People are hungry for the Gospel

This young man is Igor and he was just saved a week ago and attended the four days that I ministered in his church in Moscow recently. He is the kick-boxing champion of Russia. His wife is a former Bronze medal winner in swimming and is now a swimming instructor in Moscow. She has just returned from a number of years in Israel and is not a believer but has some understanding of the Jewish faith. She attended the last two days of events at the church. Both are so hungry for truth and to understand salvation and who Jesus really is. He stands on this side of the cross and she is still examining the claims of the cross and coming to understand.

Young people such as Igor and his wife are why I do what I do
. They are the reason I travel from nation to nation and spend long hours teaching, ministering and prophesying. They are the reason I have tremendous hope about the future of the church in the ten nations of the world where I work. Young people today are looking for spiritual truth and when they find it they become seriously committed – even totally sold out – to it. And, they are willing to tell others about what they have found and discovered in Jesus.

I am taking a break this summer from traveling. Other than a trip in mid-August to minister in Ohio where I am an apostle to one of the local churches there I will be at home. However, the work does not stop. I have been told numerous times prophetically that I need to be writing books. And, I enjoy writing and so this is not a burden or a hardship. However, with all that I do – especially traveling constantly overseas – there is no time left over after ministering there and here as well as preparing for the ministry and all the teaching that I do – and all that comes with ministering continually day-after-day. So, this summer I have intentionally kept my commitments to simply Sundays here in my own area of the world so that I can focus full days on research and writing.

A month or so ago I felt a real release in my spirit to begin writing books and to do so with my whole heart – in my usual intense and extreme way of doing life. It was like a spiritual breakthrough and I knew God was saying that it was time to really begin to work on the books in a serious way and bring some of them to completion. I have been working on them when time allows but without much regular focus. That needs to change and the Lord seems to have changed it within me. As well, everywhere I minister overseas people are asking for my teachings in print (or e-books if they are younger). They are so blessed by the teachings and tell me they have found nothing else like them anywhere in any other ministry – and stress the need to have material printed in book form. These requests are coming more frequently and the comments are being made with a greater sense of urgency as the church in Eastern Europe and Central Asia matures and seeks to grow as well as flow with the current moves of the Holy Spirit – not getting sidetracked into the many sideshows that exist and are being spread across the nations.

So, less travel and greater focus for the next three months... And we will see what can be accomplished and where the Lord will take this ministry from there. Already there are enough invites to fill all available slots well into 2014 and the planning continues daily…

The Dangerous Church

The dangerous church would be one that is passionate about Jesus; seriously sold out to His cause of seeking and saving the lost; radical in its lifestyle; and risking everything to reach everyone worldwide.

The dangerous church is not a place to belong if you are looking for safety, security, and comfort. No! Because, in the dangerous church, you will be asked to become actively involved in reaching those who do not know Jesus regardless of who they are or where they live. You will be challenged to build relational bridges in your neighborhood, at work, where you play, and in various other places around the world. This means becoming seriously involved in the lives of many people – some of whom you may not even like.

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Home Again, Home Again..

I am home and working to overcome jet lag and the general tiredness of traveling and ministering for 15 days. It is a down day when sleep comes off and on and you don’t plan anything that requires your body and your brain to work together.

Pictured above – three young Armenian men who all received prophetic words during the three days that we worked with their church in the city of Moscow. Late one evening after ministering to them I then spend considerable time talking with an Armenian pastor from the city of Ararat, Armenia whom I am mentoring – Skype is a great tool and allows me to speak for free with men all over the world whom I disciple. Of course, this means many late nights as even this particular conversation started at 12:45a after a long day of ministry. God is really working in the lives of Armenian youth. It is exciting to be able to play a small role in what He is accomplishing.

Feedback about the trip has begun to flow into my overseas office. Good reports from all three cities and every church that the Lord allowed me to minister in during this trip that has just finished. I am always excited to receive feedback and to hear how the ministry, the prophetic words, and the teachings impacted individual lives and local churches. Truly God’s hand was on each and every service and every place that He allowed me to minister. I am a blessed man indeed.

Thank you for being a part of what God accomplished and continues to do
in the great nation of Russia. Your prayers and financial support are greatly appreciated and never taken for granted. Thanks to everyone who works so hard behind the scenes to keep everything moving smoothly – especially Elizabeth and Miroslav, my administrators. They are the real heroes of the ministry.

