Archives For Missions

When Jesus told his disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations” he was giving his group of young disciples a directive. He was propelling them on the ultimate mission of making disciples everywhere they went. The stories of how they carried this command out is the stuff of legends.

What’s interesting is that, in the Koine Greek (the language which the New Testament was written in), the word “go” is a participle. Instead of “go and make disciples” it could read, as you are going, make disciples.”

Think about how that little change in the reading of this big mandate influences the way we view mobilizing our teens for mission.

As your teens are going from class to class they can make disciples.

As they are involved in band practices, drama rehearsals and sports scrimmages they can make disciples.

As they are going to their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and engaging countless friends via text messaging they can (and should) make and multiply disciples.

Too many times those of us in student ministry use the word “go” only when it comes to sending teenagers on a short-term mission trip to a foreign country. But each of our teens are called to be…

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Does God desire for your church to grow?

The short and simple answer is “yes.” We can make this deduction from the fact that God has called us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20) and that ultimately; disciples from all nations will be gathered together in heaven (Revelation 7:9). In the mean time, God is working through His body, the Church, to gather His children (Matthew 16:18). Therefore, as the Church grows, God’s global kingdom grows. –and that’s not just God’s goal, its promise.

But there is another answer and its slightly more complicated.

Imagine you have a friend with two wild, unruly children. When his kids spend the night with your kids, you hide every breakable item in the house and never let them out of your sight! Although you love your friend immensely, you are really concerned about his lack of parenting skills.

One day, over lunch, your friend tells you that he and his wife are praying for another child. He explains how they are confident that God wants their family to grow and he even quotes Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children…

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SelectionIf your church could reach more people for Christ by focusing on one “people group” in your community, would you do so?

Certain people around your church are more receptive to the Gospel than others.  I suggest that good stewardship of your church’s human and fiscal resources calls you to find and focus on these receptive people.  They are the “fertile soil” (see Mt. 13:1-23) who are “ripe unto harvest” (Jn. 4:35).  And your successful evangelistic results will be praised by the Master with the same words heard by those who returned more talents than they had been given: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (see Mt. 25:14-30).

The “Receptivity-Resistance Axis” below illustrates a person’s openness to becoming a new creation in Christ.  Every non-Christian is somewhere on this Axis.


Some people are open and responsive to the Good News—the “good soil,” as Christ described them in the Parable of the Sower.  Others are resistant to the Gospel—the rocky soil.  When Jesus concluded this parable with, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” I believe he was suggesting that the Good News we proclaim will not be…

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multiplicationRevelation 7:9-10 reveals a future scene in heaven.

After this I looked, 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, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Did you catch that?  Heaven will be inhabited by people from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.

Question: How will people from every nation, tribe, people & language get there?

Its not by accident.  God has been planning world-wide worship from the beginning.  In the very first book of the Bible, God instructed Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply… (Genesis 1:28) Why? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)

After the flood, God repeated the command to Noah: Be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 9:7)  Later, God told Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him.  (Genesis 12:2).  God repeated that promise to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and…

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Mercy RoadThe NEXT Church Planting Network is hosting a conference late this summer that every church planter needs to attend. This no-holds-barred, church planting conference in Ocala, Florida will take place August 27-28, 2013. Nuts & Bolts is how-to training designed to provide you the tools needed to successfully launch and lead a healthy church that reaches this generation.

Join Ron Sylvia, Dave Page and the NEXT Team as they take you from conception . . to launch . .  to leading a new church. Whether you are currently in a church plant, thinking of planting a church, or in need of re-launching a stalled church, this conference is for you. And you will have the opportunity to walk away with $10,000 to help fund your church plant!  Learn more about $10k Giveaway here.

Nuts & Bolts is a no hype, practical How-To event taught by experienced church planters who are in the trenches. You’ll learn how to:

  • Recruit a Launch Team
  • Cast a Compelling Vision
  • Teach for Life Change
  • Take Your Personal Leadership to the Next Level
  • Raise Financial Resources
  • Build the Worship Experience
  • Launch Larger Than You Ever Thought Possible
  • Capture the Attention of Your Community

The cost is only…

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Plans Announced for Three-Day Exponential West 2013 Conference Oct. 7-10 at Saddleback Church in Southern California

Rick Warren and Choco de Jesus Already Confirmed as Speakers

On the heels of Exponential ’13 in Orlando selling out and drawing 5,300 leaders on site and 40,000 to the live Exponential ’13 Webcast, Exponential has announced plans for an Exponential West 2013 this October. The conference will be hosted by Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., Oct. 7-10, and like the recent Orlando event will focus on discipleship.

For the last several years, Exponential has been asked to bring the annual event held in Orlando each April to the West Coast. However, Exponential leaders have been deliberately slow and cautious to expand, not wanting to lose one of the conference’s unique distinctives—a family reunion-like, highly relational environment fueled by the energy of more than 5,000 entrepreneurial church planters gathered together in one place.

