April 2021

Dear family

Decentralized Movement

Religion is a breeding ground for death as it seeks to monitor, control, and keep everything within the confines of predictability.  This can, in no way shape or form, reflect the living power of a Jesus who is at work to raise people out of death, out of oppressive forces, out of darkness, out of slumber, into the light of His life, glory, and radical purposes to change the world.  In three and a half years Jesus initiated a movement that today continues to infuse the world with His living, powerful Spirit through over 1 billion followers!  He is alive and on the move.

The Body of Christ, the expression of Jesus, is always meant to be a decentralized, emerging movement led by the Spirit of God.  “Decentralized” because no one can control it, no religion can contain it, and no organization can claim it.  “Movement” because it is an unleashed force that is designed, by its nature, to cover the earth like waters cover the sea.  “Emerging” (please don’t make any association between my use of the word “emerging” and the loosely defined “emerging movement.”) because it continually brings forth new life in new places and, as it does, emerges in the most unlikely situations and ways.

Our traditional religious approaches to church and Christianity struggle to serve the movement that Jesus initiated.  But Jesus followers – loving Him, surrendering to Him, seeking Him, following Him radically into the world – can and will.

Radical love and Uncompromising faith 

From John Michael Talbot’s book on Francis of Assisi:

He Was Radical

For many people, being “Christian is roughly equivalent in time and emotional commitment to being a member of a neighborhood bridge club, having a regular seat at the local Elks lodge, or getting the family car serviced every three thousand miles.  Unfortunately, this type of Christianity is often viewed as just another civic affiliation, acquired habit, or social ritual.

Not for Francis.  In him, the spark of divine love ignited a bonfire that burned away all his indifference and sparked a radical, uncompromising faith.  His was not Christianity Lite.  He worshiped at the altar of not watered-down deity.

Francis’s minute-by-minute desire was to follow God ever closer, as he wrote in this prayer to members of his movement: “Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, grant us in our misery that we may do for your sake alone what we know you want us to do, and always want what pleases you; so that, cleansed and enlightened interiorly and fired with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, we may be able to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and so make our way to you.”

Jayne Ozanne, invited to participate in a high council for the Church of England, presented this vision of what she saw for the future:

A new Church will begin to arise – a new Church in England. It will take the form of many single cell groups across the land, united in a common bond founded on grace and truth. No longer recognising denominational badges, people will look to see the mark of spirit-filled faith in each other. Rather than demanding a “king” to be appointed over them (as with Saul), this new Church will discern the God-appointed leaders who have naturally risen to positions of prominence.

This Church bears all the hallmarks of an underground movement, indeed it will fast become an underground resistance movement. It will be united in its purpose, clear in its vision, firm in its resolve and will consist of people who “do not love their lives even unto the death”. The most powerful weapon that this army wields is love – a love that conquers all, costs all and never fails!

Much to learn here and ponder about on our journey following Jesus.

Kingfisher greetings and love

dirk

March 2021

Dear Friends

The importance of relationships.

Very recently my wife and I temporarily moved back to a city and a country where we lived three years ago. The culture is different from my own and so is the language.

On our first visits to familiar places, we experienced the power of relationship in a very positive way. Even while wearing COVID19 masks, people recognized us. The local guy who sells cottage cheese at the market looked up with excitement and joy to see us and so did the man from a central Asian country from whom we regularly bought roasted almonds three years ago. The young man selling lamb at the market, also from central Asia, shouted and called after us. For the first time, he tried some English! When we entered a small neighbourhood café/restaurant, the waitress immediately recognized us and came to hug us. One morning walking on our way to work, a parent with children greeted us with joy and so did a man whom we had contact with before, when he hooted to attract our attention while he was waiting with his car at a traffic light, as we crossed the road.

It was good to be recognized in spite of wearing a mask. It was good to know that even very casual relationships were strong enough to last for more than 3 years in the memories of those we met.

It was good to rediscover how precious and powerful relationships are.

Many of these people do not believe as we do. Some of them follow completely different religions, others nothing at all. But in a very real way, we realized that in some way we are connected and we influence each other’s lives in positive ways.

Jesus knew the power of relationship. He did not hesitate to build relationships with pagan Roman soldiers, despised tax collectors, dropout young fishermen, some prostitutes, and even important Pharisees.  Sowing the seed of relationship with the people you casually meet during the course of a day is a Kingdom principle. It is also a disciple-making principle. Jesus did it and as we follow in His footsteps, we should make this part of our normal lifestyle as well.

