Through Sister-Church Links
Jesus' Great Commission for
the Christian church Jesus stated "All power is given
unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them
into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the
end of the world [age]. Amen."
Going into and teaching all nations entails
a lot more than supporting your own denomination or congregation
with your tithes and offerings.
In other parts of this section on evangelism you have
seen some tools that Christians can and do use to go into
all the nations of the world and teach them about Jesus, teaching
them the gospel. You
know we are in a spiritual warfare as we fight to get the
gospel of Christ and his kingdom into all nations.
In any real war you have the front lines, and you have
the nation or nations that manufacture the weapons, ammunition,
equipment and food to help those on the front battle lines
to wage the war. The
Christian churches that are in the vicinity of where evangelism
is on the move, penetrating nations that are as yet not totally
reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ, can be considered
the forward bases of operations. These forward bases of operations often do the
brunt of the work in evangelizing into parts of the world
we would have to expend great amounts of money and resources
to effectively reach if we were to try it ourselves, and yet
they do it with a minimum of resources and often operate on
a shoestring. If we
evangelized like some of these spiritual troopers we'd be
a Christian nation again.
If a congregation or group of congregations are doing
it better than we could, and for less, then it would make
sense to supply these congregations by forming sister-church
relations or links with them. This can be done by finding out what Christian
church congregations are evangelizing heavily in their part
of the world and forming a sister-church link between your
congregation and theirs. How
effective is this method?
You must be aware of the rapid spread of the Calvary
Chapel movement, not just across the United States, but now
around the world. They
started out as one tiny congregation of 25 people in Costa
Mesa, California in the early 1970's.
To see how the Lord inspired Pastor Chuck Smith with
a highly effective model of ministry that grew this one individual
congregation, and all the others to follow as independent
affiliates click on "Powerful Concepts of Ministry"
and read all the articles in that section.
But how in the world can a group of independent affiliate
congregations spread around the world with no centralized
collection of funds, as is done in most centrally run denominations
with a Headquarters church?
When I was a member of a tiny Calvary Chapel congregation
(it was 12 members when I first started attending and grew
to 125 members in 2.5 years!), just about the time when I
left them, their pastor said he was taking about a quarter
of the tithe/offerings donated every month and sending them
to a tiny Calvary Chapel congregation that was starting up
in York, England. I remember wondering what this could have to
do with evangelism. I
realize in hindsight as I studied the Calvary movement that
with them evangelism is a local event, taking place when one
highly motivated individual evangelizes to another person
he knows who is not born-again, both by his or her good example
and by word of mouth. The
congregation grows. But
when a congregation is small the pastor still must be paid
and the hall rented where they meet. How is that done with 12 members? It is done by the financial support of sister-churches.
As the congregation being supported grows sufficiently
to support themselves, they too start supporting others further
out in and around the world. Want to see how far Calvary Chapel's have spread
around the world? Log
onto http://www.calvarychapel.org and click on "Churches".
First click on the U.S. map, and then on the "International"
map. Remember this movement or Christian revival
started out as one tiny 25 member congregation in Costa Mesa,
California back in the early 1970's.
But you don't have to support your own
tiny congregations in remote places of the world. You can support congregations in non-Christian
and remote parts of the world that you may learn are carrying
the gospel of Jesus Christ powerfully to the nations around
them as well as to their own nation.
I will give you two such examples. The story which
follows is the story of a group of congregations in Irian
Jaya (formerly Borneo).
The other is a Christian orphanage/old age home in
South India which would love to form a sister-church link
with a Christian church congregation in the United States
(or England), or even form a few of these links with congregations
over here in the US. Currently the tiny (and financially destitute)
ministry of UNITYINCHRIST.COM (run entirely on my own tithes
and offerings) is supporting this tiny ministry in South India. I call these thirteen children "my kids".
(We write back and forth to each other!
They're wonderful-and in such great need.)
Be sure to log on. They're beautiful children. You can also email their head pastor, and he
will email you in person about the orphanage.