Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The "Top 5"

"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17

In light of the urgent spiritual need around the world, where do we start? Where do we focus our efforts? Paul Eschelman, vice-president of Campus Crusade for Christ (recently changed to Cru) and founder of the JESUS film project, lends his advice for the prioritization of mission work. Here is his “Top 5,” presented in Tokyo at the Global Mission Consultation and repeated at the Lausanne Congress last year:

#5  Church Planting
#4  Reaching Oral Learners
#3  Increasing Evangelization, with a focus on Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus
#2  Engaging the unengaged people groups
#1  Scripture translation

Why is scripture translation number one? Because, according to Eschelman (and I wholeheartedly agree), “it is impossible to do ministry without a Biblical foundation.”

I didn’t necessarily know who Eschelman was until I saw his quote, so you might not either. However, if you think back for a moment to all the sermons you’ve heard preached, all the “Sunday School” lessons you’ve heard taught, and all the bible studies you’ve done in small group or on your own. Then try to imagine what your life would look like today if you did not have the Bible in your heart language. It is sobering. By God’s grace, you have had access to His Word your entire life. Has there been anything more important or foundational to your walk with God (apart from God Himself)?

Faith without Depth
It’s not really easy to lead people without having a Bible,” said Pastor Timothée Balbone, President of the Assemblies of God Church in the Bissa region of Burkina Faso. “You try to teach people something, but they can’t remember what you’ve said. It’s not a happy situation. There cannot be much depth to people’s faith. So since we heard that people are coming alongside us we are rejoicing.

You know from an earlier blog how the Bible saved my life. Kept me from wasting it. It has the power to transform through the Holy Spirit (Heb 4:12). I know from personal experience. So our family is committed to going where we are needed in order to give someone else what we have had all our lives. Our desire is that generations might be changed by the Holy Spirit working in lives through the Word. The Bible says there are two things that will last for eternity – the souls of men and the word of God (1 Pet 1:23-25). We want to spend our lives for the sake of both.

1 comment:

  1. I can only comment with one word, "TRUTH!"