Amplify Conference at Wheaton College

 

Amplify Conference of Evangelism at Wheaton College, June 28-30, 2016

 

I plan to participate in this conference.

  • WHO IS SPONSORING THE AMPLIFY CONFERENCE?

    The event is sponsored by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College. The BGCE exists to lead the conversation on evangelism by training, resourcing, and mobilizing followers of Jesus to share their faith; networking leaders; researching best practices; engaging thought leaders; and launching strategic ministry initiatives.

  • WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AMPLIFY?

    Many in church leadership positions want to help those in their care to increase their gospel witness and prioritize evangelism. Unfortunately, as our world changes so quickly, strategies for making this happen often cannot keep pace. We are coming together to lead the conversation in evangelism and then implement a renewal of evangelism in our local churches. We will be sharing research, platforming speakers, and conducting breakouts to move the conversation about evangelism and the local church forward. The event will feature a mix of plenary speakers, case studies, research, breakout sessions, and networking times.

  • WHO SHOULD ATTEND AMPLIFY?

    Amplify is for anyone in a church leadership position or in a position outside the local church setting where you are seeking to weave an evangelism ethos into your own life or the lives of others. The conference is intended to equip and inspire you personally and as you lead others in developing a lifestyle of gospel witness.

  • WILL THERE BE FOLLOW UP TO AMPLIFY?

    Amplify is an annual national conference. In between gatherings, we will be producing and sending out evangelism training, research, and leadership resources regularly. We will also be developing networks of leaders who bond together with a vision for becoming ongoing learning communities and cohorts that gather annually at the conference to make progress.

  • More info is avaliable at http://www.amplifyconference.tv/

 

 

 

 

Global Outreach Day May 21

Editors note: This article was first posted by By

Global Outrach Day

Global Outreach Day

Global Outreach Day
May 21
Across the World

There are five million fewer people claiming to be Christians today compared to nine years ago, according to a recent Pew Research Study. This May, millions of Christians are rallying together to change this trend by proactively engaging in conversations about their faith in Jesus Christ.

On May 21, believers across the U.S. will unite through a commitment to share the Gospel with at least one person during Global Outreach Day. Cru, an interdenominational Christian evangelism organization, is supporting Global Outreach Day by encouraging Christians to share their personal stories and introduce God’s story to others.

Global Outreach Day provides Christians with extra confidence to share their faith with others, knowing they are joined in their efforts by millions around the world. In 2015, 1.7 million people made decisions to commit their lives to Jesus as a result of Global Outreach Day efforts, and more than 43.2 million Gospel tracts were distributed.

While some Christians may desire to share their faith but feel unprepared, Cru provides resources and programs tailored for people from all walks of life.

