Wednesday, June 10, 2020

DMM: From the Inside Out

CPM/DMM: From the Inside Out

"Growing old, is for sure. Growing up is up to you!", read the local cigarette advertisement in our city. I am not altogether sure how that slogan has any connection with smoking cigarettes, but alas, I shall borrow the saying for the eternal perspective. 

In disheveled disarray bordered by a free-flow of tears before me sat one of our broader networks of national partners. Kati and I were meeting for CPM/DMM coaching of her 6 DBS groups along with encouraging her in member health growth areas. To launch movements spawned by spiritually and emotionally healthy catalysts provides the more holistic package of this effort among the SOLI/Sumbi Muslim UPGs. 

I shared that above advertisement slogan with Kati as related to her recent personal character challenges. She continued to pour out the tension she felt between the areas of desired freedom in the Lord and the pain of the longings unmet throughout her life. Years of suffering in a particular area have lead to a lifetime of start and stop patterns of doubting God's goodness in her life, made manifest in the pursuit of false intimacies. 

Character issues do not necessarily define a person, they simply provide the necessary road map which can lead to much needed healing from the Father's hand.

Francis Frangipane writes:
"I thought having a promise from God was the same thing as receiving a commandment from God. I did not understand what I personally lacked in character or what I needed to attain concerning faithfulness, becoming a bond-servant, and possessing a grateful heart. These things needed to be worked in me before God would truly begin to fulfill His larger promises and opportunities. What I became for God was more important than what I did for Him."

Being a disciple was never intended to be an “either/or” proposition. I have heard laborers be found to lament on seeing this or that season as just their time to “be” in Christ, to the sad exclusion of “doing” the work of His bidding. In the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we are invited to see God’s beautiful tapestry weave of what it is to listen to His Word, hear His voice, and to love and obey His lead. We are to both “be and do” in Christ, as a daily embrace. That is the beauty of the Shema lifestyle found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. To hear, love and obey Jesus, is the chewy center of every disciple. There are those who have been “in Christ” for many years who have never grown up into being reproducing disciple-makers. Being in Christ, practicing His presence, while walking out His promised freedom in the power of the Holy Spirit, is the process of living the reality of Christ from the inside out. 

Coaching our partners, be they international or local indigenous, must include this piece of careful loving affection for the sake of His glory being embraced and experienced as part of seeing His glory declared. 

To “be and do”, now, that is the question. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, now, that is the provision of the Father. 

CPM/DMM...From the inside out, for His glory. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

DMM: Lead Me On, Being Catalytic

Lead Me On
            (Being Catalyst; A Necessary Role in Launching Church Planting Movements-CPM)


Bethany Dillion applies this generation’s well-honed musical skillset to cover the song entitled Lead Me On[1], the song that originated in an age of Christian music when big hair reigned. Big hair, high heels for the female artists (thankfully just for the females), along with oversized jackets accented with exaggerated proportioned shoulder pads of interestingly patterned designs were the norm. 

I used to joke that my husband and I survived through the disco era and are so grateful for its death and annihilation as we caution this generation to never long for that scary forest domain ever again. More recently, I have come to realize that we have also lived through the various transitions of what was established as an industry in the 1980’s until present day; the contemporary Christian music scene.

It can be said that the 1980’s were the best of times in contemporary Christian music offerings, and yes, these were some of the worst of times.  

Being counterintuitive game changers is the norm for the follower of Christ.

Amy Grant walked onto the stage canopied by the crisp northern Californian star spangled sky. Holding court for all who attended the outdoor amphitheater music event in the summer of 1985, she sang her heart out. That night marked my personal witness of the convergence of the attempt to intersect the old style of what was known as contemporary Christian music into the growing evolution of what would be to come. 

Funny to assert, but in so many ways, she was a tipping point catalytic fire starter for Christian artists; big hair, spiked heels and all. Though you might think that comment a stretch to say, it can be said that the doorway to communicating the Christ life through the vehicle of song to non-believers had not yet been penetrated to that point in time. 

In the 1980’s Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Keith Green, Benny Hester, Larry Norman, Steven Curtis Chapman, Leslie (a.k.a Sam) Phillips, Petra, along with others all had their unique followings which at times could reach the flow of those outside the flock (believers) as well. However, as I recall though free to be contended with, after Amy Grant took her music to a level, which could potentially connect with non-believers, Michael W. Smith was the next in line to expand his influence in order to see non-believers stirred toward the beauty and the power of the gospel. O.k., yes admittedly, the song “Baby, Baby” which ushered this breakthrough in for Amy Grant was largely bee bop fluff. However, this song broke the unwritten plane of separation between the sacred and holy, in terms of the music industry. 

Spencer and I, along with some colleagues, Betty and Bobby, in our early years ministering among Muslims in Southeast Asia, had the highly random opportunity to meet Michael W. Smith while he came to town on tour. To highlight the randomness of his visit to this outpost of humanity would be like comparing an astronaut’s trip to the moon with stopping by Venus enroute. 

