Paul demonstrates the model of a true shepherd of God’s flock that I want to bring to your attention. This model must be lived out by us so the flock is protected from predators, nourished with the right food, and helped to grow in maturity.
Acts 20:31 - “Remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.”
“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses” is the next important phrase of this multiplying principle. How could Paul say this? If we turn to Acts 16:3, we find that “Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him” as he went on, guided by the Spirit, to the district of Macedonia which included Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Antioch and Ephesus. Imagine the volume of preaching and teaching Timothy would have heard as Paul went from place to place. In the same sense, consider the number of witnesses along the way who saw Timothy learning and maturing under such influence. It’s no wonder Paul felt confident in sending Timothy to Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:17). He became faithful in learning and putting into practice, not only the teaching, but Paul’s manner of life (2 Timothy 3:10-11).
As we examine these facts that were part of Paul’s method of multiplying the work of God, we are forced to answer some heart-searching questions:
1. Is our preaching, teaching and influence worthy of being used by God to mature others and form their life and ministry in biblical principles?
2. Do we have Timothy’s in our life and ministry that we are intentionally developing? If not, why not?
3. How quickly will we be able to release them, confident of the Spirit’s work in and through them? (See Acts 9:18-20).
4. Are we encouraging the church to encourage younger leaders to accept their call to preach and teach?
5. What artificial requirements do we place on younger leaders that are not biblical?
These are challenging questions, but if we allow Paul’s model to form our thinking, we will see exponential growth and multiplication.
I encourage you to look carefully at Chapter 4 of our training manual.
Please Pray: (October 3 – November 10)
1) Teaching Church Leaders using the Burmese God’s Plan for His Church in Yangon – October 27- November 7
2) Launch the new Karen God’s Plan for His Church in Maw Day Musekee – October 17-19
3) Teaching Bethany College students God’s Plan for His Church in Chiang ai - October 13-24
4) Synergy Meeting with Vietnamese Leaders in Bangkok - October 6-10
5) Strategic Planning for the Khmer God’s Plan for His Church in training Cambodian Leaders – November 1-3
6) Launch the new Vietnamese God’s Plan for His Church in Saigon – October 13 – 24
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving, pray also for us, (Tim and Sherman):
1) That God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ Col 4:2-3
2) That words may be given to us in opening our mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel Eph 6:19
3) That the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored 2 Thess 3:1 (ESV)
4) That we may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding Col 1:9
5) That we be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might Col 1:11
Below is a testimony received from a group of Lahu disciples we trained last fall using illustrations from the new revised God's Plan for His Church.
Our teaching consisted of showing them how the Gospel spread from Jerusalem (Pentecost) to the world. This is what happens when disciples, with childlike faith, take seriously the Holy Spirit and Christ, the Living Word. We have seen this happen over and over again throughout the world.
“After teaching the book of Acts, the Pastors are so happy to go out to share the Good News with the people. We dedicated the 9th daughter church on March 15, 2014. Members of the new church are from Ah Kha tribe. Your teaching is so effective. Thank God for that.”
Here is a current testimony of what is happening when believers use God’s Plan for His Church manual to get them back into the Scriptures as their sole guide for personal walk, the family and the church.
“I was urgently invited to Ghana to attend the International Missions Leaders Workshop in Kumasi Ghana. The Theme for the Workshop was “MOVING FORWARD”. The director for Baptist Foreign Missions Rev. Phil Knott shared with us the Mission’s Vision and goals that is to multiply disciples, leaders, Churches and ministries that are reproducible and sustainable.
The Workshop was held because many of churches were relying on foreign support and when that supports ceased, the church fell or pastors moved to other ministry that will support him. So we were called and encourage that our churches should be self-sustainable and focus on God and the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Brother, what we have been studying from the training manual is exactly what is going on with so many pastors and churches here in Africa. We have been encourage that our churches should be self-sustaining; not money to be it lifeblood, because when money stop ministry stops. Thanks for the material that open our eyes and understanding. I took along the Training manual (GOD’S PLAN FOR HIS CHURCH), with me and I seized the opportunity to meet with pastors and church leaders from Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo and other African countries discussed with them the goodness and Biblical teaching of Planting and Church Renewal of the material. Having shared the introductory part of the manual many of them express their desire to be part of the study. While I was away the men studying with me in our church were busy in carrying on their studies and at times we shared our discussion on phone after our meeting.
