On our recent trip to Asia, Gloria and I were privileged to be with disciples in both Singapore and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Never have I visited two more contrasting countries. Singapore, in just 50 years, has climbed out of the ravages of World War II and claimed a spot among the most wealthy on earth. Cambodia, on the other hand, is still reeling from the torture, death and destruction suffered under Pol Pot’s rule, which ended in 1979. Yet, in both places the challenge to make disciples is being successfully answered. This issue of LA Story is an up-to-date report on how well Jesus’ Great Commission is being accomplished around the world. First, it is imperative that we understand the process of making disciples. Paul explains it in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. Pride and arrogance will destroy us. God works through our humility. Amazing growth has taken place in the International Churches of Christ since our inception in 1979, but we must be careful to give God all of the credit. We are only servants through whom others come to believe.
Tag: Roger Lamb
By the time you read this, Jubilee 2000 will be history. Jubilee 2000 is the celebration to the glory of God of the completion of the Evangelization Proclamation. As of the end of June, a church has been planted in every nation on earth that has a city of at least 100,000 population! We should all rejoice at the tremendous victory that our Heavenly Father has given us and for the part each of us had in it. As incredible as this is, the task of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to every one of the six billion people alive today has only just begun. Those 44 smaller nations that don’t have any cities of 100,000 people still must be reached. And churches must be planted near enough to every person so that they can be with other disciples with a reasonable amount of travel. Then some of us must go to the so-called “hidden peoples” who live in remote parts of several third-world countries. Our task is far from over – it has barely begun.
Our celebration must look forward, as well as back over the past 21 years. Now is not the time to breathe a sigh of relief. Considering the challenges before us, I have talked with Evangelists from several of the fastest growing churches in the Kingdom. I asked them what they think is most needed to get the job done. Several answers stood out. With the help of these godly men, I give you what I believe are six keys to doing even greater things as we take the Good News to a lost, hopeless and dying world.
The world was a very different place in 1979. Communism was very much alive. We were caught up in the Nuclear Arms Race. The Iron Curtain totally closed off the former USSR and Eastern European nations. The Bamboo Curtain isolated Southeast Asia. Countless wars raged in Africa. Apartheid isolated the blacks from the whites and South Africa from everyone else. The Arabs and Jews were trying to destroy each other in the Middle East. Central America was locked in civil war. If someone had told me that in 21 years a church would be planted in every one of the 171 nations of the world that had a city of at least 100,000 inhabitants, I would have been among the first to say this was impossible. But God likes a Mission Impossible.
July 2000 is a date for the history books. That is when God finished another of his episodes of Mission Impossible. What we have called the Six-Year Plan or the Evangelization Proclamation
was completed. A church of disciples now meets in every one of these 171 nations. You may wonder about Africa. Yes, even there. Even in China? Yes, even there. Every nation in the Middle East? Yes, even there.
The disciples who first planted our churches around the world told their stories in 1998 interviews. Be informed and inspired.