Apostolic Healing vs Local Church Healing

Differences between Evangelistic (or Apostolic) and Pastoral (Local Church) Healing  I’m writing to encourage pastors and church members. We often think healing should look like the miracles in the Bible. We tend to get discouraged when things turn out differently than expected. I’m offering a fresh paradigm which, I hope, will inaugurate a flood of supernatural healing based on a clearer understanding of God and the Bible.  What are some differences between evangelistic or apostolic healing and pastoral (local church) healing? 1 God has given a wonderful, yet distinct, anointing to pastors and local church members that differs from evangelists and apostles. For example, churches have a special grace to care for the flock of God on a long-term basis. On the other hand, evangelists and apostles generally have the gift of miracles, a gift which most pastors lack. It only makes sense that the different gifts and anointings lead to differences in the way healing functions. 2 The evangelistic and apostolic ministries are linked primarily to justification. Their burden is to see unbelievers saved and brought into God’s kingdom. On the other hand, pastoral healing is linked primarily to sanctification. The pastor’s burden is to see believers grow in kingdom living. 3 Healing in the Bible (Jesus Christ being the chief apostle and example of an evangelist) is generally immediate. Pastoral healing may be immediate, yet is often gradual. Pastoral healing often begins as a “seed” in the inner man, in the spirit, and must be fueled by faith in order to manifest in the body. Faith without works is dead. I’m convinced many are healed, but are not aware of it because they expect an immediate physical manifestation.  Related to this issue of immediate verses gradual healing is the fact that the itinerant evangelist often has one opportunity to bring healing; the pastor can pray repeatedly for a sick man until he gets well. 4 Evangelistic and apostolic healing take place regardless of the spiritual condition of the diseased person. Consider Matthew 4:23 where Jesus was “going about in all Galilee . . . healing very kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.” Imagine all the varied spiritual conditions of those He healed. Some were good men; some may have been wife-beaters. Some may have been homosexuals, some child neglectors, some adulterers or fornicators. Yet Jesus healed them all without attempting to deal with the causes of pains or diseases. Pastoral healing in the local church must often deal with the spiritual condition of the sufferer. Notice Pastor James in 5:16, “Confess your sins one to another . . . so that you may be healed.” Forgiveness, repentance, reconciliation are conditions for health in the local church. The pastor and the local church are uniquely qualified to deal with such issues. 5 Evangelistic and apostolic healing take place regardless of the cause of the disease. Traveling ministries generally don’t have time nor grace to deal with the causes of disease. Pastoral healing must often take into account the spiritual, psychological, and emotional causes of disease. Some studies show 80 percent of hospital beds are filled by people with emotionally induced sickness. Unresolved anxiety is a major contributor to both cancer and heart-disease. Pastors must initiate long-term solutions by dealing with underlying causes of disease. 6 Again, evangelistic and apostolic healing take place regardless of the cause of the disease. Pastors need to identify and help people with both the natural causes and the natural remedies of disease. Toxic overload, obesity, lack of exercise, etc. are all natural causes of disease. People may get healed, but unless the natural cause of sickness is dealt with, the sickness often returns.  Bernie Blaskowski is an example of local church healing from heart disease. His health and healing today resulted from a series of processes over time. Lifestyle change, weight loss, medical intervention, and prayer, all played a role. Perhaps most significant of all, Bernie took personal responsibility for his health which resulted in his dramatic healing. In his pastoral epistle Paul instructs Timothy to “use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent aliments (I Timothy 5:23). Can you imagine Jesus in the middle of the multitude advising, “Drink more grape juice and you will be healed.” Of course not. The evangelistic and pastoral gifts are not the same. Each is wonderful, each is from God, and each is distinct.  7 Apostles and evangelists are given strong healing ministries to bring unsaved people into the kingdom of God. God requires nothing from unbelievers except openness to Christ.  God gives pastors strong healing ministries to help believers grow up as kingdom people. God expects His children to grow up in faith and take personal responsibility for their own healing.  While this article identifies distinctions between various ministries, the differences are not absolute. Evangelists or apostles may occasionally oversee a long-term healing process for some individual. Pastors and local churches also experience immediate and dramatic miracles of healing. In fact, the gift of miracles (1 Cor 12:10) is a local church ministry and needs to be developed in New Testament churches.  This article identifies distinctions between various ministries, yet there are also similarities. All healing is from God. All stem from the cross of Christ, and all need to be motivated by God’s love. May we be encouraged by the calling God has given to each. May we see a flood of divine healing released in and through the church to the glory of God!

What are the differences between apostolic healing and pastoral healing?

I submit there are differences between apostolic healing and local church (pastoral) healing. When these are understood pastors and local church members will be encouraged, gifts will be released, and a flood of healings will ensue.

I’m writing to encourage pastors and church members. We often think healing should look like the miracles in the Bible. We tend to get discouraged when things turn out differently than expected. I’m offering a fresh paradigm which is inaugurating a rising tide of supernatural healing in our local church based on a clearer understanding of God and the Bible.