I am going through the manual as well as a brother who has gone to Hungary with a copy of the manual. He will be back on the 26 of February, so that we can all do the completion of the material together.
It is our prayers that the Lord will give us strength and open our understanding as we study His Word to win souls for him.”
The students thank God so much for this church planting course. This is the great plan of God that they have never learned before. Actually, they all did not want to come back and wrap up after their internship because they thought they had finished their Bible school and all the seminary courses. However, when they started to learn GPHC (God’s Plan for His Church), they realized that this course was something new for them that they had never learned in seminary. In fact, before having this course, they did not know how they were going to start their ministries. This teaching is very essential for their future ministries and they are very thankful that God has revealed His plan and this valuable wisdom. Thank you very much.
Yes my brother, there are so many adversaries which we are experiencing. We however thank God for all his promises. I want to tell you that it is not easy for these old churches to accept New Testament principals and come out of their traditions which are not found in the word of God. Some of the old churches adapt tradition, doctrines and church structures and their leaders have become owners of the churches, especially when a church is in the villages. But I thank God because his word is sharper than a double edged sword. Pray always for this new ministry we have on our shoulders. I am so glad because we are not only teaching the principles but the power of God is being demonstrated. I was asked to pray for the sick and God graciously gave them healing. I did not expect this to happen, but the church elder just stood up and asked me to pray for the sick. Brother, I don't understand how the Holy Spirit is working because l did not have this in my mind to pray for the sick. We really need your prayers. On Thursday this week we are going to two other churches and we are sure God wants us to go there, but we do not know what is ahead of us. This manual (God’s Plan for His church) is anointed!
From the jungles to the cities in Burma or Myanmar, many came for training, hosted by a dear Chin Brother who lives in Burma and Australia. About 3 years ago, he located a copy of the manual in Australia, and after reading it, contacted me about teaching the material to his church planters so they can be more effective by becoming more biblical, Holy Spirit dependent, indigenous and self-sustaining. We had about 50 hungry students from Chin area, desiring to follow Paul’s model as he followed Christ.
As always, we soon realized we lack the power of the early church, so we renewed this area of our lives and pushed on to the importance of our personal relationship with Christ, its effect on families and how it results in Spirit filled church planting and renewal. Through the Holy Spirit, much of the teaching was soon turned over to them.
They taught and preached the Word concerning factors that made the early church so powerful, making disciples or leaders like Jesus, strengthening the churches using Paul’s letters, the value of family in their ministries and how to solve or resolve different current issues facing the family and church biblically. Testimonies afterwards were so encouraging to hear! These simple truths applied to their lives personally, and Lord willing, we will see the church renewed in Burma which is really (as in the USA) the answer to so many of the problems we all face in these last days.
I walked about 30+ minutes each day to and from the meeting winding through the streets of Yangon, the main city in Burma. As always, I find the people so interesting in contrast to our culture, but something particularly fascinating is to see four religious buildings within a rocks throw of each other: a mosque, a church building, and Buddhist and Hindu temples.
I felt fairly safe there because if anyone gets or even starts to get out of line, the military or police will stop them dead in their tracks.
I am now back in Chiang Mai; spent yesterday washing clothes, being lonely, but I did meet with one Rawang Brother who has a ministry to the Lahu people group which is interestingly located in Burma, Thailand, Laos, China and Vietnam. We will be making training plans for some of the leaders from Lahu leaders from the tribal areas in Thailand. Yesterday I met with my dear friend and Karen Brother to make plans on training here and in the jungle areas “new” evangelists or maybe I should say, “New hungry souls”. I spent today with an elderly brother, 78, who is fired up and taking the gospel to remote areas of Thailand. He is the one I went with several months ago where they have no electricity etc... With him around, can I even think about stopping at 67? We talked over the process and concepts in translating the manual into the Karen Language. Also, keep Henry and Peter from Zambia in your prayers that they will be able to come to Chiang Mai for training and preaching in the Karen and Lahu Churches in Northern Thailand. They just now received their visa applications.
Thanks for your prayers!
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