Presentation on theme: "Strongholds Do they Contribute to The Under Representation of of African Americans Americans in international missions? If so, How?"— Presentation transcript:
Strongholds Do they Contribute to The Under Representation of of African Americans Americans in international missions? If so, How?
STRONGHOLD A Definition A Place Having Strong Defenses; A Fortified Place A Place Where A Group Having Certain Views, Attitudes, etc. is Concentrated A Stronghold is not Necessarily Evil in Itself: It Becomes Evil When It Establishes Itself Against God or In His Place
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 3.For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4.For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (strongholds)
2 Corinthians 10:5-6 5.We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6.and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete
NINE POSSIBLE STRONGHOLDS The American Dream Cultural over Christ Economic Issues Poor Missions Education Family Issues A Spirit of Fear A Faulty Focus A Wrong Perspective A Lack of Trust
The American Dream Better Life than Parents Had Lordship means commitment to one’s Lord Trappings of Materialism More of everything Most recent innovations Two Issues Commitment Lordship
Dealing with The American Dream Understand the Stronghold Making the Dream Lord What does Scripture say? 1 Corinthians 8:6 Philippians 2:9-11 Principle Jesus Christ alone is Lord!
CULTURE OVER CHRIST One’s Culture Dictates His/Her Actions Example It’s a Man Thing It’s a Black Thing The International Aspect of Missions if for the Majority Culture: i.e., White People Blacks Don’t Do Foreign Missions
Dealing with CULTURE Understand the STRONGHOLD Culture Placed Over Christ What does Scripture say? Luke 6:1-11 Principle Christ must be placed over Culture
ECONOMIC ISSUES Can’t afford to go overseas as a short term volunteer Can’t take care of my financial obligations What about children’s education and my retirement Uncomfortable in “begging” to raise support myself & family
Dealing with ECONOMIC ISSUES Understand the Stronghold Trusting Material Resources Instead of God What does Scripture say? 2 Corinthians 8:14-15; 9:10-12 Philippians 4:15-20 Principle God’s work done in His time and in His way will never lack God’s resources (J. Hudson Taylor) (J. Hudson Taylor)
POOR MISSIONS EDUCATION No Comprehensive Missions Education in Churches for All Ages Little Emphasis by Key Leaders Poor Understanding of “The Call” Incomplete Interpretation of the Great Commission Few Relevant Models Failure to Relate Failure to Relate Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth
Dealing with POOR MISSIONS EDUCATION Understand the STRONGHOLD Lack of knowledge and/or understanding of one’s part in God’s mission Lack of knowledge and/or understanding of one’s part in God’s mission (Ignorance can be a Stronghold) What does Scripture say? Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Psalm 78:5-8; Proverbs 22:6; Matthew 28:20 Principle The church is to teach her people and train them in the ways of her Lord The church is to teach her people and train them in the ways of her Lord
FAMILY ISSUES Aging Parents Who will care for them? Better Life for Children Their Education? Their health? Family Solidarity Extended Family complains “Are you going because there are no lost people here?”
Dealing with FAMILY ISSUES Understand the STRONGHOLD Looking to man’s wisdom rather than the wisdom of God (Putting family before God) Misuse Scripture to justify doing what one wants to do What does Scripture say? Matthew 10:37; 12:47-50; Luke 2:41-52 Principle Trust in the inherent goodness of God and the fact that He will do what will bring Him glory and is best for His people Trust in the inherent goodness of God and the fact that He will do what will bring Him glory and is best for His people
A SPIRIT OF FEAR Fear of Failure Fear for Physical Safety Fear of the Unknown Fear of Rejection By other African Americans By fellow missionaries By Nationals to whom they are sent
Dealing with A SPIRIT OF FEAR Understand the STRONGHOLD Spirit of Fear Fear is not from God What does Scripture say? Matthew 10:28; Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:18-21 Principle The love of God and for God will cast out fear
A FAULTY FOCUS Not seeing the need as God sees it Surrounded by need daily Can’t see the “Big Picture” Lacks a clear Understanding God’s Purpose Forest/Tree Syndrome (Can’t see the forest for the trees)
Dealing with A FAULTY FOCUS Understand the STRONGHOLD Truth veiled by the god of this world What does Scripture say? 2 Kings 6:15-19 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 Principle Humans see only the physical world: God sees the big picture. Depend upon God’s directions, not your insight. Pray that the veil be removed.
A WRONG PERSPECTIVE Perspective of Self Recipient Rather than Participant The effect of Conditioning Models imposed by the Media Models imposed by the Denomination Models imposed by self The Effect of History Becoming a missionary is a demotion Not financially able to do foreign missions
Dealing with A WRONG PERSPECTIVE Understand the Stronghold Inability to see oneself clearly and precisely as children of God and participants in the Lord’s mission What does Scripture say? Deuteronomy 6; Proverbs 3:5-6 Acts 5:29; 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:2 Principle Rely upon God to show you who you are and make HIS perspective YOUR perspective Rely upon God to show you who you are and make HIS perspective YOUR perspective
A LACK OF TRUST Historical Basis Early Relationships between Black Christians and “White” religious organizations Early experiences in foreign missions Effect of attitudes of some early leaders’ Contemporary Basis Current views on race and culture Lack of Access to decision-making structure (brought into picture AFTER decisions are made)
Dealing with A LACK OF TRUST Understand the STRONGHOLD Insufficient trust in God (Misplaced Trust) Failure to forgive and forget What does Scripture say? Matthew 6:12-15; Mark 11:26; Romans 8:28-39 Principle Forgive and forget. Trust in God, not man
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 3.And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4.in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God
2 Corinthians 4:5-6 5.For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6.For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ
2 Corinthians 4:7 7.But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves.