Category Archives: Unreached People Groups

Why All This Attention on the Unreached?

Many years ago I became aware of unreached or least-reached people groups and it changed my whole view regarding my purpose and calling. I would like to share with you how this came about, but first let me give you a simple definition of the unreached (also called least-reached). According to Joshua Project and many others who have also embraced this definition, it is

“An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group”.

Now a people group is simply a group of people who have a common affinity with one another in which the gospel can spread without encountering barriers of understanding and acceptance (also from Joshua Project).

I was serving as pastor of a small church that we planted in 1983 in West Chester, PA. After about five or six years we began to prepare ourselves and others in the congregation to take a team into inner city Philadelphia to plant a church in the Kensington/Northern Liberties area of Philly. I enrolled in the Center for Urban Theological Studies in Philly (part of Geneva College) to hopefully prepare me for the road ahead. I had always had an interest in missions, and it was during that time that I subscribed to Mission Frontiers magazine. One of the issues I received contained a chart of all the unreached people groups in the world. As I began to read the over 7,000 names of these people groups from nations around the world I began to weep and desired to know more about what it would take to reach these who know nothing about Jesus, and no one is going to them to tell them about Him. I also had “ears to hear” when I read Matthew 24:14 which says:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (NIV)

It was not long after that that I received and invitation to go to Indonesia and serve in the development of a recently established indigenous bible school. My strategy to go to the inner city and plant a church became pointless since there are thousands of churches in Philly, but my heart was now consumed with the fact that there were over 7,000 people groups that had no gospel witness available to them in the form of a church in their own language and culture.

Within two years my family (my wife and four daughters) moved to Indonesia to serve for the primary purpose of assisting the students of that bible school to focus their efforts on those people groups in Indonesia and other nations who have no gospel witness. Our adventure in Southeast Asia began and continues on to this day even though we do not presently live there.

Over the years, we have found ourselves involved in ministries overseas as well as here in the states that have reaching the unreached as their primary task. But lately, another passion has developed while serving in Asia assisting others to reach the unreached; and that is, seeing the church function in a more simple, organic way that focuses on making disciples. While training workers to go into the unreached areas of Southeast Asia we had to first “un-train” them regarding how to do and be the church and learn how to make disciples in a simple, organic way that fit the culture and understanding of the people they were reaching.

Upon returning to the states, I was “ruined” for church as I had always known and even served as leadership in the past. I longed for a more simple, organic expression focusing on making disciples rather than all the other “stuff” churches find themselves invested in.  So I began to familiarize myself with those who are part of the simple, organic and house church movements here in the USA. What a blessing to meet those who had come to the same conclusions as I had regarding church. But something was lacking: the zeal and burden for the unreached. This new direction caused me to be involved with many who have no present tangible desire to reach the unreached. Fortunately, I had met a few who were personally sacrificing and doing what they could to reach unreached peoples in India, China, and other nations, but these individuals are few, and congregation and networks are hardly nowhere to be found although I am sure there are some out there.

This is why in 2007 we started House2Harvest Network to serve, network and assist simple, organic churches and house churches to do strategic missions in order to finish the task of reaching all peoples with the gospel. Needless to say, the results have been slow. Unfortunately I have not been able to devote as much time as needed to accomplish our goals, but we are praying that this will soon change. I am still deeply moved when I read the list of unreached people groups, and I pray that our role in the near future will become more productive in seeing hundreds of teams from the simple, organic, house church movements take the gospel to these pioneer regions and begin making disciples where there are no disciples.

You can find the most recent list at: Joshua Project’s Unreached Listing

Will you weep with me!

Race With His Benediction

In the times that we live in, it is easy to drift away from the Lord and his direction in our life. We can get overcome by circumstances, disappointments and doubts. We can get caught up in theological debates, or trying to “do church” the right way, that we miss the basics. In our reaction against a system that can be abusive and controlling, we can easily enter into a state of self-centeredness and forget the call to reach those who have never heard the gospel, or have not heard the complete gospel of the Kingdom. The important thing is that we run and finish the race that our Lord has set before us.

Several years ago I heard this illustration (I forget the source, so I apologize if I get some of the details wrong.): During the Olympics in Mexico there was an amazing track and field event where a runner from Africa arrived to the finish line, which was in the stadium, long after the race was finished. He came limping into the stadium barely able to walk. He had fallen during the race and broken his leg. His arrival into the stadium was so late that everyone was packing up and cleaning. There were less than 1,000 folks left in the stands. The runner refused to stop and makes his last lap of the race around the stadium track. As he approaches the final turn, people stopped what they were doing and begin to applaud. Everyone left in the stadium gave him a standing ovation. Years later he was being interviewed about his experience in the Olympics. This runner, who was a poor farmer in Africa, was asked; “Why did you insist on doing that final lap around the stadium that day knowing that your leg was injured and you were the last to arrive, and it was very late? This humble African farmer answered; “My country did not send me to the Olympics to start and run a race, but to finish the race!”

