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


March 19th, 2016

Dear church family or friend of Springs of Grace,

Grace and peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am very thankful for the amazing ways God is working at Springs of Grace these past few months. I am thankful for answered prayer – for new ministry opportunities – for fruit in places we have labored long – for encouragements – for challenges – and for those of you God has brought to labor alongside of us through this past year. I am excited about the passion for missions that continues to burn in the hearts of many of us. I am excited about the fruit of a renewed commitment to the one anothers and small groups and living together in community, that was encouraged by our study of Hebrews. I am thankful for God’s provision and the work of our men in helping us move towards some very needed repairs and improvements on the buildings we meet in and use. I rejoice over the efforts at ministry that are taking place with internationals, with the Spanish speaking community, with the oppressed, in our neighborhoods, to our youth, ladies, men, couples, children, etc.
One of the most important ministries of our church over the past 13 years has been our commitment to invest in lives through our intern ministry. For the past several years we have taken an offering in the spring to seek God’s provision for the special ministry opportunities of the summer. After prayer, our elders and staff 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, April 17th, 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. In 2 Corinthians 8 we read this: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” It is our prayer that the example of the Lord Jesus and what He has done for us will give us hearts of generosity and a desire to give more; not because it is in any way required but because it seems that our love demands it.
We will never sell the gospel. We will continue to urge you to give in secret and we will trust the LORD to supply the needs of His body.
Over the past few years there seems to have been an awakening towards the need to be involved in the social issues of our day. Many Christians have begun to get involved in ministry to the poor and those who are captives. Way too much of that social ministry happens outside of the context of the church. We believe that is a mistake. We value very highly the training of urban missionaries in the context of a God-centered church that goes after the head AND the heart for the glory of the Lord. We believe the giftings of the interns add greatly to our ability to demonstrate the love of God and build relationships that open the door to the declaration of His truth AND we are convinced that the internship benefits greatly from interns getting to be a part of Springs of Grace. 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. Please spread the word about interning to those you know who might be good candidates. Anyone can begin the process by applying at www.onehopetulsa.com. We want to walk faithfully in the ministries the Lord has opened the door to. We are asking you to pray with us for $40,000 to support the summer ministry. This is in addition to the normal budget needs and we understand that can seem like a staggering amount for what is a pretty small group of people, 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.
I want us to give out of a response to the love God has shown us. I have seen the tremendous fruit of the intern ministry and I am asking the Lord to let my family give towards it. Ask the Lord what you should give and who you should share this need with. It may well be that the Lord would not have you give to this special offering or share the need with others at all. He may have you express your love for Him and this church in other ways. That’s great. We just want you to pray with us and give if and as the Lord enables you to give. You can give the Sunday of April 17th or you can make a commitment to give over the next few weeks towards this offering. There will be clear directions as to how you can give to the summer ministry online at www.onehopetulsa.com or www.springsofgrace.church. You need to understand that this summer ministry need is in addition to our regular weekly needs for ministry. So pray and ask the LORD if He would have you give extra for the summer ministry.
Secondly, over the next 9 months we are asking each of you or 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, as we saw last week, it is the plan of God for His kingdom to increase and it seems that if the Lord has these ministries for us and if they are to expand in effectiveness, then it is right for us to pray for a larger base of laborers.
Would you make it a matter of regular prayer to ask the Lord to send more laborers to this ministry? Many of you are here as a direct answer to this type of prayer by others over the past years. Would you join us in praying for the Lord to add laborers so that we would be in an even greater position to pursue our vision for training and sending out preachers and urban missionaries and social workers and engineers and educators who might be able to partner with our medical missionaries as teams that would impact several continents with the gospel; addressing the educational crisis by continuing to enlarge our after school program, promoting adoption and foster care and supporting the families who have adopted or are caring for foster children; tutoring and skill development in the inner city; increased mission support; helping families raise up a godly generation; ministry to the international students at the University of Tulsa and throughout our city as a means of reaching the nations; a medical mission to the families of our neighborhood through the Good Samaritan program, ministry to the homeless, the continuation of our efforts through HOPE918 in the strip clubs and with “at risk” young ladies to show and teach what the love of God is really like, continuation and expansion of our coaching ministry; counseling ministry; intern ministry; strengthening godly, holy and passionate marriages; finding and providing more real outlets for teaching and preaching the Bible throughout our city as a means of seeing the kingdom of heaven increase in our city and seeing our neighbors set free from the oppression they are under; outreach to the Spanish speaking members of our community and their families; ministry to the disabled; the beginning of a midweek children’s program to better equip our children with the knowledge of the Bible, parenting encouragement and training; an increase in the preaching and shepherding ministry within the body; effectiveness in carrying out the one anothers as we seek to stir each other up to love and good deeds; and other opportunities the Lord may bring our way.
There is much on our heart and we feel right in asking you to join us in praying for laborers for this mission. It is my desire for you to prayerfully make a commitment before the Lord to pray for laborers. This is no small thing. Perhaps you have made this commitment in the past and it has slipped from your mind. This would be a great time to renew this commitment. On Sunday, April 17th you’ll be given the opportunity to make or renew this commitment.
In Ephesians chapter 3, Paul is speaking of the church and in that context he says, “Now unto Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Our Lord is able to do far more than we think through the church for His glory. Please join us in these two great prayers as we continue seeking to be a church that collectively puts on display the perfections of Christ.

Your servant,

Joe Blankenship
On behalf of all the elders
Doug Fry, Jared McCoy, Jared Tabor