When Bárbara and I began Living Bread Ministries in 2004 our heart was to spark a movement to plant churches among the global poor. Even more, we wanted the movement to be comprehensive in nature, planting churches and equipping them to minister directly in their communities. Finally, we wanted it to be a movement that is participated in by the whole Church working together. In this video you will see a concise presentation of our mission, our story, and our vision for the future!
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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.
I have always been impressed with John Wesley. Regardless of your theological persuasion no one can deny that he was used greatly by the Lord. Though he was brilliant, he was much more interested in the practical expression of what he believed; something very mush needed in the Western church today.
He was also a great advocate for the poor and oppressed. He spoke often of begging for the poor. This has stuck with me and I very much see my role as the leader of Living Bread Ministries in much the same way. Picking up on this I have been thinking of ways to allow others to advocate, or beg, for the poor.
I have come up with www.bloggersforthepoor.org; a network of bloggers advocating for the work of Living Bread planting churches among the global poor and equipping them to minister in their communities in a comprehensive way. If you have a blog I encourage you to check it out. It’s a great way for you to impact the lives of the global poor and fight things like hunger and human trafficking!
For those of you that don’t know, Share Christmas is an annual outreach of Living Bread Ministries. My wife and I founded Living Bread in 2004 with a burden to plant churches that practice integral, or comprehensive mission among the global poor. In 2005, we launched our first church plants in southern Brazil and in 2006 we began Share Christmas to meet basic needs and help break the cycle of poverty by providing school and hygiene supplies to needy children.
The primary reason I like Share Christmas is because it is implemented and executed by the Living Bread church plants. All of the school and hygiene supplies are purchased in country and all of the work is done by each local church. They assemble the kits, choose the recipients and distribute them at evangelistic services. They also maintain relationships with the recipients of the kits in their community.
This means that the families who benefit from Share Christmas do not look to a Western organization or church as the ones blessing and caring for them. Rather, they see the local church, the one just down the street, as caring for them in a comprehensive way. In this way Share Christmas is part of a long term church planting movement among the global poor. The ministry allows our church plants to invest in the lives of children from their own community, it allows local church members to have control over the outreach in their community, and it exalts Christ while also strengthening the local church.
This is why I like Share Christmas and I hope you will like it too! To learn more or receive a promotional kit please visit www.sharechristmas.org. If you would like to volunteer as a Share Christmas Coordinator and help needy children in Brazil and Thailand contact Living Bread Ministries.
Below is an interview I did with Scott Blair from Grapplers Church. We discuss church planting, missions, discipleship, getting punched in the face, and much more. I hope you find it helpful as you seek to serve King Jesus.