As part of my doctoral work at Bethel Seminary, I tried to create a team of samurai (servants or deacons) to invest in and reach out in our different regions. Below is an excerpt of the Samurai training from my project.
sam•u•rai [sa-mə-rī]: servant, attendant; warrior of nobility
…In order to equip the Samurai to help us reach the unreached and raise up leaders through our community, we began working through the following skills:
1. Serving as an M.P.A.C team.
M.P.A.C. stands for ministry through a pastor, assimilator, and catalyst.
The catalyst tends to ask the question, “Are new people discovering the hope we have in Jesus?”
Pastors ask the question, “Are people growing in their faith in Christ?”
Assimilators ask the question, “Are people experiencing the love of Christ?” In other words, “Are people coming and falling through the cracks or are they getting connected?”
2. Connecting others through the OIKOS evangelism plan.
“The OIKOS Evangelism Plan” is based on the passages in the New Testament which indicated a person would choose to follow Christ and bring along with them their OIKOS or “household.” OIKOS refers to a person’s sphere of influence which includes his or her family, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. The royal official; Cornelius, the Italian soldier; Lydia; and Crispus, the synagogue ruler are just a few examples of people whose transformed life led to the transformation of those they already knew, those within their “household.”
3. Moving conversations from superficial to spiritual.
There are three questions which helped us share about our faith in a simple, natural, and relational way. First, we sought to become better listeners by asking, “What has been your spiritual journey?” After listening for insights into moments when God has been at work in their lives, the second question follows: “Would you mind if I shared with you about my spiritual journey?” After briefly sharing how we discovered God’s love for us and chose to entrust our lives to Christ, we asked the third question: “Would you like to know how to discover how to connect to God personally?”
4. Raising up leaders through recruiting, mobilizing, and “on the go” mentoring.
Too often pastors and church leaders attempt to take on the responsibilities of ministry without inviting others to join in the journey. Either we think we can do it better than others, or we don’t want to impose on others. In both instances we fail to realize that people need to serve even more than we need their help. Paul’s mentoring style involved allowing others to help him reach others and plant churches before Paul would help his mentees do the same.
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