Saturday, 23 April 2011

Two Wings

Just been to Christchurch with Empower mission and had a great time with South City Church hearing about what they are doing and sharing the exciting things happening in Empower.

So what’s going on with Empower? Well two things mainly: the growth of Empower and the establishment of a two winged approach to missions. Both of these have really serendipitously happened and each has fed off the other, leading us to believe it is really a God thing!

So what’s two wings? Well it is the analogy of a bird inflight. A bird needs both wings for good effective flight otherwise it falls out of the sky. Well it is no different with missions. Wing one is all about empowering local churches through training teaching, disciple-ing and church planting, or spreading the gospel in word. It can also be seen as meeting spiritual needs.  Wing two is all about empowering local communities by social and economic development, poverty alleviation and health care, or gospel in action. This can be seen as meeting physical needs. Both go hand in hand, and both are vital for a faithful outworking of the gospel. Faith without deeds is dead! James said that.

In addition to the two wings approach to mission the other major thing happening in Empower is its growth. There are now a number of associates as well as a number a people partnered with Empower. Each new person broadens the reach of Empower and each person has their own gifts, talents, passion and dreams that fit somewhere within the two wing model of Empowers missions. All this creates a much broader and holistic reach of Empower mission. All exciting stuff!

Does this not make sense? Is this Biblical? We believe so.  The Bible is full of both wings, meeting spiritual needs, meeting physical needs. Jesus throughout his ministry shows a focus on both the physical needs of those he met as well and their spiritual needs. The feeding of the five thousand is a prime example. First he meets a physical need (physical bread), with a huge miracle I might add and then the following day he talks to them about their spiritual need (Bread of Life).That’s in John 6. Can’t get a better example than Jesus!

All this to say, we are incredibly excited in Empower mission. God is really moving adding more people, more gifts, talents, passions. Working on top of a solid foundation of church planting and then adding poverty alleviation, development and healthcare results in an incredibly exciting future. Who knows where God is taking this but it’s exciting! This will broaden Empowers reach.  It will rightly focus on holistic salvation and restoration. It will make the future very exciting. It is a privilege to be a part of and we know it will be an incredible adventure. So … will you join us?

Post By Dave

Friday, 15 April 2011

Culturally Sensitive Missions

We were in a city in Thailand where there is a large market area that is popular with tourists because of the cheap food and the wide range of products for sale. In the evening you can also get to see cultural displays and Thai dancing on a raised stage.





One warm evening we were there having a meal and some Thai women dressed in traditional clothes came on stage and performed a traditional Thai dance. If you’ve never seen Thai dancing before, it is very intricate, elegant and stylish. Suddenly I felt tears in my eyes and it became like a God moment. It was like God was saying, I long for Thais to express their worship to me in their traditional cultural ways, because then it will be from their very heart.

It seems that for so long they have been presented with Western forms of worship as being the way to do it. Often they have not seen that worshipping God in traditional Thai ways is entirely valid, and will help them express their praise and worship to Him in a more authentic way, ie from their heart of hearts! I don’t believe anyone needs to tell them how to do it – its in them already! They just need to be released into it.

My wife was at a conference a few years ago where there were mostly Thais present. While they were worshipping God, they were encouraged to give a shout. They then gave out a very loud and anointed shout to the Lord with one voice! It was like the lid was lifted off the “quiet” Thais. Then some of the women spontaneously started to dance their exquisite Thai dances in praise and worship to God. Indeed it was in them, waiting to burst out!

Empower’s goal is to train and empower local church planters to plant churches in their own or neighbouring cultures that are indigenous and contextual. Such churches will “fit” in that culture, which greatly increases the likelihood of there being a multiplication of churches. This will also allow the disciples to express worship and praise to God in their own unique cultural way, which could look very different to what we are used to in the West.

Written By K and J

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Whats In A Name?

Why do we call ourselves "Empower Mission"?

