Do Not Choose Between Church Planting and Humanitarian Ministry

When Bárbara and I began Living Bread Ministries ten years ago we had a vision to minister to the comprehensive needs of the poor.  We had seen, within the North American church, two ways of viewing church and mission.  In our little corner of the world most churches were in one of two camps; the churches that cared for physical needs and those who cared for spiritual.  Often both camps held an air of superiority over one another.

We saw the biblical call to both and wanted to plant churches among the poor and needy who understood this as well.  What developed was a comprehensive, whole gospel, approach to ministering among the global poor.  Central to our efforts is church planting among the poor which is in itself unusual.  In addition, we go a step further and equip each of our church plants to minister in a comprehensive way in their community.

We are church planting among the most needy, and through our church plants we are addressing the real physical, educational, relational, AND spiritual needs of the individuals and communities we work in.  When you support Living Bread you are supporting a comprehensive work that is involved in church planting and, through those church plants, aid and development work.  You really don’t have to choose between church planting and humanitarian ministry when choosing how to invest in the kingdom of God.

 

Interview on Church Planter Podcast

Earlier this week I was blessed with the opportunity to be interviewed for the Church Planter Podcast.  The podcast and Church Planter Magazine are both excellent resources for church planters and have articles and interviews from many on the cutting edge of church planting.  Peyton and Pete have a heart for equipping serial planters through both of these avenues as well as the New Breed Church Planting network.

In this interview we discuss my work with Living Bread Ministries and why church planting among the global poor must be central to all of our efforts to minister among the poor. Regardless of the need, spiritual or physical, a thriving local church is central to the answer.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the interview.

 

He Has Made Us One – Free Download

My friend, Nate White, recently recorded an EP and I must say it has been in my CD player for months. The theological depth and his understanding of the Church and her mission is captivating.  Nate recently made the EP available for free download on NoiseTrade.  He believes in the message of his music and wants to see the Church blessed by it.  To this end, should you choose to leave a tip, Nate and Dianne have committed to giving 100% of the tips to Living Bread Ministries to fund church planting among the global poor.  Go pick up a copy, be blessed, and be a blessing!

The Mission of the Church – Luke 9:1-6

This is a message I recently shared on Luke 9:1-6.  In this passage Jesus is giving the new humanity, the Church, their creation mandate just as God commissioned Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:26-28.  For this reason this passage has significant implications on missiology.

 

True Sacrifice: Planting Churches Among the Poor and Undesired

Globally there is not a organized vision to plant churches among the very poor, but there should be.  I addressed this issue in an article I wrote for Church Planter Magazine.  You can find True Sacrifice: Planting Churches Among the Poor and Undesired on page 26 of the premiere issue of the magazine.  If you would like a subscription visit their page in the App Store.

I would love to hear your feedback on the article.

A Thought on Sovereignty and Cosmic Warfare

For several months I have been thinking, off and on, about the theme of cosmic warfare in scripture and how it is reconciled to the sovereignty of God.  Below is a concise statement I have written.  I’m not yet settled in my view, but this is a possibility.

In God’s original ordering of creation he gave humanity great freedom in their role as vice-regents mediating his kingdom reign on earth.  He likewise gave the angelic beings (Son’s of God) great freedom to execute their role in administering his kingdom.  After the fall, God chose not to completely rescind the freedom he had given, but rather has determined to demonstrate his sovereignty and power by achieving his ends in spite of the free choices of sinful creatures to oppose his kingdom rule.  He is redeeming the fallen world under the original parameters of his design.

I think this understanding avoids the extremes of both open theism and meticulous control.  It rightly maintains the tension between an all-knowing sovereign God and the reality of a powerful enemy and fallen image bearers whose kingdom legitimately opposes the kingdom of God.  What do you think?

Please keep the discussion civil.