A Tract…A Man…A Church

New VillageA couple of weeks ago, our Project India team traveled and did outreach and evangelism in a village where people came to market in order to sell their vegetables, fruit and fish. Our team gathered small crowds and passed out gospel tracts. One tract, “The Cross” is a message I wrote last year for the team to translate and distribute. It discusses the plan of salvation from Creation, the fall of Adam, the promise of a Messiah, and the birth, life, death resurrection and ascension of Jesus. I wrote it in very simple language because it had to go through translation and printing for the rural villages we are reaching in India.

As our team passed out tracts, they gave one to a man who was at the village that day selling fish to get money to provide for his family. He lives in a coastal village several kilometers away. His coastal village has a high rate of illiteracy, and most of the population worship the water and fish hindu gods. Very few from his village can read or write, but he was one of the few. He took the tract, placed it in his pocket, and carried it back to his village after he had finished selling his fish.

After arriving back at his coastal village he discovered the tract and began to read it. As he did, his heart leaped with joy as he read the news about Jesus coming to die for the sins and forgiveness of mankind. When he reached the end of the tract, he prayed and Continue reading “A Tract…A Man…A Church”

Church Planting – Reproduction of Life

People groupsWe have to love the re-emphasis of church planting the past several years. It thrills the heart of every believer to hear about men and women laying their life, and their stuff, on the altar of service for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Lord has allowed my wife, Susanne, and me to begin and be part of Church Planting in an unreached area of India. She oversees support and help for an orphanage we have while I train church planters, write tracts for evangelism, provide messages for the spiritual growth of new believers and help raise basic support for the church planters.

The work is hard, not very appreciated among nominal church members, but very fulfilling with the Lord. Thinking about church planting and the emphasis it places upon the gospel (when properly focused), made me think long and hard about what it ‘really is.’ Continue reading “Church Planting – Reproduction of Life”

Changing Hurdle Jumpers

hurdleWe have been rapidly moving toward a post-Christian culture. That can be daunting to those, like myself, who are old enough to remember the Christian dominating culture and have lived through the transition. However, if we embrace one important dynamic, it does not have to be the hurdle we think it is.

In order for many of our neighbors in our culture to ‘come to church,’ they must jump many hurdles to get to our services. Some of those hurdles are:

  • Meeting times – do we worship a day or a person?
  • Dress codes – do ties and dress slacks make us more spiritual?
  • Meeting protocol – why 3 songs, an offering, a sermon and a prayer?
  • Bible linguistics – why heavy theological language which most don’t understand?
  • etc.

The average ‘posty’ (my term for a post-Christian person) must jump over these and many other hurdles in order to ‘fit into’ our puritanical and centralized pattern of church. Continue reading “Changing Hurdle Jumpers”

Go and Tell…

recording4A young man sits in an outreach meeting in a rural village in India. His name is Babu.* He listens as the Gospel is proclaimed in his village with clarity during a street meeting. Conviction comes upon his heart and he responds to the call to repent of his sins and surrender to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. When he does, his life is changed forever as God washes away his sins and makes him a new person in Christ. (2Cor. 5:17)

This story is unfolding time after time through the work of Project India, as we have seen nearly 4,000 come to Christ in the past 14 months and planted 41 churches in previously unreached villages. However, the story of this young man will help explain some of the phenomenal results we are seeing.

Soon after his conversion, Babu is praying and senses the Holy Spirit directing him to action. He obeys and is immediately thrust into action in the kingdom of God. What does he do? Babu is very poor, but feels he is to take all his money and buy a video camera and Continue reading “Go and Tell…”

Two Young Girls and a Cousin

Rembrandt_Christ_In_The_Storm_On_The_Sea_Of_GalileePeter was one of four fishermen that Jesus called to be a member of His special group—the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. These men were entrusted to take the message they would learn during the three year ministry of Jesus and spread it to the ends of the earth. It would be no small task. However, the Lord would send the Holy Spirit to empower and enable them for the job.

As a fisherman, Peter was a member of a hard working and physically strong class of men. Fishermen in Palestine during the first century were not models of moral behavior. They were:

  • Gruff – abrupt and rude in speech
  • Unkempt – shabby, untidy, disheveled in appearance
  • Vile – morally bad
  • Used Vulgar Language – cursing
  • Had Boisterous Tempers – hot headed
  • Fearless – willing to face the sudden and dangerous storms on the Sea of Galilee.

