. . . we the peoples of the Caribbean are at a decisive and perilous time for both our region and the world at large. For, I can see bearing down on us the dechristianising tidal wave out of the North,and the radical Islamist one from the Middle East. However, at the same time, we are the world's first cosmopolitan region, and can culturally bridge peoples of the North and South, East and West -- a potentially redemptive result of our sad history of colonialism, slavery and oppression, relieved in large part by the blessings brought to us by the gospel.
. . . is undeniable, many of us feel tempted to put such global initiatives off for another day, until the church in the region becomes "more mature" and able to handle such "advanced thinking."
I believe this is a key strategic mistake -- one that then has the tendency to divert our focus away from our individual and collective calling under God; which materially contributes to our observed imbalances and immaturity -- and not least, I think this because of the example set by the church in Antioch.
Let us therefore pause to take step 1a [with step 1b to follow, on principles of working together across our diversity and divisions]:
A MISSIONS WORK-SHEET/BIBLE STUDY
OWNING AND SUPPORTING THE MISSIONARY VISION:
1. The Antioch Time-Line:
A --> B --> C --> D --> E --> F
A: Church planted -- Ac. 11:19 - 21
B; Church strengthened -- 11:22 - 26
C: Relief effort -- 11:27 - 30, 12:25
D: Missionaries sent out -- 13:1 - 3
E: Missionaries Report -- 14:26 - 28
F: Further Ministry -- 15:1-6 ff., 15:35, 40 [Includes addressing theological disputes and divisions]
2. Let us reflect . . .
The churches in our community are at Stages: A B C D E F
To make further progress, we need to . . .
3. Messengers of the Good News need "Feet":
Rom. 10:14, 15 shows that gospel messengers must be trained, briefed, sent, supported, and eventually replaced.
When daughter churches have been planted, they need strengthening to become strong, vibrant, and missions minded in turn.
How can we raise up those who can be sent?
How can we support them and their work?
How will we help to strengthen daughter churches?
What are some “ripe fields” [cf. Lk. 10:1 - 16] to send out labourers to in the next 3 - 5 years?
How will we raise the required resources?
Why not now? Why not here? Why not us? END