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Making mobilization a lifestyle

“I’ve never led a Bible study. I’ve never been on a mission trip. I’ve never been baptized. I’ve never been a member of a church, and I’ve never approached an unreached person with the intent of sharing my faith. I’ve never talked with a stranger about God; I’ve never joined a worship team, and I’ve never joined a Christian organization outside of church—that is, until now.” John, a senior at Texas A&M University, recently shared these compelling words about how God has been shaping his heart for the nations throughout his college years. CMM mobilizer, Chris, had known John for years, and invited him to go through the Xplore study. Doing this study together served as the catalyst for a much longer, deeper discipleship relationship. “John is always responsive to challenges,” said Chris. “I don’t have to invite him twice.” When Chris challenged John to begin taking small steps to implement what he learned in Xplore, he responded by starting conversations with his international classmates. He also invited a friend to join the Xplore study with him and Chris. As Chris was mobilizing John, John was mobilizing his friend! John began to see that God was positioning people around him in everyday life for a purpose. He regularly played basketball at the rec center with international students, but had never before seen it as a potential ministry. He began to see those games as an opportunity to meet those who had never before heard the gospel. God began positioning John in places where he’d have more open doors to befriend people with whom he normally would not cross paths.... read more

Meet Thomas: local pastor whose multiplying strategy reaches across Africa

When we first arrived in Kenya and got settled as a mobilization field team, Thomas Omenta became one of our first friends. When I think of Thomas’s story and his missional journey, I am reminded of when Jesus began His ministry and called some of His first disciples. “And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him” (Matthew 4:19-20). Thomas was one of the first people we took through the Xplore study, and he even invited some of his friends to go through it with us. Together, we learned about God’s heart to redeem all peoples and how He invites all believers to play a role in this global purpose. As we were finishing up the study, it appeared that Thomas was already in his most strategic role. His interest seemed to be in growing the local church where he served, and less in world missions. Thomas was serving God in mighty ways in his church and at his university, and he didn’t need our help. Eventually, we began to focus on meeting and discipling other students. But earlier this year, Thomas contacted me. Although it had been nearly two years since we last met, he shared how our relationship through the Xplore study had, in fact, deeply impacted his life. He explained he now reads and teaches the Bible differently, and that God has given him a heart for the unreached. He quit his job as a pastor and is now the East African Assistant Director of a mission organization here in Africa. After... read more

Relationship building paves the way for more mobilization

“You’ve got this franchised, right?” The director of a prominent mission school in Southeast Asia was holding copies of Xplore and Go Mobilize and wondering if he could afford to use these CMM discipleship tools with his students. Jason and Ryan, members of the CMM’s Southeast Asia Catalytic team, had just met this man, who is leading the institution and preparing the next generation of goers from the region. They smiled and said, “No, they are free to download and use however you like.” His disposition immediately changed, and suddenly the conversation shifted to how the CMM could partner with the school and create a new module that would incorporate mobilization training for every student. Like this mission school, the CMM is committed to seeing laborers raised up to take the gospel to the unreached. In Southeast Asia, where Ryan and Jason serve, there are still more than 330 million unreached people who have never heard the gospel message. With tens of millions of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and animists throughout the region, it is one of the most religiously diverse parts of the world.    But Southeast Asia is also home to a large and growing evangelical church. With tens of millions of evangelical Christians throughout the region, Ryan and Jason have found that the theme of mission mobilization is as relevant as ever. For this reason, they feel privileged to be “servant partners” with their counterparts in the process of mobilization. The Southeast Asia team has been overwhelmed with the level of professionalism and passion they encounter with these fellow mobilizers. Everywhere they go, they meet people who... read more

