I was in Richmond at the location where Patrick Henry made his famous speech… Why is it okay to say “Give me Liberty, or give me death,” but not “give me Japan or I die!”
Walmart “Store Planting Movement”
Our goal is not just “church planting,” but a “Church Planting Movement.”
As we look at this video of Walmart’s
- Establishment and DNA formation
- Slow initial extension into other areas; then
- Rapid multiplication throughout all of America,
What Kingdom thoughts are stimulated by this?
1. As Christ promised, the Church of Jesus Christ has spread like this throughout the whole world.
2. Yet, we long for more, more healthy, more rapid reproduction of healthy churches.
3. Yes, Walmart will fail at some point too, like the Roman and British Empires, like mighty Bank of America, Bear Stearns, and Circuit City, along with tottering Toyota, Citi Bank, McDonalds, and Apple.
4. But, though local churches may rise and fall, The Church of Jesus Christ will be built, growing and reproducing and spreading to and through every tongue and tribe, until all the elect are gathered. And then the end shall come. It cannot not happen. Matt. 16:18; Ezek 47:1-10; Gen 22:16-18.
I wrote the first draft of this Life Mission Statement during a day of prayer in March of 1994. As I read it through today, I praise God for how many of these prayers He has answered. I also see I need to rewrite it focusing on now until the year 2020.
Dan Iverson, Jan 17, 2009
TO BE READ AND PRAYED OVER WEEKLY; TO BE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS AS GOD LEADS THROUGH HIS WORD, SPIRIT, PROVIDENCE, AND PEOPLE.
Summary: As one greatly loved by God beyond full understanding, to deeply and increasingly know that love as the fountain head for all I am and do. Knowing that love, to love God and others; to be ambitions to please Christ; to zealously seek the full coming of His Kingdom with my whole life, with my family, with my work and other associations, by the Holy Spirit’s strength, that Christ’s Kingdom would come on earth, particularly in Japan.
Purpose: II Cor 5:9- “I make it my ambition to be pleasing to Him.”
Specific Goal: Matt 6:33a- “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
Encouraging Promise: Matt 6:33b- “And all these things shall be added unto you.”
My Power Source: II Cor 12:9- “I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
1. To know Christ deeply: To know the love of Christ which passes all understanding in a deeper and deeper way throughout my life by studying the Bible devotionally daily at sufficient length, prayer, reading good books, regular worship, intimate fellowship with committed believers, and telling this good news to others zealously.
2. To please Christ: To ambitiously seek to please Christ in all I do (II Cor 5:9), in His strength (Jn 15:5). That my character would increasingly be like Christ’s (His example, the commandments, loving God with all my heart and others as myself, having the fruit of the Spirit [Gal 5:22]). My life, body, time, abilities, energy, wife, children, work, other associations, money, and anything else are gifts from God. As the steward of these, I must take care of them, and use them for Christ’s greater glory, for the coming of His Kingdom on earth, with particular focus on Japan.
3. Specific Implications:
a. My life- Not mine, but Christ’s, bought with a high price.
b. My body- His temple (I Cor 6:19) , to be taken care of for many years of effective use; means sabbath rests weekly (Gen2:2-3; Ex 20:8-11), and other times yearly; regular exercise, healthy temperate diet.
c. Wife Carol- A great gift from God bringing me much joy and strength. After love for God, Carol must be my 1st love and focus of my life (Eph 5:25). I must attend diligently to her spiritual growth. That Christ’s Kingdom would come more fully as a result of Carol and me by:
1) The increased strength generated by our joyful life together.
2) The world seeing Christ’s love in our relationship.
3) Having many children who will experience God’s love deeply through us, and grow up to deeply love and serve Christ and the world.
d. Children- That God would bless us with many (Ps 127:3-5; Ex 1:20), and that each one will grow up to know, love and follow Christ as devoted disciples. My greatest Kingdom contribution will probably not be through my work, but through the children God gives us to disciple. I must not be so busy in other ministry that I don’t fulfill God’s high call to me to disciple my children deeply, impacting the next generations greatly through these my closest disciples. I must be a godly example, and make God’s word an important part of our daily life (Deut 6:1-9; Ps 78:1-8).
e. Prayer/Plan Retreats- I must get away from the daily busy-ness to pray and gain perspective often, as Jesus did (Lk 4:42; 5:16; 6:12). Daily time, weekly special extended prayer/reflection, other extended times quarterly for a day or two. With Carol as well periodically to pray and reflect on our life, family, ministry, and to set new goals, directions.
f. My possessions- All for Christ’s use and glory. To work hard to provide for my family (I Tim 5:8), but to seek to live simply, not seeking excess, wealth, or great future security (trust that to God). Rather, living on less, to store treasures in heaven, to seek to give ever more generously to His Kingdom work (Mt 6:19ff). He went to the cross for me… how could I not give my all for Him and His Kingdom.
g.Work/ministry- To work hard (in Christ’s strength) as a minister of the gospel, leading many to love God and other people, and to participate zealously in the coming of Christ’s Kingdom, particulary in Japan. Focus on gifts of leading, evangelizing, church planting, church growth, new frontiers, raising up harvest workers, and helping the Japanese church flourish.
