We all know we are supposed to love our neighbors, but how can we do that well? Ena Richards, a speaker at the recent DNA Global Forum, breaks down what it means to work for someone’s good and how we can love people into thriving. Ena Richards is the founder of Work 4 A Living, a ministry that has labored to get the unemployed to recognize the significance of their life and work. Through their job and business training, 13,000 people have come to know Christ as their Savior. This is the story of Ena learning to guide people in the journey of discipleship and faithfulness.
We do not need 1000s of churches planted. We need 10s of 100s of 1000s of disciples made. Change lives. People who live according to his ways and teach others to do the same. That is loving people fully. Planting churches will not change a nation, it will not unless they are discipling churches, and part of discipleship is teaching people to work. Work is not an option, let us change that life from the pit of hell every day.Luke:
As Christians, our mission is to spread the gospel around the world to all the nations. But our mission also includes to transform the nations to increasingly reflect the truth, goodness and beauty of God's kingdom. Tragically, the church has largely neglected the second part of our mission and today, Christians have little influence on their surrounding cultures. Join us on this podcast and rediscover what it means for each of us to disciple the nations and to create Christ honoring cultures that reflect the character of the living God.Scott:
Hello again, and welcome to another episode of Ideas Have Consequences. This is the podcast at the Disciple Nations Alliance. And my name is Scott Allen. I'm the president of the Disciple Nations Alliance along with Dwight Vogt, the Vice President and Luke Allen, our Director of Communications. And we have just returned a couple of days ago from Ethiopia, where we were able to participate in the 2022 DNA Global Forum. This is an event that we host every two years, it's a gathering of people from the DNA network, people who've gone through our core training, are applying it in their ministries and their organizations and our discipling their nations. And this is a time where we get together face to face to grow deeper in our understanding of our common mission and to network with one another, learn from one another. And just it's a really wonderful time of fellowship. We were back on the continent of Africa, we move these around the world, so that people from different regions of the world have an opportunity to connect. We haven't had one of these since before COVID. The one prior to this was right before the COVID pandemic hit it was in Panama. And so we decided after a lot of prayer and work to to gather again, this time back on the continent of Africa. We had a wonderful, wonderful group of people from many different parts of Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America as well. It was just a wonderful time. One of our key speakers was Arturo Kuba is a longtime friend and kingdom-iser, of the Disciple Nations Alliance. Really, really fantastic, fantastic time. And later on, we're going to give you a taste of what went on there. We're going to feature one of the speakers at the forum, Ena Richards, one of our member organizations, she leads one of our member organizations called work for a living and it's applied the biblical worldview teaching in and through her ministry, which works with at risk youth and unemployed youth starting in South Africa, but since expanded around the world. Dwight and Luke, I'd love to hear from you guys. What were some highlights from your time in, in Ethiopia?Dwight:
Yeah, I'd be happy to share. It was so exciting to be there for myself as well. This is my third or fourth forum. And then a number of regionals. But it's just always so exciting and encouraging to get together with people who have been impacted by some ideas that I was impacted by, you know, 20 years ago, and to see the fruits of that in their lives. And then to meet others that maybe it's a little fresher, it's just like, Whoa, I had no idea type of response. So anyway, a few highlights for me was one was like meeting with a guy named Matsuura, who's been part of the DNA Alliance now for a number of years. And he actually is engaged in broadcasting every week to three countries in West Africa from his home, and he can do that on the internet. And he was so excited to actually get some recording help from Luke and I, with a small recorder that we could give him and he broadcasts DNA Core Messages of biblical worldview and its impact on the flourishing of communities in his area of the world in French. It's good to see Dennis Tongo again, who's taken this training, these ideas into the business world. And when we say business, we mean real business. We're talking high level business executives in Kenya. I mean Kenya airlines level. And the impact that some simple biblical ideas are having on their ability to manage their organizations in a godly way, which leads to success and prosperity and goodness. Another friend that we met again, was Godfrey Chiave, from Uganda. And I asked him, What are you doing this next week? And he goes, Well, on Thursday, I'm meeting with the Department of Education, Minister of Education for the country, and talking about how they can help homeschool grow and develop and be recognized in the country of Uganda because he sees that as the wonderful expression of being able to put biblical worldview into education. Couple of others newbies, were a woman named Emanuela, from Cameroon. And she's got her PhD in theology, and I'm like, wow, how many African women do I know that have a PhD in theology? What was interesting, I hear she is a student of theology. And yet some of the ideas were new to her. She came, she was one that said to me, Wow, you guys keep going back to Genesis for everything? And I said, Yes, we do. And for her, that was a new, new insight. And she's really grasping the profound implications of a biblical worldview on society. And so that was, that was just five countries, five people, it was exciting to meet them again.Scott:
Great, Dwight, thanks. Luke, what were some highlights from your time there,Luke:
