Revival? In America?

This last week it was a joy to see the Spirit of God touch hearts and bring a revival to Christians and draw the unsaved into the family of God. But the capstone of the week was a teen outreach with Dr. Tom Farrell. After weeks of invitations to a dodge ball tournament, over 180 teenagers attended consuming 45 pizzas. 100 of the teens were visitors. What happened next reminded us of something that we saw in “Facing the Giants” when an elderly prayer warrior told the coach to “prepare his fields for rain!”

On Wednesday and Thursday many of our teens skipped lunch and fasted and prayed – most fasting for the first time in their life. Here is an email I received the day of the outreach from Brandon Joyner, our youth director, to our staff:

“After our prayer time with the teens last night, I have received nonstop emails and texts from people letting me know that they are bringing visitors. John Caras said that he has received text messages all morning from kids at Spring-ford High School wanting to know if they can come. I ordered an additional 25 pizzas. Please take a moment and pray for the hearts of the teens. God is working. This reminds me of two farmers that prayed for rain. One prayed and went inside and waited for the rain, the other prepared his field for the rain. We are preparing our field for the rain. Glory to God, Brandon Joyner.”

After the tournament, Br. Farrell preached a lengthy salvation message to these young people. He then led them in the salvation prayer and asked if they were serious to follow him to the back to receive Christian literature and assurance verses. 67 teens followed him to the back. More than a dozen youth leaders took small groups to talk to these teens about their decision for the Lord.

What is the fruit of all of this? Our VFBT teens have never been more excited about seeing the power of God in their lives. One of the girls, who was saved that night, led an unsaved friend to Christ this week and asked if her Christian friend would lead a Bible study at the lunch at the public school. Yes, God is still at work in America. He has not abandoned us – let’s make sure we don’t abandon Him or His work!

What is a Church Supposed to Do?

A mission statement has become a popular tool for businesses to clearly communicate the purpose of their existence.  Here are some of the mission statements of some of the largest companies in the world.

Mission Statements of Businesses:

Google:  Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Facebook:  Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Microsoft:  Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Skype:  Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.

Disney:  The mission of the Walt Disney Co. is to be one of the world’s leading producers of entertainment and information… we seek to develop the most creative, innovative, and profitable entertainment experiences.

Many in the secular world have the ability to clearly communicate their mission.  The Lord Jesus Christ had this same ability when He gave His disciples their mission statement.  The mission of the church is to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20).  Over the years many followers of Christ have redefined His mission.  Christians belong to Jesus Christ – we are His followers, not the other way around.  We have “no right” to redefine the purpose of the church.  Our responsibility is to believe and obey His Great Commission!

What is the Great Mission of the church?

If the Great Commission is to “Make Disciples” (followers of Jesus Christ), how do we do that?
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus used three participles to explain how to make a follower of Christ:  going, baptizing, and teaching.  For someone to become a follower of Christ, it is not enough to just become a Christian, nor is it enough to get baptized.  A true follower/disciple of Christ is someone who has made a commitment to follow Christ (be saved), then get baptized after making that commitment (Acts 2:41), and then to continually grow spiritually by learning the Word of God.

Simply Put

One of the clearest ways to define what a church family is supposed to do is: evangelism and edification.  Every Christian is to be involved in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Evangelism = Soul Winning                   Edification = Soul Building

On April 30th- May 4th, Valley Forge Baptist will be hosting our 25th Annual Missions Conference.  It truly is our most important week of the year for our church family.  Someone wisely said, “A missions conference is a church in a business meeting deciding the fate of the heathen.”  How will you vote?  Come meet some very special people who are willing to leave all that is familiar in our country to take the Gospel to those in foreign lands.
It’s going to take the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to get the job done of reaching our world with the Gospel.
A man strolling on the beach spotted a young boy who was tossing starfish back into the ocean.  Along the shore were many starfish that had been washed up by the tide and were sure to die before the tide returned.  He watched as the little fella picked up another of the dying starfish that had washed ashore.  He chided the boy, ““I have been watching what you are doing, son. You have a good heart, and I know you mean well, but you’ll never save all those starfish.  Does it really make any difference what you’re doing?”  The little boy looked up from the starfish he held in his hand and as he gently tossed it back into the ocean, he said, “It makes a difference to this one!”

Like this boy, what you do with your life does make a difference in reaching the world with the Gospel. The question is….  Will you make a difference with your life?  Will you be a part of what the church is supposed to do?