How to pray for the persecuted

How to Pray for the Persecuted

How can we help those who are suffering because of their beliefs? Persecuted believers want us to pray for them regularly. By doing this, we can help them in a meaningful way, making sure they don’t feel alone in their struggles.

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Pray for the Persecuted

In this world, religious persecution continues to be a harsh reality for many. There is a profound and urgent need for us to stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters in faith. Through prayer, we can offer them support, hope, and the assurance that they are not alone in their trials.

  1. Pray for their safety. The most immediate and heartfelt prayer for the persecuted is for their safety. Ask that God’s protective hand be upon them, shielding them from harm and danger.
  2. Pray that, in the midst of suffering, they will know God’s presence. In the midst of unimaginable suffering, it’s crucial that they feel God’s presence and comfort. Pray that they find solace in their faith and never feel abandoned.
  3. Ask that these believers will not feel alone and isolated. We want them to remember that someone is praying for them, and that God will comfort them.
  4. Pray that they will be obedient during their suffering. Despite the trials they face, pray that persecuted believers remain obedient to their faith. May they stand firm in their convictions and not waver under pressure.
  5. Ask that, supernaturally, they will be able to love their persecutors. One of the most remarkable aspects of faith is the capacity to love even those who persecute us. If these believers can supernaturally love their persecutors, it can be a powerful testimony.
  6. Pray that they will win many to the Kingdom of God and be bold in their witness. Ask that they continue to be bold witnesses for Christ even in the face of adversity. Pray that through their endurance, many hearts will be won over to the Kingdom of God.
  7. Ask for a deeper understanding of God’s Word and of songs and stories. Request a deeper understanding of God’s Word, songs, and stories for the persecuted. May they draw strength and wisdom from these sources as they navigate their challenging journey.
  8. Ask that they will not be fearful. Pray that fear does not hold them captive. May they find courage in their faith to face whatever may come their way.
  9. Pray that they will glorify Christ every day. Encourage them to glorify Christ every day, even in the most challenging circumstances. Their unwavering faith can serve as a beacon of hope for others.
  10. Pray that we will be faithful to remember them. Let us pray that we remain faithful in remembering and supporting our persecuted brethren. May we never forget their struggles and continue to lift them up in prayer.
  11. Ask that we will all have an eternal mindset. Ask for an eternal perspective for both the persecuted and ourselves. May we all find solace in the hope of an everlasting Kingdom where suffering and persecution will cease.

Remember, our prayers are a powerful force that can transcend borders and circumstances. As we unite in prayer for the persecuted, we become part of a global movement of compassion, hope, and unwavering faith. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Redeeming the Breakfast Table

Redeeming the Breakfast Table with Daily Devotions

Nik and Ruth conclude a series on worship in the home by giving us a personal look into how they pray and worship around their breakfast table – whether as a couple, a family, with guests, and even the lost. Additionally, they share with listeners how they end their day in prayer and worship with a global perspective.

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Daily Devotions from Sunrise to Sunset

Nik Ripken and Ruth’s journey through worship within the context of their home offers a profound lesson in devotion, community, and empathy. Their morning rituals as a couple set the tone for the day, fostering intimacy with God. Family worship also deepens their connections with each other, their missionary team, and the church. Ruth Ripken emphasizes that establishing daily devotions is critical to the success of a missionary on the field:

It’s the relationship that I have with the Father that transcends all of those tools and all of those books… My time in the Word has to be the richest time that I have during the day. I think that’s something we need to figure out. It’s not that when you go to the mission field that there’s a magic wand… here’s what you need to do. You’re going to need to figure this out.

By sharing their table with both believers and non-believers, Nik and Ruth demonstrate the transformative power of love and acceptance. Their evening prayers, resonating with a global perspective, remind us of the wider world that calls for our empathy and intercession.

In embracing these practices, the Ripkens invite us to practice daily devotions in our everyday lives. Nik and Ruth’s insight into daily worship provides a roadmap for personal growth. They teach us that worship creates a deeper, more connected life with God and humanity.

