Browse Month: February 2013

Monday Musings (special Friday edition) 22/02/13

IMG_1732Two years ago today…

It hardly seems possible that it was two years today that Rob Hall lost his life while working at the Prayer Tower on the grounds of TTC.

One of the projects Rob was working on before his death was a playground for the children of the married students who presently call TTC their home.

Just this week, a team made up of two Ontario churches, finished the playground that Rob started two years ago.IMG_0409

On Wednesday, RTC conducted its second Student Ministry Formation at TTC.  What a moving moment to have the first and second year class meet their mentoring pastor in the very room where Rob lost his life two years earlier.

There is no explanation for why a man in the prime of his life would depart from this earth.  Two years later however, I am reminded of Paul’s words:  “If God is for us, who can be against us?…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life…neither the present or the future, nor any powers…will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

A completed playground is a reminder that separation from the love of God is not an option.  The Robert Hall Ministry Formation Center where students were mentored this week is a reminder that trouble, hardship, famine and yes even death, is no match for the resurrected power of Jesus Christ that is at work within us!IMG_1796

So thanks Team Welland for your part in completing a project that began two years ago.  Thanks Apostle Paul for reminding us that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Until next time…

Don

www.reinventingthechurch.com

Monday Musings 11/02/13

IMG_1682Mentoring a Generation…

We are just a few weeks away from our first major conference of the year here in Zambia called “Mentoring a Generation”.

This past weekend, I was a given a little taste of what mentoring in Zambia can look like.

It started with a young man by the name of Osward.  For the last two years MJ has mentored Osward in the art of yard work.  Twice a week Osward comes to our property and maintains the lawns and gardens.  Alongside his yard responsibilities, he often washes our car.  The first time I asked him, he lit up light a Christmas tree and with great pride, made my twelve year old car look like new.

This past weekend, I asked Osward if he has ever driven a car.  Of course the answer was no.  After a few moments of instruction, I allowed him to drive the car from the back of the property to the front for its weekly cleaning.  Like all young men his age, he prefers the gas pedal more than the brake.  Fortunately, the car was in park and his foot was on the brake.  My little four cylinder engine has never revved so high!!!

By the way, Osward’s salary goes toward the cost of his education.  He either wants to be a doctor or pastor.  Either way, he will be in the business of healing people and we will have played a small part in making this happen by assisting with his education.

Then on Sunday, I had the privilege of preaching in Peniel PAOGZ Church.  Peniel is lead by one of PAOGZ’s finest leaders, David Chibale.  David, like many Zambian pastors, has what he calls “spiritual sons”.  They are not his flesh and blood, but he mentors them spiritually as they come to know Jesus.  I told one of his spiritual sons yesterday not to take Pastor Chibale’s mentorship lightly as he is being mentored by one of the best!

At the end of my message, ten to twelve people responded to a call for salvation.  As they lined along the front of the church, I noticed that every single one of them was under the age of twenty.  I was reminded of the fact that mentoring a generation is one of the church’s greatest tasks.IMG_2875

During the offering response, two young men stood to do a wrap.  A wrap of that nature would split many of our Canadian churches down the middle.  In Zambia, everyone breaks out in applause.  Maybe we in Canada have something to learn from Zambia about “mentoring a generation”.

Today, MJ and I went to the airport to pick up a team of seven from Faith Tabernacle in Welland, Ontario.  Of the seven, four are between eighteen to twenty years of age.  Oh that their two weeks here will be a powerful time of mentoring through the Zambian people they will meet.

So, somehow this weekend will stand out as personal preparation for our upcoming “Mentoring a Generation” conference.  The church must find a way to make room for and prepare an incredible generation of young men and women who are coming behind us!!!!

Until next Monday…

Don

www.reinventingthechurch.com

Monday Musings 04/02/13

IMG_2841Eighteen churches under one roof…

Yesterday, I preached at a small apostolic church in Chimwemwe, Zambia!

When MJ and I arrived at the school where the church is located, the pastor proceeded to tell us that there were eighteen different churches meeting in that one school.  I am always intrigued when I preach in a setting like this.  When it is my time to speak, another church is worshipping with a mega sound system.  When I sit down, someone else in another part of the building is preaching louder then I was.

Over lunch, in the pastor’s home, I asked him how many of the churches in that school belong to a fellowship of churches and why there are so many churches springing up in Zambia.

Of the eighteen churches, only two, including the one I preached in, belong to a fellowship of churches.  As for the number of churches springing up across Zambia, the answer seems to be the same across the Continent.  In the words of the pastor, people start churches because they desire the power that comes with leadership, and the potential money that leadership provides.

Power and money are the reasons so few pastors belong to a fellowship of churches.  They avoid accountability because accountability prevents them from pursuing their own agenda.   It would also expose their lack of integrity.  This lack of accountability and integrity leads to spiritual and financial abuse as well as heretical preaching.  What an explosive combination for Kingdom disaster!!!!

I have heard so many stories of abuse.  Pastor’s who put a price on healing.  The greater the sickness, the more money you have to pay for your healing.  The words of Peter come to mind in Acts 20, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!”  Desperate times often dictate desperate measures, but it must never be at the expense of sound Biblical principles or the spiritual or physical abuse of people!!!

I can’t help think of the positive Kingdom impact that could take place if people would drop their personal agendas and come together to reach a community for Christ.  At offering time yesterday, people were placing K100 bills in the basket.  That is the equivalent of a Canadian penny.  If eighteen churches were to come together, that one Canadian penny would become eighteen, and when multiplied by the number of people in attendance, greater things could be accomplished.  Unfortunately personal agenda often supersedes Kingdom purposes.IMG_2835

Ironically, following the morning service, I ran into a former TTC student at an ice cream shop.  When I asked him what he is doing, he said that he just returned to Kitwe to start a church.  Of course my first question was to ask him which fellowship of churches he was working with, to which he sheepishly replied, “no one, I am starting my own”.  That young man and I are meeting on Wednesday at the college.  Hopefully he will listen to what I have to say.

So, the work of RTC is not done.  As stated last week, it is my prayer that we can have a part in raising a generation of integrity driven, Holy Spirit empowered leaders who will seek to fulfill God’s agenda, not their own.

Until next Monday…

Don

www.reinventingthechurch.com


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