Asking God To Do It Again In DC

Dear Pastor,

 

Thank you so much for your pastoral leadership in our Nation’s Capital Region. What you are already doing here, is no less important than the Apostle Paul’s burden to testify before Caesar in center of power in his day.  Though we may not face the sacrifices Paul did when he was accused of turning the world upside down, we can’t underestimate what God can do when we empower those in our ministries to do friendship discipleship to these new souls in our city.

Other busy pastors of significant churches, like you have found it helpful to appoint a civic outreach coordinator. May the Lord so bless your ministry with His divine creativity during this transition time to invite these new staffers into your church and experience the joy of 1 Tim 2: 1-4:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

We are so praying that the Lord would continue to guide you, as we each ask the Lord how we can do our part to “make the most of every opportunity” Ephesians 5:16b before the new staffers get sucked into the pay-to-play corruption.  As Nehemiah experienced, when each one both prays and reaches out to our community, we can see here, what I have seen God do in Houston, TX,  Springfield, MO, and many other cities. Beyond the God Is Not Dead 2 Movie which mentions our work when Houston pastors’ sermons were subpoenaed, here are a few local resources that may assist your outreach coordinator in reaching these new staffers for Christ.

AlabasterHouse.org (Training on friendship evangelism at work)

JeffersonGathering.com (Bible studies focused on Officials & Staff)

ChristianEmbassy.com (Helping Staffers ask Christ how to do their job)

Acpr.org (Bible studies focused on government staff)

DavidsTentDC.org (Worship 24/7 Near the White House)

Blessings,

MD Sias

757-559-1563 | BlessingsBeyondBoundaries.com

11 Great Bible Channels for Kids on YouTube

11 Awesome Bible Channels for Kids on YouTube

There are several inappropriate YouTube channels that kids can view with simply a click of a button. Since they are at the age where they imitate what they see and are incredibly important, it is important to let your young children watch age-appropriate channels and videos.

One way to ensure your child is able to learn as well as appreciate the Christian faith is to expose them to Twitter channels that are targeted on Bible stories and lessons they can learn during Sunday School.

This is very rare to find child-friendly channels on YouTube a smaller amount Christian-centric programs. If you are parent or guardian who is concerned about what your child is watching and listening to advice from the internet, or a mom or dad who desires to encourage healthy hope and belief in Christianity at a young era here are the best YouTube channels to see:

#1:  Channel: The Beginners Bible

full of educational lessons

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiM9mWNxTWpKY-V9Eb9TfkA

Description: The most famous and most talked-about Bible stories that are full of educational lessons are brought to life in cartoons in this YouTube channel. By using this format, it makes the stories easy to understand while keeping kids interested as they are learning more about their faith and the stories of Christianity.

Life lessons from the Bible’s most influential stories can now we watched with just a click of a button in YouTube that both you and your child will surely enjoy.

The Beginners Bible YouTube channel has a long list of Bible stories in cartoon version, with episodes ranging from a quick 5 minute short story to a 1 hour full length feature. The channel is also currently active so you and your child can look forward for more Bible stories in the future!

How Many Videos: 41 Videos

Upload Frequency: 1 Video per week

Average Running Time: 5 minute to 2 hour videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: The basics of the most popular Bible stories.

Perfect For: Introducing your child to Bible stories and sparking interest in learning more about the holy book.

#2:  Channel: The Holy Tales: Bible

Description: The Holy Tales: Bible YouTube channel is another Bible-centric channel that is perfect for young Christians to learn more about their faith and the amazing stories of the Bible. With the help of Gran Old Holy, an old and wise narrator of the stories, your kids will be transported to the world where these stories happened.

 channel is another Bible-centric channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheHolyTales

Kids will be able to learn and see how important events like Creation, The Flood, The Life of Jesus Christ unfolded in amazing and creative cartoon animation. The Bible videos for kids on this channel are the perfect mix of faith, education, and of course entertainment.

Your kids will be able to travel back in time with the rest of Gran Old Holy’s gang as they see the different Bible stories come to life right in front of their eyes.

How Many Videos: 312 Videos

Upload Frequency: 2 – 3 videos every 3 months

Average Running Time: 10 – 40 minute videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: The different Bible stories and the moral lessons in the end.

Perfect For: Familiarizing and being able to tell apart stories from the Old and New Testaments.

#3:  Channel: Veggie Tales Official

Description: Nothing beats the Veggie Tales gang when it comes to faith-based cartoons. They are the original band of healthy vegetables that help guide children into appreciating and loving their Christian faith.

loveable characters don’t just settle for showing scenes from the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/user/BigIdeaInc

The short cartoons with animated and talking vegetables reenact scenes from famous Bible stories, sometimes giving them an added funny story line to keep younger audiences entertained throughout the video.

The loveable characters don’t just settle for showing scenes from the Bible, they also sing to encourage kids to remember what they have learned from watching the videos. The Veggie Tales Official chennel is one of the pioneers of faith-based and Christian-centric animation catering especially to young children.

It is no surprise that they have continued to teach and guide kids until today because the Veggie Tales gang are just that fun, awesome, and educational!

How Many Videos: 206 Videos

Upload Frequency: 2 Videos per month

Average Running Time: 30 second to 3 minute videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: Faith-based values that are important to everyday life like forgiveness, kindness, honesty, etc.

Perfect For: Instilling the importance of practical and daily applications of what they learn from the Bible and its stories.

#4:  Channel: What’s In The Bible?

Description: From the creator of VeggieTales comes this new sneak-peak into his latest project called “What’s in The Bible?”. The YouTube channel has been created to cater to young kids and families who are starting their journey into exploring the Christian faith.

has many compelling stories

https://www.youtube.com/user/whatsinthebible

The Bible is a fantastic source of faith and has many compelling stories, but it is also easy to get lost in all of the different stories being told. There is no shame in asking questions and that is exactly what this Christian YouTube channel is for.

The uploaded videos are short and make the stories in the Bible easy to understand, especially for the younger kids. It is a great resource for parents and teachers with younger kids who are in need of guidance and help when it comes to understanding the Bible.

Remember, questions are always welcomed and a journey begins with the flip of a Bible’s page. You just have to send in your questions to the channel through their email.

How Many Videos: 257 Videos

Upload Frequency: 3 Videos every 4 months

Average Running Time: 30 second to 2 minute videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: Basics about the Bible and getting to know more about the Bible.

Perfect For: Curious Christians with questions about the Bible and its stories.

#5:  Channel: The Anima Series

Description: The Anima Series YouTube channel is hosted by Jon Jorgeson whose mission in life is to inspire others to believe in their faith and the Christian teachings.

 the Christian teachings

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAnimaSeries

He is a young man who loves to tell stories that capture the interest of teens and young adults, especially those who are looking for meaning in their lives. For those “kids” who feel like they have lost their way and need to find their way back to faith, this is the YouTube channel that will guide you back into appreciating the Christian faith and worship.

Get your children inspired and start living their lives again by watching the videos on this channel. Jon of The Anima Series on YouTube will be there to help your child along the way.

How Many Videos: 231 Videos

Upload Frequency: 1 video every other day

Average Running Time: 3 minute to 1 hour videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: The importance of Christianity and having a strong sense of faith and belief.

