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evangelism Archives - Mission Network News

Training workers to leap through the 4/14 Window.

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Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) — You’ve heard of the 10/40 Window, as it applies to missions, right? (If not, it refers to regions of the eastern hemisphere, plus the European and African part of the western hemisphere, located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator-places with the highest levels of socioeconomic challenge and the least access to the Gospel.)

What about the 4/14 Window? It represents the golden age of opportunity to transform the world. It’s actually describing kids from age four to fourteen years old, which is the most open and receptive age to every form of spiritual and developmental input.

Yet, this people group has often been overlooked. They are the most vulnerable to upheaval and sometimes, the least protected. Many countries experiencing social upheaval have a very young population that is being impacted by the ideologies surrounding the uncertainties in their countries. Still, with the right focus and resourcing, this enormous and largely ignored people group can become agents of change in God’s Hands.

Every Child Ministries’ Lorella Rouster shares a case in point with a pastor she spoke with in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “I talked with a pastor who had received our training from years back, and that training was about how to reach children with the Gospel.”

The first step for this pastor was to raise awareness. The fact that he was working in Kinshasa pointed to an issue dealing with the value of children. “You’d think that the Church, having the Scriptures, would realize the value of children, but that isn’t always the case.”

She goes on to explain, “He ended up in Kinshasa, the capital city, and began gathering a small group of neighborhood children and started a Sunday school for those children, and those kids enjoyed what they were hearing. He began to visit their families and won many of them to Christ.”

Careful cultivation of the relationships with both the kids and their families yielded results. “Today, that effort has grown to an active church of several hundred people”, she says, adding that serves as the model for other work in other countries. “We’re finding that starting a Sunday school for children can be a very effective way to plant new churches.”

You may be wondering how kids are effective evangelists. That’s answered by this question: “Have you ever had your child participate in something he/she really likes? ” It’s singular focus and enthusiasm that drives the Gospel message into the homes of the Sunday school kids. “We’re trying to reach children one by one, but children are attached to families , so when the children come to Christ, typically, they go home and talk about the good things that they’re hearing, and how much they enjoy it.”

According to ECM the average for village Sunday schools seems to be about 80 children. This means ECM training is responsible for about 200,000 children receiving weekly Bible training in Central Africa.

The pastors who utilize the training start with friendship with the families-building relationship and trust within the communities. ECM’s goal is to empower local Bible-believing churches to reach children through any means possible. “Reaching children is a very effective way to building the kingdom of God. People can actually support a person to receive a year of intensive training and reaching children for only $350.” Rouster goes on to explain that $350 is really an investment in one person’s life, “and yet It can result in thousands coming to Christ, not only children, but whole families, and even in churches being planted.” ECM is asking for a little boost to help more trained leaders get through the Window before it closes. Resources are one part of the solution. Prayer is the other. “Pray that those who have been trained will remain true, they will remain faithful to Christ and to the Scriptures.”

Want to help support leadership development in Africa? Click here.

Facebook and Twitter, make an impact

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While I’m 46 years old — almost 47 — I’m amazed at the number tools we have to not only proclaim Christ to a lost world — friends and family included — but encourage fellow Christians to do something more for Christ. That’s the focus of Mission Network News. We want to make sure average Christians KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that they CAN do something for Christ whether that be through praying for a specific prayer request over and over again, or by giving, or by going.

Today, there’s even MORE that you can do. Let me explain.

While some would consider me ‘old’ I have been a Facebook member since before it was open to the public — when it was still an educational network. So, I’ve seen this tool evolve. It has grown into something beyond what I ever thought it would be. While the world can see everything we do if we allow it, it can also read things they NEED to read.

The Gospel is one example of what they need to read. For Christians, it’s information that will help them make a difference in world who needs to hear (read) God’s Word.

What am I getting at? Because you’re reading this post, you’re already interested it serving Christ. I’d like you to take another step and begin sharing what you read from Mission Network News and sharing it on your Facebook page. Why?

This is not to promote Mission Network News. This is to promote the ministries that MNN is talking about on the radio and on our websites. As you do, we believe God will use the things you share to motivate others to get more involved in God’s work.

Can you imagine what we, as Christians, can do on social media websites? We could mobilize prayers efforts, form giving campaigns for various projects, and organize short-term mission teams to make an eternal difference in people’s lives.

How do you do this? Simple. When you see a Mission Network News story that touches your heart, hit the ‘share’ button under the story and make a comment. As you do, you’ll be encouraging those on your Facebook page to either pray, give or go. It’s that simple. If you’re on Twitter, sign up to follow us on Twitter. We’re @MNNteam. Just retweet our tweets. You could make a difference in places like the Middle East, Asia or Africa without leaving your home.

Thank you for what you’re doing to mobilize God’s people to do more for Him through social media.

How Mozambikway is next to Indonesia

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Once upon a time, many years ago, when I first started at Mission Network News, I got a call from a listener who was talking to me about what she perceived to be an error in one of our stories.

Essentially, what it boiled down to was my arguing with her over an assertion that the country of ‘Mozambikway’ was next to Indonesia. Our conversation ended abruptly when she hung up on me.   I spent a lot of time ruefully shaking my head at her stubbornness, her refusal to know what the reality was and found myself generally quite puffed up with pride.

Today, our team still jokes about Mozambikway, but now that country has joined a list of misnomers (like Kajikistan) that came from my own lip trips, stumbles and assorted other bloopers where my mouth did not quite cooperate with my brain.

My point is this: sometimes, in the quest for kingdom building, we lose sight of the purpose and get stuck and proud over what we think we know. The Gospel is not about showing off. In fact, anyone who has ever been working as the hands and feet of Christ anywhere around the world knows that the moment you make the Gospel about you, you’ve lost your credibility as a ‘little Christ’.

The first Commandment is ‘No other Gods’, followed by ‘No idols’, and then ‘Don’t misuse My Name’. When we forget our purpose for being here, we forget not only ourselves, but also our message. Pride in our knowledge and pride in our excellence of work becomes the next brick we are making in the pyramids.  It’s so easy to lose sight of who God is, who we are and we get hung up on little arguments that ultimately do not service unity in a world that needs a Savior.  Ouch.

The Shema is a great reminder of who we are: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” ~Deut 6:4-9

Yes, at MNN, we strive for excellence, accuracy and Truth. We want to motivate believers to respond to what they’re hearing. We encourage you, our brothers and sisters to pray, give, or go.  Still, there’s Truth, and then there’s truth. Arguing for the sake of being right has no place in the Kingdom. What is true and real will always be so, in God’s creation. What that means is that for some people, Mozambikway is next to Indonesia…which is just south of Kajikistan in the world of mistakes.

I’m not advocating mis-education or ignorance, I’m merely pointing out that perhaps in that argument, I missed the forest for the trees. 15 years later, I realize that I missed her interest in taking Bibles to an island (the Moluccas) off the coast of Indonesia.

If part of the Shema is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”, let’s do that as we search for and share God’s truths with one another. Mission Network News plays a role in this walk for many.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Let’s journey together off the same map…