Prayer Cards

The Ripkens base their daily devotions on four prayer cards each day. These cards hold the aspirations, worries, and dreams of those who choose to share their burdens. Whether you are working through worries, seeking strength, or simply longing for a sense of connection, consider reaching out to Nik and Ruth through a prayer card. The mailing address is PO Box 1414, Shelbyville, Kentucky 40066.

Personal Worship

Ruth Starts Her Day With Personal Worship

In a world brimming with distractions and demands, finding moments of tranquility and spiritual nourishment can seem like a daunting task. But for Ruth Ripken, moments of personal worship and devotion are not just a luxury. These elements are a lifeline.

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A Way to Start the Day

Ruth Ripken, together with her husband Nik, has ventured across countries and cultures, touching lives and spreading the word of God. Ruth has always found time to cultivate her personal prayer time each morning, even before the sun graces the horizon. With a heart eager to embrace the day, Ruth engages in the timeless act of studying Bible verses. This early connection with scripture sets the tone for her day, grounding her in faith and purpose.

What sets Ruth’s devotion journey apart is her keen ability to find a “holy place” within the various houses the Ripkens have called home. From a tranquil patio to the warmth of a guest room and the comfort of a rocking chair, these spaces become her sanctuaries. Regardless of external challenges, these personal oases provide Ruth with a sacred space to commune with God. For Ruth, devotion is not just a scheduled event; it’s a way of life.

Devotion Without Borders

As Ruth Ripken gracefully shares her devotion mechanics, she also imparts the profound significance it holds. She reminds us that geographic borders do not define where devotion can take place. In countries where religious freedom thrives, as well as in places where worship is a forbidden luxury, personal worship remains a way to stay spiritually healthy and mentally strong.

For Ruth, mornings are a symphony of prayer, scripture, and reflection. It’s a time to shed the weights of the world and seek solace in God’s presence. She teaches us that devotion isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor; it’s a deeply personal and authentic pursuit. Ruth’s dedication to finding a “holy place” underscores the importance of creating intentional spaces for spiritual growth, even amidst the hustle and bustle of life. It’s a reminder that true devotion requires deliberate effort and mindfulness.

Family Worship

Cultivate Faith at Home With Family Worship

Whether you are overseas or in the Bible Belt of America, worship in homes is one of the most basic and crucial components of healthy believers. Nik and Ruth and their grandsons, Jonah and Maddox, model the joy-filled and simple practice of family devotions. Come join them in their living room as they show you how to worship and pray together as a family!

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The Foundation of Family Worship

Nik Ripken’s journey as a missionary has led him to realize that the intimacy of a family setting often builds strong faith foundations. Regardless of whether they are ministering in a foreign land or in their own community, Nik and Ruth Ripken hold family worship as an essential aspect of their daily lives. This practice strengthens their own faith and passes down a legacy of devotion to the next generation.

The Inclusivity of Worship

One of the remarkable aspects of Nik Ripken’s family worship is its inclusivity. Gathered in their living room, Nik, Ruth, and their grandsons Jonah and Maddox display the unity and closeness they share as a family. In this room, age, experience, and knowledge are irrelevant—everyone’s voice is heard, and every heart is engaged in worship. Nik believes that faith is not exclusive to adults. Even the youngest members of the family can contribute their unique perspectives and prayers.

Scripture-Centered Devotions

Central to the Ripken family’s worship is the Word of God. Nik takes time to read and reflect on passages from the Bible and other Christian authors. This fosters a culture of deep engagement with the Scriptures. Through open discussions, each family member shares their insights, questions, and personal revelations inspired by the reading. This interactive exchange not only encourages spiritual growth but also nurtures an environment where everyone’s thoughts are valued and respected.

The Power of Prayer

Prayer is another cornerstone of Nik Ripken’s family worship. The family members take turns praying for one another, their community, and the world at large. This act of intercession strengthens their bond as they collectively pour out their hearts before God. In their prayers, the family not only seeks guidance and protection but also demonstrates their shared commitment to being a force for positive change in the world.

