Grasping Key Principles from John 15 for the Student Mission Movement – Part 1

By Ryan Shaw
Ryan is the international lead facilitator for Student Volunteer Movement 2 (SVM2) and currently lives among the unreached.


Looking around the world today it would be easy to have a negative mindset. The economy being shaken, jobs hard to find, cholera outbreaks, massive floods and so much more. Considering the call of the body of Christ can also at times leave us discouraged and disappointed.

Yet, it appears clear that the Lord is raising the bar globally. He is beckoning His church to arise in this hour. There is anticipation and faith of what is to come.

As a result many are responding positively to the Lord while it is also equally true that many are not. The divide among the visible church of Christ related to whether or not we are willing to follow Jesus according to His prescribed Scriptural ways is widening as we speak.

Those hearing His call to all out faithfulness in a broken generation are increasing and yet the great numbers of those choosing to walk according to the status quo while filling our churches is also growing.

This trend should not surprise us. Jesus taught in Matthew 13 about the parable of the wheat and the tares. One of the startling core concepts we are meant to glean from this parable is that within the visible body of Christ there will be both wheat and tares – true believers and false.

He taught us that we are not to “uproot” or necessarily search out who is who. The truth behind Jesus’ words seems to be getting clearer. What is imperative is that we continue to allow the Holy Spirit room to challenge us to climb higher in walking obediently with Jesus. To do so means we consider the cost in making our lives count for Jesus and His eternal Kingdom.

Consider the following words of a young African pastor penned only weeks before he was martyred:

“The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift through prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me. My colors will be clear!”

It is this wholehearted devotion which the Lord is highlighting to those with a listening ear. The purpose of partnering with God to see a generation of believers raised up for global proclamation we are so committed to has this at its heart.

A “New Breed”

This “new breed” of message bearers are those who receive His mandate to give themselves in serving among the remaining unreached people groups of the world. They will do so while being clothed with humility, perseverance and walking not in their own strength but the strength of Jesus within them.

We know that the expression of true Christianity is changing rapidly around the world and this is also true in the mission movement. New types of message bearers are coming forth from all over the world whose hearts beat in this manner.

I am confident that this reflects the standard being raised by the hand of God Himself in order that we reproduce in new believers among the unreached the very highest discipleship possible.

Seeing the emerging generation of believers in our ministries impacted with a vision of God’s “New Breed” of message bearers requires a roadmap from the Scripture. I am convinced that John 15 is a chapter which opens up grand vistas for all those invested in working toward a thriving student mission movement across today’s student generation internationally.

The chapter can be broken up into three distinct portions highlighting three critical concepts which believers are to cultivate with profound care. Doing so sets our heart in the correct posture to respond to God’s calling in the nations while also preserving us throughout the process. (1) The Abiding Lifestyle (2) The Core Command (3) Embracing Opposition.

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