it's hard to narrow it down. It was such an amazing trip. I wish everyone that listen to this podcast could experience just a time like that of encouragement and seeing the way I mean, the beginning of this podcast, we always say, our mission as Christians is to transform the nations to increasingly reflect God's truth, goodness and beauty. And this last week, we were really able to see that, you know, the hands and feet of God transforming the nations through the Bible, and the biblical worldview and the power of that on every single area of life. The biblical worldview applies to everything. And once you grasp that, you can take it and run with it in anything that you do. So this last week, we had people there who worked in education, like Dwight, you were just saying, in business, in the arts, in everything, and they were transforming their nations. And it was just incredible for me, incredible for me to see that. And I was one of the newbies at the conference, and everything people talked about was just like exploding my brain. So I'm still in, you know, recovery mode, essentially, and trying to jot down everything that I learned and was taught.Scott:
There's so many for me to so many highlights, it's just such a sweet fellowship, and with really, you know, impressive group of Christian leaders from a variety of different countries, and you really get a sense that God is discipling the nations. And I always walk away from these times just feeling incredibly honored to be able to spend time with people, like those that we were able to interact with at the forum. One thing that really struck me amongst many things was just the nation of Ethiopia itself. And our hosts there, Demelash Lemma is with the harvest foundation, you know, Demelash has been teaching faithfully our core messages of the DNA in Ethiopia for 20 years. And I think I got a real sense of the fact that just kind of like the sower, Jesus talks about the parable of the sower, he's been sowing seeds, and they are bearing fruit And one of the things that I took away from my time there was the impact that they're having in that whole nation, particularly in the political sphere. Demelash mentioned that Ethiopia is a nation. The predominant religions there, there's an ancient church called the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. There's also a large Muslim community, and then a growing Evangelical community. Evangelicals in Ethiopia comprise about 30% of the population. But the growth, you know, within that 30% I mean, it's just dramatic over the last 15-20 years, it used to be maybe 3%. So it's the fastest growing segment, you know, of the population in Ethiopia. And it's all very young, they're all 30 years old or younger, you know, for the most part, so it's a very young movement. And Demelash is sowing the seeds within that movement and beyond just discipling nations and biblical principles that can bring transformation to nations and I think that's really spread broadly within that group. And one of the people from that group is the current prime minister, a gentleman named Abiy and he's really interesting man, who actually won the Nobel Peace Prize here a couple years ago. He's in his 40s, very young, very committed Christian, has a vision himself for discipling the nation, and kind of transcending the tribal differences in Ethiopia. And creating a strong nation, you know, a strong nation of Ethiopia based on biblical principles. And, you know, Demelash and those people, all the way up into his cabinet. And I was so impressed, you know, by that, you know, I think I come away thinking, you know, we're a small group in a big world, but nevertheless, you know, God's doing his work, even in a nation like Ethiopia. Well, with that all said, guys, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. We'd love to give you a flavor of some of the things we heard at the forum, specifically, one of our speakers, a longtime friend of the DNA, one of our partner organizations. The leader of that organization is Ena Richards, the organization is called work for living, really powerful ministry that was started in his home country of South Africa many years ago, where she was seeing a need for just, you know, employment among unemployed youth in townships. And she had begun a ministry that she said when she heard that DNA is teaching and incorporated our training on biblical worldview and biblical worldview discipleship into her training and teaching, employment training, more or less, it just the ministry took off. And so we're gonna give you a chance to hear what Ena shared with our group. That's really powerful. I hope you enjoy it.Ena Richards:
Awesome, thank you so much for having me. So I've been asked to share on the topic of loving your neighbor. And really what I want to do is I want to share what we've discovered in terms of the power and impact that loving your neighbor has on transforming communities. So we know of course, the Kingdom Principle, you must love the Lord your God, love God love your neighbor. Okay, that's the Kingdom Principle we're going to be looking at today. We all know that one. But I want to ask you, what does that mean? What does it mean to love your neighbor? We've got to look at that. And we've got to understand that and it's got to be something that is really practical. We know that it's the irreducible minimum of God's commands. We know all of this. The irreducible minimum of the gospel is Love your neighbor. But what does it mean to love? Thomas Akina, say To love is to consistently will, and do the good of the other. And that's where we're going to be spending a lot of time "to do the good of the other." What does that mean? What does it mean to do the good of the other person? As far as I'm concerned, what we've learned it's complete care. Would you agree with me, it's complete care, wanting what is best for that person? Okay, but if we know that that is what loving your neighbor is, then we've got to be prepared to walk the road to make sure that we have done the very best for that person. So, many of us here, live and work in poor communities. But what do they need? We've spoken about it a lot this week. What is doing good for the poor, actually, mean? Well, Isaiah 61 says, and we know it, the spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. Again, good news. So what is it? What's the good news? Is it the gospel? Is it getting people saved? Is it getting people into church? Well, the good news will differ depending on whether you are the teacher or whether you are the poor person. Isiah 61 goes on further and says he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Issiah 1:17 says, learn to do good. Seek justice, help the