Modeling for the Next Generation

As Nik and Ruth Ripken engage in family worship, they intentionally model a lifestyle of faith for their grandsons. Through their actions, they show the young boys what it means to prioritize God in their lives. This modeling is a powerful way of passing down values, beliefs, and practices that will shape the future of their family’s faith journey.

From Mission Field to Living Room

Nik Ripken’s leadership in family worship serves as an inspiring example of how believers can cultivate faith within the intimacy of their own homes. The simplicity, inclusivity, and joy we see here strengthens their bonds of love and faith. Whether on the mission field or within the confines of their own living room, the Ripken family reminds us that nurturing faith at home is a vital practice that shapes the lives of believers and generations to come.

Seek Humanity in Stories of Persecution

Seek Humanity in Stories of Persecution

In our world today, there are countless regions where religious freedom is a given, where people can worship without fear, and where their beliefs are protected. However, this privilege should not make us blind to the harsh realities faced by those living in persecuted nations. In this episode, Nik Ripken challenges us to transcend our comfort zones and genuinely empathize with the suffering of believers in persecution. It is time to confront the human reality of their experiences, acknowledging the blood, sweat, and tears that stain their stories, and embrace the lives of these courageous individuals.

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Perception vs. Reality of Persecution

Living in open and free societies often shields us from the true gravity of persecution. Although we may hear stories in the news, it’s easy to disconnect from the pain and suffering endured by others. It is essential to recognize that these stories are not just abstract tales of distant lands. In other words, these are vivid accounts of real people grappling with unimaginable hardships.

Nik Ripken urges us to dig deeper and challenge our perceptions. The suffering faced by persecuted believers is not just an emotional concept. Rather, it’s a physical and tangible reality that leaves scars on the human spirit. Their struggles are not only limited to religious differences but encompass issues of survival, justice, and dignity.

To truly grasp the human reality of suffering, we must actively seek to understand the experiences of those facing persecution. This entails diving into their stories with an open heart and mind, willing to acknowledge the raw emotions and pain they endure daily.

Nik emphasizes the importance of developing a personal connection with these stories, engaging with the lives of the oppressed. By doing so, we can transcend the superficiality of empathy and instead cultivate genuine compassion. The persecution faced by these believers may seem distant. However, the human emotions they experience are universal – fear, hope, love, and resilience.

Behind each story of persecution lies an individual with unique dreams, aspirations, and desires. Similarly, they have families, friends, and communities that suffer alongside them. Nik Ripken challenges us to identify with these real lives, to put ourselves in their shoes, and comprehend the magnitude of their struggles.

factors that keep nations unreached

Factors That Keep Nations Unreached

Nik concludes a series investigating why unreached nations are still unreached by exploring the practical components that keep churches from sending and going. Nik looks at everything from the cost of personnel to weather. There are surprising reasons that are hard to overcome on our way to the hard places of the world.

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Extreme Climate

Extreme climatic conditions can create formidable challenges for evangelistic efforts in specific regions. Nations may be located in extreme climates, such as polar regions, deserts, dense jungles, or isolated islands. These environments pose difficulties for missionaries to reach and sustain their presence. These areas often lack proper infrastructure, making transportation arduous and unreliable. Harsh weather conditions, such as freezing temperatures, scorching heat, or torrential rains, can further deter missionaries from establishing long-term communities.

Moreover, the inhabitants of these regions may have adapted to their environment, leading to unique cultural and religious practices that resist outside influences. Isolation and survival priorities can overshadow religious curiosity, making missionary work a daunting task.

Expensive Costs

The financial burden associated with establishing and maintaining missionary operations in unreached nations is substantial. The cost of transportation, especially in remote areas with limited access, can be exorbitant. Missionaries may require specialized training, equipment, and resources to adapt to the specific challenges posed by the environment and culture of the region.

Additionally, language barriers and cultural differences demand the need for translators and local guides, adding to the expenses. In some cases, a lengthy period of language and cultural adaptation is necessary before effective evangelism can occur, further increasing the financial investment.

