Achieving the Indigenous Principle 4

Achieving the Indigenous Principle 1

Achieving the Indigenous Principle 2

Achieving the Indigenous Principle 3

Place Nationals in Places of Leadership

 

Place nationals in places of leadership from day one and let them fail. Now how is that for a contradiction of what we said before. The point of this chapter is to help you realize how important it is to immediately put the nationals into leadership. You will not find “ready made leaders.” You will have to develop them. As you train your men to serve God you will have to put them in the work so that they can fail. If they do not fail they will not learn from their mistakes. Theory is one thing and practice is quite another.

Consider how Jesus tested His men as He trained them. In Luke 10:1 He sends the apostles out to preach and do the ministry. His purpose is actually to test them and show how much they have learned. They come back in Luke 10:17 and discuss the ministry with them. He corrects them about what they should rejoice about. They were excited that the devils had been subject to them. He wants them to realize that the power He gives them is never the exciting part. The important thing is that they know that their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Jesus takes the time to correct them. Now that they have some experience and not just theory He can teach them more.


In Luke 8:22 the Lord Jesus clearly tells them that they are going to the other side. He says “let us go over!” This is something that is going to happen but when the storm comes up they get very afraid. This is a tremendous test. Can they trust Jesus to get them to the other side no matter the circumstances? When they are afraid He corrects them. He asks them where their faith is! Teaching in the classroom is one thing. Teaching in a storm will not be forgotten.

In John 6:6 He knows what He will do but He still asks. It makes for a good teaching time. Have you guys learned to think yet? It is a pop quiz, check up time. If you wait until your gone to test them you will be unable to help them get the answers right.

Use the ministry to train your people. Do not use your people to build the ministry. He explained the ministry to His people. He then let them go and test their knowledge and ability. When they failed or messed up on something He was there to help them. They needed to test the theories. They needed to see how it would work in their own lives and ministries. Just remember that the secret of your success is helping your people have success in their spiritual lives and ministries. You are not really a success until you have made others a success and until you have a successor.

You will not find leaders that are ready made. You will have to love them, lead them, and train them. Do not expect perfection from them. Know that you are working with flawed men. Know that they need you. If they were in such good shape and ready made leaders then why would they need you.

The next question will be what positions of leadership can they have. So let me remind you that leadership should really be view as servanthood. There are no verses in the Bible that would lead us to be leaders as in bosses. Biblically the idea of being a leader is viewed negatively in the Bible.

Matthew 20:25-27 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

We are not to be about our titles and positions. This goes against what much of our culture has taught us as missionaries and pastors. We want the titles. We want the positions. We breed it into our people and so they want it also. This causes a great deal of fighting for position.

Matthew 23:8-12 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

So when we consider giving them a position of leadership it is not about being the pastor. It is about starting them in some sort of ministry. Make a list of every possible ministry a person can have in your church from being a greeter, usher, cleaning, nursery, Sunday School teacher, discipleship, etc. Start with the smallest things that need doing. Do not promise more later. Do not tell them that they are being tested to be moved up. You do not tell them everything you know. Let them try their hand at a ministry that is within their abilities. Teach them. Make that ministry as big as you can. It is important. Everything that we do in the ministry is important. Serving is leading.

Be careful not to build into them the need to be recognized or important. Remember the command that we are not to have titles, not to lord it over others, but to serve them. Teach them serving. Teach them that it is not about them but Him. Teach them to lift up the Lord and make much of Him. Teach them that it is an honor to serve others.

As they lead remind them of this passage:

Philippians 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

So remember that as you train them to lead you are really training them to serve. If you are not careful you will have the wrong attitude and you will build it into your people. Regardless, you need to give them responsibility and let them try. When they fail and they will, help them, love them, and teach to do it better next time. They can’t learn without trying and failing until they learn.

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Planting churches

I want to thank my friend, Kenneth Ralph, for sending me a quote that is included in this note. He said the quote reminded him of Vision. So read and see how it might work for you!

