Guest post by Evangelist Matt Barfield:
Since the Summer of 2001, when the Lord touched my heart with revival, I have sought to more fully connect to his Great Commission. The Revival Road led to some surprising places (the Middle East, the Amazon jungle, and the Chin Hills), and along the way the Lord deepened my desire to see people of all nations transformed into disciples of the Lord Jesus.
This hasn’t been a lonely journey. My supportive wife, Chrysta, and our eight enthusiastic kids have joined in passionately. As we shared what the Lord was doing in our lives, other believers resonated with the revival/Great Commission connection that guides our ministry.
Three years ago, the Lord surprised us once again by opening up an opportunity to minister to people from around the world right in the middle of the United States! Our prayer all along was that the ministry we accomplished in the Midwest could serve as a template or at least an encouragement for others to reach people from all nations who have moved to the US.
Some amazing things have happened over the past three years. The Lord has used us to lead people to Himself from Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has raised up local church-based Bible studies for people who speak Swahili, Spanish, and Russian. Every week, we minister to people in 11 different languages, and because of this ministry in the States, a church has been planted in Ethiopia. Every stage has been full of blessings we never saw coming.
I wanted to put what we have learned through this stateside ministry to internationals in a form that other people could access and churches could implement, so I wrote a book. Next Door Nations: Make Your Church Intentionally International shares the biblical rationale behind ethnos–oriented ministry wherever the nations are found and gives some practical tips and ideas we learned along the way. One goal of the book is to help churches that embrace Revival to have a Great Commission-outlet for their ministries—right where they live. It’s the Christ-life and missions meeting in established, local churches, and I couldn’t be more excited about its potential.
If you’ve been looking for a way to help your church impact the world in a greater way through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, I pray this book will be an encouragement to you. The Lord is stirring local churches all across this continent, and he can use them to make disciples of “all nations” right in their own backyards.
As someone who has traveled to over two dozen countries for gospel ministry, I never anticipated being able to disciple so many different people groups in my own homeland. The Lord, however, has been surprising me for many years now, and I’m happy to see it all unfold.
Click here to get a copy of Next Door Nations at Amazon.
Learn more about how you can reach newcomers to the USA: http://rev5nine.org.
John Van Gelderen