Every One His Witness Workbook by Mark Wood

The Every One His Witness workbook accompanies the DVD (included in the kit) and delves deeper into the topics discussed there. Important points are highlighted, and and references to external resources for further information are included as well.

What is Every One His Witness?

Every One His Witness is a Lutheran evangelism program that teaches you to witness to your friends, coworkers, and any other nonchurched people you may know. Using the LASSIE approach to witnessing (listen, ask, seek, share, invite, and encourage), you will learn how to naturally share the Good News of Jesus Christ through relational, contextual witnessing.

What does this mean? It means listening to those who are unsure about Christianity. It means asking questions that aren’t accusatory. It means sharing the Good News about Jesus. Notice how there’s no bashing, no judgment, and no forced imposition of beliefs. Instead, there’s understanding, communication, and honesty between friends. And Every One His Witness teaches you how.

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Ishimwe Niryawe Yesu (Praise & Glory Be To You Jesus)

The translation of the song from Kinyarwanda into English is below. May your faith be enriched by this song focused on the hope that Christians have through Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Mwami Mana yacu
Waratuvinze, uturinda
Umujinya wa Satani
Uturindira muriyisi ishaje
Uraturinda ntitwapfa
Nubwo twahuye nibigeragaezo
Ninzitanye zibibazo
Byomiwisi
Wagaragaje ukuneesha kwawe
Uraturinda ntitwapfa,

Our Lord God
You kept us and protected us
from the wrath of the devil
you kept us in this aging world
Lord you kept us and we did not die
Though we met many trials and tribulations
and many world troubles
You showed your victory by protecting us from death, You showed your victory by protecting us from death

CHORUS:

Ishimwe niryawe, Ishimwe niryawe, Ishimwe niryawe yesu. ishimwe ishimwe niryawe ishimwe niryawe yesu X2
Praise and glory be to you Jesus, Praise and glory be to you Jesus, Praise and glory be to you Jesus, x2
Mwami tukweretse ababkozi bawe
Tukweretse itorero wironkeye
Tukweretse nabasubiye inyuma
Garura izo ntama zawe
Mukiza dufite agahinda kenshi
Ku bwabayoba bava mu byizerwa
Muriyi minsi kora ibitangaza
Bamenye ku dahinduka, Bamenye ku dahinduka

Lord we show you – you’re servants
We show you the charge that you redeemed
But also we show you those who have fallen/retreated
Lord return your ship
Savior we are so heart broken
For those that are leaving the faith
How we pray, that in thesedays you will perform miracles, so that the world may see that you are the God that never changes, you are the God that never changes

CHORUS

Indura zunvikaye mururu World
Amarira nokuboroga kwinshi
Ntakiza twakoze Mukiza Wacu
Kyaturmye uturinda akaga
Benshi waraba cyuye baratashye
Bararuhutse baranezerewe
Nta kabuza tuzabonana nabo
Mu birori byomwijuru, Mu birori byomwijuru

Many crys and yellings were hear in this world
A lot of tears and desperate pleading
There is nothing good we did, Our Savior
to deserve being protected from this horror
But we know, that you have taken many to Glory
They are rested and happy
And there is no doubt, that we shall see them someday
During the celebration in heaven, during the celebration in heaven

CHORUS

Imyaka ishyise ya saha wajenye
Ubwo tuzakubona uri mu bicu
Uzahamagara amazina yacu
Tuzagusanganira ubwo
Niwerckanwa ko tuzasa nawe
Uri kumwe nabo twatandukanye
Tuziruhutsa tugeze mwijuru
Halleluia iteka ryose, Halleluia iteka ryose

When the years come
At the very moment that you planned
When we see you in the skies, you will call our names
We shall come and meet you in the air
And when you are revealed, we know we shall be like you
At that time you will be with those that left us to be with you
When at last we get heaven born
And we will sing Halleluia, forever and ever
we will sing Halleluia, forever and ever

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Help Send Two Instructors to Rwanda to Provide Theological Education and Training for Rwandan Church Workers

Beth Ammi Christian Fellowship Church and the Reformed Lutheran Church of Rwanda have invited Lutheran Church – Canada to help them train pastors, elders, and deacons/deaconesses through theological education and mentorship.

