Let’s Win the Race (Philippians 3:12–16): Part 1

Helping Indigenous Missions:

Run the Race to WIN the Prize!

Originally posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

phil 3.13-14 (2)Most people read biographies to satisfy their curiosity about great people, hoping they will discover the “secret” that made them great. In Philippians 3, Paul is giving us his spiritual biography: his past (vv. 1–11), his present (vv. 12–16), and his future (vv. 17–21). We have already met Paul “the accountant” who discovered new values when he met Jesus Christ (Learning How to Count). In this section, we meet Paul “the athlete” with his spiritual vigor, pressing toward the finish line in the Christian race. In each of these experiences, Paul is exercising the spiritual mind; he is looking at things on earth from God’s point of view. As a result, he is not upset by things behind him, around him, or before him—things do not rob him of his joy!

The Greek verb “straining toward” in 3:13 literally means “stretching as in a race.” Theologians…

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Shifting Missions

Hope Builders Ministry Zambia

Hope Builders Ministry Zambia

Missions has taken on a different priority in our post-modern western culture. Like so much of politics, we are filled with good intentions and miss the root/primary issue. The real purpose of Missions as defined in the Great Commission is The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The buzz words are many, but one phrase rings loudly. That is, doing  missions is “building the Kingdom of God.” But the Kingdom of God becomes something we are building in our own image and according to our vain imaginations. And we are doing it with “good intentions.” But bottom line we are to be getting people ready to enter the Kingdom of God. They must be born again (John 3:3) and they must be holy (Ephesians 5:5; Galatians 5:19-21; etc.). They must be disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:22).

This could and probably should be a long discussion on “what is the Kingdom of God?” and “what is our part as disciples of Christ in the Kingdom of God?” But right now I want to touch on the “shift in Missions” seen in the last few decades.

To put it bluntly, Our mission is the sharing of the Gospel to the salvation of souls bound for an endless eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire.

Christian Missions is about Soul Salvation. Today we have syncretized the message of eternal life in Jesus the Christ with many social programs. Now I know I will/am wading into a muddy pool here, but follow me for a bit. We have syncretized our Christian Mission with social development. The very thing we fought about in the Christian culture wars of the early 20th century with liberal denominational churches we have instituted into our own vision of missions in the missional church today.

Fellow missionary Michael Pfuam serving in Zambia says it this way talking about “Syncretism in World Missions”

In “modern” mission work we come across the intentional “change of the bad circumstances” e.g. the fight
against poverty, fight for democracy, freedom from abuse … These are all good and noble attempts. In focusing on these, missionaries become developmental workers, diplomats and politicians. Home churches collect vast amounts of money for developmental projects and the “eternal soul of the lost” is no longer the central focus of their investment and mission-work.
Values of our secular society take over, leaving the focus of the great commission on the sidelines.

Quoting Hugh Thomas Kerr, “Missions is not about sociology but salvation;
not economics but evangelism;
not reform but redemption;
not culture but conversion;
not progress but pardon;
not the new social order but the new birth;
not revolution but regeneration;
not renovation but revival;
not resuscitation but resurrection;
not a new organization but a new creation;
not democracy but the gospel;
not civilization but Christ.
We are ambassadors, not diplomats.
(Wesley L. Duewel, Ablaze For God, Francis Asbury Press, Grand Rapids Michigan USA, 1989, page104-105.)

Today the church seems not to believe that the Gospel is able to save people from their sin on its own. It needs help and so we use social causes to win the hearts of people so that they can then “hear” the Gospel. Two observations is that the Scriptures are clear that the Gospel is powerful to save in and of itself. Christ and the Apostles did not establish social justice and social reforms to introduce the Gospel to people so that they could “hear it” or “see it” to be saved. Any relief Paul raised was for the starving Church in Jerusalem and not the whole world. Secondly, my observation is that very little real Gospel ministry gets done with the establishment of social relief. I would contend the church has gotten the cart before the horse. Social change takes many years but begins with heart change, a change of mind and only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can accomplish this.

In short Christian Missions is about getting out the message of Jesus Christ, not creating a better world, “the Kingdom of God.” And I would contend that the best way to continue to spread the Gospel is through home missions, i.e. indigenous missions.

We should be evangelizing here at home and incorporating the converts into the local church and teaching them the Word of God so that they in turn do the same thing. That is we should be making disciples who are making disciples…

The Western Church should be helping churches around the world to do this NOT by being the great white savior and going ourselves but instead supporting the equipping of the church in Africa, Asia, South America etc to do the work of making disciples in their cultures. They need sound teaching. They need Bibles. They need help with infrastructure like transportation etc. We need to partner with them to help them do the work that we will never be able to do effectively because of culture and language.

That is the mission of Hope Builders Ministries and why I (HIMAfrica/HIMIndia) have partnered with this ministry. We are a conduit of blessings from the Lord to the church in Africa, India and around the world helping to supply the needed training and Bibles and bicycles and material support they need to do the work in their culture and economy.