Appreciate Your Prayers

The apostolic trip into Russia is now history and I am on my way home once again. I will be in transit for almost 28 hours with three flights totally 18hours in the air and approximately 10 hours sitting in airports (office time) waiting for flights. It is good not to be ministering (above I am prophesying as some watch and learn waiting to take their turn learning to minister prophetically). I am enjoying the quiet, the opportunity to listen to some teachings on my iPad (and take notes), read several books, and do some follow-up work on things that happened during the visit.

It has been a good two weeks with many new contacts and fresh relationships being formed. There are plans for a return and extended visit to several of the new churches that I was able to minister in during this trip. And, I was able to connect to some business people and begin to minister more in the marketplace apostolic calling that I have had prophetically spoken over my life several times in the past three or four years. Please pray with me that the door to marketplace ministry will open wider and that aspect of the prophetic will grow and become a powerful part of the prophetic and apostolic call upon this ministry.

Today and into (your) Monday please pray for good weather, planes and crews that are ready and able to take off (no strikes or walk-offs or planes that have mechanical issues), and no delays so that I am able to make all my many connections and arrive home on time. Pray for everything from security structures, customs and passport control structures, and all the other issues that are part of international travel – including good coffee and a place to plug computers and iPads into to recharge in the various airports and for planes with electrical plugs for the passengers (some have it – some don’t). I really need to keep working during et many hours of travel so as to be a good steward of the time the Lord is giving to me.

Thanks for playing a major role in the trip that is now drawing to a close. Your prayers, as always, are greatly appreciated.

LOOKING BACK IN TIME

I heard Rick Warren say once, “People keep asking me am I all about taking the church forward–actually, I am about taking it backwards…BACK to the first 300 years of Christianity.” He went on to say that the church’s desire should be to replicate one of the most EXPLOSIVE growth and influence times that it’s ever seen.

Question: “What is it about the first three hundred years of the church that made it so powerful?”

Part of my answer:

Passion for Jesus – the early church was not centered around certain types of ministries but rather a man–they were freakishly obsessed with Jesus! He was REAL to them!

They were non-religious – Paul fought hard to keep the religious idiots away from people who were falling in love with Christ…and the focus was on what Jesus had done to pay for sin and not people’s effort to do so.

Strong Community – No one in the early church thought that “their faith” was a private matter–they encouraged one another, supported one another, love one another and provided for one another. They knew the calling to walk with Christ was also a calling to walk with others. (When Jesus was on earth He didn’t walk alone!)

Urgency – They were serious about seeing people come to Christ…their was an urgency about them. They didn’t care about Roberts Rules of Order or boycotting pagan activities…their focus was on reaching the lost.

Anticipation – There was always a sense that God was about to do something BIG!

A Recognition and respect of leadership – Leaders in the early church were respected and honored…but NOT worshiped. Hebrews 13:7 and Hebrews 13:17 point to both the responsibility that leaders bear and the instructions on how to treat them.

Involvement – EVERYONE was involved in ministry–it wasn’t left up to the “paid professionals!”

Willingness to be persecuted – They were willing to lose their lives for the Gospel. Someone once said: “They were willing to be killed…and we’re rarely willing to be criticized!” DANG!

They saw things happen – They begged God for big things…they believed His vision was larger than repaving a parking lot and sending off second hand clothes to a third world country–they took action – and God honored their vision.
They taught truth – At the end of the day all that matter is what we do with the truth of God’s Word–they KNEW this and that was their focus.

What God did back then He still longs to do today!!!

Paul said in Ephesians 2:19-21 that JESUS is the cornerstone…can you imagine what would happen if a church truly captured the passions and desires of the early church and combined them with the abilities and opportunities that God has given us in our modern world? WOW–the results could…well…the world could be RADICALLY IMPACTED!

Call me crazy…but I am praying that the Church can regain what it has lost … and that by stepping back we can move forward and see Jesus fulfill Matthew 16:18 over and over again.

