The Call: Why Did You Become a Pastor? (Part 2 in a Series of Interviews with Pastors & Pastors Wives, 2018)

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_aaron-burden-unsplash-Why_Did_You_Become_a-PastorDid you think when you became a Christian you would be pastoring one day? Tell me about when you realized you were called to be a pastor /pastor’s wife?

Sophie Foley: I always believed I would marry a pastor. But then again, I’ve wanted to marry John since I was 12, and knew he was called to it.

Pastor John Foley: It was something that came to my mind but I wasn’t clear about. I had some other plans. I watched a world evangelism video of Greg and Lisa Mitchell in South Africa and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I responded to a call to preach. I still wasn’t sure but a man in the church told me if I wanted to I probably was. I felt

IMG-4286
Pastor John and Sophie Foley and children, Malden, MA (Boston area)

moved that God could use my life to make an impact by preaching to people around the world. I thought most people felt like I did. I dedicated my life to becoming a pastor but it didn’t happen for another 8 years or so.

 

 Sophie: We arrived in Malden, Massachusetts on June 2, 2017. We promptly began Bible studies in our home and soon moved to a hall nearby and began having Sunday morning services. My husband, Pastor John, met a group of young men almost immediately, who had been praying for a young pastor for a year. That same week we met a woman and her adult children, who had been praying for a young church as well. Within a few weeks, we had 20+ people attending. It was mind blowing. Truly, God had a people here, He just needed someone to come.

We remodeled and moved into our current building in May of this year and have had such favor with the community. This really has been a dream come true, to serve God here. It is right in the heart of the new downtown development and one block from the T station. We run anywhere from 20-60 people at any given time. —The Potter’s House, Malden MA https://www.pottershouseboston.com/

 

IMG_2016
Pastor Kevin and Janet Foley, McMinnville Oregon

Janet Foley, (Pastor Kevin Foley’s wife & John Foley’s mother): My parents were faithful Methodists, very active in the church, my father teaching the adult class and my mother 3rd and 4th graders, me in the youth choir, etc.. But we never heard the term “born again,” and never heard that we must repent of our sin and truly invite Jesus Christ in to our hearts, which caused a lot of problems in our home!

 

My parent’s marriage was rocky. I got in huge fights with my dad where he accused me of things I never ever thought of doing. Just because I had incense in my room I was accused time and time again of drugs and lying. Finally I said to myself, if he thinks I’m so bad then…I’ll be bad!!!  Where’s some dope? I became a rebellious pot smoking hippie chick at 13 years old. My 21 year old boyfriend turned me on to LSD—I didn’t want to do it, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I was intrigued with the music, yoga and philosophy my brothers brought home from college and the partying, flower children, and concerts of the time.  Continue reading “The Call: Why Did You Become a Pastor? (Part 2 in a Series of Interviews with Pastors & Pastors Wives, 2018)”

If My People… New England Night of Prayer ~Pt. 1 of a Series of Interviews with Pastors & Pastor’s Wives in Honor of Pastor Appreciation Month 2018

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_2ndChronicles714_If_My_People_

Pastor Winslow, I interviewed you and your wife, Suzanne, as part of my series of interviews with Pastors and Pastor’s Wives for  Pastor Appreciation Month two years ago.You were missionaries to Mexico for 27 years and pioneered and planted churches there. Can you please bring us up to date on the church in Mexico what you’re doing currently?

Continue reading “If My People… New England Night of Prayer ~Pt. 1 of a Series of Interviews with Pastors & Pastor’s Wives in Honor of Pastor Appreciation Month 2018”

Part 3: Dragon Slayer, Disciple Maker~ A Preacher Wages War, Wins Souls & Saves Children from Prostitution & Poverty in Nepal

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Dragon_Slayer_Disciple_Maker_Part_ThreePART 3 of 3: Family First or Church First? An interview with dragon slayer, disciple maker, Pastor Brian Williams and his wife Ruth from Agape Missions International, Nepal.

Question 20: How do you have the energy and balance your time between studying, preaching, writing, caring for your family, and other ministries?

Family First or Church first?

  • Is the God we serve only a community God?
  • Is the God we serve only a personal family king?
  • Is the God we serve only a serious father?

Here below is some type of weird ideology based on the world’s value system:

  • God first.
  • Family second.
  • Ministry third.

Now, where do we find that in the Bible? Nowhere, can we find any of this in scripture. That unbiblical and soulish concept is propagated by intellectually challenged, worldly people in the church.

Here is another piece of theology that betrays biblical orthodoxy:

Family ministry or Church ministry? But not both as a priority?

Now, where in the Bible do we find such an either/or dichotomy so as to prioritize one over the other? This comes from an unbiblical worldview of splitting values when none is required. This is opposed to the Judeo-christian way of doing things.

Thus seeking FIRST the kingdom of God, is:

Church Family Ministry,

Family IN Ministry and

Family AS Ministry.

Here is what I believe is the pure Bible worldview on family and the kingdom of God. This truth encompasses all three of the concepts below in perfect unity without surrendering any of the three ideas.

  1. Participating in local Church Family events IS ministry.
  2. Families involved in spiritual exercises IS ministry.
  3. Fun family activities in a family IS also ministry.

To speak about Biblical balance in another way, let us look at these three sentences:

Our church is our family and our family is our church.

We are to minister IN our immediate-family/joint-family which IS our ministry too.

Our nuclear family is called to a BE type of ministry, as well as serving God in a DO type of ministry also.

Let us dig a little deeper without excluding any of the three threads mentioned above.

  1. Church Family Ministry

Many families reluctantly drag their kids and their spouses to a local fellowship. It’s a sad thing when a family enjoys every other program in their locality other than a church program. Many research studies show that those who have a committed church community as their primary social network live longer. Do we go to a local church and give our time, talent and treasure to that church community together as a family? Or do we just warm the carpet and do a bench warming activity there? Paul mentioned this priority beautifully in Hebrews 10:25 “Not FORSAKING the ASSEMBLING of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”

      2. Family “IN” Ministry

Most families wait until their children reach college for them to serve God. Then, it’s sometimes too late because they are already fixed and anchored in their ways. They have received no training at home. If we do not fellowship, evangelize, pray and enjoy the Bible together as a family, why will they do it when they grow up? The Jews were wisely commanded by God to tell their kids stories of what God did. Why? The word of God was supposed to be on their doors. Why? I think it was so they would read it, remember it and enact it every time they went out into society and came back home. They had Sabbath meals with great Bible symbolism so that they could experience Emmanuel in all the areas of their family life. The family that prays and does spiritual stuff together stays together.

Joel 1:3  TELL your children about it, Let your children TELL their children, And their children ANOTHER GENERATION.

     3. Family “AS” Ministry

So many people show their families by their lifestyle that they serve a boring God. If our God and our Parents do nothing but pray, read the Bible, go to church and evangelize, then we have shown our God as a fun killer at worst and a dull God at best. Do we dance with our kids? Do we play football with our kids? Do we go cycling with our kids? Do we watch movies with our kids? Do we go on picnics with our kids? Do we read books with our kids? If we have no recreational activities with our kids then we serve and portray our God as a spoilsport, a very grumpy old man who has is no fun and joy. On the other hand, fun was created by God but perverted by the Devil. We must take back what the devil has stolen.The family is itself a ministry and we must enjoy it without having to do stuff that is Christianese only. We are definitely not called to participate in sinful activities but there are other things we could do like, going to, zoo’s, picnics, parties and sports events. 

That is why 1 Cor 10:31 counsel’s us in this way “Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do all to the glory of God.

Some concluding thoughts:

The family that prays together stays together.

But

The family that plays together stays together too.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

But

All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.

Discerning Family Seasons:

So in conclusion, we must strike a healthy balance between investing our time for church community moments and a time for our personal and private family seasons. We must apply wisdom when we are to do which and for how long. Sometimes “family ministry” is the priority, other times the “church family ministry” is the priority, and still at other times, “family fun ministry” is the priority. Only the Holy Spirit can help us put the kingdom first by creating that balance in the prayer closet for each of the days of our week. 

On average how much time does it take you to put together a sermon, including research and study?

Depends on Question number 20. FullSizeRender (7)-002

How much time do you spend in personal Bible study and prayer a day?

Depends on Question number 20.

What is the hardest part of being a pastor/ pastor’s wife? 

Balancing Question number 20.

What is your biggest challenge in your ministry? FullSizeRender (1)-003

Implementing Question number 20.

What most breaks your heart?

People neglecting the values of Question number 20.

What has being a preacher and your ministry cost you? FullSizeRender (3)-002

Persecution.

Do you ever want to quit?

NEVER.

What keeps you going? FullSizeRender (4)-002

Our quiet time. 

What most encourages you?

The ongoing testimony of God lovers.

FullSizeRender (5)-002Who inspires you?

Those who incarnate the Bible in their localities. 

What has been the most unexpected benefit of your ministries?

Serving at risk people has brought out the best in me, my wife and five kids.

Do you have someone you can talk to for counsel, direction, FullSizeRender (6)-002encouragement, prayer—someone you can be really open with?

My wife has an Indian lady and I have an American and Nepali guy whom we are accountable to.

How do you keep your heart and zeal for people and God, in spite of people’s failings and some turning against you?

Serve them in His power and strength.

What are some things your church and others could do to lighten your load or refresh you and your family so you can better serve God and them?

People living out the gifts that they have been given.This lightens our burden and revives us.

What do you see as the biggest threat to the Church today?

Atheistic believers, worldly Christians and religious denominational-ism.

What do you believe is the key to revival?

Praying and evangelizing.

How do you feel about Jesus’ return, the rapture?

I am to serve Him till He returns. I am a PANMillennialistEverything will pan out when He comes back.

How are mission trip teams like the one my daughter, Abigail, came on with Adventures in Missions this past summer helpful to you and your ministry?

The greatest ministry your daughter and her team left behind was probably not Bible studies, hand-outs and eloquent speeches, (they are great too). But it was mainly by empowering the local leaders in Tami Nepal and our networks.

They did this by birthing and serving long term relationships, by an act of deep interpersonal koinonia in the hearts of the local long term workers. We are hoping for not only short term  success for the short space of time they were here but the long term successes by them investing generously their time, talent, treasure, (money and things etc), and touch, (prayer), in me, my family, my team and my partners. This model of “one-another” ministry was lovely to see in practice. Working together with the Holy Spirit and each other is key to our mutual success. This is only possible when short-term people/teams leave a legacy behind with us, their co-workers. Nothing is worse than an individual or team coming here and doing fast and furious ministry all by themselves while the local ministers are just tag-alongs.

The African Proverb is so true:

If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.

Abigail and her team were lovely in being our friends and continue to be close to us by e-mail and Facebook. We pray and hope some of them come back again to be with us.

