Nik Ripken is a 30-year missionary veteran and author of The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience. It was a pleasure hosting Nik and his wife Ruth for a 3-day conference called Servants in the Crucible. Some 55 of us gathered in Springfield, Mo. He often slipped into Bible Storying mode and much of his presentation was oral with discussion. Nik is a fan of the Orality Movement.
Here are at least ten truths that he shared that I believe those of us seeking to be disciple-makers will find challenging, yet inspiring as a “God-sized task.”
1. Biblically, persecution is normal.
2. The number one cause of persecution is people coming to Jesus.
3. Obedience by believers will precipitate persecution, suffering, and martyrdom.
4. Pastors rarely raise up sheep to go to the wolves. If believers don’t go, then they are similar to the persecutors. Same outcome–the lost lack a witness. …
5. Most people think they can be discipled in only one hour a week.
6. 73% of new believers in the last five years leave the church on average. Guard the backdoor with disciple-making.
7. Missionaries should be characterized more by what they leave behind than what they bring.
8. America will never be closer to God than the commitment of His people in the house of God.
9. In China, believers that win 10-12 people to Christ qualify as small group leader, 25+ people qualify as a pastor. Praise God! (Would your teacher and pastor qualify? )
10. Persecutors put followers of Jesus into isolation away from the body of Christ. Don’t do to yourself what persecutors want to do.
BONUS: You don’t have to come back, but you have to go.