Seven differences between evangelistic or apostolic healing and pastoral (local church) healing

1 God has given a wonderful, yet distinct, anointing to pastors and local church members that differs from evangelists and apostles. For example, churches have a special grace to care for the flock of God on a long-term basis. On the other hand, evangelists and apostles generally have the gift of miracles, a gift which most pastors lack. It only makes sense that the different gifts and anointings lead to differences in the way healing functions.

2 The evangelistic and apostolic ministries are linked primarily to justification. Their burden is to see unbelievers saved and brought into God’s kingdom. On the other hand, pastoral healing is linked primarily to sanctification. The pastor’s burden is to see believers grow in kingdom living.

3 Healing in the Bible (Jesus Christ being the chief apostle and example of an evangelist) is generally immediate. Pastoral healing may be immediate, yet is often gradual. Pastoral healing often begins as a “seed” in the inner man, in the spirit, and must be fueled by faith in order to manifest in the body. Faith without works is dead. I’m convinced many are healed, but are not aware of it because they expect an immediate physical manifestation.

Related to this issue of immediate verses gradual healing is the fact that the itinerant evangelist often has one opportunity to bring healing; the pastor can pray repeatedly for a sick man until he gets well.

4 Evangelistic and apostolic healing take place regardless of the spiritual condition of the diseased person. Consider Matthew 4:23 where Jesus was “going about in all Galilee . . . healing very kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.” Imagine all the varied spiritual conditions of those He healed. Some were good men; some may have been wife-beaters. Some may have been homosexuals, some child neglectors, some adulterers or fornicators. Yet Jesus healed them all without attempting to deal with the causes of pains or diseases.

Pastoral healing in the local church must often deal with the spiritual condition of the sufferer. Notice Pastor James in 5:16, “Confess your sins one to another . . . so that you may be healed.” Forgiveness, repentance, reconciliation are conditions for health in the local church. The pastor and the local church are uniquely qualified to deal with such issues.

5 Evangelistic and apostolic healing take place regardless of the cause of the disease. Traveling ministries generally don’t have time nor grace to deal with the causes of disease. Pastoral healing must often take into account the spiritual, psychological, and emotional causes of disease. Some studies show 80 percent of hospital beds are filled by people with emotionally induced sickness. Unresolved anxiety is a major contributor to both cancer and heart-disease. Pastors must initiate long-term solutions by dealing with underlying causes of disease.

6 Again, evangelistic and apostolic healing takes place regardless of the cause of the disease. Pastors need to identify and help people with both the natural causes and the natural remedies of disease. Toxic overload, obesity, lack of exercise, etc. are all natural causes of disease. People may get healed, but unless the natural cause of sickness is dealt with, the sickness often returns.

Bernie Blaskowski is an example of local church healing from heart disease. His health and healing today resulted from a series of processes over time. Lifestyle change, weight loss, medical intervention, and prayer, all played a role. Perhaps most significant of all, Bernie is well today because he took personal responsibility for his health which resulted in his dramatic healing.

In his pastoral epistle Paul instructs Timothy to “use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent aliments (I Timothy 5:23).

Can you imagine Jesus in the middle of the multitude advising, “Drink more grape juice and you will be healed.” Of course not. The evangelistic and pastoral gifts are not the same. Each is wonderful, each is from God, and each is distinct.

7 Apostles and evangelists are given strong healing ministries to bring unsaved people into the kingdom of God. God requires nothing from unbelievers except openness to Christ.

God gives pastors strong healing ministries to help believers grow up as kingdom people. God expects His children to grow up in faith and take personal responsibility for their own healing.

While this article identifies distinctions between various ministries, the differences are not absolute. Evangelists or apostles may occasionally oversee a long-term healing process for some individual. Pastors and local churches also experience immediate and dramatic miracles of healing. In fact, the gift of miracles (1 Cor 12:10) is a local church ministry and needs to be developed in New Testament churches.

