1+1+2 = 270
Wait, what kind of math equation is that?
It’s math that captures the power of mentoring in God’s Kingdom, where investing in one person can impact a whole community or even multiple communities.
You’ve probably heard stewardship talked about from the standpoint of talents. Are you offering your personal time and talents to God? Are you using what he gave you for his glory?
What we don’t talk about so often is assessing our unique contribution corporately, not just as individuals. What is your local church called to steward? What has God given you as a body, that he would ask you to invest into the world?
I knew I had found the right place when I saw the cross-shaped emblem above the door. Tammy greeted me with a warm smile and the promise of coffee freshly brewing in the kitchen. I complimented the colorful streaks in her hair, wondering if the touring musicians she constantly served were having an effect on her sense of personal style.
Nadifa (not her real name) was born in a troubled season. She spent her first years of life in a canvas tent in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. At age five, Nadifa got on a plane with her mom and two younger brothers, and arrived in a new and unfamiliar world called Phoenix, Arizona: one with light-switches and microwaves, carpets and vacuum cleaners.
Nadifa’s family was the first to be sponsored through the efforts of CRM staff members Steve and Melissa Hubler, who create pathways for local churches to engage in mission. Through their work, small groups of Christian sponsors “adopt” refugee families, meeting them when they arrive, furnishing apartments for them, staying connected in relationship, and offering practical help in learning to live in a brand new country.
One of the leaders I give spiritual direction to is on the executive committee at her church, and was chairman of the committee to select a new pastor. This church, while in a diverse neighbourhood of Johannesburg, is predominantly "white" and has an ageing population. The church has struggled to adapt to the "new South Africa," post-Apartheid, and clings to the past, whether it be how people ought to dress for church, how a minister should look, or who is welcomed into the church.
In western Venezuela, there’s a little town called Carrillo. In some ways, it’s a typical small town where everyone knows everyone else. But in Venezuela, the "typical" small town can sometimes be a very dangerous place, with people involved in deadly crime. In this case, Carrillo is basically controlled by drug mafia.
Throughout scripture God's presence, passion, purity, and judgement are represented by the symbol of fire. Hebrews 12:29 describes God as "a consuming fire." When we pray for revival we want to pray for these things—the power and purity of God's presence—to move into the dark places and fill the earth with his glory. And how does his fire spread throughout the earth? By His people!
“I realize now that coming here was the beginning of my redemption.”
Ramiz (not his real name) was deeply opposed to al-Qaida and Isis. As a resident of a town in the Middle East, he partnered with the US military as a translator in the heat of war. This work put him and his family at risk, and the Americans moved him to a new location where he would not be recognized. While working with a forward special forces unit, he survived an ambush. One of his friends on the patrol was blown up right in front of him, and Ramiz bears the scars of shrapnel from that encounter.
"Everybody loves, 'Come follow me.' Because it means we get to hang out with Jesus, right? Walk where he walks. Eat what he eats for breakfast. Front row seats on the big spectacle that is 'Jesus the Messiah!' But when his invitation is joined by a call to make disciples, I can suddenly find my schedule is, unfortunately, a little too squeezed that night." -Darren Prince
Listen in as Darren Prince, one of the leaders of CRM’s order among the poor, shares powerful truths about the Church’s call to make disciples who make disciples. Why? Because Jesus really is compellingly good news.
You’re going through another busy day. Maybe you’re running to the grocery store after work, taking the kids to soccer practice, or eating a quick lunch in the break-room. Stop and consider, do you know how many of the people around you—in the check-out line, in the break-room, on the bleachers, walking that dog past your house—are living apart from the Source of Life?
Many of us are surrounded by people who don’t know God. That's even true of many who call themselves Christians. The vast majority of people we interact with on a daily basis don’t expect God to show up in their lives in powerful, transformational ways.