Leverage Your Kingdom Impact by Having Your Gift Doubled!

Double Investment2Dear Friends and Partners,

Would you please send us a donation today? I know I’m being blunt, but here’s why it’s so urgent…

  1. A Christian foundation has sent us $25,000 to expand our work in an Asian country that is hostile to Christ and his Church. Great news, right? Well yes, but… there’s a catch.

  2. We can’t spend it.They’ve designated it a matching gift. That means we have to raise an additional $25,000 from friends like you in order to be able to use their $25,000.

Here’s the good news: your gift will have double the impact.

That’s a 100% increase on your Kingdom investment—where else can you get that type of financial return? Plus, you’ll be laying up treasures in heaven, where the reward will be far greater!!!!

What will we do with the money?

Rakhine Students in Small Group Study of Hermeneutics

Some of our students in Southeast Asia studying Scripture and hermeneutics

To help pastors like “Noah”, who lives in a country we work in. Upon first hearing the gospel, Noah and his fellow villagers tore down their idols and altars… even before they really understood the gospel. The village witch doctor (Noah’s father) searched a neighboring province to learn more about this Jesus. He found one Bible, one songbook and two cassette tapes. That’s all the resources he had to shepherd these babes in Christ.

The tribe tapped Noah to become their pastor and evangelist since he had been training to become their next witch doctor. He told us:

“A 15-minute daily shortwave broadcast from the Philippines was my only training to become the leader of 11 village churches.  I desperately need more training so I can be a better leader of my people.”

Doubling the impact of your gift is nice, but far more importantly, you will be helping Noah and many other oppressed and under-resourced pastors in his country. By extension, you’ll help nourish the souls of thousands of Christ-followers in their churches. That’s worth $25 or $50 or $100 or $500, isn’t it? To make your tax-exempt donation, please donate online at

Donate.LeadershipResources.org

and choose the Designation “Other” and type in “Asia/MG” to have your gift matched! The last day to have your gift matched is July 31, 2014. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to strengthen needy churches in the Word of God!

With gratitude in Christ,

1410dc9Craig Parro
President of Leadership Resources International

Double My Gift

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The Assumption That Our Churches Can’t Afford

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An article was published recently on The Gospel Coalition by Jen Wilkin called, “The Assumption We Cannot Afford.” The assumption she warned against was assuming that people in our congregations know how to read the Bible for themselves.

Wilkin’s first glimpse of the degree of this neglect was after leading a year-long women’s Bible study and being overwhelmed with comments saying, “I’ve been in church for years, but no one has taught me to study my Bible until now.”

We often hear the same types of comments from pastors we train. While these comments can be very encouraging on the one hand about the importance and effectiveness of our training, they are also profoundly discouraging when thinking about the lack of training many pastors have.

Wilkin continues,

Church leaders, I fear we have made a costly and erroneous assumption about those we lead. I fear that in our enthusiasm to teach about finances, gender roles, healthy relationships, purity, culture wars, and even theology we have neglected to build foundational understanding of the Scriptures among our people…When we offer topical help–even if the topic is doctrine–without first offering Bible literacy, we attempt to furnish a house we have neglected to construct.

All Christians should have a solid foundation of Scriptural truth and a working knowledge of how to read the Bible. The Bible can be confusing and hard to understandPastors must teach their people the Bible and how to study the Bible for themselves.

Doing this will help their congregation more faithfully feed themselves the Word of God during the week and not rely on the knowledge or abilities of others. The more people get into the Bible for themselves, the more God will use it to sanctify them and prepare them for their own ministry (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and the more people will understand why the Psalmist could say the Word is more to be desired than gold and sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:10).

The results of our training are much like how Jen Wilkin describes the women she equipped as excited, “well-watered plants after a drought…finally being given some tools to build Bible literacy.

And yet so many church goers are plants still in a drought, so many pastors and church leaders are not being equipped or nourished with God’s Word. We recently heard a confession of a Honduran pastor who said that for thirty-five years in ministry (before receiving our training) he had been preaching nothing.

Does that break your heart? Hearing that story broke our hearts but encouraged us that God would not give up on this man but equip him for his remaining years in ministry through receiving training in the Word through Leadership Resources.

Will you pray with us that God would equip and nourish His people with His Word all over the world and have it increase and prevail mightily (Acts 19:20)? Would you pray for pastors like Rolando in Oaxaca, Mexico, a man who desperately longed to be trained in God’s Word and had God answer his prayer by sending Leadership Resources?

