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Aquarium Keeping leader?
Jan/Feb 2012 | Volume 3 Issue 5
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Interstate Fellowship Meeting January 9, 2012 Faith Fellowship Church Collinsville, OK Rev. Kelvin Limbocker (918) 371-2996 North Texas Fellowship Meeting January 27, 2012 Living Word Church Kemp, Texas Rev. Daniel Sue (214) 205-8647
Interstate Fellowship Meeting February 13, 2012 Living Faith Church Moore, OK Rev. Jimmy Milligan (405) 863-8909
Interstate Fellowship Meeting March 12, 2012 Life Community Church Ada, OK Rev. Mickey Keith (580) 272-8447 ►For more information about upcoming events visit our website at www.independentassemblies.org
www.independentassemblies.org 2 • connection
connection Jan/Feb 2012
moving? If you are planning on moving or just recently moved, please contact the offices of the Independent Assemblies so that we may update your contact information. Also, keep us up to date with your current email and phone number.
New Year - New Hope
Brenda Mullins - First Ladies and Me
When People Leave
Are You an Aquarium-Keeping Leader?
The Diverse Ministry of Daniel Shackelford
Mobile Ministry to the Rescue!
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Independent Assemblies PO Box 1546 Ada, OK 74821 (580) 310-0222
Independent Assemblies PO Box 1546 Ada, OK 74821 (580) 310-0222 Produced by Layers Media, Inc. www.layersmedia.com
connection â€˘ 3
New Year New hope E
by: Mickey Keith
very New Year’s Eve, approximately one billion people around the world watch the “ball” drop in New York City’s Times Square. The 1st “time-ball” was installed on top of England’s Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. After the success of that event, approximately 150 such time-balls were installed around the world. But few survive and still work. Over the years, the “time-ball” has undergone about 4 re-designs – the most recent one was created for the millennial celebration in the year 2000 by Waterford Crystal. It’s a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighing approximately 1,070 pounds. It’s covered with a total of 504 crystal triangles that vary in size. Each of those triangles has a special designation: Hope for Fellowship, Hope for Peace, Hope for Wisdom, Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, etc. The Name of the ball is The Star of Hope’… because Each New Year IS a time for hope! It’s a time for opportunity, and a time for us to lay hold of our destiny. What a great time to `forget what is behind, and strain toward what is ahead, and press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us Heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:13,14 NIV What a great time to learn from the past, reflect on the past, and let it go! It’s time to dream great dreams, set new goals and pursue the life God has called us to live! 1. Let Go of the PastA. Leave your resentment- Eph 4:29-32 NLT “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each
other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” B. Leave your worries-Phil. 4:6-8 NLT “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. “ C. Leave your failures behind- Let the past be just that---the past. No amount of worry can change what has already slipped into the pages of history. However, we can look forward, learn from the past and determine to not repeat our mistakes. 2. Lay Hold of the Future- Let’s run into the New Year with our eyes wide open to God’s blessings; with our hearts attentive to His voice. He deserves our very best! What you give God at the first of the year will help set the tone for the rest of the year! Eph. 5:15-17 NIV “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” 3. Know what God’s Will is- Isaiah 46:10 NIV “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” Since God’s will and purpose SHALL be established in the earth, we must align ourselves with that will. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done’! Jesus said, “I only do what I see my father do.” Our hearts and desire should be to do what we see the Father doing in the life and ministry of Jesus. In the filming of the 1959 Biblical epic’s called “Ben Hur,” one of the movie’s most famous scenes was the climactic chariot race.In the spirit of authenticity, Charlton Heston actually learned to drive the 4 horse vehicles. But after weeks of practice, he expressed concern about the final shoot. He took the stunt coordinator aside and “I can drive the chariot,” he told stunt coordinator Yakima Canutt, who was directing the scene, “but I’m not sure I can win.” Canutt replied, “Chuck, you just make sure you stay in the chariot, and I’ll make sure you win the race.” Likewise, God is saying to us: “Just stay in the chariot… and I’ll make sure you win the race.”
First Ladies and Me by: Mindy Wood
Today more than ever there are women in full time ministry as pastors, teachers, evangelists, missionaries, and those serving full time in their churches.“First Ladies and Me” is a conference that Mullins started to meet the particular needs of these women who do so much on the front lines and behind the scenes of ministry. “First Ladies and Me” is a high energy, intense presence of God, refreshing conference that will serves those serving in full time ministry. Brenda said ministry isn’t just a part of them, it’s every ounce of energy and time where much is expected and given with little in the natural returned. In other words, “we are exhausted,” said Mullins. Mullins said women in full time ministry often need time to rest. “This is a safe place where the presence of God can fall on them and they can be rejuvenated without any expectations on them. I encourage them not to come dressed up but come dressed to hang out. If they come and they don’t want to leave their hotel room until service time, they’re allowed to do that without feeling they’re being unsociable or stuffy. They need rest.” Mullins said the Lord is always faithful and enjoys giving and said God still multiplies the loaves and fishes. “We try to totally shower these women with the Holy Spirit, love, rest, fellowship and gifts. These are not trinkets or junk but things that women like, things we can use in our work, things we would want or love. I had such a ton of purses and so many of them had tags on them and hardly used so
I decided to tell the ladies to bring extra bags they had to the conference. I brought 14 extra bags and at the end of the event they told me they didn’t give them all away and put them up. I had 22 new bags left over,” she laughed. “You can’t out give God.” In addition to the annual March conference, she teaches a school of ministry. This extensive two year course is for those desiring understanding of the bible and a must for those in ministry as well as an added benefit to churches. This comprehensive study will establish government, leadership, knowledge and the nut’s and bolts of church and service. She works with the pastors to adjust times, dates, and knowledge to meet the needs of the individual church. Brenda knew at a very young age that the favor of God was upon her. Ordained with IA and Deliverance Temple she and her husband Charlie have spent 31 years working together furthering the gospel. “Charlies gifts are pretty wide,” said Mullins. “As a CPA, his insight and wisdom brings balance. In his own unique way, he stabilizes this three dimensional life.” The Mullins have four children and six grandchildren. “My oldest son is a missionary to Malaysia and I always appreciate prayers for the work he is doing.” For more information about her upcoming First Ladies Conference in March 29th, visit her at www.firstfruitsokc.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 405-2047788.