Concordia Lutheran Mission Society has set up a special opportunity for you to make a financial donation, with the goal of raising $7,000.00 so that two instructors from Lutheran Church – Canada can travel to Rwanda to teach a week-long course, to visit/preach in some of the churches, and to continue to build trust with the leaders of the churches related to the Beth Ammi Christian Fellowship Church and the Reformed Lutheran Church of Rwanda.

You can make a donation to this project in a few different ways:

1. Write a cheque to: “Concordia Lutheran Mission Society” and send it to CLMS with a memo that it is for Project 1825 — Special Exploratory Mission to Provide Theological Education in Rwanda.

2. Donate money through your congregation asking your congregational treasurer to send the donation to the Concordia Lutheran Mission Society with a memo that the money is for Project 1825 — Special Exploratory Mission to Provide Theological Education in Rwanda.

3. Visit the Concordia Lutheran Mission Society and make a donation through CanadaHelps for the Rwandan project. You need to scroll to the bottom of the projects until you see: Project 1825 — Special Exploratory Mission to Provide Theological Education in Rwanda.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact President Schaeffer at gschaeffer@lccabc.ca or 1-888-474-0063 (ext. 109).

All cheques can be mailed to: Concordia Lutheran Mission Society P.O. Box 455 Water Valley, AB T0M 2E0.

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Pray for and Support the Lutheran Bible Translastor’s Missionary Work of Rev. David and Valerie Federwitz

Missionaries Rev. David and Valerie Federwitz have been serving in Africa since 2003. David’s focus is to help people to read and use the Holy Scripture in their own languages. He worked in Ghana with Komba-speaking people to develop a Komba language primer series. These primers are used to educate the local people and to encourage reading and writing. He also helped identify and train literacy facilitators, supervisors, and other workers in the Komba Literacy and Bible Translation Project.

While David continues to encourage and support the Komba Literacy and Bible Translation Project, he is now LBT’s Regional Director for Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. He spends time with current and potential partner organization leaders in these countries, including Bible societies, church bodies, and groups that do language development work. He supervises the LBT missionaries who work in these countries, encouraging and advising them as they serve in their various locations and capacities.

Valerie manages their busy household, homeschools their children, and communicates with family and supporters. David and Valerie have four children.

LBT is seeking Lutherans to serve overseas through the ministry of Bible translation and Scripture Engagement. If you feel that God may be leading you towards missions or if you wish to make donations to assist with the translation of the Bible for a missionary, LBT may have a place for you.

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Maundy Thursday: “Preparing for a Culinary Feast.”

The following sermon excerpt is from a Maundy Thursday sermon I preached on Mark 14:12-26. The title of the message is: “Preparing for a Culinary Feast.”

A lot of preparation goes into a culinary feast. The grocery stores will be packed with shoppers on Saturday as they purchase the necessary ingredients for the Easter Sunday meal. The liquor stores will have a steady stream of wine connoisseurs searching for that perfect wine to serve with the Easter dinner. The cooks will be busy in the kitchen preparing the delectable meal. Yes, a lot of preparation and hard work goes into making a festive meal. …

Once again, the Passover Meal is prepared for you. The wafers overflow on the paten. The flagon, the chalice, and the individuals cup are full of wine. The preparations are complete. The Lamb has been slain for the sins of the world … for your sins and mine. The Lamb who rose from the dead and ascended on high is present among us. According to His promise, He is present so that we might eat of His Body and drink of His Blood broken and shed for us. All that remains is for us is to take a seat at His table, eat of the Lamb’s Body, as we partake of the bread, and drink of the Lamb’s blood, as we drink the wine. We hear the Lamb speak to us the most delightful words: “Your sins are forgiven.” …

Yes, the preparations for the Passover Meal, this culinary feast, are complete. The Lamb slain for the sins of the world invites, “Come, for I have prepared a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and finest of wines. We have reason to rejoice for I have destroyed the shroud that that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; I have swallowed up death forever.” (Adapted from Isaiah 25:6-8)

May the Lord grant you spiritual nourishment and refreshment as you meditate upon the Passion and Resurrection of the Lamb!