oppressed, defend the cause of orphans, fight for the rights of widows. Learn, seek, help, defend. Strong words. Ladies and Gentlemen, these are fighting words. They're not passive words. Love is not abstract. It's not even teaching people stuff and hoping that they're going to go back and implement it in their community. If we want what is fully good for someone, is it okay to teach someone something and say, Wow, I hope you're gonna go home and implement it. From what we've learned over the last 16 years, we've simply seen that it's not abstract. There are three things that we want to want to look at, or three things we've learned. I've been involved with work for a living for 16 years. And the three things that we've learned. Number one, obviously, we all know this to love people we need to meet their needs. Okay. But how do we love people into salvation? Teaching them to love others. And thirdly, how do we love people after salvation? Teaching them God's ways. Again, doing good to the full extent. We've been speaking all week about thriving communities. Okay, well, then we've got to see it. And each one of these to the fullest extent of all three. So the first one, loving people and meeting their needs, I want to quickly just give you some background on what we do. I'm involved with work for a living. And basically what we want to do, what we try and do is we raise up the standards of the way people work. We raise up the standards of the workforce. We want to see unemployed people working to standards of excellence, and living according to a biblical worldview. A rising tide raises all ships. Yes, it's important to work from the top. Yes, of course, it's important to work from a leadership and an employer's perspective. But there are lots of people at grassroots level. And we've got to be sure that we are raising their standards. We train up facilitators, church planters, disciple makers, social entrepreneurs, to run work for a living hubs in communities that in turn impact communities. So we like an access ministry, I've actually only found that out recently, I didn't even know such a word existed. We're an access ministry. An access ministry, where we use jobs, business and finance to draw people to us. If we're going to start in a community, we don't go into the community and say, hey, people, we're gonna teach you how to work. We're going to teach you how to do interviews, we're going to teach you how to do your resume, we're going to teach you how to manage your money, we don't. We go to the employers first. We say hey, we're going to train people to be excellent. We're going to select the best and make them available to you at no cost. Will do you employ them? What's an employee's biggest problem? Staff. So they look yes, of course, I'll employ from you, we then go back to the community, you say, Hey, guys, we've got jobs. Come and listen to what we have to say, because we're going to teach you how to work so that when you work, you don't get to stay in the same job forever, you're gonna get promoted and you're gonna thrive in the workplace. A Trojan horse as such, where on the outside, we've got jobs, business and finance, that gets wheeled into a community and because it's culturally acceptable on the outside, to places where sometimes the church can't go. The outside looks culturally or socially acceptable, but the heart of it is the belly and in the belly of it is the truth of the gospel, which is what we've learned, transforms people's lives. And you guys all know that. We teach our unemployed students excellence, professionalism, wealth, creation, values, business, and then we link them to opportunities. First, changing the way they think. Breaking that poverty mindset. I am poor. I will always be poor. I cannot change. I will be in my slippers and my gown from the morning and watch the sun come up. And tonight I will be in my slippers and in my gown, and I will watch the sun go down. If we do not deal with that mindset, we see it all the time. We arrange interviews for people, they don't go to the interviews. Well, they start working. This was the biggest shock of my life. I don't understand it. It's poverty is find people, job opportunities, help people get skilled, send them to those opportunities, and they're going to take them, right? It doesn't work like that. The solution is not material, the solution is not jobs, the solution is here, in the minds of the peopl. We have to deal with entitlement and dependency, that someone's going to come and fix it for me. Someone needs to make right, someone needs to come and give me knock on my door, government must come knock on my door and give me a skill. I'm not gonna go look for it. And once we do that, we teach a growth mindset, teaching people to excel in a place of work. We've had about 35,000 young people through our program. 18,000 of them have been upskilled. 1600/1700 businesses start. We've had1000s go back to school, finishing school. 10s of 1000s started working. People who've been unemployed for two years, up to 10 years, start working within two months. What changes? Just the way they think. Biblical worldview, their thinking, plus, then teaching them the skills that they need to excel in the workplace. What's exciting for us is when we teach truth and righteousness, the power and wisdom of God's ways in the workplace. We start seeing students start businesses and come back and employ the other unemployed people. A part of the businesses. I had a the student contact me the other day says I was your student in 2010. And I actually remember this young man, he says, I've just completed my PhD. And I'm on my way to Europe to complete some, some internship. You know, that's what we want. There's no need for poverty. There's no need for poverty. There are lots and lots of opportunities. How many times have we heard how many resources we have? So it brings us to the second point, how do we love people into salvation, and teach them to love others?Luke:
