In the earliest days of the Church, Peter and John were summoned to appear before the council of all the rulers, elders and teachers of religious law in Jerusalem (Acts 4:5-7). At the end of the interrogation, the members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who’d been with Jesus (vs 13). Ordinary men . . . with no special training . . . who’d been with Jesus. Our missionaries, Matthew and Rebekah know such men and women. Last month, Matthew was able to meet with two of them in Delhi: Sanjay and John. They have so much to teach. They are simple people. And very wise. On this visit, they shared their Lessons from the Field.
- We used to gather large groups of local leaders for one day or even 1 1/2 days of training/equipping. Now, we gather small groups of local leaders for only half-day sessions. Smaller groups are good because the leaders can engage in deeper discussions, and we get less attention from potential enemies.
- Gathering large crowds for training sessions is not important. We must never try to win a crowd, but instead one family or one house church. Only one Bible Study Group is needed to reach many. If we focus on the crowd, we might not even get one family, but one reached family can become a crowd.
- Time is important. The Bible says we must work while there is daylight.
- A movement must touch every group of people. If there is one unreached group or nation, we must pray about that and ask God what He wants us to do. He will give us the way to reach them.
- Sometimes we become proud of what we’ve been doing. We must not be. Pride is a dangerous thing. Leaders must remain humble and always be teachable. When one becomes proud, one relaxes, feeling “satisfied.” In that moment one can become susceptible to the attacks of Satan.
- You have to respect yourself, respect your family and respect others. Sometimes, some folks only focus on the mission, not family. Personal and family health are very important in order to be successful in missions.
- In Matthew 28:19, Jesus said that whatever He taught us, we must teach others to do, and that He will always be with us. Sometimes leaders forget these things, and then they begin to do their own ministry, not Jesus’ ministry.
When Sanjay was done sharing these nuggets of wisdom, these Lessons from the Field, Matthew asked him how he planned to explain them to the ground-level leaders. Was this wisdom a little too much, too abstract, for the illiterate, uneducated house church pastors? Sanjay said, “Brother, I learned all these things from the ground-level, uneducated leaders. They are sacrificing so many things for Jesus. One particular leader, Mokesh, is only semi-literate. Yet, he never says anything outside of the Bible. He corrects me sometimes with, ‘That is not in the Bible, you cannot say that.’ ” Please pray with for the ordinary leaders of the house churches in India, that they will not hoard the wise lessons they are learning, but will continue to willingly share them with others, and that the global church would hear God’s wisdom spoken through the uneducated.