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The Rwandan Christian Church Facing Challenge of Addressing Building Codes

The Rwandan government is requiring churches to meet certain building regulations (e.g. bathrooms, parking, painted walls, etc.) or close until the building standards are met. These requirements create difficulties for many churches in Rwanda because many of the church goers are impoverished.  According to a BBC news report, some pastors are defying the requirements and are being put in jail.

A Rwandan pastor I know has had seven of his eleven congregations closed because of these building code requirements. He writes, “We are in need of cement, stones and other building materials.”  Repairs and upgrades cost between $8,000.00 to $10,000.00. The materials for a new building cost about $25,000.00. Some of these upgrades need to be completed in the next two months. The pastor continues, “We need prayers before God and we have faith and hope [that God] will help for these needs.”

Pray the Lord provides the resources needed for God’s people in Rwanda to satisfy the building regulations so that their congregations can be reopened. Pray they will find a way to continue to minister to one another and their communities in the interim.

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“Easter in Your Neighborhood: Here’s How”

The following information comes from the Dwelling 1:14 blog:

Each year, the Finke family teams with our neighbors to host an Easter Sunrise Gathering in our neighborhood. It is a simple undertaking that has had powerful long-term results. For instance:

• Neighbors who are not yet ready for church, willingly hear the good news of Jesus.
• Neighbors have a common spiritual experience that changes the status quo of relationships in the neighborhood. (Grace does that.)
• We have seen de-churched neighbors re-engage local churches.
• We have seen neighbors baptized in Jesus’ name.

None of this is even remotely surprising since Jesus is already on the loose in our neighborhood. And here’s the thing: He’s already on the loose in your neighborhood, too.

If you are ready to see what Jesus can do with an Easter gathering in your neighborhood, here is a simple plan for getting started. Easter is April 1 this year, so it’s not too late to plan yours. (No fooling!)

Read a step-by-step plan here: Easter in Your Neighborhood

Posted in Discipleship, Easter, Evangelism, Missional, Missionary, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach | Comments Off on “Easter in Your Neighborhood: Here’s How”

What’s the Purpose of Your Existence as a Person … as a Christian Church?

Have you seen the TED talk featuring Simon Sinnek, “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Every One to Take Action”? His point is that businesses/organizations need to be clear about the “Why” if they hope to grow their company, or in our case, the church. A clear understanding of the answer to “why” develops loyalty in the ones who share the belief and draws people from the outside. Those who identify with the “why” will work with their blood, sweat, and tears for the leader of their organization.

Why do we exist? As individuals? As Christian congregations? What is our purpose? In other words: “what’s the answer to our ‘why?’” C.S. Lewis said, “There exists in every church something that sooner or later works against the very purpose for which it came into existence. So we must strive very hard, by the grace of God to keep the church focused on the mission that Christ originally gave to it.”

The Gospel lesson for this Sunday (John 3:14-21) reminds us “Why” we exist as individuals and as Christian congregations. “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son …”. God’s one intention is to save mankind. “Mission begins in the heart of God and expresses his great love for the world. It is the Lord’s gracious initiative and ongoing activity to save a world incapable of saving itself.” (LCMS CTCR, A Theological Statement of Mission)

A study of the Gospel of John reveals that the idea of being “SENT” is a central motif of John’s Gospel. The Father sends the Son (John 1:1-3, 14; 3:16; 15:21; 16:5; 17:23) … the Father and Son send the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:5-15; 20:22) … and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit sends us (John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (cf. 17:18)

It is said, “It’s not so much that the church has a mission. It’s more that God’s mission has a church!” C.F.W. Walther observes, “You see, dear brethren, … we are assembled here not for our own sake. We are in the faith, and by this faith we hope to be saved! But there are still millions who have no faith! This is why we are here … so that we might bring salvation to as many people as we possibly can … Only for this reason does our gracious God allow Christians to live on earth, that they might bring others to the saving faith. Otherwise God would immediately take a Christian to heaven as soon as he is converted.” (C.F.W. Walther, Essays for the Church, Vol. 2. [St. Louis: Concordia, 1992]: 60-62, Emphasis added). Our Lord sends us to our homes, schools, workplaces, and neighbourhoods to share Jesus’ love through our words and deeds so that people might have the abundant life that He alone provides!

