A Word From Steve Jones
January 15th, 2018
Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here… We’re nearing the end of the summer break. I hope you have experienced some rest this summer.
A busy ministry season in our local churches is about to begin. Ministries start up again, recruitment is number one on our agendas.
My encouragement to you in the business — do not forget to pray. Especially pray for your pastor.
The famed leadership guru, Peter Drucker, has said, “Not taking into account the U.S. President’s job, the most difficult jobs to be in today in North America is:
1. A University President’s position.
2. A city Hospital Administrator’s position
3. And the Pastor of a local church
Admittedly, I was surprised reading that quote but, I’m assuming this leadership guru to corporate North Americans knows the landscape well. Knowing the terrain as well as Drucker does, gives this statement weight. Bill Hybels, pastor of one of the largest churches in North America said, “Most lay people have no idea how difficult it is to run a church.” Hybels believes the church is the most leadership-intensive enterprises in society. The work of the church is building and redeeming lives; which is an intangible process. You never know when you’ve actually accomplished doing this work. The workers are all VOLUNTEERS who can simply leave when disciplined or called to commitment. Even when recruiting workers, the church leader cannot offer monetary incentives or benefits. The best he can do is promise them work without pay, time away from their families and IF, things go according to Scripture, they will know suffering as part of their reward. Now there’s a benefit/reward package. At times pastors feel alone in the midst of the spiritual battle. They need our prayers.
Moses needed Prayer
Moses was one of the greatest spiritual leaders who ever lived. He spoke to God face to face (Ex. 33:11). Yet, STILL, HE COULD NOT DO IT ALONE!! He, too, needed support and encouragement for the enormous responsibility that was his. Aaron and Hur recognized his need and helped him. Many in our churches need to recognize the need and come alongside their pastor and pray fervently for him. Ministry is not a one-man-show, but a team effort. Many in our churches need to start partnering with their pastor, especially in PRAYER. For the sake of your pastor’s spiritual/emotional health and the sake of the church’s well-being, pray.
In Peter Wagner’s book, “Prayer Shield”, he writes: “I’m personally convinced that the following statement is true: “The most under-utilized source of spiritual power in our churches today is intercession for our Christian leaders.”
Preachers need Prayer
Dr. Wilbur Chapman often told of his experience when he went to Philadelphia to become a pastor of Wanamaker’s church. After his first sermon, an old gentleman met him in front of the pulpit and said, “You are pretty young to be pastor of this great church. We have always had older pastors. I am afraid you won’t succeed. But you preach the gospel and I’m going to help you all I can.”
“‘I looked at him,’ said Dr. Chapman, and said to myself, ‘Here’s a crank.’”
“But the old gentleman continued, ‘I am going to pray for you that you may have the Holy Spirit’s power upon you and two others have covenanted to join with me.’”
Then Dr. Chapman related the outcome. “I did not feel so bad when I learned that he was going to pray for me. The three became 10, the 10 became 20, and the 20 became 50, and the 50 became 200 who met before every service to pray that the Holy Spirit might come upon me. In another room the 18 elders knelt so close around me to pray for me that I could put out my hand and touch them on all sides. I always went into my pulpit feeling that I would have the anointing in answer to the prayers of the 219 men. It was easy to preach, a real joy. Anybody could preach with such conditions. And what was the result? We received 1,100 into our church by conversion in three years, 600 of which were men. It was the fruit of the Holy Spirit in answer to the prayers of those men. I do not see how the average pastor, under average circumstances preaches at all. Church members have much more to do than go to church as curious, idle spectators to be amused and entertained. It is their business to pray mightily that the Holy Ghost will clothe the preacher with power and make his words like dynamite.”
What an incredible impact a church can make when it’s people pray! Have you ever thought of the potential for your church if you committed to pray for your pastor and church often? Imagine what would be accomplished. How many lost people saved — and saved people transformed? How many pastors would remain in ministry and not flare out, drop out or burn out? Think about it. Better yet, pray about it.
Pastors need Prayer: October is “Pastor’s appreciation month”
In five weeks we all have an opportunity to share our appreciation for our shepherds. Hopefully we do this all year round. However, can I encourage you to start thinking and praying what you might do for your pastor(s) during the month of October? Start praying about it today. Bless you.
Have a blessed week,
P.S. Please consider registering for our upcoming Fellowship National Conference. To register click HERE.
Dear Pastor, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here… One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Isaiah 58:11 (NLT).
“The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy too. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
I love beautiful gardens. I just spent two weeks of my vacation landscaping my backyard, sitting and listening to the birds and watching the roses bloom. Resting in the serenity of my garden refreshes me. The Lord promises to make our lives like “well-watered gardens” characterized by beauty, colour, fragrance, tranquility and life — life abundant.
In one of the low points of his life, the Apostle Peter needed a tranquil, safe place to be with the restorer of his soul. He needed a safe place — a place of sanctuary.
Peter had just denied the Lord publically three times. He was devastated, empty and spiritually numb. And so, he withdrew. He escaped from the pain and ran to Galilee to do something so familiar. In John 21:3, Peter tells the disciples, “I’m going out to fish” and six other disciples followed. They run away.
However, Jesus met Peter on the seashore and called Peter to meet with Him. Peter was a broken man whom Christ was preparing to become a rock.
Jesus does a few things when we need to be spiritually restored. In John 21 we learn that:
What words of comfort did you receive from Jesus today? If you missed time with the Lord today, make sure tomorrow morning you find a safe place to meet with the Lord and be replenished. Let your life be characterized as a beautiful, lush, well-watered garden. Please don’t miss your rendezvous with Jesus tomorrow.
