Friday, August 11, 2006
Internet Minister Update & Andy Stanley...
For over 30 years (starting at age 13) I have had the privilege of sharing the GOOD NEWS to the poor, poverty stricken areas of Chicagoland. In addition to my Urban Ministry efforts (http://christcares.org),
I believe the Lord has given me a clear vision on how to inspire and empower regular church going Christians to share their faith online.
I have a special burden to create bridge sites (http://bridgesites.org) which would develop online communities around areas of interest (hobbies, sport teams, causes, occupations, common experiences - like support for those who lost loved ones or who are facing cancer, movies, music, age groups, such as seniors, etc.). These community groups (http://christiancommunitygroups.com), would allow christians to enjoy their area of interest and also allow them to connect, relate to, and form relationships with those who don't know our Savior (and also probably would not have any interest in attending a church service or surfing the thousands of typical Christian websites.)
I envisioned my ministry responsibilities to soon have a significant portion dedicated to these efforts. Nearly a year ago, I started sharing this vison, by starting this blog (http://webevangelist.blogspot.com) and http://internetminister.org (- a great place to learn about Internet Evangelism and Internet Ministry.) I was encouraged by the response to these efforts - I still find it amazing to have someone on the other side of the world contact me and thank me for encouraging them in the Lord in some way. However, to this point I have not had any mission committees or Christian Individuals capture the vision to support these efforts financially. I really believe "where God guides, He provides" so I have patiently sought the Lord for direction to see if these are my plans or His. I still clearly feel that the Lord is calling me to share the vision/burden he has placed upon my heart. Many times in my life the Lord has revealed to me a clear direction or vison of ministry and I just had to hold on to it until it was His timing.
Three examples come to mind ...
At about age 20 the Lord laid it upon my heart to start a church in the poorest suburb of America - we had a very humble beginning ... we started in a government housing project living room and a chitlin bucket with a towel on top was one of my first pulpits. God also gave me a clear vison of a large church and gymnasium, I even took out pencil and paper and scketched it... years later, I came across a church that looked very similar to the one I had drawn - to make a long story short ... through a series of miracles and the kindness of the Mid-West Baptist Conference we were able to purchase this building for $25,000 - with a large auditorium, full court basketball gym, kitchen, a dozen Sunday School Classrooms etc.! $25,000 was to our poor church like two million for other churches. The Lord worked it out so that we were given full acess to the building and given a year to come up with a downpayment of a couple thousand, and then told just to make monthly payments on the rest of the balance of whatever we could afford (& that there would be no interest). God raised up a powerful church there and after a 17 year process, I turned the ministry over to an African-American Pastor. The church continues to have an impact today...
Many years ago the Lord placed upon my heart the concept of having an area-wide event called "Taste of Reconciliation". This event would promote unity and cooperation in the body of Christ... It would consist of a time of first - food and fellowship - free ethnic food of various types, games, and various cultural haritage booths, followed by a multi-cultural worship service (along with a good message from the WORD) . For 3 - 4 years I shared this vision but no one seemed to get excited about it. Finally I found a partner to team up with (Living Springs Community Church of Glenwood, Illinois) and last Sunday I'm gald to report we had our 4th annual "Taste of Reconciliation". Five to six hundred people or more showed up and we had a powerful service where it was not just a fun musical but a time where God touched and inspired hearts in a deep and significant way.
For some time now I have been pleading with "church folk" about the importance of Internet Ministry and how we can empower congregations to invest a small portion of their week sharing their faith Online instead of watching T.V.
Cults, false religions, te rror organizations, etc. are using the Internet very effectively for their causes... In this time of uncertainty and fear, we have wonderful, urgent, GOOD NEWS, to share. We have a very inexpensive medium to get it out - the Internet! We now have the capacity of empowering "lay people" to share their faith to some of the ONE BILLION souls online. For some reason, I have not yet connected with those who see this vison and would like to team up to see it happen. I believe God has given me insights and skills on how to see this happen, yet In need to wait for God's timing and provision.
