November 2019

Click the links below to go to the article for each ministry.

Youth

Kidmin

Missions

Discipleship

Worship

Pastors

Evangelism

By: Brooke Pitman


Have you ever felt like you’re in one of those giant human size mazes full of countless twists, turns and dead-ends? You may have been to the Gran Maze in Panama City’s Coconut Creek. I have lost track of how many times my friends have talked me into paying way too much money to willingly put myself into this life size puzzle of frustration and frenzy (and a little fun). Running from one dead end to another, all in an attempt to be the first one to figure their way out of this giant sea of white walls twisting and turning in what feels like circles. If you’ve done it before, you may feel the anxiety and competitiveness rising even now.

If you’ve never done this, there are four separate towers above the white walls of the maze that have a hole punch up at the top of them. Before entering the maze, each person is handed a small card with four boxes on it that must be punched in order to be recognized as successfully completing the maze. Even if you find your way out of this Gran Maze but fail to have your card punched, you have not actually won. It is only in your ability to find the four towers and punch your card that you can boast that you have fully found your way out of this infamous “Gran Maze”!

The first time I heard God ask me if He could have my life to be used for Him in full-time ministry I was 15 years old and in the 10th grade. Although a bit nervous as to how God would use me, I said yes and instantly felt like I had just stepped into a spiritual, mental and emotional maze. I would watch powerful and anointed Pastors, teachers and missionaries stand up and speak with remarkable understanding of the Bible, travel the world and live a life full faith and I would sit back confused, asking, “How do I get from here to where I want to be…there?!”

As my High School graduation day was approaching, I could feel the pressure to make a decision about what I was going to do with my life growing inside of me. Although I had clearly heard God tell me to step into full time ministry, I was still at a loss as to what that looked like or how to walk it out as a 17 year old newly graduated student. Just like standing at the start of one of those Gran Mazes, with so many pathways and tunnels to choose from, so I felt in the next decisions of my life. So many options of schools, internships, jobs and careers. A myriad of voices speaking to me, pressuring me to “just make a decision,” all the while feeling as though every other young adult was racing past me with the answers to this “maze” in their pockets.

My brain was in constant thought with questions such as, “Which way do I turn? Is there a wrong way? What if I end up choosing the wrong career and forever live in regret? Will God be mad at me if I miss His “will” for my life?” Geez! Quite the intense internal dialogue for a 17 year old kid!

Maybe, just maybe, as you read these sentences, your heart has started to race and your breathing has become slow as you find yourself standing in the middle of your very own “Life Gran Maze”. Will you allow me to speak into your life for just a brief moment and speak some truth into you that I wish the 17 year old Brooke knew way back when? As you stare into the daunting “Life Gran Maze” hear me say…

1. Search for the Master, not the Map

The first ministry God calls us to is to Himself. A man without a prayer life has no ministry. “It’s the glory of God to conceal a matter; it’s the glory of kings to search it out (Prov. 25:2).” Begin to live out your calling right where you are, right now. It starts in our daily decision to wake up every single morning and choose to follow Jesus. On the hard days, sick days, easy days and lonely days. Your future job title, spouse, career and ministry all come from what you do with your right now. You don’t need to know everything if you know the God who does. Learn to walk closely to the Father and He will lead you through the maze. God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), but the builder of our character. He will grab you by the hand and lead you into a journey of deconstruction of “self” so that He can then reconstruct you, not into a “better version of yourself” but rather a reflection of Himself. This only happens if you spend time with Him regularly. I love what Mark Batterson says, “The plans of God are found in the presence of God.” Some things God only whispers to us in private. Get close enough to hear the Master’s whispers and He will show you the map.

2. Turn to the Towers

Proverbs says, “In the multitude of counsel there is safety.” There are many men and women who have walked this maze ahead of you and are now on the other side. As you are traversing this maze of decisions look up into the “Spiritual Towers” of the ones who have gone before you and ask them to help navigate you in the right direction. Lower your pride and allow people like your Youth Pastors, teachers, parents, Lead Pastors and other Christian Leaders to point out the dead ends that they know are around the corners. Let them lead you!

