| June 2, 2016 | 2 comments
Rolland Baker, Keeping the Fire: Sustaining Revival Through Love: The Five Core Values of Iris Global (Kent, United Kingdom: River Publishing & Media Ltd., 2015), 152 pages, ISBN 9781908393555.
Rolland Baker, along with his wife, Heidi, have served on the mission field for the last 35 years, most of their time has been spent in Mozambique, Africa. Many people within the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements are familiar with the ministry of the Bakers. Their ministry is known for its testimonies of miraculous provisions, healings, and miracles, things that most Christians would like to see in their churches and ministries. However, what may be less known are the challenges and difficulties they have faced. In the preface of the book, Elisha Baker, Rolland and Heidi’s son, chronicles a number of these less than desirable experiences. His list includes imprisonment, deportation, being falsely accused, being robbed, being beaten, numerous death threats, and some severe health challenges. This list of challenges reminds me of the apostle Paul’s list in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29. In the midst of all of these trials the Baker’s ministry has flourished.
In this book Rolland Baker writes about the five core values that have preserved and prospered Iris Global. The five core values are: Find God, Depend on Miracles, Go to the Least, Suffer for Him if Necessary, and Rejoice in the Lord.
In the introduction of the book the author gives the reader a brief look at the five core values. After this he devotes a full chapter to each, providing a more extensive look at each one. These five chapters contain some simple, yet profound, insights.
God’s ways cannot be reduced to a simple formula.
In chapter 1, “Find God,” Baker writes about the necessity of putting the Great Commandment, loving God, before the Great Commission (page 43). He maintains, based on Jesus’words in Mark 12:28-31, that our highest priority should be to love God and stay in love with Him (page 44). Effective ministry flows out of this love. In chapter 2, “Depend on Miracles,” he tells us that many in missions have been trained to rely on programs and strategies, at Iris they recognize the value of these things but choose to honor God’s miracle-working power more than human programs and strategies (page 67). These first two chapters focus on the believers’ connection with God. In chapter 3, the emphasis switches to the people that they minister to. This chapter is called “Go to the Least.” Iris Global focuses on the poor: the hungry, the needy, the orphans, and the prisoners. Jesus taught about this in Matthew 25. The poor have very obvious physical needs but they also have spiritual needs. The Bakers have found that the poor are very receptive to the gospel. Baker writes “There is no resistance to the Gospel” (page 92). Chapter 4 which is called “Suffer for Him if Necessary” sets forth the truth that serving the Lord sometimes means suffering. This is a New Testament truth and it is true for the servant of God today. In view of this reality it is important that those in ministry have perseverance. The author writes “The true disciple lives a life of both perseverance and power. It is not either suffering or glory. It is both” (page 98). In chapter 5 “Rejoice in the Lord” Baker reminds us that it is both possible and necessary to rejoice in the Lord, indeed he reminds us it is commanded in the book of Philippians (pages 116-118). He says that joy is a weapon for us (page 119) and he then lists a number of things that believers can rejoice about.
Category: Ministry, Spring 2016