Family mobilization training is launched in China despite tight security

Nearly 40 parents and pastors gathered together in a back room, on the top floor of a factory office building. Everyone removed SIM cards from and gave up their cell phones for the duration of the training. They were sleeping on mats on the floor throughout the building; there was no heat and the temperatures were near freezing. Only a small handful of participants ventured outside the gates of the factory compound. All of this was done in order to avoid raising suspicion and alerting the Chinese authorities to the fact that there was a large group of people meeting in this place. This was the first BIG Story Training to take place in China. Developed by Weave, a ministry of the CMM, the BIG Story Training (BST) is all about God’s plan to redeem a people from every tribe, tongue, and nation—and specifically about the role He invites families and children to play in His big story. Through this training, we want to help parents see that God has a plan for their whole family to be involved in spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth, and to give them tangible ways to do just that. In more than 10 years of doing ministry in China, I have never experienced an event with security as tight as it was for this training. It amazes me to see what local believers are willing to do and sacrifice so they can grow in understanding the Lord’s purposes. “I know that we are all nervous,” one of our hosts said before the training began. “But nothing happens without God’s... read more

Meet Di Laoshi: A Chinese believer faces her fears of other cultures

“I have to tell you what happened yesterday!” my teacher said as I sat down for our weekly Chinese class. Thursday was quickly becoming one of my favorite days, as I knew the moment I walked in the door she would have a story. My teacher, Di Laoshi, was working through the Xplore study with some other teammates, and it was starting to shake things up in her life. After each Xplore lesson, she would come in with a simple, yet profound revelation and a practical step of obedience. At first, they were small: “I didn’t know there were so many unreached people in the world.” Or “it’s so amazing that God wants to use the Chinese church to grow his kingdom.” But then one day, she came to me and said, “I’ve been going to the minority university to share the gospel every week after work for months now. But every time I see someone from a minority, I get so scared. I’m used to sharing with people who look like me.” She continued to explain that Han people are not intimidating because she understands them and shares a cultural identity with them. But certain minorities, specifically rural mountain dwelling peoples from West China, have a reputation for being dangerous and hateful toward their Han counterparts. The cultural and racial clashes are very real and deeply ingrained. “Yesterday I was praying,” she continued with a smile, “and I told God that I don’t want to be afraid because I know His love is for all people. Even the ones who are different from me.” Soon after her prayer,... read more

Global affiliate mobilizes despite war and conflict

“Interacting with an unreached people was very edifying for me,” said Jerome after being led through Xplore and visiting an unreached tribe. “It gave me confidence and courage to serve the Lord. I no longer lament insignificant treasures, because now I see that there are those who are suffering more than me.” Jerome was a student at the Summer School of Missions, founded by Eraston, a CMM Global Affiliate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Eraston founded the school to mobilize Congolese believers to take the gospel into conflict zones and unreached areas throughout the war-torn country. The median age of the DRC’s population is 19, and while Eraston believes it is strategic to mobilize these young people, he has also found that they are often intimidated by the violence and financial insecurity they face on the mission field in a country at war. “This is due to the fact that both the church and its youth are lacking information and missionary training.” Eraston said. To provide this necessary training, he started the Summer School of Missions, a multi-week hands-on intensive course on the biblical basis for mission that requires an in depth study of Xplore. The French translation of Xplore has provided Eraston with a platform to share God’s heart for the nations. After leading a group of students through Xplore in just one week last summer, Eraston took the class to visit a nearby Pygmy tribe. The Pygmies have a long history of exploitation by outsiders, and are wary of missionaries. This sort of resistance, Eraston thought, would provide a great atmosphere for the students to... read more

Meet Yussei: How one woman’s mobilization journey is leading to rich partnerships in Latin America

She sat across the room from us, a short girl with a strong presence. We had never seen her at one of our monthly meetings of mission mobilizers in Peru before. The pointedness of the questions she asked immediately caught my attention. Latinos are not usually straightforward or direct in their conversations, and as an American from New Jersey this rare quality in Latin America appealed to me. We had no idea then just how close we would get with her. Yussei (pictured front left) is a youth pastor at a small church in San Juan de Lurigancho, one of the districts on the outskirts of the greater of Lima, Peru metropolitan area. She had been involved with her local church for years, but had struggled with the idea of a global focus in ministry versus a local one. She had some involvement in mission projects before, as they are understood in her church. But she always understood global and local as competing ministries, not complimentary ones. “At the beginning it is feared that by having a vision for the world I would lose my attention for the house (local church),” she says. “We are afraid to invest time, talent and treasure in the global mission because we feel it would cause us to lose investment in the local. But nothing is further from the truth. When we open our lives and ministries to the global purpose of God, we truly begin to fulfill our local purpose as well, and God opens his heart and His treasures.” As we befriended her and began to share more and more with... read more

