Spring Schools

We are so excited to be running a School of Biblical Foundations & Missions alongside our Discipleship Training School this Spring! We have a total of 16 students which is more than a typical Spring trimester. We have not run a Spring SBFM since 2012 and are so blessed to have a number of students from the Fall 2017 DTS coming right back to join us for the next phase of their ministry preparation.

The foundational verse for the SBFM helps the students keep their academic studies in proper perspective:

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.

– Philippians 3:7-8

As we train young people for ministry, we endeavor to remain humble regarding education, “achievements”, and “accomplishments”. We remember that our identity is found in Christ alone; we are His children, His heirs. We need no more credentials than that to be accepted by God. Our primary goal must be to cultivate our relationship with Him and from that foundation flows the empowerment to reach out to others with the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Fall Schools Graduate / Winter School Prepares for outreach

We recently graduated the Fall 2017 DTS & SBFM. We heard great reports from the outreach teams. About 8 of the DTS students are returning in April to attend the Spring School of Biblical Foundations & Missions. This is the first time in a number of years we have run an SBFM in the Spring quarter. It is such a joy to observe the work of God not only in the lives of our students, but also through them as the serve in Asia and here on Maui. Our attitude is that the short-term should serve the long-term. In our ministries, we endeavor to partner with long-term workers in a way that is helpful to their long range goals.

The Winter DTS has been going so well. Something that has made this particular session so special is having 3 married couples going through the school. In e few weeks, they’ll be heading off to Asia in 3 different teams for the outreach phase.

YWAM Maui - Debriefing week - February 2018

YWAM Maui – Debriefing week – February 2018

Outreach Teams sent out & new YWAM Maui Website

Last week, we commissioned 2 outreach teams from the Discipleship Training School and 1 outreach team from the School of Biblical Foundations & Missions. It was such a joy to see these students and staff eagerly heading out to Asia for the next 3 months to serve with our ministry partners there. Please pray for protection and fruitful ministry.

Today we launched our updated website for Youth With A Mission Maui. Check it out: www.ywammaui.org

Crossroads

Here at YWAM Maui, we strive to live by the truth of the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Without God’s Absolute Truth as revealed to us in the Bible, we would just be like boats floating on a sea of relativity with nothing to anchor us. Without the Holy Spirit, we would be powerless to make God known and to influence our world. But holding these together is a powerful combination.

In our YWAM training, we strongly emphasize the Biblical Christian Worldview as integral to discipleship. Our goal is to build foundations for the next generation in both the written Word and the Living Word. In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus tells of the man who built his house on a solid foundation, “And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” (KJV). If our foundation is firmly rooted in Christ and in the scriptures, we will not be shaken when the storms of life ‘should threaten to undo us.’

Occasionally, I get the opportunity to teach on the Christian Worldview in other locations. This week I am at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii teaching in the Crossroads Discipleship Training School. This DTS is geared for those who are 30 years old and up. There are about 30 students in this school ranging in age from 28 to 74 years old from 10 different nations. As I’m used to speaking to millenials, I’m looking forward to the classroom dynamics of teaching those with more life experience.

500th Anniversary of the Reformation

October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. The Lord used Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses to the door of the church to spark a movement among Christians to return to the Bible as the final authority on religious matters and to the understanding that salvation is by faith in Christ, not in one’s good works. The legacy of this return to the biblical scriptures is hard to overestimate. Indeed, we are still enjoying the fruit of this movement to this very day. The foundation of so much that we take for granted was laid by the biblical teaching of the Reformers. The arts, political theories and institutions, economic development, and greater spiritual understanding all advanced greatly because of the Reformation.

The foundational ideas of the Reformation are summarized in the 5 “solas” or “alones”:

Solus Christus (Christ alone),

Sola Gratia (salvation through grace alone),

Sola Fide (justification through faith alone),

Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone as our final authority),

and Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be the glory).

While these ideas have continued to influence Evangelical Christianity to our own day, as I work with Christian young people from around the world, I see evidence of a great drift away from these roots. (See previous blog post from August 15 regarding “drift”.) As author Os Guinness so clearly stated in his book, Prophetic Untimeliness: “A great part of the evangelical community has transferred authority from Sola Scriptura to Sola Cultura.” (p. 65)

Indeed, our current post-modern culture seems to have more influence on our thinking than does the Bible. Decades ago, Harry Blamires opined that, “Except over a very narrow field of thinking, chiefly touching questions of strictly personal conduct, we Christians in the modern world accept, for the purpose of mental activity, a frame of reference constructed by the secular mind and a set of criteria reflecting secular evaluations. There is no Christian mind; there is no shared field of discourse in which we can move at ease as thinking Christians by trodden ways and past established landmarks” (The Christian Mind, 1963). If that was an assessment in the 1960’s, where are we now?

