“Can You Deliver People of Evil Spirits?”

As two disciples of Jesus traveled to a town they had felt led to visit, their motorcycle broke down. They were stranded

*Adesh stopped to help. The disciples learned that Adesh was the head of the village they wanted to visit. He offered to take them to his home and call for a mechanic. They readily accepted his hospitality.

“What do you do?” Adesh asked. 

“We serve God and share His Word with people,” they said.  

“Can you deliver people of evil spirits?” Adesh asked. His grandson had been oppressed by a demon for a long time. 

When the disciples met Adesh’s family and prayed for his grandson, the boy was healed! Adesh hugged them and declared a feast to celebrate. 

During the feast, Adesh went and told the whole village what had happened. “Come and see these two so they can pray for your troubles, too. You will be well!”

When the night was over, the disciples had prayed for 70 people. Adesh said, “Now that I know about Jesus, what is my next responsibility? I know other villages with similar problems. I can take you to visit them all.”

For two months, the three traveled together. Eight villages received the Message! If you are a BEYOND donor, you have been a part of this amazing growth! Thank you!

*pseudonym

 The”Cursed”Son

 In North India, a young follower of Jesus tutors in the home of a neighboring Sikh family. She learned that one of the boys could not hear or speak and that the family was being ostracized. Because of their “cursed son,” extended family members would not let them visit. 

The boy’s parents had spent a lot of money trying to heal him, but nothing worked. They felt deep shame. The father had tried to kill himself several times. The whole family even ingested poison once, attempting to end it all.  

For weeks, the young woman prayed with the family. Then her father, Sanjay, went to their home and read the story of creation: how God created mankind. He explained that as God’s creation, it wasn’t right for them to try to kill themselves.

The family began visiting a nearby house church and listened to the testimonies. After six weeks, they asked to learn how to start a Bible study group in their home. Their lives improved in many ways! The son began responding to his name, and now even says “Mama” and “Dada.” Though some of their extended family members still reject them, they are strong in Jesus.

If you are a Beyond donor, you have helped make this story possible.

 8 Months, 5 Generations, 64 Baptized

“When we see generational growth, we know the work is going well….If we don’t have generational growth after 5 or 6 trainings, something is wrong. Fruitful work has generations.” – Sanjay, a movement leader in North India

Ranbir met Chara, a woman interested in discussing spiritual matters. He invited her to a Bible study to learn about Jesus and His Kingdom. Chara attended with her children and enjoyed the conversation, but she stayed quiet and didn’t share what she heard with others.

Then her daughter became ill. The doctor was not hopeful for her recovery. Chara asked the Bible study group to come and pray for her daughter. The daughter quickly recovered! Chara told her abusive husband that God had touched their daughter.

After further Bible studies together, the whole family gave their allegiance to Jesus. Chara declared, “He is the amazing God. He saved my life, healed my daughter, and saved my husband. I will not hide this from my people, but will share with my neighbors and [extended] family.” And she did.

Chara shared with many, including Roopwani and her household. Roopwani shared with many, including Kasla and her household. Kasla shared with many, including her brother and sister-in-law . . . Lives were changed.

In eight months, five generations of disciples were birthed, 64 people were baptized, and 47 Bible study groups were started! 

You can help spread the Good News of the gospel for generations to come in Every People in Every Place.

Visionary Faith in Spite of Fear

Imagine Mary hearing the angel’s stunning message! How would you respond? Mary, probably still  a teenager, responded with initial fear, deep humility, amazing faith, and joyful obedience. 

In Luke chapter 1, we see she was afraid when Gabriel told her of God’s plan (vv. 29-30), and she probably feared what her community would think. She knew she was not important (vv. 48, 52). Yet, she had visionary faith that God’s plan would impact generation after generation (vv. 50, 55)! She rejoiced in the privilege to serve and obey (vv. 38, 46-47), as Elizabeth also noted (v.45): “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

Around the world, teenage women and men by the millions are obeying with similar amazing faith.  In India, many commit to Jesus because, like Mary, they are stunned and overjoyed to learn that God invites poor people to work with Him! 

In the middle of the pandemic, they are feeding people, praying for healing in Jesus’ name, helping other poor people – and multiplying new disciples and churches. 