Hi, friends, thank you for joining us today for this talk from Ena Richards. As I mentioned at the beginning of this episode Ena's ministry is powerfully transforming communities around the world to the area of business. Ena's training at work for a living uses our teaching and the Coram Deo basics course to help people transform the way they see God's vision for entrepreneurship and work. It has been so encouraging to see the way that God has worked through the Coram Deo basics course in over 100 countries around the world, to disciple individuals, families, churches, and now even nations. If you'd like to learn more about this free training course, which is really our core teaching, packed into a simple video lesson journey, be sure to visit this episode's landing page, where you'll find more information on this course in a link to get started today. Or you can simply search coramdeo.com. And find out more there. Thanks again for joining us today. And now back to this excellent teaching from Ena Richards.Ena Richards:
Well, all of this that I've told you now about what we do, maybe to you it sounds great. I think it's great. Maybe it sounds great to you as well. But let me tell you, it's messy. And this is where it gets messy. Our journey in discovering this principle of how do we love people into salvation wasn't an easy one. Through the program, through teaching God's ways without them even knowing that we teach in God's ways. We saw many, many people give their lives to the Lord during that program, many 1000s in fact, and this was a surprise for us. So we were got to a place we were quite delighted. I mean, wow we are leading 1000s of people to the Lord getting people working? I mean, that's great, right? Until one day the Lord said to me "Ena. I did not tell you to get people saved. I told you to get people discipled and what are you doing about that?" So I thought, Okay, well the best place to go is to go to the church. What do I know about discipleship? Nothing. Let me go to the churches who host our hubs and centers and who ran our programs. And let me ask them to please disciple the people, the very people that are coming from the communities where the people come from. And the pastors are saying to me, well, what exactly do you mean by discipleship? So I said, what? I don't understand the question. I don't know. I don't know anything about discipleship, you're the pastor. Don't ask me what it is. And they said, Well, if you can define discipleship, we've got programs that run here. But that's about all we can do. I can't do more than that. One pastor said to me, we've got a program here. If the people can't come here at night, which they can't, because they live in the communities far away. If they can't come at night, what do you want me to do? So then I met Bob. And I asked, for two years, I asked people, hey, please, I don't know what to do. I don't know how to disciple people. In the meantime, every year, there's 2000 people giving their lives to the Lord. And it's just flowing. I mean, a good problem to have, right? And I said, Bob, I'm in trouble here. We've got people giving them out to the Lord, and I don't know what to do with them. And I know the Lord is pressurizing us to get them discipled. And Bob said, teach them to love thy neighbor. I was like, what? I mean, that is now not a practical solution to my problem, right. So I thought, Okay, well, let me go and explore this a little bit. And we went and read, of course, John 13:35. I mean, it should have been where we went in the first place, "by this you will know that you're my disciples, if you love one another." So we thought, okay, well, if we can teach people to love each other, if this scripture is true—which it is—if we can teach people to love each other, we can get them to touch God's heart. And if people touch God's heart, it means their heart opens up to something. And it means that they will be open to truth, and then ultimately, transformation. So we introduced in a 13 day—we got a 13 day program. And on day two, we started telling them hey, guys—I mean, these are nonbelievers, right—we want you to start impacting and helping your community. Has this information been good? Yes, it's been good. Okay. We want you to start giving back. There's a concept called Ubuntu in South Africa. I think it's an African term, but it's really being one with your community, caring for your community. We want you to give back. Next day, they would come back and they say, my neighbor dropped something and I picked it up for them. Then the next day, my neighbor came home and I hope to carry in her washing, her groceries. A week later, they say you know what, my neighbors got HIV/AIDS. I went in and I washed her. A week later, we went to the local crash. It was so exciting. You don't understand it was so amazing, to work with his children. And we painted the walls and we started seeing transformation. We started seeing these people change before our eyes through a simple concept of loving your neighbor. On the last day, they've now been caring for their neighbor. And they've been doing amazing things. We say to them. Hey, guys, we want to tell you what you've actually been doing. And we asked them, What are the two most important commandments or what's the most important commandment? And they all say, Thou shalt not steal? No, it's not the right one. Love God. Love your neighbor. Okay, they say, Love God, love your neighbor. But then there's another scripture. And that Scripture is if you love me, you will obey me. Love God, love your neighbor. If you love me, you will obey me. Therefore, by loving your neighbor, you have been delighting God. And then we see the tears fall. Can I have delighted God? It's impossible. Yes, you've delighted God. You've touched God's heart. And just like that, the ground the soil is fertile and ready to be planted. Okay, so what's the result of this? Well, getting them to touch God's heart, which is our goal right? The physical result is we had 13,000 people give their lives to the Lord after doing this and implementing this principle. All great, again, sounds fantastic. But again, there's something wrong with this story. Which brings us to the third principle. So loving people after salvation is teaching and teaching them about God's ways. The third thing we learned. So the first thing is the fact that we could not find a church that would disciple the people. And the churches were in the communities that the people came from. That's a problem. And I can tell you now, I suspect, it's a problem in the communities you work in too. The second one is that we saw churches, nonprofits We see pastors preaching poverty and blame, someone made you and individuals, building newly saved people into them. Come to me, building them into into them as part of their structure instead of building them into relationship with God, which we'll speak about a little bit later. And then the third one is we found many churches doing discipleship classes, but