We, as a Church, dear friends, have enjoyed singular prosperity. While many Churches have been depressed and decreased in numbers, we have increased. While other Churches have had the hectic flush of a spurious revival, we have had one perpetual revival, lasting for nearly twelve years. I do not know that we have increased at a more or a less rapid rate; we could not increase more quickly, for we have not officers enough, or time enough to see the converts as it is; we have never, I think, increased less, for the work seems to have ever the same prosperity about it.

I praise God that I can say of my ministry in this place and elsewhere, that to this day it hath the dew of its youth upon it, and there are as many rejoicing to find Christ through the agencies employed in this Church to-day as in the first day when we came among you in the freshness and vigour of our youth. We have had no schism; we have had no division; we have not been vexed with heresy. We have been blessed with something like persecution, but this has only bound us the faster to one another, till we are like a three-fold cord which cannot be broken, and like iron bars made red hot in the furnace and hammered together, we are not soon to be sundered from one another.

Now, dear friends, up to this time the policy which we have pursued has been this: if members of other Churches want to know, we hereby tell them, we have endeavoured to water others. Your minister has journeyed all over the three kingdoms preaching the Word, and you have not grumbled at his absence. We have undertaken many enterprises for Christ; we hope to undertake a great many more. We have never husbanded our strength; we have undertaken enterprises that were enough to exhaust us, to which we became accustomed in due season, and then we have gone on to something more. We have never sought to hinder the uprising of other Churches from our midst or in our neighbourhood.

The quote that Kenneth sent me

It is with cheerfulness that we dismiss our twelves, our twenties, our fifties, to form other Churches. We encourage our members to leave us to found other Churches; nay, we seek to persuade them to do it. We ask them to scatter throughout the land, to become the goodly seed which God shall bless. I believe that so long as we do this, we shall prosper. I have marked other Churches that have adopted the other way, and they have not succeeded.

This is what I have heard from some ministers: “I do not encourage village stations; or, if I do, I do not encourage their becoming distinct Churches and breaking bread together. I do not encourage too many young men going out to preach, for to have a knot of people who can preach a little, may very soon cause dissatisfaction with my own preaching.” I have marked those who have followed this course, and I have seen that the effect of trying to keep all the blood in the heart is to bring on congestion, and very soon the whole body has been out of health.

My brethren, if you can do more good elsewhere than you can do here, for God’s sake, go, and happy shall I be that you have gone. If you can serve my Master in the little rooms in the neighbourhood, if by forming yourselves into smaller Churches you can increase the honour of my Master’s name, I shall love you none the less for going, but I shall delight to think that you have Christ’s spirit in you, and can do and dare for his name’s sake. At the present moment, we rejoice to know that many a Sunday School in this neighbourhood is indebted to the members of this Church for teachers.

It is right. We do not want you at home, and are therefore glad to see you at work elsewhere. No matter, so long as Christ is preached, whether you throw your strength into that Church or into this Church. Here, as being members with us, we have the first claim upon you; but when we do not need you by reason of our abundance of men, go and give your strength to any other part of Christ’s Church that may desire you.

C. H. Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 11 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1865), 237–238.

Lessons to Young Preachers

Achieving the Indigenous Principle Part Three

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Start Right if you want to Finish Right! 

A church that hasn’t learned to fulfill its responsibility was almost certainly started off wrong. Somehow we think that those first few early services are not that important. We think that we will change the trajectory after we get started but it just doesn’t work that way. When you start your church you need to know what it should look like when you finish. If you have no pattern in mind then you will have a church that exhibits all the thought you put into it before you started it.

 

What is a church? What does a New Testament Church look like? What do you expect from the members? What do you expect from the pastor? You need to answer all these questions or you will not be able to start right. These questions all have to be answered now not later. You cannot have time to think about it. You cannot let it develop as you go along.

What is a church? For our purposes the definition will be as follows: a baptized body of believers that have covenanted together to carry out the Lord Jesus Christ’s Commission and commands! A church is not a building. It is a group of believers. There are obviously many different definitions. Most will have the same ingredients. Regardless of your definition, if you do not know what you are aiming for you are sure to hit it every time!