Have a blessed week,
P.S. Hope you’re planning to come to our Fellowship National Conference this November 11-13. Click HERE for more information and to register.
Our 2013 Fellowship theme verse is:
“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
Dear Pastors, Missionaries,
Chaplains & Friends,
Steve here… I recently visited a cemetery in Quebec during a north shore tour (St. Lawrence River) of our churches and pastors. I was not previously aware of the details of the early gospel advance in Quebec in the mid-1800s. It’s a fascinating story and here is a brief synopsis with a few photos I took at the location. I think you’ll find this interesting.
After a revival broke out in Geneva, Switzerland (1816-17), some adherents broke from the state Protestant church. These dissidents were persecuted by a law (1824) that could send them into exile. Henriette Feller left the official state church in 1827 and joined an Evangelical Missions Society in Lausanne after her husband’s death. This Society began sending missionaries to Lower Canada. In August 1834, Henriette left for Canada accompanied by Pastor Louis Roussy. In Sept 1836 she took up residence in Grande-Ligne (10 miles south of Saint-Jean) after being forced from several other places due to persecution.
The Earlier Years were Tough
Other Society mission-aries lasted only a year and returned to Switzerland. During the 1837 rebellion in Quebec, she fled with some converts to the USA, accused of being friendly with the British. But, the 1837 rebellion broke the grip that the Roman Catholic priests had on society and the French Protestantism advanced. Henriette would say, “The time is come, Canada is open.”
Preaching locations opened along with schools and the French Canadian Missionary Society opened in Montreal in February 1839. Henriette endorsed their mission, but never joined them, due likely to her fierce desire to be independent of outside influence. She went on eight fundraising trips to the USA insisting Louis Roussy report on the Grand-Ligne church and school every few days. Her school students called her “mother”.
From 1855 to her death in 1868, her health was very poor, however, it never stopped her from running the affairs of the mission, even from her bedroom. Throughout her 32 years of missionary service in French Canada, Henriette Feller settled the first Francophone Protestant community in Quebec, educated young people, sent gifted Francophones for higher learning and established nine Protestant French churches with seven pastors shepherding them. There were approximately 900 members attending those churches.
In a recent conversation with Dr. Michael Haykin, one of Canada’s leading church historians, he said to me, “Steve, by the end of the nineteenth century there were about 50,000 French evangelical Christians in Quebec.”
I wonder what happened to this impact. Immigration to the States because of persecution in Quebec, fewer missionaries being sent to Lower Canada, poor leadership and evangelistic apathy among the churches and in a couple of generations the Grande-Ligne’s legacy has floundered. Remember, the Christian church is always one generation away from extinction.
Will we repeat history?
Then some young Bible students started leaving for Quebec in the 1930-40s. Pioneers like Wilf Wellington, Murray and Lorne Heron, Ernie Keefe and others. French churches were started, the Fellowship’s French Mission was established and approximately 100 churches have been planted. Today, there are 87 French-speaking Fellowship churches in Quebec with about 9000 believers – the largest French denomination in Quebec. It’s a wonderful story of God’s grace. But, only 0.8% of French Canadians identify themselves as evangelical Christians. Our work has only begun.
Missiologists tell us that nations or people groups under 2-3% evangelical will struggle to sustain themselves without any outside help. Imagine our Fellowship churches and donors stopping our commitment in Francophone Canada now. At only 0.8%, we would likely repeat the late nineteenth century history. The great gains of these past 50 years might all but disappear in one single generation. We cannot let this happen! The time is come. French Canada is open!
Very few nations are sending missionaries to French Canada. As Canadians, the Lord has given us this divine responsibility. Please join me in praying for the salvation of Canadians — French Canadians.
Thank God for the Henriette Feller’s of the church. Have we got any more out there?
Have a blessed week,
P.S. Check out the new Fellowship French Directional Document [Click HERE].
P.P.S. Why not consider registering for our upcoming Fellowship National Conference in Richmond, BC (November 11-13, 2013) by clicking here.
Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here… Just wanted to give you a very brief update on our annual Project for 2013, “Back to the Future”.
This year’s project has an international focus to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Fellowship International. Over five decades our churches have sent close to 300 missionaries through our international ministry.
Our “Back to the Future” project is focusing on five initiatives in five nations.
- Leadership development (LeadersFor) in India with Raj and Kim Vannadil.
- A Missionary movement in Colombia with Diego and Claudia Cardona.
- Evangelistic video tools in France with Guy Leduc.
- Church planning in Japan with Rob and Kathryn Fleming and Paul and Jennifer Sadler.
- A humanitarian project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Richard and Brenda Flemming.
I encourage you to go online (CLICK HERE) to watch the 2013 Project video or click the attached to read the 2013 Project brochure for more details.
Check out the spring issue of our national magazine “Thrive: Fueled by Faith” (CLICK HERE), and read the latest news of these projects from our Fellowship International missionaries.
We are very close to our GOAL
Currently, our churches and donors have raised 70% of our goal of $300,000. We are very close. We’re rounding third base and are almost home. Please prayerfully consider sending a gift toward Project 2013: Back to the Future. Maybe you already have given — and we thank you. Would you consider a second modest gift? If we all gave a small gift, our goal would be met. Thank you for considering my request.
Have a blessed week, Steven Jones