Perfect For: Older kids and young adults who are still searching for the meaning of faith and want to be inspired to take on the world from a newer and brighter perspective.

#6:  Channel: Bible Stories for Kids

Description: The Bible story videos for kids in this YouTube channel focuses on the different characters found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

the characters are animated

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2T2bnvPVOWHJYQt1gN7KAg

Where most channels and videos found on YouTube focuses on the entire story, this channel highlights and gives importance to the little things these characters has to go through Bible.

Stories for Kids is an in-depth story telling experience which kids will enjoy because the characters are animated and parents will love because everything is age-appropriate and encourages a healthy relationship with their child’s Christian faith.

Learning lessons and understanding the stories and characters of the Bible just became easier with the help of this YouTube channel.

How Many Videos: 23 Videos

Upload Frequency: 5 videos per month

Average Running Time: 22 to 30 minute videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: The stories of the different characters in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Perfect For: Getting familiar with the Bible characters and the details of their stories.

#7:  Channel: Christian Mother

Description: The passion for encouraging young children to learn more about the Christian faith and her love for her children has inspired this mother to create a YouTube channel that is 100% child-friendly.

centered around the stories from both the Old and New Testament

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpI_gptYTuWajLrS011HWvQ

The videos in this Christian channel are centered around the stories from both the Old and New Testament of the Bible. They are a great teaching tool to use for young children who are being raised in a Christian household because the animation is easy to understand and keeps them entertained while they are learning lessons from the Bible stories.

Parents and kids will enjoy the videos uploaded by Christian Mother because they are all Christian parent approved!

How Many Videos: 32 Videos

Upload Frequency: 5 – 6 videos per year

Average Running Time: 5 to 25 minute videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: The different stories and lessons taken from the tales of both the New and Old Testament of the Bible.

Perfect For: Getting familiar with the story of Jesus and the importance of the stories from the Old Testament.

#8:  Channel: That Christian Channel

Description: Everything there is to learn and enjoy about the Christian faith can be found in this YouTube channel. By using different forms of entertainment like song and music, storytelling, movies, and puppets That Christian Channel is a hit with parents and children all across the globe.

focus on learning more about the Christian faith

https://www.youtube.com/user/ChristianMoviesUK

Their Christian-centric theme and central focus on learning more about the Christian faith in a fun and enjoyable way has made the YouTube channel very popular. Kids get to learn details about different Bible chapters in the Bible lesson segments and they can also choose to watch movies about the stories from the Bible.

Either way, kids get to become familiar with the Bible while they also get to appreciate the joys of their faith at the same time.

How Many Videos: 126 Videos

Upload Frequency: 2 – 3 videos per month

Average Running Time: 1 – 11 minute videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About:Detailed discussion about the different chapters of the Bible’s New Testament.

Perfect For: In-depth Bible study lessons for kids, young adults, and even parents.

#9:  Channel: Rose Paul

Description: Rose Paul is not your typical channel for Bible videos for kids. The videos uploaded range from your usual animated Bible stories to other stories that are still related to the Christian faith, but may not be from the Bible.

great for the whole family to watch

https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/06/18/14/44/rose-813785__340.jpg

Be warned that not all of the videos are in English, some are in another language and parents may need to see the videos first before letting their kids watch. For those that are titled appropriately, like the Bible stories are great for the whole family to watch.

It may not be your typical YouTube channel for all things Christian, but the Bible stories uploaded are still great to view if you want your young children to embrace the stories form an early age.

How Many Videos: 562 Videos

Upload Frequency: 15 – 20 videos per month

Average Running Time: 2 minute to 1 hour videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: Life lessons and everyday morals taken from Bible stories.

Perfect For: Learning more than your usual Bible stories and Christian faith. If you want to know where to go after Bible stories, this is the channel.

#10:  Channel: Biblestudiesforlife

Description: A YouTube channel that’s not only for kids, but for the whole family is Biblestudiesforlife. It is a channel that features everyday lives of ordinary people and how they have been affected by the Bible and its teachings.

great source of inspiration for families

https://www.youtube.com/user/Biblestudiesforlife

The channel is a great source of inspiration for families who want to bond using the teachings from Bible study.

Although the channel may not cater exclusively for children seeing as the lessons are a little advanced for their age, but parents can certainly look to this collection of videos to make their faith stronger and bring their whole family closer together.

How Many Videos: 83 Videos

Upload Frequency: 2 videos every other month

Average Running Time: 1 – 5 minute videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About: Everyday use for lessons learned from Bible studies and the importance of having a Christian-centric household.

Perfect For: Teaching kids and the whole familythe importance and the value of Bible studies in practical and daily life.

#11: Channel: Listener Kids

Description: Songs are a great way to engage little kids when it comes to teaching them lessons. There are many popular songs on the radio and on YouTube that aren’t very age appropriate nor do they have anything to do with faith and Christianity.

 teaching them lessons

https://www.youtube.com/user/listenerkids

If you are a concerned parent who wants their child to learn more about their faith while at the same time encouraging their love for music this YouTube channel is a great choice.

They may not have a lot of uploaded videos, but the fun and creative Christian songs coupled with cute animation makes these set of videos a great teaching and learning tool to have.

How Many Videos: 17 Videos

Upload Frequency: 1 video every 3 – 4 months

Average Running Time: 2 – 5 minute videos

Will Help Your Kid Learn About:Wholesome and Christian songs.

Perfect For: Singing along while learning the different values every Christian should practice.

Learning More About the Christian Faith Through YouTube

It’s hard to monitor everything your child watches when they are on the internet, but it’s not impossible. If you want to encourage them to love their faith and strengthen their faith, these YouTube channels are a good way to start.

The foundation of every good Christian home is an attentive and loving parent. With the Bible story videos for kids found in these channels, raising them with a strong sense of faith and teaching them important lessons in life just got easier with the help of these useful videos.

Encourage your children to learn more about Christianity and the Bible from an early age, let them explore the wonderful world of Bible stories and studies through YouTube.

Churches Lead in Transforming Communities

Base on article  Erin Roach,

Steve Meador experienced “a sadness, a heartbreak… soul-searching, a moment of prayer and fasting” when he learned about a woman who no-one to help her after an apartment fire.

6 Stones ministry volunteers gather before moving out to revitalize 50-plus homes in six urban centers around Dallas-Fort Worth area last October. 6 Stones now encompasses 60 church buildings intent on sharing the Gospel through initiatives to transform their communities in partnership with the open public, business and nonprofit groups.

The church Meador leads, First Baptist in Euless, Texas, was emerging from vast amounts in debt and was centered on missions undertakings worldwide. Although church experienced begun exploring what they could do to help their local community, reports of an apartment flames at a complex plus the church campus was the last straw.

“It became apparent that individuals really needed to pay more awareness of our Jerusalem, inch Scott Sheppard told Baptist Press (BP), in guide to a biblical term for one’s community. Meador, president of the The southern area of Baptist Convention Pastors’ Convention in 2016, tasked Sheppard, who was serving on the church staff at the time, with finding a way to ensure that the woman who had lost everything, as well as others like her.