This article identifies distinctions between various ministries, yet there are also similarities. All healing is from God. All stem from the cross of Christ, and all need to be motivated by God’s love.

Go here to gain some astounding insights about how churches related to apostles in the New Testament Era.

May we be encouraged by the calling God has given to each. May we see a flood of divine healing released in and through the church to the glory of God!

Can a Church Flourish without an Apostle?

Jim McCracken, Founder of TrueBridge, a family of churches in Minnesota and beyond, answers a pertinent question regarding churches and apostles.

Here’s the question: Can a church flourish without an apostle? Jim  relates with a number of churches. He’s a man with the background and experience to answer the question. He’s observed scores of fellowships over the decades. Let’s listen to the 50 second video.

Want to dig deeper? Check out a definitive book — Local Churches Global Apostles: How Churches Related to Apostles in the New Testament Era and Why It Matters Now

Should Apostles Today Use the Title?

Fred Herzog has a clear and concise answer to this question many are asking. Should apostles today use the title? Some say “Yes,” some say “No.” Here’s Fred’s take on the topic.

 

I have known Fred and his wife Char for about 50 years. They are a great team filled with years of wisdom and love.

Fred has been involved in developing congregations, leadership, and ministry opportunities including a successful ministry of helping individuals gain personal freedom through understanding the ways of God. Fred, along with his team, has started and trained up leadership for over 20 different ministries.

Consistent qualities of Fred’s ministries have included contemporary worship, spiritual counseling, informal services, and team-focused leadership. His aim continues in presenting cutting-edge worship, profound teaching, and discipleship for the advancement of the Kingdom of God in our present generation.

Fred and his wife Char live in Northfield and have 3 adult children.

Are Apostles Alive Today?

What do you say to people that believe that all apostles and prophets died with Peter and Paul? Are Apostles alive today? We asked Steve Fatow this question. Hear  his one minute response.

Are apostles alive today? If you’re watching the video, you’re looking at one!

Steve Fatow was born in New York and raised in a Jewish home in Miami, Florida. In 1970, he heard the Gospel and gave his life completely to Jesus Christ. Transformed by God’s power, Steve immediately felt a call to the ministry. Soon he began to manifest a powerful preaching gift coupled with signs powerfully confirming the word he preached.

In his early years, God gave Steve a clear word that he was called to take the Gospel to the nations. Soon, doors began opening up for him in Central and South America. He began traveling to those countries and holding crusades in every country in Latin America. God began to powerfully bless these crusades with thousands saved and healed to the glory of God.

After pastoring churches in Miami and Florence, Alabama, Steve moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to become pastor of Trinity Chapel. His crusade ministry has steadily grown, not only in Central and South America, but all over the world. Each month these crusades see thousands brought to Christ as well as many miraculous healings. Steve has a powerful prophetic word for his generation which he brings not only to his crusade ministry, but to many local churches in the U.S. and Europe as well. His passion for purity, coupled with his ability to stir people to preach the Gospel, have equipped him mightily as a voice to his generation.

Steve is married to his wife Sandi, an ex drug addict who is also mightily used throughout the United States to minister in prisons as well as churches. They have two daughters and reside in Knoxville, Tennessee where Steve continues to serve as senior pastor of Trinity Chapel.

Find Steve at https://www.facebook.com/steve.fatow

 

Signs of an Apostle

What are the signs of an apostle? Many are asking that question these days? Some folks are not even sure if there are apostles alive in the twenty-first century. We ran into Howard Jackson at a recent conference in Minneapolis. He’s a down-to-earth guy with down-to-earth insight.

We decided to ask Howard, a long time observer and participant in churches of New Testament caliber, “What are the signs of an apostle?” Howard’s answer may surprise you.

By the way, Howard plays a most delightful trumpet!

In this video snippet, Howard inserted no Scripture. If you want Scriptures and a whole lot more about ancient and modern day apostles and prophets, click here.

What are the top two things an apostle can do for the local church?

