This man is typical of many who are coming to Christ in this generation. He had searched for answers but nothing had satisfied his deepest needs until he met the Savior. Luke records it as a promise from the Father as the Holy Spirit provides power to witness in the most remote places on earth. Jesus went to the villages bringing a message of hope to lost people who needed forgiveness. He set the example as a shepherd searching for one sheep lost in the darkness. Today, it is not difficult to recognize the lostness of humanity in every culture of the world.
When people stand for hours praying in front of Buddhist statues in Bangkok, one can see the futility of their prayers. People spin prayer wheels in Mongolia believing the attached written prayers will go into the atmosphere and the spirits will respond favorably. People march around sacred sites with precision to ensure they do not offend the spirits.
Animistic beliefs often cause people in Asia to call on shamans and witch doctors to perform incantations in hopes of getting relief from their sicknesses. Fear dominates the lives of millions of families in every culture. As one watches these events and others like them, it is apparent that people are spiritually lost, confused, and desperately needing the Truth.
Evangelism is a response to the lostness of mankind that comes from the heart of the Father. God so loved the world that He gave the greatest gift — His only Son. His great compassion means even the worst of sinners can find forgiveness. His plan is so clear that even a child can understand and receive salvation. His Spirit provides the power to effectively bring hope to the most remote places on earth. Today, the gospel is going to all nations.
Enrichment Journal - Enriching and Equipping Spirit-filled Ministers
Within Asia Pacific we have seen the greatest growth during the past few years. Twenty years ago there were less than 6, congregations with 1. Today, there are more than 23, congregations and well over 4 million believers. During this time of unprecedented growth, evangelism continues to be a high priority. Evangelism is occurring through outreach ministries, compassion efforts, literature distribution, personal witnessing, media ministry, and friendship evangelism.
Many opportunities exist for effectively sharing the gospel.
In the Philippines, every district is involved in a program called Summer of Service in which Christians give 6 to 10 weeks of their summer to reach other villages and communities. This involves going house to house, sharing the gospel, and praying for needs within those homes. People often experience answers to prayer as God heals the sick and families invite Christ into their lives. Asia Pacific Media Ministry produces feature-length movies that missionaries show in several countries. Millions of people in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Mongolia have viewed these family-based, moral-value oriented, Christ-centered films.
National churches have reached many families through this ministry. National churches respond during times of natural disasters and national crises to help hurting and displaced people. In Thailand and Indonesia national churches have reached many with the gospel while responding to the needs of refugees and those impacted by the tsunami of When people experience unusual distress and personal crisis, they are often ready to accept Christ.
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In times of desperation, they find the gospel alone can provide eternal answers. I would not have found Christ had they not brought the gospel. While in the South Pacific nations of Fiji and Samoa, national leaders reminded me that this was one of the uttermost parts of the earth Jesus had in mind when He promised power for witnessing in Acts 1: In both nations the national church has seen great growth in the past 40 years.
The former general superintendent of Samoa, Max Haleck, was a young businessman in the s. When a missionary began holding evangelistic services in a theater, Max came to hear the gospel and God powerfully saved him. He then used his transportation business to bring people to church, and over the years has helped thousands of people to come to Christ. Today, Fijian and Samoan churches are sending missionaries to other areas of the Pacific. Reaching the 1 billion people within the Asia Pacific region will require the united effort of national churches and leaders as well as mission personnel.
Through partnerships an accelerated proclamation of the gospel reaches many remote areas. From Mongolia to Malaysia, from Vietnam to Vanuatu, from Japan to Jakarta missionaries, national pastors, and committed Christians teach and preach the gospel. Scripture encourages us that all tribes, languages, people, and nations will respond in these last days. On the Day of Pentecost the disciples spoke in many known languages. Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?
This was an encouragement to the Church that the message of salvation is for all people. John encouraged us in the Book of Revelation that God will fulfill this promise. The great host in heaven will include those from every people group on earth Revelation 7: More than least-reached groups exist within the countries of Asia Pacific, and reaching them is a priority. Until every village, language, and people group has received the gospel, the work of the church is not complete. This generation is committed to completing the task, and when that occurs, the end will come. In later years of missionary ministry in Argentina and Paraguay, Cynthia and I were involved in 16 more church plants.
Nothing has brought greater reward or more personal satisfaction in the ministry than our involvement in those church-planting experiences. Wherever church planting is a priority, the church thrives. Church planting releases a spiritual energy that is unique and that invigorates the national or local church or the person who engages in it. Here are some samples of what is happening around the world:. Spirit-filled people around the world are planting churches, sometimes in seemingly impossible situations:.