What emerged from that challenge was a ministry called 6 Stones containing merged the non-profit, public and private areas to transform regions of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Seeing that it commenced in 08, 6 Stones has fixed more than 500 homes, donated school supplies to more than 26, 1000 students, provided Christmas products for over 22, 1000 children, logged practically 270, 000 volunteer hours and invested $9 million in local communities, according to a 2016 year-end record.

Sheppard, executive director of 6 Stones, a name based on the church’s retirement of a $6-million-plus debt over 28 several weeks prior to launching the community outreach, recounted how eager First Baptist Euless was to get started on the ministry.

“They were so shifted, so excited about the opportunity of investing in their Jerusalem that we went from realizing the need to the cathedral voting and launching a nonprofit in less than 120 days, ” Sheppard said.

“The congregation was so inspired to do something locally. They do stuff all over the world, but we experienced forgotten in many areas Jerusalem and the needs that they had. Gowns really what precipitated it, ” he said.

Dallas-Fort Worth is among the top destinations for separation in the world, Sheppard said, noting that folks from a different nation get there in New York, Mis Angeles or Chicago and realize there are no jobs, and then they choose Texas, which this individual said has produced two times as many roles in the past decade as other U. S. merged.
Two law enforcement officers help distribute university supplies to families during 6 Stones ministry’s Procedure Back to School in August 2016. Officer Vanessa Nilson is from metropolis of Euless, James Webster the location of Hurst, both localities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“So they’re coming for work, but that puts a pressure on your school system as well as your city and all the other social service agencies, ” Sheppard said. “I think that’s what brings the receptivity now for the church to step into many of these circles because they need the assistance and they want to collaborate. ”

1 of the first ways 6 Stones got included was going to spouse with metropolis of Euless – with the aid of federal real estate grants – to rejuvenate deteriorating homes.

Gary McKamie, a former Euless city manager, described the effort at a Catalyst of Hope forum in March in near by Bedford, when a panel explained how churches can replicate the 6 Stones model.

“It was kind of unconventional for us to be approached at the location by someone asking, ‘What can we do for you? ‘” McKamie said. inch… At the time, property values were falling. Generally there were all sorts of needs…. We had an expanding group of men and women that did not have decent roofs over their heads. ”

Gene Buinger, a former superintendent of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford university district, said more than fifty percent of children in the area today come from homes at the federal poverty level or below, and more than 70 languages of the world are spoken in homes throughout the region.

When 6 Stones asked Buinger how they may help the school system, he had “an entire laundry set of things that they could do with us. ”

Among those projects have been Procedure Back 2 School, providing students with school materials, and Night of Desire, a Christmas experience for those in need.

Sheppard said metropolis transformation activity keeps growing as church buildings across the nation are realizing they must build relationships their local areas, but 6 Stones is unique because they’ve “been able to bridge the gap to the other sectors, whether it’s the location, school district, corporate or even collaborating with other nonprofits. ”

With effort across sectors, “you usually attract more done, ” this individual said, than if a church alone tries to transform a community. Regarding 60 churches from various denominations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are portion of the 6 Stones coalition.

Companies want to get engaged and supply the time, Sheppard said, because “it’s good business to do good right now. inch He noted a new campaign by State Town Insurance called Neighborhood of Good, which connects consumers to charitable opportunities in their towns.

As church buildings are growing to the location transformation movement, Sheppard said they’re the most ready to help “because of our faith, because of our gearing – Christ said to serve. In the event you can take the Christian believers into this, that’s really where the power is. ”

6 Stones is intentional about sharing the gospel alongside the good works, and the solution stories are abundant.

“At the night time of Hope, we work together with the school area to identify the children, we go in and enhance the funds and volunteers from all those sectors, and at each one of those parties – 20 of them on 20 school campuses – the gospel is shared to every one of these at that Christmas program, and we’ve seen as many as 500-600 kids and parents pray to acquire Christ during those four nights in December, inch Sheppard told BP.

“We’ve seen homeowners that we have worked with in revitalization – because we learn to bless them and they want to hear what we have to say. One among our major vendors is a car seller who gives about $22.99, 000 12 months to us as a company. My spouse and i was able to lead one of their management to faith in Christ over a hamburger one day because he needed to know, ‘Why do you all try this? ‘” Sheppard said.

A person known as Marcus was homeless after wrestling with drugs and other bad decisions, and now he knows Christ and volunteers in the 6 Stones community garden, helping feed people after knowing true hunger him or her self. Another man, an out of production veteran, had a simple gospel conversation with Sheppard on the loading dock one night, and he has become a key offer.

“It’s not merely those in poverty, but it could be the executive at the business that needs to know because they are mentally bankrupt just like any individual else may be economically bankrupt, ” Sheppard said of these 6 Stones grows to.

God may be challenging the church to get outside of the walls and work alongside other sectors so communities can see Christ in action, Sheppard said. Too often, the world sees the church as irrelevant to the community at large, he said, recounting a conversation this individual had with a law enforcement detective.

The detective informed him, “We see the crime, we see the pain, we come across the dysfunction, and we wonder, ‘What in the world are you fellas thinking as you take flight across the world and do each one of these great things with all the other people but you don’t help all of us in your own garden? ‘”

But as the detective saw what 6 Stones was doing in Dallas-Fort Worth, he informed Sheppard, “When you start doing things like this and you start working with us across all these sectors, you might be highly relevant to our community. ”

Sheppard told BP, “We’re the most significant The southern area of Baptist church in northeast Tarrant County, and this individual saw us as less relevant. So that’s how, however, almost all of our secular organizations see the church.

“It’s time to go be relevant. “

Praying Across Missouri for Those In Authority

BLOOMFIELD – The Pray Throughout Missouri van makes a stops at the Stoddard County courthouse in Bloomfield. Pathway photos

Pray across Missouri

KENNETT – If you see a silver minivan touring Missouri’s highways eblazoned with a “Pray Across Missouri” logo on the area, you could as well follow it to the local courthouse.

The van is making stops at 45-minute prayer meetings set at the courthouse of every one of Missouri’s 114 county seats in 2017-18. The Pray Across Missouri initiatave is a supportive effort of Missouri Baptists to engage in plea for the transformation of lives and communities with the gospel, according to MBC Executive Director David Yeats. “We’re intentionally starting Pray Across Missouri in a non-election year because is not a political advertising campaign, ” he said. “Rather we would like to pray for all of those who provide Missourians in people rectangle, also to acknowledge that Goodness has located people in authority over us to promote good and inhibit evil. God’s Word  calls us to pray to them. ”

The prayer is for a mighty movement of Goodness in the Show Me personally State. ”

The first rally was March 20 at the Dunklin Local Courthouse in Kennett, implemented later that day in Pemiscot, New Madrid and Mississippi counties. Attendence at the 14 events so far has averaged twenty-five, with two sites saving 55 people gathered to pray. Because of water issues at the Reynolds Local courthouse in Centerville, the meeting needed to be moved down the avenue to First Baptist Cathedral.

Kevin Carter, director of missions for Black River Baptist Association, helped organize the first prayer event at the Dunklin Local Courthouse, where 55 people showed up to hope for spiritual transformation in their community, lives and churches. They were fulfilled by six county and city employees who were specifically prayed for.

Through the prayer event, Carter made an association with one county official who is new to the area and told Carter he is capable to find ways the local churches can help the county improve itself.

