Livin' la Vida DOXA

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Posted 10/17/17 at 12:03 PM | João Mordomo

Timeless Tips on Missions from the Apostle Paul

7 Missions Tips

Marcy Hill is my guest blogger today. As one of my master's degree students, she recently wrote a discussion board post that nicely complements my last post called Timeless Tips on Evangelism from the Apostle Paul. Here are some of Marcy's brief insights into Paul's missionary methods offered to us with a bit of didactic flare:

In reviewing the course material for week two, seven characteristics of Paul’s missionary methods can be discussed.

1. Prepare: Paul was passionate and obedient when it came to his missionary work. His journeys required planning, which he was an active participant in. Consider Moreau, Corwin, and McGee’s assessment of Paul, “Occasionally he depended on the hospitality of God’s saints…or the contributions of various churches…, but most typically he generated his own income by making tents…”[1] Not only did Paul accept and obey God’s purpose for his life, he also personally contributed to the actualization of the missionary determinations.

2. People: Paul understood the importance of Christian community and fellowship. In each of Paul’s three major missionary journeys, he had traveling and ministerial companions. During his first mission, he traveled with Barnabas and John Mark.[2] His second mission Paul traveled with Silas, Timothy, Priscilla, Aquilla, and Luke.[3] Hence, Timothy and Luke were Paul’s travel companions during his third missionary journey. FULL POST

Posted 9/10/17 at 4:45 PM | João Mordomo

Timeless Tips on Evangelism from the Apostle Paul

You’ve met the type. You may BE the type. Gung-ho for missions! Ready to take the world for Christ! Willing to go “way over there” to the “ends of the earth” to proclaim the Good News! Excellent! I’ve met many who fit this bill. Unfortunately, many of them have neither the ability nor the desire to communicate the Gospel “right here,” in their own country with their own people using their own language. How then, will they effectively communicate Christ cross-culturally? Perhaps some timeless tips from the Apostle Paul are in order.

You’ve met the type. You may BE the type. Gung-ho for missions! Ready to take the world for Christ!


Throughout the second half of the book of Acts Paul sets forth his case for Christianity over and against any other religion or philosophy. He does so employing trans- or supra-cultural principles that work in any culture, with any people, in any language. Acts 17:16-34 provides a particularly enlightening account of Paul's evangelistic approach. What can we learn from Paul? FULL POST

Posted 10/5/16 at 3:56 PM | João Mordomo

A Tribute to the Original Mr. Mobilization

Last week I wrote a tribute to Brazil's "Mr. Mobilization", Edison Queiroz, who recently went to be with the Lord. Yesterday, however, I had the chance to spend a little time with someone who, in a very real sense, could be considered the "original" Mr. Mobilization. George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization (OM), was with us at Columbia International University, where I'm spending the year as visiting professor and missionary in residence. George in intent on "livin' la vida DOXA," i.e. living for God's glory in all areas of life and among all peoples of the world. He has mobilized and otherwise impacted hundreds of thousands of people around the globe for the cause of Christ. In my case, his greatest impact on me happened in Curitiba, Brazil, in 1998. I was the young leader of a young Brazilian mission agency called CCI-Brasil. George and I sat together at an event where he soon would take the stage to speak. I wanted to glean from his many years of experience, so I asked him what he would have done differently as the leader of a large, global, renowned mission agency. His three-word reply was, "grow more slowly". Wise words from a wise man! George's words were full of significance and I took them to heart. Very specifically, I have since been more concerned with the health of our organization than the size. Large organizations are not necessarily healthy, but healthy organizations grow and are fruitful. Today, CCI-Brasil is a healthy, growing, fruitful organization, and God used George's "three wise words" to help bring about this reality. FULL POST

Posted 9/28/16 at 11:06 AM | João Mordomo

A Tribute to "Mr. Mobilization"

The Brazilian Evangelical church is one of the largest missionary sending churches in the world, in no small part due to the indefatigable efforts of Pastor Edison Queiróz. Known affectionately as “Mr. Mobilization” and “Pastor Acts 1:8,” Edison was like the Energizer Bunny… on steroids! His vim and verve were as renowned as his smile was big. Yet those characteristics were dwarfed by his passion for God and His global mission. While Edison served variously throughout his life as pastor, preacher, teacher and writer, he was, at heart, a mobilizer for the cause of Christ among all peoples.

This past June, Pr. Edison was hospitalized in a battle against brain cancer and on September 22nd, at the age of 67, he succumbed to his illness. This loss was felt by Christians throughout Brazil and was reflected in social media and elsewhere. But the sense of loss is eclipsed by the realization that Edison is seeing and savoring his Lord and, we may surmise, seeing some of the fruits of his own mobilization labors as well. His wife Rute’s words provide perspective and comfort: “My dear, the love of my life, is gone to Jesus. I’m going to see him again for all eternity. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His children. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord. The will of God was done… praised be the Lord.” FULL POST

