eternal investments-news banner

eternal investments-news title

The task and its status

Then Jesus came to them and said, “... go and make disciples of all nations..."  Are we done yet?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)

 

Jesus used the word "ethnos" when he gave us the instruction to go and make disciples of all nations (ethnos). This is the word that we derived "ethnicity" from. Why is this relevant? Well, during the time in question, the political world looked very different from what it does today. Jesus was saying to His disciples that they need to go and make disciples of all ethnic groups. A word more regularly used today is "tribes".

 

We, generally think of the great commission as going into all the world. That obviously means into all countries. There are about 195 countries to go to and tell the good news. Job done, Jesus can come back... Not so fast! A country like Nigeria has 538 ethnic groups, or tribes. These are groups of people with different customs and cultures and possibly even languages. The gospel does not easily flow across these cultural and language boundaries.

 

Why is this relevant? Well, if we are to take Jesus' instruction serious, we would need to think differently about the task given. Our thinking about  what has been accomplished and still needs to be accomplished might need some adjustment...

 

What does the statistics look like for the world? 

 

It is estimated that there are approximately 16 900 ethnic groups in the world. Of this, 40%, or approximately 7 700 of these people groups are defined as "unreached", or "least reached". Have a look at www.joshuaproject.net for more information. There is still an enormous task ahead of us.

 

Did you know that an estimated 81% of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindu's does not know a Christian? This is staggering! At the same time the church has all the resources needed to complete the task within one generation. We need to be informed and intentional. Or maybe we should start by asking God to give us a heart for the lost, like He has?

 

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary calculates that Christians sent out approximately 400,000 international missionaries in 2010.  Out of this number only 1 out of 7 are serving among the least reached people groups.

 

If the church was a company as we know companies today, its mission would be to see Jesus come back in all His glory.  The goal of the company's management would be to make disciples of all ethnic groups. The management would be required to update the owners of the company on a regular basis on the progress made with regards to the goal.  They would have a tough time explaining to the owners why 40% of the ethnic groups does not have proper representation yet, given the 2000 years that has passed. And that only 1 out of every 7, or 14% of all missionaries are sent to the areas that needs it most.

 

It made me wonder whether I truly believe that this task given by Jesus (our "company's" founder, owner and CEO) is to be taken seriously. Was this instruction for me, or is it the responsibility of someone, somewhere else. It sort of feels that way...  But then, after all, I (and you) am the church... 

 

How then should I think about this and what should I do?

 

 

"The sun generates a tremendous amount of energy, but it only gives us a warm glow. By contrast, a laser beam that uses a few kilowatts of energy can cut through metal. Such is the power of focus." - S Khosla

 

Most things we see today that makes a significant difference had a small beginning. A long journey starts with the first step… For this reason, we at Eternal Investments decided to focus our initial effort on a specific initiative that we believe are making a significant difference in Africa with regards to missions and evangelisation. In itself it is much more than a program, it is a movement. This excites us, as a movement creates enormous energy and requires little external energy to keep it going.

 

 

This movement was birthed in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp on the borders of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is called Ubabalo. 7 pastors gathered to share their story of how they ended up at the camp. The first pastor recounted how the rebel forces entered his village, lined up his 24 family members from the youngest to oldest - and starting with the youngest they used machetes to amputate and kill. Upon seeing this, the family ran to escape - many lost their lives that day but those that escaped made it to Nyarugusu. To our horror, this same experience was repeated by the 6 remaining pastors, with the only difference being the village of origin and the size of each family. What shocked us further was that the rebels and perpetrators of those atrocities consisted of young men between the ages of 18-19 years old. 

 

We are convinced that many of Africa's challenges are a function of fatherlessness and the deliberate destruction of the family unit. As the strategy of Ubabalo multiplies across the world to over 100 countries, we have now discovered that these challenges are not unique only to Africa. Ubabalo is our courageous attempt to transform worldviews of coaches and players, reverse the trend of fatherlessness, and to catalyze a Whole Life Coaching movement in order to redeem culture and impact nations. (http://ubabalo.tumblr.com

(www.theworldneedsafather.com)

 

 

 

OM Sportlink is a initiative within Operation Mobilisation (https://www.om.org/en/content/about-om) that focus on sport as a vehicle to break down cultural barriers and carry the gospel into areas otherwise difficult to reach. They use the Ubabalo principles to train coaches to disciple young people. We partnered with OM International Sportlink Director, Chris Welman, in support of their ministry. Chris is stationed at the OM base in Kabwe, Zambia and has seen the amazing impact coaches can make in young people’s lives firsthand. They are active in a number of African and other countries. Below is an excerpt of one of their newsletters: