Tag Archives: church growth

The expansion of the Gospel in the San Fernando Valley

San Fernando Valley map

A map of services and studies of the Lighthouse Church. The line shows how we have advanced in the central region.

We own the central region of the Valley. We have Bible studies and services running up its spinal cord. Now to expand laterally.

I don’t think Christianity was supposed to be an armchair faith. It was meant to be active. We need to get out and project light, not just meet and talk about doing it.

In an extraordinarily short period of time, God multiplied a simple Bible study in my home to three nexus points of evangelism: church services in Anthony Beilenson Park at Lake Balboa, a Bible study at Las Palmas Park of the City of San Fernando and my Van Nuys Bible study in my apartment.

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Our intensive Bible study last night took place in Las Palmas Park of the City of San Fernando

I am surprised by this. I have known both growth and vast expanses of “stagnation” in ministry in my 16 years in Guatemala. Explosive growth is unusual, beautiful, special. It cannot be manufactured, planned for, conjured up. It comes sovereignly from God.

The only thing you can do when God moves is try to not screw it up. Excuse the expression. But what I mean is that if you let it go to your head, or if you get distracted, then you lose the wave or revival. The best thing to do is to keep your head down and try to ride the wave as far and long as you can.

And give the glory to God.

The Valley Boy Pastor is quite astonished at what God is doing.

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Where every Christian should be

go out on a limb

Thank you http://www.gwynmichael.com for the image. I don’t own the rights, and I’m not making any money on it.

Go out on a limb… for God

Be led by faith.

Attitude is everything

Like with so many things in life, attitude is everything — in prayer.

Of 10 lepers healed, only one came back to thank Jesus. (Luke 17:17-18) Gratitude for what we already have is important as we ask God for more. It should not stop us for asking for more, but praise and thanksgiving should accompany petition. By prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING  let your requests be made known unto God. — Phil 4:6 KJV (my caps)

Another pitfall is trying to convince God that OUR plan ought to be HIS plan. How ridiculous! Yet, we are guilty frequently. First accept whatever God’s plan is, and then pray for better circumstances. Even Jesus said, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Upon entering your prayer closet, examine your attitude. Are your prayers desperate cries of faith or selfish complaining? Do we have the things of God in mind or our own things? Remember: it is not  the right words you say in prayer but the right demeanor. A correct attitude leads to correct prayers leads to answers!

‘Dad, we need a shed’

My son, Hosea, learning to surf

How to discern between need and want? Your Father knows what you NEED before you ask him. — Matt. 6:8 NIV (my caps)

Undoubtedly, finances are the fuel for ministry. You will be limited in outreach opportunities by lack of resources.

But where finances have lacked most, the gospel has spread most. The church in China exploded in the 1980s and ’90s with growth while they had precious few pennies.

A leader needs great wisdom. And he needs contentment with what God has granted. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with praying for more finances for ministry.

My son yesterday told me we need a shed. We need it for the bikes, and now for a beginner’s surfboard. Bikes were stolen out of our backyard, so we are stowing them inconveniently overnight in the church. But we’re renters without a lot of money, so a shed may not be the best option.

We Americans always “need” something else. The new IPad. A new car. New clothes. I used to be a missionary on a shoe-string budget. Sheer lack helps to distinguish true needs. When are “needs” in truth only “wants?”