Reachout

MONEY FOR MISSIONS

(June 12, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, challenges…

At last, I have got onto the subject of money for missions. This is a big subject because the need is big.  I mean really BIG!

Regrettably, it sometimes becomes a point of confusion and even conflict, when the amounts of funding for global mission are seen as diverting, or reducing the funding for local church needs.

Personally, I say, ‘Thank God for the pastors who understand this problem area and ensure good balance and understanding is maintained in their church. I belong to such a church, for which I gave thanks to God every day. I especially thank him for my pastor.’

I recognise that just as some missionaries may not manage money well, the same is true of some local churches.

The better way is surely to help those missionaries who are not money managers and partner with them in sound, wholesome ventures for people in need and projects that are worthy.

Focusing on progress, not projects
Pastors who believe in the vision of a missionary, can partner with them, encouraging members who are experienced in money management, as well as people who are good project managers to work with their missionary.  Some great work is done this way to the glory of God.

The difficult balance area is to ensure that projects do not become the all-consuming focus of finance for missions. It must never be projects versus process.  The spiritual task of making disciples, planting churches, releasing indigenous churches to grow as God guides them in their own context, must take precedence over everything else.

Regrettably, due to the poor economy of many developing countries, there is always the danger of money being regularly needed by the local churches. It is essential that sound systems of financial recording and management are established. Equally, that focus on the unreached is held high on the agenda.

This calls for…

  • Sound planning
  • Working partnerships
  • Operating good agreements that define the way missionary money is invested.
  • Remembering Proverbs 29:18, ‘Where there is no vision the people perish.’
  • Equally, where there is no plan or accountability the people perish.

Fruitful church planters
There is another rapidly developing change, regarding money for missions. It is the important matter of the large number of national workers who have already become fruitful church planters. Many have also become capable church planting movement pioneers especially, for example, in the northern states of India.

I believe it is now true to say that they are at the cutting edge of missions’ strategy in this era of missions in the world. New agencies have been planted in Australia and other western countries to fund the training and basic support of thousands of indigenous church planters.

Transforming communities/changing lives
Investment in this kind of mission is a good deposit in the advance of the kingdom of God. Especially among the unreached nations that have been neglected for too long. I have no desire to draw comparisons, but it is high time to declare the investments that bring the greatest fruit for eternity. Yes, these missions and these churches must also be accountable before God and their sponsors. That is already in place, with the same integrity as respected mission agencies God has blessed for many years.

Money in missions in this 21st century is also big, because it involves funding for the training and then the simple support of multiplied hundreds of new church planters every year now.

Thousands are already planting multiple churches, riding their bicycles from village to village. They are persecuted, vilified, abused and at times martyred for their faith. They are not called ‘missionaries,’ as this would be inappropriate, however they are doing the same essential work of church planting that great missionary pioneers used in the 18th and 19th centuries.

These are heroes of faith, who are totally committed to the preaching of the gospel, the planting of local churches and the training of more church planters as great church planting movements grow and keep on growing to the eternal glory of God.

Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary spokesperson with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: georgeforbes2@gmail.com

 

THE CHANGING ROLE OF MISSIONARIES

(May 11, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, raises an issue…

This could be the first time I’ve raised the fact that the role of missionaries is rapidly changing.

I believe the change is the result of the good work done by the thousands of missionaries who served with great fruitfulness over past centuries.

And I think especially of the 19th and 20th centuries when missionaries were sent virtually worldwide to make disciples. Their work was very fruitful with great numbers of churches planted.

Initially the missionaries by necessity were the pastors and Bible teachers of the churches they planted. Then, gradually and eventually in a great surge, national pastors were trained and went out to plant many more churches.

Recognition of emerging indigenous leadership
Experienced missionaries rejoiced to see what God was doing, yet they felt the change that progressively happened as they stepped back in recognition of the emerging indigenous leadership. (more…)

ALL NATIONS

(April 18, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on a special term…

‘All Nations’ – this term ‘all nations’ occurs 72 times in the New Testament. The entire Bible has 452 direct references to all the nations in this world. This alone is substantial evidence of God’s interest in every nation on earth.

When you find that God’s word, the Bible, links ‘all nations’ with the eternal purposes of God, the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and above all, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the value of all nations to God becomes very clear.

The command of Jesus Christ to his disciples recorded in Matthew 28: 18-20 adds vital meaning to God’s love and plan for all nations!

He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age.’ (more…)

THE GOSPEL – THE BEST NEWS ON EARTH!

(March 19, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on the real Easter message…

The gospel is the best good news on earth!

It has been so since Jesus died on a cross at Calvary and rose again from the dead on the third day. The Easter holiday season exists because of the gospel.

I’m wondering: How will you celebrate Easter this year?

