Monday, August 28, 2006
The steps to our work are prayer, gather and win lost people in a way that will be catalytic, or begin a chain of churches that will be reproducing more churches. In order to be effective, we need to get to the gospel quickly, have an intentional plan from the beginning, use methods that are reproducible, emphasizing family and intimate friends. We need to base the training in obedience, make it simple, have goals of multiplication, saturate areas with new works, disciple mentors and form networks that will keep the process going.
It is necessary that the national believers catch the vision and join us in the work if we are to accomplish our goal. Many churches here are not interested in this idea because it does not grow their church, and these independent groups have no one to control them and teach them the rules. Instead, when a question arises, they are given the Scripture passages that address such questions, and they have to depend upon the Holy Spirit give them understanding of these passages. God's word is powerful, and that He speaks through His word. We can trust our people to His care. He will speak to them directly. His plan from the beginning was to have a priesthood of believers, a chosen people with whom He can show His character.
I have spent a lot of time sharing my faith in Sajonia, the area of town where I work. I have also been working with the youth of a church in another part of the city with the hopes that I can use them in the ministry. My goal is to take the church youth on mission trips in that area of town. Although they are not ready to lead Bible studies, they should have no problem doing open air concerts, skits, prayer walks, or even tract distribution in that area of town.
I started working with the youth because I felt that I could use them in ministry; also, there was no one else doing so, and the youth were bored and felt abandoned. The Lord has provided others to work with them, so my purpose is to equip this team to do the youth work, and invite them to do evangelistic events. One couple was at the CPM conference that our regional leaders taught this past weekend. They were challenged to enlarge their vision, and join the work. I look forward to what lies ahead for all of those that were in attendance.
Next month, we plan to take the youth on a retreat with other churches in the area so that they can learn how to organize themselves into cells. I am convinced that God changes lives when people meet regularly in small groups and apply God's Word to their lives.
Monthly events are planned between now and December, and after that, I will work through the youth leadership that I am now establishing to continue the ministry. The end of May, my family and I will go on stateside assignment and be in the States until the end of October. We look forward to seeing many of you then!!
In the month of November, we are planning a concert in the park in Sajonia. The goal is for them to hold a concert for those in the park, while I hand out invitations to start a small group Bible study.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Rolling Stones child care
1. No you can't always get what you want, no you can't always get what you want. (-that's all the song that I sing -repeatedly).
2. You left me, just when I needed you mmmost.
3. You can't get no satisfaction! (libertys taken to change the subject.)
4. It's a heartache, nothing but a heartache.
5. Every step you take, every move you make, I'll be watchin` you -can't you see, you belong to me!
6. We are family, got your brother here with me.
8 where, oh where have the little shoes (or whatever) gone, where o where could they beeee?
9 I can't drive, 25(original author sang 55) -(I only thought New Orleans had bad streets, and poor drivers)!!
10. Ain't no smoggy smoke on Rocky top, ain't no telephone bills... (-we live in a dirty city a long way away from home!)
You have to understand, I have two children ages 2 and 4!!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
God who is our help
First, I have already told you about the rain, God provided clowdy skies so that our group would not be too large and unmanagable. This was our youth's first time to do any type of ministry.
There was an emergency need for me to run to the local supermarket and pick up supplies. There was no parking. I had to park on the street nearby, which by the way meant that there were long lines at the check-out counter. As I stood in line, I noticed that a register was beside me with only one man in line. This was not a rapid check out line, and there was no logical reason for there to be only one man in line except for maybe this register was about to close. I took my chances, and got behind the man in line, and he saw that I had only two items and allowed me to go in front of him.
God provided an older Paraguayan lady from the church to go with us and help the youth to face their fears and go play the games with the children, get to know them, and build friendships. I was busy talking with the adults, and do not have the same influence over the youth that this lady has.
Although no New Outreach groups were started as a result of this event, I feel that I was able to use the youth group in ministry, and I was able to make some contacts with adults for future ministry.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Day of the child
This morning we arose to a very cloudy sky. 60% chance of thunderstorms this morning tapering off as the evening went on.
Here, when it rains, there are no underground pipes that carry the water to the river. The streets become the rivers! Generally when it rains, no one here goes anywhere unless it is absolutely necessary. I expected that the event would be canceled. However, when I send the youth that organized everything a text message asking if she thought there would be anyone at the park, she responded that the group was ready for two hundred people, and it wasn't raining yet so we were going.
We went, and everyone seemed to have a blast! The youth sang songs, played some games, just as planned. They acted out a skit found in Luke 10:25 and following. The children sat and watched with enthusiasm as robbers attack the lone traveler. They identified with the victim as others passed by and did not offer help, and were silent when someone offered help.
