An atheist from Eastern Europe encounters the Living God. He comes to the US to enter full-time missions. What happens next? Amazing things!
Get ready to hold on for the ride!
Join us this week as Pavo Ivanov (pen name for security reasons) shares the grace of God in his life and his 13 years of experience in missions.
Right now Pavo is in a US city and is the program director for City Church Network. They make disciples among unreached and unengaged people groups. Their focus is on training individual disciples to make more disciples.
I learned a lot in just a few short minutes from Pavo and I think you'll experience the same.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
There was a time when Pavo and his family were just getting started in ministry and were going on an outreach. They didn't have the funds to cover the trip but someone loaned it to them. When they returned, God provided all they needed and more in a surprising way.
When Pavo was on an outreach in the Middle East, God revealed something to him as he was studying Genesis.
And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.
When God reminded him that He'd blessed Ishmael and his descendants, Pavo's heart opened up to the Arabs and the Muslims. He reminds us that it's easy for our hearts to become hardened but that's not God's plan.
Pavo is living in a US city, surrounded by the Nations of the world. There are ministry opportunities all around but it's not that the face of world missions is changing.
We have a unique chance to minister when they come here that we wouldn’t have if we visited them in their home countries. With today’s communication, what we share here will spread to family friends.
Significance in the Marketplace
We must wrestle with the ideas of the Levitical Priesthood and the idea of being a Kingdom of Priests. If we are present, the people around us are not among those who lack access to the Gospel. They have access to the Gospel because we are there.
A Little About City Church Network
Like it or not, there is segregation, even in our cities. Cultural and religious barriers make it hard to engage unreached people. The question is, how can we reach them all?
City Church Network engages international people with the Gospel. They look for people who are already have a cultural heritage and are open to the Gospel and begin discipling them. They encourage them to share, to start house churches, and to start groups that study the Scriptures.
- Pavo wishes he would have known more about financial stewardship.
Personal Success Habit
It's important to be a good listener and to actually care about people. It's OK to develop a strategy but it needs to be a relational strategy. It should help you find out who they are, what they're interested in, and about their family.
Pavo often uses the F.I.R.E. framework.
- F – Family
- I – Interests
- R – Religion
- E – Evangelism
One thing often surprises people from North America and Western Europe. It's the idea that a spiritual conversation is often a very positive thing. In many cultures, talking about religion is an honored thing.
Knowing that, and listening can often open the door to some probing questions. We can also engage people with the stories of Christ. But, if you start the conversation, don't drop it after one chat; that's suspicious.
Questions to consider:
- In your religion, how can a person know he will be saved and in heaven, with God and not in hell?
- Do you mind if I share what I believe?
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