Most of you know I’m really a big time technology guy - so it may shock you to hear that in some ways I hate technology. Yep, tis true. See the interwebs :) allow every hack with a laptop equal voice. In fact, even more, some folks with no training in the Word, and even less respect for it end up with MORE voice because they put themselves out there with a blog, videos, social media connections. So a guy who has spent his time training himself in tech with style can have greater voice among the masses than a brother who has spent thousands of hours studying and learning and living the True Riches of the Word.
One of the byproducts of this is that good brethren who are interested in Truth see so much drama surrounding false teaching that they begin to feel alone and like the “brotherhood” is lost. But just like the Elisha cousins (2 Kings 6) we pray God would open their eyes to the world that is of God.
For instance, while there are a little less than 50 “churches of Christ” who have introduced the use of the instrument in their worship in the last 10 years in the US there are over 11,000 in the US who have not. But because the voice of those who are practicing such is so loud via blogs, wedsite, social media and video it makes it seem like many more. And while the church in many (not all) places in the US is experiencing a time of net zero numerical growth (which I’d note that while I have spent my life promoting growth we durst not forget that such is not the measure of God’s approval) the Kingdom of our Lord is growing exponentially in MANY places around this globe - most of which we may never see - but God does.
Rest assured His Word sent forth does not return void. Be encouraged.
May I take a moment for a Paul and Barnabas example (Acts 14) and share with you two great works I knew nothing of 6 months ago but that blow me away in consideration of the fact that this is happening globally?
CENTRAL AMERICA: I was asked to come teach personal workers and preachers in one branch of a small obscure school that has many branches. Even with all of my connections I had never heard of the school. I had 30 students that I taught 4 hours a day for a week. In order to graduate from their school you have to not only go through the two year program but while in school 3 out of every 4 weekends you go on a campaign and in order to graduate you have to have had conducted at least 600 one on one personal Bible studies with people who are not Christians! They have a third year program that they use to train the students in a skill or craft so that the person does not spend their life depending on support from someone in the US. They contact area merchants, artisans, professionals who invite the student for a one year apprenticeship. And that is just one of so many such efforts that explain why the church is exploding in Central America without so much of our US drama.
AFRICA: I was asked to come to teach evangelists one week in “Preacher and His Work” the week before they graduated. One of my assignments was to have them talk about what they want the Lord to do with their lives. It was emotional charging to hear names of villages, tribes, cities they want to reach that before have been unreachable. On Saturday i spoke at their graduation ceremony and then got to spend some time with 2 of the 150 or so graduates they have graduated in about 10 years in one of the three branches of the school there. Now, this is just one man’s short story. He graduated in 2007 and went back home to his city and started evangelizing and preaching. He has established 8 churches and then realized that he CAN ONLY preach 8 times on a Sunday (ha!!!). So he determined that he needed to start his own preacher training school so he could train guys to preach in the churches he planted and to plant more. He has about 20 students!
See, folks, God is Good! That’s just two from one little guy - God is bigger and more than we will see in this life and so is HIS Work! So here’s to less drama and fear and more honor and glory to God who will do MORE than we can ever think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)! Open our eyes God. Be encouraged.