Low Number of Conversions and Baptisms

The low number of conversions and baptisms in unreached nations can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the entrenched religious beliefs and practices of the local population often create resistance to outside influences. Traditional belief systems and religious ideologies may be ingrained for generations and difficult to change.

Secondly, the absence of religious freedom or legal protections in these regions can hinder missionary work. Governments may enact restrictive laws that make proselytizing illegal, punishable, or heavily regulated. This hostile environment may lead to fear among locals and deter them from embracing new faiths.

Thirdly, the absence of established religious infrastructure, such as churches, religious leaders, and places of worship, makes it difficult for new converts to access resources and support for their newfound faith. This lack of support networks can lead to the isolation of individuals who are considering converting.

Reduced Funding

Insufficient funding is a recurrent issue faced by missionaries attempting to reach unreached nations. Missionary work is often carried out by faith-based organizations, churches, or individual volunteers relying on donations and contributions. However, due to competing global priorities, the limited attention paid to unreached nations can result in reduced funding for evangelistic efforts in such areas.

Moreover, the perception of high-risk and low-yield outcomes in unreached regions can dissuade potential donors from allocating resources to these endeavors. As a result, missionaries might struggle to secure the necessary funds for their operations, limiting their reach and impact in unreached nations.

These Factors Hinder Evangelism

Unreached nations remain a complex challenge in missionary work due to multiple factors such as extreme climates, expensive costs, low numbers of conversions and baptisms, and reduced funding. Overcoming these barriers requires innovative approaches, collaborative efforts between organizations, and strategic planning.

By addressing these factors, we can better adapt our strategies. Missionaries can leverage advancements in technology and communication, and foster meaningful connections with unreached people groups. Moreover, collaboration with local communities, respecting their cultures, and understanding their needs are essential to building trust and successfully spreading religious beliefs in these regions. With determination, sensitivity, and adequate resources, we can gradually break down the barriers to reaching unreached nations. This will allow us to usher in new opportunities for spiritual growth and cultural exchange.

Unreached People Groups

Why Are Unreached People Groups… Unreached?

Welcome back to our podcast, where Nik Ripken goes further into the reasons why unreached countries often remain unreached. Building upon last week’s discussion, Nik addresses a crucial aspect that is often overlooked: the significance of embracing and equipping missionaries to venture into the hardest places.

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Seek Out Hard Places

Nik Ripken highlights a prevailing trend among missionaries where very few willingly choose to serve in the hard places. These hard places often encompass regions marked by extreme poverty, political instability, religious persecution, and cultural resistance to the Gospel. While understandable, Nik argues that this reluctance to venture into challenging environments may hinder the fulfillment of the Great Commission. He emphasizes the need to recognize that not all territories can be reached by Western missionaries alone. We must also equip local believers who possess unique cultural insights to reach the darker corners of the world.

Equip the Right People

The reluctance to serve in hard places results in a missed opportunity to equip and empower local believers. These locals have intrinsic cultural understanding, linguistic fluency, and resilience in the face of adversity. In other words, they are often better positioned to penetrate the darkest corners of their own societies and effectively share the message of hope.

Western missionaries, while well-intentioned, may face cultural and linguistic barriers that hinder their ability to connect deeply with local communities. On the other hand, believers from within those cultures possess a nuanced understanding of social dynamics, customs, and traditions. By equipping these local believers with the necessary resources and support, we empower them to effectively engage their own people and transcend barriers that Western missionaries may struggle to overcome.

By embracing the challenge of hard places and investing in local believers, we expand our reach to previously untouched territories. The transformative power of the Gospel can penetrate even the darkest corners when carried by those who intimately understand the cultural and spiritual context. Moreover, equipping local believers nurtures sustainable movements and empowers communities to continue the work long after Western missionaries have left.

Nik calls for a paradigm shift in our approach to mission work. Rather than solely relying on Western missionaries, we must recognize and value the unique role of local believers in reaching the unreached. This shift requires intentional investment, training, and support to equip individuals adequately for engaging their own people and bringing about lasting transformation.