What is your favorite memory of your ministry?

From Street Kid to Pastor

by Kayla Strickler

Sachin was the name behind the face of a child beggar on the sweltering side streets of Nepal. Street kids are extremely common in this country; they often spend their days begging, sometimes at the urging of their very own families. Street kids typically lie, fabricate tear-jerking stories, or play dumb to coax more money out of unsuspecting travelers. Sachin was a kid that needed no such ploys; he had an obvious physical challenge in one leg. Even so, he traded the street life for a job in the carpet industry when the enticing opportunity arose. And just like that, he became a statistic and joined the ranks as one of thousands of Nepal’s child laborers.

In Nepal, child labor for the carpet industry is rampant. Despite many efforts to bust the business over the last several years, the fight to end child labor is still far from over. World-famous carpets come from Nepal—the smaller the knot and the finer the carpet, the better and more valuable. Consequently, tiny agile hands often work 16-hour days and stitch until their fingers bleed raw.

As Sachin grew into adolescence, working hard hours in this industry, he encountered someone who introduced him to a life of faith in Christ. As a new believer, he began attending a church that was willing and able to put a roof over his head; but this supposed miracle was short-lived. The life of that roof expired when the church abruptly changed their policy and chose to no longer support street kids. As quickly as the roof had been put over his head, it was taken away. Sachin found himself blindsided. He was physically limited, uneducated, and now completely homeless.

In his destitute and dejected state, an Agape affiliate got word about the boy with the sick leg and bleeding, carpet-making fingers. Before long, Sachin came under Agape’s wing to be developed as a leader through an internship, with a roof over his head, and no longer needing to work slave hours six days a week. The boy that was once on the streets now had a roof, food, a family, and above all, a chance in life.

Around the same time Sachin was beginning his journey with Agape, another miracle was being worked out in someone else’s life who would also soon join forces with the mission.

Agrata, a bright and steadfast young woman, joined Agape to grow and help fulfill her calling as a leader. As one of only two Christians in her otherwise Hindu family, she needed a place to live as her current living situation fell through. Staying where she was meant stress and ill health because of the tense environment; going back home to a Hindu family would mean re-crucifying the Jesus so important to her, (since returning to a Hindu family would mean renouncing her Christian faith). Caught between a rock and a hard place, she found a third option and made her home for the season in Agape, where she could live and grow with a community of believers.

Agrata and Sachin’s love grew fast and strong. Two years into their internship with Agape, their romance was a beautiful avalanche rushing down a hill, gaining their faith and maturity before they got married, but to the besotted couple, the avalanche was already gathering great speed. Brian’s wish was that they spend another six months in a development program growing really unstoppable. They quickly tied the knot and set out on their own, blissfully in love and choosing to branch out on their own.

A local church they had been attending helped the couple secure a place to live and work: two rooms, one for a meat business to support themselves, and one room to live in. Soon, they started a family. Life continued in this security for a comfortable length of time. When they were pregnant with their second child, they happened again upon Agape’s staff. When they did, Agrata and Sachin came bearing news of all the great things happening in their lives: pastorship, children, business… Except, one thing was noticeably amiss—Sachin and Agrata had grown weary of working in the meat business, and their hearts yearned to focus more on ministry. They rejoined Agape, reunited in the place they first met—this time with two little ones in tow. But, in the blink of an eye, they chose to return to their church and meat business. Then, the unthinkable happened. The infamous earthquake hit with ferocious strength, and left their home, business, stability, and life all rubble in its grip. Sachin, Agrata, and their two kids were officially homeless.

They came to Agape for help. In Brian’s own words, “Sometimes a couple needs help two or three times, to establish themselves…” And so, with great love, Sachin and Agrata found themselves back at their roots. In another beautiful partnership with Agape ministries, Sachin and Agrata were blessed even more than before. The couple remained with Agape until they were on their feet again after the earthquake. In due time, they had a well and a house built with a room for church, two bedrooms, and a washroom. They now serve faithfully in Nepal, running their own church, bringing more and more people to the knowledge and saving faith of Jesus, the one who can do exceedingly and abundantly more than anyone could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

What is your vision for your ministry, your calling?

Small is Beautiful!

It’s not terribly important how big a work we have, but rather how big a work God does and is doing through us.

Tami Asia Calling:

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:5 For every man shall BEAR HIS OWN BURDEN.

CAR CUP Nepal/ TARA School Nepal/ WARM Nepal

(Who is God? What is true/ real Religion?)

Click for Video: Meet Ruth

https://youtu.be/-I80BIz7yIE

James 1:27 PURE RELIGION AND UNDEFILED before God and the Father is this, To visit the FATHERLESS AND WIDOWS in their affliction, and to KEEP HIMSELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD.

Psalms 68:5 A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS, and A JUDGE OF WIDOWS is God in his holy habitation.

Matthew 10:42 And if anyone gives even A CUP OF COLD WATER to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly NOT LOSE THEIR REWARD.”

Psalms 113:6-9 KJV Who HUMBLES himself to BEHOLD the things that are in heaven, and IN THE EARTH! He RAISES UP the POOR out of the DUST, and LIFTS the NEEDY out of the DUNGHILL; That he may SET HIM with PRINCES, even with the PRINCES of HIS PEOPLE. He makes the BARREN WOMAN to keep house, and to be a joyful MOTHER of CHILDREN. Praise ye the Lord.

The Prodigal Son,  Luke 10:25-37

Click for Video: Meet Our Team.

Bethesda Bishram Nepal

Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his OWN WORKS, as God did from his.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from DEAD WORKS, and of faith toward God.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ,who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from DEAD WORKS to serve the living God?

Click for Video: Meet Brian

https://youtu.be/EMLPWThJyCU

Bethel Ashrm Nepal 

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same COMMIT THOU TO FAITHFUL MEN, who shall be able to TEACH OTHERS ALSO.

Blessings FullSizeRender (8)-002          

Cheers

Prayers

Because…

Together we do a great work for God

Rev. Brian Reshma Williams

*Click here to read PART 1. 

**Click here to read PART 2.  

***You can read my post featuring my daughter, Abby’s stories of her mission trip to Nepal here:  Echoes 

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Heroes_Among_Us****Please respect the request of the interviewees that neither the link  for, nor any content from this article be posted on Facebook. However, please feel to share the link to this post on other platforms.

Thank you for your consideration.                                                                                                  © 2017  Rachael M Colby                Tattoo It On your Heart

 

Dragon Slayer, Disciple Maker~ A Preacher Wages War, Wins Souls & Saves Children from Prostitution & Poverty in Nepal (Part 2)

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby _Dragon_Slayer_Disciple_Maker-A _Preacher _Wages War_Part2

Part 2: Women at Risk, Children at Risk and a Judas—Continuing the Conversation with Reverend Brian Williams and his wife, Ruth, of Agape Missions, Nepal

Brian, where do you currently preach?

I oversee 200 churches, so I find myself travelling to these pulpits in India and Nepal. That brings me to our vision.We see this fleshed out in Bethesda Bishram, Agape’s second house in Kathmandu, Nepal, and it serves different functions. Throughout the year, you may find it populated by local pastors attending seminars, short-term missions groups working with Agape, or a family trying to get themselves back on their feet.

FullSizeRender (5)-001Bethesda Bishram serves a different purpose than Bethel Ashrm. It is a house for rest, revival, refreshing and renewal for leaders and their families. It is a place of retreat and fellowship.

Agape recognizes the importance of rest because it allows us to listen to the Lord and His will for our lives, because without retreat, there is no surrender. The purpose is to invest in the leaders of Nepal, so that they may be sustained. It gives them a chance to escape the fishbowl experience, the sense that one is always on display, of public ministry and find refuge, strength, and rest in Christ.

Ruth, did you think when you became a Christian you would become a preacher’s wife?

No, but I love the practical teaching style of my husband.

You are a church planter and overseer of churches and the author of five books on Biblical economics. Why is this important? What is your vision?

I have a simple dream. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will use these Biblical Economics seminars for the glory of Jesus by helping the priestly people of God walk in financial fruitfulness. My prayer is that the kingly royal anointing would be upon them and that they will experience good success in every area of life. They will be the head and not the tail of their community or society, the top and not the bottom of their locality or village.

FullSizeRender (6)-001FullSizeRender (7)-001

FullSizeRender (8)-001My prayer is that:

It is high time that the Peter’s of today walk out their humble calling with their heads held high and not be frowned upon as old school missionaries. The Bible is never out of date and my desire is that there will be an explosion of the biblical Peter model of volunteer missionaries all around the globe. That they will destroy the fads and gimmicks of false doctrine by continuing a life of volunteerism faithfully.

My prayer is that:

The Priscilla’s and Aquila’s of today would not be shunted out of modern missions as irrelevant. My prayer is that many couples would turn their homes into churches and their workplaces into pulpits. That they would not accept being called second class workers of the gospel, which they are not. Accepting a salary or making a profit must never be allowed to be frowned upon by modern Constantine’s. That they would boldly remain in their holy calling thus defeating the false teachers of today who have demonically labelled them as the, ‘half time calling,’ people.

My prayer is that:

The Paul’s of today would continue to faithfully obey the higher calling of God by FullSizeRender (9)-001walking in financial wisdom as per the season they find themselves in. Many times the people of God in this dual model have walked in financial ignorance and so when crushing financial times have arrived they have left the ministry. I hope these books help multiply these amazing street smart Paul model missionaries who will be salaried or free volunteers as and when the need of the ministry hour demands.

You have a ministry for at risk women, rescuing some and their children from the sex trafficking trade and also a ministry to the sukumbasi (slum/street) children as well as developing leaders through two leadership homes. What is the road that led you to these ministries?

The Agape Mission International was founded on the great Commandment (Matt 22:37) the great Commission, (Mark 16:16) and the great Commitment, (Isaiah 61:1-3). The vision the Master gave me in 1998 was of a river flowing down a mountain to the lowest and the least in society. The hurting the helpless and the broken are whom the love of God and the power of God works best in and through very easily.

James 1:27 “PURE RELIGION AND UNDEFILED before God and the Father is this, To visit the FATHERLESS, (Children at Risk), AND WIDOWS, (Women at Risk), in their affliction…”

That led us to work with children and women at risk and not just orphans and widows.

Can you tell us about your Women at Risk Ministry?

FullSizeRender (8)-003We have 8 projects for women caught in sexual trafficking and exploitation.

WARM (Women At Risk Ministries) Nepal projects below:

1. A Tailoring Shop.

Therefore, those desiring tailoring skills are welcome.

2. A Computer Lab.

Then, those desiring software and hardware skills are welcome.

3. A Language Class.

Those desiring English Language speaking and writing skills are welcome.

