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Bob Young

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Thanks for visiting our website! Picture of the Month: sharing the word in Pilanqui, Ibarra, Ecuador; a view of part of the crowd, two baptisms. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Preaching in Pilanqui

Ministry is always a team effort--Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 48+ years! Countless others have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. My favorite breakfast is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of quality coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to serve and share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature in Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!

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Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

It’s Sunday Again: “Did you follow me or did you do your own thing?”

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

“Did you follow me, or did you do your own thing?”
God’s eternal purpose is to bring people into and under the protective, saving Lordship of Jesus.
The purpose of a church that is fulfilling God’s purpose is to be involved in saving people and keeping people saved. When we have succeeded in the treasure hunt, we join the rescue mission.
Loving God means loving what God loves. Christians are passionate about souls because God is passionate about souls. Christians pray about souls. When Christians make a “blessing list” or a “most wanted” list, they show they are looking at people and are aware that that those people have souls.
We go out to bring them in. We send others to bring them in. The question is always the same, “How is the harvest going?” When Jesus taught about the harvest, he spoke of the need for more harvesters. The church has a lot of workers who are not harvesters.
Disciples of Jesus make more disciples.
We go out to bring disciples in. We are present where they are to bring them into Jesus. We proclaim him to bring them in.
We go to teach people how to become disciples.
When disciples do not know how to make disciples, we teach them how to make disciples.
When disciples struggle with following, we seek to strengthen them and teach them how to follow more closely.
Look at the ministry of the church. Look at the mission work of the church. God is going to ask one thing. “Did you do my work or did you do your own thing?”

May 2016, Peru Mission–Modeling God’s Purpose for Missions

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Mission is guided by God’s purpose. It has the goal of bringing people to a saving relationship with God through Jesus and keeping that relationship strong and growing in the context of shared faith. God’s mission work advances God’s purpose for salvation and the development of the spiritual body of Christ.

Four important mission principles are (1) that the effort be locally-led as soon as possible, (2) that it be participatory, with the involvement of the local church, (3) that it be outreach-oriented, and (4) that it has a vision for making disciples who make disciples.

Over the next 2 weeks, I will—
*Teach principles of mission, ministry and evangelism at IBI (Bible Institute)
*Teach at the Peru national conference of church leaders and preachers, developing preachers, leaders and members in the churches
*Work with churches around Trujillo, evangelism campaign, healthy church development, spiritual maturity
*Work with about 15 churches in Huamachuco: healthy leaders, healthy churches, evangelism

We must discern God’s plan for mission. Often we develop a plan without asking if it is God’s plan, or how it fits into and is consistent with God’s plan. I am committed to duplicating and advancing biblical models of mission:
*Going to new areas where there is no church to help establish a New Testament church
*Encouraging new churches and helping to share the Good News
*Going to established churches to work on healthy church dynamics and leadership
*Training others to do these things

It’s Sunday Again: The Importance of the Church

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

The saving work of God in the world today is exerted through the church. Nowhere does the New Testament describe a saving work of God outside the church.
Do not say, God has not called the church to greatness. It’s not enough to be great when God has made it possible for the church to do incredible things by his power. But God’s incredible work must always be focused in the church. Do good things in the name of Jesus, but remember that Jesus condemned some who did good things. If you would imitate and obey the Lord, don’t neglect the importance of building up the local church. Value doing God’s eternal will above all. Kingdom people want to reflect the compassion of the King, but Jesus did not give his life to meet physical needs. Jesus gave his life to purchase the church, to purify the church, to empower the church. That is the big picture of our salvation.

This should cause us to rethink the how and why of much of what we do. Simple but significant. Do not make it harder than it is. It is time for innovative analysis and thinking about what we do, how and why. In a conversation at the workshop, a brother lamented the tremendous fallout rate of new Christians. Assimilation is not possible unless there is a local church into which people are baptized. Healthy churches can assimilate; unhealthy ones seldom will. Spiritual leaders are a part of God’s shepherding plan. We are trying to do God’s work without one of the primary tools—a healthy, vibrant local body.

Here is what keeps me going in strengthening churches, encouraging spiritual growth, developing leaders and teachers. Every day is a special gift of God—going to bed with a dream and waking up with a purpose. God’s purpose is nowhere seen more clearly than in the church.

It’s Sunday Again: “the ministry God has put in your hands”

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Today I have a rare Sunday at home! I returned home from Nicaragua a few days ago. This has been a stressful week; this has been a blessed week.
Stressful–because the sprinkler system stuck in the “on” position after a severe storm, the gas is off because we have water in the line and it has to be replaced, the internet cable to the house had to be replaced so I was offline for a couple of days, as a safety matter we have to replace some inoperable windows in the house…. Those are the big ones, space does not permit (and you do not want to hear) the entire list.
Blessed–because of time spent with family and friends, time spent with Jan, breakfast with my sons, messages and conversations with lots of Christians with a heart for missions, the opportunity to work on new presentations for future mission trips, encouraging words received.

