Let the little children come to me…

In our modern world children and youth often do not feature too much in society.

So:

What does it mean to us today in Africa, when Jesus says “Let the little children come to me?”

What is your response?

In which way do you see cildren taking an active role in the Great Commission?

 

 

 

 

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30 Nov -0001

Literature and Mission

Christian literature still plays important role in mission work. I learned through one of ministries in Asia. This ministry team goes to remote islands for outreach. They hold meetings and show Gospel films. They feed children with hot meals. New converts are baptised and discipled. During this process, literature (Gospel tracts, devotional, discipleship literature and Bible) is needed. When we started working with this ministry, first thing they asked was ’literature’. That was priority one. – and still is.

Christian leaders/workers need basic ministry literature, especially in restricted regions. They do not have much access to Christian literature. One Christian worker needed basic training material. Because of government restrictions, we had difficulty to send.  Basic literature is very precious to Chrsitian workers in many places around the world.

 * About distribution of Bible/Scripture.– some time ago, I read criticism from a mission leader about giving just a portion of New testament.  He emphasized that we need to give the whole Bible.  Giving a Bible is good.  But giving Gospel/Evangel should come first. -Also foundational teaching of Christian faith.

30 Nov -0001

“Let the Little Children Come to Me.”

This scripture means much more than ’permitting’ children to come to Jesus, much more than not denegrating them as too young.  When Christ tells us to let the little children come to Him he is, in effect, telling us that it is our responsibility to ’make a way’ for them to come to Him. It is not enough to have Sunday School Classes and VBS’ for children, we must begin to make them a viable member in this body of Christ!

How can we do that? I think it begins with the teachings both the Old & New Testaments give us of vivid examples of youth becoming major forces in the movement of Christianity and that it should be no different today. Our problem today is that we don’t really believe God can work better through a child or young person than he might through us. When men, or women, get together to discuss the future path of our faith you will almost never hear any mention of the role of children in reaching out to the world. Are not the greatest ambassadors in the world children? Who shrinks back from a child? Who questions the motives of a child? Who prejudges the message of child based upon appearance or heritage? Rarely anyone…therefore they are God’s perfect messengers!

A child filled with the Word and embued with the Holy Spirit will penetrate into hardened hearts where no pastor can hope to reach. Defenses are lowered, prejudices are dropped, and preformed analyses are left behind when a child steps to the stage. We listen and by our listening we insipidly teach other children that what they say and think is important to our ’august’ body. When they are allowed to play a vital role in the evangelism of the world they will come in droves, they cannot help but come when they are viewed as relevant.

Why don’t we have children or youth give an assessment of a sermon immediately after delivery, why don’t we allow them the opportunity to make a presentation in the general assembly of our worship services, not just on ’children’s day’?  We’re not talking about a cute song or skit, but a demonstration or definition of what some scripture means to them…we might gain great insight. God can use children to bring us to the simplest of terms with our religion, to the base issues we face, and the sound doctrine that we so desperately need to hear today. Maybe we have gotten too organized, too preplanned, too slick for our own good.

Let the little children come that we might better learn to come also!

30 Nov -0001

Ethnic Diversity In Global Missions

What are some of the demands of the Kingdom of God in relation to Ethnic diversity?

The following ingredients are needed: God is the one who established diversity. It is remarkable that God, the creator of the universe, enjoys diversity. “In the quest to recognize and to appreciate diversity of ethnic groups, care must be taken to avoid ethnic labeling and stereotyping.”[i] There is no Jew nor Greek, no male nor female, no slave nor free. We are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28, emphasis added). The following elements are needed if we are to work together for the expansion of God’s kingdom.

 

First, we need to focus on Christ. He is our inspiration and example to follow. He died on the cross for all of our iniquities. His ministry was powerful and His compassion and love for different kinds of people was evident. In the Gospel of John, we found the account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Jesus did not reject her because of her nationality; instead He spoke with her and met her specific need. Jesus revealed himself as Messiah to the Samaritan woman and everything changed (John 4:1-26). When we focus on Christ, we can complete the task regardless of the obstacles and challenges. It is not about us, but it is about working together to bless people who still need to hear the message of salvation.

 

Second, it is necessary to develop a sense of interdependent work. To work with people from other cultures requires developing a sense of community. The fact is that we need each other and the things that every person in the team does affect everybody else. Thus, values are important when it comes to team work. It is paramount to share a common set of principles with others.  The substitute to mistrust and paternalism in the relationship between people from different cultures is not independence and self-sufficiency; it is interdependence. And interdependence “comes with a deeper understanding of unity in Christ.”[ii] Why are we working together? What is the main reason? These questions are essential for us because they help us to learn from each other. Therefore, denominations, churches, and missionary agencies need to develop an interdependent spirit among their staff and team members. 

Third, mutual submission is required. Jesus gave us His example by totally submitting himself to the will of His Father. Paul also exhorts us to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”[iii] Submission requires us to be humble and respect each other. This kind of submission is based on our love for God and for each other. Unbelievers will notice when we are exercising mutual submission and accountability. This is for the benefit of the growth of the kingdom.

 

Fourth, everything that we do is for the sake of the kingdom. All the challenges and friction that come with dealing with diverse people in our teams it can be alleviated by the fact that everything that we do together will advance God’s kingdom. “One of the challenges that we may face is to be driven by personal interest rather than kingdom principles.”[iv]We are part of God’s kingdom and God has entrusted us a marvelous commission. We can strength each other knowing that we “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Rom 8:37).

 

Lastly, the people involved need to be flexible. Every person involved in missions knows the importance of flexibility. This is a very crucial aspect to be considered if we want to work with different ethnic people groups. Frustration and resistance arise when team members are not willing to be flexible. This is a learning and humbling process that allows us to grow and understand different perspectives. There needs to be a common ground that facilitates the communication and dynamics within the group. Working with majority world missionaries requires being flexible. For instance, the sense of time is different in every culture. We cannot assume that everybody will react in the same manner that we do.

 

[i] James Breckenridge, and Lillian Breckenridge, What Color Is Your God?: Multicultural Education in the Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 1995), 89. 

[ii]  Johannes Nissen, “Unity and Diversity: Biblical Models for Partnership,” Mission Studies 14, (1-2 1997): 140.

[iii] See Ephesians 5:21.

 

[iv] Victor H. Cuartas,  “Implicaciones Éticas y los Desafíos de los Negocios Como Misión en los

Países de Acceso Creativo.” Global Missiology in Spanish (July 2009). Under “Settings,” http://www.globalmissiology.org/espanol/ (accessed February 15, 2010).

 

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