Friday, January 1, 2010
2010 Hopes and Dreams: Stepping Up To Help The Lost Get Found
This is not the official song for 2010, but just a great song and video that exemplifies where I pray that One Man Revival Ministries goes in 2010. Thank you Britt Nicole for such an awesome song!
The year 2009 is a memory and we’re on to a new year and a new decade. A friend of mine asked a harmless yet interesting question yesterday though. What is the big deal about New Year’s Day? All we are doing is turning a calendar.
Well, truthfully I don’t think that is all we are doing. Many people, including yours truly, did not have a banner 2009. It was OK, but there is something about new years. I related this morning to a team’s spring training or training camp. With every new season comes the hope of a winning season, the ability to celebrate at the end of the year to say that our team did something right. This is probably especially true for Chicago Cubs’ fans that haven’t won a World Series since 1908. Over 100 years and counting, each year hope springing eternal.
I think that’s the way it is with people too. They are admitting that last year wasn’t that great, but this year is going to be fantastic. All the dreams and hopes I have will come true or at the very least, progress toward coming true. That’s why the day is a big deal. Taking off the old crappy year, putting on the hope of a year that promises greatness.
We’re all guilty of it in some form or another. Why do you think resolutions are so popular? There is always something out there that we should stop doing. Each year, we make a commitment to change. This change is supposed to improve us in some facet, either emotionally, physically or spiritually. Last year was stressful for drama queens. Let’s get rid of stress and be emotionally healthier. Or maybe we couldn’t put down the bottle, the cigarette, or my personal favorite, the pizza. Lose some weight tubby and physically, you’ll be healthier. Finally, maybe you need to find a center. Most of us admit there is a greater power. Becoming more in tune with it will make us spiritually healthier.
In my confessional, I guess losing weight would be productive. I gained 40 pounds last year. Sure, I stabilized that weight, but I could get used to the idea of getting rid of some of it. My wife and I started talking about this before Christmas and agreed to try together to lose 20 pounds each. I need it worse than she does. But it is a good idea to work toward a goal together. I know she’ll buy less sweets for me than if I go to the store. I may have to decide to cook a meal rather than order out more often. All of us get lazy from time to time, but I to be a little less lazy about it.
I think you realize that this is a ministry website, especially if you look at the top of the page. So I know you realize that the spiritual center of what I do is Christianity. Believing in one God in the triune being of God the Father, Jesus the Son and Savior, and the Holy Spirit that indwells each Christian follower. From here on, I’ll be talking about the goals of the ministry and my role in that.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the story, One Man Revival is not named a such because I am the only person involved in the writing, editing and other such work of this ministry. The ministry name came from an old Bob Carlisle song off of his Shades of Grace CD from 1995. To begin a one man revival, he says, that it must begin, in me. And the ministry did begin in me, because of a longing call of the Holy Spirit from God. It was confirmed by the presenting idea of my friend Peter Brown and finally by my pastor Van Brooks in one of his sermons in early September 2008 when he began to preach that many of us in the church, not just my home at New Hope in Effingham, need to begin a new thing and reaching out for others to increase those in the faith. He didn’t reiterate Matthew 28:20 that morning, but the Great Commission is our goal once we become Christians. Keep growing and reaching others for the Gospel.
If you’ve been reading along, you realize that essentially 2009 was year one of the ministry. When I began writing for this website, I began writing over five different websites. It started at MySpace, then went on to Blogger, Livejournal, and Shoutlife. When I joined Facebook, late in 2008, I had no idea that the social community, along with the main ground of Blogger, would grow to be the area that I did all my writing. Over the Christmas holiday, I announced to my community at MySpace that everything of blog form would be moving to Blogger and there only. It was just too much to try to plant seed in five different places and try to keep communities in all of them. With Facebook and Blogger, I found the success of being able to reach back to people that knew somewhat of me and also connect with new people that I have met at New Hope and in other places during 2009.
What it helps do is make a focus point for people to know where One Man Revival is. People now know that I have a personal Facebook, a One Man Revival Facebook Fan Page (that really doesn’t do all that much), and the blog of writings on Blogger (at http://onemanrevival.blogspot.com). That’s helpful to people because they don’t have to chase everywhere after me either.
One other note that I realized in this is that at times, and in certain areas, my plate became too full. By coming to Christ at 25, I have battled the desire of trying to be Super Christian to all people. You know, fly around and do everything.
So to focus on One Man Revival, I have to cut back in some areas. I never really got work on the Cross website off the ground. I did make a neat little Facebook page for it, but the website that they wanted never seemed to fit in my schedule. I also had to make a cut in something important in my own church. I have been a member of the men’s ministry team and my wife is wanting to spend more time together on the weekends. So I have to cut going to their meetings as well.