“I’m anxious to see what kind of response happens statewide, ” Carter said. “Hopefully this would be the start of us actually viewing communities and churches altered. ”

The full routine is not yet completed, though the prayer concert tours and the Pray Throughout Missouri van will continue across southern Missouri this spring.

2 Years Ago: The Church Pulls Together for Victory in Springfield, MO

ThankYouSpringfield12

 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 the citizens of Springfield, Missouri, went to the polls to repeal a regressive sexual orientation/gender identity ordinance by 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent. It seemed impossible with a majority of city councilmen, the media, the Chamber of Commerce and the national lesbian gay bisexual transgender advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) backing it with over $250,000. The city council was determined to get this through, even timing the day of the original vote, October 13, 2014 on Columbus Day when every other city office was closed. But against all odds, David defeated Goliath because the church came together and a majority of Springfield citizens voted their values.

If the repeal effort had not been successful, Springfield’s ordinance would have created sexual identify as a protected class, not only allowing biological males to use women’s restrooms/locker rooms, but penalizing those who complained with a $1000 a day fine and jail time up to six months behind bars. HRC has passed similar ordinances in over 250 cities across the country and in Springfield even persuaded a few pastors to be spokesmen as they sought to dominate all media with quotes like “discrimination is always wrong” and “Jesus taught that loving your neighbor as yourself means caring for others’ basic needs.” However, people saw through the spiritual rhetoric to the real issue–an attack against freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

There were many things that led to the successful election.

  • Some citizens of Springfield had been attending city council meetings back in 2012 when the city council first tried to pass the ordinance. If it hadn’t been for these watchdogs called Live Free Springfield, the city would have quietly passed the ordinance in 2012.
  • Bio photo (1)Calvin Morrow, a General Contract and Founder of Christians United for Political Action, was invited by some already involved to track with them and speak out at city council.
  • Springfield Citizens United was formed and asked Calvin to be the spokesman for the group, so he started calling the media and making himself available daily to them.
  • A notable pastor in the city saw Calvin on TV and called him, which led to a gathering of pastors engaging in the process. Everyone realized there was no hope unless the church got involved. There were only a few churches and no money.
  • Mark Gonzales, Ex. Dir. of National Black Robe Regiment (NBRR) who had been tracking these ordinances across the nation, called Calvin and a meeting was set up with 17-18 activists, leaders and pastors. Mark let them know that NBRR was there to help and gave some strategic organizational leadership to the local efforts. Calvin said, “NBRR was a tremendous asset. I don’t think we could have done it without them.”
  • A committee made up of Calvin, Dr. John Lilly (physician and chairman for Lock & Smith Foundation) and Michael Tull, businessman and treasurer formed Yes on Question 1.
  • Although there was a total media blackout, including the Times Magazine stating Calvin could not be reached for comment after they had spoken to him for 20 minutes on the phone, the committee blogged and used social media to get the message out.
  • NBRR sent M.D. Sias to serve the committee on the ground in Springfield. MD’s expertise in social media, databases and using lists for strategic purposes proved a huge asset for the local effort. Calvin said, “M.D. went to 138 churches in one day. At first I found it hard to believe, but he had contacted 138 of the 160 churches in one day! M.D. had knowledge that we needed and brought energy and expertise that we didn’t have.”
  • The Catholic Church led by Bishop James V. Johnston of the Springield-Cape Girardeau Diocese engaged. Calvin met with the Diocese lawyer early on and helped them craft a letter for their congregations. The Bishop met with all the priests and then sent a letter to each of the congregations and asked the priests to read it on Resurrection Sunday morning.
  • In the final days as the vote neared, an all-African American walk team led by Andrew Shannon served as a visible reminder to voters that this ordinance is an affront to civil rights because there is no comparison to what Blacks have suffered in this nation from slavery to Dred Scott to lynching to segregation.
  • Yes on Question 1 delivered 4 x 8 signs around the city, many of which were stolen and vandalized. The damaged marred signs demonstrated to the community where the true lack of tolerance resided.
  • A total of 10,000 voter guides were distributed to churches and handed out at the polls, where four candidates that supported repeal were on the ballot. Two of them won bringing the current vote on the city council to 4 to 4. There is an appointment that is up currently for the 9th position, which would break a tie.

4x8_signVictory did not come easily, but things began to come together as volunteers began to walk blocks, the Family Research Council held a breakfast encouraging pastors to rally their congregations and national organizations like WallBuilders, American Family Association and others emailed their lists to engage in the process.

The momentum shift happened in the last few weeks, which Calvin explained, “During this time, not only did Joni Erickson Tada come to town praying that God would use the weak things of this world to confound the wise and protect religious liberty, but the committee also hosted a time of worship and prayer asking God to raise up more leaders like Pastor John Lindell of James River Church, John Lilly, etc.” Pastor Lindell gave a message to his 9,000-member congregation asking them to demonstrate both compassion and righteous action. The local media reported portions of Pastor Lindell’s sermon out of context to reprint in the newspaper and put on the evening news. There was a huge backlash against him, but he and other pastors in the city stood strong.

Calvin reflected, ““We discovered there are some really strong pastors in this city and we’re starting to network together. The pastors discovered they couldn’t ignore politics especially when politics kicks in your front door.” Calvin said that God has elevated him through this effort so that he can’t go anywhere in the community without being recognized. Pray for him that he will know how to manage the number of requests from people that are pouring in.

The Lord took what the enemy meant for evil in Springfield and turned it into a movement of pastors, businessmen and every-day citizens working together in an ongoing way. NBRR was grateful to be a part of what God began in Springfield and to see so many churches and organizations working together for spiritual and community transformation.

CourageStiffenSpine

Psalms 112:6 For he will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever. Founder’s Bible article 1 Timothy 4:5, page 1948. Excerpt from Benjamin Harrison: “If you take out of your statutes, your Constitution, your family life all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would there be left to bind society together?”

The Big List of Notable Church Technology, Ministry Tools & Christian Apps

By Church Relavance

There’s no shortage of Christian leaders thinking about what the intersection of faith and technology should be. Some charge ahead embracing the latest tech trends to create the next era of church technology and ministry tools. And others cautiously wait and consider what might be lost by so boldly embracing the unknown. But one thing is certain -people are increasingly asking questions at the intersection of ministry & tech.

  • What is the best church management software?
  • What is the best Bible app?
  • Should I get a church app?
  • Is church online biblical?
  • How can I do internet evangelism?

We aren’t out to answer these questions or rank who’s the best. But we have curated a list of what we believe to be the most notable and a few novel uses of technology in Christian ministry. Please use this list not to compete but to be inspired by how technology can be used for the good of God’s Kingdom.

Bible Apps

Neubible: Bible App

At the core of the Christian faith is Scripture. In a sense, the Bible is a commodity that goes beyond the borders of denominations and ministry models. And this dynamic is what drives Bible technology to be the most versatile category on this list.

Scriptive

Free via web & iOS
Scriptive asks how you feel and why and then recommends Bible verses that apply to your unique circumstances. But what makes Scriptive so cool is that the verses it recommends are those with the highest probability of spiritual impact. Building upon millions of data points shared by YouVersion and OpenBible.info, Scriptive recommends verses based on how they’ve previously moved people in similar circumstances. And Scriptive’s recommendation engine is constantly improving as it makes it easy for users to report back which recommended verses were most relevant. It’s a thoughtful approach that even applies insights from neuroscience to create a user experience that helps people be more receptive to Scripture by removing emotional or cognitive barriers.

