What do you think?

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by PrimePower7, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. PrimePower7

    PrimePower7
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    I have been praying for sometime about whether or not to leave the army to pursue ministry. Last spring, during a time of fasting, I felt God was leading me to leave the Army. Mind you, I have a very successful career and I have no problem staying in if that was what God wanted.

    Now, the next issue. I was reminded by the Lord the other day of a certain instance almost 6 years ago when He called me to be an Evangelist. Now, when I hear that, I think "whoopee" (sarcasm). I simply do not get excited about present day "Evangelists" who come to the church wax eloquent, get wined and dined and then move on to the next town. I am aware of one "Evangelist" by name...Philip. I find him as a deacon (not related to my question) who did open air meetings.

    My particular calling, I believe, is to nursing homes. That's right, to do what I have done for 15 years now, but on a more intensive scale. I want to be in at least 10 per week visiting room to room and praying with these folks and having services as I have been doing for 15 years. I don't know if you folks have heard of "Rock of Ages Prison Ministry" which of course does all prisons. Well, this is like that, except nursing homes.

    QUESTION 1: If I am evangelizing nursing homes, why does Ephesians 4 say the Evangelist is a gift to the church? How does my work profit the church?

    QUESTION 2: I don't want to raise support, but churches are very well-off and God has "ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel". So, how should I handle this? I know I could not work a full time job and be as intensive in this ministry as I believe I should be. I love my trade and will probably always do it on a part time or as needed basis.

    Please save your cliches and denomination party lines, quick answers and funny stories. Prayerfully give me your Scriptural advice. Thanks
     
  2. bapmom

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    As to Question 1, your work could profit the churches if you were to teach churches how to have a nursing home ministry. My idea would be that you would have services in the local church in the evenings, and in the mornings or afternoons you'd bring teams of workers from that church into the local nursing homes - teaching them how to proceed. This way you are connected with a local church and hopefully that brings some love offerings your way.

    After that you could start visiting the churches you've helped in this way, answering questions that have come up, and helping their nursing home ministries grow.

    Im sure you could imagine even more along these lines, and really flesh it out if it sounds good to you. I know of an evangelist doing something like this only helping Bus Ministries.

    just my 2 cents worth. :)
     
    #2 bapmom, Jul 3, 2006
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2006
  3. Not_hard_to_find

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    Check this site -- http://hinklefamily.org/hinklefamily.org/index.htm (no, that's not a mis-type nor a duplication.) Our church is among several helping support this family's nursing home ministry. What they bring to the residents in the homes is joy, peace, wonderful music -- and the opportunity for salvation even late in life. What they bring to our congregation during their annual visits is much the same -- blessings all around. May the Lord bless and lead you as you endeavor to keep His will foremost in your life.
     
    #3 Not_hard_to_find, Jul 3, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2006
  4. PrimePower7

    PrimePower7
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    Thanks to you

    Bapmom:

    Thanks for the "2 cents". Very helpful. I guess it is a matter of me trusting God that there are enough churches that would want to start such a ministry, huh?

    Not_Hard
    I'll check this site out today. Thanks.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Friend, I hope you will take this right. I'm going to give you a hard time here, and I mean it for your good.

    Your characterization of evangelists just doesn't fit the facts. In the first place, traveling from church to church as they do is one of the most difficult tasks in all of God's work! Getting "wined and dined" as you put it is not at all easy. That is why there is a higher drop out rate among evangelists than just about any other full time Christian work. As a missionary having been on deputation and furlough, I have great sympathy for those godly men who travel from church to church year in and year out. Sometimes they get put in homes where they have to put up with nonsense or lousy cooking. They get put in motels like the one Ray Stephens wrote about in his country song: "The room next to the elevator, across from the ice machine, down the hall from the all night room where the rock and roll band screams."

    Some of the greatest Christians I've ever known have been evangelists: my grandfather, John R. Rice; my great uncle Bill Rice and his sons Bill III, Pete and Ronnie; Dr. Monroe Parker, who was the director of our mission board when I joined; Dr. Fred Moritz, the current director; Dr. Dave Jaspers, who was the president of my son's college.

    Sure there has been the occasional charlatan evangelist. But I could give many more names of good men who labored for the Lord in the past or labor now as wonderful evangelists.

    I suggest that you get a copy of The Evangelist, by John R. Rice (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0873982053/qid=1151981849/sr=1-172/ref=sr_1_172/103-9397557-5862227?s=books&v=glance&n=283155) , the best book ever written on the subject, read some biographies of great evangelists of the past (Moody, Torrey, Rice, etc.) and prayerfully reconsider your attitude.
     