Are we prepared to finish the race that the Lord has set before us? One of the portions of Scripture that speaks to me that helps me is that Psalm that is used many times in traditional services that speak a blessing over the congregation as a benediction. This is usually spoken at the end of a service, but it is really the Lords blessing over us as we are sent out with his blessing, his benediction! It reveals our Lord’s desire for his people.  In these short seven verses God reveals his heart for the nations and his desire to involve you in the process by blessing you.

Psalm 67.

v.1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, Selah

The Lord give you grace and he blesses you like an affirming parent, looking at you with endearment. Why does he do this?

v.2 that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

He blesses us so that His ways will be known on the earth, this includes all nations. The result of this promise or this blessing is found in verse 3.

v.3 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.

The nations will praise God because his kingdom has come to them. Will you reveal Jesus to them?

v.4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.  Selah

v.5 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.

When this is happening, great things happen! Harvest will come!

v.6 Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.

v.7 God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

The race set before us is really the Lord’s race, and we run with Him to take his gospel to the nations and to our neighbors.  He blesses us to be a blessing to the world around us, not forgetting the nations. Are we willing to finish the race regardless of how we perceive our condition, or our position in the race? As a proponent of simple, organic church life, let us not forget our Lord’s purpose for blessing us.

What should we do? Where to do we begin? This is something we do together with those we fellowship and serve. Do you need help finishing the race? That is why we need one another, provoking one another in love to do the Lord’s will. If you or your fellowship needs some help in this area, I would be glad to correspond with you or come to your group and talk about it. May you be blessed to reach those who do not yet know Jesus! You can contact me at dondavis@house2harvest.org

Blessings to You!

Don

Missions, Money and Simple Church

[For the sake of full disclosure, I have a selfish motive regarding this subject, I am involved in missions work traveling to Asia from time to time. My wife and I plan to do this in a greater capacity as soon as possible, therefore we are seeking more funding than we presently receive.]

Now with that out of the way, I want to share with you some of my observations regarding missions, money and simple church. (When I speak of simple church, that also includes organic and house churches in varying degrees) ].

One of the factors that convinced us to be more simple in our way of being the Church is that we do not have to raise funds to pay for buildings, big shots, programs, staff or parking lots. What a freedom to be relieved of these burdens. Of course most of our local mission to make disciples takes very little money at all; the cost of a cup of coffee, a meal, or just doing life together. The funds that are now available to us are certainly greater than before and we can be a blessing and help those who are normally forgotten, and left out of typical “church budgets.” Our income that is available in our simple churches and networks can do great things with just a handful of folks who give sacrificially, cheerfully and generously. (see the article: “Assessing The State Of Simple Churches In The USA Regarding Releasing Resources Toward Finishing The Great Commission” by Steve Lyzenga for a thorough look at this subject). So what do we do with our money now? We certainly have needs that arise within our simple church or network that needs attention. I am making the assumption that you are already making sure that no one in your simple church lacks and that you are following the pattern we see in Acts when a need arises. Mission also includes taking the gospel to all nations (people groups), and some of these groups still have no access to the gospel. How do we fund these efforts to reach the nations?

Here are a few questions to ask yourselves as you seek the Lord’s leading in these areas:

In your simple/organic church how are you doing missions?

  • What about those who are connected with folks in the church who have not yet become believers but have material needs, how are you meeting those needs?
  • Are you seeking the Lord regarding how you can now use the funds you have to minister to those in the “household of faith” so that none among you lack?
  • What about the unreached, or out of reach nations? There are over 6000 nations (ethnic or people groups) who are out of reach and have no opportunity to hear about the gospel of the Kingdom. (For more information and statistics about unreached people groups go to: http://www.joshuaproject.net )
  • Since we no longer have up to 90% of our budgets going to serve ourselves, are we supporting apostolic servants of the Lord who have been called to these unreached groups?
  • Are we sending financial support to those who are training others who live near these people groups to reach them?
  • Are we funding apostolic leaders and teams to go into an area to make disciples of a few new believers in an unreached area that will train them to be disciple makers seeing churches planted among their own people?
  • Who is better equipped to go and make a handful of disciples in an unreached area and prepare these disciples to go and make disciples seeing churches planted? I believe it is those who are now function as part of a simple, organic church are prepared for this hour to reach the most difficult nations (people groups) around us. Are you seeking the Lord as to how He would have you do this?
  • Is your network ready to prepare a team to go to these unreached areas and send them with the proper funding, prayer and training?
  • Are you part of a regional network that can link together in order to accomplish more than one single simple church could? If not, are you willing to be a part of one and if there is not one to be the catalyst to start one?
  • If you are already sending teams to the unreached nations and/or serving the needy in your community, are you willing to share your story with others?