What does a New Testament church look like? I think that we would all agree that the following would be included: a pastor, some deacons, Bible preaching and teaching, discipleship, a congregation, baptizing, congregational singing, taking the Lord’s supper, fellowship, prayer, giving, and more. As you have this in mind you will know how you are progressing towards getting a start on a good church.

If you know what a church looks like when you begin then you will be able to work towards that goal. Just like you know how a person grows up to be an adult and you know the responsibilities that they must learn you also know what a grown up church looks like. Get into your Bible. Develop a biblical idea of what His church should look like here on earth and go after that in every service and discipleship time.

What do you expect from the members? As you plant a church you want to get the members used to doing from the first what you will expect from them in the future. No need in surprising them later. Sometimes men like to start a Bible study in a home. They reason that the people will be less threatened. They do not take up an offering. They do not give an invitation, etc.
They do not want to scare the people off. Then one day the missionary decides to take an offering but now he has trained the people to think that church is about enjoying the fellowship, sitting around talking, and it definitely doesn’t have to cost anything. Some will resist the offering.

I would rather start the church like a church. Tell them up front what you are doing. Explain why. We will, for example, start on time. We will take an offering. We will have preaching not just chew the fat. We will have an order of service and you can’t just decide to sing a special this week. Everything you can do like you want it to be will help them understand how serious it is.

Give out responsibilities. People to be ushers, clean, welcome, teach, counsel, lead singing, sing specials, etc. It is a church and there is a lot to do. Have a time of visitation and get them involved. Have prayer time and get them involved. It is a church from day one and you know that.

Do you expect the members to take care of their pastor? I Timothy 5:17-18, I Corinthians 9:1-14,
What do you expect from the pastor? Teach them by example how the pastor will be. Studying, preaching, visiting, administrating are all parts of the job and they need to see you do that. Make sure that they understand the importance of the pastor. Make sure that you get men around you that are learning what it means to be a pastor and to lead a church.

 

Do not set their future leader up to fail!

Each Sunday the missionary alternated between a kilo of rice and a kilo of beans. Each family received at least one package. The people grew accustomed to receiving their rice and beans. When the missionary left he turned the church over to a national pastor. The people immediately began to question the pastor about what had happened to their beans and rice. When he told them that the missionary was no longer giving the money the people did not believe him. They accused the pastor of stealing the bean and rice money.

That pastor was set up to fail by the missionary. The pastor simply did not have enough money to give every family a kilo of rice or beans. The missionary had obviously meant well. He was simply loving the people in their poverty and need. I am not even accusing him of using the rice and beans as a pragmatic means of building the church. He simply didn’t think through the end result of giving to the people what the pastor would not be able to continue.

Please remember that the national pastor is our friend. We want him to be a success. If he is not a success then we will not really be a success. There is no real joy or success in being able to show that the missionary had great attendance and the national wasn’t able to maintain the numbers. Remember he is a result of your training. We are to love him like we love our son.

Rice and beans aren’t the only way to set the national pastor up to fail. Everything we do runs the risk of preparing him to fail. In my first mission field church I printed a weekly bulletin. It was nothing fancy but as an American I had always had a bulletin. To me it made sense that the people would want one as well. The cost was very minor but when I went on furlough the national pastor when from a weekly bulletin to a monthly bulletin. That made it much for cost effective for the church without my offerings or financial support. It was a small thing but I had set him up to fail.

 

We do that when we bring in computers, projectors, even music that we can’t help them get, use, and maintain. When I first started on the field I took a flannel graph set that cost about $200 back in 1988. The minimum wage in my country was about $25 to $30 at the time. My wife meticulously cut out the pieces. Back then it was a great tool for working with children. There was only one problem. No church could afford anything like that. Since we knew that we did not want to keep back anything from them we allow the Sunday School teachers to use the flannel graph. It wasn’t long until we had more and more classes. We needed more flannel graph sets. Now the question comes up, what will they do when we aren’t here to purchase a set for them.

