Archive for the 'Church' category

Giving Thanks for Mozambique

Nov 11 2014 Published by under Church, Evangelism, Ministry

GU_presidentThis month’s posts will focus on what it means to be thankful. Our second post is written by Dr. Gary Seevers, President of Global University.

Dr. Gary Seevers, President of Global University, recently had the opportunity to travel to Maputo, Mozambique in October. Below, he recounts his experiences of that trip and the incredible results.

“I first came to Mozambique 12 years ago in 2002. Keith Heermann (Executive Vice President) and I had made several trips to Mozambique. During those trips we met with several leaders and ministers, including Pastor Luis Manuel Jeronimo. He pastors Igreja Evangelica Assembleia De Deus Alfa & Omega, possibly the largest A/G church in Mozambique. Soon after those meetings took place, we unfortunately had to put the GU National Office in mothballs.

This 2014 trip was scheduled to hopefully begin the process of re-opening that National Office. At the request of the AGWM Area Director Lance Hines, we were hopeful that we could reconnect with the ministers of Mozambique.

We arrived and God immediately began to move. An unexpected breakfast meeting was scheduled with Pastor Luis, missionary Todd Stamps, and myself. During this meeting I learned that Pastor Luis, who has visited Global University three times, had begun using our Christian Life (CL) curriculum as the start of a seamless training program with the young people in his church!

The approach Pastor Luis followed was to “require” the youth of his church to study Global’s CL courses beginning at age 12. This December, there will be a graduation of 86 teenagers who have completed all 18 CL courses. Currently, there are 356 more teenagers moving through the CL curriculum. He testified that the students are growing and developing spiritually, some more so than the adults in his church! The parents of many of these teens indicate that studying the CL courses has positively impacted their children’s regular studies in school and their academic performance has improved overall. The students are more committed to Christ, the church, their families, and better prepared for adult life because of Global’s CL courses. Isn’t God good?

Despite the incredible impact these courses are already having on his church, Pastor Luis’ primary question was this: “How do we take the next step in the seamless approach to the Christian Service (CS) program and eventually to the BA program?” What an amazing future partnership opportunity!

Todd Stamps, the missionary who also joined us in that meeting, shared his heart with us as well. We hadn’t had the opportunity to work with Todd previous to this meeting and we were glad to meet him. Todd is the son of Don and Linda Stamps (missionaries to Brazil), the author of the study notes for the Fire Bible, and a gifted translator. He shared how the Holy Spirit has placed a burden on his heart to be involved in the training of pastors. His desire is to try and learn about the “need” of the church and see how Global could fit into or fulfill that need. This is an incredible introduction that the Lord arranged for us at the perfect time!

I was also able to introduce the Portuguese courses and Portuguese GlobalReach.org site to Luis and two other missionaries. All have indicated this is a strategic tool in advancing their various efforts not only in their particular churches, but in the entire nation.

Before this trip, Keith and I were terribly saddened by the closing of the National Office in Mozambique. Frankly, I thought progress there had come to a full stop. Unbeknownst to me, God was still taking the seeds we helped plant over a decade ago and growing them into a model that is about to go nation-wide through Pastor Luis’s ministry! Not only that, God is now opening doors so the people of Mozambique can continue teaching their young people with CL curriculum in their local churches. We are so thankful for God’s continual blessings. He is so much bigger than we could ever understand or comprehend. He is so good!”

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“A Lighthouse… In a Sea of Islam,” Armenia Bible College Opens

Oct 13 2014 Published by under Church, Evangelism, Missions, News

ARMENIA Bible College LOGO FINAL HD39122

 

 

By Levi Costello

Armenia Bible College, a school of Global University, officially launched on October 11, 2014 with 75 Armenian students in 2 locations within the Eurasian country. This training initiative uses Global’s accredited Bachelor of Arts courses that have been translated into Armenian.

“Armenian leaders… are simply looking for the fuel of quality biblical training to allow their light to shine even brighter,” said Dr. Gary Seevers, President of Global University. “Their dedication to send missionaries to these nations is strategic to God’s plan of winning our generation to Jesus. They see themselves as a lighthouse for Christ in a sea of Islam.”

There are currently no other Bible schools in Armenia, despite the fact that the country is the oldest “Christian” nation in the world, making this endeavor a historical one.

Enough of the program has been translated into Armenian that students are enrolling and have begun their studies. Classes will take place in existing Armenian churches and the courses will be delivered on hand-held electronic tablets. Armenia Bible College hopes to train 250 Armenian missionaries by 2020.

To learn more about Armenia Bible College, please contact Nicole Vicari, Executive Director of Advancement, at nvicari@globaluniversity.edu or call 800.443.1083 ext. 2636.

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Glorify God and Pass the Salt!

Sep 08 2014 Published by under Church, Evangelism, Ministry

By Dan Rockwell

dan3Christians say, “Glorify God,” as easily as, “Pass the salt.” Actually, pass the salt may have more meaning.

We exist to glorify God. The Church exists to glorify God. Even nature exists to glorify God. But, glorifying God isn’t a mystical experience that happens in isolation.

One behavior best exemplifies what it means to glorify God.

One purpose:

Everything the Church does has one purpose – winning people to Jesus and helping them grow so they can win people to Jesus. We are here to win people.

