The God's-eye View

By President, Brian Sharp


If we really stop to think about it, everyone’s a missionary. Obviously, however, this is not to be understood in the narrow sense we’ve come to know it in our modern times. In the book of Acts and other places in Scripture, it becomes quite clear we’re all to be spreading the Word and love of Jesus Christ to non-Christians, non-followers of Jesus on a continual basis.

Although most of us know this, it’s important we remind ourselves regularly that our job is to constantly “reach out as we reach up.” Biblically, our priorities for ministry are fourfold:

  • Praise and worship of our mighty God (Ps. 100, 150; John 4:24).
  • Study and preaching of the Bible – God’s inerrant, powerful, eternal, living Word (II Tim. 3:14-17; Heb. 4:12).
  • Reach out with the love of Jesus to those who have not heard and/or understood the Gospel message in order to win the lost (Luke 15:4, 19:10; Acts1:8; II Cor. 9:22).
  • Make sure those who are saved become faithful disciples of Jesus (Matt. 28:18-20)
Now, it’s a given that we’re all gifted by God in different ways so we minister according to the call and gifting we have (Ephesians 4:11-12; I Cor. 12, etc.). However, we must always keep our eyes on the big picture – the God’s-eye view – of how we fit in and contribute to the four essentials noted above.

For example, my gifting and call is primarily pastor, as well as a significant measure of evangelist. However, I need to constantly remind myself that all four of the above priorities are critical and I should see that we are active in doing these in and through my church.

Because of certain time constraints and personal interests, it’s tempting for me to spend all my time focused only on the study and preaching of God’s Word, worshiping, writing, and caring for the born-again flock God has assigned to me. Then I come across where it says, “…go and make disciples…” (Matt. 28:19).

In response, I could rationalize this by saying, “Well, I am making disciples by teaching and caring for my congregation.” While this may be true to a degree, the real goal of making disciples is to make disciple-makers. In other words, if I’m not teaching, encouraging and providing opportunities for myself and my congregation to be actively mission-minded, I’m leaving out the foundational purpose of my call. I may not be specifically called to live in another country as a full-time missionary, but I certainly should be supporting missions on an on-going manner either by the actual doing of missions and/or supporting those who are doing it, both locally and internationally.

The fact remains, that just because a person received Jesus as their personal Savior and made a commitment to Him at some point in time, doesn’t necessarily mean that person is a disciple. By simple definition, disciple means “faithful follower, student of a teacher, learner.” Jesus discipled His disciples by teaching them, modeling for them what He taught, then sent them out to do what He’d been teaching and doing (Luke 9:1-2, 10:1-2). So, it follows that, Scripturally speaking, we’re not being a faithful disciple if we’re only learning but never going and supporting others who go.

Last August our Executive Director, Tim McKitrick, executive board member, Jim McCool and myself went to Africa to minister to WMF ministers and leaders. We taught, encouraged, and prayed for them, as well as preached in some local churches. Our short-term goal was to minister to WMF members’ immediate needs and strengthen our relationship with them. The long-term goal was and is to help them become strengthened and motivated to fulfill their God-given assignment as it fits into the big picture of making disciple-makers. The icing on the cake came in one local church service when Jim McCool gave an invitation to receive Jesus for the first time and several responded. Halleluiah!!! It’s now the task of that local church, as it is in all our churches, to make disciples out of those new believers.

I am proud to belong to an organization that sets such a high priority on missions. The “world” part of World Ministry Fellowship means our focus is continually sharpened by the Great Commission. In the God’s-eye view, making disciples begins at home, but it certainly doesn’t stop there!

Storm Destruction in Florida

STORM DESTRUCTION IN FLORIDA

Dear WMF Ministers,

I returned yesterday from ministering in Panama City, Florida over the weekend. The area looked like a vast wasteland. Exceptionally large facilities had their roofs torn off; strong buildings were twisted as if they had been constructed of tissue. Millions of people are now forced to start over. I spoke with one elderly couple who had bought a lovely place (with cash; but without insuring the home) and retired there. The bulk of their retirement savings they watched blow away in the hurricane. Congregations of great size cleared their parking lots and put tents up outside to meet therein. Smaller churches have great problems. Damage along the beach shore was not so extensive. The interior of the city lay in ruin.

