Called: Denilson Agustinho – move faster than the wind
By Mercy Kambura
What does passion for the gospel look like?
Imagine a fiery group of teenagers on a mission trip to an unreached people group in Cuanza Sul province in the south of Angola. They stay for a month, preaching, breaking bondages and reconciling villagers to their Creator. Finally it’s time to go home – parents await their return. But the harvest is still plenty. What would a missionary do?
I faced this scenario many years ago. A young man decided that he wasn’t accompanying us back home after a short-term mission. I was his leader, responsible for delivering him and 14 others back to their parents. But he wouldn’t leave the mission field. Worried, I reported his decision to his mother, expecting chastisement.
To my shock and admiration, she said, “I cannot fight with God. If he wants to be a missionary, so be it.”
As a teenager, we always played friendly matches with our friends and villagers. One day, someone suggested that we pray at the end of the match. We enjoyed praying together so much that we made it a habit. Every Sunday, after a game, we’d gather to pray. And that is how I got saved.
The small praying group became a Bible study, and we’d meet three times a week. Three years later, the group became a church. We grew to more than 100 members. We were all teenagers without much experience in leadership. We invited an older brother to lead us, and he became our pastor.
The church is now 15 years old with over 2000 believers. Our greatest joy is not in our numbers, but in our capacity to be involved in the Great Commission. The mantra of our church, Born Again Church (Igreja Nascidos de Novo) in Luanda, Angola, is “fructifying ministry in the nations”.
Every week, we preach in the streets. We don’t just tell people to go; as the pastors, we go with them. We train the church to make evangelism a lifestyle. Everyone has to teach and preach and disciple five to seven people. We made a schedule to evangelize all the hospitals in the capital, and we ended up preaching in 16 different hospitals. The church now has over 2000 members, most of them young people. All this was born out of a football match.
I now serve as the vice president of the church. I heard God call me as a missionary after my first short-term trip. The mission of our church is to reach out and be involved in missions until it becomes a culture.
Many churches aren’t involved in missions because believers don’t know how to share the gospel; they don’t know how to meet new people. Most say they are only mobilizers.
Growing a missional church
Our desire is to grow a church that is so missional that missions becomes our culture. Evangelism is not a task for only Saturday or Sunday morning or holidays. It must be done every day; as a habit and lifestyle.
The Church in Africa has to move faster than the wind to spread the gospel to the least reached peoples. How can the Church achieve this?
1. Don’t lose any opportunity to preach. Preach everywhere.
2. The church must work with teenagers, youth and children. They have the energy, the time, and the passion. Tap into it.
3. Hold weekly trainings on how to share the gospel with non-believers.
4. Remember that the essence of Christianity is missions.
Jesus said many things, but at the end, He didn’t tell us to remember tithes and the like. He said, “GO!” Dear pastor, don’t allow anything else to replace the meaning of the Church. The mission of the Church is to go. If you aren’t going to save your neighbour, do you truly understand why you have been saved?
● For resources and finances as we travel.
● For better vehicles to go to difficult places. We hope to have a bus for missions and a Toyota Land Cruiser.
● For more labourers in the mission field. The harvest is still plenty.