4. A Beauty Saloon.

Also, those desiring beauty parlor and fashion sector skills are welcome.

5. A Food Outlet.

For those desiring cooking, baking and chef skills are welcome.

6. An Adult Literacy Center.

And, those desiring pre-school teacher training and educational skills are welcome.

7. A Candle Making unit. FullSizeRender (7)-003

Plus, those desiring scented candle-making and interior decoration skills are welcome.

8. A Handicraft Products workshop.

Finally, those desiring sewing, jewelry and crochet skills are welcome.

What is the process for rescuing and restoring women from the sex-trafficking trade?

We rescue and restore women from cabin restaurants, dance bars and elsewhere.We have intervention programs as well as prevention programs.

Please read more here:

http://womennepal.blogspot.com/

http://womenstorynepal.blogspot.com

Our training center continues to train more than 50 ladies daily. One girl aged 14 years who was sexually abused in an orphanage was rescued by our team. She is now going to school, and has accepted Christ. Another girl who was married with a child was thrown out of her home after she accepted Christ. She is now taking beautician training amongst us.

FullSizeRender (9)-003

                                                           

From my daughter’s accounts from her mission trip to Nepal, and from reading some of the stories on the links at your site, it seems like many women, some with infants, end up in the trafficking trade as a result of their husband’s abandoning them.Why is this? How does the culture in Nepal view marriage?

Marriage is viewed very highly in Nepal. The problem is that the men find it very easy to run away from their wives and children. I think it’s a manhood issue rather than a marriage issue. Most women remain faithful till the end.

Prostitution and brothels are illegal in Nepal, but trafficking takes place when poor villages girls are falsely lured into better job opportunities. They are tricked and taken to India, the Middle East Muslim majority countries and Kathmandu’s dance bars and cabin restaurants, (actually brothel’s).

Please read more here:

http://fleshtradenepal.blogspot.com/

FullSizeRender (10)-003

 

Some are called  Dalit untouchables. What does that mean?

In Hinduism there is a caste system.The low caste, the high caste and all the rest in-between.The low caste people are the untouchable dirty Dalit people. There is a passage in the Rigveda, (Hindu scriptures), which enumerates the four castes in the being of the Heaven-Man called Purusha. The Brahman is called the mouth of Purusha, as having the special privilege as a priest of addressing the gods in prayer. The arms of Purusha became the Rajanya, the prince and soldier who wields the sword and spear. His thighs, the strongest parts of his body, became the agriculturalist and tradesman,the chief support of society, and his feet,the emblem of vigour and activity, became the Sudra or labouring man, (Dalit-Untouchable), on whose toil and industry all ultimately rests.

FullSizeRender (12)-001

FullSizeRender (11)-002

FullSizeRender (12)-001

FullSizeRender (13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you tell us about your Children at Risk ministry?

We operate two non formal schools in the slums.We also have a street kids soccer and feeding program.The purpose is to serve the poor but also model these ministries for local churches to start their own work amongst the marginalized.

FullSizeRender (4)-003

FullSizeRender (5)-003

We minister to more than 100 kids on the streets and in the slums daily.We feed them, FullSizeRender (2)-005give them basic education, play music and football with them and tell them Bible stories on a daily basis. More than 50 of these children now attend children’s church every week.

 

We want to educate, empower and equip them. Our hope then is that they become good family people with sustainable jobs.

Please read more here:

http://streetkidsnepal.blogspot.com/

http://streetkidstory.blogspot.com/

http://slumschoolnepal.blogspot.com/

http://slumstory.blogspot.com

FullSizeRender (6)-003

FullSizeRender (1)-004

What is the craziest situation you’ve experienced during your ministry that you are free to share?

Every Ministry Has a Judas

by Kayla Strickler

Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. 2 Corinthians 2:17

Thirteen years ago began Tamasi’s story with Agape ministries. Tamasi originally belonged to another ministry in Kathmandu run by a reputable African man named Chibuzor (Nigerian for “God first” or “God leads”). Chibuzor ran a successful ministry in the city, but when he fell in love with a Norwegian woman, he elected to leave the beautiful mountains of Nepal for his soon-to-be wife’s homeland. Chibuzor left the ministry he had put so much blood, sweat, and tears into to another African brother. Under this leadership, Tamasi was the ministry manager.

One otherwise still and peaceful night, Chibuzor appeared to Brian in a dream. He bore a message, and through the hazy outline of the dream’s frame spoke: “Brian, I don’t care about any of the office affairs that may occur—I want you to take care of Tamasi, my manager. Don’t let her go. Keep her with you.” Chibuzor vanished. Brian’s eyes opened.

Only one short week later, Brian’s phone rang. It was Tamasi. Through anxious breaths and a crack in her voice, she failed to disguise her worry as slowly the story unfolded. The man who Chibuzor entrusted his ministry to had embezzled everything he could, including money, sensitive documents, and other information from the computer, and had disappeared—never to be seen again. He vanished still $3,000 indebted to the landlord of the rented ministry building, but in his disappearance, the debt now fell on Tamasi. Her plea to Brian was for help, so that she would stay out of jail for a nonpayment that was never meant to be hers.

Brian and Agape ministries stepped in to help. In God’s sovereignty and promise that he works all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), when Brian showed up to help Tamasi with the situation, the landlord instantly recognized his face. “Brother Brian!” he shouted. “It is you!”

The two jovially talked. With a puzzled look on her face, Tamasi watched the curiously joyous interaction. It took a moment for the realization to strike: Brian and the landlord were old football friends. Through his glee, the landlord agreed to loosen the reigns on debt collection and simply told Brian to call him whenever he was ready and able to pay. Tamasi’s dilemma and fear of imprisonment were eradicated. But this wasn’t over. A hazy picture of Chibuzor flashed across Brian’s memory. He remembered the dream he had a mere week ago and knew that he was to do more than just help Tamasi stay out of jail. So, looking at her background and skill set, he offered her a job in Agape’s ministry for women at risk.

And so began the long stretch of Tamasi’s work with Agape. For quite a few years, the partnership was fluid. But in time, word started getting back to Brian about Tamasi speaking ill of him and the ministry behind his back. (Nepali culture is known to be indirect in a way that fuels gossip, but this particular flame grew like a wildfire whose smoke was extra poisonous.) Soon enough, other team members couldn’t ignore the flames. They couldn’t ignore the tension in the air. Team members started asserting their opinions that Agape needed to dismiss her from staff, and even Brian agreed. But one thing was stopping him: the memory of Chibuzor speaking to him through a dreamy haze. As Brian remembered Chibuzor’s words, he knew what he had to do. The more he prayed about it, the more he remembered both the dream and the story of Judas. In Brian’s words, “Jesus still chose Judas. Everyone needs to have a Judas.”

And so, even though according to Brian, the last three or four years she was with Agape were “hell on earth,” every year at Christmastime Tamasi’s salary still increased. She was treated exceedingly well, even when Agape didn’t want to and their hearts told them to let her go. Then, out of left field one day, Tamasi unexpectedly left. She explained she was not feeling well; that she needed to stay home and take care of herself. She mentioned her husband and her mother as other reasons. She had been trying to get pregnant; she explained the doctor advised her to rest, and then she may be able to conceive. All seemed like plausible reasons, they thought.

But rotting fish will eventually smell.

Around six months later, all of the Agape students from the women’s center inexplicably started attending another institution. The mystery was solved when Brian learned that Tamasi had started her own center, and the drama unfolded tenfold when he rushed to check the records from the Agape program: Tamasi had stolen and deleted them all. Brian had no way to even contact the women who now attended Tamasi’s program instead of Agape’s. To add exponentially more fuel to the flame, Tamasi had approached one of Agape’s biggest financial supporters and slandered the ministry, spreading accusations of corruption. The donor believed Tamasi’s lies and began to put his financial support towards Tamasi’s ministry instead.

According to Brian, there are many lessons in this story. “She keeps me humble,” he says. Even though Brian wishes he could run into her on the street and confront her, it is a choice to love people—it is a choice to not be offended, and stand ground. It is a choice to love a betrayer despite their betrayal. It is a choice to focus on the fact that Tamasi still does something people will benefit from. It is a choice to lean on the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians describing people peddling the word of God for profit. It is a choice to acknowledge that some preach the word with an attitude that is good and some with one that is bad; but what is most important is that the truth still gets preached. It is a choice to look at people like Tamasi and intentionally not to come against them, even when the opponent is outgunned.

Perhaps most people would choose retaliation. Perhaps many would look at Judas and shout about how he should have never been with Jesus in the first place. But Jesus still used Judas, and every ministry will have one. How will you react to your Judas?

                                                         ~~~*~~~

What is the religious climate in Nepal? What is the Anti-Conversion Law?

General Information:

Nepal is a secular country with some degree of religious freedom. Nepal has gone through dictatorships, civil wars, guerrilla warfare, and earthquakes, which has made the people of Nepal very resilient in good times and bad. Nepal has never been under foreign rule, so it is very welcoming to tourists, but we still must be careful of sharing our faith in a wise way.

Specific Information:

The Anti-Conversion Law bill passed in parliament several years ago and it roughly goes like this.

  • You cannot force anyone to change their religion.

  • You cannot bribe anyone with money etc. to change their religion.

  • You cannot force a person to not become an atheist if he/she wants to.

To this they added last month, (September 2017):

  • You cannot harass any other religion that is not yours.

This Bill was passed into law by the first female president of Nepal. The funny thing is that Christians and all other religions believe and agree with the bill. As you know none of us in the Christian faith convert anyone or practise the above four points. The Spirit of Christ leads them to the Father.

So it’s business as usual…

We are open to get persecuted but not because of our foolishness. Therefore, all our churches and work in the slums and with women offer practical education, job skills and adventure evangelism with local churches, so we will always be okay. Of course the enemy goes around like a prowling lion and we must be alert also.

*To be continued in Part 3: God, Family, ministry. Which is priority? 

**Did you read Part 1?

***You can read my post featuring Abby’s stories of her mission trip to Nepal here:  Echoes

***Please respect the request of the interviewee that neither the link for, nor any content from this article be posted on Facebook. However, please feel to share the link to this post by e-mail and on other platforms. Thank you for your consideration.

 © 2017  Rachael M Colby                Tattoo It On your Heart

Dragon Slayer, Disciple Maker~ A Preacher Wages War, Wins Souls & Saves Children from Prostitution & Poverty in Nepal

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_your_Heart_Dragon_Slayer_Disciple_Maker_Part_OneIt is my honor to interview and introduce you to dragon slayer, disciple maker and preacher, Reverend Brian Williams and his wife Ruth whose ministry my daughter, Abby, served under on her mission trip to Nepal. You can read Abby’s account in my prior post entitled, Echoes.