in none, including getting people working. So people would do discipleship classes, but not included getting people working. How can this be good news? How can that be helping people fully? That we prepare to share the gospel with them? Maybe they come to church, but then we're not even concerned whether they work or not? Whose responsibility is it? Well, who knows more about the Bible, and God's ways? You or them? We do. And God is a working God? How can that be good news to a poor person, you find Christ, but there's no expectation on you to work. poor, but God will deliver us. Well, I don't know if God will necessarily get you off the couch, or off the floor, or out of bed. Because God is a working God, and we have to work. We have to work, it's not an option. It's not "there are no opportunities for me". There are lots of opportunities for all of us. There are plenty of opportunities. We live in the land of plenty. Africa, South America, you name it, we live in the land of plenty. It is the church, we have found—remember, I'm just telling you what we've experienced—that we are not teaching people to have a good work ethic. We will be speaking about fully loving people. We're not teaching people to have a good work ethic, to understand money, to understand business, and a return on investment. Why is that, when Jesus even spoke about these things. I had a pastor the other day say to me, says you know what, one of my congregants left my church, he phoned me says one of my congregants, as you know, left my church to go and start a work for a living hub in a community far away. And I knew about this, right? Because we'd worked with him seeing the potential and said, Hey, why don't you go back to your community and start impacting the people where you live? And the pastor say to me, how could he have left the church to go teach people business? This man, this year alone, the one that had gone to start the hub had led 200 people to the Lord this year alone. And the pastor says he has gone over to the dark side. What is loving people—meeting their needs, we know that. But ladies and gentlemen, we don't stop there. We want them to thrive, not just get out of poverty. Who here wants to just get out of poverty? We hear lots of people saying or NGOs saying we got this community out of poverty. What does that even mean? Does it mean instead of living in a shack you live in a one bedroom house? What does getting out of poverty mean? It means people need to thrive. It means I can send my children to a good school and to university. It's not just, okay, I'm not starving. And we tick the box. We stop so often after people are saved. We've seen it so many times. Landa Cope says, "We reach the nations, but we leave them in illiteracy, poverty and disease." What is loving your neighbor? It's speaking about the issues that concern people. The other day I told the pastor, we want to reach young poor people by using their desire for money to draw them to us. And he said, No, you can't do that. What happens if they go over to the other side of greed? They're already there. They think about it all the time. They think about money all the time. I told a group of pastors, we want to teach your unemployed people in your church, full of unemployed people, we want to teach them about work ethic, and communication and time management. And they said, stop right there. Stop right there. You've got it wrong. He says it's not our responsibility to teach people about time mangagement. It's the employers responsibility to teach people about time management, and they're not doing it and that's why the poor are losing their jobs. We told a group of pastors Hey, we want to come into your church if we can, and equip you. Because your church is full of unemployed people. We want to equip you to teach your people how to start business. Stop right there, they said, church and business don't mix. We should be teaching people in the area of; return on investment, how to get promoted, how to be excellent, how to grow your business, wealth creation, good stewardship, abortion, xenophobia, hate, forgiveness, parenting, parenting, debt, the dangers of cash loans or payday loans. ancestral worship, like we heard the other day, what a shock. This concept of ancestral worship was to me, I'm a white South African woman, I knew nothing about this. Until one day, a student in my class said to me, put up his hand and said, excuse me. He says, I'm 23 year old, unemployed, I've never worked. He says the other day, I was in my uncle's garden. And I looked at my uncle's wall. And on his wall, he's got 10 sets of cow's horns. They've now slaughtered to appease the ancestors. He says, and I counted 5000 1000, 12, 20, 25, 30, 50,000 rams, which is the equivalent of about maybe $2/3,000 that my uncle has spent on slaughtering cows to keep our ancestors happy, and he does not have a bicycle to go to work. He says, What must I do? I said, you're asking who? He says, I'm asking you. I said, I don't know. I didn't even know what you're talking about. But as we went along, we started learning. We started learning from our students and realized, hey, if we are not dealing with this issue, you can stand on your head, you can throw as much money as you want into Africa, into South America, wherever there are animistic cultures, you will never succeed. So we thought, okay, how are we going to build a bridge to these people without coming and saying, "Thou shalt not." Because they've been hammered about the churches that understand and social worship? What did they do? You shall not! Eternal dark damnation to you if you're going to do this. We can't go that way. Let's go by God's grace, an economic route. And we start off by saying, Hey, guys, let's speak about culture. Oh, we love culture—and people do, right—everyone loves the culture, or most people love their culture—but we separate for them culture and belief. So we most people say I can't give up on my ancestors, because it means I've got to give up on my culture. And I can't give up on my culture. My culture is special to me. And we say, but yes, it is. Your culture, you can't ever get away from. My brother and I come from the same home. We've got the same culture. I'm Christian. He's not, same culture, different belief systems. You're a Zulu man, your brother overe there is Zulu man. Same culture, believer in Jesus Christ believer in ancestors. The relief that we see from people is like wow, for once, I can understand and keep our