What do you think about when you hear, “the Democratic Republic of the Congo”?
War? Unrest? Poverty? HIV epidemic? Suffering? Hunger?
How about “Gospel Opportunity”?
I believe God has situated our church to further His kingdom by taking advantage of gospel opportunities in the Congo. And as a church, we need such opportunities.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 8, he told them of the churches of Macedonia. These churches desired to take part in what Paul called, “the relief of the saints” which they did by “a wealth of generosity on their part” even though they were described as being in “extreme poverty.” Paul describes this as the result of the churches having been given “the grace of God” and in turn, “they gave themselves first to the Lord.”
We also need the same grace to see the needs of God’s people outside of our church and to give ourselves first to the Lord in meeting those needs as God would allow us.
With this in mind, let’s take a moment to see the needs of God’s people in the Congo and the opportunities we have to be a part in meeting these needs.
- The Congo needs gospel-centered and biblically healthy churches. The history of the Congo and the history of gospel ministry in the Congo have left a dearth of gospel-centered and biblically healthy churches. In the city of Lubumbashi you will find churches on practically every block, but the prosperity gospel flourishes. You will find a multitude of preachers, but biblical authority is ignored.
- The Congo needs biblically trained leaders to meet the need of gospel-centered and biblically healthy churches. A ministry called The Congo Coalition was formed to help train those leaders.
The Congo Coalition seeks to partner churches around the globe for the advancement of gospel ministry starting in Lubumbashi and growing to influence all of the Congo. It does this through providing training and theological resources to current and future leaders in the Congo.
Our church has already partnered with Seth Curtis and New Life Church in Lubumbashi and has great opportunities to help in significant ways.
Our church is poised to play an important role in the leadership of the Congo Coalition.
Our church will be hosting missionary Ethan Hines and his family on April 27th during the ABF hour and the morning service. The Hines family have partnered with the Curtis family to work together at New Life Church in Lubumbashi.
What could our church be doing?
1. Praying – the church should never underestimate the power of prayer. Prayer has ever been the catalyst for great movements by God in the church. God has chosen fit to work through the pleading of his people, so this truth should motivate us to be prayerful.
- Pray for God’s mercy on the people of Congo, specifically Lubumbashi.
- Pray for God’s power and presence in the gospel ministry. For those in Lubumbashi: like the Curtis family, New Life Church, and godly pastors and trainees; for those going to Lubumbashi: like the Hines family, teachers, and mentors; for those supporting those going: like The Congo Coalition with its administrators and advisory panel.
- Pray for God’s glory to be seen. We all need and long to see God work. Let’s pray that we would see it now, through this opportunity.
2. Supporting – the church is where ministry happens, it is God’s labor force. Join in by taking on a task. A lot of things will be done and you could be God’s means of accomplishing them. For example you could:
- Find resources or pack them up for shipment.
- Contact churches or mail letters to get the word out.
- Connect with missionaries or plan trips and events.
3. Giving – the church is the main means by which God provides funding for gospel ministry. Like the churches of Macedonia, whether we find ourselves in extreme poverty, extravagant prosperity, or somewhere in between, we can allow our abundance of joy to overflow in a wealth of generosity. Financial investment tends to increase personal involvement.
- Give to your church, allowing it to raise support for the Curtis family and take on support for the Hines family.
- Give to your church, allowing it to raise support for the Congo Coalition.
- Give personally, to support those going to the Congo.
- Give personally, to support the Congo Coalition.
4. Going – the church is made up of God’s gathered people. So, for the church to take full advantage of the gospel opportunities some of God’s people will need to go. The specific need is for gifted teachers and mentors. This may be short term trips for teaching or it may be long term trips for mentoring and church formation.
We have many opportunities. I beg you to take up the first suggestion here and begin praying. Anything else you choose to do is not greater than this seemingly simple, yet profoundly important task. If you are interested in doing more, please speak with me.
I am excited about introducing you to the Hines family. You can learn more about them at www.treasureofcongo.com.
Learn more about the Congo Coalition at www.congocoalition.org.