This Christmas, we say with Mary (vv. 46-47): “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 

Sharing the Christmas Story: The Only Woman Named in the Qu’ran

“Do you know the name of the only woman mentioned in the Qu’ran?” Nicole asked the four young women. They had been meeting as an English Club and had gathered for a Christmas celebration.

One woman knew the answer: Miryam (Mary). Yes, the mother of Jesus even has a chapter in the Qu’ran named for her.

Nicole asked if they would like to hear Mary’s story. Everyone was eager, so they began reading the story found in Luke. The women then discussed it by answering searching questions.

Finally, Nicole asked if anyone had heard the story before. The Buddhist woman, *Neha, shook her head. No, she never had. This was the first time she had ever heard the Christmas story. The Muslim women nodded their heads, but only because they’d heard the character’s names. This was their first time to hear the actual story.

There are over 2 billion others like these women: they have never heard the story of Emmanuel, God with us. They don’t know that he came – as one of us – to redeem us from sin and restore us to God the Father.

Join our exciting efforts to reach Every People in Every Place with the gospel of Jesus. Sign up for prayer updates

*pseudonym

Pleading with God for the Privilege

Here is a message from Brad, a faithful friend and supporter of the work of BEYOND:

“It is a privilege to partner with BEYOND as they work to spread the gospel throughout the unreached world. I have supported BEYOND for many years through prayer, professional IT work, and financial giving.

“Personally, I invest in world missions in obedience to God’s word but also because of the law of sowing and reaping and God’s love of a cheerful giver. 

“Participating in the work of the gospel spreads the good news beyond the faithful to the world. The role of the messenger — the “herald” — is the primary means God uses to spread the gospel of the Kingdom to the entire world.

“My point is that the herald is most worthy of support in the Christian world. Paul wrote that God chose the preaching of the gospel, mere foolishness to the world, as the mysterious and powerful way to save the world.

“At the end of my life, I hope to be counted among those who pleaded with God (2 Corinthians 8:3-4) for the privilege of generously supporting God’s messengers and His work in the world.”

We are very grateful to Brad and his wife Susan . . . and to YOU.  Thank you for all the ways you support BEYOND, reaching the Unreached. 

“He Will Take You to a Better Place”

Part One:

If you were to walk into our church during the first ten years and then walk in now, you’d probably feel as if you’d entered two totally different churches. And you’d be right.

As Experience Life approached its tenth anniversary, I reflected on our journey. Our church had grown from 12 people meeting in my living room to a megachurch in less than ten years. More importantly, we had exceeded our goal of seeing 10,000 people commit their lives to Christ. I began asking the Lord, What do you want our vision to be for the next ten years?

That’s when I stumbled upon WIGTake.

WIGTake is a question David Watson initially formed in his work among an unreached people group in India. He asked, “What’s it going to take to reach everyone in the people group?”

This question led our Leadership Team into a season of prayer and fasting about the direction of our church for the next ten years. Our WIGTake became: What’s it going to take to reach 1,000,000 Americans in the next ten years so we’re on track to reach 200 million in 20 years?

 We knew there was a strategy that could take us to the million. It’s the strategy Jesus encouraged in the Gospels and the early church implemented in Acts. DMM, or Disciple Making Movement, is a strategy that can lead to seeing God start a Church Planting Movement. Success in a Disciple Making Movements can be summed up in two words: generational discipleship. DMMs measure whether disciples are making disciples who make more disciples who make more disciples. It’s multiplication, not addition.

 After much prayer and discussion, eLife’s Leadership Team was united in the belief that the Lord wanted us to pursue a Disciple Making Movement strategy in the next ten years

 As we began venturing into the world of disciple making, I knew we needed a coach. I met Stan Parks, Beyond’s Vice President of Global Strategies, and knew he would be able to help us get started, avoid common mistakes, and answer questions as we ran into difficult situations. 

 We asked Stan what he wanted us to do first. He said he wanted to take us through a 12-week DMM Catalyst Training. This training was based on principles God had used around the world. Stan would pass on biblical lessons the Holy Spirit had taught him through personal study of Scripture and movement catalysts like David Watson, Victor John, and many others. 

 I said, “Great! Can you send it to me?” He said, “Nope.”

 I asked, “Why not?”