NeuBible by Quiet Pupil

Free via iOS
Two designers – Aaron Martin  of Yahoo! and Kory Westerhold of Twitter – wanted a Bible app that purely focuses on beauty, simplicity, and a better reading experience. So they built it. It is beautiful and focuses on quick loading, intuitive navigation, and quality search capabilities. It comes preloaded with 4 translations with additional translations available as in-app purchases, which vary in cost depending on the royalty fees required by each Bible translation owner.

YouVersion by Life.Church

Free via web, iOS, Android, Windows & Blackberry
The original Bible app. YouVersion has grown to over 196 million downloads. With over 1,115 translations and 799 languages offered, it is unquestionably the most robust and versatile Bible app in providing God’s Word to the world. Their Bible reading plans have effectively helped millions read Scripture more often. And they’re exploring multiple ways to nurture community around Scripture via social media, events, and within the app.

The Bible Simply Put by Matthew Ziehr

Free via web & iOS
This is a fun tool to better learn and understand the themes and stories behind the Bible. They use one sentence to describe the Bible as a whole and then use one sentence to describe each of the 2 testaments, 8 sections, 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and an assortment of characters and places.

Deaf Bible App by Deaf Bible Society

Free via iOS & Android
Offering numerous sign language translations, the Deaf Bible App offers the only Bible app user interface custom tailored for deaf users. The JESUS Film is also available in a translations.

Bible Study & Memorization

Verses: Bible Memorization App

Verses by Zach Whelchel + Brock Klein

Free via iOS
Frustrated by a lack of quality Bible memorization apps, Verses was created to blend good design and UX into memorizing God’s Word. It offers an assortment of memory games and let’s you track your progress over time. The app comes preloaded with the KJV translation with additional translations available as in-app purchases, which vary in cost depending on the royalty fees required by each Bible translation owner.

Bible Web App by Digital Bible Society

Free via web browser
Built with help from John Dyer and Michael Johnson, the Bible Web App is one of the most agile yet powerful browser-based Bibles available. It’s an incredible simple and clean design that let’s you add parallel translations, keyword searches, maps, commentaries, and media. In a sense, it’s like the free Google Docs version of Logos Bible Software.

Logos Bible Software by Faithlife

Base packages ranging from $295 to $10,800
Logos is arguably the best Bible software that money can buy. The software capabilities are impressive and so is their library of additional content available for purchase. Their sheer size allows them to bundle ebooks into some unbeatable prices, and the software let’s users engage the content in ways that many other Bible software cannot.

Fighter Verses by Children Desiring God

$3 via iOS & Android
Designed for children and adults, Fighter Verses offers 7 translations each with over 520 Bible verses to memorize. It includes several memorization games and even the ability to sing verses in the ESV translation.

Kids Bible Apps

Kids Bible Apps

SharefaithKids – Sunday School Resources and Curriculum In The Cloud

Free via iOS & Android
SharefaithKids is an award-winning Sunday School curriculum and resource providing amazing Bible video lessons, activities and application for Sunday School teachers. It’s the first cloud-based Sunday School curriculum and packs the entire Sunday School lesson from start to finish.

The Bible App for Kids by YouVersion + OneHope

Free via iOS & Android
OneHope uses creative media to teach the Bible to kids in 145 countries, so a partnership with YouVersion to create a Bible App for kids made perfect sense. Using help from OvenBits to create the app, it offers a immersive, story telling experience for kids to hear Bible stories, remember the most important parts, and play fun challenges along the way!

SUPERBOOK Kids Bible App by CBN

Free via iOS & Android
Christian Broadcasting Network has rebooted its SUPERBOOK cartoon and created an app to go with it. It is packed with stories, games, quizzes, and videos.

David vs. Goliath by Righteous Tales

Free via iOS & Android
This is the classic Bible story turned interactive with dozens of story chapters including over 100 achievements and 7 mini-games.

Bible Hardware

Proclaimer Audio Bible Hardware

Proclaimer by Faith Comes by Hearing

Free for villages without a Proclaimer
The Proclaimer digital player is preloaded with an audio Bible recording usually of the New Testament. The battery can be charged via a built-in solar panel, a hand crank, or an included AC adapter. It is loud enough for a crowd of 300 and will play for 15 hours before needing recharged. The Every Church Every Village program equips church members and ministry teams with a free Proclaimer for mission trips to unreached villages.

Herald Audio Bible by MegaVoice

The Herald is a discrete 1.4 ounce digital player with fixed internal flash memory and a microSD card slot and powered by only 2 AA batteries. You can load over 500 hours of tamper-proof audio content.

Envoy S by MegaVoice

The Envoy S is a lightweight 2.4 ounce, solar-powered digital player designed to take audio Bibles and educational content to rugged environments. It can carry up to 800 hours of audio.

Story Teller by MegaVoice

The Story Teller is a low cost, solar powered digital player for evangelism and Bible stories. It can carry up to 25 hours of tamperproof audio.

Niche Bible Tech

Digital Bible Platform API

Digital Bible Library by United Bible Societies

The Digital Bible Library  (DBL) was birthed out of Every Tribe Every Nation, an alliance of Bible translation groups working together to translate the Bible into all 6,800 languages. The DBL is managed by the United Bible Societies and exists to preserve and safeguard texts into a standardized format as well as streamline the usage of its translations. Those who are granted a “library card” are able to leapfrog beyond the historically cumbersome process of getting permission to use translations and can even have privileges like storing the Bible text on their own servers.

Digital Bible Platform (API) by Faith Comes by Hearing

The Digital Bible Platform (DBP) is perhaps the easiest path to getting digital Bible texts for your projects. However, it limits you to only accessing the texts via an API every time. Because it lacks the rights to store Bible texts on your own server, it may not be the best fit for more robust Bible applications, but it is an ideal solution for small projects and the majority of Bible technology. Many people don’t realize that almost all Bible translations are bound by significant royalties and restrictions. It can be a slow and painful process to get access to the texts. Faith Comes By Hearing cleverly gets around this by establishing the legal contracts and payments with each translation owner and then lets you piggyback off of their access for free via an API.

Sovee (translation)

Sovee is known for their advances in translation and video streaming used by big brands and corporations around the world. They are also pioneering Bible translation with a new approach that mashes up 3 different translation models into one hyperefficient process. Traditional Bible translations takes 2 years to translate the book of Luke into a new language. Sovee has reported that a team of 2 people working full-time for 6 months can translate the entire Bible into a new language with 98% accuracy. Independent field tests haven’t matched that ideal yet, but it is still fast and an exciting exploration into what could be.

Prayer Technology

Echo Prayer App

Abide by Carpenters Code

Free via iOS & Android
Abide is a team of former Google, Tesla, Ebay, and Microsoft technologists, who have created an app that fosters a daily focus on prayer. Record audio prayers and then share them with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. Follow prayer guides, daily reflections, and even join in prayer through pre-recorded prayers from leaders like Jack Graham, Luis Palau, and Tony Evans.

