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Church Of Drunks and Drug Users

A man got saved, asked the pastor at the mega church he attends could he have a ministry. He was invited to have a class of homeless, drunks, drug users that contact that church. In 6 years over 100 people have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ . Any comments? Anything wrong with this picture.

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 ---mima on 8/3/06
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Know there is nothing wrong with this picture. I work with this man in jail ministry I have also attended this church I'm talking about. So I'm very close to the situation. Over a period of time this church might gain(have someone saved). Once in a great while. The overall church has no ministry or outreach that compares with this man's outreach. I believe the church gave him this ministry to give him all off their backs. He is actually saved and knows it and this knowledge frees him up to help others to become saved. This church has had a Mexico ministry outreach for five years. Todate, no one has receive Christ from their efforts. What are their efforts? They go shopping downtown for new boots.
---Mima on 7/16/08

Well, let's see. The Bible mentions that Jesus ministered to prostitutes, the demon-posessed, the blind, and the lame. He was also accused of being a friend of drunkards. Wasn't it Him who said something to the effect that it was the sick who required a physician? Sounds to me like the people you mention are in desperate need of a Savior and I say AMEN! Nothing wrong with this picture.
---Crystal on 7/15/08

From the way you phrase your question, I'm guessing you want us to say that something is wrong. From the info given, I honestly have no idea what are the bad things you are hinting at. I would say: look at the 100 people and see if there were real changes in their lives after accepting Christ.
---Benny on 6/2/07

I go to a church like that. This is perfectly Biblical to reach out to these people. Jesus did it in His day, and probably would do it if He were here today.
---Leslie on 12/31/06

Thank you Donna :) I can totally relate to the Scripture reference, about " the land of the living"; I am LITERALLY alive today and thank God for it :) Not only am I recovering from alcohol (a slow process lol) but just being alive to live for God is a blessing :) God bless you Donna :)
---Mary on 8/31/06

Mary, Bless you.
Knowing Jesus makes life worth living.

He has "..delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling. So that I may walk before God in the light of the living." Ps 56:13
---Donna2277 on 8/30/06

Hi Donna; you might be right--people may not understand what it's like. :) Sometimes I forget that; I didn't start drinking till the night before I turned 39; only drank about a year and a half but I still crave it after 2 years sober. But I want a life now even more than liquor, for which I praise God :)
---Mary on 8/30/06

Mary-- Thanks for your input. I hope you will understand that some here may have lived rather insulated lives in the church community. They don't understand what it is like to be in your shoes. Their posts may reflect more lack of understanding than intentional "shaming".However they come across, their motives are good.
---Donna2277 on 8/26/06

Just a small word in defense of the pastor. A pastor cannot be all things to all persons. He cannot bear every burden. But I believe he was listening to the Lord when he said "yes" to the man who wanted a ministry. And he put reaching people ahead of risks or appearances.
---Donna2277 on 8/26/06

I see God convicting the pastor who appears not to have had a heart for these lowly ones, but instead has pawned these type of people off onto the enthusiastic new convert. God is showing up the hardened pastor along with the rest of the dead congregation that what you think and feel are so-called losers of society have truly become my winners, and you who are called by my Name should likewise repent and get up and evangelize even as this new convert has done.
---Eloy on 8/26/06

What's the problem with that picture? I am a recovering alcoholic; maybe I read it wrong but it seems snobbish to alcoholics and drug users; was it meant to though? I can honestly say as addicts, we have a tremendous sense of our need for Jesus Christ. Addiction is not fun and addicts shouldn't be shamed but loved to the Lord.
---Mary on 8/25/06

Alan, Not looking to start anything... as I said, just being bratty... ;o) So, you can relax.
---daphn8897 on 8/8/06

Daphne ... I have discussed this so much already, that I am not going through it all again. Yes, we are often prompted, and many are, but do not respond. Jesus said "Come unto me, all who are heavy laden..." But they did not all come. Nevertheless He rejects none who do come & knock.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/8/06

Alan, Just to be bratty... "Knock and it shall be opened to you." doesn't indicate free will either. Why would anyone even consider "knocking" but for God's prompting/openning their eyes. I know folks love to harp on having a choice... personally I don't need - God's choices are much better than any I'd make anyway.
---daphn8897 on 8/8/06

Ryan ... "Knock and it shall be opened to you". Does that indicate that the sinner has no choice?
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/6/06

Ryan, your concern for "quality" over "quantity" is well appreciated. I myself had expressed some caution in that direction given the scanty info. But there is a difference between cautious optimism and downright cynicism; the latter is just overdoing it. The same remark applies to terminology; don't focus on the trees and miss the forest. Praise God for your devotion to Him and His Word.
---Benny on 8/6/06