It's a good question - here is one perspective; 

We could have called ourselves "Coalition For Global Gospel Proclamation Through Training, Teaching And Lots Of Other Methods" or CFGGPTTTALOM for short, but it doesn't have the same ring does it?

Not only that but there is special significance in the word 'Empower'.

You see, our organisation's end goal is to see the Great Commission fulfilled so that God can be glorified throughout the world. According to the words of Jesus in The Bible, this means to: 
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." 
Its a big job, and it means interacting with people from different cultures, languages and world-views. Therefore, we often aren't the best people to share the good news.


For example, if I go up to someone in the Philippines and say "Can I tell you about Jesus?" they might say something like "Kunin ang layo mula sa akin matangkad dayuhan". Confusion would ensue and little would be achieved. 


Therefore, in order to share the good news about Jesus with people from different cultures and languages, we need to find local people (from that culture or a neighbouring culture who speak the language) that are passionate about sharing the good news themselves and empower them with the right tools, skills and confidence to do so. 

Take a look at Concept #4 'Empower Others' on our resources page:
Efficiencies of time and finance can be
gained by empowering believers from a
neighbouring people group to reach an
unreached people group.
A big mistake we can make in this process is to make people dependent on us - or anyone else. If someone is dependent on me, and I go away, that person will probably cease their work also. But if those people are empowered to find solutions to their problems they can go on doing great work regardless of what happens to me.

The great thing about this is that empowered people teach other people to be empowered. Thus perpetuating the growth - in this case of the Gospel. Jesus showed us this method himself by focussing his attention on just twelve disciples. He empowered them to go out and share the good news about him. In turn, they empowered others to do the same, and empowered people have been continuing to do so to this day - there have been hiccups along the way - but when people are empowering each other in the right manner, growth is exponential.


However, sometimes - for various reasons - we allow people to depend on us. They come to us for all the answers, resources and encouragement they need. If this model does succeed in sharing the Gospel it is a very linear growth pattern - everyone involved is dependent on the 'key person' (not God). Because they have to keep coming back to this key person the overall growth is slowed right down and is generally dependent on the activities of that one person.


The difference between an 'Empower' (exponential) and a 'Depend' (linear) model can be seen in the following graph;


More people get to hear the good news in the same amount of time when the model is exponential, IE when people are empowered.


That's just one reason, among others, to call ourselves 'Empower'


Questions? Comments? Unbridled abuse? Send them all to info@empowermission.org

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Land Waaaay Down Under

Empower Associates Steve & Rose: 

It's great to be in NZ for a few weeks, but have been shocked by the reports from the Christchurch earthquake .

Hope to catch up with zillions of folks while we're in NZ. Our schedule looks something like this:- Auckland, Tauranga, TeAwamutu, New Plymouth, Inglewood, Fielding, Hastings, Palmerston North, Levin, Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson, Tauranga, Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, oops forgot Brisbane and Melbourne in there somewhere as well then we head back to Asia.





This is our longest 'down-under' visit in 14 years. Email if you want to catch up (empowermission@hotmail.com) or phone 021-253-1353 we would love to hear from you.

Cheers

Steve & Rose

P.S. We have recently completed our "One Days Pay For Mission" flyer. If you would like to contribute in this way then please let us know, email empowermission@hotmail.com

Get the flyer here: One Days Pay For Mission

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Welcome To The Empower Mission Blog!

Hello and welcome to the Empower Mission blog!

This will be a place for you to keep up-to-date on all that is happening with Empower Mission. We have disabled commenting and want you to bear in mind that if you 'follow' this blog officially, people can see that you are doing so.

This blog is part of the new Empower website - www.empowermission.org but the blog itself is powered by blogger (for simplicity's sake). Don't worry if none of this makes sense to you, just enjoy.

You can make suggestions on the new site by emailing them to info@empowermission.org we will be taking all suggestions seriously to help create a clear and easy-to-use website. Alternatively, if you have any problems just email info@empowermission.org

Some of the Empower team are currently in NZ and could be coming to talk in your home town or a town nearby - contact us to get in touch and find out