h1

Built to Last: Multiplying Ministry in Philadelphia

March 8, 2011

What a month!  Last month felt like a whirlwind, and sure enough, in glancing at the calendar we had over 30 significant meetings, conversations and events, not to mention everything other members of our ministry team have been up to.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to give an overview of our ministry at our church’s Day of Prayer.  Although challenging, boiling down our recent work to just three minutes helped me gain a deeper sense for what God is doing through us.  I’d like to share the heartbeat of those reflections with you here.

A God-Sized Vision

More than anything, God keeps reminding us that His vision is far bigger, and more glorious, than ours.  We’re coming to see that aiming any lower than the Great Commission is too low.  With 20% of the nation’s physicians doing some portion of their training in the city, ministering faithfully right here is the most strategic investment we can make.  As we train our healthcare students and providers to follow Christ, some will stay and transform the city, while others will go and spread the Kingdom wherever they land.

This vision is powerfully shaping our day-to-day ministry as we place greater emphasis on ministry that multiplies.  We want to reach people who will, in turn, reach others.  One way we’re doing this is through our relationship with the International Saline process, which trains healthcare students and workers to share their faith with their colleagues and patients.

You may remember that, in December, we trained 20 local students and professionals in our first local “Saline.”  In February, 8 of those 20 participated in our first, follow-up, Training of Trainers (ToT) session where they learned to train others in the Saline process.  Just a few days ago, I sat down with 3 of those 8 – two med students and one physician – to talk about reaching their health system (Drexel) for Christ.  We agreed that we’ll start by inviting all the believers at Drexel Med to a one-hour introductory session, then follow that up with a full-blown Saline for those who respond.  Lord willing, a large core from that group will then learn how to train others.  And then…

You get the idea.  This is how multiplying ministry works.  We train others, then come alongside them as they learn how to train others.  It starts small – nearly inconspicuous – then explodes over time.  This is how Jesus transformed the world, and this is how we’ll transform Philadelphia and beyond.

Focus On People

After hearing that we are funding entirely by donations, a lot of people ask us, “What are your ministry needs?”  While we do have financial needs, I always respond by saying that our greatest need is for like-minded people to join us in accomplishing Christ’s vision for our ministry.  Like Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  What we need, more than anything, are people who know Jesus and want to join Him in His mission right where they are.

And so, wherever I go – whether it’s meeting a physician, attending a large-group gathering of students, or participating in a medical outreach – I’m always asking God to introduce me to people who can become (or already are) co-laborers in this city that He loves.  I know that, by His grace, I can serve as someone who connects them to that larger vision of winning this corner of the Kingdom for Him.

I met “Tom”, one of the students I mentioned earlier, at Drexel when I attended one of their campus fellowship gatherings two years ago.  Although his first year at Drexel was challenging, he became one of our campus leaders during his second-year, where he has really stepped up to become an unassuming, but committed, leader.  I am privileged to meet with him consistently and to invest in him during this critical season.  Tom has become an important co-laborer, and our ministry exists to find, and equip people like him!

Sharon and I, once again, want to deeply thank you for your prayers and gifts that make ministry like this possible.  In God’s hands, your investment is reaping dividends that will be fully revealed only in eternity.

Immanuel,

Bryan & Sharon

Please join us in the following prayers and praises:

  • Praise God for an enormously fruitful past month of ministry, and for the privilege of reaching the key ‘people group’ of healthcare students so that they, in turn, can be equipped to reach others.
  • Praise God for Dr. Jerry Hric, our newest council (board) member.  He brings gifts in the areas of big-picture thinking and student ministry, and, like all our council members, I feel blessed to partner with him.
  • Please pray that the Lord continues to introduce us to ‘game-changing’ students who can pour their lives into others.
  • Pray for me, and the others I mention above at Drexel, as we introduce the Saline process there.   Pray especially that God brings others who will want to train others.
  • Pray also that God would give me wisdom as I help several campuses with their student leadership transitions.
  • Pray for our men’s (26th) and women’s nights (25th) this month, meeting in our home.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: