(NOTE: Watch a 4 minute video of Patrick)
I moved from Ghana to the United States because of a command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Worldwide disciplemaking means that we must plant churches across the world.
A promise moved me, from a church I planted in Georgia, to Hawaii: “He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope” (Isaiah 42:4 NIV).
Just before ascending to heaven Jesus charged his disciples to preach the gospel to all nations (ethnic groups). These were Jews whose world had revolved around Jerusalem. They were to leave their comfort zone to preach to gentiles, ultimately touching the uttermost parts of the earth. This mandate could only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Church Planters From Africa
This is the mandate behind Lighthouse Chapel International. Because of it, we’ve planted many churches in many places.
With small beginnings in Accra, Ghana and under the leadership of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, we’ve grown to 3,000 churches in more than 80 countries. These are organic missions undertaken by both full time and bi-vocational leaders.
In the USA, it’s our vision to have a church in every state and plant over 250 churches. We’ve crossed the 100 mark and pursuing this vision with inexorability.
We’ve just planted churches in last frontiers, for us, which are Alaska and Hawaii. We’re fervently praying to start more churches in these places.
Faith And Sacrifice
Planting churches require faith and sacrifice. Without these two elements, the church of Jesus Christ comes to a standstill.
Many years ago, Christian missionaries came to Africa to spread the gospel in unlivable conditions – no roads, electricity, cars etc. it’s our turn to take up their story, walk in their shoes and go to the ends of the earth to sacrificially spread the gospel.
I believe it’s the time our sister churches in America rise beyond the mega-church mentality and move toward missionary work beyond the shores of this country. We crisscross each other by planting churches among people whose geographic, economic and tribal perspective are different from ours. This is the thread line in the great commission – reaching the nations (ethne).
The message of sacrifice must return to the church of Jesus Christ. The greatest obstacle to the gospel is not atheism, political leaders nor secularism; but a Christian desire for comfort.
John Piper in his article “Doing missions when dying is gain” said:
“Now this is exactly the opposite of what I hear mainly in America as people decide where to live, for example. I don’t hear people saying, “I don’t want to leave, because this is where I’m called to and this is where there’s need.” Oh, that we might see a reversal of our self-centered priorities? They seem to be woven into the very fabric of our consumer culture: Move toward comfort, toward security, toward ease, toward safety, away from stress, away from trouble, and away from danger. It ought to be exactly the opposite. It was Jesus himself who said, “He who would come after me let him take up his cross and die” (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23).
It’s the absorption of a consumer, comfort, ease culture in the church. And it creates weak ministries and churches in which safe, secure, nice things are done for each other. And safe excursions are made to help save some others. But oh, we won’t live there, and we won’t stay there, not even in America, not to mention Saudi Arabia.”
America Is Still A Powerhouse
It’s our desire that we’ll see branches of American churches in other states, nations in Africa, Asia, South America, Europe. The American church is a powerhouse, still capable of great exploits for Jesus Church. Let’s commit ground troops to the mission fields. We need men and women, on the field until new churches are established in every nation and tribe.
Lighthouse Chapel International will ultimately reach into 180 nations. It’s our prayer that the Holy Spirit will enable us to accomplish this great task. African pastors flourish in Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Australia and the United States. We are praying for open doors into 100 other nations.
My family and I are blessed to have landed in Hawaii and it’s our firm belief to have churches in all the neighbor Islands—Jerusalem, Judea and to the uttermost parts of the earth!!!
Let’s attempt great things for God and expect great things from Him – William Carey.