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Following Jesus’ Example: Empowering Leaders in Global Missions, by Victor H. Cuartas

God can use difficult times to bring churches and denominations together in prayer, forgiveness and fasting. That has been the case in many countries in Africa and Latin America. God is the only solution to the problems that many people are facing. Sometimes God can use even persecution to bring spiritual transformation in the cities.

God is able to change the spiritual climate of nations: revival can take place when people in leadership decide to turn to God and work in unity. Remember the words of Paul to the Ephesians, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph 4:1-6, NIV, emphasis added).

Jesus intercedes before His Father for oneness. In the Gospel of John, Jesus powerfully mentions in his prayer the importance of oneness. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17: 20-21, NIV, emphasis added).

We can do more things together. It is amazing the plans that we can accomplished when we join together in unity, having the right motivation and goal. Through God all things can be multiplied. Every missionary agency and local church is gifted to expand God’s kingdom. The analogy that comes to my mind is the people of God attending a banquet where everybody brings all that they have and put it on the same table. Everyone is blessed and served. Everyone can bring something powerful to the table. This specific time that we are living today provides wonderful opportunities for us to be creative and grow as a community of believers. Is it not remarkable that God is sending Asians to reach Africans, Latinos to reach Muslims, and Africans to reach Europeans? Thus, missionary agencies are increasingly partnering together with a united vision and purpose. God is a creative God, and we need to align our hearts with the Lord of the harvest.

Every believer needs to pay the price. One of the aspects in global missions today that we have the tendency to forget is about sacrifice. This is the reality for many missionaries in the field, who are paying the price denying themselves for others. We are asked to do the same. In terms of leadership, new models of partnering are going to require servant leadership. Therefore, one of the questions that we need to ask ourselves is: are we willing to share leadership? When working with different ethnic groups, one needs to be willing to submit to others. For example, there are some missionary agencies that are organizing blended teams for short terms missions trips. This is something powerful that we are going to see more often; different denominations and missionary agencies networking with local churches for the sake of the Gospel. In addition, the importance of connecting and serving the “majority world missionaries”11 is proven to be effective and strategic. Are we willing to be led by those who are better acquainted with their own cultures and people?

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17: 20-21)

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Category: Ministry, Pneuma Review, Winter 2013

About the Author: Victor H. Cuartas, D.Min. (Regent University), has been involved in pastoral ministry and church planting for nearly twenty years. He is Assistant Professor of Practical Ministry and Global Missions at Regent University in Virginia. Victor serves as director of research for COMHINA, a missionary movement that mobilizes Hispanics in the United States and Canada for ministry to unreached people groups. He is the author of Empowering Hispanic Leaders: An Online Model (Church Starting Network, 2009) and Capacitando Líderes Hispanos: Un Modelo En Línea (Wipf & Stock, 2010). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Oxford, U.K. through Middlesex University & Oxford Center for Mission Studies.

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