How big is your vision?

We often hear stories of the extraodinary things God is doing in other nations.

"Why doesn't this happen here in the West?" we ask ourselves. Part of the reason is that we don't yet have the vision and passion that many in other nations do. We get distracted by so many things that we think are important (our own houses–see the last post) rather than God's Kingdom.

The following vision for harvest was just sent to me by an Asian church planter who is seeing incredible numbers of people swept into the Kingdom of God. He has asked that I not use his name for security reasons. I''ve had the privilege of interacting with this apostle over the past few years, and if the past is anything to go by, by faith he will make his goals.

Catch his heart for the harvest.

VISION 2012-15

Shoot for connecting 10 million new followers of Christ.

Possible or not possible. Humanly speaking: impossible. But we believe in a God who is God of the impossible.

The mandate- Multiply: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.  (Genesis 1:28) 

Command to become a thousand: IA little one shall become a thousand and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in My time. (Isaiah 60:22)

Victory Assured: And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. (Leviticus 26:8)

Chain Discipling: And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2)

All Nations:  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28: 19) 

Go Global: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

God’s End Vision: And behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, saying, Salvation belongs to our God that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (Rev. 7:9,10) 

Leavenize your Generation: “It is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.” (Luke 13:21) 

People across the nations have adopted a Judeo-Christian culture, dress code, language, food habits, education-medical systems,  and business practices. They use tools, technology, transportation and governance developed in Christian countries. But they are still in darkness and heading for a Christless eternity. All that is needed is for Christians to be salt and light to their colleagues and neighbours and connect them to Christ. 

500,000 babies are born every day. 78 million people are added to the world every year. 250,000 die into a Christless eternity every day–all because we Christians are not doing anything significant for the lost. Yeshua came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10) 

It is not enough to be saved. It is not enough to be follower of Christ. It is important to graduate into being fishers of men otherwise you will be an incomplete and an unfulfilled disobedient Christian. Yeshua said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 

The concept of each one catching one for the Lord every month and teaching and training them to catch one new person for the Lord every month – evidence that we are truly ‘Followers of the Lord Jesus’.  The amazing thing is that if you catch one person each month and train them to catch one person each month and train them to catch one and train one each month, by the end of twelve months there will be 4,096 new believers!! 

  Fishing nets

Time to harvest

Corn

After our early morning wake-up call, Tony and I started praying through the book of Haggai.

The context of Haggai is that the first wave of Jews have returned from captivity in Babylon, but, apart from an initial spurt of activity in which the foundations of the temple were laid, nothing more has been done to build the temple in almost 20 years.

So God tells the Jewish leaders, through the prophet Haggai that all the problems they face (poor crops, drought, more bills than money at the end of the month) are because building their own homes is more important to them than building God's house.

At one point, Haggai tells the leaders :

"This is what the Lord of hosts says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’”

"You know what this verse reminds me of," Tony said, as we prayed over this verse yesterday evening. "The passage where Jesus tells the disciples:

You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.  The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!" (John 4: 35-36)

"God led us so clearly to this passage, so are we in the simple/organic church movement saying this too?" I commented."Lord, as soon as we've built community, as soon as we're more mature, as soon as life quietens down, as soon as…, then we'll reach out to our neighbors."

 

Jesus says the harvest is ready now, just as God told the leaders of the Jews in the book of Haggai, "Now is the time to build my house."

John chapter 15 is all about producing fruit:

 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples (verse 8)

I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name (verse 16).

We usually take these verses in John 15 to talk about having a Christ-like character–the fruit of the Spirit. But according to John 4, the fruit we are to produce is people brought to eternal life.

It's time for us to wake up and see the harvest. 

What do you think?

 

 

Becoming missional by moving into the harvest

In Matthew 5, Jesus says this (verses 14-16):

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."

 In the last post I looked at different ways a group focused inwards can become more missional.  Let me tell you a story about how one group did this. I've told it before in this blog, but it bears repeating:

In a city about an hour from us, a network of simple/organic churches had a men's prayer meeting that met on a Monday night in one of their home.  As they prayed about becoming more missional in outlook, one of them suggested that rather than meet hidden from sight in a home, they could move out into the harvest. So they started meeting at a local Starbucks.  

The first week, one of the other customers saw them praying and asked for prayer for a situation he was facing.  He became a Christian the following week.  In the year or so since then, around 25 customers at that coffee house have become Christians, just because they moved from a home into the harvest.  Two churches now meet at that venue.

Obviously you cannot conduct a prayer meeting in the same way if you are meeting in public.  You behave in a way that is more normal for that kind of location. But your light is no longer hidden behind the four walls of a home, and people will take notice.

Cup of coffee