God is reaching the lost not through programs but through individuals whose lives are so committed to Him that He uses them as vessels to anoint a lost world.
-K.P. Yohannan, Revolution in World Missions
Good programs and great vision draw the attention of many Christians. And as followers of Christ we do help the poor as described in Matthew 25, not because we are commissioned to but because something changes in our very nature when we become followers of Christ. But our divinely originated empathy for the downtrodden is no replacement for our divinely anointed mission.
God changes the world not through programs but through presence. Jesus gave us the ultimate example. He became flesh and dwelt among us. He preformed many miracles and taught the multitudes all great programs. But his lasting impact was carried forth by the eleven people who he successfully discipled.
May we be like Christ. May we live lives so committed to God that He uses us as vessels to anoint a lost and dying world.
No one, I am convinced, will follow Jesus very long without tribulation. It is His way of demonstrating His presence.
-K.P. Yohannan, Revolution in World Missions
We hear the words of Christ echo throughout the corridors of history:“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We follow the one who has all authority in heaven and Earth and who has promised that he is with us always!
As we walk with Christ through the good and bad in life we walk with confidence that he is with us. In the good times we delight in his blessings, when tribulation defines our path we rest assured that his presence makes all things bearable.
Although we constantly give thanks to him in the good times, we draw close to him during hardships of life.
When we look forward in life we often see only confusion, a path not clear, full of terrifying obstacles. When we pause and look back we see exactly how Christ lead us through difficult situations in the past. Likewise, when we face tribulation, we can take courage that he has always made his presence known in the past and will certainly walk with us in every situation, even to the end of the age.
May we be filled with a clear sense of His companionship today! May our tribulation be defined not by our suffering but by His presence.
The lesson is obvious. True missionaries concentrate on doing the work of Mark 16:15 rather than operating social-welfare programs. True missionaries serve the message of Christ, not the institutions of the church.
-K.P. Yohannan, Come, Let’s Reach the World
There are two ways that I see the church’s influence fade in modern times. Both ways have shifted focus from our Savior and his mission of to lesser pursuits. Politicising and institutionalising the body of Christ are two dangers that always transform us from world changers to a collection of insignificante voices. People from all along the political spectrum try to usurp the mission of Christ as a weapon to be used in their own power struggles. Before we blindly condemn them let us remember the words of the Disciples as they were given the great commission in Acts 1:6. “Lord is it at this time you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” The best of us can fall into this trap.
Perhaps the more insidious trap is the institutionalising of the movement of God. We tend to forget that we are a people, a body with a Divine head. When we institutionalize what God has made we challenge the very nature of the church, we challenge the lordship of our creator. Is this not just a reenactment of the original sin? Does it come from a place of mistrust or of outright rebellion?
May we focus on the mission that Christ has given us, may we follow Him as our Lord!
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 2:9
This Sunday will mark one year that we have been traveling full time along our mission path. One year ago this upcoming Sunday Timothy spoke for the last time as pastor of the Hillside Church of God in Springfield, Ohio. From that time on we have been speaking at various churches and to various individuals seeking partners in ministry as we move our family to Ecuador to join in on the mission to which God has called us. The course of our mission path has taken us to a deeper faith and appreciation of God’s provision and His timing. We know He called us and history proves that He will provide for us. We have seen His provision as we have lived a full year without an income. As we have enjoyed His provision for us we are reminded of a passage in Revolution in World Missions that convicts us to this day.
God does promise to meet our physical needs. And He does, indeed, bless His children materially. But he blesses us for a purpose – not so we can squander those resources on ourselves but so we can be good stewards, using our resources wisely to win the lost to God’s saving grace. – K.P. Yohannan
Over the past year we have taken stock of not only our blessings but our giving as well. Are we giving enough to advance the cause of Christ? God has blessed us on purpose, certainly we can do more!
This year spent “leaning not on our own understanding” but “trusting the Lord with all of our heart” has helped us put our wealth in perspective and it has given us a greater perspective of life lived in the Body of Christ.
This year, the importance of being connected to the Body of Christ has come into focus. We have realized that no one’s individual calling stands alone, each calling is given within the context of the Christian Community. We need each other to complete our individual callings. Some are called to go others are called to send but neither can fulfill their calling apart from the other.
Along those lines, we have gained a greater perspective on fundraising. When we began fundraising we were intimidated, we felt like asking for support was an imposition that we did not want to put upon our friends. We now realize when we ask for support we are giving an opportunity to partner with us as we join with Jesus in His Great Commission. This is an opportunity that many people are looking for. Many of our individual partners have expressed gratitude for a good cause that reaches past their local church and into the “ends of the earth.” William Borden, a missionary to China reflected on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among un-reached people and came up with this analogy.
If ten men are carrying a log – nine of them on the little end and one at the heavy end – and you want to help, which end will you lift on?
We have found that people are looking for opportunities to help lift the heavy end!
Another observation we have made this year about missionary support has to do with the shear number of people we have been privileged to speak with. Many people seem to think that if they can’t give a lot of money they might as well not give at all. Yet, if every Christian who heard about our mission would have simply partnered with us with a pledge of $10 per month (less than a typical American spends on ice cream a month) we would be on the field by now. It doesn’t take much to make a big difference!
This past year we we have enjoyed our mission path and we look forward to what God has in store for us this next year! We are blessed to have had this year to visit family and friends and to say a long goodbye to each.
If you would like to partner with us just click on the family photo below and you will be directed to our donation page. Thanks in advance!
In His Grip,