 Stan made it clear that this training was not information to be transferred but biblical principles to be obeyed. Because I come from a knowledge-based culture, my tendency would be to read the twelve lessons and think, “Okay, I’ve got this; let’s move on.” But, again, this wasn’t information; these were biblical principles he wanted to coach us to obey! That means you don’t even look at lesson two until you’ve obeyed the passage from lesson one. Stan told us that the Holy Spirit would speak to us as we took a fresh look at these Bible passages. He wanted us to see the DMM principles in Scripture, so we’d be dependent on God, not on him. 

Next week we will conclude with some key principles Stan taught eLife’s leadership team. We will learn what their church looks like after transitioning from being a traditional church to a Disciple Making Movement church.

Read the whole story in Chris’s book, From Megachurch to Multiplication, which tells the story of Experience Life’s journey from being one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States to a church now focused primarily on catalyzing movements.

 This piece was summarized with permission from Mission Frontier’s article “From Big to Small – for a Big Movement” by Chris Galanos with Lorena Wood.Part Two:

Last week we began following the journey of a church (eLife – pastored by Chris Galanos) so intent on making disciples that they were willing to transition away from the traditional church model to do so. We continue with our story just after they found Stan, a coach who would guide them through the process of becoming a church focused on catalyzing movements.

In our training, Stan explained that there are certain elements consistently found in the lives of ordinary believers who are successfully making disciples in movements all over the world.  

Here are a few of the elements briefly summarized:

  • Multiply Extraordinary Prayer. Stan said, “Your prayer life now is ordinary for you. Add something to it to make it extraordinary for you. Keep repeating the process.” 
  • Go Out Among the Lost. We learned to expect the hardest places to yield the greatest results. We began to refer to such places as PIPSY places: P-poor, I-international, P-prisoner, S-sick. (The Y doesn’t stand for anything— it just turns PIPS into an adjective.) Our teams have borne the most fruit by going to PIPSY places to make disciples.
  • Casting Vision – One of the great tragedies of the American church model is an attitude that results in suppressing the gifts, ambitions, and callings of ordinary believers. Churchgoers don’t typically hear the terms disciple-maker or church-planter and think, “That’s me!” We’ve got to recover the “culture of empowerment” of ordinary believers that was evident in the first-century church. Pastors and leaders, I implore you to join me in setting believers free to make disciples and plant churches!

Let me warn you, though. Transitioning a church to focus on Disciple Making Movements (DMM) will cost you in many ways. In Jerry Trousdale’s book The Kingdom Unleashed, David Broodryk, another pastor who embraced DMM, describes the process of pursuing DMM this way:

I really do think that entry into DMM is a death experience: unless the seed falls to the ground and dies, it can bear no fruit. But the problem is, you can’t risk failure without that; risking failure in itself is a sort of death experience. If who you are is dependent on whether this thing works or fails, then you will never take a risk. But if your identity is in Christ, then you say, “I’m going to try this; if it works, great, He gets the glory; and if it doesn’t work—well, it didn’t work, but I am still secure in Him.

You may be asking what happened in eLife. Many people caught the vision! Hundreds went through our DMM training, and some of those formed DMM churches that meet in their homes. Those we sent out began to pursue the lost, not by inviting them to eLife, but by inviting them and their family or friends to read and apply the Bible together in their home. And it’s working! 

In an average week, those in just my DMM church alone will talk to almost as many lost people as our megachurch would receive as first-time guests on a weekend in our heyday. And there are just 35 of us (including kids). It’s amazing what a small group of sold-out, on-fire disciple makers can do when they strategize together and go out among the lost to make disciples and plant churches.

I think I can speak for most people involved in DMM churches by saying it’s one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever been a part of. In so many ways, it’s what I’ve always longed for in church. Not that I didn’t love our church. I did! But our DMM church is just what I pictured when I read the New Testament but felt like I’d never experienced. It’s what I had heard happened overseas but never truly understood.

I hope our story will inspire you to be led by the Spirit because He will take you to better places than anything you could’ve dreamed up. You may not even have a framework for where He’ll take you now. But if you follow Him, He’ll show you just what to do. And chances are, He’ll do infinitely more than you could ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20-21). Just like he continues to do with us.

