OC Director's Blog: April 2023 Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Wednesday, April 12, 2023
"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.'" -Matthew 28:18-20
We call it the Great Commission. This was Jesus’ final instruction to his disciples before he left the earth and descended into heaven. He wanted his disciples to start a multiplying movement where disciples make disciples, who make disciples. Simply put, disciples follow the life, example, and teachings of Jesus. But we have a problem. In our culture today, we do a better job of “observing” than “obeying.” The word “observe” in the final phrase means to follow and obey. It is not enough to just study and gain knowledge. Our discipleship teaching and learning should lead to the action of following Jesus and his teaching and sharing that with others.
One of our OC missionaries has taken this command very literally. She just spent four months traveling through three Asian countries. While she was there, she focused on making disciples. Using simple Discovery Bible Study tools, she traveled from city to city, teaching from the Bible and teaching people how to study the Bible and share it with others. In the past two years, this missionary has helped to start over three hundred new groups of disciples (micro-churches), and in the past four months, she trained over 178 churches with over 1600 leaders participating!
God is still building his church, and he is still using faithful disciples who are willing to go and make disciples who will multiply!
Things are progressing rapidly in our Leader-SHIFT process. I have begun delegating most of my responsibilities to the capable hands of our Leader-SHIFT team. We are preparing for our spring retreat in the first week of May. The theme is “Moving Forward Together.” Our four-day retreat will focus on listening to each other and preparing for leadership transition.
I am also preparing for our OC Global Alliance meetings in Malaga, Spain, at the end of May. Around sixty of our global leaders will gather for a week of meetings. We will spend time worshipping and praying together each day, followed by listening and learning from each other. It has been four years since our last face-to-face meeting so this is very exciting for all of us. I will be the Moderator for the meetings, so I appreciate your prayers as we manage a full agenda and many meaningful conversations.
Outreach Canada is showing signs of great health. We have already started the year on a strong pace financially, and it looks like it will be another exciting year of growth. We will probably send three or four short-term missionaries this year, and I am currently in conversations with three more people in the process of applying to join our team.
Our Corporate Chaplains Canada ministry is growing and is excited to host a 30 minute unveiling of our new name and branding on April 27 at 7am Pacific. We would love you to join us for a short video presentation of our chaplaincy ministry and learn about how we make workplaces “better.”
Growth is exciting, but we are also facing a new challenge. Anna, our Finance Administrator, has resigned for family reasons and will leave us after our retreat and board meeting in May. This leaves a large and unexpected gap in our administrative team. As a result, we are now looking for an experienced bookkeeper for three days a week. It is a salaried position with benefits. Please let me know if you, or someone you know, might be interested in serving the Lord with Outreach Canada. The ideal candidate will live in the BC Lower Mainland, but a qualified individual may be able to do the job remotely.