* Many of you may have noticed that I have gone several months without posting a blog or further developing our websites. This summer I have been dealt several special & difficult circumstances - health issues, house & vehicle issues - seems like everything is breaking down, family issues, a need to provide an adequate income for my family etc. - so I have had to make my faimily and a few other things the priority in my life. So at this time, my "Internet Ministry" time is limited - yet since I believe my time limitations is due to obdeience to God given responsibilities, that God will continue these efforts (If they be of God and Not Scott Reese). It has been interesting to see that during these past few months while I have had hardly any time to invest in these efforts, that I have received probably about 30 to 50 requests from people who are interested in our Web Evangelism efforts (possible volunteers).
* It is amazing ... yet I still have some pressing family needs which will not allow me to invest much time in these Internet Ministry efforts for a while. I know a key to having a good blog is consistent writing and I am looking forward to agressively get this up and going again, in God's timing.
* Please note the following plan...
PHASE ONE (A): RESOURCES TO LEARN ABOUT INTERNET EVANGELISM ARE FOUND AT: www.internetminister.org (completed thanks to the resources provided by Tony Whittiker, the Internet Evangelism Coaltion, & Gospelcom.net )
PHASE ONE (B) WHILE YOU ARE WAITING FOR ME TO COMPLETE PHASE TWO
1) Pray for these efforts 2) Pray that if it be the Lord's will that He will also provide the funding and the clearing of time in my schedule for these efforts 3) Consider how you can help Phase Two become a reality. 4) While waiting, continue to learn about internet evngelism by following the links on our sites 5) While waiting, for our "PHASE TWO" - explore some other good Internet Ministries (see my previous post) and see how you can get involved now and gain experience. 6) For those of you who do feel a pull in your heart to help in these efforts, please drop me an email about how I can best pray for you. It is my desire to empower those who team up with me, to your fullest potential for God,(& not just to be some short term volunteer in my big ministry scheme.) Although my time is limited, I do want to know, care, and share community those who I will be partnering with.
PHASE TWO: As soon as God provides the time, resources, and /or volunteers to:
Launch community websites (message boards etc.) for the various community groups or mission focus areas so Christian volunteers can start interacting with each other, and collaberating on how to go about developing their specific "Bridge Site".
PHASE THREE: Will be the actual launching of these bridge websites to develop community and to share the good news ... (I also have a phase 4 & 5 but let's get through 1-3 first)
+ A SPECIAL NOTE: Thanks to a gift from a concerned pastor, today I was able to attend "The Leadership Summit" / Conference produced by Willow Creek and Bill Hybels. I attended at Faith Church of Dyer, IN., where Bob Bouwer is pastor.
Andy Stanley was a speaker that really blessed my heart. He shared about the importance of those who have a passion for ministry to keep their role as a husband / father a priority and not to allow our passion for ministry to crowd into our unique and most important roles. It is a matter of faith... So often I think if I don't work hard enough, this whole thing will come unglued and fall apart. Often things seem to take me longer than they should so I make up for this by working longer hours. Andy Stanleys session was a call to:
faith, not to fear;
God's ministry, not my plans;
"being" not "doing";
obeying God's commands, not trying to help God out;
ministering to your family as a priority over ministering to everyone else.
Although I have been attempting positive change in these areas, my heart was really convicted. My family is at a unique situation where they need tons of time from their husband and daddy. Please pray with me that the Lord will grant me the faith and strength to come through for them. As far as this Internet Ministry, and my other ministry endeavors - I put them on God's altar - may His will be done.
Web Evangelist Scott Reese - Internet Minister.
(Missions, evangelism, witnessing, blogging, Web Evangelism, web ministry, online evangelism, online ministry, missionaries, dononation, 501c3, giving, volunteer, christian, faith, are all search terms to help people find this article.)