Please welcome Brian and Ruth.

Part 1

I am an Anglo-Indian. My ancestry is a mixture of the colonizer and the colonized. I look Indian and I am most at ease in an Indian culture but I speak and think with the English language.

Brian Leonard Williams is my name and I grew up speaking English as my mother tongue.

My maternal Grandfather’s name was Edwin Joseph Seaman, a British engineer and part of a group of pioneers of the Indian Railway.

 

Himalayan Railway Train

These were the days when British engineering was revolutionizing communication and trade across India, much of it to the benefit of the British.

Image from: On India’s Frontier; or Nepal, the Gurkhas’ Mysterious Land Author: Ballantine, Henry     

My biological Father was an Englishman named Edward Canute Roberts. However, after getting my Mother pregnant, Edward left for Australia without marrying her. So I was born in the huge metropolis that is Calcutta in 1970 to a single Mother, Antoinette Matilda Seaman, who had little means to support us; a gritty start to life. To the rescue came my Dad, Roy Ainsley Williams, a gifted diesel-engineer. He fell in love with my pregnant mom Antoinette and they got married. So Roy became My ‘real’ Dad. He was a wonderful Dad in spite of being a hopeless alcoholic. We went for walks together and ate fried fish, it’s still my favorite food. It turned out that Dad Roy was a great friend, but a poor provider. Given half a chance he would sell everything and disappear for several months at a time. I hardly ever saw him sober. I remember yearning for a sober Dad. My Mother rescued the family finances. She was industrious and resourceful, finding work as a secretary. We were poor but never went without food.

I spent the next few years at St Bedes orphanage and boarding school in Chennai, India run by the Roman Catholic Salesians of the Don Bosco order. My Mother scraped and saved money to send me there, searching for every discount and scholarship available.

My Father was Church of England and My Mother was a Roman Catholic. But we only went to church at Christmas and Easter. I had been exposed to religion at school, but essentially I was non-religious; my religion was the dance floor. I lived for dancing and womanizing every Saturday night—Shakin’ Stevens, The Bee- Gees, Boney M. I had all of the vices you would expect from a teenage lad. I remember rewriting and singing hymns for fun in the Chapel with rude and mischievous words, fighting, lying, lusting, cheating, stealing. Not in a big way, I was just one of the lads, and we got up to all sorts of pranks.

When I was nineteen, our family returned to Calcutta. I went to college to study for a Bachelor’s degree in commerce. For two years I continued to play the field. Addicted to women, I danced and drank my way through all of the pleasures that life had to offer. I lived for the day; I was an Epicurean. But the more I filled myself with worldly pleasures, the more empty I felt. Was self-centered pleasure all that there was, or was there a purpose to life? What did life mean? What if I was Michael Jackson, with all that money, fame and success? Would that satisfy? I put myself in Michael Jackson’s shoes. No, it wouldn’t, I decided. What if I had a family, a loving wife and a tribe of happy children? I would take my place in the natural birth and death cycle— would that satisfy? No, it wouldn’t. I came to the conclusion that life was utterly meaningless.

We tagged along from Calcutta with a band, just hanging out, parties and lots of fun—you know the way young people do. I found myself joining a group of music friends in Hyderabad, a large city in central India. Then a band member gave me some prophecy books which had Bible verses and newspaper articles on either side of a page. I was shocked that Bible verses had meaning in current events. I then found a Bible, but when I saw a long genealogy, just a list of names, I thought it  was an out of date meaningless book. I threw it in the corner of my room. However, whether out of a sense of politeness or by divine prompting, I decided that I should at least out of courtesy, read a few verses from the Bible, then I would return it. I opened the Bible at random and found the book of Proverbs. It was like holding up a mirror. I saw myself in the words of Proverbs, like the woman at the well. This book told me about myself like no other literature I had ever read. I read right through Proverbs, then Ecclesiastes, warming to its theme of ‘everything is meaningless.’ I thought, I could have written this book. By the time I was reading the book of Psalms I was on my knees in my hotel room committing my life to Christ. That was in 1989.

I read through the Bible three times in just nine months. I welcomed Christ into my life and started attending a Church in Hyderabad. I left my old lifestyle and returned to Calcutta to finish my degree in commerce and was baptized as a Christian. At the age of twenty-two, I was marching to the beat of a very different drum. But I still have a lot to learn from God’s word and daily yearn to feel His hand on my life.

How long have you been married?

My wife is a Nepali from Darjeeling, India, which once belonged to Nepal, but was taken by the British for their amazing tea. Before that, the kings of Nepal sold Darjeeling to the kings of India for a harem of girls, so it’s a very complicated place. Ruth Reshma and I were married in 2001 in Mirik, Darjeeling. We came to Nepal on our honeymoon and never left. So technically we are still on our honeymoon…sixteen years and counting.

How many children do you have? I know some of your children are fostered. Can you tell me a little about them?

We have four sons and a four month old daughter. Three of them are chosen from the womb of my wife and two are chosen from the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. One son, Sujan is an outreach leader with Youth With A Mission in Lucknow, India and another son, Sameer, is a youth leader in a Christian school in Denmark. Our two biological children, Samarth and Saran, are in primary and secondary school. Our small boy loves sports and his older brother loves to play the guitar and soccer.

Did you think when you got married you would be fostering children?

Never planned to, but we are pleasantly surprised. Before Marrying Ruth Reshma I went on an 80 day fast for our marriage and family. God told me that I was the sun and Reshma (means moon) would have nine planets in our solar system. We tried to figure out what that actually meant. We have five, so four more planets are yet to form in our family.

FullSizeRender (1)-002Please Describe your Ministry.

I, (Brian Williams), founded The Agape Mission International, (Tami), in 1998 in India, with the goal of living out our biblical calling to assist women and children at risk, as well as to create new apostolic disciples. It started with a church in south India, (which still exists) but is now a movement of 200 plus churches in Nepal and India.We oversee seven head pastors who manage all these churches.

We serve the at risk people group in a FullSizeRender (2)-003multitude of ways.We minister in the slums through our Tara Non-Formal Schools. We have our street kids soccer and food ministry.

We reach out to cabin restaurants and dance bars all the while maintaining a Women at Risk Ministry Center where we offer training for eight different skills for women at risk.The Bethesda Bishram prayer and retreat house is where we give local pastors retreat opportunities as well as a camp to host mission teams into mountain villages.

Bethel Ashrm is a place for mentoring at risk people into leadership as well as marginalised youth from churches who are going through various challenges.

You have other people living with your family. How many people live in your home?

Bethel Ashrm, is our home in Kathmandu, Nepal. Its name represents what takes place there. Bethel means “house of God” and Ashrm is taken from Hebrew and means “fire, head, and water.” Therefore, our vision for Bethel Ashrm is that it would be a place where our mind is set on fire by the Holy Spirit and washed with the water of the Word of God.

Inside Bethel Ashrm, we care for rescued FullSizeRender (3)-001children and disciple four to five young people at a time to start their own ministries and churches both in Nepal and around the world.

We offer Leadership Internships and Apprenticeships for Missionaries going to and from Nepal, India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We also have youth volunteers who are sent to my churches for leadership mentoring.

Along with our five children, we currently have ten other children living in our home. These ten children include kids who were rescued from dance bars, the streets, abusive homes, or abandoned during the earthquake.

Please read more here:

http://leadersnepal.blogspot.com/

http://leaderstorynepal.blogspot.com/

http://bethelashram.blogspot.com/

How did this came to be? Did you and your wife envision your home like it is when you married?

Nope. One day I returned from India and found that my wife had closed down the staff boys and girls houses and had taken a house so we could all live and learn together. We were then taught by God to make it into a “live and learn” house for our family and others.

Ruth, how long was your husband away when you moved your family to a different house and brought all these people to live with you?

One week.

Did he have any idea you were going to do this or was it a complete surprise when he returned home?

A total surprise.

Were you worried about what his response would be?

Nope. He came home and I took him to the new community house.

FullSizeRender (10)-001You have 15 children and several adults living in your home. How do you orchestrate meals and household chores?

Good and healthy delegation. Even the teens cook.

Brian, what were your first thoughts when you returned home and found out what Ruth had done?

I was stunned, and then realized it was the best ministry decision we ever made. Still shocked daily at seeing this ministry become the bedrock upon which all other ministries grow.

*To be continued in Part 2:  Women at Risk, Children at Risk and a Judas

     **Read my prior post featuring Jacob’s and Abby’s stories of their mission trip to Nepal here:  Echoes

***Please respect the request of the interviewee that neither the link for, nor any content from this article be posted on Facebook. However, please feel to share the link to this post by e-mail and on other platforms. Thank you for your consideration.

© 2017  Rachael M Colby                Tattoo It On your Heart

Part 16: A Fire in My Bones~ A Series of Interviews with Pastors & Wives from Around the World

tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_love_and_passion_for_god

Words are eternal. The words of God’s shepherds are precious. I will gather them. -Rachael M Colby

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. Jeremiah 20:9 NKJV      

Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word. Jeremiah 26:2 NKJV

To the Pastors and Pastor’s Wives who participated in this series:

It’s been an amazing journey, a privilege, an honor, a humbling and challenging experience, to host these interviews, to gather your words. Sometimes I shouted, “Hallelujah and amen!” Sometimes I cried; often I repented. Thank you for sharing your hearts, your vision, and your lives with us. Thank you for answering the call to follow Jesus, to serve and shepherd His flock, to be salt and light to the world. 

God, as I bring this series  to a close with this last set of interviews, I pray you would bless and protect your ministers, their marriages, families and churches. I pray you would refresh them physically and spiritually, provide for their needs. Guide them; give them fresh vision and strategy. Grant them favor in their communities. Increase their faith; may they never go a day without knowing the assurance of your love and presence in their lives.

…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB)

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:12-14 (NASB)

Jesus, I pray you would pour out your spirit on Your Church. Grant us your gift of tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_cry_out_my_soulrepentance; bring healing and deliverance. Open our hearts to your perfect will, that we might choose to sanctify ourselves. God make us miserable in trivial pursuit, and discontent with complacency. Let us abhor compromise and sin and pick up our cross and follow you, Lord. Create in us a clean heart and let our joy be found in You. Give us ears to hear, eyes to see, hands and hearts that serve each other and reach out to the lost. May we become obedient and zealous sons and daughters to the tasks and destiny you have called us to. Give us holy boldness. Draw us to You, set our souls on fire; may we love You and one another as You have commanded. Bring people to salvation, Lord, and revival to our souls, our churches and our countries. In Jesus’ name I pray; amen.

Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords And strengthen your pegs. Isaiah 54:2 (NASB)

What is your favorite memory of pastoring?

