The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
― Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC
Youth + International = Authentic Missiology
Crossing into other cultures (and subcultures) often raises questions. This is good for our theology. Theology is simply asking questions and seeking the answers to those questions in the Bible. Engaging in relationships with people across ethnic and geographic boundaries forces us to use our energy to think authentically about theology. I find this especially true among young people internationally. They have keen insights if we take the time to ask them. Relevant local theological development begins to happen when we engage in cross cultural missions. We discover new questions and we have to go to the Bible to search for answers.
For example, if you look at the past 10-15 years of evangelism among youth in Nepal, local youthworkers would tell you that it has actually been fairly easy and fruitful so far. But the process of helping them to grow in faith is very difficult. If a parent discovers that there child has become a Christian, they can become very angry. They may even stop their child from going to church forever.
Nepalese youthworkers wrestle with what they can do about this problem.
If I had a thousand pounds China should have it- if I had a thousand lives, China should have them. No! Not China, but Christ. Can we do too much for Him? Can we do enough for such a precious Saviour? -Hudson Taylor (circa 1900)
The church in China has been growing rapidly for many years. We know some things about the development student ministry in China but it is still somewhat of a mystery to the outside world. Yet one thing that China has a lot of is students. So what challenges will the Chinese church face in the coming decades as they raise up the next generation of young leaders? How will they provide the needed mentoring to grow the church and reach the millions of Chinese who do not yet know Jesus? Here are 5 current needs for mentoring among Chinese church leaders…
The VISION Inductive Bible Study Method is one of the simplest Bible study tools I know of that helps you take a passage of Scripture & write compelling questions for your small group.
They key to a great Bible study and discussion with young people is helping them discover the truth in the passage. There is an art to writing good questions that will invite participation. These Bible study tools take time and effort. When you start out it can be overwhelming to try to write well-crafted questions that will help your group understand the meaning of the passage and how to apply it to their lives. That’s why I put together the VISION Inductive Bible Study method. It’s one of the simplest Bible study tools you can find. It helps you take any passage of Scripture and write compelling questions that will help your group learn its meaning and the implications of what it teaches to their lives. Here’s how…
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’ – Revelation 14:6-7
As I get to know student ministry leaders in dozens of countries around the world, one of the most important topics we constantly keep at the forefront is the Gospel of Jesus and how we can communicate it effectively to young people. As the passage from Revelation above excites our imagination about the activity of God in the spiritual realm to spread the yeast of his Good News to every tribe, tongue, and culture, we need to keep reminding ourselves that evangelism is absolutely central to the mission of the church. As we explore the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:1-9 in this post, I want to encourage you that no matter how hard you find it is to share the Gospel, or how discouraged you get, never give up on introducing people to Jesus. The central message of this parable is exactly that: NEVER NEVER NEVER STOP SOWING.
Grudem and Asmus provide some thoughtful perspectives on how followers of Jesus Christ can actively engage in a compassion-filled ministry of social justice while going after the root causes rather than just the symptoms…
Centennial Review – June 2014
How does the term “social justice” strike you?
If you haven’t had a chance to read Timothy Keller’s book, Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just, I would highly recommend it. Below are a few quotes that give you a snapshot of some of what he is writing about. Depending on what circles you run in, the term “social justice” might mean a variety of things. You might be “turned off” by that term, or you might be passionate about it depending on your political or theological bent.
Regardless of your position, Keller’s book seems to approach social justice from a theological rather than sociological viewpoint which is very helpful. Followers of Jesus should never put their head in the sand when it comes to standing up for what is just, right, and fair, and Keller’s book is a helpful primer for thoughtful leaders who want to do just that.