"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
Describe a community outreach, mission trip, or other public ministry that you have been a part of. How did you feel that God spoke to you? In meeting the physical needs of others, how can their spiritual needs be met?
There are many examples that come to mind regarding involvement in outreach, missions, and other public ministry because these types of service are near and dear to my heart. My wife and I have a passion for serving the lost and broken. Because Jesus served these groups, we do as well. We are all called to be the hands and feet of Christ and being a servant comes with the territory as it is all part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). The most extensive outreach and missions related work we are involved with is our online website ministry that was founded around April 2016. We call it an E-church where anyone can access it with internet and find worship videos, messages, blog posts, Bible studies, and many other resources at the click of a button. The ministry has turned out to be a wonderful resource for those who are disabled, lock-ins, without a church in their area, or simply in an area hostile to the church in general. We have received feedback, testimonies, prayer requests, and professions of faith from all over the world. The most memorable being a young man who I conversed with many times and eventually converted to the faith from Islam. He made the decision knowing His family would reject him and could potentially be persecuted for.
God certainly spoke to me regarding this ministry. The website was something that was really just an idea and I had actually begun construction of it during services we had in our home some time before. It was going to be our Church website and while circumstances prevented the home services from ever growing into something more, the vision God had for us was never put off. I always had a passion for having an impact in the areas of social media in general. Around March 2016 I became sick with a rare situation and was placed into the hospital for about a week in severe pain. While there I began to notice how many patients had been there for long periods of time, some weeks and a few months. It was in those moments of bare consciousness that God spoke to my heart and began to do a work in me that I might serve those who need to hear His Word the most (Isaiah 58:10, Luke 7:22). God spoke to me about using the website that I had already began to build and make it accommodating to those who were looking for the Gospel whether just searching for answers or without a church home to attend.
After finishing the site and getting it up and running, I received tons of hits online. We were soon attracting over 2,000 people a month on the site and even while I am in Seminary and serving in the local church, we are maintaining those numbers. Many times, I get the look from many Church members that I always receive when they do not believe this is “legitimate” ministry. The factor that seems to make it “legitimate” is, “does it pay a salary”? I then quickly remind them that Jesus and even his Apostle Paul didn’t ask for payment after every message they preached and every healing performed. I quickly remind them of Scripture such as Luke 14:12-14 and Matthew 6:1-4. This is how I know certainly that I am in God’s will. When you do a task that God assigns you, He blesses you with it regardless of capacity. A pastor friend likes to say, “When you receive negative comments and feedback from the “religious” world, you can be assured you must be doing something right.” While it is difficult to meet physical needs from such huge distances, we do what we can to accommodate anyone who wishes to hear the Gospel including steering them to local resources. The fact that we offer a solution for their problem of not being able to attend a service in person helps them greatly. If they are without a hard copy of the Word we will also send them one if needed. Regardless of the need, this portion of the population is often overlooked and therefore very receptive to an organization willing to share the love of Christ with them. I have been called to eventually plant a church and this site will one day be part of the bigger plan that God has for our life. We will then be able to not only serve in a virtual environment, but also bus people in from around the area to worship with us.