UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

December 2006 Monthly Letter

As 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:

Dear UpBuilding Ministries' Board,

My 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.

In 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.

Ministries 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 manner.

When 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.

Last 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!

Again, 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.

Thank 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 M

After 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!

It 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.

I 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!

Thank 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!

You 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!


















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