July 17 2018
What do you do when nothing is working?
Ronnie, an Every Community for Christ (ECC) worker in the Philippines, faced such a question. Ronnie has a very pleasing and likable personality, but he also has a profound hearing loss. Unable to afford a good set of hearing aids, Ronnie struggled with making contacts, evangelizing, discipling, and planting new churches. He tried everything, but nothing was working.
That is … until the Christmas season came.
The mayor of Ronnie’s community approached him and asked Ronnie if he would make the Christmas star that would represent the community in the contest among the communities in their area. Ronnie agreed, but the project was bigger than he could handle. So, he enlisted help from the police department, who got the prisoners in their local jails involved.
Christmas passed. The star represented the community well, but Ronnie was not finished with his contacts with the prisoners. He started visiting the local jail. He began Bible studies within the cells. He sought out resources the prisoners needed like food, fans, checkerboards, and more. The prisoners accepted him. Prayer support grew. Prisoners entered a relationship with Christ. They got baptized. Ronnie began to reach out to other prisons, and to the families of prisoners. Ronnie had found his niche in ministry.
Today, Ronnie ministers within 10 different provincial jails in the Philippines. He has baptized over 150 prisoners. He sees an average attendance of 372 prisoners in worshiping groups or “cell churches” in the prisons. Ronnie is seeing lives transformed. He is equipping leaders who can assist in the ministry and start house churches when they are discharged into the community again.
Ronnie now has a partner in the ministry. He met a man named Jaimie in the prison. He helped Jaimie enter a relationship with Christ and discipled him. Jaimie was serving a life sentence for using and selling narcotics (and related crimes). Through a turn of events demonstrating God’s intervention, Jaime was released and is now committed to doing all he can to go back into the prisons with the Gospel. He wants to disciple those who make decisions for Christ.
Feeling like nothing is working for you? Persevere like Ronnie. God may have a wonderful role in ministry for you to step into, just like Ronnie, to help others hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel.
August 3 2017
do you need? How can the One Mission Society Theological Education (TE) team
best support and assist you in your ministry? These were the key questions I
asked the OMS national and missionary leaders from Across Europe early in 2016.
Their answers: 1) training in discipleship and 2) opportunities for fellowship
with OMS European colleagues.
with that information, we planned a special conference in the fall of 2016. With
a starting budget of “two fish and five loaves” and the assurance that God had
given the vision, plans were put in motion to invite a team from the Inspire
Movement to lead a seminar on discipleship in Manchester, UK in May 2017.
God provided over and over.
November through May, those attending took turns calling one another to prayer
through weekly emails that went out in English, Spanish, and French. Conference
attendees came from Russia, Israel, Spain, Estonia, Ukraine, France, Hungary,
Sweden, Ireland, Wales, and the U.S.
May 8-11, along with the team from the Inspire Movement, we learned, practiced,
and experienced discipleship. We discussed how we could contextualize the
concepts and practices in our unique ministry contexts, and we fellowshipped,
worshiped, and prayed together.
are a few of the take aways:
I think that the
greatest blessing to me was spending time with fellow coworkers in the region.
I was blessed by being
part of a team.
Meeting up with my
European colleagues for the first time was just wonderful.
I loved the prayer time
on the last night where we prayed as a group for one another's prayer concerns.
During the conference,
God helped me to see the answers to some questions about my further ministry to
The theme of the
seminar was very important for me. I think that the principles of deep
communication in threes are applicable in our ministry to pastors of Blagovest
Association and to members of the churches.
For me personally,
having the affirmation from Inspire to focus on discipleship was very affirming
and encouraged me that we're heading in the right direction.
practicality, and simplicity of joining together as disciples in the name of
I need to be a disciple
before I can hope to make any.
the members of the body longing to be equipped for ministry are those who are
already serving in leadership. The OMS Theological Education team desires to
serve and support both those who are in leadership, as well as those who are in
the beginning stages of their ministry leadership journey. Resources are needed
to bring or send qualified instructors and practitioners, to purchase
transportation tickets, and to provide lodging so that Christian workers come
away for a time of refreshment, renewal, and mutual care for one another.