3.  Stop Worrying and Start Walking

I have watched so many young people just sit down on the call that God has for them. Some out of fear and others out of frustration. You don’t need to know all the answers right now because you are following the God who does! Look at all the promises He gives us:

“A man plans His steps but the Lord orders His ways.” (Prov 16:9)

“I know the plans I have for you…for a future and a hope…” (Jer 29:11)

“If I take care of the flowers how much more will I take care of you.” (Matt 6:30)

Whether it’s deciding between a particular college, working to save money for school, going on a missions trip, interning at your church or getting serious about your walk with Christ, put your PLANS into motion and start moving in the direction of your destination and watch God navigate your STEPS! Do the next right thing by being obedient with whatever God gives you as He gives it to you, and then trust that God is going to meet you every step of the way! Because He’s FOR you!

4. Relax, It’s Not a Race

I once heard it said, “Compare and compete and you’ll always live in defeat.” Our human nature has a horrible tendency of looking at the race others are running, and how well and how fast they are running it and feeling like we are constantly behind.

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By: Stanley Cosner


Understanding what it means to be called, and how that affects our daily life

First, let me start by saying congratulations! You are reading this article because you have begun to realize, to some extent, that you have been Called by God. This is one of the greatest realizations you can ever have. Mark Twain was right in saying, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” However, like many of us, I’m not sure that great American author fully understood the true meaning of his words. So, before we jump into talking about the specifics of being called to children’s ministry, I want to take a look at what it really means to be Called.

Have you ever felt like this?

You’re at a summer camp or youth convention, down at the altar praying, when you sense a strong impression that God has a plan for your life. You know you’re called, but you’re not sure in what direction. Or Perhaps your story is the exact opposite? You’ve felt called specifically to children’s ministry since the first time your children’s pastor let you lead a worship song on stage as an eight year old. Whether you identify with one of those examples or not, it is imperative to first understand that there is one calling that we all hold in common.

What does it mean to be called by God?

As Christians, we are all first called to Christ. This is the greatest call that will ever be on our lives! The call to pick up our cross and follow Him. (Luke 9:23) The call to follow Jesus is a lifelong journey that all Christians get to walk out; not just one reserved for those in vocational ministry. The apostle Paul describes his journey like this.  “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14)  And it is from this great Call that all other callings flow.

Before we get to our specific vocational calling, there is one other universal call that we need to look at. It is the call to make disciples. Jesus’ final command before leaving earth was to, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19) Jesus didn’t look at Mark and tell him to teach the children, then turn to John and tell him to preach to adults, while turning to Matthew and tell him lead the worship. Jesus said to make disciples. Every Christian, regardless of their vocation, is called to reach the lost. Therefore, before we can begin talking about any vocational callings, we must understand that as Christians, we are first called to follow Jesus, and then Jesus calls us to make disciples.

So, are we called to a vocational ministry?

In short, the answer is an exciting yes! The Apostle Paul describes vocational callings like this, “God gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers.” (Eph. 4:11) All of these positions are vital in a healthy church, but I look at them more as unique ways that people work together to reach the lost than individual positions to strive for. The same goes with other positions you see in the Church. Yes, some people are called to work with kids, youth, or adults, or to lead worship, play an instrument, or move to a country halfway around the world. However, we must always remember that these more specific callings flow out of the greatest callings: to follow Jesus and make disciples! These callings will always be the what and our different vocations are the how.

How does this affect today?

Understanding the difference between what we are called to and how we are called to accomplish that should give you the freedom to start walking in your calling today. If you are unsure of whether or not you are called to children’s ministry then let me take some pressure off. We are all called to the lost, and children are a kind of unreached people group who are getting to hear the Bible stories for the first time. So yes, you are called to reach children. And if you know for sure that you are called to work with children, then I would advise you not to overlook opportunities to serve where you are now just because they may not look like what you have planned.

Here is the bottom line: If you have been a Christian long enough to read this article, then you have been a Christian long enough to start walking in your calling. Take your first steps today, but don’t get too distracted in the details. How you reach people may change over time, but what you are called to do will never change.

I know this doesn’t have a ton to do with children’s ministry, but let me end by telling you this. I believe that investing in children is one of the greatest things any life could be spent doing. Children’s ministry is for anyone who is brave enough to love the ones who others overlook. And finally, one of the greatest evangelist in history, Dwight L. Moody said this at the end of his ministry: “If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God.”

