Category Archives: Missionary

Impacting the small places like Village Mission Pastor’s are doing

A lot of us want to do great things for the Lord. But great doesn’t necessarily mean big.

We’re all familiar with Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep, in which a man leaves his 99 sheep to find the one that is missing. But a lot of pastors today, in their understandable passion to minister to the 99, have left the one all alone. I speak of the forgotten sheep of rural America.

The great missionary statesman William Carey once said, “To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.” And the open maps of today are telling us that there is a massive shift to the cities from the countryside. Operation World points out that the global share of people living in urban areas has shot up from 13 percent in 1900 to above 50 percent today.

In America, the trend is even stronger. According to the USDA, overall, the country’s “non-metro” areas have lost an average of 43,000 residents every year since 2010. Job prospects in the countryside are falling, and poverty rates are rising. According to one report, deaths are now outpacing births in hundreds of rural counties.

So it’s hardly surprising that urban and suburban ministry is a focus for so many. But what about the lost sheep scattered in the countryside? Well, as you might expect, their churches are shrinking and their pastors are disappearing. The National Congregations Study finds that the percentage of rural congregations has plummeted from 43 percent in 1998 to 32 percent in 2012.

And what about the pastors? With so many churches struggling to keep their doors open, fewer and fewer can afford to pay a pastor, and thus many of them are going without.

Well, that’s where an innovative and yet back-to-basics ministry such as Village Missions comes in. Village Missions, which was founded in 1948 by an Irish Presbyterian pastor named Walter Duff Jr., has sent out hundreds and hundreds of what it terms “missionary pastors” to the lost sheep in America’s rural areas—places like Volga, Iowa.

According to a great article by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra at the Gospel Coalition entitled “Reviving the Dying Small-town Church,” Volga, a farm community of about 200 people, has four churches. Jeremy Sarver, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, was sent by Village Missions to revitalize Volga’s Calvary Bible Church, which had 12 members when he got there. Zylstra says none of the other churches had a single full-time pastor at all.

Ministry in the countryside may be on a smaller scale than a lot of pastors are used to, but it allows them to really get to know their flocks. Village Missions requires its missionary pastors to invest about 20 hours a week getting to know the locals in order to become a part of these often tight-knit communities.

“I could put up office hours all day long in rural America, and nobody’s coming,” Sarver says. “But if I sit in the combine with them, or go to the coffee shop, or watch a volleyball game with them—they don’t want me to use the word ‘counseling,’ but we talk through things.” After this kind of slow relationship-building, the church doubled in size—to 30 members.

And each of these sheep is precious. Last year, Village Missions reported 459 salvation decisions, 179 adult baptisms, and 127 child baptisms.

 

For more information on Village Missions, come to BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary. We’ll also link you to Sara Eekhoff Zylstra’s outstanding article.

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A church started by teens

Have you ever heard of a congregation planting a new church through teenagers?
( Read more )

A surprise calling to the mission field

Kenya (MNN) — Being content is a virtue, but not when we’re living a life that is less than what God has planned for us. This story, brought to us by missionaries with World Gospel Mission, is about answering God’s call to minister, even when it’s a surprise. Even when it means giving up what is comfortable.

Angela Many and her husband, Heath, were living a life that, at a glance, could be described as ideal. They met and got married in medical school — Heath is a general surgeon and Angela an OBGYN.

Angela Many shares their story of how God called them from a life of normalcy into something much more profound.
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Holding church in a bar

Read the story.

Mission Miracle Mouth

Ian is one of the more amazing people I’ve met. The people who knew him publicly, when they were with him privately it was a shock. He had been the leader of Youth for Christ’s highly effective ministry in New Zealand. As you would converse with him, you would quickly learn that Ian had a stutter – which sometimes made it difficult just for him to get through a sentence. It was noticeable, but it wasn’t important. I mean, Ian was a godly, magnetic person. But when you saw him in action before a crowd – as I did at a national youth convention with 3,000 teenagers – get ready for a shock. I mean, I felt bad, wonder-ing how he was going to communicate effectively to all these teenagers with a stutter like that. To my amazement, I discovered there suddenly was no stutter. His speech was perfect! He emceed, he preached flawlessly. That’s what was so amazing about Ian – something happened to him when he had to speak well. And to you.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Miracle Mouth.”