My brother Pedro from Nicaragua wrote, “Brother Bob…muchas gracias…may God keep blessing you in the precious ministry he has put in your hands.” Those words of encouragement reminded me that God has blessed me in wonderful ways. I continually get to work with, spend time with, and communicate with the most wonderful people on the face of the earth–God’s spiritual Kingdom family. We share common goals, dreams, and hopes. We long for the spiritual growth of the church and the development of healthy, capable churches around the world. We long for the salvation of souls brought to the feet of Jesus.

May I encourage you today to contemplate “the ministry God has put in your hands.” I am confident that God has something for you to do. Pray about it, find that ministry, and do it with all your being to God’s glory!

It’s Sunday Again: Doing a Lot with a Little

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

I spend a lot of Sundays involved in mission efforts–Mission Emphasis Sundays in the U.S., mission reports, teaching and preaching. I spend many more Sundays in various parts of Latin America. In the average year, I talk to a lot of churches and a lot of church leaders about missions. Speaking generally, U.S. churches are tremendously blessed with financial resources. Today I am thinking about how churches are involved in missions.
As I think about how we use our blessings and how we are involved in missions, churches have several options. Most churches receive blessing after blessing from God. Some receive more than others, but all are blessed. We have to decide what we will do with those blessings. We must decide what we will do. Some do a lot with a lot; others do a little with a lot. We can do nothing with a lot; we can also do nothing with a little. We can do a little with a little; we can do a lot with a little.

A congregation of God’s people may have limited resources and think they have only a little to contribute to mission work. I remind us that God can do a lot with a little. The question is not one of quantity but one of heart. When we set our hearts on fulfilling God’s purpose in the world, God does great things with our little efforts and our little resources. The Bible is filled with stories of God doing a lot with a little—Gideon, David, a little boy with five pieces of bread and two small fish.

Regardless of how God has blessed you—with a little or with a lot, pray this day that he will in his power turn that which you willingly hand over to him into a lot! He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we have imagined, thought, or usually ask. Let us dream, think, plan, and pray!

A “God Thing”

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

[Note: reposted from 12/27/07]

I must admit I wasn’t thrilled when Jan called from the U.S. to tell me the airport was closed due to the weather. I would be at least a day late getting home after a one-week mission trip that had drained me emotionally. I had two options. #1–The airline would fly me to Houston with no guarantees for a connecting flight. #2–Stay in Tegucigalpa, Honduras since the airline would rewrite the ticket for the next day at no charge.
…Hmmm. Given that I have more friends in Tegucigalpa than I do in Houston, the decision was easy. As much as I was anticipating being home and seeing Jan, I would wait 24 hours.
As a result of the delay, I spent the extra evening in Honduras with a group of Baxter Institute students who were forming a missionary/church planting team to the Dominican Republic. I wish you could meet Eulalio and Sarah. They will be the first phase of the team–-Dominicans arriving in the Dominican. Eulalio and Sarah just graduated from Baxter. He has an evangelistic heart, fervor and intensity about him. He has been directly responsible for teaching and baptizing 186 people in the last 2 1/2 years. I am sure that God is going to continue to bless this team with a great heart for God.
After dinner, we sang–-in Spanish, songs with too many words that went by too fast for the notes. Another English-speaking brother and I regaled them with an extra fast rendition of “I’ve got the wonderful love of my blessed Redeemer way down deep in the depths of my heart.” We laughed, until we cried. We prayed. We dreamed and planned. They asked advice; I served as advisor and consultant for the infant team. We talked about the early stages, about the need for developing leaders.
As the evening grew late but eventually wound down about 11 p.m., one of the brothers in the group said that my presence with them that evening was a “God thing.” Yes, even in my 24-hour delayed departure from Honduras, God was blessing events that did not go as we had planned. He was opening doors, controlling events, making new connections possible, equipping for the future. They asked if I could come and help them with leadership matters in a year or so. They said that if I could come, that would be another “God thing.”

God, we thank you for “God things.” We thank you when you act in our lives and we can see you at work. We also thank you when you work behind the scenes and work for good in our lives, and we do not even notice. Help us by faith to see you in all of your grandeur and splendor and presence.

Spectacular Sunday

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Yesterday exceeded fondest expectations. The 75th Anniversary Celebration at Plymouth was indeed special–renewing friendships, making new friends in Christ, sharing common faith. There were 327 present for the morning assembly, plus a few workers at the park preparing details for the noon picnic. The time was too short and the picnic was accentuated with raindrops. Fortunately it was dry in the open pavilions but the breeze was brisk and the temperature only slightly above 60 degrees. Welcome to a late summer (early fall) picnic in Michigan.
Sunday evening’s attendance at Holmes Road found the building pleasantly filled with an excellent crowd. The focus on mission was well received and the opportunity to remember times shared in the past made the evening special.
Of course, we are prejudiced but these are two special churches. Our lives have intertwined in immeasurable ways and we will never be the same. Churches form ministers as much as ministers form churches, and we have been changed by the ministries we shared with these two churches. We praise and thank the Lord for the wonderful way he leads us and guides us through open doors of Kingdom service.
After a brief reprieve, life returns to normal and several mission efforts await us in the coming weeks and months. But we are always blessed to be reminded of how good God is!

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