When we left on furlough we left the flannel graph set. By the end of furlough it was largely gone, pieces lost, everything dirty, etc. I was aggravated that they did not appreciate what we had left as a tool to do the ministry. They had used it a great deal. They had divided out the pieces each week between different classes but now it was gone. What were we to do? If we buy another set, how many do we buy? What will they do when we are gone?

Then came the issue of what happens when we start more churches? One set may only cost $200 but as you train men and start more churches the price of a flannel graph begins to multiply. Now instead of $200, five churches is going to cost $1,000. That is not taking into consideration the need for several per church as they grow in attendance and number of Sunday School classes.

Should we take into consideration what is going to happen when we leave? Should we not use everything we have at our disposal immediately to reach the greatest possible number of people and souls saved? Why should the missionary not be able to finance the work and build a church? It is no different than what happens when an American pastor has the ability to have all of these tools?! Maybe a key question is, Is what I am doing reproducible?

That brings us to the really important decision that we must make. Are we pastors or missionaries? What is the goal of our ministry? The Bible isn’t clear about these positions. We see an example in Paul but not a mandate. What we learn about the indigenous church is based on experience and research. But, you will still need to decide.

As I started working as a missionary all I knew was that I wanted to plant churches. I had been taught to plant an indigenous church. Before I became a missionary I hardly knew what that term meant, if at all. I did know that I planned on taking a furlough, etc. When we started the first church and got some people, a building, and a pastor I felt like I had accomplished my job. I knew that the work wasn’t ready to leave yet but I thought that I was doing what I had to do.

Then after traveling, meeting lots of pastors, feeling pressure to report different “successes,” getting questionnaires, etc. I began to try and explain the ministry I felt that God would have me to have. In the beginning, I had diligently tried to be a soul winner and train the men to be soul winners. We won or got many decisions but very few would ever come to church. In my first few prayer letters I reported all the salvation decisions but then I began to fear what would happen if anyone visited me. It was one thing to report dozens of people getting saved and quite another to get people to church. What if someone came to visit my ministry and saw the disparity? It was time to evaluate.

One day I sat down and tried to determine what I should do in the ministry. God had allowed me to begin discipling. I had spent hundreds of hours with five different young men. They were leading all of our ministries. We together had started or worked in five different churches. Many were being saved, baptized, and attending. How could I explain why I had taught these men for so many hours each week? I believe God gave me the following idea. I, obviously, do not believe that it is inspired or anything but it has worked for us.

 

I believe that training leaders is the most important aspect of the ministry. I had quit giving answers as to how many we were seeing saved. I had determined that we would count attendance and baptisms and that baptisms would only come after discipleship. So I began to call training leaders my priority ministry. I felt that if I could train leaders meaning future pastors and missionaries that I could impact the world through them.

I then divided my ministry based much on the questionnaires that I was receiving. The first or base level would be my private ministry, I call it the BE level. This level would deal with my personal convictions and separations. It would the level of my character and who I am when no one sees or knows. This would be the work of God in me by His grace making me what I was to be for Him.

The next level going up would be the personal level. I call this level the DO level. This would be what I believe that any good Christian would be doing. We DO because we are. We DO not do to BE! This level would simply be an outgrowth of the work of God in our hearts. This is where I would be a soul winner. I did not go to the mission field to be a soul winner that was something that I should be no matter where I lived and worked. I should tell others of my faith in Christ because I wanted to and just because He saved me and I love Him.

The next level would be the public ministry that God had given me. I call this the serve level. I was known as a missionary, a church planter, a pastor, a preacher, a discipler, a Bible teacher, etc. I did plant churches. I did preach every week. I regularly taught the Bible. But I quickly came to realize that all of this was not really why I had gone to the mission field. I did want to start churches and God allowed us to do so. I started to realize that the church was only going to be as good as the leaders that were prepared to take over as I stepped aside. So I was known as a church planting missionary but that really wasn’t why I was on the field.

