We have just completed our annual Network Urban Ministry Institute. This year’s institute was definitely blessed by God. We are just spiritual enough to believe that our experience, our learning, teaching skills and intelligence aren’t enough to really make the difference in motivating, inspiring, and enabling our students to grow and deepen in their commitment to ministry calling. We all need God’s grace to be faithful to our calling, and to be effective in it. Pray for God’s blessing from the Institute week to continue in the lives and ministries of those who came.
We trained ministry interns, church planters, pastors, and laypeople in ministry skills last week. We tried to help them understand what people who live in marginalized communities struggle with, how we can share Jesus, and how we can show mercy to them. We tried to show how we can gather them into a worshipping community. We are trusting the Lord to have made it a significant experience in learning ministry skills for those who came as students.
One of the things we teach each year is how to do a Children’s Bible club in an inner city neighborhood. This is a method I was trained in when I was a teenager in my home church in Newark, NJ. We have been systematically using that method to evangelize inner city communities here in Chattanooga for 34 years. Several of the churches that have come to the training, or who have sent mission teams to Chattanooga to learn from us have taken this method back to their own cities. It is pretty simple, very straight forward, and sometimes dismissed and even despised by church leaders for various reasons. Yet, it helps us get the Gospel out, it helps us meet people in their own neighborhood, it brings the church to the people, and it is remarkably well received. So, please pray that not only will people learn how to do this well, but that people would actually come to Christ through our teaching the Gospel through Bible stories. Mrs. Denise Davis, wife of Pastor Davis pictured below, actually became a Christian through an open air meeting Bible club while a young girl.
We have been encouraged by God’s faithfulness in the ministries we have visited lately. We were out to Oakland, California to visit Resurrection Oakland which was launched just over a year ago by Brent Webster. We are excited to have this church attempting to reach out cross-culturally in this great city. They need some believing and faithful African American leadership to be raised up to help them. Developing cross cultural ministry teams that have great team chemistry (understanding, love, and complimentary gifts,) with each other is crucial in this kind of work. So many of our churches are looking for a significant cross-cultural ministry partner, often limited by financial resources to bring on a new staff member, and sometimes limited by the scarcity of trained ethnic minority pastors.
I (Randy) was encouraged to preach for New City Fellowship –Fredericksburg, VA on their 25th anniversary. Pastor Bob Becker has been faithful and God has been faithful to them to build that congregation. This fills our heart with joy to see this “thing,” this church thing, this cross-cultural reconciliation kind of church thing actually exist, thrive, and multiply in cities across our country. Pray for more of it so the Gospel can be spread and demonstrated everywhere.
Joan and I went back to Newark, NJ the first weekend of June where I preached at Calvary Gospel Church and honored Pastor Steven Davis for 25 years of ministry at CGC. (Photos above)
- Please pray for God to bless our home church and that the Lord would use them still to win many to Christ.
Randy will be teaching a seminar at General Assembly (in Dallas, TX) on Pastoral Competency.
- Please pray that this will be presented well and will be helpful to those Elders who attend.
- Pray for the Assembly, for true worship, fellowship, humility, unity, and mutual encouragement.
- Pray for the Lord to add to our Network ministry team to accompany and help us in our travel and visitation schedule and that the Lord would provide the financial support for this position.
- Pray for a weekly radio show that Randy participates in on Boston Praise Radio, Tuesdays at 9:00 am with Pastors Bruce Wall and Steven Davis. Google their web site or look them up on Facebook here.
Randy and Joan Nabors
Urban and Mercy Ministries