Chris’s book, From Megachurch to Multiplication, tells the story of Experience Life’s journey from being one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States to a church now focused primarily on catalyzing movements. Get it here.

 This piece was summarized with permission from Mission Frontier’s article “From Big to Small – for a Big Movement” by Chris Galanos with Lorena Wood. Read the whole article.

From Big to Small – for a Big Movement

Part One:

If you were to walk into our church during the first ten years and then walk in now, you’d probably feel as if you’d entered two totally different churches. And you’d be right.

As Experience Life approached its tenth anniversary, I reflected on our journey. Our church had grown from 12 people meeting in my living room to a megachurch in less than ten years. More importantly, we had exceeded our goal of seeing 10,000 people commit their lives to Christ. I began asking the Lord, What do you want our vision to be for the next ten years?

That’s when I stumbled upon WIGTake.

WIGTake is a question David Watson initially formed in his work among an unreached people group in India. He asked, “What’s it going to take to reach everyone in the people group?”

This question led our Leadership Team into a season of prayer and fasting about the direction of our church for the next ten years. Our WIGTake became: What’s it going to take to reach 1,000,000 Americans in the next ten years so we’re on track to reach 200 million in 20 years?

 We knew there was a strategy that could take us to the million. It’s the strategy Jesus encouraged in the Gospels and the early church implemented in Acts. DMM, or Disciple Making Movement, is a strategy that can lead to seeing God start a Church Planting Movement. Success in a Disciple Making Movements can be summed up in two words: generational discipleship. DMMs measure whether disciples are making disciples who make more disciples who make more disciples. It’s multiplication, not addition.

 After much prayer and discussion, eLife’s Leadership Team was united in the belief that the Lord wanted us to pursue a Disciple Making Movement strategy in the next ten years

 As we began venturing into the world of disciple making, I knew we needed a coach. I met Stan Parks, Beyond’s Vice President of Global Strategies, and knew he would be able to help us get started, avoid common mistakes, and answer questions as we ran into difficult situations. 

 We asked Stan what he wanted us to do first. He said he wanted to take us through a 12-week DMM Catalyst Training. This training was based on principles God had used around the world. Stan would pass on biblical lessons the Holy Spirit had taught him through personal study of Scripture and movement catalysts like David Watson, Victor John, and many others. 

 I said, “Great! Can you send it to me?” He said, “Nope.”

 I asked, “Why not?”

 Stan made it clear that this training was not information to be transferred but biblical principles to be obeyed. Because I come from a knowledge-based culture, my tendency would be to read the twelve lessons and think, “Okay, I’ve got this; let’s move on.” But, again, this wasn’t information; these were biblical principles he wanted to coach us to obey! That means you don’t even look at lesson two until you’ve obeyed the passage from lesson one. Stan told us that the Holy Spirit would speak to us as we took a fresh look at these Bible passages. He wanted us to see the DMM principles in Scripture, so we’d be dependent on God, not on him. 

Next week we will conclude with some key principles Stan taught eLife’s leadership team. We will learn what their church looks like after transitioning from being a traditional church to a Disciple Making Movement church.

Read the whole story in Chris’s book, From Megachurch to Multiplication, which tells the story of Experience Life’s journey from being one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States to a church now focused primarily on catalyzing movements.

 This piece was summarized with permission from Mission Frontier’s article “From Big to Small – for a Big Movement” by Chris Galanos with Lorena Wood.

“What Happened Next Was a Blur . . .”

Muharis and Ani met and married shortly after they had each been through a multi-week discipleship training on Disciple Making Movements (DMM) led by Beyond field leaders Ryan and Anna. Muharis and Ani wondered: How would Father God have them serve, in light of his desire for all peoples to hear of his Son? Both couples sought the Lord’s direction for Muharis and Ani’s life. The answer came. Muharis and Ani felt led to live and work among the Bimanese Muslims. Working with Ryan and Anna, they would form a new DMM team. They desired to see the knowledge of Christ and obedience to God’s Word transform this unreached people group. 

Muharis and Ani moved to serve the Bimanese people and soon learned of another upcoming transition. They were expecting a baby! In 2017, Muharis held his baby girl for the first time and heard the doctor pronounce that all was good. Although Ani had needed an emergency C-section to deliver the baby, she would recover as they enjoyed their precious daughter. Muharis was elated.

