Apr
1

Collaboration in the Kingdom

written by JD

In a lone ranger world, collaboration is the outlaw.  It pushes against a rugged individualism. It slows things down. It is frustrating at times.

The larger your church, agency, or organization, the greater the likelihood you will become a lone ranger. The more we have, the more we believe we do not need others. Fight against this.

Cooperation is modeled throughout the Scriptures. In light of the 4 billion, collaboration is absolutely necessary.

Deaf Bible and Deaf Opportunity OutReach International are working together in a new way–doing more together than what they could do in isolated camps. An even more surprising example of collaboration on a massive scale is Wycliffe’s open source approach to Bible translation. (Read Bruce Smith’s vision and call for translators HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE).

Are there challenges with collaboration? Absolutely! Just ask Wycliffe. However, the Kingdom benefits often outweigh the limitations of collaboration.

Collaboration does not mean compromise on vision or theological or missiological convictions. With agreed upon boundaries and accountability, collaboration is an opportunity to do more together to advance the gospel than going solo.

Has your team, church, or agency been too much of a lone ranger? With whom do you need to collaborate (Ecc 4:9-12)?

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David Platt was my guest last week on Strike the Match. Check out our conversation and subscribe at iTunes or through RSS.

Mar
31

Come to Our Grand Opening!

written by JD

I read today that a Zaxby’s restaurant had a grand opening in Statesboro, Georgia. I bet they have some good deals on chicken this week.

I also see that Pieology Pizzeria in Huntsville, Alabama is scheduled to have their grand opening later in April. My guess is that some great coupons will be available in April.

It looks like Stephensville, Texas has a new pawn shop. They just had a grand opening.

Marshalls Department Store in Windsor, Ontario had their grand opening last week. Now is the time to get a good buy on summer clothes.

I received a postcard today from a new church in Birmingham. I read they are having their “grand opening” this Easter Sunday…. I wonder what they are selling?

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David Platt was my guest last week on Strike the Match. Check out our conversation and subscribe at iTunes or through RSS.

Mar
30

Remembering Yemen

written by JD

Yemen has been in the news a great deal for the past several months. However, global attention recently has been raised to a new level with some asking if the crisis is about to spark a regional war.

If you need a summary of what is happening, check out this article or list of quick facts and timeline.

According to peoplegroups.org, the population of Yemen is 27,800,000. Pray for the World estimates the Evangelical Christian population at 4,300, or 0.015% of the population. Therefore, the population of the unreached people groups in Yemen is approximately the entire population of the country. All of the 17 people groups making up the country of Yemen are unreached peoples. And within this 17, 15 people groups are unengaged-unreached–meaning no intentional church planting strategy is happening among them. As of this post, Joshua Project has two Yemeni people groups (Tihami and Yemeni, Northern) on their top-ten priority unreached list.

  • Pray for peace to come to the country
  • Pray for righteous leaders for Yemen with wisdom to make right decisions
  • Pray for world leaders as they make decisions regarding Yemen
  • Pray for the believers
  • Pray that the Lord may use such horrors to draw people to Himself
  • Pray for ___________.

Will you remember Yemen as you read this post?

While many of us are geographically far removed from Yemen, may we (at least in the States) not forget that the Yemenis are nearby (at least HERE and HERE) and need a neighbor who can offer hope (Eph 4:4) and peace (Isa 9:6). May they not be the strangers next door to us.

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David Platt was my guest last week on Strike the Match. Check out our conversation and subscribe at iTunes or through RSS.

Mar
29

Church Planting or Church Revitalization?

written by JD

“Church planting and church revitalization are really similar,” he said. “No. They are not,” I replied.

The gravity of the New Testament paradigm reveals that churches are birthed from the harvest (Acts 13-14), not started with a pastor and long-term Kingdom citizens. This does not mean the latter is wrong; it is just not the expectation.

Church revitalization means a church is already in existence and in need of revitalization. There is tradition, structure, and history in place with the saints and the community.

Some folks are asking why be involved in church planting: “We already have so many churches that need to be revitalized.” My response: “Yes, many of them need to be revitalized. And more churches are needed; there are at least 540 unreached people groups in North America.”

Authors write books that equate planting and revitalization. Some church and denominational leaders equate planting and revitalization. I have heard of training programs that simultaneously train leaders for planting and revitalization.

I am 110% supportive of church revitalization.  I have trained numerous church leaders to be involved in such ministry. I am 110% supportive of church planting. I have trained numerous people to be involved in such ministry. If you missed what our church is doing in these two areas, this series may be of interest to you.

Church planting is not church revitalization.

