I have been in contact with one of our Coastland team guys, Scott Bane, who has been in South Africa for the past three weeks. This has been a major sacrifice for him, all things considered (wife at home with three small children – not overly established financially – made the trip on an offering only basis with them agreeing to only pay for his fare). With risk, sacrifice in response to the invitation of Jesus, comes the common elements of God’s kingdom’s presence. Scott had read about this prior to his trip, but had never experienced this.
The response to him spreading the empowering message of what we are nicknaming “Outflow," simply that Jesus wants to involve 100% of us as inviters of our friends, family, neighbors, all who cross our paths by serving our way into their lives, has been amazing.
Usually with this message there is a lag time between the scattering of the “seeds” of kindness, generosity, love – but in this case the response has been nearly immediate. Keep in mind the churches he has been speaking at have mostly been made up mostly of Afrikaners (Dutch descendants who are gradually becoming integrated) and vary in size from a few hundred to a thousand. A VERY large church in South Africa of this sort would be 2-3,000. Several hundred have come to Christ within days of being served or shown kindness. Experience shows me that in North America and most of Europe, that process is typically a year or more, in the best case scenario.
Scott is experiencing an apostolic level of God’s presence as he has moved out on this trip. Don’t be fearful of that adjective – he is not an “apostle” – I / we are not comfortable using that word – there is much misunderstanding with that vocabulary. But there is that sort of biblical activity going on around him and his team. More to follow when he returns mid-week. Check out his blog.