Sadly, we have allowed the intellectual influences in Western culture to be dominated by secular humanists or those espousing Eastern Philosophy. And as these influences shape culture, the basis of many believers’ faith has become based on experience rather than based on the truth of the Word. Without having one’s faith anchored in the truth as revealed to us by God, doctrine and theological beliefs are often decided upon based on the feelings received by a given teaching or dynamic teacher. Thus, by conforming to the thinking patterns of the world, many Christians have blended false religious and philosophical ideas with their Christian faith.

This week, I am teaching on the topic of “Christian Worldview” in our DTS here on Maui. In a couple weeks, I’ll be teaching the same topic for a week at the Crossroads DTS in Kona. The goal of this week is to introduce our students to the fact that they have been influenced by the spirit of the age (the thinking patterns of the world) and that there is a way of viewing the world from a biblical perspective.

As pollster, George Barna, suggests, “Without a biblical worldview, all the great teaching goes in one ear and out the other. There are no intellectual pegs… in the mind of the individual to hang these truths on. So they just pass through. They don’t stick. They don’t make a difference.” We urgently need another Reformation – a renewal of both the desire and the determination to relearn and to reaffirm how the Bible applies to all of life.

School Leading for SBFM again

This Fall, Tom is leading the School of Biblical Foundations & Missions again for the first time in several years. This will be a lot to add to Tom’s plate, however, he has a team of great staff who are part of the SBFM.

Staff and Students of the Fall 2017 SBFM

Staff and Students of the Fall 2017 SBFM

The purpose of the SBFM is to respond to the worldwide need for discipleship among Christians-discipleship which brings believers to a place of wholehearted obedience to God’s commands. The SBFM will focus on the personal discipleship of each student and preparing them to disciple other believers.

We have 8 students from 3 countries going through this secondary program and look forward to what the Lord will do in the lives of these students.

Inheritance & Legacy

Inheritance & legacy has been a significant theme this past year or so. Perhaps it’s because of the reminiscing during my Mom’s passing in 2016 or the looking to the future with my oldest son’s graduation from high school. I’ve been increasingly aware of the need to be thankful to those who’ve come before us and be faithful to prepare the way for those who will continue after us.

Recent students whose parents served with us during our early days in YWAM.

Recent students whose parents served with us during our early days in YWAM.

Our mission at YWAM Maui is to build foundations for the next generation in the Living Word and the Written Word. Well, the children of friends whom we served with 20 years ago are beginning to come for the Discipleship Training School. This year we’ve had 3 such second-generation students and one more is applying for the January school. Also, 2 of my nieces have joined our full-time staff and our own son, Timothy, will be attending DTS at YWAM’s University of the Nations in Kona, HI in January.

It is so encouraging to see the fruit of the work of God through this ministry being passed on to the next generation. Alumni have been communicating their thankfulness for the time they spent here at YWAM Maui as it prepared them for the challenges of living the Christian life in the midst of a broken culture. So many people have come through here from many nations and have gone all over the world in obedience to God’s calling. It is such an honor to be part of their lives and their preparation for service to the Lord.

YWAM Maui Blog

YWAM MAUI BLOG SITE

 

He’s Alive!

“1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb… 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 …the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest…11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.” – Luke 24:1-12

Empty Tomb in Israel

Empty Tomb in Israel

One of the great things about Resurrection Sunday, is that for many people, it is a time to pause, take a breath, step back from the worries of life and celebrate the most important event in Human History. But let us not forget the state of the world in which we are celebrating the Resurrection…

There continues to be a deep sense of uncertainty and insecurity characterizes the world today. You can almost feel it in the air. Indeed, it is difficult to keep up with all the wars, terrorist attacks, violent conflicts, and threats that are erupting across the globe.

In the midst of turmoil, people tend to look for someone who can solve the problems; for some institution or individual leader to provide answers. Often times, people have looked to the government for solutions to our most serious problems. Some form of socialism is seen by many to be the path to take. But more and more people are beginning to realize that governments are often part of the problem. The confidence they once had in the State is beginning to crumble.

Many years ago, I heard Ravi Zacharias tell the Story of Billy Graham meeting with the Chancellor of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, shortly after WWII. This political leader had the responsibility of picking up the pieces left by the most destructive war in history. He was tasked with trying to rebuild the nation that had been the cause of so much devastation and suffering.

During the course of their conversation, the Chancellor asked, “Mr. Graham, do you really believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?” Billy Graham was unsure about where this question might be going. He thought about it briefly and then responded, “Mr. Chancellor, if I did not believe in the resurrection, I would have no gospel to preach.”

Let us pause from this story and think about the Chancellor’s question and Billy Graham’s answer.

First, consider the significance of the Chancellor’s question…

Ask it of yourself, “DO I REALLY BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST?” This is one of the most important questions that anyone can ask. “Do I actually believe that there was a man who lived 2,000 years ago in history, who died a terrible death on the cross, and then rose bodily on the 3rd day?” How you answer will determine the course of your life. Do you believe it? Or does it seem to you to be “an idle tale”?