With the ministry itself, the focus has to be in a few areas. First, I think we need to continue great discipleship teachings. I spoke about the forgiveness series and the current spiritual gifts series. These are the hallmark of the gifting of teaching that I have. I also continue to feel like God is pressing that teaching gift beyond the website. I am seeking to make dates to go and speak these and other teachings to churches that would love to have me and my ministry be part of what they are doing.
Does this mean I become a pastor of a church somewhere? I don’t know. I think God is gifting me to teach to those that hunger and thirst for His Word. That may be going and speaking at occasional conferences or other church functions that other leaderships would deem what I have to say as in line with their mission.
Does that mean I also add the ability to evangelize to the repertoire? Maybe, maybe not. I know of guys that travel the country doing that. Each week, their goal is salvations. I admire that. I really do. I do feel God working on that gift in me now. But for now, I feel much more confident in teaching. That can change. Why? Because God is in control.
The other major thing that I have to work on this year is making a salary doing this ministry. I don’t mean or want to become the next PTL Club or anything else for that matter. But I do need to help compensate household expenses, child costs and other home items along with buying books that continue to help me minister and other needs for the ministry.
In 2009, I didn’t ask for a dime. Why? A couple reasons. The first and most important is that I wanted to show people that this ministry isn’t here for the buck. My main goal is earning your desire to bless this ministry. That means I wanted to show that this ministry offered you something before I ever asked for anything. I stand by this. Your first 10% is God’s for God’s house. That means that the church you attend regularly should receive your tithe, period. My ministry is not your local church. This ministry’s desire is to walk alongside the local church to help people grow in Christ, for His kingdom.
If you give to this ministry before your local church, you are robbing God of where your finances need to be. After that, some of you cannot afford to help this ministry. For you, my biggest request is that you pray for partners and churches that can. Seriously, I don’t want anybody losing a house, food on the table or clothes to wear because you chose this ministry over necessity.
But there are some people who can help me and this ministry. These are the people and churches I am talking to. I am currently working on the paperwork to become a 501c3 organization. I need to make a salary, but I am not seeking to get rich off this ministry. My treasures are in heaven. God has given me a few treasures here. I have a great wife and three awesome children. There aren’t tons of expenses to cover. If you are considering partnering with this ministry, I will gladly tell you what they are. Most of the expenses are books, computers, internet fees, advertising and applying for the 501c3 classification itself.
But I also believe in giving back. If you do partner with this ministry, realize that 20% is going back into other ministries. The first 10% will go back into my local church, New Hope in Effingham. The second 10% is still being prayed about. What ministries need my help as much as I need yours, that’s what I am trying to discern now before the money comes.
The other expense that may come up is traveling. If God moves on churches or programs to bring me to places outside the nearby area of Effingham, Illinois, I may have to think about paying for those expenses as well. But I also know that God will provide.
I tell you about this because the goal of this ministry is to step up and step forward. God has moved on people to be missionaries all over the world. Right now, I don’t believe that is my family’s calling. God can always change that, but I don’t feel impressed that He is doing that now. However, my writing is able to touch the world at a mouse click. God has given me words to inspire people to do great things for Him.
This calling is not about me. There are days that I do struggle with that. I shared with a class last week that not even more than half of my own church realizes what I do on a daily basis. This is not about raising my ego. This is about bringing others closer to God. Those that need to know what God wants for them to improve on, that’s the discipleship part. And then there are those that need to know that God exists and that they exist to have a relationship with Him. I am not a great salvation preacher, but by my own life, I can tell you that you never know how much time you have to make that decision.
God has not filled out my dance card for 2010. He has given me a few things that I know I am going to cover over the next couple months. Beginning again on Monday, January 4, we will continue the spiritual gifts series. That may or may not take until February 1.
On February 1, I am taking Monday through Friday for the first three weeks to talk about some spiritual disciplines of prayer. Starting the day before and on the Sundays of February 7 and 14, my own pastor is sharing the goals of our church and calling us to become better in the area of prayer. As I said earlier, this is one of those opportunities to walk alongside my local church and bless the people.
After that series completes, I know that I want to take time at some point to look at a book written by Francis Chan called Crazy Love. I just took part in the last few weeks of a class at my church on the book and I feel like this book could actually impact people to look at their own walks or crawls with Jesus. There is no calendar date on this as of yet, but know that I am very interested in covering this book with you.
Beyond that, I think God is still giving me the plan. The great thing I know is that God is with me and I have been as blessed as most of you that have been reading. When I decided to say yes and begin this work, I wasn’t sure where I would end up. I still don’t know. But it has been a great journey so far and I thank each and every one of you for joining me. If you are interested in having me speak, you can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at my home at (217)347-6697. I would love to hear from you.
I still have a lot to give to the Kingdom. The time for revival is now. Saving the lost and redirecting those who are struggling is vital. Helping those on the journey looking for a resource is equally important. The One Man Revival began in me to help the lost get found.
I love you guys!