I was on the field to have a ministry that was super important. It was the key to all the work that I felt that God had called me to do. I would do all the things that belonged in each level of ministry previously mentioned but most of all I would train leaders. I would give everything in me to help them become all that God had for them to be. I knew that the future of the work depended on them.

As I studied the life of Christ I came to realize that He spent His time training men. He lived with them. He taught them, corrected them, and prepared them to do the ministry once He was gone. He even told them that they would do and have a greater ministry than He had ever had! If you consider the ministry of Jesus you will soon see that though He had the big crowds they soon diminished. He would not have been considered a super successful missionary by today’s standards. He left a church that seems to have numbered at the best 500 and maybe only 120. But He had done something that would radically change the world in one generation. He had trained men.

Then I began to consider the life of Paul. He never stayed anywhere very long. He traveled with many young men that he was training. He started plenty of churches but spend a great deal of time training and working with young men who would carry on the ministry. Paul writes several “pastoral epistles!” He spends time teaching men in the book of Acts and getting them together to do the work.

So let me give you an opinion. You can go with the mentality of a pastor or a missionary. I believe there is a major difference. The pastor goes to shepherd a flock. A good pastor should and will be trying to evangelize the world. A good pastor will train leaders. But many times as a pastor we will develop our church and ministry where we do have the final say. If we aren’t careful we might fall into a trap that I have fallen into many times over the years of my ministry. I have wanted to make a name for myself. I have wanted to have a big ministry. I have wanted to build a platform for myself to get my material out.

All that sounds innocent enough but in my own life it was self serving. I do not say that it is in the life of anyone else. But, my ministry is really to make Him known and get His name lifted up. I think that I hindered the ministry of others to build my platform. Somebody needs the platform and if so then it must be me. Everyone from the national pastor to the younger missionaries should help me build that platform. I personally found myself frustrated because I couldn’t build that platform. I felt that people were attacking me or hindering me and the work God had for me when probably I had set myself up to fail.
A missionary has a different goal, I think. He goes to plant churches. His goal is an indigenous church. That means a church led by nationals, governed, supported, and propagated by them. He will start more churches because he is helping them do a ministry rather than enlisting the national to help him. I know this seems argumentative but that is not my intention. It is my intention to get you to think this through. It will make a difference in your ministry plans. It will make a difference because if you are a missionary that plans to leave a national in charge you will have to consider every action to be sure that it will not set the national pastor up to fail.

Do not do ministry and get the people used to ministry that they will not be able to carry on when you are gone and when your money dries up. If you use materials that they will not be able to replace you will have hurt them deeply in the eyes of their congregation. If you spend money that they will never be able to spend then you will accustom them to a lifestyle and ministry style that they will not be able to continue when you leave. You will have set them up to fail.

The Master Plan of Evangelism is available by clicking on the book also.

Leadership Ideas from the life of David

God chooses His man

I Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

God chooses to use David as the next king over Israel.
 
David is the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite 1 Samuel 16:1

Samuel arrives at Jesse’s house preparing to anoint the next king of Israel. Samuel prepares to sanctify Jesse and his sons and offer a sacrifice but David is not even invited to the meeting. 1 Samuel 16:5

In 1 Samuel 16:6 Samuel sees Eliab and by all outward appearance he will surely be the Lord’s anointed but God rejects him as well as all the other brothers because God does not look on the outward appearance 1 Samuel 16:7 but on the heart.

All seven of David’s older brothers pass before Samuel and each is rejected. Amazingly no one has thought to invite David in from the sheep — no one thought that David apparently should even be considered. 1 Samuel 16:11

This could possibly cause a person to wonder if anyone wanted him for the ministry God had for him. However the key question is Does God want you for that ministry? If God wants you for that ministry then that is all that matters. He can and will prepare the hearts for you. He can and will open the right doors for you.

The biggest question we all need to ask is whether God wants us in the ministry or not! If He does then let’s go forth knowing that He chose us, He sent us, and He will work through and in us!

