MJBI is now Gateway Center for Israel ›


The Strategic Vision of the Gateway Center for Israel

By Nic Lesmeister, President and CEO
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Posted in Zealous Magazine on August 11, 2019

The Gateway Center for Israel stands on three strategic pillars. This broadened strategy emerges from the core vision and mission of MJBI.


Reclaim the understanding of Israel and the Jewish people within the Church and the Christian worldview

When Paul wrote to the Roman church that “salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous” (Rom. 11:11), he was making an impassioned case that God had not rejected, replaced, or superseded Israel, even though they did not corporately embrace Yeshua as Messiah.

In the centuries following Paul’s letter to the Romans, the Christian Church progressively divorced itself from her Jewish roots and from the Jewish people as a whole. Ugly anti-Semitism followed in the Middle Ages, culminating in the horrific atrocities of the Holocaust.

Today, the majority of Christian seminaries and denominations teach that the Church has replaced Israel outrightly or subversively. God is still waking and shaking the Church from an incorrect understanding of Israel and the Jewish people.

The Gateway Center for Israel will inspire and reclaim the Church’s theology on Israel and the Jewish people. We will stand to correct unhealthy, imbalanced, and inaccurate thinking and practice on Israel, and we will lead with a trustworthy model of the Church’s role in lovingly provoking the Jewish people to consider faith in their Messiah, Yeshua.


Advance the message of taking the Gospel “to the Jew first” (Romans 1:16)

Paul clearly understood the heart of God towards the Jewish people. They were and are His “firstborn among the nations” (Ex. 4:22) and His “special possession” (Deut. 7:6). Paul knew that Yeshua had come specifically for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24), because they were and are God’s Covenant People, whom God predestined to use to bless every nation of the earth (Gen. 12:3).

Pastor Robert Morris has been influencing pastors around the world to take the Gospel “to the Jew first,” and to make Israel a priority in their churches. Gateway Church has been a leading advocate for supporting Messianic Jewish ministry since the church was founded.

The Gateway Center for Israel will advance ministry “to the Jew first” in an even greater measure than Gateway or MJBI did individually. We will empower more churches and leaders to share the Gospel with the Jewish people and to support Messianic Jewish ministries all over the world.

We will also offer more relevant teaching and training for leaders called to reach the Jewish people. Through seminars, events, online courses, podcasts, blogs, articles, and seminary programs, we believe that we will see many more churches and church leaders taking the Gospel to the Jew first in every corner of the earth!


Reshape the understanding of Christians and the Church within the Jewish worldview

It has always been difficult for MJBI to have a strong relationship with the non-believing Jewish community. The broader Jewish community wants nothing to do with Messianic Jews, claiming that one cannot be Jewish and follow Jesus at the same time.

However, Jewish people in Israel and the diaspora are making new, strong relationships with (Gentile) Evangelical Christians. With fewer friends in the world each year, Jewish people are growing to trust that they can count on Evangelicals to stand with them in dark times. Because of the great influence and trust of Gateway Church, many Jewish leaders and organizations are building relationships with Pastor Robert, Wayne, and myself (Nic).

What will make the Gateway Center for Israel different in our relationship with the non-believing Jewish community is that we will be very forthright about our belief that Yeshua is their Messiah. Too many Christian, Israelrelated initiatives hide the Gospel from their Jewish relationships, in an effort not to offend the Jewish people.

We will model an honest but sincere relationship with the Jewish community. We will demonstrate our affection and honor for the Jewishness of our faith in Jesus and will be very clear that we support the Messianic Jewish community at all costs. We sincerely love and support the Jewish communities around the world, but we will not be silent in sharing our faith in Yeshua, either.