DmD Steps: One, Two & Three.

The beginning of any new path in life starts with a decision. I will walk this way, and not that way. So it is with becoming a disciple-making disciple. We must decide that we want to learn this way of Jesus, and begin to walk in it.

Step One: I ask the Lord Jesus to teach me to be a disciple who can make another disciple.

This must become my heart’s desire. I must pray this with sincerity. I must write this down on paper, and most of all in my heart. I must get serious that I will not stop praying this prayer until I know the Lord’s favor has been granted to me, and I am living the new life of a discipler. I will pray this every day.

Step Two: I look up and memorize the passages in Holy Scripture where Jesus tells me what a disciple looks like.

It is a surprise to some to discover that Jesus not only modeled this behavior in his earthly ministry, but he also explicitly taught about it. There are in fact six passages of scripture, and only six, where Jesus specifically says either “my disciple” or “my disciples” and then gives clarity to the meaning of the phrase as he uses it. Let Jesus be your teacher.

I recommend you begin with the three that are found in the Gospel of Luke. There we are told that the challenge of becoming a disciple of Jesus requires the surrender of our whole life into his hands. The place to look is Luke 14:26,27, and 33. This section is often referred to as “the cost of discipleship” passage.

There are three distinct teaching statements here, but they can all be summed up in the famous dictum of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

These hard sayings of Jesus that Luke records for us are not for graduate level Christians. They are for anyone who says: “Jesus is Lord.” This teaching is not the wrapping paper on a present, but the present itself. In effect our Lord says: “If you want to follow after me, your life becomes mine. You no longer are in control of it. It belongs to me. Nothing else comes before me. The will of my Father for you must become your will. For this to be so, you will experience it as death, but you will find that it leads to life.”

Memorize these three scriptures and meditate on them often.

Step Three: I find someone who understands being a disciple of Jesus to help me put this into practice.

None of us can become a disciple of Jesus without the help of someone who already is one. Find that person. Men, find a man. Women, find a woman.

DmD Steps: One, Two & Three.

Will You Join the “24/12/6/3” Challenge?

When someone asks what I want for NAMS in the New Year, I have been answering: “Faithful disciples who will help us further the calling of Christ Jesus through our mission and ministry.” We are helping the whole Church of Jesus be faithful to the Final Command, but we need more friends, intercessors, and supporters. Might you be one of them? I would like to challenge you to be become one, by helping us in one of four categories. Especially if you are reading this in North America.

First, we are praying for 24 new Supporting Congregations.

The new Anglican movement in North America is said to number about 1000 congregations at the present time. We are praying that 24 of them would add giving to NAMS to their budget in the coming year. Can you influence your congregation to do this? Is your congregation giving to global mission in a significant way? Can some portion be directed to NAMS?

Second, we are praying for 12 new Centurion Cohorts.

A Centurion Cohort is a group of disciples, in the local church, that has taken a simple covenant to be part of obeying the Final Command of Jesus right where they now live. They serve their parish, they learn to be disciple-making disciples, they pray for the global mission of the gospel, they give monthly for that purpose, and they pray to add one new Centurion each year, by their own efforts. Centurions are the building blocks of our global network. Could you be called to this in your town or city?

Third, we are praying to establish 6 new Base Communities.

A Base Community is a small group of men and women praying and working actively, in partnership with NAMS, to build a community that will regularly and consistently incubate, train, and release church planting disciples to spread the kingdom of God, and always in obedience to the Final Command of Jesus. Are you called to this?

Fourth, we are praying for each NAMS Companion to raise up 3 new Companions.

NAMS Companions are members of our Society who have covenanted to share a common calling and ministry in submission to our Lord Jesus within the framework of our Rule & Order. Not all Christians are called to be pioneering missionaries, but some are. And not all pioneering missionaries are called to join a religious order like NAMS, but some are. Could this be you?

Well, will you take the challenge? Will you help us? Will you pray for these things to be accomplished? Will you give yourself to being part of the answer to your prayers?

— Jon Shuler

Will You Join the “24/12/6/3” Challenge?