Count the Cost of Reaching Unreached People Groups

When Nik’s brother expressed his concerns about the potential danger awaiting those who would embrace Christianity in these challenging environments, Nik acknowledged the risks. Rather than deflecting or denying the potential consequences, Nik embraced the weight of responsibility. He recognizes that his actions may expose believers to persecution, but he remains steadfast in his conviction that it is still worth sharing the message of Christ, even in the face of death.

Nik Ripken’s unwavering commitment to reaching the hardest places stems from a deep conviction about the eternal impact of the Gospel. He believes that this transformative power has the potential to change lives, communities, and entire nations. The spiritual freedom experienced by those who embrace the message of Christ surpasses any temporal suffering they may endure.

Nik’s response is based on the biblical call to discipleship, which includes embracing the potential hardships that may accompany following Jesus. Just as Jesus warned His disciples about the challenges they would face (Matthew 10:22), Nik recognizes the reality that persecution may follow the proclamation of the Gospel. Yet, he encourages us to remain committed to sharing Christ’s message regardless of the personal cost.

Balance Ministry and Safety

Nik acknowledges that conducting English lessons can initially attract significant interest, particularly from Muslim women seeking to learn the language. However, he cautions that this enthusiasm may bring unforeseen consequences. The involvement of Muslim women in church activities can draw the attention of Islamic leaders who may perceive it as a threat to their community’s religious traditions.

In regions where religious tensions are high, ministry leaders must consider the safety and well-being of participants. Nik encourages church planters to lead these ministries outside of church property. Hosting events outside of a church location mitigates the risk of violent threats from Islamic leaders. This approach allows locals to participate without fear of endangering their families or facing potential backlash from their communities.

Contextual sensitivity is key in ministry endeavors. Westerners often view a physical church as the hub for various programs and activities. Is there another way? By adapting strategies to the local context, church planters can create safer spaces for individuals to explore their faith. Leading ministry outside of church locations allows local residents to engage in community initiatives without unnecessary attention or potential harm.

Conducting ministry programs outside of church property means that church planters can expand their reach and impact. This approach allows for greater accessibility. Individuals who may be reluctant to enter a church building due to cultural or religious barriers can still participate in transformative activities. Moreover, conducting initiatives in neutral or community-centric locations can foster greater trust and acceptance among the local population.

Partner with Trusted Locals

Nik builds collaborative partnerships with local leaders and community members to ensure the success and safety of ministry efforts. We work alongside individuals who possess cultural insights and an understanding of the local dynamics. In this way, we can navigate potential challenges more effectively while promoting unity and respect.

Reaching the Unreached Nations

Reaching the Unreached Nations

Nik argues that believers cannot ignore the call to reach people from every tongue and tribe, simply for the sake of convenience. First, he challenges the common idea that funding should be reduced in unresponsive nations. Next, Nik redefines missionary success based on the depth of relationships formed and the transformative power of sharing the story of the resurrection over a shared meal. In summary, this episode is about reaching the unreached nations.

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Embrace the Great Commission

The Great Commission compels believers to go into all the world and make disciples of every nation (Matthew 28:19-20). Yet, it is tempting to focus our efforts on the places where the response is more immediate and where the journey is easier. However, Nik reminds us that missionary work does not need to be convenient or comfortable. On the contrary, mission boards must support work in places that are hard to reach.

Countering the Funding Conundrum

Mission board leaders sometimes face a difficult decision when allocating resources to different nations. The prevailing notion recommends reducing financial support in unresponsive nations, as if the absence of immediate results indicates failure. Nik challenges this notion and redirects our attention to the true measure of success.

Rather than measuring success solely by the number of conversions or the growth of churches, he proposes a paradigm shift. Specifically, we can measure success by the depth of relationships built, the lives transformed, and the number of times missionaries engage in sharing the stories of Jesus while breaking bread in the homes of the people they are serving.

Nik emphasizes the significance of storytelling and personal connection as catalysts for transformation. By sitting down with people, sharing a meal, and engaging in genuine conversations, missionaries create spaces for trust, vulnerability, and the exploration of faith. This organic approach allows for a deep understanding of cultural contexts and individual needs, fostering sustainable change from within.

