Kingdom Work Is Not Identical With Western Development

In the video above, Brian Fikkert points out how Western notions of success are flawed and lead to a failure to promote human flourishing. In complement to the video, Joshua Butler explains in the article below that we in the West often get confused about what constitutes kingdom work because of our devotion to Western ideals…

I’ve noticed an increasing tendency for Western Christians to identify “kingdom work” with Western development. I’d simply like to make a few practical observations on ways the church might actually be strategically positioned in communities for holistic transformation (ways we might easily miss if too fixated on our Western idols).


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13 Marks Of A Mission-Minded Person

Mission-minded people are different. That’s it. Somehow they manage to see the world from another perspective. The things they do and the decisions they make are just different than what other people would usually do.

You can find them in your church, place of work or coaching Little League. They are aware of the power of the Gospel to change lives. They know that even the smallest actions can demonstrate the grace and mercy of God. So, what do mission-minded people actually do that’s different?


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Charting A Better Course For Unity In The Body Of Christ

When the path to unity starts with the meeting/church service/ or gathering, then I think its trajectory is skewed from the beginning. I think mission is the better path to unity.

Unite in the furtherance of the gospel. Unite in the suffering and needs of those who aren’t congregating. Unite in the Making of Disciples. Unite in the work of mission.

I suppose there is some discussion needed to decide what that ‘one purpose’ is, but I’d venture to say that it is NOT primarily church services.


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5 Things We Can’t Do If We Are Going To “Be Missional”

I cannot define the word “missional,” at least not in an authoritative or definitive way, for everyone. But I can tell you why I think it must include Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).

This does not mean that much of the concern about the way the word “missional” has been used is not warranted. There are some serious and legitimate concerns. However, if we’re going to adopt the term “missional,” here’s what we can’t do and still be on Jesus mission…


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How The Good Samaritan Critiques Our Busy Lives

The story of the Good Samaritan is easily the most famous parable that Jesus told. A priest and a rabbi refuse to help someone hurt along the road, but a Samaritan, the one hated by the Hebrew people not only helps, but finds a hotel and pays for the man to get better.

The more I reflect on the story of the Good Samaritan, I’m becoming more and more amazed by the margin in the life of the Good Samaritan to be able to take that amount of time to care for someone he had just met.


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Sunday Sermon: Your Family & God’s Plan, Part 2

Dr. Rob Rienow shows how the first command to humans to be fruitful and multiply is still in effect. The primary means by which this happens is through families passing on faith from generation to generation. The Great Commission is really a recapitulation of this original mission and it is also accomplished primarily by the same means: Multi-generational faithfulness.

Note: This sermon is part 2 of another sermon that was previously posted here.


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5 Questions To Keep You On Mission

Every Christian and ministry faces the slow, subtle, suffocating pressure of the ordinary. The creeping clutch of worldly concerns confronts us all. We settle into routines and ruts. Our zeal cools as we have our minds and then our hearts drawn off into the mundane, everyday aspects of life. We don’t plan for this to happen. It just does. It’s part of our creatureliness.

And that’s why we need questions—usually fundamental, identity-shaping questions—to reorient us to our Creator and our purpose. Unless we habitually come back to the north star of Christian life and ministry, we’ll drift off course.


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Counting The Cost Of Apostleship

Many churches seem to have forgotten the two most basic impulses of an organism: reproduce and adapt.

Or to use more Biblical language: We have forgotten how to be an Apostolic movement.

Key to understanding what the Church is and how it functions is the APEST: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers who equip the church to carry on the work of Jesus in the world today.


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One Family’s Story Of How They Stay On Mission Together As A Team

Ed and Mel Zwyghuizen have three children—Gabe (19), Christian (17), and Greta (15). Together, they are known as Team Z.

We always knew we wanted to invite our kids to participate in God’s big story for the world, but as young parents, we didn’t necessarily know how. We try to be missional. We don’t want to live just for ourselves, but for others, too. We want to be an outward-facing family. One way we do this is by inviting others to join us at our family table.


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How The Great Commission Can Be All Talk And No Walk

Leaders tell members to do the Great Commission without teaching them how. Most churches are guilty here. We tell folks to share the gospel with their neighbors but seldom train them to do so. We speak about discipling others, yet expect members to learn on their own how to do it. Likewise, we challenge folks to go to the nations without adequately assuring them of training and support. When we tell without teaching, we shouldn’t be surprised when our churches only talk about the Great Commission.