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 21 beginning in verse 12. Jesus is telling His disciples what to expect when they come under official persecution – a situation where their lives may depend on what they say. Here’s what He said, “They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and gover-nors, and all on account of My Name.”

“This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” Now, while this applies directly to official persecution, I think it can be broadly applied to any believer in a pressure situation, especially where Jesus wants that situation to result in you “being witnesses to them.” Jesus says, “I will give you words and wisdom.” When Moses said, “I can’t possibly speak for you, Lord. I can’t speak. I have a stutter.” God said, “I will be with you and I will put the words in your mouth.” And God said to these people what you say is going to be irresistible!

When my friend, Ian, had to communicate, he seemed to be outside of himself, carried beyond his limitations. In a sense, that has been the consistent experience of believers throughout all the centuries – a Divine takeover when it’s time to speak for Jesus. Maybe you’ve experienced that.

You could be in a situation – or about to be in a situation – where you’re going to have a chance to represent Christ. You say, “I don’t think I can do it. I don’t know what to say. It’s easy for those good talkers – like those radio guys – but I can’t talk like that.” You’re right – you can’t. But He can. You may wonder how you will ever share Christ with some person you care a lot about – or someone who is just spiritually intimidating.

What God promises to do is to take you outside yourself, beyond your limitations. He will write the script and, like an actor, you’ll be delivering His words. Oh, how many times I’ve experienced that! You may be in or approaching a pressure situation where you feel totally inadequate to say what needs to be said. Jesus said, “Make up your mind not to worry” about it. God wants to display His power by giving you words and wisdom that you don’t even know you have. And you and they are going to know it was God and not you.

My friend, Ian, saw it happen again and again, and so will you. That miracle at the moment you begin to speak for Jesus.

Some words from the man Saint Patrick,thanks to Cal Thomas:

“God, my God, omnipotent King, I humbly adore thee. Thou art King of kings, Lord of lords. Thou art the Judge of every age. Thou art the Redeemer of souls. Thou art the Liberator of those who believe. Thou art the Hope of those who toil. Thou art the Comforter of those in sorrow. Thou art the Way to those who wander. Thou art Master to the nations. Thou art the Creator of all creatures. Thou art the Lover of all good.”
  ON A DAY WHEN PEOPLE ARE DRINKING GREEN BEER AND THE CHICAGO RIVER IS TURNED GREEN, THE WORDS OF THE REAL PATRICK ARE WORTH CONSIDERING.

( Read the rest of this Cal Thomas  commentary or listen to the audio of it. ) 

Saint Patrick, and being a saint (a thought on the Bible )

Listen to the commentary, or read it below.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. I hope you are having a great one. 

       Did you know the real Saint Patrick did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. Fact Patrick was a missionary, who was transformed by God.

   I am Billy David Dickson with a thought on the Bible.

          Yes, Patrick did amazing things for God. Did you know to be a saint you don’t have to do anything special, or does a priest have to declare you a saint. There is only one who can make you a saint ,and that is the Lord Jesus himself. John 1:12 reads. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

     You and I become a child of God not by doing good works. It is not based on what we do, or don’t do.The Bible teaches we get a relationship with God, by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. 

    So the meat of the matter is a saint, or child of God is somebody..

Who has realized their own sinfulness before a Holy God.

They are willing to turn away from sin, and change their mind about sin. That is called repentance. 

They know they can not become a Saint through good works, but they need to receive Jesus as their Savior, and Lord.  

So you can become a saint, like Saint Patrick though you may not have a day named after you. You will have the only thing you truly need, which is a relationship with God. That is a thought on the Bible. 

Until next time,

I’m Billy David Dickson 

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Billy or read more commentary on https://billydteacher.wordpress.com/.

InterVarsity: where once was crisis, is new growth

USA (MNN) — About 20 years ago, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship was facing a crisis. The ministry was having a hard time reaching out to students with the Gospel. In fact, in one year the ministry only saw eight college students come to Christ within the whole San Diego area.

From Crisis to Growth:
Now, decades later, InterVarsity has seen some incredible growth.

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It is hard being a child who is a follower of Jesus in Turkey

Read the story and pray for these kids. 

Honoring a witness for the Word

The story is here.