"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

Important Summer Ministry Prayer Request

March 12th, 2010

Dear church family or friend of Springs of Grace,

Grace and peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This past year has been one of the most significant in the life of our church. God has challenged us to depend on Him and His Spirit rather than ourselves. The Lord spoke to us from the gospel of John and from Exodus 33-34 that: we have been sent on a mission that’s way too big for us; we have a privilege of communing with Jesus in this mission that is too precious to forsake; we have a people the Father has given us to love (because He has given them) we dare not neglect and we have a God to infinitely great to not risk everything to trust Him.
I am so thankful for this church body and your faith and willingness to believe in the greatness and goodness of our God and, because of that, to take risks for His gospel and His glory.
Our neighbors, those living in the inner city, many of whom attend man-centered churches, and people around the world treat God as though He were a small thing – as though other treasures and achievements in this life were a bigger deal than knowing Him. Our summer ministry exists to help as many of them as possible to see the greatness of God.
One area where we have seen God honor your faith has been through our summer ministry. The investment we make in people’s lives through our intern ministry and our summer ministries is a key part of this vision. For the past couple of years we have taken an offering in the spring to seek God’s provision for the special ministry opportunities of the summer. After praying and seeking counsel from the advisory team, we believe we should once again ask the Lord to provide for these ministries through this special offering.
During the next few weeks we want to ask you to pray especially for two things:
First, Sunday, March 28th we will take a special offering that will go towards our summer ministry. We don’t do this often. We hope people will give willingly and joyfully and secretly as each one is led by the Lord. Ours is a day when many churches sell the gospel and other churches market themselves in a way that targets financially profitable groups. We believe the Bible exhorts us to give in secret and that trusting the Lord to supply the needs of His body ought to be our emphasis. We are thankful for the generous way the Lord has supplied our needs as a church body through the faithful giving of the saints – without us needing to make any emotional appeals.
We believe deeply in the value of training urban missionaries and modeling for them what a God-centered church that goes after the head AND the heart for the glory of the Lord looks like. We believe the giftings of the interns add greatly to our church body’s ability to demonstrate the beauty of Christ to this city and we believe God is equipping His church in other places through the training and experiences interns receive here and then take with them into future ministry opportunities. Each year the Lord has provided amazingly for this ministry and we look to Him to do so again through His people.
The Lord continues to give us wonderful opportunities for increased ministry. The number of young men and women expressing an interest in serving as interns this summer is again staggering. We want to walk faithfully in the ministries the Lord has opened the door so we are asking you to pray with us for $35,000 to support the summer ministry.
Frankly, that is a staggering amount for such a small group of saints, but we believe the Lord has placed these ministries before us and it seems right to pursue Him to supply the means to carry them out. It may well be that the Lord would not have you give to this special offering. That’s fine. We just want you to pray with us and give if and as the Lord enables you to give.
Secondly, over the next 9 months we are asking each family of our church to join us in a prayer for laborers to join the ministry at Springs of Grace Bible Church. We are very grateful to the Lord for the people and gifts He is using to build His church here and we trust His wise leadership. However, if the Lord has these ministries for us and if they are to expand in effectiveness, then we need a larger base of laborers. Some of you have prayed for laborers to join this ministry for several years and the Lord has brought others of you as answers to those prayers. Would you commit or renew your commitment to ask the Lord to enable you to reach at least one family or individual over the next 9 months who would come and join in the ministry here? One part of this would be making it a matter of regular prayer to ask the Lord to send more laborers to this ministry.
I think I have been guilty of thinking too small when it comes to God and what He might choose to do through us. Can you imagine what that Lord might do this summer and over the coming year? What would it be like if the Lord used each family or individual in this church to reach just three other families over the course of the next 9 months? What kind of potential impact could that have on those families? How many more kids could we successfully tutor? How many more students could attend the One Hope Academy? How many more of our neighbors could experience the love of God through demonstrations of love from our church body? How much more money could we send to needy brothers and sisters in Tanzania, Ukraine, China, India, Sudan, Bhutan, and Rwanda? How much progress could we make toward a rescue or recovery home for those rescued out of the sex slave or human trafficking? How many orphans could be helped or adopted out of the foster care program or from Haiti or …? How many preachers and urban missionaries could be trained and sent out? What impact could they have in other urban settings around the world? When you think of the glory and honor God could draw to His own name it is both staggering and immensely encouraging.
Paul said that the Lord is “able to do exceedingly abundant above all that we could ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20); and James said, “We don’t have because we don’t ask” (James 4:2); and Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do” (John 14:13). On Sunday, March 28th you’ll be given the opportunity to make or renew this commitment to pray regularly for laborers and to ask God to move powerfully through this church for His glory.
We could set our target at a type of ministry that would bring in more support and target more people – but that is not the pattern we see in the Lord Jesus – that is not the path to greatness in His kingdom that Jesus lays out in Luke 9:46-48. We certainly could aim at something smaller and more attainable in our own power but a small vision doesn’t seem to fit with the greatness we have seen in our God. So, we are asking you to join us in these two great prayers as we continue seeking to be a church that collectively puts on display the perfections of Christ.

To the praise of His glory,

for Pastors Joe Blankenship and Andrew Moss