Global Mission Stories (I) — Mission to Orissa State, INDIA.

“Do you know Jesus?” Pranab asked the man on the bus. When he said he didn’t, Pranab told him about Jesus. That day, God also began to open Pranab’s eyes to the millions in his home state of Orissa, India, who were just like this stranger on the bus.

Soon after, Pranab began a missionary organization called New Life for India, seeking to mobilize church planters to take the Gospel to his state and beyond. That was 1997. By 2000, he had a network of about 11 pastors and evangelists visiting unreached villages in their region.

Pranab first heard about NAMS at a 2013 global mission gathering in Bangkok, Thailand. He instantly felt a connection to our vision and strategy. A friendship in the Gospel was formed. Two years later, at a regional NAMS gathering, also in Bangkok, he asked if he could work under NAMS for India and the South Asia region.

In December 2015, two of our NAMS regional team leaders visited him at his home, and met his wife and young son, as well as the village church that Pranab also leads.

pranab-and-family

He has now entered into our training system and is being discipled by one of our leaders. He has become one of our NAMS Companions and is giving leadership throughout his nation. Now after two years, NAMS Southeast Asia region leader Manik Corea is mounting a five day mission trip to Orissa, with the support of two leaders from our NAMS Himalyan/Tibetan base.

What will we teach and do? We will love them in Christ Jesus. We will share with them all that God has been teaching us about discipling the nations. We will listen carefully to their stories and find ways to partner with them for the spread of God’s kingdom. The gospel will be preached. Rising leaders will be identified and helped. The possibility of new works to spread the kingdom will be prayed over. A deepening bond in the mission of Jesus Christ will be sealed. From this mission, the work of spreading the gospel throughout the region will be strengthened. NAMS leadership from three different nations will be yoked in partnership.

This is what NAMS does. We pioneer with those the Lord sends to us. We preach and teach Jesus Christ and him crucified. We plant new churches wherever the Lord opens the doors. We obey the Holy Spirit. We live in conformity to the Holy Scriptures.

NAMS will never subsidize men like Pastor Pranab in such a way as to undermine them, but we do partner with men like him so that the gospel mission of Jesus can be carried forward throughout the world. The Lord God has always used some of those to whom much has been given to help those to whom little has been given.

Will you help us to help men like Pranab? Can you make a monthly gift to help us spread the kingdom of God to every nation?

Global Mission Stories (I) — Mission to Orissa State, INDIA.

“Thank You” NAMS Co-workers

Many of our readers will be very aware that the great Apostle constantly recognizes and thanks the many men and women who joined him in his ministry to the nations. Almost every epistle begins and ends with their names. Some are famous in the history of the faith, and some are now known – other than by their name recorded in Scripture – only to God. But these co-workers constituted the apostolic teams that took the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Without them, it is difficult to imagine the impact of the first generation of witnesses that went out to change the world. Careless reading of the New Testament can leave us aware of only a few names, but careful attention shows us dozens upon dozens.

What was true for the first generation of pioneering servants of Jesus has been proved true for the ministry of NAMS as well. Almost from the day we began, God has given us co-workers who have assisted us in the challenge of bringing the great Final Command of Jesus back to the center of the church’s life. Some of those co-workers have gone home to the Lord. Some have served with us only briefly. And some, God be praised, are serving with us still.

We pray daily at 10:02 a.m. from Luke 10:2—for “the Lord of the Harvest to raise up laborers to go into the harvest.” We pray that some of them will join the community called NAMS. Neither the Lord nor NAMS mean only “laborers” who will “sell all” and go to foreign lands. God needs “laborers” to be raised up right where each of us lives. There is no place on the face of the earth that has too many servants of the Lord. Nowhere!

What constitutes a “laborer” for the harvest? It is very simple, really: a man or woman who is ready to obey, right where they are. God needs disciple-making disciples everywhere, and there are too few. These are the laborers for the harvest.