I challenge all who are involved in simple, organic churches and networks to seek the Lord regarding what you should be doing regarding taking the gospel of the Kingdom to the unreached nations as well as to those in need around you. Remember, Jesus said: “This gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations (people groups), and then the end will come.” Matt 24:14. Let’s remember that the purpose of the church is not for our needs, what we can get out it, but to reach out and serve the lost and fallen world around us. We exist for others, not for ourselves.

I would love to hear about what you are doing or plan to do as well as how you are processing some of these questions so that we can learn from your experience. One way you can do this is to go to www.house2harvest.com and then click on the “Relationship Room” link and sign up to be a part of a network of folks who are simple church folks interested in doing mission and tell your story. Or you could just send me an email and tell me your story (dondavis@house2harvest.org ) I have a feeling that more is going on than we know.

….oh, and by the way, regarding my selfish motives – if you want to partner with my wife and I or want to know more about what we are doing let me know and I would love to share with you what we are doing and what our needs are. Send me an email at dondavis@house2harvest.org or you can comment here.

Parts 7- 10: Becoming an Apostolic Simple, Organic, House Church

Final installment of the series (Parts 7- 10) Becoming an Apostolic Simple, Organic, House Church: http://wp.me/pc3Ln-3k

Part 3 of 10: Becoming an Apostolic Simple, Organic, House Church

Don has just posted part three of a ten part series on house churches doing frontier missions. You can read these articles at his blog: The Dreaming Revolutionary

Join in with the discussion!

Simple Church Adopts an Unreached People Group

[This is a great report from Norm who is a part of House2Harvest Network]

The S. people are refugees forced to live in the desert for the last thirty eight years.  In July and August the roads, where they do exist, get hot enough to melt-down the tires on a car!  Water and food is shipped in by the United Nations.  Most of the men go off either to fight to regain their home land or find work in Spain.  There are about ten national believers in Jesus among the more than 167,000 who live in the camps.

In January 2008 I met a businessman who took a bold leap of faith.  He asked me how much it would cost to prepare and send a worker to an unengaged unreached people group who were oral learners.  I quickly responded with a conservative figure of $30,000 a year.  He responded by saying, “I want to cover expenses to send a team for two years.”  This gave us the capital to begin looking for a people and a team to send them to.  The Lord led us to the S. people.

At the end of the Labor Day 2008 House2House congress I ran into a couple who attended a few of the missions tracks.  While we were talking the Lord knit our hearts and I was able to give them some counsel regarding the call they were feeling.  I never mentioned the S. people.  A few months later Wayne* called me back asking that I mentor them because they have had a burden to work among the S. people.  Wow!

Wayne and Elizabeth* are simple church people in Texas and help lead a network of churches.  They are both around thirty years old.  They traveled among the S. people but now wanted to live with them.  In their network was another couple who soon joined them in their vision.  In November Wayne and Tom* traveled to the refugee camps where the S. people live, to begin the process of relocating their young families.

Since then we have had a few singles share the vision with the thought of joining the two couples.  The vision is simple…  teach English (much desired) in the schools already set up…  develop loving relationships as they learn about the people…  craft Bible stories into the local language with the help of a national…  enable the people to tell these stories to one another as is normal in an oral tradition culture…  develop inductive questions for each story which the people would discuss…  form the people into groups to worship the Lord and build each other up in the faith…  PRAY.  We have an expectation that the work the Lord is sending us to do can be completed after two years.

To help this vision we have developed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which enables us to all be on the same page. (I am a firm believer in putting things in writing).  Mentorship is underway and the team will soon be going through various training, including Elijah Company missions training (www.elijahcompany.org).  We are also helping by drilling wells and constructing an agricultural system which could be used to grow food in the desert.

There are risks involved in everything and there is a risk involved in this also.  But when I take into account that big agencies are seeing returns of 50-60% of the people they send, I am thinking there is something wrong.  On the other hand, there are strengths in the sending of people from an organic relational church.

Firstly, those going have been discipled and know how to disciple in the crucible of close relationships.  They know how to do ‘church’ as in magnifying the Head, the Lord Jesus, in the midst of each other.

Secondly, they know how to enter the homes of simple people who may never have the opportunity to attend seminary or have a church building.  Their clusters will be in huts and tents experiencing the anointing of the Holy Spirit as each member does his work.

Thirdly, the resources that normally go to pay salaries, do programs and maintain buildings will now be directly available to reach the unreached people.

Fourthly, they will not be easily forgotten by their sending fellowship because each will have heard the Holy Spirit speak saying, “set apart for me…  for the work I have.” (Acts 13:1-2).  Ownership of the team by the church will be great because they are close family.

