Praying and fasting for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit of Holiness. Psalm 27:8, “…Your face, Lord, do I seek”
We seek a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit to live fully surrendered lives, with Christ as the center. This is true on the personal and the corporate level. We seek God’s face and listen to His voice in a noisy and broken world. We are up against powers and principalities that defy God’s holy work in people. This cannot be changed by human wisdom and strength, but only by prayer and fasting. With all the cultural and social diversity of our fields, we need a corporate discipline in our prayer lives. We incorporate the practice that every first week of the month we pray and fast together as Nazarenes on our region. Each field needs to determine the best day of prayer and fasting for their districts.
No initiatives are given birth without the work of God’s Holy Spirit. Nothing is sustainable unless we draw from the deep resources of Christ. No new creative opportunities open up unless we seek the Lord wholeheartedly.
PUSHING OUR BOUNDARIES
Pushing our Acts 1:8, “…to the ends of the earth…”
There are many countries (and people groups) in our region that have not yet been reached with the Gospel. Missions has been defined as “Taking the church where the church is not yet.” It is our responsibility to push our boundaries and not someone else’s. We cannot be part of missions without going ourselves.
However, we acknowledge that it is God’s mission, and that the church moving forward is first of all a response to God calling. In this way we align ourselves with God’s prevenient grace already at work, including even where the church is not yet.
In the coming four years, we want to enter 10 new countries. How can we multiply the number of believers and the number of churches in Eurasia? In what ways can we pioneer? We can only do it by allowing the Holy Spirit to empower us by taking us beyond our boundaries at three different levels:
Personal: We cross the street and meet our neighbors, initiating relationships and conversations in which we speak about our own faith in Jesus.
Local church: As a faith community, we reach out to a new community near by. What is our faith dream by which we contribute to accomplishing Vision 2020?
District and field: There are new countries we can enter as a district or field. This is something we can only do together.
We affirm that we, with the help of God, will be able to push our boundaries for the Kingdom’s sake. Pioneering, evangelism, and church planting will continue to be part of our faith vocabulary.
INDENTIFYING WITH THE POOR AND THE MARGINALIZED
Identifying with the poor and the marginalized. Phil. 2:6-8, “Who, being in very nature God, … made himself nothing.”
Mobilizing the local church in compassionate ministries is part of our holiness DNA. We speak and act, and the two cannot be separated. It will also help us, as a church, to become a witness to the people around us in a post-Christian culture.
We affirm that every local church needs to develop a compassionate ministry as part of sharing a holistic gospel. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) is the Church of the Nazarene. In making the poor and marginalized part of our church communities, we practice solidarity, we learn and serve together. The poor and marginalized have much to teach us about our dependence on the Lord, sharing our resources, hospitality, and so on. It helps us to face our own poverty.
In affirming that the local church is to be equipped, we also acknowledge that NGO-type programs, the required reporting and the huge amounts of funding that come with it, can be very challenging. We need NCM coordinators who keep us true to the vision of the Gospel of Christ that is transforming local communities. We are in need of competent, spiritually mature leaders who can keep church, mission, finances and compassionate ministries all together. This is an urgent prayer need.
LEARNING TO BE DISCIPLES
Learning to be disciples in our own place and neighborhood. Matthew 16:24-25, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
The mission statement of our church is “to make Christlike disciples in the nations.” We are not satisfied with people coming to faith. Our churches are to be places where we teach people to intentionally follow Christ in their daily lives, who in turn teach others to follow Christ.
We affirm that, to be disciples of Jesus, we need to know the Bible as the living Word of God. It will show us “how our love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight” (Phil. 1:9). We commit our investment in teaching children and young people to be disciples, who in turn can train others. We will disciple intentionally, motivated by the holy love of Christ, and with insight into the besetting sins of our societies that hinder believers in living their faith. We pray that the gospel may run (2 Thess. 1:3).
DISCOVER AND DEVELOP LEADERS AROUND YOU
Discover and develop leaders around you. 2 Tim. 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say… entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
We believe that every leader on our region has the responsibility to develop and train potential and emerging leaders. This should happen on every level, including young people, so that we will see new laborers for the harvest.
Challenge: In quite a number of cultures, people are not used to the 2 Tim. 2:2 pattern of leaders training other leaders, who in turn are also able to equip others. Second level leaders might be seen as competitors to the established leaders, rather than as team members who can grow in responsibilities that develop their calling and their spiritual gifts. In some cultures, only clergy are seen as the real leaders, while laypeople are expected to just follow. This is another hindrance to the development of the church and districts. It keeps us from delegating, and there are very few leaders around us.
We affirm that we will practice delegating to trusted people, who are also taught to train others. We will pray for discernment of God’s calling and gifts in people. When we hand over, we do so with clear instruction, regular feedback and help, and structural accountability. Teambuilding not only makes the ministry better, but it is also the foundation for the future of the church and the mission.