Paul teaches us that the Church is the body of Christ. Luke tells us that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. So, if we are the body of Christ, we are here to seek and save the lost.

Let’s give teeth to religious language and say that everything the Church is here to do one basic thing – win people to Jesus and help them grow so they can win people to Jesus. Nothing less. Nothing more. Nothing else.

Everything:

What the Church does:

  1. Teaching
  2. Fellowship
  3. Worship
  4. Support
  5. Encouragement
  6. Friendship
  7. Social engagement
  8. Meeting needs
  9. You name it ….

Everything we do traces back to one objective, win people to Jesus.

The “edification of the saints,” is so they can win people.

Teaching the Bible loses its ultimate purpose if it doesn’t equip us to win people. Furthermore, fellowship isn’t just for our comfort and enjoyment. It’s to enable us to win people.

Winning people gives purpose and meaning to everything believers do. Without the objective of winning people, we’re just going through the motions and God is not glorified, regardless of what you do.

Method:

The method is as clear as the mission. Love people.

Now that I think about it, glorifying God is a bit like passing the salt.

 

Dan Rockwell is the author of the Leadership Freak blog, recognized as the most socially shared leadership blog of 2012, in addition to authoring the Grace Freak blog. Currently, Dan coaches leaders, consults with organizations, and delivers corporate and community presentations. You can follow his blogs at www.leadershipfreak.wordpress.com and www.gracefreakdan.wordpress.com.

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Reaching a Rural Community

Jun 23 2014 Published by under Church, Evangelism, Ministry

By Kent Anderson

kentA rural church must find practical ways to reach and serve their community. A change from an inward to an outward focus is only part of the solution. If a church wants to influence their community, the most effective way to do so is the Jesus way- to serve and then share their way into the life of the community. Mark 10:45 says, “The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve”, and this should be our model.

The following are 10 practical outreach ideas that rural churches can implement to reach their communities:

1. Assess the needs of your community. Pastors can uncover needs in their community that others are not addressing. Websites such as epodunk.com, census.gov, and dataplace.org will help you assess your community. Ask members of your community what they feel are the most pressing needs. Ask the question, “In your opinion, what is the best thing our church could do for this town?”

2. Meet with community stakeholders. A rural pastor must be intentional in developing solid relationships with community leaders. Stakeholders can include the mayor, school principal, high school coach, and others. Community leaders know firsthand the issues their community is facing.

3. Become a friend to your community’s school system. The question every rural church must ask is, “How can we wrap our arms around our local school?” In a rural setting, the school is the hub of the community. Some churches bring cinnamon rolls to the teachers’ lounge and deliver coffee and donuts to bus drivers. They provide reading buddies to students, conduct after-school programs, honor teachers and staff, provide supplies for classrooms, and assist with projects around the school.

4. Become active in community events. How can the church plug into the community calendar? What events are taking place throughout the year that your church could join? What sporting events and holiday celebrations can the church be involved in? What does the community offer in the way of meals on wheels, senior center activities, etc., in which your church can partner? Offer an event for your community such as a Kidsfest in the park, mega sports camp, hunting clinic, horse-riding clinic, etc. Connect with your firefighters and policemen and women and host a hero day for them and their families.

5. Develop a community group adoption program. What groups, places, or organizations could your church adopt? This program could include adopting teachers, social workers, firefighters, sports teams, classrooms, the senior center, or the local park. One church in Kansas adopted the town’s main street and the youth washed all the windows of the downtown businesses. A rural church in Iowa painted the benches on Main Street.

6. Become a specialty provider. Many rural churches do not have the capacity to run a food pantry, clothing closet, or thrift store. Become the church that has a specialty item — diapers, baby formula, underwear and socks or hygiene products. One church in Montana offers firewood during the winter for people in their community. Another church in West Virginia designated a Sunday School room for teachers and offered them supplies for their classroom.

7. Offer a need-based program. Offer a program based on the findings of your assessment. Programs like Celebrate Recovery, Marriage Encounter, Financial Peace, Angel Food ministry, single moms ministry, and MOPS can be a way to reach out to people in need in your community.

8. Create a helping hands ministry. Organize a Sunday School class or small group focused solely on outreach. The class or small group can pray, plan, and implement ministry opportunities within the community. One church asks each individual department to conduct one service project each year. This way, the church has outreach focused ministry going on in its community every month.

9. Prepare your church for emergency response. Partner with organizations such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Red Cross, emergency personnel, etc. Train church members to be first responders when disaster hits.

10. Conduct a one-day outreach. Plan a day of outreach that might include distributing school supplies, clothing, shoes, coats, etc. to the people within the community. A rural church in Illinois conducted a one-day outreach called Sharefest and had over 600 people attend. The town’s population is 2,000.in

The impact of a powerful rural Pentecostal church in a community will greatly enhance community life and pave the way for strong connections between the church and the community. As General Superintendent George O. Wood has stated, “We must have substantial evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, our prayer should be, “Let my heart break with the things that break God’s heart – and then let me do something about it.”

 

Kent Anderson serves as the Church Care Network Coordinator for Convoy of Hope – Rural Compassion Ministries. To learn more about Rural Compassion, please visit www.ruralcompassion.org.

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