For most of us, the journey to even wanting to be a disciple-making disciple, let alone learning to really be one, began very simply and has taken much time. But over and over the beginning has a similar set of steps. We met someone giving their obedience to Jesus and we wanted to be like them. We started to learn how to worship faithfully and serve where we lived. Then we learned that we must grow to take our part in the work, the prayer, and the giving which help spread the kingdom of God.

Co-workers with NAMS have folded fliers, answered phones, created PowerPoint presentations, cared for the children, cooked dinners, picked up the mail, shopped for the food needed on retreat, picked up people at the airport, met for prayer, led worship at training events, licked stamps, designed stationery, and prayed for us when we were sick, discouraged, or almost broken. A few have gone to the ends of the earth with us.

How we thank God for every NAMS co-worker, and how we pray you might become one of them! Will you pray about it? Will you go online today and join us?

— Jon Shuler
15 Nov 2016

“Thank You” NAMS Co-workers

Disciple-making Disciple Series — Part 7

We’ve reached the final episode in our Disciple-making Disciple Series. If you’ve not been following along, you can find the entire series here.

In this concluding part, Jon talks about the restoring power of Jesus in the lives of God’s people.

 

We hope you’ve learned from, and been blessed by, this series. Please subscribe to the NAMS Network Channel on YouTube and share these videos.

If you’d like more information about NAMS, feel free to get in touch with us at www.NAMSNetwork.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Thank you.

Disciple-making Disciple Series — Part 7

MY CIVIC DUTY

In one week, the votes will be cast and a new President of the United States of America will have been chosen. The next four years will then begin to be shaped by a new political constellation of competing forces. Some will seek power and influence for good, and some will seek it for its own sake. Some will truly seek the wellbeing of the whole nation, some will seek their own wellbeing. Some will desire to honor God, and some will not. How should a Christian understand these things and what is his or her role as a citizen?

This election cycle has reminded me a great deal of the era through which the great Augustine of Hippo lived in the beginning of the fifth century. He witnessed the fall of Rome, and his grief and sorrow produced one of the greatest of all Christian writings, The City of God. Augustine saw in retrospect that he had wrongly placed the culture of the empire above the kingdom of God. One was eternal and one was of this earth. Something similar is occurring for many Christian people in my country today. We have had a tendency to deify our political and governmental system, and we have been in error to do so. It is a structure made by men, and it is vulnerable to all the sins of men. What then must a Christian, a citizen of God’s kingdom, do?

First, we must render to Caesar what is Caesars, as our Lord Jesus taught. There are duties that we owe the state, and we have an obligation to perform them. We are to obey the law. We are to pay our taxes.

Second, I believe, we are to seek to have an influence for that which is true and just, that which is honorable and good. Living as I do in a country where I am free to take my part in the governance of the nation, I believe I must prayerfully do my part. To abstain is to forfeit my freedom. It was once said: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Too many good and Christian men have not done their civic duty. We have lived in an insular Christian world, and the forces that would destroy our freedom have ascended to power.

Next week it is our civic duty to vote. It will not be a happy day for most of us. But we must seek to influence the outcome of this election to the best of our ability. The bigger challenge will come in the days and weeks after. What shall we do?

Of all the things that I pray, uppermost for my nation is that we will begin to work for the unity of the body of Christ in the Truth.

According to current demographics, over 70% of the people of my nation claim to be Christians. This is more than enough to influence, under the laws of our land, the entire nation. This could be an overwhelming governing majority, if we were united. Praying and working together, with the help of God, we could change the trajectory of this land. If we were united.

My civic duty next week is to vote. After that, as a Christian citizen, I must be willing to pray and work for the common good. I cannot sit on the sidelines.

— Jon Shuler
1 Nov 2016

MY CIVIC DUTY

The Disciple-Making Disciple Course — part 5

For those who have been following our Disciple-Making Disciple course on YouTube, here is installment number 5 in which Jon discusses the hallmarks of being a disciple of Jesus.

If you would like to follow the entire seven-part series, it can be found here.

 

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For more information, contact us at info@namsnetwork.com or go to www.namsnetwork.com

The Disciple-Making Disciple Course — part 5