MAKING DISCIPLES IS THE MANDATE – CHURCH PLANTING IS THE OUTCOME

Where in the Bible are we commanded to plant churches? The simple and obvious response is, “it is not commanded.” Planting churches flows naturally out of making disciples. The heart of the church’s mission is to make disciples who make disciples.

In the New Testament, a disciple is more than someone who grows in their theological knowledge of God. A disciple fellowships with other believers, worships in a community, and prays like those assembled in a house in Acts 4.

And now, Lord, look upon their (the Worlds) threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.Acts 4:29-31

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, a disciple then boldly declares the word of God such that more and more people become followers of Jesus.

Missionaries have historically been the most vital source of a nation’s social development. These findings yield two important conclusions about the work of Protestant missionaries. Their message was good for the world and their focus was making disciples.

This understanding of a disciple is highlighted throughout the New Testament. Through a study of the early movement in Ephesus, we see at least thirteen characteristics common to them all.

  • Disciples are respectful of people and culture when they engage in God’s mission (Acts 19:7, 37).
  • Disciples surrender to God’s will and maintain the work of their first love in a theocentrically focused missiological theology (Eph 1; Eph 5:18-19; Rev 2:4).
  • Disciples declare the mystery of Christ to the nations (Eph 3:4-10, 1 Tim 2:1-4).
  • Disciples are equipped by movement leaders for ministry (Eph 4:12; 1 Timothy).
  • Disciples exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Eph 4-5).
  • Disciples are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses (Eph 5:18-19, 2 Tim 1:7).
  • Disciples are godly fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, employees and employers (Eph 5:22-6:9).
  • Disciples pray for opportunities to share the gospel because they know God is most glorified when more people are worshipping him (Eph 6:18-20, 1 Tim 2:1-4).
  • Disciples stand up for the marginalized (1 Tim 2:8-15, 5:3-16; Rev 2:6).
  • Disciples learn sound doctrine from movement leaders who can teach (1 Tim 4:7).
  • Disciples are willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel (2 Tim 1:8).
  • Disciples are committed to multiplying more disciples (2 Tim 2:2).
  • Disciples defend the faith against false teaching (Rev 2:2).

Extracts from an article “Is Church Planting a Biblical Mandate?” October 28, 2020, by Jackson Wu

COVID MADNESS

AUSTRALIA

State governments continue to pursue a foolish Covid-zero policy – even as vaccination rates rapidly accelerate, and the lethality of the virus has markedly decreased. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is right – This isn’t a sustainable solution.”

“The virus is not going anywhere. We cannot do this forever. Indeed, the longer we delay the inevitable, the greater the cost will be.

We are incurring unthinkable additional costs for fear of what we must face… lives, livelihoods, children, the economy and democracy are all straining under the burden of Covid-zero.

Fear is making us foolish. 

Let’s take a glimpse at the state of our nation…

  • 3,345 suicidal people called LifeLine on a single day this week – yet another record.
  • Our children simply won’t be able to pay back the debt levels.
  • Many small businesses are finished.  
  • We are not living (or even leaving the house) for fear of dying.
  • We are giving up total authoritarian power to people who despise what we believe.
  • Compassion is dead, with callous disregard for those torn apart or mourning.

And yet our State Premiers are telling us all this and more will continue – despite decent levels of vaccination.

It seems we’re too afraid to accept the brutal reality that, with half-decent levels of vaccination, a tiny proportion of Delta cases will die. Moreover, we will spend anything to delay it. 

Fearfulness and fearmongering are winning the day. This will change only when public opinion changes, and when Premiers stop getting the approval ratings they crave.” 

Christians – that’s you and me – should lead the way. We do not fear death, Jesus has secured eternal life for us and He will ensure you live to complete the work He has assigned for you to do.

Contact your Premier and set him/her straight on the need to get people vaccinated but then to start living normal lives accepting the risks associated with Covid 19 as we do with any other virus, bacteria or other pathogen. Let Scott Morrison and your local member know what you are doing.

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Heb 2:14-15) 

GREAT TESTIMONIES FROM THE OLYMPIC GAMES

Fiji Rugby Sevens thank God with prayer and a hymn after winning Olympic Gold.

Fiji’s rugby sevens team wrote another chapter in one of the great Olympic stories at the Tokyo Stadium, when they won the country’s second gold medal by beating New Zealand 27-12 in the final.
They gathered in a circle and filled the empty Tokyo Stadium with a beautiful rendition of their team hymn. “We always start with our prayers and songs, and we always end with our prayers and songs,” Tuwai said, “and that song says that our God is a loving God, and that while we always tend to go stray from what he expects from us, he still loves us, and gives us good things.”
 

