I am convinced that God calls and God gives a vision, and without that it is futile for any of us to put our hands to the plow. Continually asking ourselves why we are involved in any missions work – local, national, and international – helps us to be clear in our minds about the ultimate purpose of our day-to-day activities.
Student at Koinonia College of Theology shares the gospel in his home village.
From the very outset of the India Connection organization we knew that God wanted us to train people to lead the church in India. The Girls Home, the Medical Clinic, and other opportunities which have arisen are all platforms to do the one thing that we are called to do – equip men and women who will live the Gospel and carry it to the uttermost parts of India.
How Should We “Do” Evangelism?
Koinonia College of Theology student praying with a village mother.
Any time we talk about the Gospel to an unbeliever, the most important thing is to foster a genuine encounter with God. We can have the right heart but still try to achieve our goals the wrong way. In our evangelistic outreaches we sometimes believe that bigger is better; we try to get the largest amount of people in one room, wow them, and hopefully keep them.
We need to understand that “we will keep them with whatever we catch them with”. If we catch them with a big extravagant event, we will need to continually provide that kind of elaborate sound and light show.
I believe if we are going to be effective, we need to return to Jesus’ model of discipleship. We need to be authentic in our relationships and love for people. Discipleship must be more than a program; it must be relational.
Raising the Next Generation
Momentums and transfers are part of life. We all have the responsibility of placing what has been entrusted to us into the hands of the next generation – our children. That is our mandate, our ministry. At some point in our lives, we all ask ourselves how can we effectively reach the next generation when their paradigms seem so gapingly different from ours?
Finished Pune Center building today
We need to see that there is a similar thread that runs through them all. Young people are looking for leaders who will believe in them. They are looking for those forerunners who will encourage them to go out and do the work of the Lord, and who will pray and support them through that. Through the India Connection, we all have the opportunity to propel the young people of India into their destinies. They are waiting, open and ready to receive.
In order to do this, we must get a “God-perspective” on their lives. He sees them not only as they are now, but also their potential. He not only sees where they are going, but who they will be one day. What we need to do is ask God for a revelation of who He’s called them to be. David was a little shepherd boy, but God called him to be King over Israel. When Gideon was young, hiding and afraid, God named him a “mighty warrior”. He spoke it into them. We, as leaders, are called to do the same.
Sharing the gospel at the 2016 Medical Mission outreach
We are not to coerce the next generation to be “like us” because we will do them a disservice. We need to reach them in their world without compromising the standards and guidelines we are trying to instill in them. We don’t need to be just like them in order to reach them. We need to understand who they are; we need to know our audience. Our message is the same, but how we deliver the message may be different. We need to understand how they think. What motivates them? How are they influenced? We need to be willing to go into their world.
This may be a little uncomfortable at first, and their filter may feel foreign to what we have become accustomed to. It will mean sharing more than just words, but sharing life. Some of our greatest opportunities for impact happen, not just from the pulpit, but through purposeful moments of everyday events. If we live a life that changes others and Christ is formed in them because of the way we live, then an exchange is made. It is the realization that spending the time is where the message becomes real.
Relationships That Influence
Waiting to be baptized in Andhra Pradesh
Most influences come through relationships, and they are almost always intentional. Looking at the life of Jesus, you see a similar pattern. Even though He spoke on mountain tops and in synagogues, He knew it was in the simple, everyday interactions that truth could be spoken, and once it was, a transfer would be made.
Jesus spent time with the ones He called to change the world. The next generation is crying out for leaders; they are looking to see who will be willing to persevere for them. We have the incredible opportunity to empower the ones God has set before us. We must be obedient to speak words that will thrust them into what God has for them. We must not take lightly the responsibility God has given us to make sure this transfer of truth, wisdom, and life takes place. It is more than just a challenge. As leaders, I believe it is our mandate to the next generation.
Koinonia College of Theology graduate stands in his village.
It is our prayer that the light that burns in our heart will continue to burn with the clarity Jesus put in our heart when Jude 3 was written, “to contend for the faith which once for all was delivered” We are very grateful and thankful for your prayers, love and support.
Would you continue to seek the Lord and see how He would want you to be involved? Whether it is in the practical trades – electrical, carpentry, plumbing, serving at the medical clinic, teaching at the College of Theology, ministering to the pastors in the field, or simply being an ambassador for the India Connection here in the US – would you pray diligently and take the necessary steps of faith? Because you will need to, if it is the Lord calling you to a ministry like this. Let’s go and spread the Good News of the Gospel to a lost and dying world – here at home and abroad!
Happy Thanksgiving! May you and your family be blessed abundantly in this season.
In His Service