“Overwhelmingly, the feedback we get from different leaders is that there’s not another experience like Exponential where the speakers are so accessible, just hanging out with everyone,” Exponential Director…

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WASHINGTON (BP) — Religious liberty continues to suffer globally at the hands of extremists and totalitarian governments, according to a new report by a congressionally approved watchdog.

In its annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended the same countries it had proposed in 2012, with one exception, be named to the list of the world’s worst violators of religious liberty. USCIRF urged the U.S. State Department April 30 to designate 15 governments as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs).

Those 15 recommendations included eight for redesignation that already have been labeled CPCs by the State Department: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. The other seven USCIRF proposed for CPC designation are Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.

The bipartisan commission — which advises the White House, State Department and Congress on religious freedom conditions overseas — recommended Turkey’s inclusion on the CPC list last year but not this year.

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Editor’s Note: The following article by Pastor Rick originally appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of Ministry Today when he served as Guest Editor. Please continue to pray for the Warren family as they grieve the loss of Rick and Kay’s son, Matthew. 

The greatest need in the world today is to release the latent energy bottled up in believers who are doing nothing for the Kingdom of God. It’s time for the Church to rise up and be the Church. The Church is the Body of Christ; but it seems like our hands and feet have been amputated, and most of the time we’re just a big mouth. It’s time for the Church to stop being known for what we’re against and start being known for what we stand for: grace, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, salvation, and new life in Jesus Christ.

That’s why we began re-thinking our mission strategy at Saddleback. Jesus tells us to “go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15 NCV). “Go” is a key word…

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One of the keys for us as we were thinking through the Bible Studies for Life launch, was the issue of engaging culture. We wanted leaders and learners to discover how to relate to culture biblically. Rather than fearing culture, we should be aware of the potential of culture to affect us as well as the opportunities we have to affect it.


This is why it is imperative that we get biblical direction for life right now.

Engaging the Culture Requires Understanding the Culture

Generally speaking, culture is the behaviors and beliefs unique to a particular social, ethnic, or age group, especially reflected in the arts, fashion, and education. We can make very large references (“American culture” or “Kenyan culture”), or reference smaller cultures (“skater culture” or “business culture”). These smaller groups are often called “sub-cultures.”

Over time Christians seem to have lost touch with what cultures actually represent. We often hear about the danger of culture. Some are encouraged to avoid culture altogether like it is a poison or disease.

At its root, culture is a reflection of the people who compose it. Cultures are not evil of themselves otherwise Jesus would not have come as a first century Jewish man.

Christ and Culture

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Storm Trooper WorldSometimes someone comes to Grace Hills from a larger church because they’re “looking for something smaller.” My reply is always the same. “You’re welcome here, but I hope we let you down.” It’s not that we’ve set out to be a “big” church or a megachurch. But we also haven’t set out on this journey merely to settle at any given point. Therefore…

We will attempt big things for a big God. We will go “all in,” choosing to take risks in faith over playing it safe.

That’s our second of ten core values at Grace Hills, and it’s something we have to remind ourselves of often. It’s easy to give into our autopilot and merely coast along on yesterday’s success stories, but we want to think bigger.

Anytime we talk about the need for churches to grow larger, people come along quickly with objections.

  • You don’t have to be big to matter to God…
  • Large doesn’t mean healthy…
  • People are more than numbers…
  • We should be multiplying instead of adding…

All of these responses are true when properly understood, but none of them become an excuse for settling while more people die without Jesus. The…

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Bullet In TVWATERTOWN, Mass. (BP) — A Southern Baptist church planting resident at a Boston-area church found himself, along with his wife, in the crossfire of a police shootout early Friday morning (April 19) with the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Stephen McAlpin, who is nearing the end of a one-year North American Mission Board church planting internship with Hope Fellowship Church in Cambridge, Mass., had just gone to bed around 12:40 a.m. when he and his wife heard something that sounded like fireworks.

By then officials had identified two brothers believed to be responsible for the double bombings that killed three and injured more than 170 people April 15, and Thursday night the suspects hijacked a car in Cambridge and drove to Watertown, where McAlpin lives, while being pursued by police.

A dramatic shootout commenced outside McAlpin’s home, resulting in the death of one of the suspects. The other remained on the loose Friday, causing the entire city of Boston and surrounding communities to be placed on lockdown as police searched for him door to door.

“The gunshots were continuing. We heard glass break. We started crawling into the kitchen of our…

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The BibleI want the church – your church and my church – to grow. I’m encouraged when I see the church effectively demonstrating the love of God and communicating the good news of Jesus to a culture with an ever-evolving language. I’m concerned when I see the church struggling to connect with people who are far from God. This concern is grounded both in my understanding of Jesus’ challenge to be fruitful and my conviction that millions are spiritually dead and hopeless until they trust in Jesus. But fruit-bearing is only half of the equation.

I do not have a green thumb. I’ve purchased a number of plants over the years and have managed to watch most of them die grueling deaths, mostly from dehydration. But I do have enough common sense to know how vital roots are to the life and vitality of any garden variety plant. And typically, the deeper the roots, the fresher the fruits. Jesus even used this as an illustration of the Christian life.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you…

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