It’s been just over a year since I moved our family out to Colorado from the East Coast. After six years of pastoring a church in New Jersey, we decided to join with a mission organization called ServeNow. We were moved by the stories and amazed by the impact they were having around the world with so little in so short of a time. I was also looking to do more in missions and to find a mentor who had really been around that I could learn under for a time, all of which has become a reality.
Within one year, we have watched ServeNow grow even more, in fact doubling in size (and more than doubling our reach and impact!) through a partner organization coming in as a division of ServeNow. With a specialized focus on printing bibles and innovative discipleship resources in over 45 languages and 30 countries, it really opens the door for endless possibilities in the future. Plus, they have a passion and calling to especially reach Jewish people around the world, which personally I have had a real stirring and burden to do more in regard to as well.
I have also gone on and led several missions and ministry related trips to India, Nepal, Ukraine, Uganda, Sweden and England in one years’ time. In addition, I worked hard on developing a bigger network of partners through my relationships and connections. And I have been pleasantly surprised and blessed by people’s generosity, even though I always want and wish we could do more to serve more people!
And so, as our focus and mission is being fulfilled and we continue to grow and explore new avenue’s to find new partners, I wanted to take a moment to talk about what is next for us personally and organizationally.
First of all, we are already beginning to gear up for next March when I will move from Vice President to President of ServeNow. The weight of that responsibility I already am beginning to feel, and in many ways I have been grateful (and would be happy to remain under, yet know it is necessary to grow in new ways!) our current founder and president, an experienced and truly special leader. I am thankful he will continue to be a key part of the organization and personal advisor/mentor. It’s been a real dream come true to learn from someone who has smuggled bibles with brother Andrew, was personal friends of people like Corrie Ten Boom, Jim Cymbala and others that I have looked up to and read about as God began working in my heart. Never did I imagine I would actually one day be trained by, begin to rub shoulders with, meet people like, and even partner with those I have read about!
Secondly, as we look to the future, it is my hope, prayer and goal to not only continue the current mission of ServeNow but expand into new area’s and grow certain current areas. Already, we are discussing and even have plans in place (if funding increases and allows) for new ministry possibilities in England, South America, the Middle East and elsewhere, even potentially the United States. Personally, I have a heart to do more to provide aid and scripture to refugee’s as I believe we should not view this as a “problem” but an opportunity to really share the hope of the Gospel with them! Many are coming from very closed countries but now are right here where we can reach and serve them.
I also foresee and hope that our Basic Series books, (which by next March the complete 30 books in that discipleship series should be written) will catch on here in the United States as it has around the world. These little 32 page books are not only transforming individual lives, but entire churches and even pastors! It is equipping believers and emboldening them to share their faith with others. They are written on a level that anyone can understand, simple, without being simplistic. I am enjoying writing several of them personally and excited to see the impact they may have! We just added in fact a page to our site where they can be purchased in English and Spanish. The church I pastored was actually the first to get behind this project so that the first one’s could be printed. I even bought copies of the first two books for our church to use, seeing the need for them here, before joining ServeNow was even a thought or possibility.
On a more personal note, our family is going to look for a house to settle down in here in Colorado, we are going to go back to homeschooling our girls and I hope to have more opportunities to teach, preach and speak at various churches, events or meetings. One area that has been difficult for me personally has been missing deeply the week in and week out preparation and preaching of His Word. Also, the fellowship and friendships we enjoyed with many on the East Coast has been an adjustment in how that is now different, but we are grateful to have met and begun to get to know some new friends and people here in Colorado.
This past year has been a “Sabbatical” in one way for me, yet a “training” and “preparation” period for me in another. I have done a lot of writing, both a few books for our “Basic Series” series as well as blog articles both personally and for ServeNow. I hope to continue both of those, but again, praying for a few more doors to also open to preach or teach. I am looking forward to speaking for a whole week in Arkansas at a camp again this June, and being back in PA/NJ to preach the end of July; both times with my whole family accompanying me.
Ever since my first week at bible college, upon a missions conference where the theme was “An Eternal Perspective” (and then a few months later the death of my closest friend who was only 18), I have lived with a sense of urgency, that time is short and the time to act and serve is now. (That’s one reason ServeNow is such a good fit for me!). That sense of the brevity of life and reality of eternity only grows more and more real every day. Some would look at me and say I have my whole life ahead of me; but I look behind and am amazed how quickly nearly 33 years have gone by.
The world is in need of more people who will become passionate, committed, sold-out, on fire, followers of Jesus. The world is in need of more believers to live in light of eternity, serving the King of Kings who laid down his life for them and rose again. The world needs more people to see beyond their own little worlds and have God’s heart and vision for all the world. The world is in need of more people who will reject settling for simply a comfortable, complacent, compromised life and instead seek to spread the Name of Christ to those near and far. The world needs more people to invest their time, talent, energy and resources into the kingdom of God, storing up for themselves treasure in heaven rather than on earth. The world needs more people who will respond to the call of God and beg him to use them and send them to represent him to a world in need of him.
I don’t know specifically what the future may hold, let alone even the rest of this year. But I want to be faithful to live my life (as imperfect as it may be) being led by His Spirit, guided by His Word, sensitive to His heart and simply joining him where He is at work. As Jesus put it in one of my favorite verses, Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me (John 12:26). We don’t dictate to him what we will do for him; rather we are to humbly submit ourselves to where he is at work and calling us to join him. Personally, I believe there is too little action being taken by the majority of us, and an unwillingness to truly and fully submit ourselves to Jesus’ leading and lordship. Oh, we use language such as “being led” to sound spiritual (but often in the context of not doing something or not going somewhere), but I believe in many ways we are more hearers of His Word than we are truly doers (James 1:22-25; Matthew 7:21-27). And so I fear that many of us are under a strong delusion and deception regarding our true spiritual maturity, fellowship or service.
However, I am hopeful regarding the future. I believe one way or another, God will awaken the church in America. And it is my prayer we will rise up and realize as Esther finally did, that God has put us here on earth wherever we live “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). I believe with my all heart, he is putting us and ServeNow in a position for exactly the times in which we live. While many are despairing and discouraged, Christians must learn to rest in the Sovereignty and goodness of God. And armed with a deep trust that He will never leave us or forsake us, let us be faithful to fulfill the great commission that started with Jesus’ first disciples. Jesus is still coming to us as he once came to them: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
As always, I would love to personally share with you more about how you could partner with us in fulfilling the great commission. Perhaps like I felt for ten years, you have had stirrings in your heart to serve people in different ways (such as getting bibles to those without a bible, providing skill training to women at risk of human trafficking, clothing the “naked” to much more). One reason I love ServeNow is because there is something for everybody at any level to make a real impact and difference. From serving on missions trips, to volunteering here at home, to praying or giving financially…the time to serve is now! Please check out our website, check in weekly for fresh blog posts, like our Facebook page, share about ServeNow with others, or contact me for more information. I love to meet with people, share at churches and see how together we can serve our Living, Risen, Savior!