From fear to touching lives for Christ

by Jim on July 21, 2012


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Episode #3

Welcome again to all of you who will share in our third episode of the Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  The major topics being covered today are:

1) Welcome from Rev. Jim W. Hollis

2) Some thoughts shared on pulling out of the “pit of discouragement” which we can all encounter in ministry settings and circumstances.  No matter where we find ourselves, God’s Holy Spirit is with us and for us.  Calling on Christ is the most certain, consistent way to come out of any discouragement we will encounter.

3) In this episode Rev. Hollis conducts an Interview with Dr. Tom Davis, the Senior Pastor of The Due West United Methodist Church in Cobb County, just west of Marietta, GA.  Tom has led his church over the last few years from an average worship attendance of a few hundred to more than fourteen hundred and four services on Sundays.

This is a very healthy, creative and growing congregation.  Jim asks Tom to share with us HOW this took place in the midst of a number of major challenges that he and the leaders faced in the growing process.  Tom also shares words of encouragement for other churches and pastors who are not experiencing growth.

4) Rev. Hollis then shares in some depth on the Major Ministry Encouragement TEXT for this episode: Luke 10:1-3, 17-20, and 23-24.

In this exciting account, Jesus is appointing 72 of his Disciples and followers to go out into various communities and RE-present Him.  Jesus was not physically going to go to all these places, but sent these everyday, ordinary people to represent Him to those they encountered.

He shares with the Disciples some GOOD news and some BAD news.  The Good News was “The Harvest (of people) is plentiful” but the Bad News was “The Workers who will go out and share in love are few.”  This is so amazingly true and relevant to our faith communities today across North America.

Unlike most meetings that we have today, where we can get plenty of bad news, Jesus offers the SOLUTION for overcoming the bad news:  “Ask (pray) to the Lord of the Harvest (Jesus) to send out workers into His harvest field.”

Finally Jesus tells them (in verse 3) a statement that rattles the hearts of many Christians today, “Go! I am sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves.”  Wow!  Why did Jesus say that?  Couldn’t he have been a bit more encouraging.  This is explained and clarified as an actual verse of encouragement.

They all went out in fear and doubt, but returned totally different – they came back with JOY!  Jesus gets a bit excited when they return and expresses his passion in some very interesting ways.

Is this just another Biblical story that’s fun to share?  Do we just watch it like a drama on television or Netflix and simply look for another one later? Or do we realize that this is a universal calling on all our lives as Christ-followers: to go beyond the walls of the local church or the walls of our own “comfort zones” to reach out, risk ourselves to love others unconditionally with the love of Christ.  Will we be workers in the harvest that is so plentiful around us?

5) The sharing of a practical, realistic ministry strategy that is in reality a Call To Action for us in the coming 3 days.  Do we want to step out on faith and grow spiritually beyond our greatest imaginations?  Prayerfully consider the loving and caring – yet simple and compassionate – ministry action strategy.  If you are someone who loves to go to restaurants to share a good meal or even dessert and a cup of coffee or hot tea, this one could be highly meaningful to you.

6) There was a question from an email from Laura in TX.  Basically she is asking, “How can our small, struggling church grow?  We are not growing, but declining.  We get along pretty well but simply don’t understand how to prioritize our ministries to see major change in our congregation.  Can you give me the top priority areas we need to focus on in order to see this truly change?”

Rev. Hollis shares FIVE Critical Areas of Ministry which bring both spiritual and relational growth in churches.  They are listed and touched on, one by one.

They are: 1) Comprehensive Prayer Ministry; 2) Spiritual Leadership Development; 3) Small Relationship Building Group Ministry;  4) Consistent, Relational, Unconditional Outreach; and 5) Worship Ministry of excellence.

7) Encouragement for each of you who have become part of this podcast community to share with others you know about this Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  There are some people we could easily share this with to spread the encouragment:

  • Friends on Facebook
  • Your Pastor and Church Leaders
  • Friends who are facing difficulties and discouragement
  • Your email list of close friends
  • Someone at work who is frustrated about not knowing how to share Christ with others

Everyone is invited to take a look at the Proactive Ministries Website or call:   / Offices: (770) 803-9988

Rev. Jim Hollis is the Founder and Executive Director of Proactive Ministries.  He and the Staff would love to hear from any of you.  Call in and let us hear how your participation in the Outreach Strategy went this week.  Email, leave a voicemail or communicate with us about questions you may have, feedback you would be willing to share, and other thoughts on how you feel this podcast could move forward in more meaningful ways!

Thanks for being part of the Ministry Encouragement Community!

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