For the S. people the story has just begun!  We expect the team to be in the camps within the year.  I am in the process of selecting twelve more unengaged unreached people groups and securing the resources to send teams to them.

The adoption of the S. people by the simple church network illustrates the possibility of replicating the same with others of the 639 unreached people groups.  The House2Harvest network has resources for training and mentorship in culture, strategy, prayer, personal preparation, business and more.  It is composed of people who have been on the field and are now called by God to be part of the sending process for others.

If you would like to know more about the 639 unreached people groups and how your simple church can be involved in sending or going, contact us at the House2Harvest Network or contact me personally as well as Steve or Don.

For the Lord of the harvest,

Norman J. P.

*Names have been changed for security reasons.

A Shift in Definition of Unreached People Groups?

Do we need a new definition for the people groups that are unreached? Has this term been so misused that it must be redefined? Should the shift in our understanding of church, ecclesiology and mission reflect in this definition, not to mention our actual practice when reaching the unreached?

Here is the classic definition that many as well as I have been using: “An unreached people group is a people group or ethnic group, within which there is no viable indigenous church or churches with sufficient strength, resources, and commitment to sustain and ensure the continuous multiplication of churches.”

Here is my proposed new definition –

“An unreached people group (nation/ethnos) is any people group where there are no followers of Jesus who are making disciples within their own people group.”

I think it is time to change this definition. My reasons for this is that this new definition:

  • Kingdom of God Focused. It will deter those who are doing missions in order to promote Christianity or their brand of Christianity rather than relationship and submission to Jesus Christ as king. There are several attempts of large denominational missions organizational to define the unreached as being those who are not aligned with them theologically, organizationally or historically (see the example discussed here – http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/when-the-reached-are-unreached). In reference to my own experience, I was serving with a large church in an Asian nation several years ago which was made up of a major ethnic group within that nation. At the time this ethnic group was listed as unreached by a large missions organization. After corresponding with them, it was concluded that this ethnic group was on the list because there were no churches of their “brand” among them. This was arrogant and sectarian at least. As this error continues, it justifiably brings the unreached people group strategy to question. Possibly an adjustment to the definition of unreached will deter this self-gratifying strategy of building one’s own kingdom within a people group will be exposed and possibly thwarted.
  • Acknowledging all followers of Jesus. Many are ignoring the huge numbers of followers of Jesus that have chosen not to align themselves with historic or organized Christianity, evangelicalism or denominational organizations. This definition will include them in the body of Christ, though separate from organized Christendom.
  • Focuses on making disciples. This new definition emphasizes the mandate from our Lord to make disciples rather than plant churches. Nowhere in scripture are we commanded to plant churches, but to make disciples. Jesus builds his church – and he can do it without the help of human organizations. Simply, when disciples of Jesus are being made, church happens! The beauty is when it does happen, Jesus is the head, and the community of believers continue on the context of their culture rather than becoming an oddity or foreign.
  • A simple, organic definition. This new definition is based upon the organic and simple multiplication of disciples through the means of relationships. This will focus reaching the unreached on knowing Jesus rather than militaristic strategies, marketing schemes, or tactics to convert from one religion to another (rather than relationship with Jesus). There will be little chance of misunderstanding the intention of the gospel messenger that many times sees them as a foreign threat that may bring colonialism, foreign religion, cultural destruction or worse, but plainly introducing the simple gospel of the Kingdom of Christ by lifestyle and dialogue.

After walking through a huge paradigm shift in my own life and way of thinking I have grown more and more uncomfortable with the definition (see above) for the unreached peoples and other similar versions.

Now I am not naive to the point that I think the “big guns” will immediately change their definition of the unreached. This would mean that their strategies will be reexamined, their methodologies will be in question and the “main thing” will be changed from planting churches to making disciples.  But I do hope that as I change my vocabulary to match what I strongly feel the Lord is saying to his people in these times, it will bring greater clarity and mission in my own life.

What do you think?

Simple Churches Doing Missions

As we begin to dialogue regarding simple churches doing missions, I would like to share a few things to lay a foundation for our discussions in the future. Recently at the 2008 National House Church Conference we held three sessions of the Missions Track. In our first session we discussed some foundation issues. Here is a summary of those sessions:

Session One: Why are Simple Churches suited for pioneer missions amongst the unreached and why is this the time?

We start with the assumption that simple churches as best suited for pioneer, frontier missions (the unreached) therefore now is the time to do it!