culture but I can choose to do things differently to my father. Then we have students saying to us, and this was unusual for me, as a white woman saying, you know, I had a my father, my grandfather spoke to me. And my grandfather said to me that he was hungry, and thirsty, and cold. Any of you familiar with this? And at the time, I thought, This is very strange, that every class we have this, somebody putting up their hand, say, my father spoke to me and he was hungry and thirsty, and called. My granny spoke to me and he is hungry and thirsty. And sometimes the people old for Wow, you've got old grandparents that they still speaking to you. What I didn't realize that these were dreams. And it's a consistent dream across a whole 30,000 students. I'm cold, I'm hungry and thirsty, the dream comes, you need to do something for me. I mean, that motivates them to go and buy a cow, buy chicken, buy a goat, slaughter it, drip the blood, do all of the things, right? So we started saying to them, are you going to be an ancestor? Yes. You said, So where is this cold, hungry and thirsty place you're gonna go to? No, no, I'm not going there. No, but you said you're gonna go there. You said you're gonna be an ancestor. No, no, no, no, no, no, I'm not sure. And slowly, but surely planting the seeds of doubt, of years and years of indoctrination, into, hey, you have to do it. And if you don't do it, you're gonna have bad luck. You're gonna to be deformed, your children are going to be deformed, terrible things are going to happen. And then we say to them, Hey, what do you ask your ancestors for? We ask our ancestors for jobs. Okay, do you see it happening? Um, no. Does it worry are you? Yes. And then we simply put up the scripture of Isaiah 8, which says, if you speak to the spirit of the dead, you end up in the dark with nothing. And we leave it there. And the next day, into that fertile ground, we present the truth of the gospel. And we see 1000s upon 1000s of people set free as a result. If the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is. So, if I want the very best for someone, if I want to love someone, what does that look like? Well, it looks like this, from what we've learned, living a life of thriving according to God's purposes and plans, communing with God, hearing his voice, getting wisdom from God on a daily basis, working and impacting others to do the same. Our view is if we can get people to do these things, then we're going to see real fruit. And I want to ask in the churches that we see, why are people not doing this? Why are people not building people into God, into relationship with him, to be able to hear his voice, to be able to get wisdom from Him? Or when we hear people saying we can't find a disciple makers, or we see discipleship programs, but they these halfbaked programs that only serve the purpose of getting people into church. Why is Africa poor? Why South America poor? We've been speaking about it all week. It is not an economic problem. It is a discipleship problem. And if it's a discipleship problem, it's a loving problem. We love people halfway. We lead them to Christ. And then we don't equip them to live according to God's ways with regards to money and work ethic, and all of the professionalism. Matthew 28 is teaching them all I've taught you, which relates practically also to the workplace. It means that if I disciple you, I will not let you go. Loving completely is discipling someone until the lies are changed into truth. But ladies and gentlemen, so often we still stop there. So I'm going to teach you—I'm starting to see the lies in your thinking changed into truth. But it needs to show in something tangible. So how do we love people into thriving? Well, we've got a sort of saying at work for a living, "Hard on standards, soft on people." Hard on standard, soft on people. We started work for a living with a bleeding heart. To really help people, we did everything for them. Everything. Helped them, took them to interviews, gave them money for businesses, gave them tea and coffee during tea time, until we saw a student take the sugar container, and just turn the whole thing over into a cup of tea. And we said, what are we doing here? And we started implementing this principle of hard on standard, soft on people. We love the people. But our classes, if we are preparing you for the workplace, and you arrive five minutes after 8:00, the door is shut. You will not get an opportunity to any employer that we work with. Because if you late here, you're going to be late in the workplace. And that's got consequences because it means ultimately you're going to lose your job or it's got some impact. So Joshua, the Lord said to Joshua, today, I've rolled away the shame of your slavery. The very next day, they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain, harvested from the land, manna that appeared on the day they first aid from the crops of the land. And it was never seen again. With the shame of slavery, they were supported. When the shame of slavery was removed, the aid from the crops of the land and the fruits of the of their labor. Feeding people for a time—and when this when this necessity, we understand it—but there comes a time to empower people to help themselves. If people are in the pit of poverty, we cannot say, Hey, let me help you out. Because they're going to fall into the pit again, and where are you, their savior? If people fall into the pit of poverty, we get down into that pit, we put up a ladder and say, let me show you how to take the first step and watch them do it. We had as a community outside of the city that I lived in South Africa. And a well meaning Christian men set up a Christian compound—this is a desperate, in fact, it's one of the communities that spoken up there where there was so much litter and very poor—and for 15 years, he fed people every Tuesday and Thursday, and then had church straight after. 