EQUIP is a ministry of John Maxwell which is designed to equip leaders abroad to do the work of Christ.
Bill Bright predicted that 1 billion people would come to know Christ in the first decade of the 21st Century (by 2010). This is creating a need in the church:
4,000 pastors needed each month
2 million churches needed
EQUIP needs 200 trainers in the next few months
Where there are stories of persecution, there are stories of people coming to know Christ.
In Iran, a University shows Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ” with 25 students giving their lives to Christ each night. It is overwhelming the Church. There are not enough leaders to sustain such growth.
Suffering of the Body of Christ
~When the Body of Christ suffers, Christ suffers. In Acts 9.4-5, when Saul is persecuting Christians, Jesus speaks that he is persecuting him:
"Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
5"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.
~Suffering is a recurring theme in the books of the Bible following the Gospels.
~It is not in our nature to suffer
1 Peter 4.13 says, “Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ.”
Matthew 10.24 says, "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master." If Christ suffered, we will endure suffering.
~Can’t have the glory without the suffering.
Romans 8.17 "… if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
~When one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.
1 Corinthians 12.26 says, "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."
Persecution in our World Today
Open Doors International is a ministry founded by Brother Andrews (author of God’s Smuggler).
The Mystery of Faith
~God gives each of us gifts, not for our own good, but the good of the body, the church.
25I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship from God—given to me for you … 26that is, the mystery …
~The mystery is for all, Jew and Gentile alike
27God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
~The mystery of God in Christ
2 … they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
For Further Prayer and Reflection