Ceaseless by TheoTech

Free via iOS
Designed by a former Amazon technologist, Ceaseless is both a prayer journal and a guide to helping you pray for friends, family, and coworkers more often. Sync the app with your contact list and then start praying for 3 friends each day. By focusing beyond bells and whistles and into matters of the heart and spiritual growth, Ceaseless has created a simple user experience fine tuned to doing what it is supposed to do.

Instapray

Free via iOS & Android
Instapray lets people around the world connect with each other through prayer. You can share your prayers in a private small group or with the whole world and then engage with others by commenting on their prayers or via private messages. Instapray has attracted quite a bit of attention because of its financial backing from investor Peter Thiel. However, it’s 59 million prayers from 194 countries is what is keeping it in the limelight.

Echo Prayer Manager by Clover

Free via iOS & Android
From the creators of Clover websites and donation software, Echo is a gorgeous app that helps you list and organize your prayers and then remind you via email or push notifications to keep praying. A “pray now” feature helps jump start and guide your prayer. Choose what you would like to pray for and optionally set a timer for how long you want to pray.

Ora

Free via iOS & Android
Developed by eResources, Ora is a prayer app that collects, organizes, tracks, reminds, connects and securely shares prayer requests and answers with anyone you choose. You can use it intimately with friends and family via the app or mobile platform. Or you can use the OraCOMMUNITY software to unite your existing church community or ministry around prayer.

Evangelism, Teaching & Training Platforms

iDisciple

LinguaDMS by TWR

Developed by The A Group, LinguaDMS is a media management and distribution platform that lets ministries organize and ship their message to websites, mobile apps, internet radio, and terrestrial broadcast outlets.

Kolo World App by Kolo Group

Free via iOS & Android
Designed to help both oral and literate cultures easily find content in their language, the Kolo World App offers audio Bible, the JESUS Film, and more in over 1,000 languages.

5fish by Global Recordings Network

Free via iOS, Android, FILEDIR, & Opera Mobile
It’s nothing fancy, but it proclaims the gospel in over 5,600 languages with Bible stories and YouTube videos! 5fish is a great example of how very basic technology can still be used for significant Kingdom impact.

iDisciple by Family Christian

iDisciple has aggregated over 250 popular Christian voices into a robust digital hub of sermons, music, devotionals, articles, radio, prayer requests, and small groups. It is a sizeable library with an equally large audience of 700,000 users.

RightNow Media 

The Netflix of Christianity. RightNow Media has aggregated over 10,000 Bible study videos from 150 ministries and publishers. Churches can subscribe and get access for their entire congregation. And pricing is based on the church member size.

MinistryGrid by LifeWay Christian Resources

Featuring over 3,000 training videos, MinistryGrid is a very cool way to teach church staff and volunteers new skills. The topical scope is broad and offers something for each area from parking lot to the pulpit.

Content with Community Platforms

Table Community Platform

Table by Gateway Church

Available via iOS & Android
Table’s development team has spent years in research to explore how to make discipleship technology that actually produces disciples. That isn’t to say they have the perfect platform, but they do have a budget that lets them take their time. This affords them the luxury to grow the platform slowly through controlled batches of new users, which offer insights into improvements. So new users, test, revise, repeat. It’s an approach that has grown Table into a pretty cool platform. Calling it the only app your church will ever need, Table offers community tools for small groups, prayer requests, volunteer mobilization, sermons, discussion, giving, a member directory, and classifieds all organized into a dynamic content stream for each user.

Incredible Islands by OneHope & My Healthy Church

Incredible Islands is children’s ministry reimagined. What if the Sunday School lesson lasted the whole week instead of just an hour on Sunday. Incredible Islands lets children’s ministers plan and create their weekly lessons both for the classroom and as online games to engage their students throughout the week. The admin panel makes it easy to coordinate and manage lessons with each student. The Incredible Islands app lets children read a weekly interactive Bible story and then engage via quizzes, memory verses, prayer, and daily quests to complete.

Gloo by Tango Group

Build your own digital platform. Gloo let’s you quickly create and publish content into a custom application and then track and analyze your audience behavior.

Disciplr by David C Cook

Disciplr makes it easy to find, purchase, and manage curriculum. It streamlines the process into one central hub making it easy to equip the teachers within your church.

StudySpace by Acton Institute

StudySpace is designed for both group and individual study around books and media. For small groups that regularly use books, it’s a nice platform for community around content.

Church.io by Tim Morgan

Free
This is a simple, clean, open source community platform for churches. Church.io offers profiles, groups, a church directory, attendance tracking,media sharing, and prayer requests as features. It’s a good option for churches wanting their own private social network or community platform.

Church Apps & Web Presence

Subsplash Church Apps

UNIFY Church App by REBL Ventures

The UNIFY Church App offers on the go broadcasting and media streaming, events, and giving as well as basic information like about, blog, and contact.

SmartChurch

Free via iOS & Android
Offering both free and premium editions, SmartChurch offers a free church directory, custom branding, events, church info pages, and a church-wide communication thread. The premium edition adds features like a giving page, media management, and a leader dashboard.

Sharefaith

Sharefaith has designed a zero coding, 100% drag and drop church website builder with features like media libraries, online giving, blogging, podcasting, communication, and an embedded graphics editor. You also get a custom church app, rivaling other apps costing $1,000 or more. It is more affordable than many solutions without sacrificing the performance most churches need.

The Church App by Subsplash

Subsplash has been a leader in creating custom ministry apps. They’ve rolled what they’ve learned into The Church App, which lets you customize your app’s layout and features in real time. It’s great for video and audio, events, music, congregation engagement, Bible reading, and more

Media Streaming Tools

Media Fusion Streaming Tools

Church Online Platform by Life.Church

Free
The original church online platform is free to use and well-refined from years of experience and testing. It’s more than a video player. It offers congregation-wide chat, live prayer, and synced video streaming. Features include beautiful front-end designs, section-based editing, online giving, a media player, unlimited storage, photo editing, search engine optimizied, and more.

Media Fusion

Media Fusion helps ministries organize and manage digital libraries and make it easy for users to access content in full HD from any device.

Buzzsprout

Known for their podcast management tools, Buzzsprout has also grown to be a go to solution for church media and sermons.

Church Management Software

Rock RMS Church Management Software

Rock RMS by Spark Development Network

Free
Rock RMS is a free church management software designed and funded by several churches. It is so good that including 4 of the top 10 largest U.S. churches use it. It includes person/family management, group management, contributions, check-in (for kids ministry, etc.), reporting, and a website content management system.

The City by ACS Technologies

The City is a private online community for your church where people can join groups, build relationships, give online, and find new ways to connect and do ministry together. It also offers the usual member management and communication tools as well as tools for volunteers, event management, and classifieds. The City was one of the first church management solutions to do community features well, so it’s become a popular choice in the current landscape of church management.

Planning Center by Ministry Centered Technologies

Planning Center began as a tool to organize worship teams, but it was designed so well that other departments throughout churches began using it to organize their ministries. Now Planning Center also offers official solutions for children’s ministry, youth ministry, and church administration. When grouped together, it is a complete solution offering tools for people management, groups, check ins, giving, resources, registrations, church services, screen projection, and worship teams.