Encouraging young leaders

1 Samuel 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.

David is again being judged on outward appearances. It is not the size of the man in fight but the size of the fight in the man. What Saul doesn’t know is that David has learned to trust God. David knows that God has used him in the past and will use him again. Saul sees youth but David sees God using him even though he is but a youth. Would to God that we would begin to look on the character, desire, and heart of a man to know how God will use him.

David may have been young but God had been preparing him for a long time. He may be but a youth but God has been preparing him for just such a time as this.

Notice also that Saul believes that he can’t be used because he is a youth but Goliath had also been a man of war since his youth. Could it be that we spread doubt and fear instead of faith and power? Are we guilty of scaring the youth instead of motivating them? Do you shrink people or stretch them? I would have no desire to cause fear when God could use me to encourage.

Preparing for the ministry

1 Samuel 17:37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

David is prepared to fight the giant because God has prepared him by giving him experience in battle. The other battles were minor compared to this one. He had killed the lion and bear in hand to hand combat. He had used the simple elements that his father and profession had placed in his hands. He grabbed him by his beard and struck him maybe with his rod or even his bare hand.

But the most important thing is that he knows full well that it wasn’t his power but the power of God that wrought the victory. It was the Lord that delivered him. It was the Lord that gave him the victory. With his pastoral position had come the responsibility of protecting his sheep. He had done so risking his very life. He knew that all responsibility brings great risk. Now he hears a giant cursing his God. He is responsible before God to defend His name. He knows that God is seeking someone who will stand for Him, David knows that if he will but be used God will in great power deliver him.

Now as a missionary or one preparing for missionary service you need to remember that you will have to fight the small battles before you can be used to topple the giant. In your local church begin to kill the lions and bears now. Can you defeat your own laziness and lack of discipline? Can you stand for God and His man when others doubt, criticize and do not do their responsibility? You need not consider going over seas to win souls and disciple believers until you are successfully doing so where you are. If you can not manage the money that you now have for His honor and glory do not expect Him to give you more. Do you pay your bills on time? Are you are man of your word. 

Be faithful in the little things before you expect God to trust you will the big things, Luke 16:10-12

Get some experience

I Samuel 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

Prove your talents. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do something just because that is how others do it. Prove your own talents. Test your calling and your weapons. Have a fervor for God but do not try to avoid getting all the necessary training to do what God has called you to do.

Be an encourager

I Samuel 17:42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.

Think of it. David has now been disdained by his dad and family, by Samuel the prophet, by Saul the king and now by Goliath his enemy. Each have seen only what the human eye can see. God is seeing a very different story. They see a red headed or red faced, good looking boy. (The word ruddy indicates the color red. Some think that it was talking about his skin color and other his hair color) God saw a warrior and a future king.

If you will disciple men you must see beyond the outward and to the man or woman that will be after God does a miracle work in their lives. 

If you are the youth that is reading this note then hang on to what God is doing in your life. Do not be discouraged by the opinions of family, friends, leaders, and even spiritual leaders. God is the one that will do the work.

Do not be cocky but be certain that God has called you and that God will use you if you will but obey Him and honor His word. 

If you are the discipler or leader trainer then get involved in building confidence in your disciple. Help him to prove his weapons by much practice. Help him to kill the lions and the bears so that he will be able to stand against the onslaught of doubt and fear that will be hurled at him.

Pastor be an encourager and not a discourager.

Walking with the “Great I AM”

I Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.

David has learned a truth that all of us must learn if we desire to be used of God. The Lord does not save with the sword and spear. That is a blessing because the nation of Israel is standing there before the Philistines with very few swords and spears. Almost certainly the Philistines were mocking them. They had a giant. They had weapons.

The Israelites are standing their side of the valley with slings, sticks, and rocks plus no hero to fight for them, Possibly others saw what was lacking but David saw not the lack but the strength that he had that no Philistine had. He had the power of God. He knew that God could and would win the battle without earthly weapons or wisdom.

God doesn’t call many mighty, wise, or noble but He does give those that He calls power to do His work plus the Living Word that works effectually in the lives of men and women. 