From one such a seed, a harvest can grow!

This life-style does not come naturally for me as I am somewhat of an introvert. Maybe my wife’s beautiful smile was the secret. But I learned from Jesus, but also from at least two friends who would walk down the street in a strange and foreign city and two hours later come back, knowing the names of many of the street vendors they met on the way.

The more I understand Jesus’ way of relating to people, the more I realize that building relationship as He did is one of the keys to the Kingdom.

God bless!

Piet Steyn

February 2021

Dear Friends

“The Pharisee and the Child”

In disciplemaking it is extremely important to reproduce the right DNA.” Like father like son”. When Jesus formed His disciples during His earthly ministry – He used two metaphors to teach them what the DNA of discipleship does not look like and what it does look like.

Surprisingly – when He wanted to show them what they must NOT be like – he did not use sinners, murderers, unbelievers  as a metaphor – He used church leaders, deeply religious people, the most respected people of their time as a metaphor – PHARISEES.

·        Their Concept of God is that of a bookkeeper whose favour you can only win by religiously obeying outward rituals.

·        Mistakes must be limited to the minimum. You constantly measure yourself on a spiritual ruler.

·        You are self righteousness – “if only the others can be like me”.

·        Very aware of your own spiritual advancement.

·        Always defensive. There is always something positive that makes up for who / what you are not.

·        Blaming / Condemning / Judging / Intolerant.

·        An earnest desire to change others.  Very critical.

·        See the speck of sawdust in the other’s eye, but not the log in his own eye.

·        Play power games in the church – to dominate others and increase their own influence and reputation.

·        Their religion enslaves others rather than empowering them.

When Jesus made disciples – He warned them against the church!

And pointed them to the values of CHILDREN.

In Jewish culture children had very little value – no status in society.  Jesus literally asked his disciples to regard themselves as unimportant – a small child:

·        Who reacts with his whole life on his belovedness and acceptance by his parents.  When he makes a mistake he knows it will not affect his parents love for him. They may disapprove of his behaviour, but their love for him is not based on his performance.

·        They are trusting, dependent.

·        Live unpretentiously, lightly and freely.

·        Playful, not over-aware of himself – does not pursue spiritual perfection and don’t over-analise himself.

·        Not worried about what others will think of his behavior and if he will receive accolades for his behaviour.

·        His most important attribute is his innocence – his inability to inhibit, wear a mask, to pretend to be somebody he is not.

·        His eyes do not see labels like black and white, rich and poor, educated and uneducated. The Pharisee spends a lot of time on reacting on these labels.

“Children are our model because they have no claim on heaven. If they are close to God, it is because they are incompetent, not because they are innocent. If they receive anything, it can only be as a gift” (Brennan Manning)

Can I invite you for are time of reflection?:

1.   Play the video of your life in the past week:  Where do you recognise the Pharisee? Where do you recognise the Child?

2.   Are you following Jesus like a Pharisee or a Child?

3.   Are you reproducing Pharisees or Children?

4.   If you look at the church in the world – Pharisee or Child? In which way is this helping / preventing us to make disciples?

God believes in you!

Johann Theron

Kingfisher Mobilising Centre

January 2021

Dear family

There are viruses that can extinguish human life, but there are also viruses that hinders the disciple making movement of Jesus.  Often the very methods we use to plant the gospel are counter-productive to it reaching the commission Jesus gave us.

Disciple Making Movement killing viruses come with a variety of expressions. Let’s look at five viruses that find their way in our disciple making efforts.

Exceptionalism: a dependency on individuals with exceptional passions, enthusiasm, temperament, skill and gifts.

Materialism: the naive practice of allowing money into the wrong places in movements.

Professionalism: the inherent belief that the trained, qualified or certified are more dependable than those who lack formal training.

Mechanicalism: a belief that movements are a matter of physical effort rather than spiritual power.

Partialism: the practice of fusing several different movement strategies together.

Exceptionalism is a cultural phenomenon that plagues humanity. Those with exceptional skills are often elevated to positions of influence or counted more valuable than the rest.

Exceptionalism in movements arises when we become dependent—for instance—on highly gifted trainers. This eliminates ordinary disciples from passing on the training. The problem is not with having some gifted practitioners, but for disciples to consistently multiply through ordinary people everything has to multiply at every level. That means that all activities that foster movement must be available to the everyday people. If outreach strategies require special skills, if training can’t be delivered by ordinary people, if coaching practises can’t be accomplished by ordinary people, then a movement will experience friction due to the dependence on exceptionally talented people.