All-important declaration
The apostle Paul puts the key events of that first Easter clearly and powerfully in chapter 15 of his first letter to the Corinthians.

  • He opens with the all-important declaration of what he called the ‘gospel.’
  • Reminds the Corinthians that he had preached the gospel to them.
  • That they had received it.
  • Were believers who not only received this gospel but believed
  • Then warns them that they should continue in this faith – or they would have believed in vain.

Paul then repeats the gospel he had taught them some time before, beginning with the fact that the death of Jesus Christ was according to the scriptures.

In other words, it was a fulfilment of prophecy that Christ would die for our sins, be buried and rise from the dead on the third day. (more…)

REACHING OUT… MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 2018

(February 25, 2018) Brian Bell challenges…

One of my favourite songs contains a chorus which includes the phrase ‘It always makes a difference when Jesus passes by…’

The message of the song is derived from specific instances in the life of Jesus. The brief meditation I share here is based on one – with suggestions as to how he made a difference and how we may try to follow his example.

Our daughter was married back in 2002 and I well remember the effort we made and (to be honest) the money spent to try to ensure the wedding guests were comfortable and would enjoy their meal.

Remember the incident of the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John chapter 2)? Let’s recall how the presence of Jesus ensured the guests Cana guests were able to continue enjoying the wedding. (more…)

THE PRECIOUS FRUIT OF THE EARTH

(February 25, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, brings a pre-Easter challenge…

The verses in chapter five written by the apostle James in his short letter have been encouraging to me over the years.

James uses the illustration of a farmer waiting patiently for the autumn and spring rains to remind believers of the patience required of them as they wait for the second coming of Christ.

Patience…
‘Therefore be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and the latter rain. You also be patient, establish your hearts, for the coming of your Lord draws near’ (James 5:7-8 MKJV). (more…)

2018… and 21st CENTURY MISSIONS

(January 23, 2017) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, shares some missions-centred truths…

We’re definitely into 2018!

But more importantly we are well into the twenty-first century and it’s important to review where we are heading in our mission to the ends of the earth!

  • There have been major eras in the history of Christian mission in the world. Each has had its distinctives and its time… in 2018 and beyond.
  • I join with many who thank God as we remember the fruitfulness of past eras in this great task.
  • However… at the same time I and others are looking to God for his plan and will for our time.
  • A mistake that has been made more than once is to perpetuate a strategy that worked well in the past, without fully considering God’s time and his plan for now… in this 21st century!

Great mission’s thinkers such as Ralph D Winter, founder of the Centre for World Mission in
Pasadena California, raised his voice before he graduated to glory, about vital issues in mission that could make or break what is done and how.

The famous evangelist, Dr Billy Graham said, ‘Ralph Winter was a man of God who gave a vision to many Christians of a world in need of the gospel. I used to meet with him on many occasions, often in small group prayer. Some of my vision for world evangelisation came from my interaction with him, and I am grateful.’ (more…)

LETTING GO OF ‘SELFIE’

(January 20) Carol shares a revelation that leads to reaching out beyond ourselves…

In 2013, the word ‘selfie’ gained international recognition when it was named the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.

Their definition follows: ‘A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Selfies abound on social media, especially Facebook. Although the younger generation is more likely to post self-portraits, I’ve seen others, from their 50s on up, post photos, not of their faces necessarily, but of wounds they’ve accrued through accidents or after surgery.

The first ‘selfie,’ according to different websites I checked out, was posted on Facebook by a 22-year-old Australian man who had suffered a busted lip after tripping and falling face-first at a party. The man apologised for the somewhat blurry photo of his lower lip when he said, ‘Sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.’ (more…)

WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

(December 8, 2017) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, shares some biblical Christmas truths…

As we near Christmas once again I am thinking of missionaries who will not be home for Christmas.

The primary reason is because they are away from home, serving God in mission to the nations. Their primary task is to make Jesus Christ known as the Saviour of the world.

Yes, they will of course celebrate Christmas, away from home, and their loved ones. Perhaps they will sing the lovely carol, What Child Is This?

Ever popular, this carol was written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix (an insurance company manager who had been struck by a severe illness. While recovering, he underwent a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns, including lyrics to this carol).

An important question
This precious old carol raises a very important question: What Child is This? (more…)

MISSIONS AND ESCHATOLOGY

(November 26, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares some challenging thoughts…

Missions and eschatology! This is possibly the most complicated subject in missions due to the strongly divergent views and outcomes of each eschatologically position taken.

In my experience I have found that many do not realise they have taken a position that affects how they understand the missionary task and its outcomes. They simply believe that the gospel is the power of God to salvation and the gospel is for all nations and are unaware of the problem that begins with the position taken by many – that the church and Israel have different destinies.

Consequently many do not fully consider their obligations to completing the global task of missions. (more…)