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Jesus is the seed of the Kingdom

Apr 1, 2017 at 15:34

 

Hello Friends

This is a longer, but well worth the read, post from Andy Rayner (www.theinvisiblehumanitarian.<wbr></wbr>com) in the context of a discussion about the Five Fold Ministry and disciple multiplication. 

"I'm trained in theology, missology up the wazoo. God has made it clear to me that what we view as our style of leadership in the west is not needed to advance the church. After working in pulpit ministry, and four pioneer works in French sub Sahara West Africa, I have observed that the mass people movements taking place have many common characteristics. The most interesting, and humbling, is that every one of them spread apart from theologically trained people or association with theological institutions. 

In Mongola the Gospel was spread by young school girls. On weekends and school vacations one girl's family would invite another friend home. And the young girls would tell their other friends the bible stories while they played. Not a planned thing. It just happens. (www.goodreads.com/book<wbr></wbr>/show/2129128.Theres_a_Sheep_i<wbr></wbr>n_My_Bathtub)

The adults over heard them tell the stoies and listened.  (How do you get away in a yurt!)  By this the Gospel spread in a  region formerly impenetrable to foreign lead mission activity.

There is no talk about APEST gifts or leadership in these circles. 

Old women, of no apparent leadership attributes have planted more churchs than I have. I've come to believe (have shoved down my throat) that no gift qualifies or disqualifies anyone from loving others, sharing Jesus, or from church planting. Church planting is the result of sowing Jesus.... 

We turned over a new work of eighteen communities of believers to a mission agency, and moved to start another new work. The agency sent five mission families in... and the expansion of comminites stopped instantly. Four years later the westerners asked me to come back and do something, anything, to get mission and church planting to begin again. I spent 30 days in the bush with the local men and listened and listened some more. Did the same after that with the westerners... they were very critical of one farmer. 
Finally, I asked the five families how many church communities they started here. "None", they said.
"How many communities have you started anywhere in your life?", none they said.
I said, well, that farmer you are criticizing has brought the gosoel to nine villages. With no pay, no salary, no expense money, no bible college training, and he did it without your fancy training programs designed to teach him, and the others how it's done. (Same for every community. No western money was used for salaries, positions, constructing church buildings etc.) I share his story, and how this farmer has more gospel living and church forming experience in his pinky fingernail, right now, than all five western families will ever have in a lifetime, combined. So why don't we get out of the peoples way?

The uneducated rural farmers were defaulting to the educated imporant people, as they always do in those cultures. The farmers were submitting to all of the westerners meetings, classes, and training programs.. but for four years the advancement of the Gospel slowed to a trickle. not one new community.

Anyway, the five  family mission  team agreed to step back. So we went back to the bush, and all of the villages met. Within thirty days a new community sprung up, and by three months there were four new Jesus communities. 

One of the worst men I know, is an unusually large man among his ethnic group. He is brash, a big village bully, drinks a lot, and screws around with dozens of other women, sired children, gave his actual wife a STD because of it. He and I locked horns many times. We loved, and hated each other at the same time.  But coming from a fisherman family i'm used to brash burley men. 

He is not a leader, as he does not qualify in character. But the gospel is in his village because of him, and spread to four others because of him. Sometimes, I've seen him do it when visiting him, telling other men the stories in a drunken stupor over too much palm wine that fermented a little too long. You can't kick him out of the local church, as church discipline, because he rarely attends one because of his life. You can't tell him, or make him stop talking about Jesus, because he sees the church men as brothers, not authority... who can deny a man the right to talk? 

So he keeps talking about Jesus.... and the church spreads where ever he goes, but he never leads the new groups, and is rarely part of them... 


APEST, who's authority he's under, leadership traits, rights or qualifications were never discussions in these circles. We were unable to stop him from sharing Jesus, even though, as we would point out, he was "unqualified".


The seed of the Kingdom is Jesus.  So often we have tried to plant the whole cultural structure that we have built around Jesus rather than that pure seed and then wonder why that dead structural/institutional thing will not multiply.  


Your brother

Steve


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