Posted 3/17/16 at 2:57 PM | João Mordomo

A Note to a Suffering Friend

Dear "J" and "S",

I spoke with "B" and "D" a couple of days ago and they told me that "J" has been diagnosed with cancer. I want you to know how terribly sorry we are to hear this news, and assure you that we will be praying for you both. I also want to share with you something that has meant alot to me and carried me through the recent loss of my mother. I hope that it will encourage you both, as well, to remain unshaken and unwavering in your relationship with your loving Father. Sometimes the best way for us to understand Him and His Word is to see how other people have remained steadfast through hard times. Although I could name countless saints who have undergone and endured hardship and suffering for the sake of their Lord Jesus (Stephen in Acts, for example, or the numerous early Church martyrs, or John Bunyan, or any number of famous hymn writers, or recent martyrs at the hands of ISIS), Charles Spurgeon stands out to me as one who was able to understand how the Lord brings about and uses the fruit of suffering in the lives of His children. Spurgeon suffered from gout, rheumatism and Bright's disease [inflammation of the kidneys] from 1869 (at the age of 35) onward. It became progressively worse so that "approximately one third of the last twenty-two years of his ministry was spent out of the Tabernacle pulpit, either suffering, or convalescing, or taking precautions against the return of illness.” FULL POST

Posted 3/11/16 at 1:23 PM | João Mordomo

"Water Bozos"

Every once in awhile, your life’s road crosses paths with the unexpected. This was the case when my family and I took a mini-vacation in Brotas, São Paulo, Brazil. The small town of about 20,000 people is the one of the adventure sport hotspots in Brazil. One day while we were at an adventure company’s office preparing to go rafting, I started asking questions about the company and its owner, and in the process discovered that the owner was also the manager of a rafting team called “Alaya - Bozo d’ Água”. Alaya is the name of his company, so no surprise there. But I wondered, “Why Bozo d’ Água?” An employee explained to me.

In 2002, six local teens decided that they wanted to become the Brazilian rafting champions. These guys, simple and hard-working — most never having graduated from high school, nor having been actively involved in water sports — began training in the local river everyday. The local community was skeptical, to say the least, and some began calling the guys “Bozos d’ Água,” meaning, “water Bozos,” as in, “water clowns.” Undeterred, the team continued to train. FULL POST

Posted 3/4/16 at 10:38 AM | João Mordomo

Praying Passionately for Turkey

One of the greatest privileges that we have, as children of God, is to pray. We have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. (See Heb. 4:14-16) Like the Psalmist, we ofter turn to God in times of need. And like the Psalmist, we should turn to God on behalf of all peoples. It is our joyful burden, our glorious obligation, to pray for the nations as part of our effort to

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. (Psalm 96:3-4 ESV)

One of the best and most needy examples is the nation of Turkey. In addition to being one of the world’s least-evangelized countries, there are many indicators that it is also one of the most resistant to the Gospel. Add to that the ethno-political strains between the Turks and the Kurds in southeast Turkey, as well as the constant pressure from ISIS and the Syrian civil war, and the unceasing flow (if not flood) of Syrian refugees (currently over 2.7 million) streaming through the southern border, and you have a situation — a nation with numerous unreached people groups — that cries out for prayer. I want to help you pray passionately and powerfully, so here are some suggestions about how to pray that derive from one of my regular trips to that land. FULL POST

Posted 2/25/16 at 4:01 PM | João Mordomo

Pastor Elvis?!

The other morning while excercising, I did what I often do, namely, listen to a podcast or MP3 message related to the Bible, missions, theology, Christian living, business or leadership. That day it happened to be a challenging message on missions. When the message was over, my iPod immediately began playing the next item in my 5000+ list of songs, messages and podcasts. It was a message about marriage. The preacher proferred some pretty profound thoughts in a poetic and pithy fashion:

Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
Give me, give me one more chance
To keep you satisfied, satisfied FULL POST

Posted 2/18/16 at 2:54 PM | João Mordomo

BAAA! BAAA! (Or “On Matthew 25:31-33”)

I recently saw an interesting discussion concerning Mt. 25:31-33 and whether or not it deals with “national salvation.” And, well, I got sucked in. You’ll recognize the passage:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

I found this discusssion especially interesting because it is about a “missionary” text, but that fact is almost always overlooked. The text certainly does not speak of “national salvation” (as most, correctly, concluded). But that is not to negate or downplay the very real missiological phenomenon of “people movements,” whereby a large percentage of the population of a given ethnic group (or tribe or caste) does, in fact, come to know and follow Christ. Neither does it merely refer to individual people in a vacuum, apart from their broader cultural or ethnic context. Matthew uses the Greek word ethnos (the expression is panta ta ethnē, “all the nations”), which is best understood in English as “ethnic group.” This is in keeping with the flow of Scripture from Genesis to Reveleation, with God’s stated purpose and desire (and worth!) to be known, loved and worshipped among all ethnic groups, or people groups, or simply “peoples.” Examples number in the hundreds but here are a few: FULL POST

Posted 2/10/16 at 4:41 PM | João Mordomo

Bossa Nova, the "Beautiful Game," and Business as Mission

Pauloʼs career at a world-renowned international business consultancy was taking off. Nonetheless, he felt a deep longing to make a greater difference for God than he thought he was making in business. He sought the advice of his pastor and others, all of whom suspected that God was leading him and his wife Maria to become missionaries. Paulo couldnʼt argue with them; he genuinely sensed Godʼs calling on their lives. His counselors further suggested that Paulo quit his job and go to the only place that could really prepare them to become missionaries - seminary - and then raise their support and be sent out by their church through a traditional mission agency. While he had a nagging feeling that perhaps this wasnʼt the best option for them, there didnʼt seem to be any other possibility, so he quit his job and they went to seminary.

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I'm João, but you can call me John. Since meeting Christ at age 16, my driving passion has been to glorify Him! I’m a “Great Commission Entrepreneur.” I am passionate about starting and leading anything — mission agencies, churches, businesses — that helps fulfill the Great Commission. I also love to speak, teach, preach and write about God's glory in all areas of life and among all peoples of the world. FULL POST

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