If God calls you to do battle for Him or if you will simply say “Here am I send me” you may go forth with faith and confidence. The enemy may have more of some things than you do but the enemy lacks the one great ingredient to success.

He has no personal intimate walk with the “Great I AM.”

Run towards the enemy

I Samuel 17:48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

David ran not only towards the giant but towards the enemy army. While others cowered David charged. He didn’t just talk a good fight he lived it. When problems arise you need not flee.

The one you serve will give you great power and success as you honor his name by taking a stand and hurrying to the Lord’s battle. The philistine in his pride and anger thinks that by his loud roaring he can strike fear deep into the heart of David.

1 Peter 5:8 I wonder what he thought when instead of fear David showed faith. The devil may go about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour but victory is already our. We simply must stand on the promises. 1 John 4:4

Big and Better weapons coming

I Samuel 17:51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

When you prove the weapons that you have God will give you bigger and better weapons. The weapon will be there when you need it. Amazingly the shepherd had all that he needed to get the job done of killing the giant but after killing the giant God gave him a sword that he uses the rest of his life. I Samuel 21:9

David took his head

I Samuel 17:54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.

David took the head and traveled to Jerusalem. Imagine the scene: David has killed the giant. He has taken his head. He will show it to Saul and the army of the Lord. He then travels with it to show to the nation what God can do with one man that will trust him and run to the battle.

God has shown His power. David has proven that God can over other gods. David has proven that the youth can be used when all disdained him. What is on the inside is starting to show on the outside.

That head will win the hearts of the nation and his dearest earthly friend, Jonathan.

As you go out to do battle dear missionary prepare to fight the giant. When you defeat him more enemies will come but so will the army that God will give you to win great battle for Him.

Training men

1 Samuel 18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

Do you seek to have a disciple that you can teach and train? Something will have to be done that will cause the one that you will teach to desire to allow you to teach them.

You have to earn the right to teach them. It is not just a normal and natural thing that they would allow you to disciple them.

They are looking for someone that will be able to really help them. In this Bible story Jonathan is the prince.

He knows that he is the man. Who could lead him? Who can teach him?

The answer is the one that brings the giant’s head in his hand when even his dad was unable to win the battle. You can win his heart and love but you must prove your spiritual walk, power and victory before they will want to follow you.

Do you have the victory in your spiritual life? Is God blessing you in a visible way?

He will be willing to acknowledge your ability and wisdom when he sees God’s hand on your life.

Making someone else a success

I Samuel 18:9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

What a horrible way to live! Always afraid that David would get his spot. Hurting every time he heard someone brag on David or congratulate him.

If you intend to disciple others you must remember that your goal will be to make them a success. Your goal will be to promote them to a position higher than your own.

Obviously God is going to use this attitude to remove Saul from his position and to train David to withstand criticism etc but as a discipler you must learn a different attitude.

David seems to have had a different attitude. He sat at the table with other leaders and men who had done as great a work as he had or even greater. Of his mighty men we find stories that rival the killing of the giant with even greater exploits yet David is able to work with them and trust them.

Remember if he is not strong enough to hurt you if will, then he is not strong to help you if he will. If you are to put 2 Timothy 2:2 into practice then you must be willing to see men surpass you in ministry and influence.

John the Baptist said that he must decrease so that the one who followed him could increase. John 3:30.

Can you deal with such a blow to your pride. If you can then God can use to make a major difference in other people’s lives and in World Evangelism.

Risk your life

I Samuel 19:5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?

Nothing great happens until someone is willing to put their life into their hand. David saw the Lord bring a great salvation and cause great rejoicing even on the part of Saul the king who hates him.

It all starts with someone that loves God enough to be willing to risk their life. It is God that brings the victory but victory doesn’t come until someone steps out by faith and lets God do something.

How many people never give their live to be a missionary for fear of learning a language, leaving home, getting involved in another culture, raising their support etc? Great blessings will not come until you step on nothing and allow God to prove Himself in your life.

I would like to hear your thoughts. What do you think? Where am I off? Does this apply to you? What can I improve on in what I say here?

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Lessons to young preachers

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