Of all the disciples, Peter was the one the others looked to for leadership. He was willing to take the lead, even to his own embarrassment, when others stood passively by. Let’s look at Peter’s fearlessness. He was willing to fight for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when the soldiers came to arrest him…he even cut off the ear of Malchus, one of the soldiers. And yet, this fearlessness as a tough guy, a fisherman, a man’s man, was not enough to stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

After his arrest, Jesus was taken before a kangeroo court in the High Priest’s palace. Peter was outside, as close as he could be, waiting to get word in order to find out what the religious leaders would do with Jesus. As he waited we read where he denied even Continue reading “Two Young Girls and a Cousin”

Jesus Still Protects His Church

What if Jesus revealed Himself today as He did in the book of Acts? What would it look like? Would we recognize it? Last week I received another testimony from the front lines of church planting through our Project India ministry. In it, two Hindu ladies write telling of how the Lord appeared to them in a miraculous way. They described in detail what was going through their mind and their intent to destroy the local church because of the preaching of the gospel.

Jesus intervened in a very special way and they share what happened to them. I pray it encourages everyone, especially church planters, to look to our resurrected Lord to provide what is needed in our most desperate times.

**Some of the English is rough as it had to go through translation and names have been changed for security reasons.**

“Hello, my name is Sura and my friend’s name is Daga, we live in the village where Pastor Yohn has planted a PROJECT INDIA church.

We both are very bad people, we always enjoying sin and speaking very bad language. At the same time we are worshipers of 30,000 goddess and 67,000 gods. We are very strong worshipers of god ANGENAYA (MONKEY GOD) we also strong believers of  lord GANESHA. We never love any other religion, only Hindu gods. We hear about Jesus six months back and were so anger towards  project–India church believers. We used to think that jesus is not a god of India, but only god to the white people. Even we have seen many images of Jesus he never look like Indian. Our question is, “when we have 330 million gods and goddess, why do we want worship other nations other people god?”

When Pastor Yohn  is sharing  the gospel we asked him stop sharing about Jesus. We told him, “If you do more about Jesus we will kill you!” Continue reading “Jesus Still Protects His Church”

Idolatrous Festival Director Comes to Christ

The power of the Gospel never fails to amaze me. The truth of God’s Word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit can penetrate the depth of any darkness in the heart of man. Jesus alone has the power to change a person’s heart and give them purpose and fulfillment in life.

Here is a testimony received this week of God’s redemptive grace. Some of the English is rough, but the message is precious. We are witnessing testimonies like this every week of people coming to Christ through Project India.

Hello, I am Seriva B__.  I just want say what the Lord  Jesus has done in my life. I grew up a very strong Hindu idol worshiper. We have mother goddess in our family  and I used to worship 15,000 goddesses  every day. I used to worship and pray to them since my childhood. The last 35 years I was also zone goddess festival director, but not now because I have resigned.    

Last 3 months I could not find peace. Something was happening in my heart. My burden was very high and I was even planning  to drink to poisons because I did not want live any more. I had prayed to all my 15,000 goddesses to give me peace but I could not hear anything from them. My friend, Raja shared about Continue reading “Idolatrous Festival Director Comes to Christ”

Reasons to Believe (Part 1)

Are there sufficient reasons for man to believe there is a God if he does not accept the Bible as God’s Word? Yes! More and more in the age we are living in, the Bible is being set aside by those in society… especially by those who run from accountability and desire to justify a selfish lifestyle. We easily see this around us, from the youth of our day to those in the market place and in academia. Where do we go in conversation? The Scripture is the last place to begin, for that is not a common ground for conversation with them. Where are the entry points for discussing truth with those who have distanced themselves from the authority of the Scripture?

As Christians, we can go on their turf, appeal to the reasons available to all men, and begin a dialogue with men of the world. If their hearts are seeking truth there are plenty of areas for dialogue with those who presently reject the Bible. Paul and the early believers faced this alot in their day and we will face it more and more in ours. If we insist on telling them what “the Word of God” says, when they do not even believe there is a God, we will only be talking to ourselves.

