1) My background and calling
2) Vision for the Indigenous
3) Obstacles the Church Must Face
4) Can culture save the people?
: My hope for this is that as you hear my testimony, my personal calling to ministry, my beliefs about who God is, and the vision that Alice Springs CFC has for the Indigenous people, you will start to get an understanding of Indigenous people in general, and begin to see the vision of how you can minister to the Indigenous in your own area.
This is part 3.
Workers. We’ve got the harvest but the workers are few. This is not about Christians; there are plenty of Christians. But not many are willing to work like this (remotely... away from the glitz & glamour). This is where the Churches should step in to preach and pray for their people. Maybe people aren’t willing because they just don’t know. There needs to be a grand scheme of missions that people are aware of so they can step into it. And the leaders of the church need to be praying that people will get the call because, like I said before, my calling is the perseverance for ministry. It will be for others too. We can't just hope and pray for workers but also create a model so once the calling is made on people's lives they can have access straight away. Perhaps God is waiting for us to “be ready” in this area before he calls more workers?
Like Jesus, Alice Springs needs to be accessible and available for people to reach. In fact, Jesus himself is the great model of mission that should always be followed. Let’s look at the missions behind Philippians 2: the moment God the Son became Jesus of Nazareth, the deity of the Son, in a sense, became ineffectual (by His own decision of course). Not that He lost His power or that He ceased to exist, but that the Son literally emptied Himself of His rights as God. He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped because He knew that obeying the Father and living by the Spirit was sufficient for His earthly ministry.
Not only that but we follow the example of the Trinity & missions. The Trinity is of one essence and being and so when the Son became a missionary to the world it was not out of any decision against the Father and the Spirit; they have always been One. When the Son emptied Himself, He became empowered by the Father & the Holy Spirit. When a mother Church plants a daughter Church it is done as an agreement of one essence. Their can’t be division and just like the economic Trinity (see: My Story, Part 2), people need to agree on their roles in this one mission. If we are to be united like the Trinity and do missions like Jesus, the mother Church must never disconnect from the daughter Church. Much like Jesus, the daughter Church must be obedient to the mother Church (as in the Father), and much like the Spirit, the mother church must empower the daughter Church; ways of empowerment can be by regular outreaches, funding money needs, constant communication and prayer. This relationship has to last until the daughter Church is self-empowered and, although the relationship will always be there, the intensity may go down somewhat.
Congregations are not as impressed by man-made ideas, fads, and strategies than they are by the God-given examples found in the Bible. Churches need to be shown the many Biblical models for mission and then be given the access and availability to shepherd those people, who are willing and called, through the already established gate. That is the one issue needing to be sorted on the CRC side. As stated before it's obvious that I am into us just doing what the Bible says, setting up our mast and waiting for the wind of the sovereign Spirit. We can’t just hope for people to go without a knowledge of why they would go and without a model by which they could go.
One obstacle on the side of Indigenous people (particularly from the remote communities) is that they are generally faithful… What’s the problem? They're prone to be faithful of all spirits. And so we must preach Christ only. Sure this may cause problems and yes it will cause spiritual warfare but people won’t be saved anyway when they try and serve two spirits. Saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the message that Indigenous people (and all people, really) will need to hear repeatedly. Emphasis... alone.
This will also cause problems for the more “educated” Aboriginal people who are influenced by the western world. Like everyone else they have a more postmodern worldview. Things like, “Let us keep our culture, it’s all the same, what’s the harm?” will be said. They will see this as an attack on culture. It’s easy to respond to white people on this but a little tougher with Indigenous people, as it's more personal.
Longevity in relationships is the key for this. Allen Steel gets away with things that other white people just can’t simply because he’s already had long relationships with the Indigenous people. So if people attack him there's always other people who will stand by him; who will stay faithful. This is why the starting of relationships between a community and a CRC church is of the most importance.