Letter From A Prostitute

Recently, through Project India, I was given the honor of speaking to a church in Eastern India via telephone and through an interpreter. This church is in a rural area which had recently experienced grave tragedy through the flooding of a local river. During this speaking engagement a lady, who had never attended church before, came into the service and experienced the simplicity and power of the gospel. Here is her testimony in her own words. (translated to English from Telugu, therefore a little rough, but I will leave it as she wrote it.)

“I am an prostitute…very bad women, never come to church before, today I came because I was suffering with back pain, I have heard that Jesus is healer. As I was entering in to church some preaching in English, Pastor J___ is translating in Telugu. I was trying to find  the person who is preaching, but I could not see him. Afterwards I was asking a lady who is nearby me, she said, Pastor Terry is preaching word, through phone. As I was  Continue reading “Letter From A Prostitute”

A River Runs Through It

A week ago, a small village in Eastern India was flooded by torrential rains. The rains caused the nearby river to flood and destroyed 24 homes. Some of these homes, which are nothing more than thatched huts, belonged to members of a small congregation I am working with. Eight members of this congregation of 45 were killed by the flooding river. The scene described to me was extremely sad.

I received another email early Saturday morning, September 17, concerning the situation. Brother John, the church planter I work with, asked me if I would speak to the church at their service on Sunday, September 18, via telephone. John, who is native Indian, would translate my message into their native language of Telugu. Of course I agreed. After working out the logistics and time, I spent the day in prayer. John called me around one in the morning central time to begin the service as they are 10 1/2 hours ahead of us.
Continue reading “A River Runs Through It”

ReThinking Church, Part 6 – God Uses the Wrong People

As we continue investigating the New Testament model of ‘church,’ the next thing which stands out is how the Lord uses all the ‘wrong people.’ Of course, I say this tongue in cheek as only the Lord can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. However, when we compare the members of the early church to the our middle and upper class fellowships, we see a stark contrast.

We leaders hate to admit it…but we target the ‘money people.’ They can fund our projects, support our needs and put our church finances at ease as they immediately come with a dividend. This stings, but time and time again I have seen fellow Pastors ‘suck up’ to those in the community who have financial success, while ignoring and even standing aloof from those who were in real need. To appease our conscience we send outreach into the poor neighborhoods and projects, but we dare not have these poor little unkept families come and smudge up our nice rooms and sanctuary. So we use a place out side our facilities to minister to them. God help us! We are hypocrites. Continue reading “ReThinking Church, Part 6 – God Uses the Wrong People”

Pray Big…Think Small

Yes, you read the title correctly; Pray Big… Think Small. After spending a lot of time with various people throughout many years of ministry, I find these two reversed in people’s life. Instead they are always thinking big, promoting big and wanting big, but are praying very little or in small measure. Many believers dwell in a cave of fear, pinned down by insecurities and fleshly barriers. Outreach is not as difficult as we make it, as long as we keep things in their proper order. Success as a believer is not measured by results, but by obedience. And each believer can be used if we remember these two simple issues.

Pray Big – Our Lord wants to reach those around us with the same redemption He has given us. The greatest impact we can have ‘now,’ is in the everyday, ins and outs, warp and woof of our daily life. Our biggest prayer should not be for opportunities with others, but first for our willingness to obey the great commission in the opportunities we already have in everyday life…we should pray for boldness! Why should the Lord give us more ‘doors of utterance’ (Col.4:3) if we are not taking advantage of the ones we already have? If our prayers are not dealing with our fears, insecurities, false self image, lack of gospel understanding and inertia in sharing Christ, then we are praying too small. Continue reading “Pray Big…Think Small”

Don’t Copy…Get A Vision

It is easy to pick up a magazine and read an article about church growth, evangelism explosion or community outreach. It is equally easy to attempt to implement or copy another leader’s vision and experience less than desirable results. That is not to say there is not much each of us can gain from hearing and learning from one another. The danger comes when the vision we attempt to implement does not come from our own praying and fasting. Each community faces unique cultural situations and needs, and if we fail to understand this we are destined for failure from the beginning.

America is a melting pot of various ethnicities and cultures. This used to only apply to the largest of our cities. However, the melting pot is quickly spilling over into even the smaller cities and towns. The label “indigenous church planter,” which used to apply specifically to church planters in foreign countries, now has an important and necessary application across our country. Our communities need church planters who understand the local nuances and customs. Continue reading “Don’t Copy…Get A Vision”

Lessons From A Turtle

Yesterday, I took a 2 mile midday walk and jog. As I traveled along a track next to a reservoir near my house, I noticed a row of turtles sunning on a log in the water’s edge. As I approached their vicinity, the splashes began. First, the big turtles and then the smaller ones. However, there was this one little guy who stood his ground. This got me to thinking as I was gasping for air and finishing the last mile of my workout. Out of the whole long row of turtles, the one who seemed the least was the bravest!

I know it would be easy to contend that he was the most ignorant since he was the baby, and that the older ones were attempting to teach him safety, but the Lord was impressing something else on my heart… It doesn’t matter who makes the biggest splash or who appears to be the biggest. In the end, the faithful in heart will be able to stand in the midst of any threats. Continue reading “Lessons From A Turtle”