Fiji’s players pray and celebrate after their win against New Zealand at the Tokyo Stadium. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Sydney McLaughlin ‘giving the glory to God’ after earning Olympic gold, another world record

“All the glory to God,” McLaughlin told NBC following the victory. “Honestly, this season just working with my new coach and my new support system, it’s truly just faith and trusting the process. I couldn’t ask for anything more and truly it is all a gift from God.”

“I think the biggest difference this year is my faith, trusting God and trusting that process, and knowing that He’s in control of everything. As long as I put the hard work in, He’s going to carry me through. And I really cannot do anything more but give the glory to Him at this point.”2

McLaughlin often uses social media as tool by which she expresses her faith and shares the Gospel with fans. As depicted by an Instagram post from February, McLaughlin has actively chosen to hand her future over to God.

“We can laugh at whatever lies ahead because we know HE has already won,” McLaughlin wrote. “We can sleep easier at night knowing HE has a plan for whatever may normally trouble us. We can laugh at anything that doesn’t fit the purpose for our lives, because we know God’s plan is greater.”

Through social media, she has revealed that her relationship with God is more than just a matter of believing in God, it is a friendship with Him.

“The peace of knowing I will always have a friend, always have His support, and always have His LOVE; makes even the loneliest of moments feel full,” McLaughlin wrote in May. “My soul finds rest in knowing He is not like us. He doesn’t change, and He will never leave me. Giving the ability to be completely content, no matter the situation. Simply because, I don’t have to face it alone. That. Is. Love.”

Circled on Nicolla’s wrist: “Jesus Makes All things New” and  her book to record and improve her jumps along with encouraging scriptures. 

These three testimonies were stand outs but I have been impressed by the number of Christian athletes that have recognised the importance of acknowledging God when they have achieved victory or even a personal best. There have been many that have given a verbal witness like Thomas Green joint winner of the K2 1000m Canoe Sprint. When asked if he would like to thank anyone, he immediately responded by saying, “I am a man of faith and above all I would like to thank my Lord for all that I have achieved and then went on to thank his parents, coach and support team. Many have gone to their knees in prayer immediately at the conclusion of their race or shown some other physical manifestation such as looking up to heaven and raising their arms in thanksgiving.

It has been inspiring me to me and I am sure challenging to many people that have witnessed these expressions of faith and thanksgiving to God. May God bless abundantly all of these faithful Christian athletes and may we see many more.

THE HARVEST IS RIPE

A Team In Pakistan went out Into the Harvest. They shared the Gospel with the 3 Circles presentation. Six young men repented & believed In Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord!

Here is the report: “God is awesome; to be given six youths to teach them about God’s Word so God can prepare them and to make them a means of saving others. Because in Pakistan 98% population are far from Kingdom of God. Thank God by yesterdays first meeting when I had shared the Word of God with them, by great anointing of Holy Spirit, the 6 young boys did repent of their sin.”

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1

Need your prayers to spread the word of God in Pakistan.

LEADER USING THE 411 DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING TOOL TO TRAIN A COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS

The 411 Discipleship Multiplication Tool!
3 Circles presentation

Report from one of the participants

Wow! It was an amazing Sunday today. After going through the Harvest training program, I gathered about 15 people today and taught them the 411 training program and they were all excited and this week we will bombard our various spheres of contact with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks to the wonderful Harvest Team. I am so so grateful for the rich content of the trainings. God continue to bless you all.

BEARING FRUIT AFTER 44 YEARS

We are never too old to be a true disciple of Christ, i.e. a disciple who makes more disciples. Listen to the amazing testimony of this Dutch couple who are now living the Christian life and bringing others to Christ. They are excited about what God is doing and will do each day. They are energised, happy, joyful and could not go back to the old church life that they lived for 44 years. You will be challenged by their testimony and hopefully it will cause you to follow their lead and connect with the The Last Reformation (TLR).

PRAYER, HOLY SPIRIT AND BOLDNESS

Another important message for the last days church from Francis Chan and David Platt.

Are we truly taking Jesus command to tell the good news to at least our circle of family and friends? We are all ambassadors of Christ, so need to be equipped to share our testimony and a simple presentation of the Gospel message.

Can I suggest one Gospel presentation that you can give on your mobile phone. It is called the Way of Life, go to http://www.thewayoflife.com.au to download it. This is just one of many that are available but I know this one has proved to be effective at least here in Australia.

Please let me know what you have found to be effective. Blessings, Ron