I am wrapping up an inspiring trip in the Middle East on behalf of ServeNow. There are so many stories to share and thoughts to articulate. But allow me to summarize a few fundamental realities in the top five words that come to mind.
An either/or mentality is never truer than in our present polarized, politically charged culture. Everything seems to be put in terms of either being for or against with no room for nuance or complexity. Tribal loyalty carries more weight and importance than anything else. Unfortunately, this cultural and political mentality impacts our reading and understanding of Scripture, especially the mission that Jesus has called us to.
We need the perspective of the global church and our brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide. When we get outside our own culture, our eyes are opened in new ways. And Jesus often works in our hearts and lives in unusual or even unconventional ways. Miracles even begin to unfold as we open ourselves to what God might have for us.
Greetings from Nigeria, the country with the largest population in Africa! I just wrapped up my first international trip in a YEAR due to COVID. It was so good to get back out there on behalf of ServeNow, the mission organization I lead. Being ServeNow has always heavily emphasized serving in, with, and through national leaders and churches, we have been able to carry on our work without skipping too much of a beat over this last year. In fact, we served far more people in the previous year over COVID than even the year before COVID! It may have looked different, but the impact is still just as incredible, if not more so than years past.
Take whatever challenges COVID has meant in the US and multiply that by at least 10X or more in other parts of the world. Additionally, it has officially been projected that an additional 130 million people (double last year) could be facing acute hunger (starvation) this year worldwide. In just one Asian country where the mission organization I lead serves, it is estimated that 300,000 children could die in the next 6 months. 350 million people in this one country alone are being thrust back below the poverty line of less than $2 a day.
I just returned from a fantastic time and trip to Ukraine on behalf of ServeNow, the mission organization I lead as President. I thought I would share a few personal highlights of this trip as a means of conveying the needs we saw, but especially the ways God is working in transforming real people’s lives and hearts in Ukraine.
Over the past four years I have been traveling around the world and the US with the mission organization I lead called ServeNow. It has been awesome, exhausting, inspiring and exasperating! I have learned much, my faith has been stretched, my patience tried, leadership enriched, and eyes opened even more to the vibrancy of faith around the world. I have been humbled by the sacrifice, service, passion, compassion and joy of fellow believers and co-labors in other nations and many generous people here at home. But, I have it on my heart to share five insights I think the church in the US is in desperate need of being challenged by and encouraged with. I pray this article could be used for both those purposes.
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. -Jesus, Matthew 10:42
In this post, I’d like to share some common mistakes when it comes to thinking about missions…and what solutions there might be. This might be a bit controversial or offensive to some, but I do actually hope it is thought-provoking when it comes to mission engagement.
World missions is not just the calling of some Christians; it is the responsibility and calling of all.