Are there more resources to read on this topic?

I’m glad you asked. I hope this article is simply a small part of your lifelong journey of reading and learning. I’ll always value that, as a teenager, my senior pastor took the time to introduce me to new books and talk about them with me. So that is what I want to do with you too.  At the end of each month’s content, I will provide some books or articles that you can read to continue diving into the content.

“Understanding the Calling of God to Vocational Ministry”

This is a link to a wonderful article written by Robert and Pamela Crosby from Southeastern University.

The Call – Finding and fulfilling the central purpose of your life. by Os Guinness

“This Adventure Called Life – Discovering your Divine design.” by Kent Ingle

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By: Janelle Webster


A lot of people think that missions is a glamorous life and that it’s something that once you say “yes” to it that everything just falls into place. The reality is that when God calls us, at any age, to go to a foreign land, to learn a language that is not natural, to understand a people that don’t want you to understand them, it can be extremely hard and come with many challenges that you never even thought were possible. To add to all of this, sometimes we are called to an area of the world that the name of Jesus isn’t known or wanted, but to an area that the devil is given free reign. There may be many uncertainties, but you can rest assured that the devil will come after you when saying “yes” to Jesus.

The enemy of our souls is out on the prowl, like a lion, searching for those whom he may devour. Just because we say “yes” to living the life of a missionary doesn’t mean that we have an extra covering around us that protects us. What it does mean is that we have to cling to Jesus even more. Being in the enemy’s territory, where he is allowed and welcomed to reign, means we have to be even closer to Jesus. Not because if we aren’t close to Him then Jesus will refuse to protect and love us. But because if we aren’t close to Him and know His voice, leading and directing in our lives, then the prince of the world, Satan, has a greater advantage to mold us and shape us into what he wants.

When we are living “on mission” in our lives, the enemy notices. This is why being faithful to cultivating a relationship with Jesus before ever making the “mission commitment” is so important.

  • You MUST know what the voice of Jesus sounds like in your life.
  • You MUST know that He called you to this life. You MUST have a clear understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done in your life.
  • There will be MANY times when you are on the mission field that you regret the decision to go or question whether it was really Jesus that asked this of you. This is normal.

BUT…

Please don’t let me talk you out of going because I am giving you the truth of how hard it will be. It will be hard and frustrating, but it will also be just as glorious and amazing. When we step out in obedience, Jesus shows up. When we say “yes” and walk that out, miracles happen, seeds are planted, people are saved and set free.

All of you reading this are not about to leave for the mission field tomorrow, and maybe not in the next couple months. If you haven’t started really digging into who Jesus is in your life, then I want to encourage you to start now…like, right now!! I say RIGHT NOW because that is how important it is…not just on the mission field, but in our everyday lives.

Many people might tell you to set a timer and start reading your Bible or try to pray for at least 15-20 minutes a day. To me, this just means that when that timer goes off I am checking off a box of something that I had to do that day. My advice is to open your Bible and just start reading. Really read it. Don’t just skim over it, but take what it is saying line by line. Pray through what you are reading. Talk to Jesus about how to apply it to your life. Use commentaries and the dictionary to really get the meaning behind what you are reading. Attend a Bible study and talk through what you are reading with different people.

But, also, breathe deep and relax, because we will never have an “aha, I am ready for the mission field” moment because we worked hard and our relationship with Jesus is at a certain level. But, being deep in Him will equip us to be effective missionaries and work through all of the hard times and marvelous times that we missionaries will experience when being obedient in foreign lands.

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By: Ben Pitman


The Unseen History… Becoming a Witness

We’ve read the scripture “And you shall be my witnesses!” (Acts 1:8)

“I want to be a good witness!” You reply. “What do I do?”

What does it mean to be a witness? How do I witness what I have not seen? How do I describe what I have seen? These 2 questions have some incredibly practical answers and, if applied, will make you a powerful influence to this world!

The Unseen

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

—2 Corinthians 4:18.

How can something touchable and seen be less real than unseen? I have never seen my thoughts, but they are very real. I will never see history (like the Vietnam War or FSU winning a championship) for ourselves, but we can say with certainty, this history happened and even that we are a product of this history. If we discard history as untouchable, we would be fools. Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

Although we are not direct witnesses of the cross, we are still able to share our encounters with God as a legitimate witness.