We prayed for a woman who struggled with diabetes for 20 years, after which she didn’t come back to church for nearly a month. We called her house and stopped by many times, but got no answer.

When she finally returned, she testified why she had been absent for so long.

The day after we prayed for her she took her normal insulin dosage and became deathly ill. Her doctor had her admitted to a hospital for testing because he couldn’t figure out the problem.

A specialist was eventually called in, and his discovery baffled everyone. The doctors were amazed because they could not explain how her pancreas had “somehow” rejuvenated itself. She was no longer diabetic! -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is the funniest or craziest memory  you have of pastoring?

Pastor’s Wife: A church member and I were hanging out, so she lent my husband her car because we only had one vehicle at the time and my husband needed to travel out of state for a men’s class. He almost missed his exit so he cut across lanes too fast. He got pulled over for “Driving dangerously.”

Pastor: I needed to find the registration and when I reached into the glove box her bra fell out. It was crazy!

Pastor’s Wife: Apparently she had had an MRI the day before, and had to leave her bra off, so she put it in the glove box and forgot it. He called me and said “Tell _____thanks for the surprise.” He was half laughing, half horrified. She was dying!! So funny.

LOL! Did he get a ticket? Or did the cop extend grace in exchange for a good laugh? I’m trying to picture him explaining this to a cop! 

Pastor’s Wife: Yeah he’s telling the cop “It’s not my car!” The cop was probably like, “Yeah buddy. Good excuse.” 😂 He didn’t get a ticket.

And then he handed the cop a flyer and invited him to church, right? 😂

Pastor’s Wife: Um, no. I don’t think he acknowledged he was a Christian in that situation. -Anonymous

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pastor Winslow and Suzanne, how long have you been married? 

We have been married 30 years. We have six children and have been pastoring 28 years. -Pastor Greg and Suzanne Winslow, Missionary to Zihuatanejo, Mexico

How did you become a pastor?

We went to Mexico to be a helps ministry to a work already there with Bible studies. We were thrust into it by the need and embraced it a couple years later. I have planted three churches in Mexico and pastored three at once at one point. (The Winslows are currently in transition in the United States for a time, while still overseeing the work in Mexico.)

What have been some unexpected hardships to pastoring?

Hardships in the area of provision. Lack of finances sometimes made it difficult for us as large family, but God always provided.

We didn’t expect the conditions we had to live in. When we first got to Mexico, our daughter Olivia got very sick. It took a long time to figure out what was wrong with her and I, (Suzanne), had to go back to the USA with her for a time. It was a long process of healing.

Our son, Josiah was born with two holes in his heart. At age four we were told he had to be operated on or he would die in a year and a half. But God miraculously provided everything for him to be alive. He is now a pastor in Mexico.

Do you have someone you can talk to for counsel, encouragement, prayer- someone you can be open with?

Very few and very little. We had each other and the Lord. Until towards the end, we had more fellowship, leadership, under a new covering.

Would it have been easier to be missionaries if you had had that covering all along?

I’m sure it would have. But we were formed in a way we wouldn’t have been if we had. I am grateful for both.

What has been the most unexpected benefit to pastoring?

The ability to train my own family and some of them are now coming into the ministry themselves. Knowing that eight or nine preachers are a result of my discipleship.

What are some of your favorite memories of pastoring?

Baptizing my children. Dedicating my grandchild. Baptizing people as new believers who are still serving God. Marrying people who were children raised in church. Seeing kids grow up in church and come to their potential. Marrying my own son and daughter. Visiting works we pastored before and feeling welcomed. Seeing people get saved and grow. The miracles, marriages put back together.

All the good memories revolve around positive fellowship. All the negative ones revolve around the church not getting along.

What encourages you? What are some things your congregation could do to lighten your load?

People making amends, having positive fellowship instead of not getting along. The congregation having stable relationships, loving each other in hard times working out their relationships on their own. -Suzanne Winslow

Show appreciation; we are fighting a fight for your families, your souls. Be available to be trained, even when your pastor says hard things. Suck it up and be formed. -Pastor Greg Winslow

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Jeremiah 18:3 -4 NASB

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is your biggest challenge pastoring?

I love the reboots, the small and struggling church. I love to use my gifts for the church.

What are your gifts?

Church re-planting, bringing fresh vision and direction, putting up leadership structure and reclaiming the power of the gospel in the community. We’ve always had churches that supported us; the nucleus has always been good even if there was some cancer there,the DNA of the churches we’ve pastored has always been good. 

What most encourages you?

The change in people’s lives. -Pastor Bruce and Sarah Hanlon, Forrestdale Church, Sandwich MA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do you believe is the biggest threat to the church today?

Tolerance. Christians should be discriminating. They should exercise sound judgment; not no judgment. -Anonymous

There is no difference between the Christian and the world. There needs to be a difference between the world and the Church. -Anonymous

The worldliness in our own hearts. -Pastor James La Belle

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. Romans 7:18 NLT

Leaders give license. When pastors become tolerant to sin they give license to the behavior for others to continue in that way. The church needs to recognize its distance from God, repent, and take steps toward God. -Pastor Greg Winslow

What do you believe is the biggest threat to the church today?

Cultural relativism,

Biblical illiteracy,

Prayerlessness,

Fat baby syndrome from so little exercise,

Lack of spiritual curiosity,

Gun shy evangelists. -Pastor Bruce Hanlon, Forrestdale Church, Sandwich MA

 

People don’t tend to pray when they don’t feel threatened. Once Suzanne was surrounded by a bunch of people with machine guns in front of our home in Mexico.The danger there keeps you focused. When things are good and sweet and easy, people tend to become distracted. Some people in the USA spend more time watching football than with God. Education is overrated in US- kids go to college and don’t use their degree. They pursue what life says they should and leave out the God factor. They don’t know God, or the why or what they are here for. People in USA feel they have to pursue a good job so they can  accumulate more nice things. Some think they always need to upgrade things instead of getting by with necessities and investing in reaching people with the Gospel. Pastor Greg and Suzanne Winslow

So,  materialism and the god of entertainment? 

Yes those two, definitely. So, while we are here in the USA, we try to keep ourselves ministry minded and focused. That’s why we have shunned TV.

The false doctrine and worldliness that’s been slowly creeping in. Much of the church is using worldly things like entertainment, programs, etc., to draw people in and keep them interested, but not presenting enough sound biblical doctrine to produce disciples who are uncompromising and strong in the faith. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

 

What do you believe is the key to revival?

Revival is something that God has put in my heart from I was a young convert. I’ve always known it’s something God wants to do. I believe when Christians will simply take God at His word and live the Gospel lifestyle, then revival will be attached to that, a momentum you can’t stop. It starts with a few people that take God seriously. -Pastor Chip Ganiear, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod

 

Forgiveness and Lordship. Lordship means supreme authority. There is none higher than Jesus. Without Lordship, there is no revival. people need to not just pray to God, but actually meet with him, enjoy Him and get direction for their lives from Him.

 

I believe the answer can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The church (starting with leadership) needs to humble themselves before God, seek Him wholeheartedly, pray, and repent.

We are in a seriously troubled time in our nation, and in the world. I urge you to turn away from all forms of worldliness, repent of any sin in your life, and draw closer to the Lord than you ever have before. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

 

If you love people, you will say something if they are going the wrong way. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. It’s time for the people of God to enter in. This isn’t a pep rally or wishful thinking. I am persuaded of God and by the Holy Spirit that God is doing a new thing. -Pastor Paul Campo, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

 

If you could tell your church anything about yourself, your family, or anything else what would it be? What’s on your heart?

I suppose I would tell them that I’m human too and struggle with the sins and temptations that all people face, that patience in the face of difficulty will bear better fruit than anxiety, that I protect my family and before a word is spoken against them it has to get through me, that I love the LORD Jesus and He is my rock and salvation, that what you “feel” in your heart might not be what is real in God’s word, that truth conquers lies and light dispels darkness and there is no sin that cannot be overcome by grace. This I would tell them… and so much more. -Pastor Michael Duncan, Author, Speaker, Pastor, Mountain View Baptist Church, Darrington WA

Give God 6 solid and faithful months, 3 services a week and I guarantee your life will be transformed. -Pastor Raul and Stephanie Delcid 

I would tell them, whatever they’re going through, God is faithful; trust Him; never doubt Him; wait upon Him. -Pastor James Labelle, Pastor, Author

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalms 27:14 (NKJV)

Is there anything else you would like to share that hasn’t been covered?

Serving God is not an option.  When you love God, He becomes your number 1 priority. -Stephanie Delcid, Missionary Wife, Cuenca, Ecuador

I would say this: See your pastor for who he is and not for what you imagine him to be. Pray for your pastor, and encourage him along the way. He is just as human as you are, filled with weaknesses and struggles – with hopes and dreams. Make sure he knows that he is not alone and that you are willing to walk with him through the fires of life. Don’t abandon ship because you find your personality at odds with someone else. Grow up a bit and embrace the faith. Shout an “amen” once in awhile! It will do you good and surprise your pastor. And, above all, be true to Christ Jesus who is LORD of all and Savior for all who believe. -Pastor Michael Duncan

…Thank you for the prayers, we appreciate the prayers so much.                                             -Stephanie Delcid

Highlights from Interviews with Pastors & Pastor’s Wives from Around The World 2016 (You may need to pause the video to give yourself more time to read some of these slides)

Songs: Soul on Fire by Third Day  &  Once and for All by Lauren Daigle

Acknowledgements

Thank you to my faithful friend Renee Williams, for putting up with my tantrums over tech issues and always being there to bounce my ideas off of. Thanks for pulling this video together at the last minute, thus keeping me out of trouble with God.

To Jerry B Jenkins my mentor at jerrysguild.comYou are the reason this blog exists. You are an amazing writer and teacher. Someday I will make you proud. I know- I still have much editing and learning to do. If you read this, you will probably find a million errors and cut my word count in half.

To my fellow guild members within our little group who share their knowledge, hearts and struggles: You inspire and encourage me. Thanks for talking and praying me through this writing journey- sometimes at 3 am as I put this series together. Indeed, we are aptly named- Mom by Day, Writer by Night. Write on, mamas.

To my local writer’s group at Brooks Free Library: Thanks for your encouragement. To our leader, author Jack Sheedy, thanks for putting up with me and pushing me just a little further. That’s why there is a video in this post.

To my family: Thanks for enduring the chaos of the last couple months and hanging in there with me in my delirious state. Thanks for reading and rereading my work, handing out website cards and wearing my t-shirts..

Most of all, thanks to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. You never leave me and always carry me through. Thank you for the privilege of being allowed to write for You. You are the love of my life.

