I have on my desk an NIV Study Bible and a Quran (The Meaning of the Holy Quran) translated by Yusuf Ali. I study them both. By studying the Bible, I hope to deepen my faith in God. By studying the Quran, I hope to better understand the religious experience of my Muslim friends, so that I can share with them my understanding of truth as it is found in the Bible.
CRWM is committed to sharing God’s Word worldwide. But to cover the cost of this work, CRWM has had to increase missionaries’ support-raising goals.
An excerpt from the Sea to Sea devotional about riding through Shiprock--a good reminder to all of us to shine in the darkness!
From time to time I receive emails from concerned church members over controversial Bible translations. The translations in question are seven Wycliffe/SIL projects in Muslim contexts where the translators sought to put the Word of God into language that could be easily understood by the intended audience. This kind of translation is called a Muslim Idiom Translation. At the center of this controversy are the names God the Father and Son of God, which we call divine familial terms.
One of the key principles of global partnerships is reciprocity. Partnerships are a two-way street. Usually when I meet with churches, they want to do something or send money for something. They might even have glossy brochures detailing all the buildings they have provided throughout the world or how many children they have sponsored.
“We help Christians and Muslims; what matters is the need, not the background of the person,” explained Pastor Jihad.
“We are partnering locally with Latter Rain Ministries (Pastored by Bishop Reginald Blackmon) to share the gospel in Fort Wayne, why don’t we partner with a CRC church in El Potrero, Honduras to share the gospel of Jesus Christ globally?” Pastor Jim Halstead challenged the Community CRC church family during a Sunday morning worship service in the summer of 2011.
Much of my work involves helping churches discover their unique gifts and talents that they can contribute to the work of World Renew. Sometimes I hear, "my church is too small to really get involved," or "we have a hard enough time paying our ministry shares; we can't take on another offering or missions project."Sometimes I want to say, "Yours is exactly the kind of church I want to work with!"How much easier is it to relate to churches in developing countries when you DON'T have all the financial resources or answers?
Owning the task does not mean that missionaries are abandoned—quite the opposite. When a missions team workswith their missionaries to discover a common purpose, the partnership and commitment to the task deepen. To use asports metaphor, the church shifts from merely cheering on the sidelines to being a part of the team.global
Cultural Intelligence is a crucial skill not just for short term mission teams, but for everyone in today's society.
A quote from Anthony Furey of the Edmonton Sun paper indicates the proportion of various perspectives within the muslim belief community. The high percentages surprised me to some extent, and I wonder what impacts this would have on our missional efforts, as well as on our response to certain...
To reach children cross-culturally, you must listen carefully to what your hosts need and adapt your ministry approach to the local context. Wherever possible, resource local teachers rather than do it for them.
Every year America receives new immigrants, and many are Muslim. These immigrants need our help and hospitality - help with English, help with the challenges of immigration, help with the struggles that come with adapting to a new culture.
As the CRCNA undertakes more of an active role in inter-religious dialogue in North America, we can learn a lot from our Christian and Muslim friends in Egypt. Egypt has a long history of Christian-Muslim interaction, and in the end, most Egyptians, whether Muslim or Christian, see themselves as Egyptians first.
When I was asked to join the steering committee for the 2008 Sea to Sea ride, I was skeptical. Hundreds of middle to upper income white folks taking the summer off of work to ride bicycles that cost more than some people make in a year was going to “end the cycle of poverty?”
It’s one thing to do things for people, or give things to people... but it’s a tremendously people-building thing to work with people to build self-reliance!
At World Renew we talk a lot about asset based community development; that is, discovering the assets that God has already placed in a community rather than focusing on perceived needs. This approach works with churches, too! What hidden assets might be in your church, just waiting to be deployed for missions?
In our enthusiasm for missional living, do we too often encourage people to “go all the way” without taking the time to first build a relationship with the neighborhood? In our desire to be missional, I wonder if have raced too quickly, too naively into bed with our neighbourhoods, without taking the time to really get to know each other ..
When Pope Benedict XVI decided to retire, I saw a number of Roman Catholic leaders, including several of the cardinals, interviewed about the kind of person who should be elected as the new Pope. A number of the interviewers thought that the new Pope ought to be a really good manager who could...
Over the past decade or so of working with churches, I've noticed a curious tendency for leaders to think of things in either/or terms. For example, "should we invest in local outreach OR global missions?" "Should our ministry focus on word OR deed?" "Should we reach out to get new members OR should we take care of our own members?" My answer to many of these questions is, "yes."
There’s lots of talk these days about church as institute vs church as organism. Conceptually I understand the difference, but in practice, I suspect it’s not so easy to separate the two. Which leads me to a bigger question, what exactly is “church?”
"There are so many things happening in this congregation in the last three months that the community is abuzz about who the new donor in town could be. But there is no donor—the people have just been woken up by the Gospel of Jesus Christ!"
While my wife and I were missionaries in West Africa, our children attended day care with a little girl named Jihad. At the time I thought it was a strange name (and this was before September 11, 2001, when Jihad entered the Western world’s lexicon). I have since learned that jihad, to put it simply, means struggle; any kind of struggle, but particularly a struggle for the faith. Jihad could include the struggle to get up in the morning, the struggle to resist a particularly tempting sin, or the armed struggle to defend Islam.
"Today is the anniversary of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that shook Port-au-Prince and its surrounding communes, killing hundreds of thousands and causing an untold number of injuries and massive loss of economic resources. For us it is a milestone, because we survived the earthquake which struck at 4:53 pm as we were eating an early supper on a Tuesday afternoon. Though our home didn't collapse and bury us, we were terrified and a little cut-up from all the broken glass and falling furniture.
"Being missional means that you no longer view missions as something done out there, something done in a foreign country, but instead something done in your backyard. For too long we’ve seen mission work as something done by other people in a foreign land, usually eating weird food and living in huts. For too long, evangelism was seen as calling people back to faith. But that’s a wrong misconception. In being missional, we are to be missionaries in our own worlds."