  • God’s History and;
  • Your History with God

God’s History

Learn the Bible and its story, and you will be a powerful witness. While God may change what he does, he will never change who he is, God is the same always. Luke worked really hard to compile firsthand witness accounts (Luke 1:1-2) of Jesus to write his gospel. He, as a non-witness builds a case for Jesus being the undisputed champion of the universe (or savior). Our faith and witness grows as we compile the biblical stories to get the true picture of who God is. While we can never repeat history, we can learn from it; all that we need to know about God is in the Bible. We do not have the privilege of being first hand witnesses of the gospel of Jesus, or any other story in the Bible. We were not there for his death, burial or resurrection. We were not there with his disciples when he appeared to them and we were not there in the upper room when the Spirit was poured out on the 120 disciples.

What we have is the historic testimony of scripture. One of the steps to becoming a great witness is knowing the testimony of the Bible. Knowing the stories of scripture; being able to describe salvation; having an increasing knowledge of the works and nature of God.

When I encountered God, I had desire to know him according to his word. If we are to speak to others as a witness, we must become expert witnesses of the history and word of God.

My History With God

There is nothing more life changing than encountering the one true God. It may come out of the blue. It may come in a moment, just when you needed it. It may be simple to describe and it may be too great for words. However it comes, we need to find the words to describe the deliverance God has given us. Famed revivalist and evangelist Leonard Ravenhill was famous for saying, “What have you been saved from?” His point was, if you have been saved, the sin that enslaved you is no longer your master. Instead, that title belongs to Jesus.

If you have been saved, you are now a witness to the power, authority and salvation of Jesus. Tell people what Jesus has done in, for, to, or through you and you are surely his witness. With this in mind, learn to tell people what God has done for you.

Whether you are telling people of the power of God in scripture or the power of God in your life personally, you have become a witness of Jesus. Do this, never stop, and you will not shrink in your ability to reach people. We have not been called to save people. We cannot even convince people of the reality of Jesus in history, just be a witness to what God has done.

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By: Danny Davis


The call is one of the most honored things a child of God can experience. This is not something that you should take lightly or brag about. It is a very humbling experience as a servant of God. Not all are called!

Not everyone is in a position or relationship with God that he can entrust the call being placed on their life. I feel that too many look on those who are really called and see it as a glamorous, exalted, or prestigious position. The very opposite is the reality of this call. For you to be called, you cannot just desire the call for personal gain, position or easy job. It is God seeing in you something he desires to use.

The call is not an easy task, but one of the most humbling places we, as a children of God, can be in. I take the call as a very serious responsibility that is placed on a child of God’s life. The call is on your life. We will deal with your life and call in a later blog.

In the process of seeking God for a word for this blog, my prayer time and Bible reading took me to the life of David. David was the second king of Israel, God’s Chosen People. In Acts 13:22 …

I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.

Those called today still have this said about them. The first part of this verse is sometimes overlooked. Someone was removed from a position for David to be called to this position of leadership over God’s people. The verse begins by saying …

“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony…”

In this case, Saul had to be removed from this honorable position. God will have someone to lead His people, His church, and His ministries, and if one fails to lead to the standard of God, He will remove Him and replace Him with another. A question that God spoke to me while studying and praying was: Whose call do you have because someone else was rejected or removed the anointing and call that was given to you. David’s call was due to Saul’s rejection. Saul had been the most fit person in his day for the call, or the anointing of God to lead God’s people. I Samuel 9:2 says he was a

“choice young man, a goodly; and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he…”

When looking for a person to lead, Saul was the person. Both man and God looked at him and said he is the one for the task of leading Israel. However, we find in I Samuel 15:10-11 that Saul’s leadership become unfit for God’s children. God, through His messenger Samuel tried to give him council and direction. Saul refused to take the council of the man of God and God refused Him and His leading God’s people. I Samuel 15:23-28 Saul was rejected and God started looking for a new leader for His people.

I Samuel 15:35 is a scary verse. God still desires the best leaders for his people. When one cannot fulfill the position to God’s standard, God will remove the anointing and give it to another. Your call is to carry an anointing to do the task, job, or ministry that God needs you to fill. You are not just called by chance, but for the divine purpose of God for a task He has and will enable you to completely fulfill with the excellence that God requires.