Steve Fatow offers insightful comments about the ministry of a modern day apostle.

Steve Fatow has been conducting evangelistic and healing crusades in Latin America for over 30 years. He has gained the trust of pastors and ministers in nearly every country in Central and South America.

Along with others, Steve Fatow founded Trinity College of Ministry. Trinity College of Ministry is the product of a long running desire in the hearts of the pastors at Trinity Chapel. For years, in many different forms and in various locations, systematic teaching has been implemented for the purpose of equipping members for the work of the ministry. Now, with the completion of a new facility on a forty-seven acre campus, the vision has taken shape. Faculty and staff were assembled and classes began in May of 2002.

To discover more about this man and his ministry, click here. I thank God the ministry of the apostle continues today.

I learned to relate to apostles the hard way. Personal agony and church crisis sparked my in-depth study of the New Testament. Local Churches Global Apostles contains case studies of every local church in the NT, reveals all 25 NT apostles mentioned, and describes the variety of local church and apostle relationships. Ground-breaking research and surprising conclusions offer fresh perspectives on apostles and elucidate why the early church exploded with growth. Targeted to pastors and church leaders, the book is a brilliant resource for all who yearn to grasp Biblical roots, unleash the Spirit-power of God’s people, and build vibrant churches today.

Journey to Authenticity with Sonny Misar

Journey to authenticity with Sonny Misar

Journey to authenticity with Sonny Misar

Sonny Misar is a treasure trove of apostolic and pastoral wisdom. His teachings regarding “surrender” and “brokenness” deftly tie puzzling pieces of life together for believers.

The Necessity of Converting Apostolic Ambitions (Part 2)

The Necessity of Converting Apostolic Ambitions

The Necessity of Converting Apostolic Ambitions

 

There’s a definite slippery slope when it comes to operating apostolically and/or prophetically. Along with any ascension gift comes the ability to influence and persuade people. With the apostolic and prophetic function there comes an inherent governmental nuance that is able to bring unprecedented impact into the life of a believer or community. However, if the potential to persuade is touched by carnal ambitions, it can wreak havoc in the lives of God’s People.

One of the sure signs of such apostolic carnality is that the ability to influence and persuade is used to direct people away from Christ and Christ being formed in them towards a “thing”, a new revelation, a mission, a project, an organization, etc. Essentially, rather than pointing believers to Christ, something is presented to believers as a lens that must be used in order to view Christ. It becomes THE THING and without it, a believer will “miss out” and “get left behind in what God is (really) doing.”

I’m pausing here because thinking about this and writing about this upsets me. I get angry. I get sad from having perpetrated such hijinks on precious believers in the past. It doesn’t matter that I was ignorant of it. I trusted my heart and went with what I thought God was speaking to me “to do”.  My heart betrayed me! I was an orphan looking for significance. I had to “build” some thing in order to validate who I thought I was. My heart became broken.  Since then, Father has been working at giving me a new one.  Would to Father, other apostolic types would take heed and listen to what I am saying.

I am extremely thankful for a brothers/sisters who loved me, suffered with me long enough and were forgiving enough to see some maturity emerge in my life, character and calling. The Body of Christ is a beautiful thing!

In a previous post, A Basic Understanding of Apostolic Being, I offered the following statement:

A true, genuine, authentic, God-called and equipped apostle has to have converted ambition.  Ambition is an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction.  What is it that true apostles earnestly desire to achieve?  What is the distinction they hope to obtain?  Well, I can tell you that it isn’t to be known as God’s man of faith and power!  It isn’t to lead a large congregation or organization.  It is not desiring to plant/start churches or even to win the world for Jesus! (gasp!)

Would you like an example of what I am saying? Let’s just stick with apostles being THE THING, shall we?

One of the things which have been established as foundational principles in regards to the apostolic ministry is that apostles operate as wise-masterbuilers and are responsible for devising “apostolic strategies” to get this whole Kingdom thing d-o-n-e!