  6. John of Japan

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    This looks like a wonderful ministry. If PrimePower7 is led in this direction, this ministry would be a wonderful one for him to contact to learn the ropes.
     
  7. PrimePower7

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    John

    Thanks for your concern. I'll pray over this conception of mine and see if I am wrong.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Good attitude!:thumbs:
     
  9. mima

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    I believe your call to be an evangelist to nursing homes is true and from God! This will be a great ministry, you will help many many people come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not be too concerned about the money situation now for I feel in my spirit that he Lord Himself has already made a way. In the past I have practiced nursing home evangelism and was amazed to find 32 people in a nursing home containing over 100 people excepting the Lord during three two hour visits to just one nursing home. Go slow clearly enunciateing what you are doing and you will be amazed at the reception you receive.
    Once while working my way through a group of nursing home residents a very elderly lady called out to me, old hurry sir hurry, I need to talk to you, I am not saved but I'm very interested in my salvation. She eagerly accepted the Lord Jesus Christ just moments after I began to speak to her.
    Remembers this, the Lord himself, through his spirit will accompany you!!!! Concerning your question about the evangelist was being a gift to the church be at ease. What people call the church today hardly qualifies for the Lord's called out ones. You will be a gift to the Lord's church.
     
    #9 mima, Jul 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2006
  10. PrimePower7

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    =Concerning your question about the evangelist was being a gift to the church be at ease. What people call the church today hardly qualifies for the Lord's called out ones. You will be a gift to the Lord's church.[/quote]

    How so?
     
  11. mima

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    We know that the Lord is interested in the fulfillment of the great commission. Of those nominations and organizations that are passing themselves off as the church today few are actually pursuing the fulfillment of the great commission. Soulwinning would seem to be a lost art. When I stated that you will be a gift to the church I meant that because you will be actively engaging in Soulwinning and the nursing homes you will be fulfilling the great commission. I may be out of line here and I may be mistaken it all depends on whether or not you intend to be a soulwinner in the nursing homes. If not, then I am wrong in believing that you will be a gift to the church.
     
  12. PrimePower7

    PrimePower7
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    Hi there

    Actually, I will, as I do now in the military, place strong emphasis (main emphasis) on winning the lost. I am just not sure that is what Ephesians 4 has in mind when it says I am a gift to the church.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Let's look at Eph. 4:11 again, but put it in context with verses 12-13.

    "11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

    So, an evangelist's task is similar to that of an apostle, prophet, pastor and teacher; in other words, all who are in the full time ministry. We are to build up the saints in the churches. This is why a typical evangelist goes from church to church--to build up the saints. Now you seem to have met some lousy evangelists, but a good one will fire up the believers to win souls (so that is why he is called an evangelist) and seek revival. In my own life, a wonderful evangelist named Bud Lyles was used of God to inspire me to dedicate my entire life to Christ when I was 16, and then as God's instrument to call me to preach at age 18.

    Let's apply this to your case. If the Lord does lead you into a ministry as an evangelist in old folks homes, I believe you should be in contact with local church pastors wherever you go. As they see your burden for the old folk, maybe some will be encouraged to start their own ministries visiting old folk in retirement homes and hospitals and at home. Furthermore, the average person in the pew ought to be encouraged to participate in such ministries, as well as witness to the old folk they know and treat them with compassion and dignity.:flower:
     
  14. thjplgvp

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    RE:Evangelism

    PP,

    As I read your post this question comes to mind. Why would you have to leave the military in order to minister in nursing homes? It would seem that the military would afford you the opportunity (through transfers and reassignments) of seeing how these homes differ from location to location. It would also give you ample opportunity to grow in your ministry by understanding the difficulties endured by the folks in the homes.

    I don't know how long you've been saved but the path you envision for your future may be one that is arrived at through a rather long process.

    Also what are your spiritual gifts? The Holy Spirit gives everyone a spiritual gift at salvation and many times it takes years for that gift to come to the forefront simply because the bearer never realized that his gift from God for use in the body of Christ was not what he thought it should be.

    Your desire to minister to elderly would be a greatly appreciated ministry within a local church. Our church does 3 per week and our pastor would love to turn that ministry over to someone from within the church.

    The context of Ephesians 4 I believe deals in part with the position of the local churches in the beginning of the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem. The thought (JoJ can correct me here) is that not every church that was being established had all the gifted men in each local body. Some had apostles, like Ephesus and Jerusalem, some had teachers and some evangelists and some had pastors etc. locally some were lacking but what most over look is that they all had grace 4:7. They were to use that grace in conjunction with love to edify the local body of Christ even when they did not have all gifts of the body representative in their local church.