1991 through about 2003- Seeking only God’s glory, to pray and work that Christ’s Kingdom would come to Chiba, Japan.
1) As Pastor of Oyumino Church, that a strong, growing church would be raised up in South Chiba City impacting significantly the Oyumino area, and positively influencing Chiba, Japan, and the world for Christ by its example of godliness, sound doctrine, zeal, prayer, evangelism, discipleship, strong families, cell groups, lay ministry, and world missions vision.
2) As Tokyo/Chiba Team Leader, that a thriving presbytery would be raised up in Chiba Prefecture, impacting all of the PCJ and Japan through its zeal, ethos, way of doing “presbytery”, missionary/pastor working relationships, church planting/ church growth strategy & methods, and college ministry.
Major Weaknesses, Areas for Growth: As I write this in 1994, I see my major weaknesses and areas that need growth as:
1. Pride and self-dependecncy: I do much in my own strength, substituting effort and human ability for prayer and relaxed Holy Spirit dependency.
2. Insufficient self-discipline/self control regarding “1st things 1st”, use of time, and in some personal areas.
3. Tendency to overwork and live an unbalanced life, reflecting wrong priorities and a lack of dependencey on Christ.
4. Poor organization & administration: Increased efficiency, and more admin time must be a higher priority. Administrative time must be included in my schedule as a necessary part of life, along with the more important priorities, in order to be more effective for Christ overall.
This Life Mission Statement is beyong me, of course. I will need forgiveness daily, and strength beyond myself. I look in faith to God who promises to graciously give both to those who
ask (I Jn 1:19; II Cor 12:9).
In Dependency on the grace of the Holy Spirit,
Daniel Iverson III
Mar 8, 1994, Chiharadai House, Day of Prayer
This is a show that was aired two months ago on a secular channel here in Japan. Lifelines is targeting non-Christian Japanese and seeks to introduce the gospel and church in simple, fun ways. It’s 20 minutes long and most of it is in Japanese.
During one part Dan talks about the “4 Fs” which are quoted in the following brief summary:
#1 F: Fun- God made us to enjoy Him forever. Talked about “TRUE fun and joy” which included real relationships, crying together as well as laughingtogether, etc. Lots of the film is our family having fun together. Also shows our church gospel music group (gospel music is a craze in Japan right now), our church kids dance group, kids “after school program” for neighborhood kids, etc. When it shows Carol in the kitchen with daughters and daughters/wives of sons, her cute expression is saying how much fun it is to have them in Japan cooking together.
#2 F: Family- The importance of Family, and that church is like a family too. Good stuff about couples loving and forgiving each other for the sake of their kids (our adult kids sharing about that), about confessing and owning up to our sin and failure in our families, and how church needs to be the same kind of family. I share that my dad taught me: “you love your kids? Then LOVE CAROL!”
#3 F: Fujuubun (inadequate)- That we are all weak, needy, fail, in every relationship, and before the true and living God. That in Japan the pursuit of perfection and perfectionism may be great for building cars, but it is terrible for husband wife relationships, raising kids, etc, for we are all “fujuubun”. More than that, we are all sinners. Before God… very needy, really. Then, Danny and Joel singing Danny’s version of “Spirit of the Living God, Fall fresh on me.” They used this in the program to say in the Japanese writing that we who are inadequate need outside help, from God.
#4 F: Fukuin (gospel, good news)- Sharing that the gospel is for inadequate people, us, sinners. In Christ’s gospel, our sins are forgiven, AND God helps us to grow.
One of our visions is that FAMILY emphasis would be “Missional Family”, not “Reformed Evangelical Amish” which doesn’t work anyway in discipling kids well. I actually preached on it recently, from Gen 22:18…. “thru your offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed.” And, v 17, that these little ones God gives us will possess the gates of our enemies. (Militant terminology; yet, as in Acts, with GOSPEL weapons). We see much “missional” (outward focus) emphasis in some churches, but weakness in family. We see some “family focus” churches that are not Biblically missional, but ingrown; or, militant outward-focused that does not love the lost, doesn’t win the heart of the lost.
This is one of our themes, as we work with fledgeling home school/Christian school movement here in Japan. Learning from our experience watching the USA church/ home school/ Xn school movement for 30 years.
Pray for “Missional Family” in Japan. For that matter, in the USA. And the world. Our families are for the sake of the whole world. Genesis 22:16-17.