15 years later, the community was in abject poverty. Over 15 years, there's so many people who came to get the food. I mean, he just got more and more funding to feed more and more people. And they were living in abject poverty. The church we were working within asked us to come and set up a work for a living center there, which is got a completely different, opposite approach. And we shut all of that down. And that the people stoned up, try to stone our facility, stone the centers, saying how can you do that? And 10 years later, it's probably one of our most impactful centers. And we have 1000s of people finding work and starting businesses, because entitlement has been dealt with once and for all and replaced with a biblical worldview. So truth be told, what are the pillars of poverty because we need to know what the pillars of poverty are before we can help people. In our experience—and we are not academics, this is probably open to so much debate. This is just what we've seen—number one, mindsets. Without a doubt, the way people think, right? The second one ancestral worship, without a doubt. The impact of that—we've seen pastors tell us our young kids go into the bush where they do their initiation rituals, go in as good boys, come up with three things lust, anger, apathy. Think of the communities, do you see lust in Africa? What are the rape statistics? Do we see anger in Africa? Do we see apathy? I'm sorry, we do. The third one is fatherlessness. We don't have to talk about that. But it's massive. And the fourth one, unforgiveness, just to mention four. UNFORGIVENESS. Capital letters. If I can put it in capital letters, I want to put it in 10 times capital letters. Can they deal with the past, it's vital, no matter how bad itis, Isaiah 58:
6, and this is what work for a living is about, what we tried to do, and to other codes, loosen the chains, set the captives free, and break the yoke. For this to happen, people have to deal with the past. We had a student in class the other day said to us, she was doing an interview with us. And the next minute just started crying. And we made sure we got the story. It's at 17, she was sold into marriage by her mom and dad to a government official, much older than her. And she was 24 when we met her. She says, and he has abused me physically and emotionally, sexually in all ways, for the last six years, and I'm finally decided that I'm going to leave him. And she came through the program. And when we got to this issue—this was before we even spoke about unforgiveness—when we got to the section on unforgiveness, she stood up, walked towards the door and collapsed. And she was out from stress and anxiety. And I literally thought that that the worst had happened. And we were able to revive her. She gave her love to the Lord the next day, and sat with some people, dealt with the past. On the last day she stood up in class, and she says, "Sorry, can I just say something," and she was quite a shy lady. She says, this is my story. She told it briefly. She says but I want to tell you today I am free. And she went on to get a job. And she went on to progress. So we want to dig deep. We want to dig deep into this issue of unforgiveness because we see that it's an incredible stronghold that keeps people locked in bondage. So we dig. Yes, there needs to be personal forgiveness, but there also needs to be a national forgiveness. So we just put this on the screen—is it forgivable? And the more we started asking our students, is that forgivable? I can forgive my father. I can forgive my mother. I can forgive that man. My brother. My sister. But this is not forgivable. We asked the pastors—and this is not just in South Africa. We've done it in South America—is the past of slavery and colonialism forgivable? It's not forgivable. The laws are a real problem. I'm not. I'm a white, South African woman. I'm the bottom of the pecking order in terms of what our country did. But I can't be responsible for somebody else's forgiveness before God. And we start working in this area. And we see breakthroughs as people forgive their previous oppressors. We had students say to us, and I mean, we're not even going to speak about how bad things were. He said, You know what the day I changed was now when I realized that if I do not forgive my oppressors, and I lived during the pothead years, and I suffered, then I'm gonna live in eternity in hell with those same oppressors. And it's not where I want to be. Matthew 18 unforgiving debter, his master handed him over to the jailers until he paid back only owed. This is how my father will treat each of us unless we forgive your brother or sister from your heart. And we've got to unpack that and deal with it on all levels. We had a facilitator say to us, he says, You know what, I grew up in a shack in a swamp, like a dog. No person, no child should grow up like that. And I've always been so angry. He says, and I've come to these work for living classes. And this week, I sat with a girl and she grew up in the same community that I was in. And it hurt my heart so much. It hurt me to see it. But as we started going through this program, I started realizing this girl is not poor because she lives in a shack. She's poor. She can't do an interview. She's poor, because of CV or resume is rubbish. She's poor, because she can't actually communicate well. She's poor, because she can't make eye contact. She's poor. Because she... those other reasons. And so he went on. He says, I've realized, if I'd gone to that girl and say to her, someone put you in that shack, they need to fix it. Or if I go to her now and say, hey, I can see your interview is not that good. Let me help you. Which one of the two is going to help her most? Do we say, as the poor, life is unfair, so unfair that I can't move on until these justification, restitution, retribution, restoration, it needs to be fixed? Or do we say life is unfair? Let's move on in the meantime. A quick test, quick, quick test. And I don't want anyone to say anything. To see where we are, each of us. And look here, let me tell you, I grew up in a racist home. Okay, so I've had to do my soul searching before the Lord, as a 17 year old I found the Lord. And the Lord brought me to my knees for believing the lies that my parents, the government, media taught me. But I want to ask you, what's the first thing, yes or no, that comes into your mind? Am I an African? I don't need an answer. I'm saying we use it to see what's there. What's there? I mean, what am I? If John lives in North America, what is he? An American? Okay. Someone lives in in Japan. What are they? Asian? Someone lives in South America, Arturo, South American. What am I? A South African, I live on the continent of Africa. Okay, and we've got to start digging deep into this area and find out exactly where we stand. So what is real empowerment? Remember, we want the best for people, we want to love people. Well, real empowerment is positioning them under God to get wisdom from Him, and able to hear his voice so that they never need me