Rachael                                                                                                         

Founded in 2010, Energize Ministries provides encouragement, refreshment, and recreational opportunities for pastors and ministry leaders and their families. Additionally, they spread awareness among churchgoers about the need to be intentional in supporting, encouraging and praying for their spiritual leaders.  Learn more about how to support and encourage your pastor at energizeministries.com

Text the word PASTOR to 74574 for daily/weekly reminders & tips to pray for your pastor.

© 2016 Rachael M Colby

Part 15: Like a Trumpet~ A Series of Interviews with Pastors & their Wives from Around the World

tattoo_it_on_your_heart_-rachael-_m_colby_asleep_in_the_lightWhen I address a minister by the title “Pastor,” it’s to show my respect for their God given calling. In doing so, I’m also reminded of God’s loving provision and covering for my most valuable asset- my soul.     -Rachael M Colby

The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17 NASB

Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. Isaiah 58:1 (NASB)

What is one of your funniest or craziest memories of pastoring?

The guy who wanted to be a living parable. He wanted to testify of what God had delivered him from, squirt ketchup on himself and then be baptized, then say the next thing, squirt ketchup on himself, and be baptized again- for each thing. -Anonymous

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why did you become a Pastor?

My mother was a Bible Teacher. My two sisters are minister’s wives and Bible teachers. I have been a follower of Jesus since I was born again at 8 years old. I am now 73.

Because I was exceptionally gifted as an artist even as a small child (see detail story on my art website, NicholsFineArt.com), I did not want to be a pastor. I resisted and was determined to be an artist. But during an emotional and very personal encounter with the Lord, he called me to become a pastor. I was in college pursuing my art degree when I was called. I immediately changed course and the Lord has been with me the rest of the journey. I’ve served him as a pastor of a senior retirement chapel, a small country church, a large metropolitan church, and as a seminary professor of theology and Christian philosophy. He also allowed me to enjoy my art gift, which I did as my avocation.

I served as a pastor in five different types of churches in America. Being a pastor is a high and holy calling. I was privileged and completely undeserving of the opportunity. I was privileged to see the hand of God transforming people’s lives in ways that are beyond human explanation or description. I give many other details, examples and stories in my latest book, Healthy Faith: A Strategic Lifestyle to Transform Your Head, Heart and Hands.

Currently, I am giving my full time to writing, doing mission trips, and helping a number of non-profit Christian ministry organizations in the USA and Internationally.  -George W. Nichols, Ph.D.,  (Dr. Bill), Pastor, missions worker, author, artist

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you think when you became a Christian you would be pastoring one day?

Not at all! I believed that God wanted me to do something, but I planned on pursuing a ministry in Christian music. Even today I tremble at the idea that I’m a pastor, responsible before God and the church for the care of His flock. 

How long have you been a Christian?

I have been a Christian for 30 years. I came to know Christ when I was 19 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. (Thank you for your service, Pastor Duncan.)

How long have you been married?

My wife and I have been married for 23 years. We have three children.

Tell me about when you realized you were called to be a Pastor.

Several events happened in my life that showed me God was calling me to do the work of the ministry. First, God’s word literally saved my life from depression and potential suicide. It was through His word that I found salvation, and I committed myself that day, if God ever wanted to use me to share His word, I would. Then, through the encouragement of a chaplain in the USAF, I discovered that God had called me to preach and teach His word. Finally (though there are many sub-texts to this story), the pastor who baptized me invited me to learn from him the work of being a pastor. I served under him as his associate pastor/disciple. He was my Paul and I his Timothy. 

I have been in ministry, preaching and teaching God’s word, for over 25 years and serving as a pastor for the past 19. I have been the senior pastor of two churches, and have served as associate pastor of two others. I have been at my current church, a small rural church in the mountains of Northwest Washington State, for the last 11 years. –Rev. Michael Duncan Author, Speaker, Pastor. Mountain View Baptist Church, Darrington WA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How long have you been a Christian?

32 years

How long have you been married?

I’m not married. My life is dedicated to serving the Lord Jesus Christ without distraction. I know this isn’t for everyone, and it was something I had to come to terms with, but I know it’s the life the Lord had called me to live.

Did you think when you became a Christian you would be pastoring one day?

No, not in the beginning. In fact I would never have thought of myself as someone who would minister publicly in any capacity. I was never good at talking in front of a group of people, even those I knew well. I was that kid in school who froze with fear whenever he had to stand before his classmates and say something.

But, the Lord has a way of changing us into what we need to be in order to fulfill the things He has planned for us, in spite of what we may see as our own personal phobias and shortcomings.

From the beginning of my walk with the Lord I have always felt compelled to be a servant to others. I have a love for people that runs deeper than most realize and a genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of others.

When visiting a church I had preached at a couple times, the position of assistant Pastor was offered to me in 1991. I had been praying for the Lord to open the door for a greater opportunity to minister and immediately recognized this as the answer to my prayer.

How many Churches have you pastored?

Three altogether. The ministry I’m currently involved with, in an area of N.E. Ohio comprised of both small towns and rural communities, is one we started approximately a year and a half ago. 

How do you keep your heart and zeal for God and people in spite of people’s failings and some turning against you?

It’s not easy. Having recently experienced two individuals attempting to create division in the ministry, this particular question is very relevant for me, as the things that occurred are still a bit of an open wound.

I remind myself everyone still struggles from time to time with their fleshly nature, which can at any moment raise it’s ugly head and cause a person to act in a manner contrary to the new nature we have in Christ.

I pray, asking the Lord to work in me anything needed to endure adversity. I trust Him completely, knowing He has called me to what I am doing, which in essence motivates me to keep pressing forward, regardless of opposition or the indifference of others.

It is never advantageous to doubt or question the Lord, but to trust. I don’t allow the actions of a few to influence my reaction to others. 

Since the Lord is the primary source of my strength, joy, and peace, the only way others can rob me of those things is if I allow them to. I do not permit others’ failings to influence my ability to rejoice in the Lord. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do you see as the biggest threat to the church today?

Tolerance—watering down of the gospel and what it means to have a genuine or healthy faith. That’s why I wrote my new book, Healthy Faith. – Dr. Bill Nichols

Unwillingness to embrace sanctification. –Pastor Roger Williams, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

The felt need of churches and pastors to adjust to the culture. -Donna, Pastor’s Wife

Distraction. Statistics show faithful weekly church attendance has dwindled to less than 17 percent. That is probably the greatest indicator of how problematic our generation is. The model for the Church is not what’s happening today. The book of Acts is the model, and they gathered every day, at the risk of their lives, because they felt it was important. Some lost their lives for their assembly, but that’s how dedicated they were.  

Today, it’s, “I’ve got to put my kids to bed early. My kids have sports practice..” They don’t come midweek or Sunday nights, so there’s just a religious attendance today, instead of a Biblical pattern. That’s a real threat because if people don’t come to church and hear from God, they’re not going to do a whole lot.

People resisting instead of flowing with what God is doing. People who don’t want sanctification, separation from the world. They want God to bend His will around theirs. -Pastor Paul Campo, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

 

Social culture.  People leaving God to follow one they have created in their own image. –Pastor  Bruce Hanlon, Forrestdale Church, Sandwich MA

 

The greatest threat to the church today is the downgrading of the gospel of Christ. When salvation is about our comfort, our easy life, our enjoyment or our self-interest it is no longer the gospel of Christ. Jesus said that we are to deny self, take up our crosses and follow Him. There is no other road to walk—but the world has encroached and invaded the church with a social gospel, a message that proclaims hope but does not require repentance from sin or renewal in Christ. There are, today, packed out houses of worship that are filled to the rafters with pseudo-Christians who do not have any desire to conform to the message of Christ. -Rev. Michael Duncan

What do you believe is the key to revival?

Being offended can never be an option. -Pastor Greg Winslow

The faithful, weekly preaching of the Word of God. We don’t need to look for extraordinary revivals. In God’s kingdom, the ordinary (weekly preaching) is what’s truly extraordinary.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

The beginning of revival has always been and I think will always be a holy mystery. No human formula automatically produces true Spiritual revival. But some elements that seem to accompany revival include “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, turn ….(II Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)   – Dr. Bill Nichols

 

The easy answer is prayer. But I think then we are adding works to grace. We are saved by grace, not by works. I don’t think revival is something we manufacture. I think it’s first the Holy spirit, then prayer. I think the church needs to make herself ready, but it’s the Holy Spirit that decides to bring revival. -Pastor Bruce Hanlon

 

God has to do it. Preachers are always ministering relevant issues to our generation, but the people hear with their ears, not with their spirit. God has to turn the switch on with humanity, Unfortunately if you use Biblical pattern, the only thing that causes people to give God undivided attention, is when there is a major disaster, a cataclysmic event. 9/11- when the towers came down, everyone wanted to unite, and they said they would never forget. But now it’s as if it never happened. We forget easily.

Locally, in our church we have limited personnel, everyone is pulling double and triple loads. We need fresh new converts with that vital enthusiasm and zeal. They bring health to the Church and inspire others. -Pastor Paul Campo, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

 

Communicating revelation to the next generation. Personal hunger for God; being willing to sacrifice whatever is needed. History always zeroes in on a person who got ahold of God. –Pastor Roger Williams

 

In a word: repentance. In every true revival of the past, the call to the people was a call of repentance from sin and returning to Christ. Only then did the overflowing joy of the Holy Spirit wash through the churches and communities. -Rev. Michael Duncan

How do you feel about Jesus’ return, the rapture?

Live each day like it’s your last. -Stephanie Delcid, Missionary Wife, Cuenca, Ecuador

It’s going to happen! My personal position is Post-Tribulation, but it’s best to be ready at every moment. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

 

Imminent. The world disdains the things of God. The world is prime for God to do something or man will destroy himself. -Pastor Roger Williams

 

Imminent. It’s a lot closer than we think, the stage is already set. -Pastor Greg Winslow, Missionary to Zihuatanejo, Mexico

 

I’m all for it! Anytime He’s ready to come—and until then, I pray that I may win one more soul to Him. -Rev. Michael Duncan

Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! John 4:35 NKJV

The Bible says Jesus will return and there will be a rapture. Since the Bible says so, I believe it. Interpretations as to how, when, where, and other human elements are a wonderful mystery hidden in the mind of God. Their reality keeps me working and witnessing while there is still time. -Dr. Bill Nichols

 

I’m torn; there is so much work to be done for unreached groups. I look at the possibilities in new countries and Bible translation, but then I look at American culture and say, “Please come. Can’t come soon enough. Even so come.”

I’m glad it’s not up to me. We just need to focus on who we need to be and the mission in front of us.