From a human standpoint, his early 1990’s hit singles into the secular music realm had launched a newer platform of influencing the lost among his newfound fans. For whatever reason, perhaps his management team was being somewhat Kingdom strategic in their flying him to a highly remote large population of Muslim Unreached People groups or perhaps the bookings in the U.S. market had all but dried up (not likely). Either way, we decided to go to all of the events related to his arrival in said location. Let me emphasize that there were many common items of our home culture not available in this cross-cultural context; like toilet paper, cheese, or butter. Amazingly though, we stood in front of one momentary import, this music artist who loves Jesus. 

At one point, being the only foreigners and Americans present at the two day event lauding his arrival to our territory we talked with him privately. We mentioned his opportunity to push the bounds to share about Jesus with this predominantly Muslim audience scheduled to enjoy a concert later that same evening. He smiled graciously at our request. Later that evening at the question and answer time during his concert we threw him a “softball” to hit out of the stadium type question. “Michael, we so appreciate your music. Could you explain to all of us the inspiration and meaning behind your song entitled Secret Ambition[2]? “ (a great song highlighting the reason for Christ coming to this world. You can see this on YouTube. And yes, he had kind of the big hair mullet thing going at that time as well).  

From this time of our brief brush of being around Michael W. Smith we began to pray that God would move him to compose songs which could break open the thin veneer of worship music available at the time in the Bride of Christ international. Soon thereafter, he began to produce worship focused songs and subsequently opened the heretofore blockades for inability to make money for the music producing companies. (Many secular parent company ownerships existed for several major Christian music company labels in the mid 1990’s.) 

I am not asserting here that a few of us who chose to pray were the only piece in this tapestry of God’s design for this particular artist. I am asserting, though, that God does have His bride participate with what He wills, largely through intercession as well as being the hands and feet of His heartbeat. 
What if we saw our participation with the Holy Spirit as a sort of catalytic “tipping point” to accomplish His will in this world for His own glory?

Being catalytic fire starters reads well in retrospect but during the process blazing new paths can cause push back to existing patterns of “doing” the accepted norms. 

Being counterintuitive game changers is the norm for the follower of Christ.

To live out the Biblical patterns of obedience based discipleship is to be the norm for those who follow Christ. Being counterintuitive game changers for the glory of God is the norm for one as a follower of Jesus. 

When one chooses to embrace in loving obedience the commands of God, empowered and filled by the Holy Spirit, then one becomes a game changer for His Kingdom. One becomes a precision built strategic weapon for God’s transforming power to be displayed and to be declared in all Acts 1:8 applications. (“but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”)

Being Catalyst; A Necessary Role in Launching Disciple Making Movements-DMM

Spencer and I are soon to celebrate 29 years of life among Muslim Unreached People Groups.  As we continue to trust God to launch a rapidly reproducing movement of house fellowships among the Muslim Unreached Peoples in which we serve, it is important to consider returning over and over again to the strategic steps of CPM.

CPM Critical Elements List

1.   Vision: God’s glory 
2.   Reproduction
3.   Extraordinary Prayer
4.   Word of God Foundation, Holy Spirit Dependence
5.   Evangelism: Finding Persons of Peace and oikos (households/affinity groups)
6.   Discipleship: Teaching Oikos to discover and obey God’s Word in Discovery Bible Study
7.   Commitment: New believers (preferably an oikos) obey Jesus in repentance and baptism, while preparing for persecution
8.   Churches: Discipled oikos become obeying congregations, which reproduce
9.   Leadership: Equipping indigenous leaders who reproduce indigenous leaders  who reproduce indigenous leaders
10. Unflinching Evaluation: Focus on End Vision 

Though we are forever grateful for the wisdom of those who had attempted great things for God’s glory prior to our arrival to our region of service, we have come to realise that there are also opportunities for on-going healthy evaluation necessary.

As believers, we are all invited to trust God for being a catalyst in the essentials of movements for His glory. The area of Extraordinary Prayer is one essential element of CPM/DMM, which I want to focus upon in this writing.

As you gaze upon the term extraordinary prayer and consider what it may mean to be catalytic, what comes to mind? Consider the ideas that follow as ways to further appropriate God’s intent in the area of the practice of extraordinary prayer. 

 Counterintuitives in extraordinary prayer to consider;

1.     Forget Tradition-What has been done in former attempts to reach an Unreached People Group (or target group in home cultures) may or may not be the pattern that God has in mind to embrace presently. Most of the labourers (catalysts) who have seen significant Disciple Making Movements among heretofore resistant Unreached People Groups spend up to 3 hours per day, on average, in specific intercession. 

2.     Base All Prayer Upon God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s Leading-Read through the book of Acts and do a Discovery Bible Study[3] on Prayer. Use the patterns of prayers lifted up in the Epistles, the book of Nehemiah, for starters. Pray Scripture back to God. What follows is a specific example of ways to pray through Scripture on behalf of a people group excerpt taken from my husband’s book entitled Strategic Intercession for the SaSumBi;

Overcoming the Enemy

By faith bind the Evil One so that he cannot prevent people from hearing and believing the Gospel or blind them from the Truth (2 Corinthians 4:4).    Ask the Holy Spirit to expose the lies and deception of the Evil One.