Church leaders have said concerning the four pillars — evangelism, church planting, training, and compassion ministries — that almost all religious groups participate in evangelism and compassion ministries. Within the Assemblies of God, we do all four as integrated components of our mission with an emphasis on church planting and training.
Our focus is planting churches. We now have a growing network of almost , Assemblies of God congregations around the globe. With 2, Bible training centers worldwide, we are prioritizing the preparation of leaders for those new and growing congregations.
Evangelization and Families | Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation
People can plant churches in a variety of ways. Some churches are the spontaneous outgrowthof home groups or Bible studies. Some emerge out of underground or clandestine meetings in restricted countries. Others are the result of a few believers sensing God drawing them together for a purpose.
After Pentecost the Early Church wasscattered through persecution. Churches also sent Spirit-filled believers to take the gospel to other areas or people groups. Church plants often reflect theintentionality of a sending mother church whose goal is to reach locations through satellite congregations. Individuals or teams may have a God-given passion to form a new body of believers in a specific geographical area.
When leaders stay within their local regions, they are more likely to succeed because they have a support base. They have a healthy local church that gives them the necessary tools to be successful. In our church plant in La Grange, Illinois, resulted from the vision and passion of our mother church in nearby Naperville.
This church, pastored by Robert and Karen Schmidgall, was a 1-year-old congregation of fewer than 75 people. If the mother church is evangelistic, the satellite congregation will be evangelistic. If the planting group is committed to discipleship and training new believers and leaders, the new congregation will share those same characteristics. If the mother church encourages the working of the gifts of the Spirit, the daughter church will do likewise. Church planting is not only a collection of individual believers or groups of believers but it is also the transmission of new life from one group of believers to another.
After you plan, trust the Holy Spirit and work hard, and the church will grow.
Ralph and Frances Hiatt planted dozens of churches during their ministry in Argentina. Several have grown to more than 10, members. Ralph is a father figure to the pastors of these churches. The miracle of church planting is the fact there may not be a church in a community today, but tomorrow a person can plant one.
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It may start small, but it is destined and designed to grow. In the team effort in missions, we need to accept the fact we stand on the shoulders of others. If we link human activity, skill, and personality to these four, we would have a grid that looks something like this:. Harvest, whether in a scriptural context or related to the ebb and flow of life events, usually indicates a planting followed by an activity that results in benefit or reward. Of the four phases mentioned above, none requires more patient effort than cultivation.
Cultivation involves spacing growing plants, removing weeds, preparing soil for irrigation, and applying fertilizer and insecticides. Having grown up on a farm, I remember the long, tiring hours spent in the fields making sure we accomplished these critical aspects of cultivation. In a strategy designed by the Holy Spirit, Assemblies of God forefathers established local, self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing indigenous national churches as a core value of evangelism.
Growing churches that are mature enough to trust God for their needs has made Africa one of the great modern-day miracles of church growth. The fervor with which our African brothers engage in spreading the gospel is evidenced everywhere. In our exuberance to see multitudes won to the Kingdom, however, we must not forget that evangelism is only a part of the responsibility we carry in fulfilling the harvest. Our goal is to get people to heaven.
It is in this arena that the parallel process of cultivation takes place. In the church, we call cultivation training. In Africa, people know Pentecostals for their emphasis on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit as demonstrated across this vast continent. It is exciting and often overwhelming to see the explosive, regenerative birth of a new church in the most unlikely places. Yet this Spirit-led fervor can, if not properly cultivated, lead to heartbreak and division.
The enemy can exploit this fervor to bring great harm to the Church. As a missionary force in Africa, the backbone of our ministry has training at its center. Prevailing Against Character Assassination. Colossians Small Group Leader's Guide. Obeying the Great Commission. Inspirations of Life in Faith. The Kingdom of God: A Book for Everyone. Fatherhood Principles of Joseph the Carpenter: Examples of Godly Fatherhood. By Which We Are Saved. Exploring the Holy Scriptures. Eternal Moments in Time.
I Love Thy Law: An Expository Study of the Book of Philippians. You Were Born to Conquer. The Acts 2 Church and Implementation Guide. The Church Rituals Handbook. Splinters of the Cross With Leftover Nails. Be in Control of Your Day. Practical Wisdom for Ministry. My Kind of Preaching.
The Character of Jesus Christ Vol 2. Wisdom Quotes from a Father. Wolves In Sheep's Clothing. Blueprints for Wise Master Builders of Wealth. Compiled by Barbour Staff. The Prophecy of the White Rider. How to write a great review.
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