Wake up and stir the sleeping Church. A large segment of the Church is asleep. Asleep in the light. -Pastor Bruce Hanlon

Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 1Thessalonians 5:6 NKJV

Asleep in the Light -Keith Green (Live from Estes Park, 1978) 

© 2016 Rachael M Colby

Part 14: I Call Him Pastor

rachael_m_colby_tattoo_it_on_your_heart_what-_if-jesus-_held-_you_to_the_standards

I was a new convert, only saved a few weeks when I walked into his office. I didn’t want to be there, but my life was a mess and I needed counsel. I had come to the Cape to work for the summer, run from my life, get drunk and pursue my modeling career, but somehow, I ended up becoming born again instead.

“Can I sit on the floor?” I said.

“What’s wrong with the couch?” he said in an even tone.

So, I sat on the couch. I felt like he could look right through me. I couldn’t stand him. He suggested I move to the Cape and serve God. I hated Cape Cod, didn’t like most of the people either, and I had friends and family all over the world. Why would I do that? So, I took a detour via Florida and Europe. I called him from Spain. I wanted him to tell me what to do so I wouldn’t be responsible if it didn’t work out. He told me he already counseled me once, I would have to pray about it myself. Nine months after I left, I surprised everyone. “What are you doing in about an hour and a half?” I said to the friend who had brought me to church. “Can you pick me up from the airport?”

“Pray about it.” That’s my Pastor’s mantra. He wants me to have my own relationship with Christ, to learn to hear His voice.

My pastor called me aside at prayer one morning shortly after I started dating my future husband. “Rachael,” he said. “Virtue is in the hands of a woman.” With those words my pastor set the responsibility of purity squarely on my shoulders.

You won’t keep your purity by mere good intentions or good moral convictions, but by being a vigilant soldier, setting deliberate boundaries and guarding them. So, I decided to take the really high road, a different route than before I invited Jesus into my heart. My husband and mine’s first kiss was on our wedding day. And we still managed to figure things out- without the test drive. Really. 

Early in my salvation, a visiting minister preached a message entitled, “Despise not God’s anointed.” In the Bible account, David has been chosen by God and anointed to be the future king of Israel, but the ruling king, Saul, is hunting him down to kill him. David had the chance to kill Saul, but instead crept up when Saul was unaware and cut the edge of his robe off. Even though David spared Saul’s life, his conscience bothered him. This is what David said:

So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the LORD’S anointed.” 1 Samuel 24:6 NASB

I didn’t answer the altar call because I didn’t want my pastor to see me. The next sermon was on not responding to altar calls. I went to the altar.

I believe if I let God be God and keep my heart right, He will provide for and protect me and bring me to my destiny.

My pastor is not perfect; he’s just a man, as are all preachers. But he’s the man God provided to shepherd my soul. I believe, as we care for those God has set over us, praying for and treating them with respect and appreciation, He empowers them to care for us. So, I have chosen to honor the ordained authority God has been kind enough to place over me.

I’m not speaking of blind following. Pastor worshipers don’t do well in their walk with God, because sooner or later they wake up and realize the god they created has failed them, or offended them and they derail as their reference was on the man and not the God the man represents. Likewise, those who are like a horse who shies from his groomer when his bridle is reached for, refusing to be led, don’t fare well.

I am responsible to know the Bible and be governed by it. If a minister or anyone else deviates from the precepts of the Bible, it’s my job to stay the Gospel course and humbly pray for their redirection or recovery, realizing we are all fallible. Here’s the balance between blind following and being rebellious and unteachable:

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NASB)

Gossip and slander are bloody weapons that harm the intended and erode the spirit of the attacker. Giving ear to it is as bad as speaking it.

So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! James 3:5 (NASB)

Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.1 Chronicles 16:22 NASB

The background for my words on my graphic is crime scene tape because some people murder their ministers and others with their mouths and in so doing they tear down God’s prophets, themselves and the Church. Some starve their pastors and families of support, but then expect them to be able to carry all. What if the time spent speaking negatively about pastors and their wives was used to pray for their needs and shortcomings? Instead of magnifying problems, become part of the solution.

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18 (NASB)

The scripture below speaks of Aaron and Hur who supported God’s man, Moses their leader, in his weak and weary time. As a result, everyone was victorious.

As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. Exodus 17:11-13 NLT

Life is too short and eternity is too close to be at odds with those we are called to love.

I believe, when I extend grace to others, it’s there, waiting for me down the road when I need it. If I am gracious to others, God will be gracious to me.

Summer 2014

The warm summer sand and the salty air brought no solace as a friend and I talked about recent events in our lives and those around us. Life as we knew it was imploding and exploding all at once; spiritual debris and the resulting carnage surrounded us. I couldn’t see or hear clearly from all the noise and smoke. My heart ached.

“God.” I said in anguish. “I want no part in this.” I saw myself walking backwards on the beach, away from the direction we were going, as if I was being pulled and everything began to fade. “Jesus, I’m coming to you.” I said. “I hide myself in You. Cover me.” And Jesus was there. His presence fell. It was as if He held me and He began to speak to me and show me things. I didn’t know at the time I was breaking up the soil of my heart, planting seed, or that one day in October I would be called into a field, and my soul would catch on fire in the midst of a storm as I placed myself on the altar again.

Do you know what I’ve found in 29 years of following Jesus? Even when holding to high standards is not popular, or I face persecution, or things don’t go as I wish in spite of standing for what’s right; it’s worth it. A clean conscience and no regrets is priceless.

When God was handing out charisma, my pastor wasn’t there. But he’s steady. His heart is for God and souls; he proclaims the uncompromising message of the Gospel and upholds its standards. My pastor’s eyes are fixed. His goal is to get as many in the boat as possible and safely to the desired haven-Heaven.

Dessert is nice, but it’s not a diet to sustain a healthy life. I expected whipped cream with a cherry on top, but God gave me a Pastor who serves up meat and potatoes. Amen.

           © 2016 Rachael M Colby                        Tattoo It On Your Heart

Share some words of appreciation for your pastor and he will be listed on the Wall of Honor and entered to win a retreat at the Energize Lodge. http://energizeministries.com/latest-news/pastor-wall-of-honor/

Founded in 2010, Energize Ministries provides encouragement, refreshment, and recreational opportunities for pastors and ministry leaders and their families. Additionally, they spread awareness among churchgoers about the need to be intentional in supporting, encouraging and praying for their spiritual leaders.  Learn more about how to support and encourage your pastor at energizeministries.com

 

PART: 13~ Restoration Story

photo-8

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35 NKJV

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37- 39 NKJV

Did you think when you became a Christian you would be a pastor’s wife one day?

It did not cross our minds at the time, but it didn’t take long to feel like it was our calling.

Tell me about when you realized you were called to be a pastor’s wife?  

Actually, before we got saved I spent some time in a women’s maximum security prison. There I would have dreams of my husband preaching under a big white tent. So when we got saved, it all started to make sense.

What kind of challenges do you face as a pastor’s wife raising Preacher’s Kids?

I think the same challenges as any Christian, except everything they do is magnified. So, raising kids who understand why we do what we do. Always reassuring them that being a servant is worth it.

What is the hardest thing about being a Pastor’s wife?

In our first church, I was always under the critical looking glass. As we pastored our other churches that hasn’t been an issue.

What has been the most unexpected benefit to pastoring?

Being a missionary.

Are you ever lonely?

All the time. The language barrier of difficult for me. My husband is fluent and I am not so I do feel left out. I battle it by being in prayer.

Who inspires you?

My pastor. I don’t have a pastor’s wife, she died of cancer yet he still prays for the sick and believes in the power of healing. That speaks volumes.

Do you ever want to quit?

No, we understand that Jesus warned us of violations and persecutions; it comes with the job.

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 NKJV

How do you keep your heart and zeal for people and God, in spite of people’s failings and some turning against you?

We serve God for who He is not what He can do for us. That’s enough. 

tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_do-_you-remember_when

Can I share a very personal experience?  

When we pastored our first church, I was raped by a disciple, a 19 year old boy who we took in under our wing. He was an orphan and struggling teen, a two time offender, but we thought he had changed. It was so traumatizing, it took us out of ministry for two years. I couldn’t understand how something like that could happen. I didn’t trust people and I didn’t want to open my life up. It tested my marriage. It tested my faith.

It took a real miracle to bring me to the point where I realized that we will be violated and persecuted as we serve God, and for me to love Jesus enough to open my heart and trust again.

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 NKJV

Just want to say that Jesus is worth serving no matter what tribulations we go through. God has totally restored my heart. I love people and trust again and He is doing amazing things in our ministry now. 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 (KJV)

What is your favorite thing about being a Pastor/ Pastor’s wife?

Helping people make it into their destiny. Stephanie Delcid, Missionary Wife, The Potter’s House CFM, Cuenca, Ecuador

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again -Danny Gokey (a story & a song)

© 2016 Rachael M Colby

 

Part 12: A Day in the Life ~ A series of Interviews with Pastors & Pastor’s Wives

I have heard people say “The pastor has it so easy; he doesn’t have to go to work. What does he do all day? All he has to do is write a few sermons a week.” So, the following few questions are aimed at setting the record straight. What does a day in your life as a pastor look like?

tattoo_it_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_a_day_in_the_life_of

It’s not routine. I like that it’s it’s different all the time. For example this week I spent 30 hours painting the church. There’s counseling, church council meetings,  staff meetings. I do maintenance there’s no full-time janitor here so I do the dump runs.

The apostle Paul said he worked harder than all so as not to be a burden to the church. To be a part of the body is to serve and I should be the first to do this.-Pastor Bruce Hanlon, Forrestdale Baptist Church, Forrestdale MA

 

There is no way of quantifying the day in any particular structure. It is such a fluid situation. Some days I can take the day and press through my studies without interruption. Most days, however, it never happens so easy. As the pastor of a small church, I am called upon by my congregation for everything from marital counseling to plumbing. It’s not a 40-hour/week situation. Much of my time in the evenings is taken up by meetings, planning sessions, hospital visits, seminars, conferences, emergencies. I teach multiple Bible studies as well as services on Sunday. So a “day-in-the-life” of this pastor is often different every day. For instance, yesterday I spent several hours in the morning with a church member and then returned home to study. Today, I spent my morning studying, counseling, working on this questionnaire, and tonight I will be out of town with another member of my church. I’m usually up by 6:30am to have morning coffee and devotions with my wife before she goes off to work (she’s a school teacher) and I’m finally in bed around 1am. Besides all that, I am also a published author and am working on several other manuscripts. –Pastor Michael Duncan Author, Speaker, Pastor. Mountain View Baptist Church, Darrington WA

 

I wake up at 4 AM, spend 1-2 hours in private devotions (Bible reading, prayer, meditation). After breakfast and family worship (Bible reading, prayer, singing), I get to the office between 8 and 9 AM. Unless I go out for an appointment, visit, or counseling, I am at my desk working until I leave for home at 4:30. My work involves studying for my weekly sermons and teachings as well as my bi-weekly and monthly teachings; writing sermons, sermon outlines for the congregation, and Sunday School or Bible Study lessons for the people to use as I teach, responding to and sending emails; answering the church phone; calling on people in the church in need of various kinds of ministry; pursuing outreach and evangelism opportunities; and, when I can make the time, working on my writing projects (I’m researching for my 4th book now). Also, by God’s grace, I just completed my doctorate, graduating with a Doctor of Divinity degree in Puritan Studies. -Pastor James Labelle, author, Pastor, Presbyterian Church of Cape Cod

 

No two days are alike. Besides the obvious personal responsibilities and time set aside for message preparation, personal prayer, etc., there are numerous other things that can arise at any moment.