Perhaps the ultimate measure of success should be how many times a missionary gets to witness the transformative power of the resurrection while sharing stories of the resurrection. When lives are resurrected from despair, hopelessness, and brokenness, the impact extends far beyond mere conversions. Above all, planting churches improves and repairs families, communities, and entire nations.

Redefine Success

The Great Commission challenges us to go beyond boundaries, language barriers, and cultural differences. Nik Ripken urges us to embrace a new measure of success. In this new mode, the power of shared experiences, storytelling, and the resurrection become the cornerstones of our mission work. This is how we can reach the unreached and transform lives, one meal and one story at a time.

Becoming a Missionary With a Family

Becoming a Missionary With a Family

Embarking on a missionary journey is a life-altering decision when you have a family to consider. In this episode, Ruth Ripken explains the common fears that mothers often encounter when contemplating a life of service on the mission field. Join us as we explore the challenges, triumphs, and transformative growth that arise when mothers choose to follow their calling and embrace the missionary life.

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The Fear of Unknown

One of the greatest fears that mothers face when considering missionary service is the fear of the unknown. Moving to a foreign land with a different culture, language, and lifestyle can be daunting. Ruth Ripken shares personal anecdotes from her own missionary experiences and interviews courageous mothers who have successfully overcome their fears. By shedding light on the unknown, she reassures mothers that God is their guiding light and that embracing the unfamiliar can lead to incredible personal growth and meaningful connections.

Balancing Parenting and Ministry

Mothers often worry about how they will balance their responsibilities as parents with the demands of ministry work. Generally, Ruth addresses this concern by offering practical advice on creating a healthy balance. In particular, she highlights the importance of involving children in the missionary journey. Mothers can instill in their children a love for different cultures, while prioritizing family time. By emphasizing the significance of intentional parenting, Ruth demonstrates that serving as a missionary can be an incredible opportunity for children to witness faith in action and develop a heart for global compassion.

Education and Homeschooling

Education is another area of concern for mothers contemplating missionary service. The thought of homeschooling their children or finding suitable educational opportunities in a foreign land can be overwhelming. There are various educational options available, including homeschooling, international schools, and local educational programs. Missionary mothers often share practical tips on curriculum selection, finding support networks, and fostering a love for learning in children while adapting to a new environment.

Financial Insecurity

Many mothers worry about financial instability when considering missionary work. Ruth discusses the importance of relying on God’s provision and building a strong support network. She shares stories of how families have experienced miraculous financial provisions on the mission field and offers guidance on fundraising and developing partnerships with churches and organizations. By emphasizing trust in God’s faithfulness, Ruth encourages mothers to step out in faith, knowing that He will provide for their needs.

Emotional Challenges and Loneliness

The emotional challenges and potential loneliness of missionary life can be intimidating for mothers. Ruth addresses this fear by stressing the significance of building a support network within the missionary community. She shares practical strategies for nurturing friendships, seeking mentorship, and cultivating a healthy emotional well-being. By fostering connections and finding solace in like-minded individuals, mothers can combat feelings of isolation and find comfort and encouragement on their missionary journey.

Make it an Adventure

Ruth Ripken encourages families to adopt a perspective that sees challenges as opportunities for growth and adventure. Families can reframe difficulties as exciting possibilities. Mothers can inspire their families to embrace the unknown and approach each obstacle with resilience and faith. Specifically, encouraging children to ask questions, seek new experiences, and embrace different cultures fosters a deep appreciation for the diversity of God’s creation. By nurturing a spirit of curiosity, mothers can create an environment where their family learns and grows together.

Flexibility and adaptability are key attributes of any adventurous journey, including missionary life. Thus, Ruth highlights the significance of being open to unexpected changes and embracing the adventure of adapting to new circumstances. She provides practical advice on how mothers can model flexibility and resilience for their children, emphasizing that these qualities are not only crucial for thriving on the mission field but also valuable life skills that can be carried forward.

