I Have No Other Reason

April 2nd, 2013 by | | Posted in Mission Conversations

 

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From Revive Magazine (2013)

Pastor Benny was recently interviewed by Revive Magazine:

Pastor Benjamin serves as the Training and Leadership Director for the India Gospel League in Salem, India. Southeast Asia has been experiencing a spiritual awakening in recent years, and much of this has been advanced by the sacrificial church planting and leadership training efforts of Indian church leaders.

Revive magazine asked Pastor “Benny” for his perspective on living out the Great Commission:

Why did Jesus give us the Great Commission, and what is our personal responsibility to it?

Jesus started proclaiming the kingdom of God during His earthly ministry, and when His time was over, He handed over responsibility to continue this mission to His followers. This is the vision God gave—Jesus sees us as His partners in the kingdom. We are working with Him to establish His reign among the nations! Jesus started in Judea, and from there it must be spread to the ends of the earth.

This was the purpose of God even in Genesis—the same Commission was explained to Abram, when God called him and said, “I will bless all nations through you.” God often involves humans in His work, and this Commission is a great privilege for us. In worldly business, you’d have to have the same status of wealth or ability to work as a partner with someone—but God is seeing you and me as partners in His kingdom-business!

So you do see this as a personal calling, not just the job of the “church” organization?

Yes. If we want to follow Jesus, we must take up our cross—we have to carry His mission in our own lives. First, Jesus invites us to come to Him; then when we come, He commands us to go. That’s why we believe that every believer is at the same level as a pastor—we all share responsibility in this work. No matter what occupation we may have, if we are members of God’s church, we are part of the royal priesthood.

How does a Christian begin fulfilling this Commission?

The first thing is to surrender your whole life to God. You say, “Whatever He wants me to do, I will do it.” It’s not, “What can I do for God?” it’s, “What can God do through me?” You must be willing to be consecrated to Christ—let Him be your master.

Next, you need to have a servant’s attitude—be willing to learn. Open your heart to what God wants to teach, what He wants to do. Sometimes we are like Moses—we say to God, “I’m ineligible; I cannot do it, Lord; there must be another way.” At other times we are like Jonah, when we receive the call from God but we’d rather do something different.

My own story is like this. I wanted to be a church planter in a specific region of India, but God directed me to my current position. I had to finally say yes to God’s call for me. God’s plans are often different from ours! If you are ready to obey, God will call you and confirm things to you through His servants.

What about believers who feel unmotivated regarding the Great Commission?

Following, living for, and sharing Christ—this is the definition of the Christian life. If you don’t do those things, you aren’t a Christian. You need to read His Word and really consider what He is commanding you to do. In India, we encourage believers to share the gospel with someone before their baptism. That will help them grow and be strengthened in their faith. Only after they have shared the gospel are they qualified to make a public testimony through baptism

Practically, here’s what I’d recommend: Find some non-Christian friends and start praying for them. Take on the goal of sharing the gospel personally with at least one person every 12 months. As you pray for a non-Christian friend, contact him, share the gospel, befriend him, and spend time with him so that you can lead him to Christ.

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in fulfilling the Great Commission?

We cannot spread God’s kingdom by ourselves. We need the presence of God, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Before we share, the Holy Spirit has to prepare us and prepare the heart of our listener. This way we can present ourselves as the right witness before another person.

I have talked with people who think sharing the gospel is a special gift; but it isn’t a unique gift, it is a gift every follower of Christ receives when the Holy Spirit comes inside you. It is the nature of every Christian, because of the Holy Spirit, to be salt and light.

Why do you care so much about this, so as to give your life full time to train Great Commission leaders for Southeast Asia?

That is the reason God created me. That is the reason God has chosen me. In the past He has prepared me step by step for this in my life. Since I was 14 years old, I knew He wanted me to be involved in missions. In this generation, I am in India. It is a great opportunity and a great privilege, to be part of the Great Commission.

That is why I am here. I have no other reason.
>> From the editors: We praise God that through a partnership with India Gospel League, Revive is distributed to village church pastors and regional coordinators throughout India and Sri Lanka. Please pray for Pastor Benny and thousands of others like him who are involved in ministry to the most populous and least reached regions on earth.

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