The stories I heard were touching. So many of them like the ones we have encountered when tornadoes touch down here within our precincts. Yet the sun does rise and there is clear shining after the rain (II Sam 23:4). As I told them, storms are not new to the earth. They are a part of the “sorrows” category in Matthew 24. Despite their presence here and there, God has always retained a people amid the rubble who have loved him regardless and who have rebuilt their cities and lives. All day as we ministered in services to hundreds of weeping and brokenhearted people we saw the hand of a loving and caring God. Each service was powerful: full of grace and glory. What a sight it was to see people whose personal properties disappeared in moments, happily presenting their tithes and offerings unto the Lord.

Pray for the people in the region, remembering Paul’s admonition, “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good to all men, but especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (
Gal. 6:10).

Your gifts to WMF missions will help to lighten the load of relief efforts around the world. Remember WMF in your 5
th Sunday offerings.

Be encouraged and God bless you.

Brother Darrell
Director of International Missions

We Should Remember the Poor

Galatians 2:10

Readers of the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul will know that the grace of God operated through him and Barnabas in mighty ways. Besides the exciting teachings given by them in city after city, there were numerous examples of healings that accompanied their labors. So great were these events that reports had to be given whenever they returned to Jerusalem to see the elders and Apostles, or revisited the home church (at Antioch) or returned to one of the fellowships previously started by them. During one of these homecomings, however, Paul and Peter entered into conflict over how new believers in Christ were being dealt with by Peter. Peter’s behavior had been less than exemplary. Peter had acted in an extremely hypocritical way Paul thought. Paul confronted him because he did not want to see Peter’s conduct imitated in other Christians. Peter’s influence was great enough that Barnabas even was influenced by it.

Paul confronted the issue, rebuking Peter face to face. And when the unity of the faith was finally restored, and reconciliation between them became a reality, Peter (and James and John) gave to Paul and Barnabas the ‘right hands of fellowship’: essentially it was an acknowledgment between both groups that full approval of their ministries was being extended: Peter issued one caveat though, that Paul and his team would remember the
poor. Previously, Jesus had told his disciples that poor people would always be on the earth (Mat. 26:11), even in his absence. Poverty certainly was not eradicated in Israel during Jesus’ earthly career. Yet He came to preach the Gospel to the poor specifically (Lu. 4:18). Anyone engaged in worldwide or nationwide travel will be able to take notice of the varying degrees of poverty that exist, and quickly discern that the poor remain among us; nevertheless, the Gospel can save and empower them, therein changing their circumstances.

City missions, shelters, Bible-based drug rehab centers and so forth continue to provide temporary residents and visitors with provisions useful for keeping body and soul together. However it is the Gospel that transforms a person’s thinking. Poverty in the earth exists for many reasons. The solution to every reason for it’s existence is Jesus. Memory lane is a nice road to wander down, so I’ll do it again. Years ago in an urban mission center in Tennessee, God did wonders. The site had been started by a former pimp and prostitute who had done their time and then exited different prisons simultaneously. While incarcerated they both found the Lord were and freed from their sin. I still remember walking through the facility that first day. To be blunt, meeting them was rather daunting: there were some wild and untamed souls waiting to be fed. The precondition for receiving a meal was that they must sit and listen to a Gospel message. They filed in, and I could tell by their body movements that the bulk of them did not want to be there. I preached about a Gospel, full and free to all. Midway through the sermon I knew I had struck a chord with some of them. Later, during the altar service God healed a man wearing cast in a wheelchair. They cut it off, he took off running and the revival was on. On that day God once again remembered the poor as they heard the Good News.

These things we should continue to do. I would like to remind WMF members that here at the office we welcome 5
th Sunday offerings, large or small, seeing that they are utilized for the express purpose of ensuring that the Gospel is proclaimed. Both wealthy and poor are in need of the inward assurance of the faith which the Holy Spirit is able to give. God’s grace makes the biggest difference, even in the smallest of villages abroad where the fewest attendees are present at a meeting. So we celebrate the work of God in the earth that is being accomplished by our ministers. Soon Kay Baker will return to Guatemala for extensive ministry. Continuing the work she and her late husband Jim began four decades ago.

Let us hold up her hands in prayer, and may WMF be able to assist her also as she presses toward the mark of the prize just before Jesus returns!

Brother Darrell
Director of International Missions for WMF

Pressing in to the Power of God

The Church and WMF alive and well in the Congo

WMF President Brian Sharp, Jim McCool and I just returned from a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC and the Republic of Congo – ROC. Jim and his family were missionaries in DRC for a season a number of years ago.

We went there to represent WMF at their ordination service and to meet with the local ministry leaders there about how to best position WMF to assist them in the future. What we found there gave us great joy.