Our understanding in this day must go outside the small minded presentation of truth so many of us have. We must allow the Lord to make us wise in communication as we pray for those we are called to reach with the gospel. There are plenty of areas to engage the men of this world with before we attempt to share the Scriptures. What are some of the ‘reasons to believe’ which we can use when conversing with unbelievers who are not sure Continue reading “Reasons to Believe (Part 1)”

Holiness is Essential for Evangelism

Holiness is the single most important issue for evangelism. John Wesley said, “Get on fire for God and men will come to watch you burn.” May the Lord raise up men and women whose first desire is to live holy and righteousness through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

In order for us to properly understand biblical holiness and how it applies practically to our everyday life we need to have a basic understanding of separation from the world. We will only look at two vital points, but they are critical for helping us stay clear of legalism and sectarianism in our Christian walk.

Not of the World

Shortly before He was arrested and crucified, Jesus prayed for His disciples. This prayer was not only for the twelve, but also for every true believer down through the ages. (Jn. 17:20) In this prayer, Jesus mentioned how His disciples “are not of the world.” (Jn. 17:16) In some circles or camps this statement is completely ignored and the result is a very worldly church. In other camps, this statement is misunderstood or improperly Continue reading “Holiness is Essential for Evangelism”

The Lord Reveals His Power to a Village

Over the past year the Lord has performed some astounding acts among rural villages in India. These villages had never heard the wonderful news of Jesus Christ before we reached them. They were no believers or church in their midst. This week I received a phone call of an event which demonstrates how the Holy Spirit is working among our church planters.

One of our church planters, Amand*, and his wife held an outreach service. (Pictured to the left along with their 3 boys.) They have planted two churches in two villages since January of this year. In preparation for outreach meetings, the believers give themselves to diligent prayer and fasting. Also, they pass out tracts and invitations to villagers who have never heard the Gospel. This particular outreach meeting was going to feature a DVD of one of the messages I shared at one of our Church Planters Conference. The subject was on “The Cross.”

The government leaders in these villages are upper caste Hindu. One of them, Bram*, suffered from serious heart conditions. He attended a physician and was told there was not anything which could be done to help him. He was sent home to die.

Bram received news about the outreach and, as a village elder, came to investigate what is was about. He listened to the message about “The Cross” and became convicted Continue reading “The Lord Reveals His Power to a Village”

Christian Writers – Beware!

All we can do is thank the Lord for the abundance of Christian writers and authors we see today. Many young men are getting into the fray of ideas by sharing the truth of the gospel, either through blogs or books. I’ve been writing frequently since the early 90’s and simply want to share a brief warning to Christian writers to help guard against some of Satan’s tricks and schemes against authors.

All writers I have had the privilege of being around exhibit a very committed and tenacious personality. We are goal oriented and usually thrive over deadlines and ‘getting the ball’ over the hill. We are capable of shutting other things out in order to accomplish what we know the Lord has laid upon our heart and called us to do. However, in the midst of these traits, we face some unique temptations and traps from the enemy. Here are a few.

Traps for the Christian writer:

Replacing quiet time – First and foremost, we must maintain our ‘quiet time’ of prayer and biblical meditation with our Lord. We must guard against waking up and grabbing our laptop or pencil as our first activity of the day. Let time in prayer and meditation be our primary goal for each day.

Replacing living – Getting detached from on-hand experience with the people of God. We can become ‘hermit-tish’ (my word) instead of being giving to hospitality.

Replacing sharing – Witness only through writing and lose contact with one on one, face to face sharing of the gospel. This will cause us to lose the personal touch of identification with the broken lives of men. Also, this detachment will come across in our writing. Continue reading “Christian Writers – Beware!”

Why I Boycott Boycotts

I do not like boycotts. In fact, the only thing I boycott is boycotts. Why? Because to me it seems that boycotts violate the very call to take the gospel to all men. I just cannot wrap my head or heart around the image of seeing Jesus, or Paul for that matter, leading a picket line or social demonstration to force morality upon others. I can sum up my problems with boycotts with 10 simple questions.

1) Isn’t the Gospel for all?

2) How can we reach people by boycotting them? 

3) How can we love people when we are standing aloof and boycotting their business?

4) How can we communicate their need for Christ while refusing to enter their work space?

5) Why offend with boycotting the very people I’m called to reach?

6) How can I reach them and demonstrate the gospel if I fail to enter their everyday life?

7) Why make social mores or public laws the dividing line for who gets respect and who does not?  Continue reading “Why I Boycott Boycotts”