provinces where revival occurred, they have developed a close network for fellowship and organized their own leadership training programs.  Some have even developed several levels of underground theological training.  But as they train and send out missionaries, they need a constant and increasing supply of Bibles, literature, teaching materials and training.  This demands outside help to be coordinated in an organized way which can provide training teams on various subjects combined with a constant supply of literature.  Training sessions in house-churches are usually attended by 50-150 people (usually “tried and tested” experienced ministers at that!) and last for 1-3 months.

My agency’s policy may even be better: we avoid bringing in translated Christian literature from the outside, but rather encourage and help finance the printing of the best used materials developed by the house church leaders themselves.

Therefore, in spite the difficulties and risks of contacting and supporting the house-churches, we believe that we must channel most, if not all, our support to our brethren in these churches.

Our major assumptions:

  1. God has been and is at work in China, and His Church has been growing rapidly without much outside help, except for radio broadcasting and Bibles smuggled in.
  2. The best people to evangelize China are the local believers themselves.  Thus the role of expatriates is of supportive servants and partners: (a) to follow the lead of God-appointed Chinese church leaders, while also (b) sharing our spiritual gifts and expertise humbly and generously, and (c) serving as bridges between China’s house-churches and churches abroad.
  3. Our goal is to help equip and empower the Chinese church (and not create dependency) for her to do her share in world evangelization, esp. in the various “Back to Jerusalem” mission movements.  Thus we must focus in training her leaders to become truly theologically mature in Christ and spiritually alive to send competent missionaries to the unreached in China, Asia and the world!

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Quality Missions for Effective Harvest

The vision and mission of the Filipino missions mobilization movement emphasizes not just the quantity of missionaries commissioned (most people are fascinated by our figure of 1,000,000 by 2020), but more especially the quality of these people deployed.  We carefully chose the phrases: cross-cultural disciple-makers.  It’s because we really want them to actually be located strategically among the unreached and unchurched people groups, and that they are effectively making and multiplying disciples among their target peoples.

Experienced missionaries, missionary trainers and missiologists have more or less derived at a common understanding that effective missions must result in indigenous (self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating and self-theologizing) “churches” that are harvest, holistic and healthy Christ-centered communities, through a mission paradigm consisting of “Church Planting Movements (CPM) or Disciple Multiplication Movements (DMM), Community Transformation and Contextualization.” For me, and as proven by my tentmaker missions approach for the past 15 years, this can be done most strategically and effectively through bi-vocational “missionaries.”

I believe our “Tentmakers Crash Course” and “A Higher Purpose” Course can give our missions candidates enough foundation to do DMM, which equips them to work with local “persons of peace” and use local resources for their personal (and their family’s and disciples’) support system.  I envision our trained tentmakers in OFW churches NOT to bring their non-Filipino converts to their Filipino/OFW church, but to disciple their non-Filipino converts to each (or “two by two,” or “from house to house”) start their own DMM, which are self-supporting and self-propagating, most probably more effectively than other models of missions. I’m glad this is going to be more mainstream from now on, because most international missions and even Korean missions are  trying to shift into this paradigm that has been advocated by some of us.

We are trying to challenge thousands of believers to sacrifice their time, money and even their lives to go among the unchurched and unevangelized.  So much prayers, energies, finances and lives will be expended.  Let us see to it that our missionaries are equipped and deployed to do the most strategic and most effective work to reap God’s abundant harvest out there, or even in our close neighborhoods.  I’ve seen and heard so many career and tentmaker missionaries struggle almost by trial-and-error in the mission-fields. Let’s do it better this time: quality missions for effective harvest, so that heaven will be truly filled rather than hell!

By God’s grace, may Filipino missions lead the way, as we are already doing through many of our PMA members!

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