The theological antidote to exceptionalism is found in the concept of the priesthood of the believer. Peter calls each follower of Christ a royal priest (1 Pet. 2:9) and declares that we have everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). Not to mention that Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations is given to every disciple.

Materialism addresses the relationship between money and movement. There is no argument that it takes resources to get the strategy of Jesus where it is not. The controversy arises with how much, when and from whom does the money come.

Money paid to those involved in movement activity challenges the motives of those receiving the money and potentially creates a dependency between giver and receiver. The question arises: if there is no money will there be movement activity? Often, there is not.

Frequently money is best used to further activity that was already in progress.

Professionalism is a two-edged sword. Certainly, gaining greater excellence of knowledge and skill is a worthy cause. When professionals appear, however, the masses begin to develop the attitude of leaving it to the professionals and it unintentionally creates passivity.

One of the keys of movement is that an untrained insider is always more effective than a trained outsider. This cuts against the grain of a culture that values subject matter experts. It especially challenges cross-cultural workers and those who love to ‘do ministry’ in foreign fields. In movements there are no heroes nor hero-makers, only ordinary people responding in obedience to Jesus.

Jesus, upon healing the Gerasenes demoniac, refused to allow him to accompany the disciples but instead sent him home to speak of what God had done for him. This was a far cry from the route of qualifying, certifying or even the ordaining practices that we use today. Jesus’ practice was to release the willing rather than trust the qualified.

Mechanicalism denies the supernatural nature of the Spirit in the movement of the gospel. With great regularity we can correlate impressive movements of the gospel with equally impressive outpouring of prayer. It would be a mistake to think we can simply raise the amount of hours we pray to generate movement. We cannot bribe God with our prayers. But when extraordinary prayer and radical obedience meet with God’s heart for the lost, He tends to do amazing things.

Similarly, many have gone through Disciple Making Movements training and become enamored with Discovery Bible Study (DBS). Mistakenly believing that Disciple Making Movements are synonymous with the obedience-based discovery Bible processes, they aggressively pursue the implementation of DBS believing a movement will break out. Again, God rejoices when His followers are obedient to His wisdom, but this one element rarely generates a movement.

There are no mechanical processes that can be reproduced that guarantee movement. When God ordains and humans cooperate, movements can break out.

Partialism:  Smart individuals from historic institutions sit in training by experienced movement catalysts, only to leave the training and during implementation add, subtract or self-style the habits of movements.

In the face of experience and proven results, we often believe we can make it better. Rather than practice what we are taught and let experience be our teacher, we practice an ignorant ‘I know better mentality’ by changing well-worn practices.

The word “movement” describes a gospel-phenomenon that signals changing from addition thinking to multiplication thinking. This thinking moves the potential of the progress of the gospel beyond population growth and bringing into view the prospect of fulfilling the Great Commission.

That potential should be shepherded as aggressively as humanly possible. Viruses that threaten to kill movements must be brought into the light and killed as quickly as possible.

Kingfisher trust our Father for you to experience a movement of disciple makers in 2021.

Your brother

dirk

1 December 2020

Dear family

Living with an expectation. Sure this is part of the character of a follower of Jesus Christ. Something is going to happen. Something only God can do. Is that still part of your heartbeat? What do you hope for? One standing out for me is a movement – a disciple making movement and to play a part in making it real.

What if it were possible to do what Jesus did? What if, like Jesus, we could make a major impact on our world without ever traveling more than a hundred kilometres from home? What if we could take a group of “unschooled and ordinary men” and equip them to turn the world upside down (Acts 4:13)? What if in just three short years, we could create a movement of disciplemakers, just like Jesus?

Here in the Kingfisher family we believe this is possible. But for that to happen we should start to follow Jesus anew and follow His strategy.

We know that Jesus had a timetable for His public ministry. He had just three years to prepare people to launch a movement. So He chose disciple making as His strategy, the most time-consuming strategy that one could imagine.

Seventeen times we find Jesus with the masses, but forty-six times we see Him with His disciples. These few disciples, within two years after the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, went out and “filled Jerusalem” with Jesus’s teaching (Acts 5:28). Within four and a half years they had planted multiplying churches and equipped multiplying disciples (Acts 9:31). Within eighteen years it was said of them that “they turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). And in twenty-eight years it was said that “the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world” (Colossians 1:6).

For three years Jesus lived out the values of the Kingdom of Heaven. He championed it in His Everyday Commission. He made disciples who could make disciples! Just within seventy years, the cadre of people around Jesus had taken His good news into every corner of the Roman world.