I REALLY wish apostolic brothers would STOP saying that……….especially about themselves!

I know Paul said it.   He said it once.

And, he said it to a group of carnal believers in Corinth, who at the present time, were dominated by their evil nature, spiritually immature and unable to receive Paul’s spiritual teaching because they were not governed by the Holy Spirit. He fed them with milk rather than solid food because they were not able to assimilate the latter. (1 Cor.3:1-2)

He never used the “wise-masterbuilder” metaphor again to the Corinthians or in any other letter written to the churches.  Nor, do you read anywhere in scripture where any other apostle does so.

Hmmmmm, I wonder why?

So, he is talking baby talk to infantile, carnal believers so they could potentially understand the point he was trying to make about himself and the other apostles mentioned in the chapter or that they knew. What was he trying to get across to them?  Paul and Apollos are NOTHING but God is the Source that causes growth. And, in light of such basic truth, as believers they should stop being divided by choosing which apostolic brand they wanted to associate with in the faith.

But, brothers who want/need for apostles to be THE THING will use that verse as a proof text to establish that apostles are wise-masterbuilders, and, as such, should be honored, supported and heeded.

My question is, “Why aren’t all apostles heralded as laborious gardeners?”  I’ve never heard an apostolic message on that one, especially in the Western world.

But before he lays down the wise-masterbuilder metaphor, Paul uses the gardening metaphor to illuminate his point. But, I reckon being identified as a sharecropper isn’t as glamorous to our unconverted ego as is being proclaimed a wise architect.

The truth of the matter is that Paul is referencing laying the foundation of Christ accurately in the life of believers so that they themselves can begin to build upon that foundation.  Ultimately, the grace Paul received belonged to God and the People belonged to God. He isn’t talking about using his apostolic grace in building a ministry, organization, network or any of the other stuff our religious, idolatrous, unconverted ambitions can devise.

So, while a crucified-with-Christ Apostle Paul uses the wise-masterbuilder metaphor in context to attempt to remove himself from in between the believer and God and resolve the division found in community, today’s apostles, with unconverted ambition, erroneously embrace the moniker of wise-masterbuilder and prop themselves up before the people.

Converted ambition is what I’m talking about.

Below is an excerpt from T. Austin Sparks’ writing, An Apostle’s Supreme Ambition.

The impressive thing about this expressed ambition is the time at which it is made. Here is a man who has had a revelation and knowledge of Jesus Christ greater than any other man up to that time. That knowledge commenced whence as he said, “it pleased God to reveal his Son in me“. That beginning devastated him, and sent him into the desert to try to grasp its implications. Later he had been “caught up into the third heaven and shown unspeakable things, which (he said) were not lawful to be uttered”. Between, and around those two experiences, there is evidence of an ever growing knowledge of Christ. Here, after all that, near the end of his life, he is crying passionately: “That I may know him.”

The very least that we can say about this is that the Christ in view was a very great Christ indeed, who outstrips the greatest capacity and comprehension of man. This stands in such tremendous contrast to the limited Christ of our recognition and apprehension! How very much more there is in Christ than we have ever seen! But we must break down our verse. It is divided by its main words, and can be stated in its four phrases.

(1) The all-governing passion: “That I may know him.”

(2) The effectual power: “The power of his resurrection.”

(3) The essential basis: “The fellowship of his sufferings.”

(4) The progressive principle: “Conformed to his death.”

You  can read the article in its entirety here.  If you made it this far, you might want to go check it out. It is definitely worth your time.

When I talk to someone claiming to be an apostle, I use the 4 points provided above to gauge the conversation.

If the majority of the exchange is regarding their latest and greatest (insert something here), then I bless them and go about my way.

If I hear or can sense any mixture of the 4 points in our discourse, I know there is a potential connection to discover and develop. It’s Christ! It is ALWAYS Christ!

Keep your peace!