Breaking the norms to build up the kingdom

In Kenya, it is easy for a student to get stuck in the “cycle of life.” As young adults, Kenyans are expected to get good grades in school so that they can go to a good university, make good grades, get a good job, make a lot of money and provide for their family. Their children are then expected to repeat this cycle, and so on. These very same expectations were upon Alice Kalunda. When we first met Alice, she was a junior at Kenyatta University studying world religions. She had a heart for missions, but life and societal pressures discouraged her from pursuing that calling. Instead, she wanted to study world religions in order to serve as a teacher in local schools throughout Kenya. Because Alice had this passion for missions, she was really excited to meet missionaries from America. We were able to take Alice and her friends through the Xplore study, and it was like she was seeing the world for the first time. She was overwhelmed with some of the things she was learning. She had no clue there were people in the world who have never heard about Jesus. Before the Xplore study, she read the Bible as a random collection of stories with her at the center, instead of reading it as as one story, with one theme: the glory of God filling the earth! All of this information was so exciting for her that she started gathering all her friends to learn these same things. We were overwhelmed with how many people she was inviting to go through an Xplore study. Eventually,... read more

International students catch the vision for mobilization

Nearly 800,000 international students study in the U.S. each year, and more than half of them come from countries in the 10/40 Window with limited to no access to the gospel. While this represents a significant opportunity for evangelism to the unreached without even leaving our cities, there are also students who are already following Jesus when they arrive in the U.S. This creates an entirely new opportunity for mission mobilization. This is exactly what happened in our College Station, Texas, team recently. CMM mobilizer Tori met Lyly when they were paired as conversation partners. Lyly is from Indonesia, home to the largest population of Muslims in the world. She lives in College Station while her husband is attending school there. While Lyly had already been following Jesus, she had never been taught that she has a role to play in the Great Commission. After Tori invited her to an Xplore study, she began to realize Jesus commands His followers to make disciples of all nations and that He had given an her incredible opportunity to share the gospel and make disciples of her fellow international students in College Station. College Station is home to 7,000 international students like Lyly and her husband. Most of them are from countries where people are born, live and die without ever hearing of Jesus. It has been evident to our team that God positions people to seek and find Him, just as Acts 17:26-27 tells us. We believe He has purposefully positioned His sheep from unreached parts of the world in university towns, with Christ followers who will tell them of the... read more

Mission movements are gaining momentum in Southeast Asia

Dozens of people were coming forward. The platform at the front was crowded with young Indonesian students, some with heads bowed down in worship, others with hands and faces raised high in surrender. On that summer day in Indonesia, our executive director, Steve Shadrach, and an Indonesian mobilizer challenged 300 students to commit at least three years of their life to take the gospel to an unreached Muslim people group, and more than 80 of them came forward. This was the culminating moment of the Finishers Conference, one of many such events led by the National Unreached Peoples Network in Indonesia. Ananda, director of the Network and a CMM global affiliate, has used these conferences, along with others, as a strategy for expanding the mission movement in Indonesia. At another Finishers Conference, more than 100 people committed to go to the unreached. As part of the Network’s follow up plan, many of these students are placed into Xplore small group studies. After completing the study, they are then connected to training opportunities that will prepare them to go to the unreached. Stories like this are the result of months and even years of groundwork being laid by the CMM’s Southeast Asia Catalytic Team. For the past three years, they have been teaching, networking, and partnering with influential mission leaders and church pastors throughout 11 countries in Southeast Asia. These relationships have created opportunities for new collaboration and partnerships, which have led to initiatives like mobilizer trainings and the Finishers Conferences—all of which spread mission vision to the body of Christ and help launch more missionaries to the unreached. The... read more

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