Do we have better efficiencies in mind? Jesus gave almost all of His attention to intentionally discipling just twelve men, especially focusing on three of them. The results speak for itself.

In the past few years and especially this year we developed and conducted  workshops and online training to reintroduce Jesus’s strategy to the body of Christ. This is a start of an adventurous journey on which followers of Jesus will:

•              Follow Jesus practically in all spheres of life and in the process become like Jesus and do what He did

•              Approach Scripture differently to hear from God themselves and to obey in disciple making spaces (missional communities)

•              Continue the life of Jesus on earth by: thinking more like Jesus (adopt a Kingdom Culture); unconditional love relationships; servanthood; prayer; focusing on needs of people

•              Make disciples practically in ordinary life from a new discovered identity, calling and potential

•              Live with Kingdom impact

•              Plant the seed of a disciple making culture in their own influence sphere (group or faith community) by living a Kingdom lifestyle

And so we play our obedient part in catalyzing the movement which Jesus already started.

This is what I hope for. This is what I expect to see more and more. We do see it already. We are in for a ride. Wouldn’t you come along?

Thank you to everyone who participates in this calling in whatever way. We appreciate and love you.

Greetings and love

dirk

29 October 2020

Dear Friends of Kingfisher

How do you disciple a nation?

I friend of mine very often asks me this question.  In Matthew 28:19 we read: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”.  So how do you disciple a nation?

On the face of it the answer is simple. You disciple a nation one by one leading people to salvation and then hopefully discipling them towards spiritual maturity. Most churches and ministry organizations have strategies and programs based on the idea of individuals becoming disciples of Jesus. Each one of them will then be able to disciple others until the entire nation is discipled.

In my own country, eighty present of the population self-identify as Christians, but when we look at the exceedingly high crime rate, the murders, rapes and violence that permeates the whole of society, the bile and hatred that we encounter on social media, we clearly are not a discipled nation. I only speak for my own country, but many of you all over the world may have the same experience in your own contexts.

It seems that the fruit that we expect of disciples of Jesus is missing. They have been discipled to some extent, but the outcome cannot be seen to have a marked effect on the nation as a whole. Even though eighty present of people self-identify as Christians, we are not a discipled nation.

How is that possible?

We may have been missing something. When Jesus called his disciples to follow Him it was not, first of all, a call to salvation, but a call to think as He does about life, the world, themselves and everything. Jesus spells His worldview out in the beatitudes. It is the poor in spirit, the humble,  the peacemakers, those with a passion for justice who live the Kingdom lifestyle of a disciple of Jesus. These are people who make a difference in society and are respected by even those of other religions. It is they who have a marked effect on society and bring Kingdom change to the world where they live.

Could it be that discipling a nation has to do with the effect true disciples of Jesus can have in broader society?

Could it be that discipling a nation is not only leading people individually to salvation, but changing them into change agents who think like Jesus did and act like He did with compassion, being peacemaker, striving for justice and living a humble lifestyle?

Could it be that the psyche of a nation, the vibe of a nation can be impacted by discipled followers of Jesus to such an extent that the values and aspirations of the nation becomes in line with Jesus’ way of thinking?

Would that be what it means to disciple a nation?

If that is the case we have to look carefully at the outcomes of the way  we often disciple people.

Do we see the fruit of a Kingdom lifestyle? Do we see that discipled followers of Jesus bring in a new way of thinking and acting, a different attitude and approach into public life?

If that happens more and more, we can approach the possibility of a nation being discipled.

How do your discipling efforts measure up?

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.

Regards

Piet

1 October 2020

Beloved

The focus of Disciplemaking is :

•           Not to get people into heaven after they die – but before they die…

•           Not only good news for death – but excellent news for life.

•           Not only to get them into the Kingdom – but to get the Kingdom into them.

•           Not to accept the Good News for the sake of sin-management – but to establish the reign of God in every aspect of our life.

•           Not to let people develop into vampire-Christians : “I just need a little bit of your blood – for the day I die” – but to live like Jesus would have lived if

He was me, my age, my career, my context

•           Not to follow Jesus only as a Saviour – but a Councillor for ordinary everyday situations.

•           Not to just download grace to cover our mistakes – but about character transformation.

•           Not to see God as fire-extinguisher in case of an emergency – but to follow God for the sake of Himself.

•           Not to be saved for heaven – but for earth – and bringing heaven on earth.

•           Not to be saved from hell – but for creation.