The God of This Age

Thinking about the multitudes that still have not heard the Name of Jesus and do not know the Gospel of the Kingdom and the way of salvation. There are billions in this spiritual condition on our small planet. Of course, Satan does not want them to hear. If they hear the Gospel then Jesus is free to return. Jesus stated that every people group (Bible: “nation”) must hear the Gospel and then Jesus can return. And, this age will come to an end.

The Devil is the “god of this age” and so he does not want this “age” to come to an end. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 states: “But even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

Satan is the “god of this age” and that is one reason that he does not want this age to end. He is doing everything he can to prolong this present age, for when it ends, he will cease to be a god; his status will be demoted.

While Satan is not equal to God, humanity has made him “a god” by agreeing with him, rebelling against the rte God, and replacing Him with false gods. This age is evil because it has Satan as its ruler.

God’s ultimate plan is not to change this age but to bring it to an end. Christians who direct all their efforts towards changing this age through political or marketplace involvement are somewhat misguided. There are many things that we are able and ought to change, but we must bear in mind that every change we effect in this age will not be permanent, for the age will reach its end and the Devil’s reign as “god of this world” will come to an end.

So, the devil works at keeping believers from focusing on what really matters – seeking and saving the lost. He works hard to keep us focused on temporal issues and human comforts so that we will not be as involved in evangelistic efforts and in this way he can successfully delay the end of his rule.

I have decided that I will be putting much more effort into bringing his rulership to an end and will be focusing more on building relationships with the lost and seeing them come to know the Lord. Often I have spent too much time simply maintaining the saints and not ministering to the lost.

The Three Musketeers

I have finished a three day set of meetings with one of the Armenian churches here in the city of Moscow. It has been a great three days with a church being introduced to the prophetic and being seriously excited to see what God is doing and hear directly from Him. People were so hungry and they could never get enough. Because they rent facilities the time frames we had were limited otherwise we would have been able to go much longer each night – they were certainly willing. Pictured above: three young men each of whom received a prophetic Word from the Lord during the evening meetings.

Today I am at a Presbyterian Church in the city of Moscow speaking on discipleship and mentoring to a cross-section of the church members. I started the day mentoring the pastor of the church for several hours (this is a man whom I have been mentoring for about 18 months) and then I teach for 8 hours with a lunch break in the middle.The evening is free. The people in this church have been gracious to me many times in the past (this is, I believe, visit number five) and are receiving the material I am teaching even though it is a totally new area for them to be thinking about and planning for, I have had to teach relay basic material to begin to form a foundation. It is only a beginning – as 8 hours of teaching is less than it sounds as everything, of course, needs to be interpreted.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I will also be in this local church preaching both the morning and afternoon. Due to an early departure on Monday (I leave for the airport at 2:00a) I am not ministering on Sunday evening.

Please pray for these two remaining days at this small but growing Presbyterian Church in the city of Moscow. Alexander, the pastor of the church, is also one of three leaders of the union in the Russian nation.

Why Relational Discipleship Has Become My Priority

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 08:18 AM EDT J. Lee Grady Newsletters – Fire In My Bones

I’d rather invest in a few emerging leaders than preach to crowds of thousands. Here’ why…

Once when I was traveling in India a pastor made a tempting proposal. “If you come to our city, we will stage a big evangelistic campaign and invite thousands,” he said. “You can preach to all of them.” This man assumed I would be intrigued. After all, I could take photos of the big crowds and use them to brag later about how many people made decisions for Christ.

I didn’t accept the offer. Instead I gave the man a second option. “Let me spend three days with a small group of pastors,” I said. “Let me encourage them, and then they can go out and preach at the big meetings. They will do a much better job than I could.”

Jesus did not mass-produce legions of followers. He hand-carved a few—and they became the pillars of the early church.”

I’m not against mass evangelism. I’m not criticizing people who organize big meetings. But I’m learning that the best way to impact a large number of people is to focus on a few.

This was Jesus’ method of ministry. Most of his conversations in the Gospels were with His small group of handpicked disciples. Even when He did mass meetings, He used them to instruct the people He was mentoring. For 3.5 years He invested in His closest followers in a deeply personal way—not as an instructor but as a friend. Jesus did not mass-produce legions of followers. He hand-carved a few—and they became the pillars of the early church.

