M3: Missions for the Third Millennium – A Public Position

July 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

world missionsby Rev. Dony K. Donev, D.Min.

The time of changes in the world of missions is at hand. The search for a new paradigm for doing missions in the beginning of the 21st century has begun. Much like in the world of the internet, it cannot be a closed-circuit reinstallation of the same old software, which changes the interface, but not the structure; or a copyrighted etalon designed to be used by a tender legal minority. It must be an open-source, people oriented, social networking, body-like organism of believers that practice the Bible providing the diakonia of missions to peoples and nations in a need of salvation.

This necessity for a fresh evaluation of the way we do missions in the Spirit is based on issues which older missional paradigms were unable to adequately address. Rethinking of world missions today, includes rethinking the global problems of economic crises, world terrorism, immigration and open border markets. Problems that point not to new frontiers in some unknown cosmic future, but back to the old countries upon which modern day civilization was built.

Churches and missionaries, then, cannot afford to simply follow any secular, political, social or economical wave, but must propose Biblical solutions, which surpass both the understanding and history of the natural world to the realm of the Kingdom of God – the sole solver, provider and proprietor of the restoration of God created humanity, social justice and every relationship within the universum for eternity.

It is there, in the very Kingdom identity, or the lacking of such thereof, that the problem of ministry in missions is found. And this problem is deep, penetrating the very soul and make of the church, changing it from a community of mission minded believers willing to dedicate their lives to missions, to an agency that sends half-prepared, half-sponsored, half-aware missionaries to a mission filed where cultural, leadership and financial dilemmas hit them as a hurricane and never seize to oppose their call to minister in a foreign land.

Several characteristics are apparent immediately. The ministry of missions in the 21st century must be:

1. More mission minded than agency structured
2. More missionary focused than leadership centralized
3. More operational than organizational
4. More result oriented than self and strategy containable
5. More praying than thinking while more feeling, than cognitive
6. More giving than fundraising oriented
7. More focused on the Dominion of the Kingdom, than the denomination.

A proposal of such caliber must begin simultaneously at three starting points. First, perhaps not by importance, but by legal requirement, a professional counsel is a must. Many mission agencies follow the secular practice of debriefing missionaries, who have been on the field for a long time as part of their reentry. It is expected that post-missional experiences are often defined as problems requiring a professional counselors. But there are so many more cultural, financial, leadership, church and purely structure related problems. For example, how can one ever imagine doing missions in the 21st century without assertive financial planning in difficult times and rapidly changing international currencies, or political and security advisory in times of ever-present global terrorism? If addressed properly by in-house professionals beforehand, most of them can and should be easily prevented in the ministry of the missionaries. Thus, released from the burden of solving problems they are not qualified to deal with, missionaries will be allowed to fully focus on their main goal: namely, the salvation of eternal human souls.

Second, but equally important, are some very practical implications concerning the church recognition of the ministry of the missionary. Unfortunately, even in the beginning of the 21st century, some of the leading Pentecostal denominations in the world do not have the ministry of missions present on their ministerial report forms, as if it simply does not fit there. Others are yet to include missions as a ministry occupation on their voting registrations for business meetings at assemblies.

And finally, a word about the Prophetic Utterance of Pentecostal Missions. Historically, we, the missionaries baptized with the Holy Ghost, seldom followed models and paradigms. Our guidance has been that prophetic Word, that utterance of the Spirit, that divine guidance and Heavenly call that are never wrong. We went without knowing. We prayed without ceasing. We prophesied without seeing in the physical or even purposefully refusing to reckon with it. We preached without a season, for preaching was the vibe of our ministry and the life of our churches. And this made us Pentecostal. Even more important, this made us powerfully Pentecostal and Pentecostally powerful.

And if indeed, it is true that this very power is being lost today, it means that the very identity of our movement has changed from power giving to power needing – from powerful to powerless. The main questions that must be raised then are these: “What is the prophetic word for Pentecostal missions in 21st century?” and “What does the Spirit wants us to do?” And their answers could be found in the restoration of Pentecostal preaching, prophecy and prayer, as the foundation of any paradigm or model on which we continue to build the Ministry of World Missions.

M3: Mobile Power for the Ministry

May 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, News


After traveling almost 4,000 miles, I am finally at the 2010 BibleTech listening to Antoine’s talk on mobile technology in the ministry. Antoine is the main guy behind the Mobile Ministry Magazine and a great friend, but I am sitting in his lecture for more than just the code and the algorithm. I am a practitioner in the ministry.

Thousands of Bulgarian speaking people across the globe rely on our team every day to receive a verse from the Bible via SMS. Our Bibliata.TV website has become the Bulgarian GodTube with over 10,000 daily visitors, 1,500 active uploaders and hitting a half petabite monthly traffic in video exchange. So, I am more than just a listener – I am here for the power of the experience.

I met Antoine last year at BibleTech in Seattle. I shared with him our ministry in Bulgaria and abroad, and he offered to help us. Not long after the conference, I received in my office a Nokia 5800, which according to Antoine had more than one advantage over the iPhone, but the one that concerned me the most was the uStream app.

Speaking at the Leadership Development Institute earlier that year, I mentioned uStream but being busy with other projects never paid too much attention to it. Now, I had a reason to try it. No more than five minutes after opening the FedEx package I was broadcasting LIVE on a dozen of our ministry’s websites. Five more minutes and people were actually watching. Hundreds of them.

WOW! I stopped for a pause, because my heart was racing. The potential of one small mobile device applied to the ministry of the church was overwhelming and I needed to pray.

A week later I had convinced two Bulgarian churches to broadcast their services via uStream. Two more joined on the following Sunday, one of them being a Bulgarian speaking congregation in Chicago. A Bulgarian minister from Spain began broadcasting on Thursday nights as over 50 people were logged in and ready to watch 30 minutes before his broadcast. We then put LIVE online the annual conference of Bulgarian churches in North America. Then the Global Day of Prayer from downtown Sofia was watched by 35,000 people LIVE on our Bibliata.com website.

Before we ever returned for our ministry term in Bulgaria, we had over a dozen churches broadcasting LIVE services on Sunday alone plus additional LIVE services on every night of the week except Monday. We received hundreds of emails with testimonies of dramatic healings and life transformations. And this has been going on for over one year now. All because of a small portable telephone that can fit on the palm of my hand and travel with me oversees in the pocket of my blue jeans. I guess I can say it like this: this phone was made for preaching!

John Maxwell says that while training followers adds to your church, training leaders multiplies it. I call this the G2 effect – the growth of the church in a geometrical progression. Like the story of chess boards (2, 4, 16, 256, etc). But the use of mobile technology in the ministry multiplies its effectiveness tridimensionally, adding to it a mobile dimension as a Rubik Cube. I call it M3 – a mobile motivational ministry factor that is unprecedented. And this is something the church cannot afford to miss if it wishes to remain relevant in postmodernity.