I have spent the last eighteen years going on mission and leading teams on mission through the local church. The Lord has used these years to hone the way I see and lead mission trips. Often, we miss out on the full potential of a mission trip because, though we have a Jesus-centered starting point, we fail to have Jesus-centered goals, measures, and expectations. Here are some things to think about as you plan.
I think a lot about helping people know and follow Jesus. It's more than my general mission as a Christ-follower but a specific calling for which God has gifted me and generously offers me wisdom. I have learned to think vertically when it comes to the Kingdom of God—meaning I consider the generations of disciples of Jesus that were before me and I think about the generations that will come after me. We need to give our youth an understanding and framework for persecution.
Reaching out to Muslims who may be seeking Christ and discipling Muslim-background believers can be a unique challenge. One resource we've found particularly helpful is Abu Da’ud's 5-book series on Discipling Muslim Background Believers. From his own experience coming to faith in Christ and reaching out to other Muslims, Da’ud discusses common misconceptions about Christians, answers questions Muslims often have, provides a structure for discipling new believers, and creates specific study resources for those who are helping Muslim-background believers grow in their faith.
Los que estamos al frente de una iglesia tenemos la responsabilidad de desarrollar un plan para discipular a todo aquel que esté dispuesto a disciplinarse en la vida cristiana. Según la Gran Comisión (Mateo 28:18-20), el Señor no nos envió a tener cultos maravillosos, ni actividades interesantes. Simplemente, nos envía a hacer discípulos. Pero parece que el hacer discípulos es la parte menos practicada.
Those of us who are in charge of a church have the responsibility of developing a plan to disciple anyone who is willing to discipline themselves in the Christian life. According to the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20), the Lord did not send us to have wonderful worship times or interesting activities. The Great Commission simply sends us to make disciples. But it seems that making disciples is the least practiced part.
Our children and teens are pulled in many different directions. They have school responsibilities, extracurricular activities, social events—the list could go on and on. With so many different influences and things vying for their attention, it is easy for our students to lose focus of their spiritual growth and development. That's where Christian parents and community come in.
If you've ever tried it, you likely already know about the benefits of journaling. Every day, we have these experiences with potential for strengthening our walk with God. However, we're often too close to the experiences to process their impact. Capturing these lessons and reflections on paper creates a sort of snapshot allowing us to explore how God is at work.
Even if you’ve never practiced journaling for spiritual reflection before, we've got a few prompts to help you get there.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has created us in his image with a mind, heart, soul, and five wonderful senses. God has created our entire being as a means to experience him more fully. Let’s explore a few of the methods that you can practice to make your time with God a richer experience.