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I mourn for these people if they are not convicted in their soul and if there is not a true repentance. THey will be the seeds that fall on the rocks or are snatched up by the birds of the air or fall in among the thorns and thistles only to be overtaken.
---Ryan on 8/6/06

Are these the teachings these people are being taught? Or are they being led in a "sinners prayer" and being told all they need to do is "Believe" and doing their "alter calls"
If this is the way these people are "Being saved" than it is bogus. Are they understanding what it is to BE a Christian? Are they coming away hungering and thirsting for His truth and righteousness?
---Ryan on 8/6/06

"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty {again?} It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
---Ryan on 8/6/06

"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when {people} insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
---Ryan on 8/6/06

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Mat 5:3-13 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
---Ryan on 8/6/06

Donna2277, No one accepts Jesus. This term is bogus. The creator of the universe of the heavens and earth the One who holds everything together He accepts us. I am more intersted in quality rather than quantity.
---Ryan on 8/6/06

Now that you put it this way mima, it is of course very clear. You have to agree it was hard for many people to guess what you were aiming at :). Regardless, I would say to pray for the leaders/adminstrators of this church so that they can give a good account of themselves before the Lord. I still think the main point of interest is that so many souls were saved. Praise God for your friend's faith.
---Benny on 8/5/06

mima, My point is, you are only hearing his perspective on the story. If you are not someone who is a part of the problem or are a part of the solution, he was wrong to say anything to you at all. Instead of complaining, he needs to go to the leadership and tell them what he believes. If he is unwilling, then he is, at best, walking in the fear of man, or, at worst, has his own agenda and wants to somehow discredit the ministry.
---daphn8897 on 8/5/06

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Ryan--Why be such a "nit-picker" about words? The proof of what really happened (or didn't happen) to these converts would be seen in their behavior and their attitudes. If they eventually quit drinking and taking drugs (which the question doesn't tell us) would you still question their salvation? Even if they told you they had "accepted" Jesus?
---Donna2277 on 8/5/06

Part#3 I believe the reason this man was given this particular class(in fact the class was formed when he agreed to take it) is because the seminary graduates did not want to dirty their hands so to speak. Question: Do you desire to win souls? Then I suggest you to go where the need is plain not clouded by fluency and education and formality. Feel free to comment, if you believe I'm wrong so say.
---mima on 8/5/06

Part#2 this man works with our group in prison ministry so I talk with him at least twice a week. What I'm trying to say is with seven pastors, enormous amounts of money, and great reception in the community I find the fact that this man with the class of drugs and homeless is seeing more souls won by the Lord and all the rest of the church put together. Do you not see a problem here? What do you think? Problems or no?
---mima on 8/5/06

Part#1 To all; I have just found out that this man had seven people accept Lord Jesus Christ in his class last Sunday.-- and last Sunday his class had the only salvations in that church. Now I ask you is the picture getting clearer. In answer to a question,no I'm not a member of this church and I have never had a conference with the pastoral staff.
---mima on 8/5/06

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[cont] Whatever mima's point about the church finances and leadership may be, it still does not change the fact that God can use anyone in any situation from any type of church to do His work of salvation. Praise God for prompting mima to share this uplifting account.
---Benny on 8/5/06

Ryan: I might have missed something but I don't see any info saying that the new convert was asked to teach. Leading a ministry does not necessarily mean teaching. It could have been just an outreach program e.g. provision of meals and friendship. These are things a new believer can do for the Lord right away as an outward expression of new-found faith.
---Benny on 8/5/06

I still dont understand what this blog is about. Who would care if one was ministering to drug addicts and homeless people? What does that have to do with anything? I dont see anything wrong with that.Is the new pastor mad because he gets all the drunks, or what?
---sue on 8/4/06

Wonderful thing doing the Lord's work. Wingard had a lot of alcoholics/addicts who were homeless. Some got saved, some didn't. Did we ever go back ... yes, all the time. Better to save one soul than no souls at all. It's a learning place, a saving place, it's home.
---Nellah on 8/4/06

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Alan 8869ofUK - 100 souls over a period of 6 years is not very many at all no matter what the circumstances. It is actually frightening. How low has the church as a whole sunk to even think that that is a lot. If that church were evangelising as it should, then there should probably be at least 100 souls per week being won to the Lord Jesus.
---Helen_5378 on 8/4/06

Yes, each person has gifts that God is longing to use. We do not need to be the pastor of a church to be ministers for Christ. I think, from what I've heard, that this is a blessed program; it is stories like these that really make me hungry to see a revival like that in my own church.
---Casey on 8/4/06