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Why The Missional Movement Will Fail | Mike Breen

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I want to recall one of our earliest posts. Mike Breen puts his finger on a problem that is plaguing the so-called “missional movement.”

It’s time we start being brutally honest about the missional movement that has emerged in the last 10-15 years: Chances are better than not it’s going to fail.

If you make disciples, you will always get the church. But if you try to build the church, you will rarely get disciples.


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What Happens When The Mission Shifts From Making Disciples To Bringing Justice

Unfortunately, in some of our circles there’s been a subtle shift away from the main thing. Justice has replaced Jesus as the new North Star. First priority is no longer bringing Jesus to a lost and dying world. It’s bringing mercy and justice to a suffering and disadvantaged world. Jesus has become an optional add-on.

The shift from offering mercy and justice in the name of Jesus to offering mercy and justice without mentioning his name may seem subtle. After all, we’re still doing the things he has called us to do. But it’s a subtle shift with huge consequences because the moment Jesus becomes optional, the Great commission has been redefined.


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It’s Always Someone Else’s Fault That Disciples Are Not Being Made

The refrain of the garden echoes through the halls of our churches. It’s always someone else’s fault. We have become masters at diverting responsibility and placing blame. Everyone is to blame except the one who is actually responsible and who will ultimately be held accountable.

The responsibility for making disciples does not rest with a denomination, a state convention, a seminary, a parachurch organization or a pastor and deacon board. The responsibility is given to all of God’s people in and through His church.


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Could The Mission Of The Church Be Considered A Sacrament?

The Anglican Book of Common Prayer defines a sacrament as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof”.

My Purpose in this post is not delve deeply into a theology of sacraments, but to ask one question:

Can the Church consider Mission as Sacrament?


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A Case Study In Making Disciples Of All Nations

People tend not to know us as individuals, but as part of “that group” that meets in “that house” behind the soccer field. I am Just fine with that. In fact, I prefer to be counted as part of a group rather than being known as a leader or “The Missionary.”

When one of our group was recently asked, “Where do you attend Church?” He responded, “Well, I don’t go to church per se, but I do gather with some brothers and sisters every Tuesday night in that house behind the soccer field.”

The lines between our professions and our “ministries” are blurry, and that’s good thing.



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3 Words That Will Change Your Understanding Of Mission

Apostasy is sort of a self disfellowship that leads to being mission-less and motionless, an attachment to detachment, or an unsanctified stationary posture.  Apostasy is missional paralysis.  Apostasy is un-sent-ness. Rejecting mission… God’s mission, is the path to apostasy.  Resurrection, Christ’s and ours, is the solution. Therefore, holy brethren, be partakers of the heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession…



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Discipleship: So Crazy It Just Might Work

This 9 minute interview shows how discipleship is not a mission of the Church, but THE mission.

“I don’t know any pastor who has been more personally fruitful in discipleship ministry than Randy Pope,” Tim Keller observes. “Nor do I know of any church leader who has had a more sustained, lifelong commitment to making the ministry of discipleship a pervasive force throughout his whole church.”


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Disciplism By Alan Hirsch

So how do we get from “admirers” of Jesus to “followers” of Him?? I suggest that we start with reimagining evangelism through the lens of discipleship, which requires that we let go of seeing salvation as something we can deliver on demand, or when a person says a certain formulaic prayer. Rather, we need to reconceive discipleship as a process that includes pre-conversion discipleship and post-conversion discipleship.

Note: There is a link in the article to download Alan Hirsch’s free e-book, Disciplism. I highly recommend that you click the link and download the free e-book. It only takes about 30 minutes to read.

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Why Small Groups Fail At Making Disciples

Small groups are things that trick us into believing we’re serious about making disciples. The problem is 90 percent of small groups never produce one single disciple. Ever. They help Christians make shallow friendships, for sure. They’re great at helping Christians feel a tenuous connection to their local church, and they do a bang-up job of teaching Christians how to act like other Christians in the Evangelical Christian subculture. But when it comes to creating the kind of holistic disciples Jesus envisioned, the jury’s decision came back a long time ago – small groups just aren’t working.



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On Mission With Your Children

Clearly, going and making disciples must be a high priority for all who follow Jesus. Some families are called to go to the nations, to proclaim the gospel among those who have not had a chance to hear. Their stories are certainly inspiring, and hopefully many more families will join them. However, not everyone will respond to this call to make disciples by going abroad.



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