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Helpers in the Ministry (Philippians 2:19–30)

Helping Indigenous Missions:

Excellent picture of disciples in the making.

Originally posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

Phil 2.19-30As we continue our study in Philippians, Paul is still discussing the submissive mind. He gives us a description of the submissive mind in the example of Jesus Christ (The Great Example, Phil. 2:1–11). He explains the dynamics of the submissive mind in his own experience (The Ins and Outs of Christian Living, Phil. 2:12–18). Now, he introduces us to two of his helpers in the ministry, Timothy and Epaphroditus. He knows that his readers will be prone to say, “It is impossible for us to follow such examples as Christ and Paul! After all, Jesus is the very Son of God and Paul is a chosen apostle who has had great spiritual experiences!” For this reason, Paul introduces us to two “ordinary saints,” men who were not apostles or spectacular miracle workers. He wants us to know the submissive mind is not a luxury enjoyed by…

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Ann Coulter is almost right. Missionaries are “idiotic” fools … for Christ’s sake.

Originally posted on A disciple's study:

from Theological Matters by Matt Queen

Christian narcissism annoys Ann Coulter. In a recent column, “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to ‘Idiotic,’” Ms. Coulter opines about the missionary work of a Samaritan’s Purse affiliated doctor and a SIM USA affiliated nurse in Africa by asking:

Why did Dr. Brantly [and his nurse] have to go to Africa? … Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?

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Why Princeton wants to kill its cap on giving students As

Originally posted on Quartz:

Back in 2004, Princeton was lauded for a policy attempting to reduce the steady upward march of grades at the university; it recommended that departments give no more than 35% of their students A-range grades. It may now reverse the decision after a faculty report (pdf) (endorsed by the school’s president) released on Aug. 7 found that the policy had a range of unintended, negative consequences.

Faculty will vote on the proposal this fall, and could roll back the previous standards as soon as October.

The report recommends that the numerical targets be removed, and that standards be set by departments individually. It wasn’t because it didn’t succeed in reducing grade inflation. Fewer As were awarded, and departments grew more (but certainly not entirely) aligned on grading.

But the policy only accomplished part of its goal—it failed to make grades a more accurate reflection of the quality of work.

Standards vs. quotas

According to the report…

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Ann Coulter is Wrong

Helping Indigenous Missions:

Excellent commentary on Ann Coulter’s recent article. Main thought: our citizenship is in Heaven. We have temporary visas while here on this present earth.
Read and comment.
Jeffrey Hawkins

Originally posted on The Art of Living:

Confusing Conservative with Christian

For those of you who know me these two confessions will come as no surprise.  First, I am politically conservative with a few libertarian leanings. I believe in a limited (much more limited than currently fashioned) federal government not because I believe the Bible demands it, but because I believe the Constitution requires it.  Second, I have on occasion enjoyed and agreed with many of the articles and books Ann Coulter has written realizing that she is a “flame thrower” who writes both to provoke as well as inform. Her article, “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to ‘Idiotic’” (www.AnnCoulter.com) definitely provoked me.

In summary she said Dr. Brantly should feel bad that his humanitarian trip cost his charity more than any services he rendered because of the specially equipped jet required to bring him back to the U.S. She then made the accusation aimed not…

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Zambia 2014 Pastor Training Seminars

Hope Builders Ministry Zambia

Hope Builders Ministry Zambia

https://picasaweb.google.com/118109803832574516972/ZambiaJune2014#slideshow/6038143596065210786

All pastors need training. If a man is called to pastor, he is called to training in the Word of God. It has been said that “no man is an island.” This is especially true for pastors. We all need continual training in the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is the teacher of all believers in Jesus Christ. This is one of His functions in the believers. He was given to “teach you all things” and “guide you into all the truth” (John 14:26; 16:13). The Holy Spirit is our primary teacher, but God also gives us mentors or human teachers. 2 Timothy 2:2 indicates that this is a generational process of disciple making. Paul taught Timothy who was to teach faithful men who would teach others also.

The HUB Model used by Hope Builders Ministries in Zambia and India is a disciple making model. One man is trained by another man who in turn trains another. HBM uses a 1 on 3 approach multiplying the disciple-making process rapidly.  One pastor trains 3 others (Peter, James and John) who in turn each train three others, etc.

This past June HIMAfrica led a team in Zambia conducting 7 pastors conferences with Hope Builders Ministries Zambia. HBMZ Administrator Matthew Daka accompanied Pastor Jeff Hawkins, Pastor Stephen Slater and seminary student Travis Milner from Lusaka to Kabwe to Kitwe to the Northwestern Province through the Kafue National Park and back to Lusaka. Seven different conferences were conducted serving about 300 HBMZ pastors. Two and three generations of disciples were represented at each conference, showing the growth of the ministry God has given through this disciple making process.

The theme of each conference was “Gospel Essentials – What God in Christ did to save us from His righteous wrath.”

Thank you for your prayers and support of HIMAfrica and HIMIndia serving with Hope Builders Ministries.

 

 

 

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