Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church

Into the Field

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Whether you are in a traditional church group, house church or living organically, the need does not change. The lost need to hear the gospel. E3 Partners is a short term missions trip ministry whose goal is to get Christians out of the pews and into the field. They have developed an intriguing little tool they call the Evangel Cube, which is like a Rubic’s Cube that unfolds in various ways to provide a graphic illustration of the gospel message. The tool is helpful for those unaccustomed to¬† sharing the gospel message in that it keeps the sequence of sharing in an appropriate order. Being nervous for a first time witness makes it easy to forget what to say, so the cube leads both the presenter and the listener through the message. For speakers of another language, the pictures are understood by all, and the intriguing way the cube unfolds keeps their attention. However, the cube is not needed for those experienced in sharing, and the ministry does not require its use. The point of the ministry is to encourage Christians who do not share in the experience of witnessing, and for souls to be saved in the mission field.

Paul Viera has written a book called “Amphibious Christianity” The thesis of the book is the proposition that Christians need to minister to the lost for their own spiritual health. He compares Christians to frogs. As a tadpole, the frog cannot go to the land but is bound to the water for survival. Likewise, Christians as pagans before conversion cannot grasp and experience the spiritual world but are bound to the Earth and the flesh. But when a tadpole is transformed into a frog, the frog is free to go to the land. Likewise when we experience the new birth and are transformed, we are free to experience the presence of God and heaven. But a frog cannot go far from water because its body requires the immersion to keep cool and moist. If a frog stays away from water too long it will dry up and die. Likewise, Christians must stay near the world in sharing to the lost for his or her spiritual health. If a Christian stays in a church building or a house church and has no involvement with the lost, he or she will dry up and die spiritually.

In our house church discussion the question came up about the parable of the wheat and the tares. It was asked why the wheat would be damaged if the tares were uprooted. The answer that was given by one person is that God wants the light of the gospel to be exposed to the lost. This answer is correct, but not complete. The Lord spoke to my heart about the Paul Viera’s book, and I understood that it is also for our spiritual health.
Ministering in Venezuela on an E3 Partners missions trip.
I have often said to people that you do not know Jesus in fullness if you never share the gospel. Faith in God is increased as we experience God working. When we share the gospel to others we become co-laborers with the Lord and experience the Lord in ways that cannot be experienced in a church pew or even in house church gatherings. When you experience the Lord in evangelism, you bring that increased faith back to the body of believers that you fellowship with and they are edified, too.

In the house church setting it is easy to get settled in an “our little world” mentality. In the traditional church it is just as easy to get the mindset that “I have done my part by tithing and serving the congregation.” But the Great Commission beckons. Millions are perishing for not having heard the gospel. E3 Partners¬† provides the means to bridge that gap.

Recently I attended a house church conference in Dallas. I came home with a renewed vision for the call of Christ. Tony Fitzgerald spoke every evening for the 3 day conference. He made a point that struck home to me. He compared the two parables of the sower and the seed to the wheat and the tares. In the first parable, the seed is the Word of God that is sown into the hearts of people. The sower is the Lord, who was incarnate in Christ. In the wheat and the tares, the seed is not sown by the Lord but by the sons. Ministries that share the Word by radio, television, short wave, and internet are doing a good work. But the ultimate work is in the sowing of the sons who bear the Word in their heart. God is not calling us to sow just the seeds, but our very lives. Our lives invested in other people is what changes other people. Mentoring, evangelism, church planting all require the investments of lives into others. Sitting in a pew or staying in a house church will not be enough to transform this world. We must invest our lives. The word of God is sown by the blood of the martyrs. Jim Elliot and his crew gave their lives. Their wives continued with the work investing their lives and they transformed a tribe.

Few are actually martyrs, but many are needed to sow their lives into others. We all have to start with small steps. E3 Partners is a ministry that can be the beginning of that step. Sow your lives into others and you will see the Kingdom of God flourish.
E3 Partners from America and translators from Venezuela work together to plant churches.

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