First, let me lay some foundation:

  • House/Simple/Organic Church: It is not about the gathering but our understanding of being the Church: relational, organic, and simple.
  • Unreached/Least Reached People Groups: A people group within which there is no viable indigenous church movement with sufficient strength, resources, and commitment to sustain and ensure the continuous multiplication of churches. To reach them is pioneer/frontier missions.
    • The world’s 6.3 billion people are made up of 11,259 people groups. 55% of them are unreached! (source: IMB) Note the chart below representing numbers of people groups, not individual populations. In regards to population less than 1/3 of the world’s population is unreached.

  • 10% Committed Christians
  • 20% Nominal Christians
  • 15% Non-Christians within reach of Christians
  • Unreached peoples – Out of reach
  • o   How many unreached people groups exist? There are 11,259 people groups in the world today. 4,729 are reached. 6530 of these people groups are unreached. (Source: IMB). These unreached groups have no viable, self reproducing indigenous church able to reach their own population.

    o   Where do these unreached peoples live? 97% of all unreached peoples live in what is referred to as the 10/40 window. 82% of the poorest of the poor live in this region,

    • Where do we (the Church) use our resources? Christians give $15 Billion a year to missions. How is that $15 billion distributed? (Source: David Barrett & Todd Johnson. 2000)

    • Where do we send Missionaries? According to Mission Frontiers Magazine (June, 2000) we see that most missionaries are going to the Christian world.

    Cross-cultural Missionaries per Million in major blocks:

    • Strategic Missions: Strategic missions is when the Church is following the biblical mandate that is summarized in these two verses:

    Matthew 24:14

    “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations (ethnic groups), and then the end will come.”

    James 1:27

    “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress . .”

    • Closure: Closure is finishing the task. What will happen?
      • All nations will hear to the point that the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to the entire world as a testimony in all nations (ethne) and then the end will come.
      • The Bride makes herself ready. This is referring to the prophetic promise in Revelation 7:9-10 where we discover that great multitude consisting of all nations (ethne), tribes (phule), people (laos), and languages (glossa) standing before the throne in front of the Lamb.
    • What makes simple church the best tool in God’s hand to finish the task? In our recent discussion in Dallas at the National House Church Conference Missions track we came up with the following reasons during a brainstorming session:
      • Less baggage – not bound to traditional, denominational, institutional models
      • Able to move and respond faster.
      • Understands Simple Church life – since the churches planted in unreached areas are simple house churches who better to plant these churches than those who are already doing it?
      • More Appealing to Post-Modern and post-church cultures.
      • No Denominational administration – free of sterile policies and procedure, but organic.
      • Apostolic (DNA) – Workers sent with a message.
      • Makes Disciples rather than plants churches – When we make disciples, church happens.
      • Financial Ability and Flexibility
      • Realistic Accountability - relational not policy driven
      • No Overhead
      • Kingdom focused – not organization focused. Not “planting any flags” for a denomination or Missions organization. Plus the message is focused on the gospel of the Kingdom, and not a theological grid.
      • No Bottlenecks – Able to be more spontaneous and able to respond to God’s provenience.
      • Relational like other cultures
      • Reproducible - church is simple, and able to be done by anyone regardless of the amount of education. No seminary experts, big budgets, real estate deals needed.
      • Economical - less money is needed.
      • Open to Creative ideas
      • Team driven
      • No Clergy
      • Indigenous believers are empowered and released in their callings and giftings
    • We can Speed the Coming of the Lord! In 2 Peter 3:11-12 we read:

    “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. . .”

    As the Lord fulfills Matthew 24:14 with us in partnership with Him, we speed the coming of the Lord!

    This session ended with a testimony and discussion regarding doing missions locally and reaching unreached Muslim populations in the United States.

    Session Two and Three: How Simple Churches can do Missions.

    This session was mostly interactive starting with a brainstorming session talking about:

    1.       What do simple churches need to do in order to reach the unreached nations?

    2.       How do we accomplish these things?

    Here is a chart illustrating the results of this brainstorming session (each item does not necessarily correspond directly to the opposite item in the column):

    What We Need to Do: How we can Accomplish these things:
    • Cast Vision and maintain awareness.
    • Identify the people group to reach
    • Go/Send to make Disciples of all ethnic groups
    • Do research
    • Understand Cultures & cross-cultural communications
    • Mobilize our house churches
    • Pray for the unreached
    • Be led by the Spirit
    • Stay Informed
    • Do missions here cross culturally
    • Take short-term trips
    • Pray
    • Develop our simple churches into missional communities.
    • Hear God – Only do what we see the Father doing.
    • Network together with other simple churches
    • Get training – take “Perspectives” and the like.
    • Gather resources
    • Read missions books
    • Develop funding plans, collect $ and send to the need.
    • Develop Business as Mission opportunities
    • Train missionaries, or facilitate their training
    • Learn the Language
    • Develop Partnerships
    • Model simple church being missional
    • Prepare for Church Planting Movements at home.
    • Do research on the field via short term trips.
    • Learn and adopt successful strategies
    • Live simple lifestyles
    • Talk and get to know simple church missionaries

    We then heard several testimonies first from a missionary couple planning to go to Asia and their challenges in regards to securing a support network in a simple church network setting. We also heard more about a network of simple churches regarding how they were reaching the Muslim community in their city.