It should have been a time of pure rejoicing. 

What happened next was a blur to Muharis. Ani was in the recovery room when Muharis noticed a steady stream of blood oozing from his wife’s suture. He called for help. When the doctor arrived, he ordered her back into surgery. As he left to prepare, the doctor stated, “There is a 50-50 shot for me to be able to save your wife.” Muharis turned, saw his newborn daughter next to him, then fell to the floor in shock. He cried out to Father God in prayer. Then he called Ryan. Ryan and Anna mobilized their entire discipleship network in prayer for Ani.

Ani survived the ordeal. But the doctor removed her womb. 

The removal was probably not necessary. A more proficient doctor might have saved Ani without removing her womb, but skilled doctors are rare in such remote places. 

Since that day, God has blessed Muharis and Ani. He has honored their commitment to serve him no matter the personal cost. Their team has seen 117 discovery Bible study groups form. They have four house fellowships of baptized followers who meet regularly and are facilitating a second generation of discovery Bible groups!

Jesus told his disciples that following him would not be easy. We need to count the cost of discipleship.

God is Sweeping through South Asia

The “Walker” family began cross-cultural work in 2001. In 2006, they joined Beyond (http://www.beyond.org) and in 2011 started applying CPM principles. They were joined by “Phoebe” in 2013. Phoebe and the Walkers moved to different countries in 2016, and have been supporting the movements from a distance.

Before the Church Planting Movement (CPM) began in our area, our two national partners were full-time Christian workers in the nation’s heartland. Both had a heart for God’s kingdom, but CPM was far outside their paradigm.

After attending a two-week CPM training, we became intentional in taking the next steps toward catalyzing a CPM, eliminating all non-essential ministry efforts. Our new approach included:

  •  personal obedience (a shema witness for Christ and searching for people who would open their households to the gospel)
  •  increased prayer
  •  casting vision to existing believers to partner in this endeavor
  •  training interested Christians
  •  receiving coaching from those ahead of us.

In July 2012, one of our partners gathered 15 men from various districts. We began meeting for 1.5 to 2 day trainings, roughly once per month. Most were Christian-background believers, while a few were Hindu background believers. As many began applying CPM principles, they quickly saw fruit. Our national partner was the head coach and cheerleader for this group.

  •  By December 2012, there were 55 outreach Discovery Bible Groups, all consisting of lost people.
  •  By December 2013 there were 250 groups (churches and Discovery groups).
  •  By December 2014 there were 700 churches, and an estimated 2,500 baptized.
  •  By December 2015 there were 2,000 churches, and an estimated 9,000 baptized.
  •  By December 2016 there were 6,500 churches, and an estimated 25,000 baptized.

Through this process, here are a few of the many lessons we learned:

  1. Matthew 10, Luke 9 and 10 offer an effective strategy for connecting to lost people.
  2. Miracles (healing and/or demonic deliverance) were a consistent component of people coming into the Kingdom.
  3. We simplified the Discovery Study process multiple times. We also transitioned our training style to using just the Word, rather than others’ tools and methods.
  4. We emphasized loving obedience to Jesus and everyone passing on the training. We found it better to go deep in empowering those who were applying CPM principles, than to focus on doing more trainings.
  5. As outsiders, our role was to point out when the work was following tradition rather than the Word. This could only be done with cultural sensitivity and growing trust, not as an attack.
  6. Focus on reaching households, not individuals.
  7. Use Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) for both pre-churches and churches.
  8. Rechargeable inexpensive speakers with story sets on memory cards were extremely helpful, empowering illiterate and semi-literate people to plant churches through listening to scripture. Roughly half of the churches have been planted through the use of these speakers.
  9. Leadership circles provided sustainable and reproducible mutual mentoring for leaders.
  10. Intercessory prayer was a critical part of the strategy, but so was listening (listening prayer) for God’s direction on strategy decisions.

The movement has consistently reached 4th generation in many places. In a few locations, it has reached the 18th generation. This is not just one movement, but multiple movements, in four+ geographical regions, multiple languages and multiple religious backgrounds.

By the Walker Family and Phoebe

This article was first published in Jan-Feb 2018 Issue of Mission Frontiers