Telling God's Story in 2016

How is God at work in the world today?

This is a question that the Global Research Team of One Challenge strives to answer. During the first quarter of 2016 we will gather information about what the 40 plus teams in the OC Global Alliance accomplished in 2015. In addition to determining what they accomplished, we also want to discover how God is at work in and through these ministries. Indeed this is a more difficult task that requires divine insight.

In 2016 we look forward to discerning how God is at work in the world today and sharing “God stories” of how He has been at work within the OC Global Alliance.

The rest of this article outlines a biblical framework we use for discerning how God is at work in the world today and how these insights apply to mission work.

Within the New Testament, we find several explicit statements that provide us with a useful framework to discern how God is at work in the world today. Here are some of the main points:

Conversions. Acts 2:47 says, “The Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” What a good reminder that every person who comes to faith in Christ did so because God’s work! So when we number those who were saved through the ministries of OCGA workers, we have in mind that God too was at work.

Churches. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus promised: “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” When we see the Church growing, either in number or fruitfulness or geographical expansion, these are a good indication that Jesus is involved. So we will tally the new churches that OCGA workers helped start.

Workers Sent. Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2 NIV). Here we find two complementary truths: first, it is God’s business to send out workers; on the other hand, we see that is our responsibility to pray. As we see new workers sent out, this too is a sign of God's work.

Open Doors for ministry. Six passages in the New Testament indicate that God opens doors for effective ministry (Matthew 7:7,8; Acts 14:26,27; 1 Corinthians 16:8,9; 2 Corinthians. 2:12; Colossians 4:2,3; Revelation 3:7,8 ); two of these passages point out that God does so in response to prayer (Matthew 7:7,8; Colossians 4:2,3.) Those on the field are in the best place to discern how God is opening doors for effective ministry, so we carefully listen to their "stories from the field" to discern how God is at work.

Signs and Wonders. Mark’s Gospel concludes with the statement, “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it” (16:20 NIV). The book of Acts documents some of the “signs and wonders” that God performed though the early church. Today some of our OC fields are reporting similar “signs and wonders” - dreams, visions, healings and exorcisms - that in turn, lead to people to faith in Christ and new Bible obeying fellowships being started.
Follow this link for several related stories from the field.

How does this framework apply to mission work?

First of all we must be devoted to prayer. Our brief survey notes that it is God’s business bring people to faith in Christ, build the church, send out workers and open doors for effective ministry; it is our responsibility to pray earnestly for workers and open doors for ministry. The early church was characterized by devotion to prayer (Acts 1:14;2:42). Can the same be said of us? One Challenge provides monthly prayer points to help us be more strategic in our praying.
Follow this link for this month's prayer guide.

Second, we need to keep our eyes open and continually ask, How is God at work? Here’s how we keep our eyes open to discern God-at-work within the OC Global Alliance.

  1. We track the number of people who come to faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of our workers.
  2. We also track the number of new churches started.
  3. We track workers associated with the OC Global Alliance. As previously mentioned, in the last five years we’ve seen a large increase of non-American workers within the Alliance.
  4. We track the countries where our teams have ministry. In 2014 OC workers were active in 102 countries – the highest number of countries in the history of the organization! Many of these countries have amazing “God stories” of how God opened the door for ministry.
  5. We also track how teams are responding to pressing needs. In 2015 we also saw how God open doors for several of our teams to assist victims of natural disasters or women with crisis pregnancies, the poor, prisoners, children, refugees, immigrants and those who are sick. Many of these stories from the field are shared at
  6. We are attentive to how God is using "signs and wonders" to confirm the message that is proclaimed, resulting in conversions and new churches.

Third, discerning where and how God is at work assists our field workers and leaders to make strategic decisions to keep in step with what God is doing. Sometimes this means redirecting workers to locations where the harvest is ripe or using different methods; other times this may result in discontinuing ministries that have served their purpose. In all these strategic decisions we strive to be the best stewards of the resources God has given us.

So in 2016 we look forward to discerning how God is at work in the world today and sharing “God stories” of how He has been at work within the OC Global Alliance.