May the prayer of our hearts and the passion of our congregations reflect that of Isaiah who, when asked by the LORD, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? responded, “Here I am, Lord! Send me! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

Posted in Christian church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Missiology, Missional, Missional Leadership, Missionary, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach, Witness, World Missions | Comments Off on What’s the Purpose of Your Existence as a Person … as a Christian Church?

Rwanda: A Country Undergoing Healing

In 1994, Rwanda experienced a genocide. In one hundred days, one million Rwandans (mostly Tutsis and some moderate Hutus) were slaughtered by Hutus. Almost two and half decades later, Rwandans are still impacted by the fallout of the genocide in the following ways:

1. Unresolved grief/trauma: A sizeable majority of Rwandans had family members and friends killed. The country experiences a month-long mourning every April-May. Genocide memorial sites are located throughout the country. Since the conclusion of the genocide, the Rwandan government has urged Rwandans to forgive; to not seek vigilante revenge.

2. A Level of Suspicion: Rwandans are suspicious of other people because during the genocide they were betrayed by neighbours, friends, family members, and fellow church members.

3. Many Lack the Basic Needs of Life: Impoverished widows and orphans are in need of the basic needs of life (e.g. food, clothing, education, improved housing, etc.).  In some cases, women will “sell” their bodies in order to provide for these basic needs of life.

The Rwandan government has initiated many positive initiatives that are improving social mobilisation, cultural homogeneity with an emphasis on group obligations over personal entitlements, but there are ongoing needs to address the above-mentioned challenges. The government is trying to unify the people by championing the policy: “one people, one language, one culture, one Rwanda” but as a Rwanda pastor told me, “Only the forgiving love of God in Christ will bring reconciliation, healing, and unity between the people of Rwanda.”  This is their most fundamental need.

The Christian church is vibrant in Rwanda and church leaders and laity are making significant contributions to the revitalization of Rwanda but they request our help. They request our prayers. They are eager to study God’s Word in more depth with particular emphasis on the unconditional love of God in Christ Jesus.  They invite us to help address the needs of widows and orphans by supporting the ministry of an organization like, “Lift Them Up.” — a Christian not-for-profit striving to alleviate the effects of post-genocidal poverty through educational sponsorships and charitable giving by living out James 1:27. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” 

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“When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment” by Ryan T. Anderson

I attended a workshop on the transgender movement. The speaker recommended reading a recently published book by Ryan T. Anderson, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.

The transgender movement has hit breakneck speed. In the space of a year, it’s gone from something that most Americans had never heard of to a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights.

But can a boy truly be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine really “reassign” sex? Is sex something “assigned” in the first place? What’s the loving response to a friend or child experiencing a gender-identity conflict? What should our law say on these issues?

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment provides thoughtful answers to all of these questions. Drawing on the best insights from biology, psychology, and philosophy, Ryan T. Anderson offers a balanced approach to the policy issues, a nuanced vision of human embodiment, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.

He reveals a grim contrast between the media’s sunny depiction and the often sad realities of gender-identity struggles. He introduces readers to people who tried to “transition” but found themselves no better off. Especially troubling is the suffering felt by adults who were encouraged to transition as children but later came to regret it.

And there is a reason that many do regret it. As Anderson shows, the most helpful therapies focus not on achieving the impossible—changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings—but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality.  …

To continue to read this book review  and/or to purchase it, click on: When Harry Became Sally.

About the Author

Ryan T. Anderson is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He is the author of Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom and the co-author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense and Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination. Anderson has made appearances on ABC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two Supreme Court cases. Anderson received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame.

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