Making mobilization a lifestyle

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

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,...

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,...
International students catch the vision for mobilization

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...
Mission movements are gaining momentum in Southeast Asia

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...
Ethiopian families embrace God’s mission

Ethiopian families embrace God’s mission

There is no bigger advocate for discipling families in Africa to embrace the Great Commission than Tariku, CMM global affiliate from Ethiopia. As the executive director of Horn of Africa Evangelical Mission Engagers, Tariku knows that to have a sustainable mission movement to the unreached, we must reach families. To empower and train families in living out the Great Commission, our family mobilization ministry, Weave, launched The BIG Story Training in Ethiopia three years ago. Since then, it has been embraced and championed by key mobilization partners like Tariku. Of the eight BIG Story Trainings held in Ethiopia since 2014, six of them have been led by Ethiopian trainers. Earlier this year, Tariku reported that the Amharic translation of the training was complete and had been distributed to 15 trainers from two key regions of the country. Tariku sees The BIG Story Training as a core piece of his organization’s mobilization strategy. He shared with us, “In light of Africa being the youngest continent, and because of the strategic place family and children have in building missional culture, our organization is taking The BIG Story Training as our top mobilization tool of igniting mission movements for the decades ahead.” God has used this mobilization tool to cast vision across the nation of Ethiopia for the role families can play in the Great Commission. Tariku and the Weave team celebrate Ethiopian families like Shemel’s. After attending a BIG Story Training, Shemel and his family began embracing the habits of a World Christian family. The father of two daughters, Shemel and his family continue to pray daily for the unreached, as...

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