At the heart of making missionary life an adventure is trusting in God’s guidance and provision. Ruth Ripken highlights the importance of cultivating a deep and unwavering faith, both individually and as a family. By praying for their children, missionary mothers can instill in their children a trust in God’s faithfulness. Consequently, mothers can transform challenges into remarkable adventures.

Perfect Peace Casts Out Fear

As mothers explore common fears when deciding to serve on the mission field, Ruth Ripken teaches, “Perfect peace casts out fear.” Mothers may have a fear of the unknown or balancing parenting and ministry. Families may also have educational concerns, financial insecurities, and emotional challenges. Through her wisdom and compassionate insight, she instills hope and confidence in those contemplating missionary service. With God’s guidance, mothers can overcome their fears and embark on a transformative and fulfilling journey of faith.

building a sending and going culture

Building a Sending and Going Culture for Missionary Work

In the early years of their friendship, Pastor Tim learned from Nik Ripken that being a missionary involves actively participating in the spread of the Gospel. Today, both speakers ask us to embrace a mindset of sending and going while empowering others to do the same. So, what does a missionary do, and what does it mean to be one?

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What Does a Missionary Do?

In this episode, Nik and Tim emphasize that being a missionary involves active participation in spreading the Gospel. It goes beyond passive involvement and requires believers to step out of their comfort zones and engage with the world around us. Whether it’s sharing the love of Christ in our local communities or venturing into distant lands, missionaries are called to be living testimonies of God’s grace.

Additionally, embracing a mindset of sending and going is crucial for effective missionary work. Nik Ripken encourages individuals and churches to cultivate a culture where sending and going are central. This means not only supporting missionaries financially or through prayers but also actively equipping and mobilizing believers to be missionaries themselves.

Furthermore, empowering others is an integral part of a missionary’s role. Nik Ripken highlights the importance of nurturing and equipping believers to become effective witnesses of the Gospel. Missionaries are not just bearers of good news. They are also mentors, trainers, and catalysts for growth. By empowering others, missionaries multiply their impact exponentially, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond their individual efforts.

Through Nik Ripken’s early teachings, Pastor Tim and the churches in Kentucky experienced a paradigm shift in their understanding of missionary work. They realized that being a missionary is not confined to a select group of people who travel to far-off lands. Instead, it is a calling for every believer to actively participate, embrace a mindset of sending and going, and empower others to do the same.

Missionaries Embrace the Unfamiliar

As Pastor Tim embarked on his missionary journey, he encountered a profound sense of aloneness. He realized that the unfamiliar surroundings mirrored the isolation that many missionaries experience in their host countries. From the language barrier to cultural differences, every aspect intensified the feeling of being a minority. After he returned home, Pastor Tim’s honest reflections shed light on the internal struggles faced by missionaries. Finally, he highlighted the courage required to persevere in the face of such challenges:

Wow. I had never felt so alone. This is really what it must feel like sometimes for folks that go over there. I’m a complete minority over here. All of these experiences, from getting sick on food to the airplane trip back… that was its own nightmare. I got back and I thought – okay – now I’ve been on a mission trip.

This was the real thing.

You feel the lostness… everywhere you look.

Missionary work is not meant to be comfortable. It demands stepping beyond the boundaries of familiarity and embracing the unknown. Pastor Tim’s experiences, from falling sick due to unfamiliar food to enduring the hardships of an arduous airplane trip, shows us that true missionary work pushes individuals outside their comfort zones. It is through these challenges that personal transformation takes place, strengthening faith, resilience, and empathy.

Fulfilling the Call to Missions

The role of a missionary is a transformative journey where believers actively spread the Gospel, adopt a mindset of sending and going, and empower others who may live and think differently than themselves. Through the experiences of Pastor Tim and Nik Ripken, we begin to understand the challenges and rewards of missionary work. Stepping out of our comfort zone, engaging with resistant communities, and empowering others are not easy tasks. However, they are pivotal in fulfilling the call to mission.

In conclusion, Pastor Tim and Nik Ripken ask us to embrace the transformative journey of a missionary. May we leave a positive and lasting impact as we actively participate in God’s mission to reach the lost and empower others to do the same.