Cancel and render all curses and spells powerless and void in Jesus name 
(Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Isaiah 47:9, 12).




   
3.   Be Intentional in Prayer-Ask God to teach your heart how to intercede. Go and be taught by those who model intercession. As one of many examples to my heart, one band of intercessors has gathered to pray for God’s heart for Acts 1:8 themes for over 20 years at one of my dearest heart friend’s home. Come hail or high water, they have gathered weekly. They have wept as well as labored in prayer for the glory of God to be declared and displayed in their homeland and to the ethne peoples of the earth. Find a discipler or group of disciplers in this area of intercession and learn to be catalytic for God’s glory.

Summary

What once was, in terms of attempts to reach the Unreached People Groups of the earth, can be evaluated with heaps of grace and mercy. As one evaluates former attempts, to reach a given people group, it is with much fear and trembling to consider what was effective in former approaches and what could have been a hindrance. 

Be careful what you set in motion in terms of what you model as the norm of walking with Jesus, while depending or not upon His Holy Spirit to lead. We have seen UPG efforts, which have been seemingly hindered by the ones who continue to rely upon self-life, self-effort, and self-importance. 

Be intentional in the essentials of Disciple Making Movements on a personal level as well as modelling to others and expect God to move in power, in His timing. 

Extraordinary prayer, as one of the main essentials of DMM, is predicated upon a heightened personal and corporate dependence upon God to be God.

The Christian music industry hit many crossroads moments, when catalytic artists intentionally chose the higher unknown road of equal risk of personal gain or personal loss.  They took the best of the former things available and pitched out the non-effective methodologies in terms of music.

As those who desire to be the Biblical norms of catalytic eternal game changers among the peoples of the earth, your course is more challenging. Expect push back, and then respond in grace and humility. Expect God to move, lean not into your own understanding, and watch God rip the heavens open and come down in a given Unengaged/Unreached People Group or target population.

Remember, sometimes “big hair” ways are simply trends and not substantive in nature. Then again, catalytic fire starters of Christ-centered movements are willing to be counterintuitive, at all costs. Choose God’s blueprint of counterintuitive ways in the area of extraordinary prayer and watch His hand move in power. 
                                    
‘til the Ethne Worship,
Rhonda     
 Beyond.org




[1]Lead Me On by Amy Grant (version 2004-without the big hair do) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5hLGmTH-
Lead Me On covered by Bethany Dillon  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX7z3OLR6eU
[2] Secret Ambition by Michael W. Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5P7kUMuQns
[3] Discovery Bible Study (DBS)-methodology used in Disciple Making Movements approach. Asking the following 8 DBS questions…
1. What are you thankful for? 
2. What is a specific challenge presently? 
3. Retell last story, how did you obey? 
4. Read next DBS story 2x out loud as a group, retell in own words (help each other) 
5. What does this passage say about God? 
6. What does it say about man? 
7. What does it say about me and what am I to obey in response to this passage? (“I will”…)
8. With whom and their household/friends group will I share this truth with? When?



Sunday, February 9, 2020

DMM: An Image of Redemption


 DMM: An Image of Redemption  

“And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, ‘May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?’ For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean."- Acts 17


Pak Halim
Pak Halim
My husband noted the intensity of the Muslim man who now sat across from him. The man had chased down our colleague who had been fishing for hearts a few days prior. Our colleague had invited Sp into the relationship to help model the Discovery Bible Storying processes. We are involved in the training and coaching of nationals as well as western missionaries. And yet, more recently we asked the Lord, in those still times before Him, to provide newer streams of seekers (Persons of Peace) to pursue for us personally. 

Pak Halim shared how he had been feeling empty of soul and longing to know the source of the ache which caused this desire. Sp and our colleague began a stream of interaction with these stories from the Word of God which we have crafted to speak into the worldview of Muslims. It is the image of the Beautiful One displayed in snapshots before a man who is seeking. They meet twice weekly, beholding the image of the splendor of the One, Jesus Christ.  Pray for Pak Halim to share these stories with his   household as well as his network of relationships. Why wouldn’t the Father be bringing this man to saving faith along with his household? By His sovereign hand, we trust. 

As you desire to practice next steps in DMM implementation, what would you do to offer the DBS story set to this man and his household?   Make clear the simple invite to take a look at the Taurat, Zabur, and Injil.

Reflections to Ponder

·      Ask the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of the many Pak Halims to share these stories with their households as well as their networks of relationships.
·      Pray for the SaSumBi Muslims to experience a profound level of discontent with where they are in relation to a Holy God. 
·      Ask God to give 4 solid Muslim fanatic households to our Disciple Making Movement teams. 
·      Ask God to multiply these new followers into 4 generations of reproducing house fellowships among the SaSumBi by the end of 2020. 


O Lord God, May the hearts and minds of the SaSumBi long for your presence alone. At even the mention of the name of Isa Al Masih, I ask that they would be given pause to come near and listen. To then trust Christ alone for their salvation is my heart cry, O God. Cause the SaSumBi to be deeply disturbed at the vacuity in their hearts which they will realize, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in relation to a Holy God. For there is no other name in heaven or earth, given among men, by which they must be saved. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.