For decades now, Charles Rogers has invested in the work of missions, especially in the continent of Africa. The work he established in Cameroon, Liberia, and where we visited in the Congo, continues to grow under the leadership of the WMF All Africa Director Floribert Mawit, and Country Directors Bishop Jonathan Muhuela, Bishop Desire Bansenga and others God has raised up over the years. Our team was encouraged to find hundreds of WMF members at meetings in both Kinshasa, the capital of DRC and Brazzaville, the capital of ROC. During our time there we had the opportunity to speak to a large ordination celebration of hundreds of people and ordain 23 new WMF ministers in Kinshasa. We spent the next week training 230 WMF ministry leaders in Brazzaville and preaching in churches in the evenings and on Sundays as well.

The opportunity for the church and WMF in these regions is staggering. We have come to understand that WMF is present in 16 countries in Africa and we have interest from 3 more that would like to affiliate with WMF immediately. These ministry leaders preside over hundreds of new church plants and hundreds of new young pastors in need of Biblical teaching, ministry training, and encouragement. The purpose of this trip was to learn how to begin developing strategy to tackle the immense opportunities that are being presented and direct WMF into another fruitful season in these regions.

In light of these things, I am again struck by this important truth. The principles of ministry and the power of the Holy Spirit function similarly in whatever culture we visit and wherever we travel. Our function as ministry leaders is to equip and empower the saints to do the work of the ministry. In this case, it was to not only train younger leaders, but to encourage all those who will, in turn, be called upon to equip and empower others, young and old. Often, we as Christian leaders simply confirm and encourage what God is already doing through the Holy Spirit in the hearts of these ministry leaders. As the Apostle Paul did,
we will need to regularly encourage others to step into what they already know, to fulfill God’s calling on their lives, and to press in to the power of the Holy Spirit that is available to all who are called to this Christian walk.

As leaders, we will need to help people experience the presence and power of God. However, in order to have something to give those to whom we must minister,
we will first need to go into his presence for ourselves. We must hear from God ourselves… and regularly! We can’t give what we don’t have…. We must have a fresh word! But as we are good stewards with what we have already been given, God promises to give us “more” (Luke 8:18). As we press in, we will receive the “more” we need, the fresh bread from heaven to offer those around us.

I am endeavoring to encourage myself first, and you also, to
press into the things of God, and even more so as we see the mighty harvest ahead and the end fast approaching.

Praying God’s blessing on all your efforts, and looking forward to all that God has in store for WMF!

Dr. Tim McKitrick


Click here to view a few pictures of the trip.

Missions Report

WMF MISSIONS REPORT

Convocation 2018 was a rousing success. The speakers each brought a forceful word from the Lord. Multitudes were encouraged and certainly heard from the King of Kings: a word that was specific to each individual’s calling and need. As for missions, we instituted a mission’s panel. The panelists gave reports and testimonies regarding the move of God around the world.
Thursday evening I gave a report of things we are implementing for the missions department of WMF. Two of the changes are noted below, the first of which was agreed upon by the Executive Board.

  1. 10% of WMF dues now will be designated for missions.

  2. The mission's board believes that a Facebook page for our missionaries would be useful for global contact and strategy.

As is the case so often, I am humbled when I meet the vast number of men and women who are busy in the fields of the earth, domestically and internationally. WMF is full of ministers who engage in worldwide ministry of one sort or another. Several prayers of mine were answered during Convocation; one burden was lifted through connections made with people that labor in fields that I think are often overlooked. Meeting them was heartwarming.
The nations are ripe for harvest. Yet to realize the vision for WMF missions given to me by the Lord, it necessitates much prayer and fasting. By-faith, I believe that great prospects are on the horizon. And if we pray, undoubtedly, the hand of God will be upon WMF for good. Nothing shows our dependence on God like prayer: many remembrances along that line come to mind: e.g., I recall a revival that once broke out in Clearwater Florida not too terribly long ago. A minister went for a Sunday night’s service in a church and he stayed for more than 20 weeks. There was an explosion of the healing power of God. Attendees said all the wheelchairs that eventually were lined up in the building resembled a train.
Indeed all this activity, originated in the prayers of one elderly woman in the region who refused to believe that God would not hear her cry for revival. God answers prayer: so expect miracles.
Oh what a great heritage WMF has; but as ministers/missionaries of Christ, we are all obliged to face up to one question repeatedly, ‘what kind of legacy are we leaving to newly ordained members of WMF who follow behind us?’
Brother Darrell

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