Reading the take aways, we give thanks to God for the opportunity to ministry
to the expressed needs of these precious men and women serving Christ in
Colleen Fitch, OMS Regional Consultant for Europe, Theological Education
To give to the Leadership Discipleship and Development ministry fund, click here.
June 27 2017
About a year ago, I went with another OMS missionary to check on
our short-term missionaries working in the province of Loja, Ecuador. It was a
trip we made regularly to encourage our short termers. We didn’t know that this
visit would be a God-divine appointment.
A short time after
arriving at the short termers’ house, we heard a knock at the door. Dario and
Isaac, two friends of our short-term missionaries, were welcomed inside. They
sat down and began to ask questions about God. They asked us to share more with
them, thus beginning their faith journey.
Fast forward 12
months and the roles have shifted. Our team of 8 now lives in Loja. Recently, I
was sitting in the home of Dario’s family, listening to him share about the Scriptures.
He presented the plan of salvation and led two family members and a neighbor to
Christ. Dario is the director of one of the main schools in town and is using
his position to spread the Gospel. He has been inviting the students' parents
to come together and listen to us (OMS Loja missionaries) share about godly
parenting. He is casting a vision for children and youth programming so that
all ages can be reached for Christ.
Why such a
difference? Shortly after we began regularly meeting with Dario and his wife,
Dayana, we learned that she was having trouble getting pregnant. In a culture
where family is everything, a couple with no children was considered damaged
goods. They shared their hearts with us, and we prayed together. We assured
them that they were valued and important to Christ.
A few weeks ago,
when our missionaries arrived for the discipleship meeting, Dayana had a sweet
smirk on her face. As greetings were passed around, she motioned for her
husband to look at the paper on the coffee table. Right there, the team and
Dario found out that Dayana was pregnant!
Dayana and Dario
did not choose to ask Christ into their lives to get what they wanted. They
asked Christ into their lives so that they could be transformed by his love.
They went from brokenness to restoration. After giving their all to Christ,
they received the desires of their heart.
God is at work in
Loja Province. This is just one story of how God is moving in the hearts of his
people. Sometimes, the progress is quite slow; sometimes, the progress seems to
come in like a rushing river. Please continue to pray for workers to help us
reach a province full of hungry people searching for the truth of God’s Word.
By OMS Ecuador missionary, BJ Williamson
April 6 2015
Last week, we introduced you to Train and Multiply. This
church multiplication method has been used in amazing ways to advance the
kingdom of God.
But how exactly does T&M work?
One important distinction between T&M and other
discipleship programs is its emphasis on leadership development. While the 64
booklets include resources on evangelism and discipleship, its strength lies in
the development of healthy, well-equipped leaders, who are essential to a
church multiplication movement. Without solid leadership to guide new church
plants, multiplication will be slow and ineffective.
An illustration of the Train and Multiply process is below:
One rail is labeled ‘pastoral work.’ Every person involved
in T&M is also involved in some form of ministry. It might be a simple
church, a small group, or simply working with their family and friends. They
have some place to immediately apply what they are learning. T&M is not
training for ministry; it is training
The second rail is labeled ‘home study.’ A T&M
participant learns through weekly study of God’s Word, the T&M Pastoral
Worker Training Booklets, and practical experience. T&M booklets are simple
and practical biblical training guides. They are easily accessible. They can be
used anywhere, at any time, with any number of people. And they only cost what
it takes to print them.
But what ties this all together are the railroad ties
labeled ‘meeting with trainer.’ Each T&M participant has a trainer who
provides coaching and mentoring. Meeting biweekly or monthly, this trainer
guides the participant through the leadership development process. They help
the student plant their pastoral work and choose what to study. The trainer
also encourages and holds the participant accountable.