Friday, November 7, 2014

Word of mouth

Often in the small business world, word of mouth can be the best advertisement. If you do a good job or provide a service that not many people can, word of mouth travels fast. How does word of mouth work in the ministry world? Mars Hill grew very fast because of an attractive style of preaching. The Village Church in Texas also has an attractive no holds barred style of preaching. The content is also very good. People came to listen to Discoll, and people come to listen to Chandler. Are people drawn by the show or the teaching?
In my living room I have hung a framed quote from John Calvin which says: I have endeavored to preach the Word purely and chastely, and faithfully to interpret His sacred Scriptures. This is also my goal in ministry. Putting on a show may draw people in, but it is the Word of God taught faithfully that will attract His own. In a country as dark as the Czech Republic is, teaching God's truth is crucial. 

I received a phone call the other day from a pastor of a church in a village 40 miles from Brno. He asked me if I would be willing to meet with a lady from his church that asked specifically to meet with me. Why me? Word of mouth. Part of our ministry here in Czech has become a counseling ministry. It is not Christian counseling - it is biblical counseling. We use the Word of God, the Bible as our sole authority to help people overcome their personal problems and what the word describes as "mental illnesses". My weeks are starting to be filled with traveling to surrounding churches meeting with people who are in need of biblical counseling. They have heard by “word of mouth” that I have been trained in helping people by using the Bible. I meet with the pastors and have started training a few of them in counseling. My goal is to train the pastors in using the Bible to instruct and counsel their flock while helping other believers grow in their own walk with God. This is nothing of my doing, it is God that works through me because has chosen to use me. This is not what I had planned for our time in Czech, for our ministry, or for our life for that matter. But we are here, and this is what we will faithfully do. We are committed to preaching the Word purely and chastely, and faithfully interpreting His sacred Scriptures. It has not been easy, but it has been rewarding to see hurting people find healing, to see people enslaved in fear find freedom, to see marriages restored and flourishing, and it has been rewarding just to see people grow in their understanding of our Savior. Our prayer is that “word of mouth” continues so that others may also find the freedom that only Christ can bring.          

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