Author: African mission mobilizer
Category: Resource Mobilization
These words in 2Corinthians 9:10 have grabbed my imagination again and again. drawing me back to these two challenging chapters the apostle Paul wrote on faith-giving. The context clearly indicates that Paul deals with a need within the body of Christ that calls for sacrificial giving by others in the same body – others that are graciously enabled by God to give into the expressed need from their own affluence or sometimes even their financial strappings. Through the years since 1991 we have been challenging local churches in South Africa to give themselves to God as the Macedonians did, to seek to make a promise to God to be resource gatherers for His Kingdom, to sow bountifully as He provides, to give cheerfully and allow God through these steps of obedience to increase the harvest of their righteousness. Many churches took the challenge and began looking to God for more resources to invest into the work of world evangelization. Through the ministry of World Thrust we shared afresh the testimony of the so-called faith promise offering, which we understood, originated somewhere at the beginning of the 20th century and was popularised by Dr Oswald J Smith at the Peoples Church, Toronto. God graciously moved in hundreds of churches in South Africa during the nineties and into the new millennium and we witnessed a guestimate figure of over $30 million raised for mission just in the year of 1997 from approximately 1000 local churches that had been turned on for world evangelization.
Mission fields all over Africa and into Europe, South America and Asia benefitted from this faith-inspiring liberality.
About five years ago we were divinely led into a partnership of mission involvement with a small section of the church in China. They had some willing and ready missionaries, strongly motivated by the long-standing Back to Jerusalem Vision. These missionaries could however not move freely across the northwest of China and further along the Silk Route to complete the task of world evangelization as this Vision so strongly encouraged them to do. For many of them it was simply a non-starter to get travel documents. We put a plan before them. While you are ready and resident in China, go to the Minorities – there are over 400 of these peoples groups of which close to ninety percent have no clear evangelical witness among them. Go and settle among them, start a little business and serve these often impoverished people to benefit from the amazing growth of the Chinese economy. We undertook to find churches in South Africa who would be willing to invest in the support of these missionaries and provide seed-money for the establishment of community-uplifting businesses. God brought all this to fruition.
Last year there was a significant turn of events as we shared with these brothers and sisters. They asked us to share how we manage to get local churches involved in praying for the world, giving and going to the nations. It was obvious that they had a good understanding of what it means to be church, and what is required in discipleship and intercession, but they seemed to lack a practical understanding of how churches and members can be mobilized to live with and for the Lord of the Harvest. We shared from our experience in our own country and it resulted in a brokenness that deeply stirred our hearts. We shared some more and imparted not only principles we’ve learnt, but also shared some tools of mobilization that God has blessed us with.
We’ve seen them direct their strong prayer commitment toward the least penetrated nations, like Northern Korea and those along the Silk Route. We’ve received glorious reports of cross-cultural outreach teams that have raised support and went out to selected areas to witness and minister there for Christ. The content of 2Corinthians 8 and 9 have become a charter for calling believers to bountiful giving. Leaders have stepped up their testimony of integrity and accountability in order to provide the vacant channels through which God can provide for His great harvest. We have at times been surprised by the raising of large amounts of money for investment in world mission, and we have joyously fulfilled our role as catalysts to encourage them to turn this money into obedience to their confession of the gospel.
God is increasing the harvest of our righteousness. To Him be glory in the church forever!