Senders Needed

As I sit to write this I struggle with how to begin; only clichés come to mind:

“Some go and others send.”

“One goes into the well while one holds the rope, but they both have scars on their hands.”

The point being: those who go and those who send are equally significant. Yet, I feel as though many would-be senders don’t realize their vital importance to our ministry.

As a person who has spent the last 12 years on the going side of the equation, I can honestly say nothing is more encouraging to me as when others partner with me in ministry. I often receive encouraging words from many, and I am grateful. However, when someone shows they believe in what we’re  doing by investing in the work, I am encouraged to persevere. I can relate to what Paul told the church in Philippi, “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.” (Phil 4:17). I am passionate about this ministry and want to give others an opportunity to join us in serving Jesus by serving some of the poorest people on the planet.

Hubbard Family

When Barbara and I launched Living Bread Ministries almost 12 years ago we were torn between the need to fundraise and the responsibility of proving our ministry model was worthy of investment. Since it was a new organization we felt we must bear fruit before asking others to join us. So, for the first few years we did not seek to raise personal support. We supported ourselves through our personal savings and odd jobs. With this we also launched the work in Brazil. After a few years of this our savings was exhausted and many of our personal belongings had been sold off, but an exciting church planting movement among the poor in Brazil was taking shape!

Eventually, we began raising personal support toward a set goal of $3,000 per month. We worked to raise this money while concurrently fundraising for the work in Brazil. It took seven years to reach our goal and we have not sought to increase our personal funding since. However, as sender’s circumstances have changed over the past two years, we have watched our personal support dwindle. The problem has been compounded for us as living expenses increase—including our health insurance which we pay out of our personal support.

As a result, we currently find ourselves needing to raise $1,500 per month in personal support to cover the decrease in giving, and cost of living and health insurance increases. Would you please consider partnering with us by committing to a monthly contribution or a special one-time gift? In doing so you join us in the important work of comprehensive church planting among the global poor. As a sender, you become a catalyst for church planting movements in Brazil, Thailand, Cambodia, and beyond. All donations are tax deductible and can be made using the secure link below. We are grateful for your generosity!

Join the Hubbard’s in Comprehensive Church Planting Among the Global Poor

Service: The Way of Thriving in the Kingdom

In Mark 10:35-45 Jesus explains to His disciples how His kingdom is different from the World.  He calls His followers to lives of service because of and empowered by His service on their behalf.

 

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!

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.

My Concern with the Adoption Movement

Since the title of this post is sure to lead to assumptions and possible misunderstandings let me begin with my affirmation of adoption.  Adoption is central to understanding the gospel.  Christ died, not simply to secure my ticket to heaven, but to reconcile me to God; that is to restore my relationship to God through adoption.  In Christ I am a son and as a son a co-heir with Christ.  The adoption of orphans is a beautiful picture of this, much like marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ.

Furthermore, though I did not grow up in a Christian home my parents were foster parents and provided a safe home for many children over the years.  They eventually adopted both of my brothers out of foster care and provided them the same upbringing and opportunities they provided their biological children.  For this reason I have financially contributed to friends who are seeking to adopt.  As you can see, I am a fan of adoption.

After reading the above you may be thinking, “What possibly could this guy be concerned about rescuing orphans he’s seen the need and fruit first hand?”  This is true, but I have seen something else firsthand.  You see, I lead a ministry that plants churches among the global poor.  I’ve seen poverty up close and personal; desperate poverty.  The type of poverty that leads, primarily women, to do the unthinkable; to abandon or even sell their children.  Our immediate response to this is shock and horror because we’ve never been that desperate.  Rest assured, if you spend enough nights listening to the children you love so dearly crying from hunger and seeing other children die of hunger, as a mother, you might gain a different perspective.  You might begin to see this as the height of sacrificial love.

This brings us to my concern.  Maybe I have just missed it but I don’t hear enough talk from adoption advocates (primarily international adoption) regarding the building up of poor families among the global poor so that we can reduce the need for adoption.  I hear much about the need to make great sacrifices to rescue children, including the great financial cost, but I don’t hear much about making the same sacrifices, including financial, to aid poverty stricken mothers and families so they can raise their children.  I won’t speculate as to why.

Please don’t misunderstand, there is and will continue to be great need for the Western church to adopt children.  The AIDS epidemic and other diseases as well as wars and natural disasters will always create orphans.  I praise the efforts of those championing the cause of orphans globally.  I’m just asking the leaders of the movement to consider two things.

  1. Take a balanced approach and advocate for poor mothers and families to care for their children.  Call on the Western church to take this aspect of the orphan problem seriously and to demonstrate their seriousness with financial investment.
  2. Consider the importance of indigenous Christians in confronting this humanitarian tragedy.  The church is growing by leaps and bounds in the global south and they too care about orphans.  We have realized the significance of working with indigenous pastors as we seek to expand the kingdom of God globally.  We need to consider the potential of unleashing the church in the global south to care for the orphans among them.  It has been my experience that the willingness is there but what is often lacking is the financial resources.  We can help with that.  What if we began to equip indigenous Christians with the necessary discipleship and financial resources to care for the orphans among them.

After we have done these two things the numbers of children needing to be adopted by Westerners might be drastically reduced and, long term, far more children could be helped.  Maybe I’m out of touch and we are already doing what I have described above.  Do you think my concern is valid or am I just worrying for no reason?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Wrestling with God Interview

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.

To learn more check out Living Bread Ministries.

 

Why Worry? Luke 12:22-34

In a culture paralyzed by fear and worry the idea that we can live a life free from the bondage of worry is a foreign concept.  Yet, Jesus says we have no need to worry because our Father desires to give us the kingdom.

Why Worry? – Luke 12:22-34

(Due to a technical error the audio for the first few minutes is low so you will need to turn up the volume.)