Second, consider Billy Graham’s response to this question. “Yes, I believe in the Resurrection. If I didn’t I would have no good news to preach.

Why did he make such a strong statement?

Perhaps Mr. Graham was thinking of Paul’s radical claim that the Resurrection is the foundation of Christian Faith. In I Cor. 15:14 & 17, he says, “14And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

For the Christian faith, everything hinges on this event. Christianity is not just a religion, a philosophy, a body of beliefs, or set of teachings. Christianity is rooted in the person and work of Jesus. It stands or falls on this question – Did Jesus rise from the dead or didn’t He?

Let’s come back to the natural inclination that many people have had through history to look to a political leader to save them or to solve their problems. This is not something new.

In the New Testament era, King Herod’s dynasty was very wealthy & powerful.

Herod the Great built the huge Herodian Fortress which can still be toured today. It was a marvelous feat of engineering and an imposing sight to behold. Herod’s mighty fortress casts a long shadow that falls across a small, seemingly insignificant town called Bethlehem. Hoku and I saw the Herodian when we visited Bethlehem last year. As Bible teacher Ray Vanderlaan suggests, in the early New Testament people would have looked to the Herodian Fortress and took notice of the power and wealth that it represented. But very few took notice of who was born in Bethlehem.

The people of Judea were looking for deliverance. Similar to today, there was a sense of fear and insecurity. They felt threatened by the Roman Empire. Perhaps they were looking to their leaders to provide solutions.

In this setting of political turmoil which marked first century Palestine, we find this interesting passage about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry: Luke 3:1-2

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.”

Notice that this passage lists seven well known rulers of the time. But, they did not have the solutions to society’s problems. The word of God was not revealed to any of them. It was revealed to some odd guy named John who had no political titles and no official place of distinction. It was John who prepared the way for Jesus.

Hope does not come from governments, rulers, scientists, economists or other man-made institutions. In a tiny corner of the Great Roman Empire, literally in the shadow of a great king’s monument, a baby was born. He lived a perfect life. He claimed to be God. He suffered a terrible death. He proved his power and His authority as God through his miraculous resurrection from the dead.

The Roman Empire came to an end. Jesus is still alive.

Through His resurrection He brought life to the world.

The people of that generation wanted physical deliverance. But Christ first brings spiritual deliverance: He gives us new hearts & spiritual transformation. But it is from these individual transformations that comes societal transformation.

Let’s return to the story of Billy Graham and the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer. After Graham’s declaration of belief in the resurrection, the Chancellor walked over to a window overlooking the bombed out ruins of Berlin and said,

Mr. Graham, outside of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I know of no other hope for mankind.

In this troubled generation that we live in, let us not forget that there is only one hope. We are not looking for deliverance or working toward freedom. Rather, we are fighting from a freedom and a victory that has already been accomplished through the resurrection of Jesus!

Just before He went to the cross, Jesus said to his disciples, “Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” – John 14:19

Our only hope is in the resurrection of Jesus and the new life He offers.

We serve a Risen Lord. A living hope. HE’S ALIVE!

 

 

Fall School Outreach Teams Graduate

YWAM Maui - March 2017

YWAM Maui – March 2017

We recently graduated the 6 outreach teams from our Fall schools. The teams ministered in Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Thailand, & Indonesia. We had a busy week of debriefing but it was so thrilling to hear stories of what God is doing in the nations and what He did through our teams. Here’s a few snap shots:

– In India, our SBFM team served the staff of a tea house ministry called Chai 3:16. This ministry reaches out to upper class university students who will likely be among the future leadership in the nation. The students come from a vast spectrum of backgrounds (atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Roman Catholic, nominal Protestant) and are struggling with the overwhelming academic pressures of competitive Indian university education. The ministry is one of listening to the university students’ struggles and then sharing the truth of Christ and His Word. The ministry has a long-term goal of planting seeds of Truth today in order to shape the influencers of India tomorrow. One of our Maui team members met regularly with a group of self-proclaimed atheists all of whom renounced their atheism after the numerous discussions regarding their objections to belief in God.

– We had 2 teams in the Philippines; one each from SBFM & DTS. They were thrilled to see over 150 salvations! SBFM team did teaching in discipleship among the churches. This team was invited by one of our Filipina alumni who has a relational network among many churches and she saw the need for stronger Biblical foundations and invited our team to help with this.

– In another outreach location, a DTS student was asked to pray for a baby who was born without a sternum. The baby was crying in agony and obvious distress.  As the DTS student prayed for the baby she placed her hand on the baby’s chest. She felt a sternum form under her hand. The baby stopped screaming and fell asleep as he was returned to his mother.

God is moving in the nations.

 

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