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By: Charlie Perkins


What cool songs are you doing this week? One key aspect of Worship Ministry is creating worship sets. There are many technical elements to consider: key choice, thematic continuity, etc. But I’ll save that topic for another day.

Probably the most important question to answer in a worship set is, what is the Theology that is being presented. I saw a tweet the other day that has really got me thinking. It went like this: “If over the course of a year, the only theology people heard was from your set lists, would people really know God?” – Bob Kauflin

I mean think about what this is saying. If every Sunday people showed up and there was no preaching would the worship service give people a good theological look at the person we are worshiping? Jesus! Is it a balanced diet of the many wonderful aspects of Christ? Does it carry the foundational elements of the death, burial and resurrection? Would it tell people of God’s grace and mercy? What about His amazing love and kindness? What about His soon return?

You know, the key ingredients that point people to Jesus and cause them to have life change. When people walk through the doors of our churches they not only need to hear a message or sermon that unfolds the Gospel and mobilizes people to advance the Kingdom of God. They also need a worship service that us full of passion and theology. The early church would actually teach doctrine through worship. Colossians 3:16 says,

“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

The word teaching here is the same word that is used in Colossians 1:28 that says,

“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

The scriptures make the point here that worship should teach good theology just as much as a sermon does, and that both worship and sermons are used to bring balanced doctrine in peoples lives. We should first filter our worship sets through this thought process. Making sure we give people a balanced view of the awesome person of Jesus Christ. His greatness, His power, His desire for communion and relationship with us.

The Lord is seeking worshipers that will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Let your worship services be full of the Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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By: Melissa Robinson


Discipleship ministry tends to flow into other ministries, and truly the reason for that is because we all need to be disciples and we all need to be making disciples. Maybe you feel called to discipleship ministry specifically, or maybe you don’t. Either way, as I mentioned, as Christians we are all called to be disciples and to make disciples. To some people that sounds extremely difficult, and to some it sounds easy – for many Christians it’s “easier” to be a disciple than it is to make disciples. Before I dig deeper into being a disciple vs making disciples, I want to break down the word disciple. What does that word actually mean?

Being a disciple of Jesus is more than just saying a prayer to accept Christ as your Savior. Dare I say, it’s more than just going to church on Sunday and Wednesday, going to special church events, listening to Christian music, and even reading through the Bible. It’s more than reading Christian books, wearing Christian themed clothing or jewelry, or even posting Christian sayings or Bible verses on social media. The definition for the word disciple is, “one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another”. Let’s break down the word doctrine by looking at that definition as well: “a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief.” So put simply, disciples accept the Gospel (the doctrine) of Jesus Christ, live in accordance with the Bible, and share the Gospel with others. Therefore, ALL Christians, by that definition, are disciples. Becoming a disciple though is a constant process of growth, but why is it important? The reason discipleship is important, both in being a disciple and going out and discipling others is, in part, because it is a commandment of Christ. It’s also important because if we aren’t being discipled and making disciples, we aren’t growing. And when something stops growing, it starts dying. A lack of growth and discipleship generally signals that our relationship with God is losing its importance in our lives.

It’s great to know what it means to be a disciple, but it’s another thing to actually be a disciple. Being a disciple of Jesus occurs when we intentionally seek to grow in our likeness of Christ. Before we can ever go out and make disciples, helping others grow in their faith, we must first be disciples ourselves. You may be thinking, “But I am called into ministry. That’s why I am even reading this.” You’re right! But no matter where you are in your walk with God it’s important to be reminded of the importance of continuously growing to be like Jesus! It’s very easy to become consumed with doing things for Him that we forget to be with Him, to just spend time praying without asking for anything, but simply praying to hear from the very God who called you to begin with. Once you’re saved, being a disciple of Jesus has a number of different aspects to it, but one of the biggest aspects is spending time with God. The way He speaks to each of us is different, but that’s another topic for another time.

My challenge to you: Take some time this week, and every week, to pray and talk with Jesus so that you can begin to know how He speaks to you. This will greatly impact your life as a disciple of Jesus.

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