I can understand why a pastor might want to turn such a ministry over to this man. Hopefully, he saw to it that this fairly new Christian got some intensive discipling and supervision. But if I was homeless, a drunk or druggie, I'd probably shrug off much of what came from the pastor and listen to one who had "been there". The value of conversions isn't about numbers. If the decisions were genuine and lives were changed , praise God for each and every one.
---Donna2277 on 8/4/06

I would question why the pastor went against a decree from God and let a new convert teach. I would also ask in what manner did they "Accept Jesus"? If they accepted Him into their heart than it is bogus no one can accept Jesus in their heart. If they accepted Him as Lord of Lords and King of Kings than it is a valid acceptance. The question than becomes did Jesus accept them as disciples?
---Ryan on 8/4/06

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mima, I appreaciate this gentleman is a friend of yours, but are you a part of the same church? And, have the two of you gone together to someone on the pastoral staff to inquire why "his application was dropped"? I've seen things go both ways... 1) the leadership is not walking in integrity, and/or 2) the one "raising the alarm" has his/her own agenda. Bottom line, if you aren't directly involved in the problem or the solution, then his coming to you was gossip.
---daphn8897 on 8/4/06

Interesting that the pastor's salaries are causing folks to question the validity of the ministry. Is it possible that, though this man appeared to be leading the ministry, that one of the pastoral staff was guiding and helping him? Is it possible that the pastoral staff saw this man's need to dive into service - to serve him and help him grow? 100 people saved is certainly not a small number - especially if they've knit into that local body - regardless of the size of the ministry.
---daphn8897 on 8/4/06

Helen ... 100 in 6 years is great, particularly if it is only a sideline of the church, with a new Christian being allowed do the outreach, whilst the highly paid staff concentrated on "better" things.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/4/06

Yes Helen I agree but the most frightening thing of the whole situation is that perhaps none of the pastors know how to win a soul. Recently they asked this man holding this class to become a member of the finance committee, when he began to inquire about things his application was quickly dropped. The man is a personal friend of mine hence I know the story.
---mima on 8/4/06

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The fact that Christ would have died for just one, I'd say 100 in 6 years is awesome! I'm sure there are problems at this mega-church, as there are at churches of ten people. Let's not attack our own sisters and brothers in the Lord based on assumptions and opinions, or even for known flaws! Let's celebrate the victories in those 100 lives, and praise God he chose to use this church. Let's pray for the flaws and praise God for the good deeds. Amen?
---Katie on 8/4/06

Mima, are you implying that the Pastor didn't want to deal with these people and so he pawned them off on a new convert? Let's give this Pastor the benefit of the doubt for arguement sake, could it bethe man had a heart for these people, and that's why the Pastor gave the ministry to him? Could it be they prayed together about it, and felt God was leading the man in this direction? Regardless what it appears to be, or what it really is, God used it. Class dismissed. Case closed.
---Katie on 8/4/06

Okay, I get a different picture now. One of the pastors there should be doing that work, not offering it to the new convert. Mega church hey with huge amounts of money flowing in -- they should be feeding those people and preaching the gospel to them. And 100 souls in 6 years for such a large church is not many at all.
---Helen_5378 on 8/4/06

I wonder indeed whether this man's ministry is more valuable than that of the very expensive head pastor.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/4/06

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I am sorry Mima but no the fact the church has money doesn't make your point any clearer to me. I think it's great a church that size would even focus on the homeless and addicted, they need to know about God's love too.
---bethie on 8/4/06

Yes Mima, it becomes even clearer that previous answers are right.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/4/06

I don't get it. What's wrong with the picture? Sounds very good to me, 100 people getting saved? So whats wrong mima? Did they truly get saved, or what?
---sue on 8/4/06

Permit me to enlarge the picture. This church is housed in a building that cost in excess of $3 million. This church has a total of seven pastors and the head pastor's perks exceed $125,000. Does the picture get more clear?
---mima on 8/4/06

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2/... It actually describes to me a very beautiful picture of just what Jesus' church ought to be --- full of unloved, lonely, desperate hurting souls, who will be changed into something beautiful by the Lord Jesus.
---Helen_5378 on 8/3/06

Anything wrong with it? Far from it. It reminds me of when Jesus said when you have a feast go out into the highways and byways and bring such people. The people described are the very ones most likely to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour, because they have a desperate need and can more easily recognise what that need is, as opposed to the self-righteous who think they have no need at all.
---Helen_5378 on 8/3/06

I see nothing wrong with this picture. I believe that more churches need to do this.
---Madison1101 on 8/3/06

As Christians we have all been "drunks" and "drug users" who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. As you know, Jesus associated freely with "tax collectors" and "sinners" and attracted much criticism about this from the self-righteous Pharisees, who in the same breath called our Lord a "drunkard" and a "glutton". Let's check our own hearts and attitudes to ensure that we do not grieve our Lord by becoming modern-day Pharisees.
---Benny on 8/3/06

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