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, 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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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).


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.


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.


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



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. 


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


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?


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.


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


Evolution of Your Position

written by JD

We know the world is filled with rapid change. We often say, “change is the only constant.”

Since such is the case, we should expect our ministry positions to change with time. They are in a state of evolution with shifting contexts.

However, many leaders do not recognize this matter.  In fact, if the pastor is called to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11-12), then he is to be constantly working himself out of jobs and into new ones with his church. Planned role changes are a must.

Positional evolution does not mean the pastor ceases to be a biblical pastor, the teacher a teacher, the professor a professor, or the leader a leader. It means the culturally preferred structures that define these positions change over time and we must adjust appropriately.

And such change is okay. Culturally determined structures are not biblical prescriptions. Of course, recognizing the reality of positional evolution is difficult. For in our hearts, the structures are the same yesterday, today, and until Jesus returns.

We know change is constant. We must be wise Kingdom stewards and engage change with a proactive approach. We are filled with the Spirit; He will lead us as we lead others.

Expecting, embracing, and adjusting to change is an important key to healthy ministerial longevity.

If we do not intentionally adjust, change will eventually change us, and usually it is not for the good. When positional evolution is forced upon us, it often demands our resignations and transitions to other ministries.

Change is happening. The wise Kingdom steward recognizes this and changes for the glory of God.


Doing Away with the Flavor of the Month

written by JD

I often hear from church planters in North America:

Of these 37 local churches, there are no gospel preaching churches in this community.

These churches are not Reformed enough (Or, These churches are too Reformed.).

They preach the gospel, but it’s not really deep. Just John 3:16 kinda stuff every week.

These churches are too formal.

Their music is Baptist Hymnal stuff. I’m talking 1975, not 1991; that doesn’t appeal to young families (Or, Their music is too contemporary. They need more hymns.).

When will we realize church planting is an apostolic work of evangelism that results in new churches (see Acts 13-14)?

In our Baskin-Robbins of Christianity, why must our church planting actions come from the desire to provide another choice of flavor to long-term Kingdom citizens?

The four billion remain.


My new podcast, Strike the Match, launched last week. Subscribe at iTunes or through RSS.

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