I listened to the leader of a large but struggling ministry in an Least Reach People group (LRP) humbly asking the leaders of a dynamically growing movement for their advice. They kindly told him that he should evangelise boldly and make disciples. He thanked them agraciously but I could see what he was thinking. “We have done that for 40 years. If it was only that simple!”
Don’t you love to hear people’s success stories? Well, sort of! But I confess that I sometimes feel a bit intimidated by those stories. “Is it really that simple? Or are they using a weapon that God hasn’t given me?”
We had great fruit while church planting in Malaysia and now experience more astonishing fruit in Mozambique. You would think we would have learned some good tricks by now but we still battle away in Japan and Shulam with nothing much to report. If I could only apply the lessons I have learned in Moz to the work in Japan! “If only it was that simple! Or is it a different season, different soil?”
Even in Mozambique, we have sometimes tried too hard to incorporate the lessons of others! We really want to reap better in this time of harvest. And our earnest efforts to use the excellent weapons that others recommended have helped – but only a little!
Lately, we have relaxed and “pushed back” into what was “life” for us, and the work is exploding. But if we “push back and relax” in Japan, nothing happens! Or so it seems!
I hope you’ve done Kairos! I love the lesson in Chapter 5 about types of strategy. There are Standard Solution strategies (copying what worked well in another time or place) and Being in the Way strategies (no strategy actually – just being led by the Holy Spirit). “We consider the best approach to be the Unique Solution strategy,” learning well the lessons of missiology but recognising the uniqueness of each situation, culture and season, as well as our own particular gift mix.
Saul’s armour was great for Saul. Later David would put aside his sling and wield a sword powerfully, but he needed to go into the battle with Goliath trusting God to work through his own unique weapon. I greatly respect some friends who say to me by their words and their life that while they admire what we do, they must be themselves and not try to be us; and as they rest in their own unique gifts and callings they produce good fruit in the time of harvest! Very impressive!
By Jo and Jenny Graham
Ministry leaders involved in training church planters.