again. My support then, is to love them, to fellowship with them, but they get their wisdom from God. And when we see businesses start like that, we see something powerful happen. We have so many students saying to us, I wish that I had learned this when I was young. That compound works, interest works best, if I start when I'm little, when I'm young, that I need to save from when I'm young, that I need to have a good attitude at work if I want to progress, that I need to make myself valuable in the workplace, that I cannot be moody at work, it's going to impact my children's future, that I need to understand what making myself valuable is, that I'm able to start a business, that I can get wisdom from God, that God is interested in my business. Why is no one taught me that? And I've been in the church my whole life, that eye contact needs to be taught? Yes, I understand the employers need to be aware of eye contact. But let me tell you something. If you can't make eye contact, you won't get through the interview. That's the truth of it. We teach our students, you're going to make four choices. Four choices, wisdom or consequence. Two choices actually, you get to choose wisdom or consequence, discipline or a grate. If you're going to live a life of wisdom, you most likely going to live a life of discipline. If you live a life of consequence, it means you always reacting. You're going to most likely live a life of regret. Sorry, we're not gonna get time for that. So what is our approach at work for a living? It's to attract people to meet the needs, change worldviews, get people working, get people discipled and positioned under God, and discipling others. So loving people means giving them hope. And that hope needs to be real good news that translates into a different life. What makes a mom and a dad sell their 13 year old daughter to traffickers like we see? What makes them do that? Yes we can say worldview. And yes, it is worldview. But you know what, guess what? The mom and dad's worldview was bad enough that they needed the money. What makes a girl of 16 stand outside KFC waiting for the cars come to come post with a sign saying call me and a number? What makes a girl, like we did just recently just a couple of weeks ago, buy one of those ring lights and film herself doing things, and then put that video on the internet to sell to the highest bidder? You see changed worldview must have economic impact. A changed worldview needs to see people working. And it needs to translate into money. Money is not a bad word. Money can be bad. And we know that it's very, very powerful. And we need to disciple people. That's why it's not just about getting people into jobs, because if you're just gonna get people into jobs, they're gonna become arrogant and proud. Like we see. If we take away the poverty mindset, we need to replace it with the truth of the gospel. Otherwise, you will have arrogant, independent, proud people, excuse me for saying this, but as we see so often in the West. It needs to be replaced with a truth of the gospel, humanity, good work ethic, how to use your money well, how to be accountable. We know Ezekiel 47, we've heard it from Dwight, we know Revelations 22. But what is common in these two—the water comes from the throne. We need to position people so that the water comes from the throne into the lives because if the water comes to the throne, it means it's going to flow and it's going to be fruitful, and with a step it's going to be green. We've got to build them into God and into relationship with God. Are we seeing this? With a 1000s upon 1000s upon 1000s of churches? Because if we do this, and I'm closing now, the smallest family will become 1000 people and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, the Lord will make it happen. Life will flourish where this water flows. We do not need 1000s of churches planted. We need 10s and hundreds of 1000s of disciples made. Change lives. People who live according to his ways and teach others to do the same. That is loving people fully. Planting churches will not change a nation. It will not unless they are discipling churches and part of discipleship is teaching people to work. Work is not an option. Let us change that lie from the pit of hell forever and a day. If you have to work, it's different. Your approach is different. How many churches on this continent? Do we even need more? We as the church need to take dominion and stop being beaten. Do we believe the poor are always going to be with us? Or do we believe there should be no poor among you? They're both biblical. Which one do we believe? When a church embraces and climbs a city and disciples its people to impact community, changes their worldview, and gets them to impact community and love their neighbor. The church infiltrates like the yeast it was intended to be. What does God asked for? Love and obedience. Let us spend the rest of our lives trying to achieve this, trying to get people to do this. And how does it start? Love God. Love your neighbor. Thank you.Luke:
Thank you for joining us today. To learn more about Disciple Nations Alliance, you can find us on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, or on our website, which is disciplenations.org. If you have any questions about how you can join us in this movement to disciple the nations at the level of culture through biblical principles, please connect with us and we'll happily connect you with someone in our global network of trainers who either lives in your region, or has been given a similar burden to disciple in a specific area of the kingdom, such as the area of business, the arts, or education. You can contact us on any of our social media pages, or you can leave us a comment on this episode's landing page, again, landing pages link down in the description below. For those of you who are with us at the Global Forum this last month, I know you've already heard today's talk, but we wanted to share it with everyone else in our audience who is not able to make it. If you'd like to learn more about these global forms where we come together as trainers from around the world to encourage each other and hear about the work that God is doing through to Disciple Nations Allianc, we would love to see you join us at the next forum. To learn more about that, please sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media where you can be informed on future events that are happening around the world. Thanks again for joining us.