Global Lutheran Education: Be An International Partner!

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International Partners

International Partners (IP) is building on the success of ILT’s International Educational Ministries, listening to and working with Lutheran leaders in Asia, Africa and the Americas, and translating that mission back to our partners. Hence, an International Partner is either an overseas denomination, or an individual/congregation/non-profit that desires to receive or to help provide Lutheran theological education.

In 2015, as part of ILT’s certificate program, we launched international education, beginning with the Lutheran Church of South Sudan, then in India, followed by three countries in Southeast Asia. IP is training pastors and church workers there and has been invited to work in more countries, which can begin once we have additional contributors.

International Partners’ mission is to address the growing demand for international education and connect with sponsors who envision a faithful, growing Lutheran church. Together we are working to:

  • Provide teachers and curriculum to train pastors, evangelists and church workers

  • Train and credential seminary faculty of partner international seminaries

  • Train international students currently in North America

  • Encourage collaboration between mission groups and cultivate support for partner projects

Our financial need is to raise $110,000 in the first year. Funds are designated for development of a basic curriculum of eight courses, scholarships, ministry projects for select students, travel and staffing.

We believe the future growth of the Lutheran Church in the long term is in Africa, Asia and the Americas.  If you have a vision and can grasp the opportunities for Lutheran mission around the world we invite you to partner with us in this vision. Please consider this prayerfully.

Find more info on the areas of the globe where we are at work here.

The Spread of the Gospel!

How far did the Church spread in the first century? Who took the Gospel to Ukraine in the AD 60s? Ethiopia in the 4th century? China in the 7th century? Greenland in the 11th century? What was happening with Christianity in the 300s? 600s? 900s? The Spread of the Gospel Map is a powerful visual depiction of the most important movement in history: the spread of Christianity. Charting the geographic progress of the Gospel over the last 2,000 years, this map shows the missionary journeys of the apostles, the outposts of the early church, the hotbeds of persecution, the staging grounds of the Church’s major theological battles, and more. Be reminded of the power of the Gospel to transform “every nation and tribe and language and people,” and be inspired by the legacies of the brave brothers and sisters who faithfully carried the Gospel of Christ to the farthest ends of the earth. Go here to learn more about it.

The Wise Still Seek Him

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James Tissot (1836–1902), “The Journey of the Magi”. 1894. One copy is in the Minneapolis Institute of Art, another painting is in the Brooklyn Museum.

Both images are in the public domain and are made available through Wikimedia.

 

The Visit of the Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

 

(Matthew 2:1-12 ESV)

Digital Evangelism Issues: Christmas

Using powerful online opportunities before Christmas

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I‘ve had to switch radio stations more than once recently, to avoid wall-to-wall Christmas music starting right at the beginning of December. Too much, too soon!

But, out in cyberworld, many millions of non-Christians around the world are already searching online for Christmas-related topics, be it the origin of Christmas, Christmas customs around the world, recipes, songs, how to make decorations, and much much more. And Christmas is a ‘thin space’ – a time when the gap between spiritual reality and physical life can be particularly narrow and transparent.

Your church website, or personal blog, could provide some of the answers they are seeking, while maybe leading them to further insights they did not expect. Yet without preaching, and with an outsider-friendly, jargon-free approach.

Web evangelist Rusty Wright is a very useful source of outsider-friendly free-to-use articles. Here are a selection of his Christmas-related articles that any church or ministry can use, in print or online:

Coping with Loneliness at Christmas. Feeling low this Christmas season? You’re not alone. Amid holiday cheer, many lonely people are crying or dying on the inside. Maybe you’re one of them. I was.

The Christmas Story: Does it Still Matter? Christmas often means time with family, hectic shopping, parties, cards and gifts. But what about the first Christmas? Why is the original story – the baby in a manger, shepherds, wise men, angels – important, if at all? The answer may surprise you.

Are You Listening? Do You Hear What I Hear? Have you ever missed a great opportunity because you weren’t listening carefully? Twenty centuries ago some clues to impending good news of monumental import eluded most folks. Fascinating prophecies of Jesus’ birth and life bring revealing insights into your own life today.

Rusty offers a range of other free-to-use articles on a variety of topics at RustyWright.com.

More resources for Christmas

Video shorts
Another key opportunity is to embed video shorts in your website or blog. You can also post them on social media, or use them in church events as Christmas approaches. The curated video shorts at YesHeIs.com are a good place to start. Check their current Christmas videos. Here’s one:

The cartoon, by the great political cartoonist Papas, appeared in UK’s Manchester Guardian paper circa 1960. Santa Claus is telling the Christmas story to a child, who asks, “But how did it end.” The unnoticed backdrop to the scene: the Cross. Used by permission of Guardian Newspapers.

Digital Evangelism Issues is a premier online ministry headed up by Tony Soon.