Abiding in Christ as ONE

Dick Brogden Our Live Dead “ONE”…

By Bill MacLeod

 

We can’t wait to welcome Dick Brogden as a Plenary speaker this January. Growing up in Kenya and spending 27 years as a missionary planting numerous churches, he and his family are now moving from Egypt to Saudi Arabia living out the “Live Dead” movement he started. It is based on the example of Jesus, who showed us how to live dead—not with dread but with great gladness.

 

We recently caught up with him to talk about our theme for 2020: “ONE ~ One Gospel | One Church | One Voice | Be the One!”

 

Bill: When were you first aware of God working in your life? What age were you and what were the circumstances?

Dick: My parents were godly missionaries.  I remember sitting in a little African church at about 7 years old and after my father finished preaching and gave the altar call, a response to give our all to Jesus, I turned to my Kenyan friend – Jimmy Baraza – and said to him…. “I’ll go if you will go!”  And we went to the altar together to give our lives to Jesus.

B: What did the Lord use in your life primarily to call you into the ministry you lead now?

D: When I was 16, I walked out of the dorm of my boarding school and looked up at the glorious heavens, for my school was located on the great Rift Valley, far from any light pollution and the stars were startling.  Seeing the glory of God in the heavens (Psalm 19) and knowing in my spirit that if the heavens so declare the glory of God and there is no language where their speech is unknown….how much more should God be glorified by the crown of His creation: Every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.  God used the stars to call me into missions with a focus on unreached peoples.

 

B: What has touched you the most about being “One in Christ Jesus” (from Gal 3:28) as you have grown in your walk with Him and carried out your ministry?

D: The realization that no mission agency, no nationality, no person can complete the great commission outside of unity with the body of Christ.  I have a deep desperation therefore to fight for unity in the body of Christ so that the gospel might be preached to every people, so that we can all go home – eternal life, united with Christ, united forever with no schisms.

B: As you consider Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 12:12-27 about the “one-ness” of the Body of Christ, how do you see this truth playing out as you fulfill your ministry?

D: Certainly not in uniformity.  The beauty of a unified body is in our differences.  I see oneness played out in the inter-dependence we have on each other BECAUSE we are different.  My experience in Sudan is that need fosters unity across the body of Christ.  I need to honestly come to terms with my limitations and weaknesses, to honestly admit that I need others, before I will lay down my preferences for the great good of unity.  Unity in the body is costly, we have to lay something down in order to take it up.  We are not willing to pay the cost of laying something down unless we are driven by both the need AND THE BEAUTY of unity.

 

B: In John 10:30 the Bible speaks of Jesus being ONE with the Father, but in John 17:11, Jesus says that we should also be ONE with Them. When do you most experience oneness with the Father and Son, as you carry out your life and ministry?

D: While there is a beauty in corporate worship, a union of the whole with the Godhead, I most experience unity with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in my quiet abiding times with Him.  Morning prayer walks, Bible reading with a cup of Chai, evening sessions singing old hymns at the piano.  In those simple and extravagant times when I am my beloved’s and He is mine…and His banner over me is love.

B: What would you desire attendees at Mission ConneXion Northwest 2020 come away with as a result of your participation and expression?

D: A desperation for the simplicity of JUST HAVING JESUS.  A hunger for Him and only Him.  A longing for His presence and to spend extravagant daily time with Him.  A commitment to abiding with Him all day long.  An understanding that our most sacred ambition is actually not to be a missionary, but to be with Christ…which is far better. (Philippians 1:23 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far)

 

In addition, Dick will also be challenging us at Leadership ConneXion 2020 on Friday, January 17th with: John 15- Abiding in Christ in a Disciple-Making Context” – a must for all leaders.  Register / Learn More here.