Monday, 14 November 2016
Many a mission agency are not only grappling with diminishing numbers in workforce but also in active partners. The latter is largely due to increased attrition, low interest and even lower enlistment. The Church's Generation Next appear to be high on worship and personal advancement but low on missions and personal sacrifice. Should we blame them? They are what their Teachers and Mentors have made of them.
To solve this challenge of a church generation averse to "traditional missions", many are advocating or even resorting to rebranding missions, usually by seeking to remove or minimize the faith and risk elements associated with this call of sacrifice. In this adventure, the so-called "Faith Missions" are most culpable. They erroneously think the issue lies in "living by faith", or in "not loving our lives even unto death". How mistaken.
In the same era of a church generation spurning the faith-life and self-sacrifice that missions will always require and demand, we see radical youth movements of other faiths arising and demonstrating the self-sacrifice and undying faith needed to confront an otherwise comfortable and complacent world. For while many a mission agency, especially in the developed world are battling to recruit or retain their fast diminishing numbers, ISIS is busy harvesting a vast number of laborers and partners from among their young. And this without rebranding to minimize the risk associated with a jihad.
Make no bones about it, today's missions need change and innovation in their mobilization, training and engagement strategies, but none of this must have as an agenda the removal or minimization of the faith, sacrifice and risk missions require and demand, more so in a world where the battle for the souls of men is raging higher. What is required is the rebreeding of a generation of Christians to which the cross of Christ still holds an awe and attraction. There are too many Christ-less and cross-less "Christians" in our church crowds. And too many "Pentecostals" without a genuine experience of Pentecost.
And how we need a fresh experience of Pentecost! For only when God's people are soaked in the Holy Spirit that power, passion, purity, vision and willingness becomes the default mode of their lives and devotion.
"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams... Your troops (people) will be willing on your day of battle (power), Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning's womb" Acts 2:17; Ps.110:3. NIV.
Culled from OCCUPY A magazine of Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) Vol.36; No.1; Pg 22. Calvary Ministries is a foremost African Missionary movement that has been Mobilizing, Training and Sending out missionaries since 1975. Office Mobile: +234-(0)7056792823, +234-(0)8166155009
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Monday, 4 April 2016
It was the Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) Pastors and Ministers Forum organized by Port Harcourt Chapter. Church leaders, Bishops, Pastors and Teachers from different denominations gathered to seek God’s face on Global trends in Church Growth and Missions. it held in Golden Tulip Hotels, Port Harcourt. Our brother, Dr. Chinedu Oranye, CAPRO International Mobilization & Media Officer, shared with us some of the things that God laid on his heart. This is just the highlight of the meeting.
He started by saying that the church is supposed to be connected to and in tune with global trends. Any church or church leader that refuses to recognize the global trends will not be able to strategically plan and will eventually lose out. Many things for example are happening to Christians around us and around the world but Christians and pastors go through church services and the motions as if nothing is happening. Issues are not taken up as prayer points in our services and members are not informed just because church leaders are not in tune with what is going on. Brother Chinedu shared what he called the Trends 3-3-3.
3 Current Global Trends that are with us today
- The growth in fundamentalism and heightened persecution of Christians. There is a dangerous rise in all sorts of religious persuasions. These include African Traditional Religion (ATR), Fundamental Islam, Militant Hinduism, Animistic practices, Secular Humanism ETC. The clear line between animism and some Christian practices today is becoming blurred. Most current Christians join in traditional practices that their Christian fathers rejected. We must teach our members of this global reality. We must teach them on how to survive in hostile environments. Persecution will come but we must be prepared.
- Population explosion. Reproduction rate is on the rise in many nations and the youths form greater part of this population. Our strategic planning must take cognizance of these facts. Any church that is not putting youths and the younger generation in the forefront is losing out. The tendency is that church leaders feel threatened when young men begin to appear in the scene. Instead of helping them and giving them the platform to manifest, we tend to fight them and either derail them or pursue them out of our churches. However, the reality is that young people form greater part of this generation currently. In his words, “we must push them up instead of pushing them down”. The crisis of young men going astray is because nobody cared to draw them close at the beginning. Many of them have no leadership cover. Because of population explosion, if we do not mentor these young men, they will grow to bring disgrace to the church. There must be intentional discipleship.
It is a phenomenon of the 21st century. Entire communities, sections
of countries are being uprooted. In Nigeria, many northerners migrate to the
south because of problems. If we do not take the opportunity, it will remain a
threat to us. Many Christians among them do not even find a place of acceptance
in our churches in the south. They do not find community among us. Europe is
not ready for what is happening to them today but yet churches are taken the
opportunities. Churches are filled up by migrants. We need to train and empower
our people on how to reach the Muslims. (CAPRO has a training course on this
called OASIS. You can contact them to run it for your church members
08034594878 Rowland, 08055457305 Brown). We must equip the church on how to take the
opportunity of migration.
Dr Chinedu Oranye Ministering
3 Things to note on Church Growth.
- There is the reality of church explosion. People fill our churches and church programs. Massive church explosion. Whether the people in the church are Christians is a different thing altogether. It is a segregated growth that is one sided. Even in Islamic centers, there is growth too. This growth gives us a potential to turn out armies for God. Church growth must not just be in numbers but to make men who are relevant to the kingdom.
- There is constant Church division. This is a time we must be united but unfortunately, we fight each other.
- There is so much harvest and opportunities but we are embroiled in competition and in-fighting because we have lost the sight of the global trends.
3 Things to note on Missions
- Everybody is doing missions forgetting the Macedonian people, the Unreached/Forgotten Peoples.
- The non-priority of mission opportunities. we must send men and also send resources. we must do educational and social projects etc. The church must have budgetary allocations to missions and offer prayers for missionaries and missionary work.
- Non effective Church and Mission Agency partnership. There is rivalry and absence of synergy between them.
- Missions Partnership. Acts 16:9-10.
- Operation Joshua or Short term Field Visits. Sending a team of leaders and young people to the mission field.
- Restoration of correct doctrine.
CAPRO contacts can be found here or you can contact us to link you up with the Port Harcourt office.
We will be sharing later what our churches can do strategically in response to what God is saying to His Church. Remember to drop a comment or write us if you require further information. God bless you.