Much of the confusion comes from the lack of an apostolic missiology. Planting and revitalization are apples and oranges. Don’t mix them. You create confusion in the Church when you do. Just look around in North America.

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David Platt was my guest last week on Strike the Match. Check out our conversation and subscribe at iTunes or through RSS.

Mar
26

Conversation with David Platt

written by JD

Strike the MatchI recently spoke with Dr. David Platt about his transition to the role of the president of the International Mission Board (IMB). David stopped by the office to record this conversation for Strike the Match.

In this episode, we talk about family, restructuring and future of the IMB, diaspora missiology, meaningful collaboration between the IMB and the North American Mission Board, and his latest book Counter Culture.

If you are interested in dropping in on our conversation, check out this podcast. You can find David on Twitter, at Radical, or at the IMB.

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Be sure to subscribe to this podcast (RSS or iTunes). I would greatly appreciate your ratings and comments.

Mar
25

Claiming the Grace Card

written by JD

“‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubborness of my heart.’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike” (Deu 29:19, ESV).

Complacency.

Contempt toward God.

Lackadaisical spirit.

Antinomian lifestyle because we always lead with the grace card.

Letting our guards down.

Flirting with temptation.

All of these lead to corrective discipline from a loving Father who does not allow His children to use His grace as an excuse for licentiousness.

God’s grace is great, but there are consequences for striking the rock.

We may be a person after God’s heart, but God’s heart is not with our adulteries, abuses of power, and murders.

Mar
24

Friending Saudis

written by JD

More hours on-line than peers elsewhere.

Highest percent on Twitter and YouTube, relative to internet users.

Facebook, a usual mode of communication.

Soaring Smartphone growth.

75% of the country under 30.

Highly globalized youth population, many speaking English.

Government providing funding for study abroad.

4th largest number of international students in the United States.

Saudi Arabia.

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Last week on Strike the Match I addressed the need for apostolic missiology in the West. Subscribe at iTunes or through RSS.

 

Mar
23

Some Slept and Generation Z Awoke

written by JD

I recall a day when demographers, sociologists, and church growth leaders spoke of a massive generation who would come of age in a few years. This generation was larger in size than the Baby Boomers and would develop under a postmodern umbrella. The influence of this generation was going to be huge.

This generation came to be known as the Millennials.

We’re still talking about them, and rightly so. I frequently tweet links to articles about the Millennials. They are, and will continue to be, a significant influence inside and outside of the Church.

However, I feel we have become so fixated on the Millennials that we have missed another generation on the scene. We have forgotten that “a generation goes and a generation comes” (Ecc 1:4, ESV). And this most recent generation is larger in size than the Millennials.

Yes, larger.

I would say “Welcome Generation Z,” but I would be too late, much too late.  Generation Z (those born after 1995, making up 25% of the U.S. population) is already beginning internships in the U. S. workforce.

Here is a quick summary on Generation Z.  And here is another quick summary.

Do not confuse them with the Millennials. Check out this infographic for a comparison.

Get to know them.

Get to know them quickly, very quickly. 

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Last week on Strike the Match I addressed the need for apostolic missiology in the West. Subscribe at iTunes or through RSS.

Mar
22

Foolish Path to Wisdom

written by JD

Get wisdom above all else. She is more precious than gold (Prov 3:13-15).

Satan wants you to be wise (Gen 3:5-6). Don’t forget this. He offers a semi-divine wisdom.

Just enough to have one-up on others.

Just enough to damn one to hell.

Just enough to make you think you are getting the real deal.

The writer of Proverbs calls such wisdom folly. Paul calls her that too (1 Cor 3:19). She is not wisdom at all. Oh, she is worldly wisdom. She extends a great invitation (Prov 9:16), offering much sweetness and pleasure (Prov 9:17).  For a season, that is. Like this world, she is passing away.

God wants you to be wise. He alone is able to give true wisdom (Prov 2:6). His wisdom also offers pleasure, but an eternal-type (Prov 2:10). Nothing we desire can compare with her (Prov 3:15).

There is a way to wisdom that leads only to death. It is a foolish path (Prov 26:12). Whose way to wisdom will you chose?

Mar
19

The Need for Apostolic Missiology

written by JD

Strike the Match

What is apostolic missiology? Why is it important to mission in a post-Christianized context? Why does the Church in the West primarily operate from a pastoral missiology? In this episode, I address these and other questions related to mission today.

Our theology shapes our missiology. Our missiology shapes our missionary methods. How we begin the journey affects what we do in the field.

The need of the hour is for the Church in the West to embrace both a pastoral and an apostolic missiology. Check out this episode where I share more.

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Be sure to subscribe to this podcast (RSS or iTunes). I would greatly appreciate your ratings and comments.

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