Unlocking the Riches

You can’t look at the Kingdom of God by the standards of the world. The world’s currency is financial, but what is the currency of the Kingdom of God?

In Ephesians Chapter 4, Paul explains why God gives gifts to his people: “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12-13)

In this verse it’s clear that Christ is the standard, and that the act of building up the body of Christ “to grow up in every way into him”(verse 15) is the work of the Kingdom.

So, what if we looked at Christ-likeness as a currency? What if we viewed wealth not based on economic prosperity, but spiritual wealth – Biblical knowledge, godly character, the fruit of the Spirit, and most importantly, faith?

If we viewed the world this way, we’d see many poor people as rich, and many rich people as poor. I think we’d also see the value of the local churches that exist in countries that are typically seen as mission fields. If we could see these riches, and would invest them, much like the world invests its currency, then missionaries wouldn’t so often try to “go it alone” and operate independently of local churches.

Why? Because they would recognize that their investments would go much further if they pooled their spiritual resources with those of the local believers.
Christ’s example of making disciples involved spending an incredible amount of time with his disciples over a three year period, teaching them by word and deed, and in every way possible, to be like him. In the same way he invested in them, they in turn invested in others to pass on this incredible Christ-likeness they had inherited from their Master.

Christ has invested in individuals and congregations around MENA for hundreds of years, leaving incredible riches distributed in pockets of mature believers all over the region. These people know the scriptures, have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and are living out their faith in their own cultural context. But how to we unlock these riches to be invested in those who don’t yet know Christ throughout MENA?

Please join us in prayer that God would move in these preexisting Christian communities in MENA, to mobilize a whole new generation of His witnesses to MENA and the ends of the earth!

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MENA – The Need for Discipleship

MENA - The Need for Discipleship

Islam poses one of the greatest challenges to the Church of Jesus Christ in this generation. Yet, more Muslims have come to Christ in the last 30 years than in the previous 14 centuries combined. God is working wondrous miracles among Muslims, drawing hundreds of thousands to saving faith in Christ. But the need is vast, and the global Church has remained largely unengaged with disciple-making among unreached Muslims.

Furthermore, when Muslims come to Christ, Christians often don’t know what to do with them, and fail to properly disciple them. Unfortunately, there has been a “revolving door” phenomenon among converts from Islam. According to the parable of the four soils, many are like the rocky soil or the thorny soil – though they accept the Word with joy, they either have no roots to sustain them, or become choked by the cares of this world. Prayerful, intentional, culturally appropriate, and solidly biblical discipleship is the only solution to this problem.

Discipleship of Christians from Muslim Backgrounds (CMBs) is the most critical factor for the future growth of the Church among Muslims. What witness will this generation of converts have among Muslims, and what legacy will they leave? Will they be shining examples of Christ-like character? Will they be knowledgeable of the Bible, love their enemies, and be honest in business? How will they treat their spouses and children? Will they be well-equipped to share the Gospel, disciple others, and pastor churches with grace, wisdom, and godliness? The answers to these questions depend on whether the global Church succeeds in discipling them.

Help with the Fish

Luke 5:7 – “So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”
Praise God that we are in this very situation! For years we have dreamed of, and prayed for such a fruitful time, and it’s amazing to see this actually happen.

We are now calling local churches to help us disciple the numerous new believers, because our staff cannot keep up with the demand. This is such a wonderful problem, and as a side-effect, it’s making partnership with other churches much easier. Because so many people are coming to Christ in our area, we are able to bless local churches by providing ample opportunities for them to adopt and disciple these numerous new believers.

Join us in prayer that this spirit of partnership would continue to grow, so that the Church in MENA might rise up to the challenge of discipling this next generation of converts, before they become more numerous than the believers from Christian backgrounds – it looks like this could happen in our generation!