    The discussion carried over to the next day as we discussed the following process and how simple churches can develop into a missions movement reaching the unreached.

    Steps Towards A Mature Missions Movement in the Apostolic Simple/House Church Network

    Mobilization Stage

    Phase I. Training

    Phase I. Training
    1.       Provide training and learning experiences. Contact House2Harvest Network for more information.
    2. Begin to develop Strategic Components of an Acts 1:8 Church in your simple church and/or network. a. Prayer
    b. The Lord raises up a champion for the cause of reaching the unreached and fulfilling the desire to be an Acts 1:8 church.
    c.  Clear written strategic guidelines
    d.  Adopt a Least/Unreached People Group
    e.  Giving Plan, Funding Plan
    f.  Short-Term Trips
    g.  Events focused on serving the nations.
    h. Begin Servants to the Nations Preparation
    3. Develop Local Cross-Cultural Ministry/Outreach.
    4. House Church network sponsors further training, coaching and consulting in understanding missions. This can be provided by ministries such as House2Harvest Network.
    5. Key Leaders attend World Christian Perspectives Course offered through the U.S. Center for World Missions
    6. Constant reading of missions books and articles.
    7. Finish the development of the Strategic Components of an Acts 1:8 Church (see #2)
    8. Identify Servants to the nations in your House Church Network.

    Phase II: Planning

    Develop a plan to reach the UPG
    1. Identify other churches and networks that are targeting your adopted UPG.
    2. Develop a preliminary budget – measure your potential financial resources.
    3. Partner with other churches and organizations in the USA a. Conduct or attend a UPG consultation
    b. Coordinate prayer efforts and information
    c. Assess organizational capacity of partnering churches
    d. Determine level in which churches can partner
    e. Formalize partnerships and networks
    4. Identify National Churches that are potential partners
    5. Partner with key leaders in national churches
    6. Conduct a short-term research trip in a region where the UPG lives.
    7. Write out your plan to reach the UPG based on your research etc.

    Deployment Stage

    Phase III:Team & Partnership
    Phase III: Team, Partnership and Networking
    1. Develop a support mechanism for cross-cultural servants to the nations.
    2. Identify servants to the nations and missions organizations already targeting the UPG.
    3. Train Your Servants to the nations.
    4. Develop potential Apostolic teams (if this is part of your plan.)
    5. Identify strategic locations and partners working among the UPG.
    6. Get to know the Apostolic/CP teams you are going to support, partner and network with.
    7. Revise your missions policy statement if needed.
    8. Begin to develop your cross-cultural disciple making strategy.
    9. Evaluate the readiness of the apostolic team and/or servant to the nations you are sending
    10. Conduct a Pre-Field Orientation and then place the teams among the UPG

    Engagement Stage

    Phase IV: Making Disciples

    Phase IV: Making Disciples
    1. Apostolic Team finishes pre-field Orientation.
    2. Apostolic Team does (and/or finishes) Language and Culture Study
    3. Disciple Making Movement Strategy Formation a. Training
    b. Development of a plan
    4. Strategy Implementation begun a. Resources Mobilized
    b. Team is implementing strategy
    5. Initial converts discipled
    6. Disciple Making Movement oriented church(es) planted a. First church planted
    b. Second generation of churches launched.
    7. Churches reproducing spontaneously (3rd and 4th generations)
    8. Saturation church planting underway
    9. Celebration! UPG Reached – Other UPG’s Targeted by churches planted.

    Missions Movement is Underway!

    (You can download this chart here:steps-towards-a-mature-missions-movement-in-the-apostolic-house-church-network1

    This brings us to where we are now in this process, and your involvement in the dialogue. This blog site is designed to facilitate the networking of simple churches to accomplish their desire to be the church where people live, taking the gospel to the nations in your neighborhood, your nation, and to other cultures.

    The “TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION” listed to the right at the top of the House2Harvest Mission Weblog is where you can go to discuss specific topics and learn, network and discover from one another so that we can reach the nations together!

    I am looking forward to hearing what the Lord is saying through you.

    A Plan – (in process)

    Over the past few months Steve Lyzenga and myself have been brainstorming regarding what House2Harvest Network will look like. This blog is adding to that discussion, and of course the round table discussion after the close of the 2008 House Church Conference in Dallas, TX will provide further discussion and hopefully implementation.