Develop.me by Life.Church

Free
Rather than an annual performance review for ministry team members, Develop.me offers a platform for year-round growth and collaboration to promote team leadership development.

Churchix by Face-Six

Churchix is controversial, but it is notable, so we’ve included it on this list. Churchix uses facial recognition software for church attendance. As I’ve said before, “With the concept of facial recognition software is an underlying subconscious hunch that this is wrong because it’s an inauthentic substitute for one-on-one relationships. Imagine, ‘And then the apostles walked into the assembly, and their faces were scanned.’ It seems like it misses the authenticity. However what once seemed shocking will gradually seem normal. Ultimately, we’re going to see this type of technology become far more prominent.”

Analytics

4K Mapping

Church Metrics by Life.Church

Free via iOS, Android & browser
Track church attendance, giving, salvations, baptisms, volunteers, and custom fields. Church Metrics is a clean way to track the ebbs and flow of your ministry.

4k World Map by YWAM

With the help of a leading cartographer, YWAM divided the world into 4,000 Omega Zones, which are like zip codes with geopolitcal boundaries that make sense. The goal is to track the spiritual needs, percent evangelized, and number of Christian workers in each region. It is a work in progress but is a significant step towards using big data for global missions.

Giving Technology

Lepton Giving Technology

Lepton

Free via iOS & browser
Lepton is designed to foster a culture of generosity. For churches and nonprofits, Lepton provides a streamlined way to reach donors as well as donation analytics. It has launched in the UK and will be coming to the United States in the near future.

Church of (Lexington) by Zach Whelchel

Zach Whelchel spent a year creating open-source software that can be used to help Christians collaborate around needs and mission. Using his hometown of Lexington, KY, Zach built out a list of key churches and ministries throughout the metro as well as their needs. For example, Nathaniel Mission needed 4 computers. One family needed help paying their utilities. A refugee family needed a table. Church-of.com is fantastic execution on an idea that many have dreamed to create. Now you can use his code for free via GitHub and launch a need sharing network for your own city.

Kindrid by LifeChurch.tv + OneHope

Let people donate via text, in-app, and online giving and then track it with analytics. Many churches using Kindrid have reported increased donations and even new donors once that began offering text donations.

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly is another popular church giving solution offering mobile app giving, a website widget, automated giving, downloadable data, text message giving, streamlined admin giving, and church database integration.

Worthy to Escape By Marlon Lee Sias

 

48 years of comprehensive study and research in one book. Hundreds of Scripture references at your fingertips to address those difficult questions.
Is it possible that God has brought forth His truth on the end-times and the return of Christ in stages especially in the last 3 centuries? Does Daniel 12:4, 9 &10 hold the key to God’s restoring the futuristic truths of the post-tribulationism in the 1700’s, Pre-tribulationism in the 1800’s and most recently in 1989 the pre-wrath return of Christ viewpoint? Could each have a portion of truth, when taken together will reveal God’s full truth concerning His return? The authors have written “Worthy to Escape” which brings forth 3 events concerning Christ’s return; that bring forth aspects of truth from each of these viewpoints. Come explore with them through 263 scripture passages how God is revealing much of His end-times truth concerning His return (60% of the book), the Antichrist, the Tribulations, the wrath of God, the fall of the city of Babylon, Armageddon, Israel, Jews, and the Millennium. Check out what others say about it at: http://worthytoescape.net

 

Worthy to Escape makes for a thoroughly intriguing read! It is rare for Christians to apply the Hebraic traditions regarding marriage to the rapture. That and the book’s strong focus on spiritual intimacy set it apart from the majority of end times writings.” —Messianic Rabbi Ed Rothman, Hon. M. Div., Hon. Dr. M.S. & J.C., Seed of Abraham Messianic Congregation, St. Louis Park, MN

“Everyone should become familiar with the first fruits rapture. I highly recommend this book!” —Rev. J. McCracken, Team Leader, TrueBridge Family of Churches

“Any student of eschatology needs to read this book and consider its insights. Bible colleges and seminaries should use it as a reference work and make it required reading.” —Pastor T. Porta, Grace Gospel Church, Cambridge, MN       

   From the Inside Flap

“…Jesus is not coming to rescue lukewarm groups of halfhearted followers. He won’t be gathering people steeped in the mores of the world yet eager to escape the coming wrath of God. Rather, the parable of the ten virgins shows clearly that our coming King is expecting a bride who has been actively anticipating and preparing herself for His arrival.
No matter where you are at in your walk with Jesus or where you stand on the topic of the end times, we desire to take you on a journey in this book. It will be a journey deep into God’s Word, venturing into parts of Scripture that you may have never read before or that may have seemed like an undecipherable secret message. We will explore unfulfilled prophecies and connect truths throughout the pages of the Bible that may have seemed disconnected, hard to understand, and unrelated to our daily lives. As you enter into the revelation of God’s will for these final days of church history, we pray that you will discover a greater meaning and purpose about these times that we live in.”
–Quote from Chapter 1, Introduction

   From the Back Cover

“Worthy to Escape makes for a thoroughly intriguing read! It is rare for Christians to apply the Hebraic traditions regarding marriage to the rapture. That and the book’s uncompromising focus on spiritual intimacy set it apart from the great majority of end times writings. Based on biblically-conservative scholarship, the authors skillfully dissect popular assumptions about the rapture, and convincingly point toward a two-fold fulfillment of Jesus’ second coming.”
–Messianic Rabbi Ed Rothman, Hon. M. Div., Hon. Dr. M.S. & J.C., 
Seed of Abraham Messianic Congregation, St. Louis Park, MN

“Everyone should become familiar with the first fruits rapture. I highly recommend this book!”
–Rev. J. McCracken, Team Leader, TrueBridge Family of Churches

“Any student of eschatology needs to read this book and consider its insights. Bible colleges and seminaries should use it as a reference work and make it required reading.”
–Pastor T. Porta, Grace Gospel Church, Cambridge, MN

“I wholeheartedly recommend this innovative scholarly resource to all who are willing
to engage with a fresh perspective on this important topic. What an intriguing read!”
–Pastor R. Murphy, Restoration Life Church, Grand Rapids, MN


 

Interview with Don Richardson Continues to Expand the Blessing Beyond Boundaries Vision

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One, gains an unmistakable impression that the Sky- God wanted to communicate with people of various folk religions all the time, but for His own mysterious reasons maintained a policy of restraint until the arrival of Yahweh’s testimony! This is surely a powerful exta-biblical evidence for the authenticity of the Bible as revelation from the one true and universal God! Don Richardson

Eugene Bach recently met with international speaker and author of best-selling books, including Eternity in their Hearts and Peace Child, Don Richardson.

In his book, Heaven Wins, Don reflects on the words of C S Lewis: “Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.” This reflects the life and commitment of Don Richardson, who has devoted his life to missions, and put much of his experience and studies into his writings.

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Originally from Canada, Don spent fifteen years with his wife and young family as a missionary in the West Papua jungles. During this time he lived among the Sawi tribe who honoured treachery as a virtue. When he shared the gospel of Jesus with them, they hailed Judas Iscariot as the hero of the story. They admired the fact that he had betrayed Jesus. Approaching the gospel from his Western viewpoint was not reaching into the hearts of the Sawi. It was then that Don began to understand that a redemptive analogy was needed to reach the tribe.

