Up Close Interview

ONE ON ONE with John B.

by, Brandy N.

Our Spotlight ministry is focusing on a true mission disciple who is also a pastor to a family of five. First, his friend and wife Maureen, daughters Kayleigh and Anna and sons Asher and Alex. . I sat down with John B to find out what’s new in his life and his most recent mission.– Be sure to leave a comment!

JOHN-5

In sunny Redwood City. June 13, 2013

Interviewer: Welcome home John… it makes all the difference having a family to come home to…

John: Yes it is good to be back.

Interviewer: Share with us what’s going on and how is God using you?

John: Our heart’s mission is for the unreached people.

Interviewer: Unreached?

John: Like those who have never had a first course.

Interviewer: A “first course” – ok explain.

John: Well imagine a wedding and you have two rooms- One room has been served a first course… a second and now a third. While the servers forgot about the second room- who has yet to even get their first course. These are those who still have yet to hear of Christ and His Gospel. The message hasn’t been served to them. These are some of the poorest of the poor, spiritually and physically.

Interviewer: Great analogy but who are those unreached?

John: Well for instance most of our mission activity is where the church already exists, for example Mexico and the Congo, which is great but let’s not neglect sharing the Gospel and making disciples of those who have never heard. Let’s not forget the unreached. Many of these people groups are even here in the Bay Area? A group of unreached people might immigrate to America to only continue to have never heard of about the gospel- never hearing about Christ.

Interviewer: With all the technology how can you be sure that these people are really unreached or do you guys have giant map and just pick a place?

John: (laughs before a composed response) we actually do have a giant map in our house- we have a large map with red dots on it and every red dot represents an unreached people group.

Interviewer: What do you and your team do to strategically reach the “unreached” people?

John: There is actually a whole science behind it. We find the density of the population and we compare it to the presence of the evangelical (Christ-following, Bible-Believing) Church. We focus on where the Church does not exist. Globally we work with other organizations to update each other and we field test it. For example we talk to our regional contact, they have leaders who visit sites, who then visit those people groups; we update each other to find progress or any change. If those contacts find that less than 2% of the population is evangelical it’s considered unreached. With less than 2% Christ-followers, it is practically impossible for them to reach their own community for Christ without outside help.

Interviewer: This is all new to me, and it is pretty amazing. So what is life like for your family here, in Silicon Valley?

John: We are doing great, but it has been a challenge. We were deeply rooted in Kenya and the UK. We had very specific ministries and shared this together as a couple.  Since coming back here, Maureen’s role has changed – more focused on educating our children and informal mentoring.

Interviewer: (laughs) you are beaming, I can see your love for her.

John: (laughs) yes… she is highly resourceful and a down to earth spiritual mentor. Her desire and her chief role are for our kids. She says, “my chief role is to disciple and mentor our four kids who will be world changers for Christ.”

Interviewer: That’s wonderful…

John: That means they will be people of faith, have a kingdom perspective and want to impact their world for Christ.

Interviewer: So what can I share with the church? I mean how can we support you?

John: Support us? We are so supported here at PCC we feel very affirmed, very affirmed. We want people to see that we are just like them. We want people to join us in mission. We are burdened for people to live holistically and intentionally.

Interviewer: Explain that- explain what you mean when you say holistically.

JohnWe see that in our home culture,  it’s easy for Christians to live this dualistic reality. It’s as if we do not have gospel filters on. We can easily get caught up not seeing ourselves on daily mission- not being intentional to live like Christ – but we are on a daily mission.  We can get so caught up in materialism. When we are on mission in a foreign land, we make every point to have our actions match our words so that people are drawn to Christ in us. We continually ask ourselves “am I being Christ like?” At the stop light, the grocery store or wherever – Translate that- What does my life communicate? We are walking ambassadors for Christ. It should be no different for believers in their home culture.

Interviewer: You are so right- do you think that role can be an intimidating role?

John: Intimidating? No it’s freeing.  We so easily buy into the counterfeit. We need to walk closely with each other and be free to get into each other’s mess or share our own mess.

Interviewer:  I agree.

John: In love, we need to be able to call each other out and hold each other accountable. None of us are exempt from the struggles, how susceptible we are to marriage and financial troubles and why can’t we say “hey brother, how is your marriage? How is your debt?”-  I mean we live in Silicon Valley it’s pretty tough here (laughs).

Interviewer: (laughs) I know it. What does it mean to arrive spiritually?

John: That our values are in check and we are not just the status quo. Its all about Jesus and his Glory – and giving and receiving His grace.

Interviewer: So tell me what are you doing John, what are you working on?

John:  Well I serve as the Director of Ministry for Africa Inland Mission (AIM) where my role is to 1) study the global trends and their implication for mission in Africa, 2) help our workers with fruitful practices in church planting, and 3)  grow partnerships with like-minded organizations through collaboration – so we don’t work in isolation.

My other role is to serve as the coordinator of a global network of 135+ organizations who want to see effective church planting among all Muslim communities; with a priority for the unreached and unengaged.

Interviewer: That’s a blessing to get that many organizations to come together.

John: Yes, it is for instance we can share resources and strategize together over specific countries in order to get the Gospel to the last unreached people groups.

Interviewer: What are you studying right now?

John: Our Family is studying Revelations right now- I don’t know why we chose revelations but we did. We are in Revelations 2 Church in Smyrna that church is still around and functioning today. You know they are the church that has a lot of encouragement and no admonishment. They suffered a lot I don’t think we know suffering at all- I mean the church patriarchs’ that were burned at the stake for the gospel.

Today we are more concerned about our civil rights than we are about getting the gospel out.

Interviewer: So true John.  So true. We have a strong appetite for ourselves

JohnYes, and we need to grow an appetite for Christ and share that first course with the unreached.

Interviewer: How can we pray for you and your family?

John: Well you can pray for wisdom for me, for balance with work and family, that I can be realistic in what I can and should participate in, and that we as a family can draw near to each other and that I can cover our home before engaging people. Financially we are good but we live by faith so pray that we use wisdom with our finances in this expensive area. Pray for our mentoring relationships, we each mentor others and so we want to draw from God’s living stream. And also for Spiritual protection for my family, especially when I’m traveling.

Interviewer: We will be praying. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your heart!

End.

Interviewer Notes:

This is the scripture impressed on John’s heart: Zechariah 8:23, “In those days, ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you because we have heard that God is with you.” Oh, to be like Christ.

John is walking in the dust of our Rabbi when you see him and his family walking around talk to them and ask questions. Thank you John and family for being a part of this community, be blessed and be encouraged as your fellow brothers and sisters pray for you; thank you for giving us the opportunity to share in your journey.

You can contact John B at tel. 650 868 5414 or visit his blog at http://thegoodsoil.ning.com/

For more information about being a part of Serving through PCC, please contact PCC or Sharon Seeberger at (650) 307-3283 you can also visit: www.pccaroundtheworld.com