2006 Monthly Letter
I review what the Holy Spirit has done through UpBuilding
Ministries this year, it is significant to hear His voice
through the wife of a pastor. Lori is her name; she is a mother
of four teenagers and works for a social agency. In an unsolicited
letter she writes:
UpBuilding Ministries' Board,
husband has served two small churches in Ohio. Dr. Ron Rand
has led an UpBuilding Weekend in both. I greatly appreciate
your willingness to make himself available to minister to
churches of our size.
an age where so much focus is on "mega-churches",
it is my opinion that the majority of churches dispersed throughout
the nation, which are small in size, are experiencing a disconnect
from the network of evangelical teaching.
like yours, provide an "artery' through which a life-giving
connection can be made to this network of teaching. Many of
these smaller churches belong to denominations in crisis.
The Scriptural basis upon which they were originally founded
has been eroded and the life-giving truth of the Gospel of
Jesus Christ is often no longer being communicated in a consistent
teachers like Dr. Rand come and bring quality teaching with
Scriptural integrity, many of these members clearly hear this
truth for the first time and make decisions to enter into
a saving relationship with Christ.
Sunday in our church, we experienced this as 6 youth and over
30 adults prayed to receive Jesus as their personal Savior
or rededicated their lives to Him as Lord. In addition, another
30 plus stood for prayer as a response to Dr. Rand's invitation
to those "experiencing a down time in their lives."
He then called for the rest of the congregation to gather
around those standing, lay their hands upon them as a Biblical
admonishment, and pray for them. I am sure this this is not
the 'norm' for many churches! This is Biblical Christianity!
I feel that the "seeker sensitive" megachurch is
held up as the model for all churches to follow. It has attracted
some of the most gifted and talented leaders as the "ideal
destination of Christendom." Yet there is a large group
of unsaved people in small churches who may not understand
that they need to be seekers! These are the people that benefit
from UpBuilding Ministries and from talented servants such
as Dr. Rand. It is obvious that small churches have a large
place in his heart and in yours for which I am most grateful.
you for making your Weekends affordable through only a "free
will offering." Thank you, too, for your willingness
to include smaller churches throughout the United States such
as ours in your venue. Because of your availability, the seeds
of the Gospel and the life changed power of it are communicated
to as Jesus said, "even the least of these." Lori
reading Lori's letter I reviewed our 06 calendar. There were
28 scheduled Weekends. Exactly half were with small sized
congregations--one at Gulf Prairie in Jones Creek, Texas with
a congregation of 113 members!
is helpful to see ourselves through another's eyes. Though
Lori's eyes we see our Ministry in a revealing way. I praise
the Holy Spirit Who has enabled Jesus to be lifted up through
UpBuilding Ministries to the glory of our Heavenly Father.
am estimating that personal decisions for Jesus Christ in
06 numbered about 1288. I base this on a average of 32 youth
and adults per smaller-sized church and 60 per larger-sized.
(I am defining smaller churches as having one worship service
and larger as two or more services. When you multiple 32 x
14 and add 60 x 14, the total is 1288.) During my time with
Junior and Senior high youth, it is not uncommon for 90 plus
percent to make first-time decisions for Jesus Christ!
you for your faithful partnership in UpBuilding Ministries.
We appreciate your prayers and financial support. We continue
to need both as we enter into 07. So far 19 Weekends have
been scheduled. Those in larger-sized churches are 10; those
in smaller-sized churches are 9. So Lori's affirmation continues!
are helping to make a significant difference of eternal value
in the lives of men, women, youth, and children in churches
of all sizes. You are a blessing!