A redemptive analogy is a component in a culture that God has placed so that when a messenger brings the good news of Jesus, it will make sense. It’s like finding the fingerprint of God that is already on that culture.

The redemptive analogy for the Sawi tribe was found in the form of a ‘peace child’. A child was given from one warring tribe to their enemies to bring about peace. This paved the way for Don to share about Christ with the tribe. To this day, there are numerous Christians in West Papua because of Don’s perseverance to find a component of their culture that they could relate to the redemption of Christ.

When the terrorist attacks of 2001 highlighted the threat that Islam had become to the church, Don knew that he needed to study the Koran in depth. Through his studies, Don found a redemptive analogy that would be relevant to Muslims. This breakthrough has enabled Christians to reach out to Muslims in a relevant and effective way. Don shares his findings in his book, Secrets of the Koran.

You can purchase Don’s books here:

http://www.donrichardsonbooksales.com/

Eugene Bach had the opportunity to catch up with Don and hear more of his extensive knowledge about Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures. You can listen to this Podcast by clicking on the link below:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/episode-22-live-interview/id1086176943?i=363475689&mt=2

BTJ Contributing Author:  Jo

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Blessing Beyond Boundaries is Truly Eternally in Our Hearts

SouthAmericaA while ago I read the book “Eternity In Their Hearts” by Don Richardson. Without a doubt this is one of the best books I’ve ever read, so that’s why I want you to read it, too.

Don Richardson is a former missionary who spent about 15 years living among the Sawi people of western New Guinea with his family. He wrote another book about his experiences with this tribe entitled “Peace Child”, although a brief summary of is also contained in “Eternity In Their Hearts”.

“Eternity In Their Hearts” is made up of two parts: First, how the nations are prepared for the gospel, and second, how the gospel is prepared for the nations. It is a mix of three different literary styles: scientifically sound research, edifying spiritual content directly from the heart, and fictional narratives of true historical events for illustration. The main point Don Richardson tries to get across, and he backs this up with scientific and biblical proof, is that every person and every culture has “eternity” set “in their hearts”.

What does this mean? Everybody knows there is some kind of purpose in life. Even if you don’t think there is a purpose, you are probably living as if there is. Everyone is hoping for a hereafter where we will live forever. Everybody is waiting for liberation and salvation. And God has not left any culture without a witness or indication of himself.310812_273187609387366_380757042_n

Looking at the best part first, the second part of the book, Richardson turns our attention to the Bible and shows plainly that this book has an undeniable “all peoples perspective”. Beginning with the “Abrahamic covenant” in Genesis 12, Don shows that God planned to make salvation possible for everyone right from the get-go! For in Genesis 12, God speaks to Abraham that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (verse 3). Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, God continually reinforces this promise to bring the Gentiles into his covenant with the Jews through prophets. But no Jew understood the full extent of God’s promise.

Jesus in the New Testament clearly teaches that the gospel is meant for all people (for example through healing the servant of a Roman centurion, telling a story about a good Samaritan, speaking to a Samaritan woman by the well, or preaching about Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba). At the end of his ministry he draws from all his previous teachings on the “all peoples perspective” and sends out his disciples to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Acts 1). We call this the “Great Commission”.

At the very latest Paul the apostle, as seen in the book of Acts, finally lives out this commission and is the first person to effectively bring the gospel to Gentiles. The other apostles take much longer to act upon the commission of their Lord Jesus Christ. Traditional, non-biblical accounts however tell us that every one of them finally also got out of Jerusalem and went to the farthest corners of the then known world, even as far as southern India. Over the next two thousand years missionaries like Paul have undeniably been one of the most important factors in world history.

Throughout the New Testament we read that God finally fulfilled his promise to Abraham and that the gospel has been made accessible to all people. The Bible even ends with the fabulous prospect of all tribes and all languages being represented in heaven (Revelations 7:9).

From beginning to end, the Bible teaches what Don Richardson calls the “all peoples perspective”.

In the first part of the book, Don Richardson recounts accounts of how the message of Jesus Christ came to different tribes and cultures over the last two thousand years. He starts out with the interesting story of the apostle Paul bringing the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection to Greek intellectuals (read it in Acts 17). In this chapter of the Bible, Paul claims that an altar the Greeks built to an “unknown God” was actually built to the one true God. Don Richardson fills us in on some Greek history and reveals that the Greeks in fact did build this altar to the God who created everything there is. They built the altar because this God saved them from a plague, but he didn’t reveal his name. Don narrates how Epimenides of Crete instructed the Greeks to sacrifice to God in the correct manner to be saved from this plague.

Richardson continues to give us accounts of missionaries who, over the next two millennia, brought the good news of Jesus Christ to various tribes and cultures by using the “witnesses” God already placed within those cultures. He emphasises one important thing: Christians shouldn’t (like many have sadly done over the centuries) try to impose our Western culture on other peoples. Rather, weshould adopt their culture while living among them, and try to recognise the parts within their own culture that God planted there to prepare them for the gospel. Missionaries who respect and accept the culture of the people they are living with will have: a) genuinely better relationships and more fun with those people and b) exponentially more people giving their lives to Jesus Christ.

It is a common belief that many tribal cultures are either animistic or polytheistic. This belief goes back to evolutionary thinking spreading from biology into all other areas of science (animism evolving to monotheism as the population becomes more advanced). But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Research over the years has shown time and time again that there is a monotheistic root to most primitive religions. This means that the original belief of most cultures was in one true God, the God who created them and everything else. Many tribes have stories that their own decisions separated them from this God long ago. Some of them have the hope that someday they will be reconciled with him. Some even have prophecies that someone from the outside will bring them a message or a book that will help them to be reconciled with their creator God.

It is also a common belief that missionaries aren’t effective. Most people can’t believe that “enforcing” a belief upon foreign cultures can produce a significant number of converts. Perhaps you are reading this now and believe that the average missionary sees maybe five to ten people convert to Christianity per year. This could not be further from the truth! Missionaries who make use of the “witnesses” that God planted in every culture have seen thousands of people come to Christ per year. Some have even brought entire civilisations to Christ! What is important to remember here is that we are not eliminating their culture and imposing Western values on them. The opposite is the case: we are honouring and, through Christ, giving them an even deeper understanding of their own culture. In many cases we are even restoring their original cultural values to them that have been destroyed by the Western influences of alcohol and drugs!

This first part of the book contains lots of information and is well-rooted in scientific research. I recommend this part to everyone who is remotely interested in anthropology, archaeology, or generally in the various beliefs of different tribes. Even if you’re not in the slightest a Christian, it will make for an interesting read.

But this book review is long enough. “Eternity In Their Hearts” has become one of my favorite books. Don Richardson is the man! His research, personal experiences as a missionary, and understanding of the Bible are amazing. I learned many new things that have completely changed my perspective on the different cultures and religions of this world. The book was both an eye opener and a heart opener. My heart for missions were renewed and rekindled. Please do me a favour and read it for yourself!

Good News Reader

Learn key Christian phrases in Chinese today.

Here is the Good News, some who don’t know Chinese use it to learn Chinese Bible and talk the gospel to Chinese