    Here is what we have written up so far:

    House2Harvest Network

    Ideas / Notes / Concepts

    Edited 7/10/08

    [The following description is a work in progress. It is here that we have merely written some of our ideas, dreams and brainstorming results. House2Harvest Network will begin to take shape during the “roundtable” discussion held after the close of the 2008 National House Church Conference in Dallas, TX on August 31, 2008. Here is what we have come up with so far.]

    House2Harvest Network – an equipping/serving ministry – a prophetic voice to the Body of Christ regarding facilitating the end time harvest.

    House2Harvest will serve the thousands of simple (house, emerging, post-modern churches and the like) churches by helping them become a part of a major mission movement focusing primarily on reaching the unreached, the marginalized, the poor, and the development of strategic missions both locally and internationally.

    We desire to help Simple/house churches and networks do the following:

    a. Be mobilized to the least reached ethnic groups (nations), the marginalized, and the poor sending apostolic teams to make disciples among them.

    b. Provide training to those who are called to minister cross culturally.

    c. Develop a plan to send teams to the least reached, the marginalized and the poor.

    d. Establish their own sending council or missions organization (via their regional house church network) so that they can effectively and strategically send apostolic workers to the frontiers (i.e. Strategic Church Network – http://www.strategicchurchnetwork.org).

    House2Harvest will provide training, consultation and resources to facilitate mobilization, deployment and engagement to the unreached as well as wisely engaging in ministry to widows and orphans and the poorest of the poor.

    Focus:

    • Acts 1:8. In areas where foundations have never been laid (the unreached) as well as targeting the marginalized poor (such as refugees, widows and orphans). This will be done via sending apostolic teams and partnering with already sent apostolic teams.

    Values & Ideas (in no particular order):

    • Never separate training from doing. Our philosophy of training needs to be “doing” based rather than just knowledge based. When we do trainings, it must involve real ministry and missions.

    Examples:

    Short term trip

    House churches set up exclusively for training servants to the nations and to reach specific communities, neighborhoods and social groups.

    Partnering with viable models that can be used as training points.

    Connect what they have learned with a ministry activity or project that allows them to put it into practice in the real world – not contrived exercises.

    • Emphasize the role of the apostolic over the traditional professional missionary.
    • Maintain the network via actual relationships rather than organizational and institutional tools and methods. This network will not only be focused in the USA but in other nations as well.
    • Encourage sending teams rather than individuals. This would also include partnering with already sent teams.
    • We are NOT to be an information monopoly – but work “flat” (starfish principles). Share what we have openly and not for the profit of an organization.
    • Income will come from training, consulting and coaching activities as well as hosting trips. Funding will also be secured from partners and grants.
    • Use different terms to communicate values:

    o Instead of Missions – use “Serve the nations”

    o Instead of missionary – use “servant to the nations”

    o Instead of church planting – use “making disciples”

    • Be willing to develop in areas where models do not exists as well as use of existing models.
    • Hold Conferences – round table style consultations in order to facilitate networking and sharing of ideas, resources, and strategies.
    • Provide Resources, web based, etc.
    • Provide consulting and coaching.
    • Assist in the Process of (this will be an integrated process – not linear):

    o Preparing

    o Planning

    o Partnering

    o Placing

    o Planting

    To Do:

    • Develop a network to connect, to send, to train/do. This will begin at the Roundtable discussion in Dallas (August 31)
    • Find out what House/Simple Church networks we can work with and develop a data base of resource people and networks. (part of Steve’s research)
    • Find out what projects need to be developed.
    • Develop Website and find a talented web designer willing to serve as webhost.

    More thoughts:

    • Mobilizing simple churches to:

    a. The unreached – the least reached ethnic groups (Matthew 24:14).

    b. Strategic mercy ministries such as orphans and widows and the poorest of the poor. Providing counsel to assist the SC to connect with ministries of integrity.

    • Serving house church networks and ministries for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God. Thus, keeping a Kingdom of God focus, and not an organizational, network, or ministry focus.
    • Work towards helping ministries/networks become mission, church planting, disciple making movements. This begins at home and will then spread to the areas of the world where Jesus in unknown and the gospel of the Kingdom is not yet preached.
    • The goal will be to stay flat (i.e. starfish, open sourced). Be viral – produce viral tools.
    • Potential Projects:

    a. Develop a prayer network that is missions focused.

    b. Maintain a list of networking partners (both individuals and missions organizations) who willing to serve to see the least reached nations reached through Simple Church networks.

    c. Maintain a list of what people are actually doing who are willing to serve as points for training and learning.

    d. Bridge Centers (Forward Operating Bases) in the region of major affinity blocks. (see description below)

    e. Develop and maintain a Web Site – Open sourced / equipping and resources. This will also serve as a communication hub taking all security precautions in mind.

    f. Training team of cross cultural, apostolic workers that will itinerate to simple church networks to assist them in the cause.

    g. Training Houses (M-Pact Houses – Missions Houses – see description below)

    BRIDGE CENTERS – FORWARD OPERATING BASES

    • Serve as a bridge/connector between the field and local churches/ministries/missions orgs.
    • Providing:

    o Resources

    o Research

    o Renewals for field workers

    o Training

    o Exposure opportunities for supporters and potential teams

    o Providing a forum and venue for a team of strategic coordinators for a specific affinity block and/or its sub groups.

    o Strategic forums for field workers and partners.