Some days the phone rings constantly with calls from people requesting advice, counselling, prayer, and on occasion help in an emergency situation.

Then there are many other things will that occur on various days of the month. Involvement in community affairs. Fellowship meetings with other  ministers. Home visitations, checking in on people in the hospital, nursing home, etc.. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

Pastoring is more than preaching. Pastors have to care for people; it’s meeting whatever needs you can: visits, counseling, praying for deliverance, work crews to fix houses. Training people for ministry- my job is to work myself out of a job.  -Pastor Greg Winslow, Missionary to Zihuatanejo, Mexico

On average how much time does it take you to put together a sermon, including research, study, etc.?

On average, it takes about 20 – 30 hours a week. –Pastor Michael Duncan

4-5 hours, but it’s never really finished until it’s preached.-Pastor Roger Williams, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod

5-6 hours when I was younger, now it takes days, I go back and proof and add things. The burden of needs and to be an oracle for God is a tremendous responsibility. I need Him to show me needs and speak what He wants me to say. I need a burning ember, the rhema of God. It takes travail for that. -Pastor Paul Campo, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

15-20 hours a week. It’s all interconnected, reading, praying, reading my Bible. I’m always thinking this would be a good sermon, or minister to this person and then I will pray for them right then. – Pastor Bruce Hanlon

The average sermon usually takes me 12-15 hours, initially, to prepare. But when I revisit it on Saturday (since I usually finish it on Tuesday), I will spend another 4-5 hours working and praying through it on Saturday and Sunday morning before preaching it. –Pastor James La Belle

5 minutes – 7 days! – Pastor Greg Winslow

I am answering this question as a pastor’s wife. We have been pastoring for 15 years. He is currently a working pastor because the church cannot afford his salary. I’ve witnessed many times my husband on his knees crying out to God for souls. There have been countless nights that I woken up at three in the morning and my husband is not in bed because he is praying.  We have learned as a family to give him quiet time when he is writing sermons usually Tuesdays and Thursday nights. I have seen him searching the computer for illustrations,  digging through commentaries, searching the Scriptures as he puts together a sermon. I have seen him spend an average of 3-5 hours on one sermon. Sometimes he’ll leave in the middle of one to go for a walk, or drive or simply to pray. Because  we have three church services a week, between preaching, praying, and sermon writing my husband spends a little over 20 hours a week just on sermons alone.  Never mind the countless hours of his own Bible reading and praying before God, phone calls, and Counseling sessions.

 

My father-in-law and brother-in-law granted us a large sum of money to buy a home. Overwhelmed by their generosity,  my husband and I asked why are you doing this? To which they replied, “We have seen your sacrifices.” I burst out crying because even when others don’t see our sacrifices, God does, and it’s in those moments that He uses others to let us know.  So when someone thinks we’re just sitting around the house all day because all we do is pastor a church,I leave it in God’s hands. –Ruthanne Laine, Pastor’s Wife, Victory chapel, Dover NH

 

Quite honestly, I don’t think it would be possible to provide an average time. Each message is different. Some fall into place in a matter of hours. Others can take days or weeks to prepare. There have been times I’ve spent 4 or 5 days preparing a message, then the night before the service I’ll reread  my notes and realize it’s lacking something. On many occasions I’ve stayed up nearly all night on a Saturday reworking a message for that very reason. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

As a pastor, it usually took about 40 hours per week of prep time. I had three sermons per week to prepare, plus funeral, wedding, and special event messages. -George W. Nichols, Ph.D., Pastor, missions worker, author, artist

How much time do you spend in personal Bible study, prayer, reading, a day?

I always tried to spend at least 10% of my waking hours in personal study and prayer. Now I spend about about the same, 3 hours per day. -Dr. George W. Nichols, Ph.D.

It often depends on the day. But, on average, it’s about 3-5 hours a day. –Pastor Michael Duncan

3 hrs. -Pastor Roger Williams

About an hour and a half. -Pastor Greg Winslow

Prayer, at least an hour of concentrated time. But also throughout the day I am constantly talking with the Lord or praying in tongues.

Bible study, other than what is required for message preparation also varies. But I do spend at least 2 hours in the Word daily

Then there’s something I started doing a couple years ago that’s been very beneficial. Listening to the Bible on DVD while I’m sleeping. It helps me to enjoy a peaceful night’s rest and wake up feeling spiritually energized.  -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

What are some duties you perform for the church on a regular basis that your congregation may not be aware of?

Perhaps the simple things, such as making sure the tables are all set up for fellowship meals or making sure the heat is on in the building go unnoticed. But, what does that matter? I don’t serve to get noticed but to make Jesus known. –Pastor Michael Duncan

Cleaning . nursery duties. Help with books and paying bills. Overseeing things, making sure people have what they need. -Lori Ganiear

It is varied. This week, I need to correspond with a lawyer in terms of setting up structure of how our church functions with planting churches. -Pastor Chip Ganiear, Victory chapel CFM, Cape Cod

Fixing electrical equipment, setting up before concerts, events. Visiting the hospital. –Pastor Roger Williams

Administration duties, prep, cooking for special events. It takes us four days to set everything up so it’s taken care of before we go out of town. everything has to be planned in advance. –Pastor Paul Campo

What are some things your church could do to lighten your load or refresh you and your family, so you can better serve God and them?

My church is so supportive of me and my family. I am grateful to the Lord for their care and love. I think it would help if I had an associate pastor to help with the ministry; and I pray that the Lord will provide him when I’m ready. -Pastor La Belle

Be a part of the church. for example, hospitality teams. I’m not spending hours setting up and cleaning up after an event. Everybody needs to be involved. -Anonymous

What would refresh me is involvement. When the church begins to function as the LORD purposes, there is not load too heavy or burden so great that it cannot be borne by all. I want to see participation – share the love of Christ, attend the services on a regular basis, connect with someone new and tell them the good news of Jesus. I would be most encouraged when I see a member of the church bringing others to faith in Christ. –Pastor Michael Duncan

Be present. Have a willingness to serve, bring new people to church. When everyone works together like an orchestra, we get a lot more done. -Pastor Paul Campo

Help follow up, help outreach. -Pastor Raul and Stephanie Delcid

What is the hardest part of being a pastor?

When people don’t grasp the destiny and potential they can have if they stay serving God.  -Pastor Raul and Stephanie Delcid

What is your biggest challenge pastoring?

Getting people to catch the vision. -Pastor Raul and Stephanie Delcid

To get ahold of God and get a vision for this last generation. trying to become all God wants me to be personally. You need to have discipline and inspiration and the hand of God if you are going to make it as a pastor, or are you going to come up empty and reach burn out. You must have a heart for the people and for the ministry because you’re certainly not in it for the money. –Pastor Roger Williams

What kind of challenges do you face raising Preacher’s Kids?

The fish bowl. Your kids are expected to be to be perfect, they are not allowed to fail and succeed. How much is too much and how much is not enough? How much do you force on your children/let them make their own decisions? -Pastor Bruce and Sarah Hanlon

What has been the most unexpected benefit to pastoring?

The depths of extraordinary sorrow and the heights of remarkable joy, these have been unexpected benefits. –Pastor Michael Duncan

Learning from others. Sometimes even the youngest of Christians have spoken such profound wisdom that it makes me wonder why I hadn’t thought about or considered those things before. It’s a blessing being around people whose hearts are aflame with passion for the Lord and His Word. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I feel for how being around God’s people has enriched my life. It’s given me the ability to look beyond my own little world and forced me to consider others in a whole new light.-Pastor, Transformation Ministries

What has been the most unexpected hardship to Pastoring?

Violations from people who we gave everything to and for. -Pastor Raul and Stephanie Delcid

What is your favorite memory of pastoring?

The thing that stands out is when  things didn’t work out pioneering a new church.We were moving back to a church I was unfamiliar with to a new state. My brain was short circuiting. I was beside myself with all the upheaval. I remember going down by the river, a spot I’d go to sometimes to pray and just throwing it all out there at God. And somehow God just grabbed the reins of my mind and emotions and showed me He was right there with me. God told me that this was right where I needed to be. “It’s not over, it’s just the next step. I’ve got you covered.” It’s one of these reference points where God just says, “Calm down; I’ve got this.” -Pastor Chip Ganiear

 

Seeing the people “get it.” My greatest joy is seeing the people meet Jesus in the preaching of His Word. They come to church hungry, and when they get filled by the preaching of the Word, my heart is overjoyed. -Pastor James Labelle

 

Perhaps my favorite memory (and there are so many) is when a young man came up to me and told me that he was going to speak the truth in court because of what he heard me preach. He trusted the LORD that day and repented of his crimes, and then threw himself into the merciful arms of Jesus—trusting that only by telling the truth would God intervene in his situation. –Pastor Michael Duncan   

What is the funniest or craziest encounter, situation you’ve experienced during your ministry that you are free to share?

We were having revival and the Spirit was moving tremendously. People were getting healed instantly and the whole church was abounding with joy and praise. All of a sudden it felt like the floor of the church was floating. Many of the members thought it was a move of the Holy Ghost. I discovered the next day while watching the news, an earth tremor had affected our area the night before. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

 

When a man came into my office, set his gun down and told me that he was going to kill every pastor he meets. After talking with him for some time, we prayed together and he, in tearful repentance, walked out of my office and promised to return home and seek the help of Godly men in his community. –Pastor Michael Duncan

© 2016 Rachael M Colby

Share some words of appreciation for your pastor and he will be listed on the Wall of Honor and entered to win a retreat at the Energize Lodge. http://energizeministries.com/latest-news/pastor-wall-of-honor/

Founded in 2010, Energize Ministries provides encouragement, refreshment, and recreational opportunities for pastors and ministry leaders and their families. Additionally, they spread awareness among churchgoers about the need to be intentional in supporting, encouraging and praying for their spiritual leaders.  Learn more about how to support and encourage your pastor at energizeministries.com

Text the word PASTOR to 74574 for daily/weekly reminders & tips to pray for your pastor.