•           Not only to be ready to die – but be ready to live.

•           Not to get people to be Christian – but rather Christ-like.

For sure disciplemaking is about heaven. But then – heaven as in

•           Life in abundance (John 10)

•           Life before sin entered

•           God’s will for every situation

“With all of this clearly in view, it becomes understandable why the simple and wholly adequate word for salvation in the New Testament is “life.”  (Dallas Willard)

Exactly that is why heaven / eternal life is NOW. It’s already here – we have already entered it. Naturally we shall experience it much more deeply after death – but for disciples – death is the crossing between heaven lite and heaven supersize. John 17 : 3 : “Eternal life means to know and experience you as the only true God, and to know and experience Jesus Christ, as the Son whom you have sent”. (TPT)

Knowing is interactive relationship. It’s a living interaction with God.  That is what eventually is going to come to earth. That is what has come to earth already, and we can make it a part of our lives. In so doing, we make our lives a part of God’s life. 

Disciplemaking has as focus : “It is vital to live a holy life? We must be consumed with godliness,  while we anticipate and help to speed up the coming of the day of God – there are coming heavens new in quality, and an earth new in quality, where righteousness will be fully at home” (2 Peter 3:11-13 TPT)

Enjoy disciplemaking – enjoy Life (before death).

All our appreciation for your role in the Kingdom!

Johann Theron

1 September 2020


Dear family

In this challenging time and the ‘new normal’ so many are talking about, I see many articles about leadership and how leaders should think and manage it. The situation and changing times we live in ask for a new approach in business as well as church.

A few years ago Kingfisher started to think totally different about leadership and our strategy and we learned a lot. Maybe we can make a positive contribution to the current leadership challenges by sharing a few implemented ideas.

We believe there is a difference between Kingdom-based leadership and organization-based leadership (the current model in most businesses, organizations and churches).  For example: organization-based leadership promotes a strong visionary leader who develops a single vision for an organization while Kingdom-based leadership wants to empower people to develop many individual visions to accomplish a certain goal. Kingdom leadership wants to move away from strategic (controlling) leadership whose goal is to direct the organization toward a predetermined outcome, and replace it with process leadership that leaves the outcome undefined.

We rediscovered our model leader. Jesus started a movement, not an organization. While he set an overarching objective for His followers –  to make disciples – He did not communicate a unique vision of church life, nor did He impose on us a list of objectives for the various jobs and functions inside the church. Rather, He left each of us to seek and find our own vision with regard to our place in the body and our ministry. Instead of a church-building strategy with well-defined benchmarks or outcomes, Jesus focused more on the people and the process.

Someone wisely pointed out that our organizations are perfectly designed for the results that we are currently seeing. More of the same will only produce more of the same. You cannot lead the way you have always done so in the past and expect different results. What brought success in the old form of influence will actually bring failure in the new. The way you attract people, train them and organize them all must change. The old standard of what is success must be replaced.

There is something new happening. With the advance of technology making the world flatter and mass communication easier we should rethink our methods. Bestselling authors are pointing us to a more movemental paradigm of how to lead. The Tipping Point (Gladwell), The Starfish and the Spider (Brafman/Beckstrom) and Tribes (Godin) point us toward a new way of leading as well as organizational principles that defy the status quo and break open new ways that are actually quite ancient. Jesus and Paul both catalyzed this sort of movemental influence in the first century.

Look for a while at the difference in leadership styles. Maybe it is time to rethink wherever you find yourself.

Blessings, love and greetings

Dirk Coetzee

30 July 2020

Dear Kingfisher Friends

COVID19 had a huge effect on everybody everywhere. No country or region escaped the impact of lockdown, disease prevention and eventually so many who became ill and even died after contracting the virus. Lives had been uprooted, economies destroyed and families driven to poverty. On so many levels it is a continuing disaster, a nightmare. Darkness everywhere.

It seems that the darkness is snuffing out the light.

Very often it is precisely in the deepest darkness that God wants His light to shine the brightest through the disciples following Jesus.

I am thinking of the AGAPE faith community in North India who established a school for the poorest of the poor and began with educational house visits for the benefit of children from families who do not have access to online teaching.

I am thinking of a group of followers of Jesus in the Eastern Cape, South Africa who regularly collect truckloads of fresh produce and groceries to help the devastated farm communities, both farmers and workers in the drought-stricken interior of the country.

I am thinking of small churches in Ukraine who are reaching out to people living in the war zone towards the east of the country who have not only to contend with the ravages of war, but also with the effect of COVID19 in their very terrible situation.