The Word of God is sufficient to do the work of God. It is our job to make it and its’ life-giving message accessible and understandable to others. We thank God for His power displayed in His Word!

Browse our site for more information about Leadership Resources or Training National Trainers.
Learn about how you and your church can impact a nation by sponsoring pastoral training.
Donate to Leadership Resources to advance and strengthen biblical ministry worldwide.

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The World Cup in Light of Eternity

The World Cup in Light of Eternity

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages…” (Revelation 7:9)

That sounds a lot like the World Cup, right? It is actually the Apostle John’s description of heaven in the book of Revelation. In God’s providence, I began reading through the book of Revelation as the Cup began and was struck at how many parallels I saw between worship in heaven and the World Cup on earth.

With the excitement and details of this World Cup quickly fading into the past, my heart was led by John’s description of heaven to look forward to something enduring, something greater, and something truly glorious.

As you reflect on the world gathering around a soccer competition, let your eyes and heart be drawn to the all-surpassing greatness of God and the glory of His eternal gospel.

The World Cup in Light of Eternity

Pursuing an Eternal Prize

Athletes and coaches dedicate much of their life to chase a trophy made of gold that will not last forever. Our faith, which is of greater worth than gold (1 Peter 1:7) secures for us our ultimate prize that is, “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). We will not win trophies–but crowns–which we will cast before the throne of God in worship.

“They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:10-11

Singing Eternal Songs

The jubilant victory songs of our nations’ teams will be replaced by new songs of worship to our God. These songs will be new because they will praise God for work He has yet to do. These songs will focus on the glory of God and His goodness to us in the gospel.

““Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10

Wearing Eternal Attire

Jerseys, face paint, and ridiculous outfits show the love that World Cup fans have for their country. Others wave large flags or banners to add to their celebration and allegiance. Citizens of heaven will celebrate the washing of our sins away by wearing white robes and waving palm branches to celebrate the King who redeemed His people.

“…standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-11

Enjoying Eternal Peace

While the world uniting at the World Cup may seem like a diplomatic victory, there are still nations cut off due to access, size, or for political reasons. The Gospel is different and does what man can never do through sport or anything else. Christ will gather from every nation a people to worship Him forever, bringing perfect peace to those who follow Him.

“All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:4

Witnessing Eternal Justice

Like most things in our Genesis 3 world, the World Cup groans for justice and completion. Bad officiating, cheating, corruption, waste, and human trafficking due to the event scream injustice and reveal how badly we long for God’s righteous judgment and shalom on earth. We can be confident that God will execute His perfect judgment and make things right.

Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!” Revelation 16:6

Rejoicing in Eternal Victory

The victor’s crown in the World Cup will last only four years and does nothing to help in future matches. Christ is the ultimate victor who has vanquished the devil by conquering sin and death. We will share in the victory of our Lord in the future and have His power now to fight sin and live holy lives. Because of Christ’s victory, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) and can share in His glory forever and ever.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.”” Revelation 19:6

It’s Not Eternity Yet

We live in the already but not yet. As we set our gaze on eternity, let’s not forget that we still have work to do. Here are a few questions to ponder as you think about the remainder of your life on earth:

  • What is your ultimate prize? The answer to this question will reveal who and what you serve. Make your ultimate prize like the Apostle Paul’s: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

 

  • What are you celebrating? We should celebrate the person of Christ and the glorious salvation that comes only in Him in our lives, homes, and churches. Don’t let a football match or worldly gain get you more excited than being found righteous in Christ and freed from God’s judgment.

 

  • How are you promoting peace and justice? While we will never have perfect peace and justice until heaven, we can show this world a preview of God’s perfect Kingdom here on earth by acting justly and showing mercy in a variety of ways both personally and as a church body.

 

  • Are you living in the confidence of Christ’s victory? Ultimate victory in Christ should impact our love for Him, our pursuit of holiness, our boldness in sharing the gospel, and how we endure suffering as servants of Christ. Is Christ’s victory making a daily difference in your life?

As the excitement of the World Cup dwindles and you life returns to normal, may these thoughts drive you to live in light of your future home and proclaim with the multitudes, “Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!”

Come, Lord Jesus!

Leadership Resources International trains pastors in the US and all over the world to preach the Word of God with the heart of God and proclaim Christ from all of Scripture. Learn more about the work God is doing through His Word in AfricaAsia, and Latin America.

If you want to help us proclaim God’s name among the nations, join us in our ministry by making a donationbecoming an Anchor Church, or praying for our work around the world.

Author: Kevin Halloran. You can follow Kevin on Twitter.

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