An adult leader asked the group questions about the story, such as what was the greatest commandment. After they answered, he asked "and the second". He then asked the group how Jesus answered the question about who was a neighbor. We had a great time there.
While they were working, I began to talk with the adults in the group, and introduce myself, and tell them who I am and why I was there. I invited them to organize a group who would be interested in studying God's Word together. I had no takers. I have learned that one offer is not sufficient. It takes a relationship. However, I introduced myself. When they see me, they know who I am, and that I belong to a group. They know that I have a family, because my family went with us today.
It is now almost 4PM, and still has not rained. God answered my prayers that He would keep us dry today for our event.
Next month, the youth group has been invited to go to a camp that will teach them how to organize themselves into cells, and grow.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Power of a small group -testimony
I attended church services regularly on Sundays, but that was not enough for me. Then, the Lord showed me a serviceman's center. This was a ministry that reached out to the military and their families. I began to function as a member of a small group. I had already been prepared by the Air Force, because we worked as a team. This team concept transfered to my expression of faith easily as I attended the serviceman's center.
As a group, we studdied Navigator's materials, memorized Bible verses together, ministrered to others together. We also studied Precept Bible study materials written by Kay Arthur. I learned
to witness in church as a teen, but had lots of practice while serving alongside my brothers and sisters there at the serviceman's center.
During the time that I attended the serviceman's center, I also attended church and Sunday school as regularly as possible, however, growth, accountability, effectiveness, and life-changing strength came from our Lord, funnelled through my brothers and sisters in the faith that I rubbed elboes with daily.
As time passed, I grew in my walk with the Lord, and was eventually relocated to Alaska, where I served my last two years in the Air Force, for a total of nine years. During those last two years, the Lord gave me the privilege of discipling 8 other GI's who were younger in the faith, and life than I was. God allowed me the privilege of seeing His power funnelled through our group to change lives, mine included. During this time, He taught me to respect authority.
By the time that I left the Air Force, I had grown in the faith, was sure of what I believed and why. My faith had been tried through the fires of doubt, and the heat of Military lifestyle. As a result, I was sold out on the New Directions' idea of small groups of people meeting together outside a building and callling it church. God works through the elements found in a simple church, and there is no way to hide. I studied the concepts of New Directions while in Seminary at New Orleans (NOBTS)1992-2001.
Friday, August 11, 2006
I was recently tagged
I was also asked to tag 4 other bloggers. So, I have found it interesting looking at different blogs to come up with four names, I think however, I will just tag two people, if the laws of the land will permit me to do so. I don't have a reputation of staying inside the boxes that people have.
Kris and Tonya Dixon, http://krisandtonyadixon.blogspot.com/ -lots of pics and family news
Micah Fries http://www.friesville.blogspot.com/ -great mix of humor and truth
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Maybe your job is to plug into the assembly line of the mundane. Maybe, you work at a textile mill, or other job that always seems to have textbook answers. This is not a bad thing! It was just bad for me. I knew that I would not be happy with that type of a job. Maybe you are, maybe you are not satisfied with your work. We all travel different roads in this life, meaning that He has a different plan for each of us. I am much more mature now, and feel certain that what I longed for as a child and youth was that sense of adventure which only comes as a result of an intimate relationship with the Father. His guiding eye becomes the manual that we follow.
There is no satisfaction like that of watching a new convert make drastic commitments for Christ, or the passionate prayers of someone who has just found his first love. Knowing that God allowed me to play a part, large or small, in the new birth of the brother in Christ simply because I shared a tract, was friendly or prayed for him is an adventure that I would not care to trade for anything else.
Any believer has the potential to begin listening to the voice of the Master each morning, and following His directions. Even textile workers can spend time with the father. They are where the people hurt, are mistreated, abused, and often neglected. Every country in the world has these problems. The only answer is in a risen savior. We are the only ones qualified to offer God's perspective on any given situation. Whether we are talking to friends, coworkers, relatives or complete strangers we have the privilege of working with the Father to bring about a life changing encounter with the very God of the universe.
In His adventure,
Friday, August 04, 2006
Letting go of disciples
I took his Bible to show him a passage, and glanced through it quickly and noted that the passage was already highlighted. Several of my favorites were already marked in his Bible. Here is a guy that knows the truth, yet wants to hang on to a traditional church, even at the expense of sound doctorine.
I suppose that if he choses to go, he may. I can work with someone else. However, my prayer is that he will note the differences, and choose to return. Please join me in this prayer.