I am thinking of 68 people from various countries in Africa who enrolled in a basic discipleship course run by Kingfisher as well as Johann, Hermariè and Dirk who are facilitating their growth towards missional spiritual maturity.

I am thinking of our brother Raju who are doing the same in the city where he lives as well as Bendang and Apokla within their context.

I am remembering the people with whom I travel through a workshop on making disciples the Jesus way. They are from Uganda, Malawi and South Africa.

I am thinking of Sippe and Miemie who are taking responsibility for more than one disciple group within their circle of influence.

I am thinking of Keith and Erika reaching out to people in different contexts in the name of Jesus.

I could continue and add to this list. You could most definitely add many more.

So let us remember that even though there is darkness, the light will not be overpowered. The life of Jesus Christ is shining brightly through the lives of His disciples.

God Bless

Piet Steyn

2 July 2020

Dear Friends

The growth of the church in Acts remains a miracle. Much research has been done about the reasons for this. Without big buildings, full time professional pastors, budgets, denominational structures for support, bands and administrative systems they grew from 120 at Pentecost to many millions – 56% of the Roman Empire in just 300 years. A counterculture – impacting the values of society – and not merely a subculture – serving God in a secret corner somewhere defending themselves against the rest of society not to influence them.

Cities were changed : Act 5:28 “ … you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching”.

Their numbers grew exponentially  : Act 6:7   “The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically. Not least, a great many priests submitted themselves to the faith”.

Miracles were commonplace :  Act 5:12  “Through the work of the apostles, many God-signs were set up among the people, many wonderful things done…”

What was their secret? For sure it was the Spirit doing the work Himself  ……. but…we also read that they were prepared to be radically obedient – to do things they have never done before – what other people don’t do – what will cause solid theologians to say : “That is not the way it must be done”.

The Spirit of Pentecost always pushes us across borders – into virgin territory – always wants to use us for more… to surpass our wildest imaginations. Changing our grip on the theology. We become so stuck in our theology. So easily we worship our theology and church culture – our concept of God and the church – that God cannot use us anymore. Believing more in the correctness of our theology than we are believing in God Himself. We become good theologians but bad followers.

In Acts 10 – Peter – the leader of the apostles stumbles over his theology :  “Peter said, “Oh, no, Lord. I’ve never so much as tasted food that was not kosher”.  (Acts 10:14 MSG)  Theologically Peter was completely correct! The Jewish seminaries would give him cum laude for his theological viewpoint. All the learned scholars would agree with him. But – you can be theologically correct – and miss what God wants to do. Peter almost missed the call to go to Cornelius – as well as the opportunity to witness the Spirit falling on the gentiles. 

In Acts 11 theology almost costed non-Jews entering the Kingdom. 1. “The news travelled fast and in no time the leaders and friends back in Jerusalem heard about it—heard that the non-Jewish “outsiders” were now “in”  :2  When Peter got back to Jerusalem, some of his old associates, concerned about circumcision, called him on the carpet:  3  “What do you think you’re doing rubbing shoulders with that crowd, eating what is prohibited and ruining our good name?”  Now the unthinkable was required – to let go of circumcision as a prerequisite for the Kingdom. Fortunately the Spirit opened their theological minds and in Acts 15 circumcision was sacrificed. Its always those outside the Kingdom paying the price for our stuckness to our “good” theology.

I once had the privilege of visiting a country close to the equator. On the Sunday morning in church – with a sun blazing at 40 plus degrees outside – the pastor appeared on the pulpit in a black suit, a white tie and a black robe. Sweat was streaming down his face. Looking exactly like I used to look when I was a young pastor. My denomination planted the church in this African country. And my denomination was planted by a denomination in Scotland where in the cold they dress pastors like this. The Scottish missionaries exported their church culture to South Africa and we exported it with the gospel to the middle of Africa! 

What shall we not give to witness millions of followers streaming into the Kingdom – like in Acts? Give everything most probably. Our brothers and sisters witnessing Disciplemaking Movements – where thousands of new churches are planted annually and millions of converts come to Jesus – in some closed countries of the world share these critical principles : (Contagious Disciplemaking : David Watson)

1.    It hinders our work when disciple-makers reproduce their religion rather than plant the gospel. Don’t transfer your own Christian culture, denominational terms, or doctrine into the new work.

2.    Don’t focus on making followers of your church – focus on making disciples of Christ.

3.    Teach them to obey Christ’s commands – not church traditions.

Interesting!

Johann Theron