Pray BFF#38                                             January 24, 2003

Dear Prayer Team,

Wading into the Deep

God has given us so much to share with you! From BFF's inception, there has been a steady development of material with a strong emphasis on training. We have always desired to be part of the process that God uses to greatly strengthen the church worldwide and thus finish His Great Commission in this generation. We sense that we have turned a corner, and have a better glimpse of how that might work out practically. Today we will speak of BFF's Vision.

Your prayers are essential both in protecting us as well as in advancing His Word during this time. Please pray on!

The Vision

Each of us know what a bottleneck is. The neck is the narrowest part of a bottle. Nothing larger than the diameter of the neck is able to fit into the bottle. The church's bottleneck is our concept and method of training leaders and workers.

Churches normally rely on outside resources to train new leaders. Because of this, the church lacks a sense of responsibility and faith that it could or should train up her own leaders. The church doesn't do very well in training people how to serve. How many people have been asked to teach Sunday School without any training? How many of you have been shown how to have a quality devotional time? This results in three crucial problems: Overworked pastors, a small group of overloaded key leaders, and the people in the pew undermobilized. Instead of being equipped to deploy new leaders, we end up struggling to maintain our established churches.

BFF started tackling this problem by asking: What kind of leaders does God want and the church need? What kind of leaders are being produced? The difference is like night and day. The church wants men passionate for God, godly examples at home, practical preaching from God's Word, experienced with visitation, knows how to counsel couples, etc. New pastors are dismayed to find that they are often ill-equipped to do the job for which they were hired.

What does the Lord want in His shepherds? What is it that the disciples learned from Jesus in those three short 'training' years that equipped them to reach out to, feed and care for the sheep?

The materials that BFF has developed over these last years have enabled us to better understand how the Lord wants to train or make disciples of all His people including leaders. We seek out what God wants and then by His grace and wisdom discern what faith, attitudes, passion and skills are needed. The vision is to help implement these courses of training that will enable brothers and sisters to be equipped to serve as quickly as possible, with as little financial stress as possible. This includes the training of pastors and missionaries.

The church leaders do not understand that they are the best ones to train their own (Eph 4:11-12) rather than some distant professional. The Lord desires to restore the local church's faith to train our young men. Once the church accepts this responsibility, she will start praying and seeking the Lord to enable them to accomplish it. Leaders will have to go back and rethink their whole process: that training must start at home by parents and then be expanded by gifted and burdened church leaders.

Once leaders are growing in numbers and quality, they in turn can train others. This sets a momentum going that will lead to the expansion of God's kingdom around the world.

I saw this model work on a smaller scale in my own life when I as a father took responsibility to be a father and train my children in God's Word as we are supposed to do. Once I accepted this responsibility from the Lord, I sought Him, and found the resources and wisdom needed to do this. This changed my life and the life of my family. May God give grace and pour out a new understanding on His churches to take responsibility for training their own leaders.

The parable about the hidden talent speaks powerfully to our situation. The Lord holds us accountable for the wise or unwise use of our resources for His glory.

“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ (Matthew 25:26-28, NASB).

Our Western churches are more like the servant with ten talents. May God raise up this His people now!

(Please contact Paul if you would like more information.)

We need your prayers!

Thanks to God!

Requests to God

God has been granting extra clarity for understanding where BFF is headed.

Praise God! We believe God has given us a way to apply for grants even though we are not a legal non-profit.

Thank the Lord for helping Paul 'kick off' the Genesis course, with assignments and quizzes. It has been a lot of work, difficult but fantastic. Want to join in?

Our family is physically better.

Surprising readership of well over 1,000 pages in the last two days! Probably cold-induced (been very cold in some parts)!

Special grace to help discern God's guidance in the last two months.

Praise God a rough parenting outline has been easily produced. Plan to start teaching in March.

Pray God would shield us from enemy attacks as we begin to relate God's vision for the church.

Divine wisdom on steps to take to develop material to teach and distribute this vision.

Ask God to raise up many church leaders who would accept responsibility to equip/train their own people.

God's blessing as we again initiate the process for applying for grants.

Ask God for resources for those who are translating BFF's materials into other languages such as Pastor Stephen in India into the Telugu language.

Continue to pray for grace upon the three teachers of Genesis (Daniel, Philip and Paul).

Ask God to touch each of the 300+ people that are now daily viewing BFF's web materials.

Serving Together for the Glory of God,

Paul and Linda
Biblical Foundation for Freedom

Write to Paul with your comments:

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