Jesus calls us to do ministry His way—by making disciples. Yet in today’s performance-based culture, we think bigger is better. We put all our money and time into splashy events while ignoring relationships. We want the sensational, not the simple. We crave big meetings, bigger platforms, noisy sermons, hyped-up altar calls and instant results. It may look spectacular on opening night, but the show fades fast.

This shallowness is killing us. Christianity in so many parts of the world is a mile wide and an inch deep because we think faith is best transmitted to people by preachers standing behind pulpits. Preaching is certainly important, but without personal discipleship leaders aren’t formed and Christians don’t develop true character. If this vital relational aspect is overlooked, our faith becomes programmed, superficial and horribly fake.

I’ve changed my priorities as I have grasped this truth. I’m not as interested in flashy conferences or huge crowds as I am in making an indelible mark on people who can then disciple others. And as the Lord has shifted my paradigm, I have become more intentional about making discipleship a part of my daily life. I’ve done this by following what I call the Five “I’s” of Discipleship:

1. Identify. Jesus prayed carefully before selecting those who would travel with Him. Paul selected people like Timothy, Silas, Aquilla and Priscilla to be his ministry companions. Who are you called to disciple? God connects people in discipleship relationships.

2. Invest.
Don’t look at discipleship as a program. It must flow out of love and genuine friendship. It is a precious investment of your time into a younger Christian. Paul told the Thessalonians: “We were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8, NASB).

3. Include. One of the ways I disciple young men is by taking them with me on ministry trips. I would have fewer hassles if I traveled alone, but my privacy is not that precious. In the last couple of years I’ve invited emerging leaders such as Jason, Steven, Vitaly, Khuram, Donnie, Felipe, Lyndle and Ryan to accompany me to various events. Investing in a disciple, to me, has become more exciting than preaching to a multitude!

4. Instruct. Jesus didn’t lecture his disciples; He artfully wove His teaching into the events of daily life—a storm, the death of a friend or an encounter with a needy beggar. His teaching flowed out of His relationship with His companions. Discipleship does not have to happen in a classroom setting. It can happen at a doughnut shop, during a bike ride or in a car. Expect “teaching moments” to flow naturally when you are spending time with those you are mentoring.

5. Intercede. Paul told Timothy that he constantly remembered him in his prayers “night and day” (2 Tim. 1:3). The most effective discipleship occurs when the discipler invests time in prayer for those he or she is mentoring. After some of my young disciples gave me an iPad last year, I decided to return the favor by using it to help me pray for them. I now have a “visual prayer list” with photos of the people I intercede for regularly.

Floyd McClung, a former leader of Youth With a Mission who now lives in South Africa, says he wishes he had spent more of his time making disciples when he was younger. He recently wrote: “I’ve been blessed to do many things: books, conferences, television, etc. But that’s nothing compared to pouring into others and seeing them go for it.”

Leaders all around the world are coming to this same conclusion. They recognize that today’s fatherless generation is looking for more than the hottest music, the coolest stage lighting or the hippest techno-pastor. They just want authentic role models who will spend time with them.
J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. He is ministering in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this week. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady.

Strong In the Lord

This 17 year old Armenian man was called out at the first of three services at an Armenian church in the city of Moscow and given a very powerful word from the Lord for his life and ministry. An obvious weight-lifter and body builder he has been called to help Jesus build His Church in the new generation of young people arising in the Kingdom. He is now a member of the team here in Moscow that I have been training for several years and will have personal contact with me as he grows into his calling and ministry in the coming years.

At the first service I also had opportunity to meet the bishop of the various Armenian churches here in the Moscow area where 20+ million people live (bishop on the left – pastor of local church on the right) and he is wanting the few small Armenian churches to grow and believes the Lord would have them plant many more churches touching the lives of this ethnic group numbering well over one million in this area. Please pray for these men and this Network of churches as they seek the future together for their people and the Kingdom.

Today is the last of three days ministering with this local church. Pray for the evening service tonight that it would be the most powerful of all the services I have been involved in as I ministered to them. And, pray for the local church – again here in Moscow – where I will minister all day Saturday and Sunday (my 5th visit to them). The pastor is names Alexander and he is a businessman who loves the Lord and is bi-vocational as many leaders here are.

Thanks for your involvement in this ministry and your prayers. You are greatly loved and appreciated.