    You need to minister where you are and as you do that the way will become clear. As an end thought here there are two things every evangelist must eventually deal with and you are in position to have both taken care of.

    Money, to survive while your ministry gets of the ground (a military pension would help greatly). Small churches do not pay the 'wine and dine' many times cost more than the love offering given. Hence the drop out rate JoJ spoke of.

    Health, insurance if you retire then you will be eligible for Tri-Care Prime (right now 500 per year) vs. about 6,000 per year if you are not a retied veteran.

    I am rambling, sorry.


    :type:
     
  15. PrimePower7

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    Wow! What a great post! Thanks for all of your thoughts!

    "As I read your post this question comes to mind. Why would you have to leave the military in order to minister in nursing homes? It would seem that the military would afford you the opportunity (through transfers and reassignments) of seeing how these homes differ from location to location. It would also give you ample opportunity to grow in your ministry by understanding the difficulties endured by the folks in the homes."

    Honestly, I don't know. Again, it's not because i don't like the military. I do. And it is not so much the separation from my wonderful wife and children that drive me out because I am coming to a place where I can pick my assignment and actually not leave them for 3 years!

    Your desire to minister to elderly would be a greatly appreciated ministry within a local church. Our church does 3 per week and our pastor would love to turn that ministry over to someone from within the church.

    This is, without a doubt very exciting as I know I could do 3 or 4 every weekend and then leave and start 3 or 4 more at my next place of duty. The killer is, my wife and I have convinced ourselves that we "have to" get out because I'll just wind up over here a third time and that may not happen. Don't get me wrong. I am not a nervous wreck. I like my job. I just miss my family terribly. So, recently, my wife and I are concerned (churched up for "anxious") about finding employment when I already have a well paying, successful, military career. b

    You need to minister where you are and as you do that the way will become clear. As an end thought here there are two things every evangelist must eventually deal with and you are in position to have both taken care of.

    Money, to survive while your ministry gets of the ground (a military pension would help greatly). Small churches do not pay the 'wine and dine' many times cost more than the love offering given. Hence the drop out rate JoJ spoke of.

    Health, insurance if you retire then you will be eligible for Tri-Care Prime (right now 500 per year) vs. about 6,000 per year if you are not a retied veteran.

    Another fine point: my dad even brings that up knowing full well I am called to preach. It's just, when you're in the military, you feel like they kinda own you. You feel like, in a way, that you are placing God's call on your life on the back burner while you live for security. you know?

    I am rambling, sorry.


    :type:[/quote]
     
  16. thjplgvp

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    RE:What next

     
  17. PrimePower7

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    What I do in the military

    Thanks for asking. I can share it. I am on a Marine base in Western Iraq with 6 other team members restoring the electrical grid. We take 6 month turns. There are less than 200 of us in the Army and our school is a very intensive year of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering based theory along with power plant operations and maintenance. At any rate, I spend most of my time in a project management role with foreign nationals that I wish I could witness to. We are busy finding and fixing medium voltage cable at the moment. I love this stuff which is all the more confusing. I have always read after Spurgeon, Applemen and the like which say "you cannot possibly be called to preach if you can fathom doing anything else". I don't know. I feel like a person can still like his work and preach.
     
  18. thjplgvp

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    Re:what do you think

    I haven't heard of Hyman Appleman in years, I got to hear him preach once in the early 80's. PP sounds like you have received training that should open up good possibilities in the civilian sector. You might just explore a little and see what is available.
    There are many who are in your position having a desire to preach and a desire to pursuit a career. My advice would be to do both as long as you can and eventually through inner conflict (soul and spirit) you will be led one way or the other. Some of the godliest men I know work regular jobs in the work force and yet their spiritual leadership in the local body is an incredibly stabilizing fixture.

    I have been medically retired from the USMC since 1969. First Marine Division, First Marine Battalion, 5th Marines, Alpha.

    Semper Fi
     
  19. BCF Jeff

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    Answers

    1. Your work would profit the church by: added souls to the Bride of Christ; (the church) ministering to church members that are in those homes; and possibly equiping others to do the same.

    2. Maybe you should speak to either your church or assocaition (if your church is a part of one.) Our church supports a retired sailor to do just what you are doing. He is not paid a living wage as we are a small congregation as he recieves retirement pay and benefits from the Navy. A church or group of churches may see fit to appoint you as a missionary or chaplain.
     
  20. John of Japan

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    PrimePower7, may I ask if you have theological training yet? If not, that would be your next step. You can sign up for a number of different correspondence or Internet courses nowadays, and study while still in the military.:thumbs:
     

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