    • Local – in a non-threatening location
    • Key Component – Serve
    • Network with local practitioners in the affinity block and their organizations.
    • Network with local businesses and humanitarian/educational organizations to provide opportunities for service.
    • Host Short-Term teams, consultations, seminars, language studies, cultural studies, training initiatives.
    • Relational Connections will make it work.
    • Must be international.
    • Possible locations. Locations will be in strategic location throughout the 10/40 window. The list is not to be publicized for security reasons. There is already a working model in South East Asia.
    • Systems to be developed/administrated:

    o Short-Term Teams – Hosting

    o Guest House

    o Member Care for servants to the nations such as retreats and counseling.

    o Language School – UPG languages and trade languages of the region.

    o Consultation and partnering events.

    o Local Relationships with legacy/institutional/traditional churches, humanitarian organizations, schools and businesses.

    o Library and resources for servants to the nations and study groups.

    o Strategic Studies (i.e. IIS) and programs.

    o Pre-field Orientation School

    o Staging base for teams, research and community transformation ministries.

    M-PACT Houses

    A Mission House Concept: A place to grow, be equipped and change the world!

    M=Mission, Pact=A Covenant, A Promise until a certain goal is achieved. – Root Latin Pax = peace. Sounds like impact!

    A. Gather together approximately six believers who want to live out a biblical discipleship model as a team in order to:

    1. Grow in Christ
    2. Experience simple/organic church
    3. Make disciples in their neighborhood seeing the Lord build his Church.
    4. Serve as the team leaders for short-term missions trips through House2Harvest.
    5. Prepare for the mission field in the areas of the world that are unreached.

    B. Obtain house in needy urban areas to house the teams. These houses will need to be large enough to accommodate 6 singles. We will need a separate house for men, women and couples. The team members will need to be adults who are capable of living on their own.

    • The House will be run by the team. It is the intention that each team member will be treated as an adult and will be expected to make adult decisions together.

    o They will write up a covenant agreement among themselves establishing:

    · House Rules

    · Financial Responsibilities

    · Discipleship goals

    · Vision and Ministry goals for the neighborhood

    · Methods of accountability.

    · Training plan for cross cultural ministry

    • The team will meet together regularly as the church (all the “mission houses” in the neighborhood – men, women and couples).
    • The team will be responsible to make disciples throughout the neighborhood using the “Church Planting Movement” strategy and variations thereof seeing churches planted in various homes.
    • The team may also be a part of the core leadership team for the House2Harvest short term mission trips in the USA and around the world.
    • Each team member will hold down at least a part time job or attend college/university. This will be so that:

    o The team members develop real-life skills and not be insulated from the integration of life and ministry.

    o The team members will not be isolated from real life experience; their training experience will not be an “extraction” experience so that they will not produce disciples themselves via extraction.

    o This will provide the financial needs for the house as well as their personal needs.

    • Each team member will be responsible to raise the funds needed for mission trips. This may be done from the house churches which they have planted and other relationships they have developed through the Body of Christ.
    • The team will have a one year commitment to be part of the house. At the end of one year the can choose to remain as part of the team or leave. The other team members will also have voice as to whether a team member remains on the team.

    C. The coaching team will be responsible to:

    • Provide guidelines through each of the above activities and processes.
    • Provide training and coaching in the area of doing house church, reaching their neighbors, and cross cultural ministry.
    • Meet regularly with the team members for fellowship, encouragement and mentoring/coaching times.
    • Provide leadership and intervention when needed.

    D. The House Churches

    • The team will make disciples thus planting as many house churches as possible.
    • Each team member will facilitate a house church until the attendees of that house church are prepared to grow and multiply without his/her assistance.
    • The goal is that when the Mission House team leaves the area, the gospel continues to be spread throughout that neighborhood/community through the active ministry of each house church that was planted.
    • The house churches planted will follow the basic philosophy of house church and will not be under any denomination or hierarchal entity preserving the priesthood of every believer and allowing the house church to be autonomous.

    E. What do we need to begin?

    • Houses to be used to the glory of God in strategic communities.
    • Team candidates that are willing to follow the plan.
    • Funding for set up costs and missional outreach.

    M-PACT – “The adventure is out there!” M-PACT –“Whose life is it anyway?”

    Well what do you think – let’s talk about it!