by: Greg Surratt
None of us are immune. In the early days of starting Seacoast, I used to wince when someone asked for an appointment. I’d think to myself, “Was this another ‘core team member’ hanging up their spurs?” It seemed to happen about once a monthm and I’d become a little gun-shy. Even these days I’ll feel that lump from time to time. Occasionally, when I meet a newcomer who has transferred from a local church, I’ll wonder how much pain our “success” has caused area pastors?
Why do people leave?
If you are a pastor, you know how it feels... It’s the phone call, the appointment, the whispered news. “We’re leaving the church.” As much as they say “It’s not about you,” it usually feels like it is. It starts as a lump in the pit of your stomach that slowly makes its way up the twists and turns of internal plumbing, until it gets stuck firmly in the back of your throat. You didn’t see it coming and the hurt is commensurate to the level of the relationship. The closer the connection, the more intense the pain. I watched my Dad and Mom deal with it in churches when I was growing up. Dad externalized, Mom did the opposite. She would hide her hurt behind the duties of raising a family, but I’d see her tears and wonder what was really going on. You didn’t have to wonder with dad. He would sometimes vent his hurt on those who didn’t leave, using thinly veiled references in sermons or conversations. These days I see evidence of the same in hurting pastors’ twitters and blog posts. It’s hard to keep communication above the fray when your heart feels like it’s been kicked to the curb.
• Sometimes people leave because of a misunderstanding. Some of the people who left in the early years thought that Seacoast was going to be different than it was. Some couldn’t understand the vision or wanted it to be more like the mother church or another church they had been comfortable in. • Some people leave because of an offense. A lady told me once that her family was leaving the church because I had not acknowledged her or her husband in several social settings. Truthfully, I couldn’t recall any of them, but they had left an impression on her, so they left. Often they are offended with others in the church and rather than facing the issue, they just leave. • Some people leave because the excitement of the new has worn off. Long term relationships are difficult to maintain, whether it be in a marriage, a friendship, or a church relationship. In our bigger, better, faster culture it’s easy to become enamored with the new and shiny rather than put the investment in renewing what seems old and dull. • Some people leave because it is the sovereign will of God. He has a new assignment, a specific mission, or a better fit somewhere else for this season of life. Almost everyone who leaves chooses door #4, and for some, it may actually be the true motivation.
So, how do you respond?
• Some leaders internalize it—they become paralyzed by the rejection. They risk isolation and distancing themselves from future relationships in order to avoid further pain. • Some leaders externalize it—they lash out to anyone who will listen. They risk collateral damage as they are processing through their pain. • Some leaders learn from it—they realize that sometimes people leave. They learn to process it in a healthy way and move forward stronger from the experience. Does this ring true to you?
People ask me all the time how we’ve been able to see so many people come to Christ in five years. Outside of the favor of God, I could give you a lot of specifics. Tell you a lot of things that we’ve done. But none of it will help you until you make a decision we made in the early days of our church. And that was the decision to be more focused on the people we’re trying to reach than on the people we’re trying to keep. As others have said, to be fishers of men, not just keepers of the aquarium. We’re not going to cater to the personal preferences of the few in our pursuit of the salvation of the many. And that includes if the few is 10 people when we’re pursuing 100. Or 5,000 when we’re pursuing 10,000. Or 10,000 when we’re pursuing 20,000. Most people and churches aren’t willing to do that. They’re keepers of the aquarium. They say they want to reach people, but in reality they’re more focused on preservation than expansion. On keeping people rather than reaching them. They let saved people dictate style. Saved people dictate focus. Saved people dictate vision. The result is a room full of saved people. Not people getting saved. Why? Because the people you’re trying to reach aren’t interested in the church that has been created by the people you’re trying to keep. If they were, they’d be coming. But they’re not. For some reason, right here is where people usually play the discipleship card. They’re trying to disciple the people they’re trying to keep. They accuse you of pitting evangelism against discipleship. But that isn’t the case. I just believe true disciples should care more about making disciples than freeze-framing the church the way it was when they became one. Or wanting 26 programs customized to their liking. If the mark of Christian maturity is a bunch of people who want to create a museum glorifying and preserving their personal preferences and then sanctify it by calling it a church, count me out. Some people say, why can’t we have both? You can. Focus on the people you want to reach and you’ll keep the people you want to keep. Let the rest walk. They’ll find a church elsewhere to graze. The way I see it is they’re just occupying the space of a person who needs to hear the gospel. You’ll fill their seat. And it will be with the person who needs it the most. sermoncentral.com
Are You an Aquarium Keeping Leader? by: Steven Furtick
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The Diverse Ministry of Daniel Shackelford by: Mindy Wood
Helen and Daniel Shackelford
eople who explore and exhaust every possibility, opportunity, and talent God has given them are truly an inspiration. Daniel Shackelfordâ€™s diverse ministry could be summed up as a man who simply lets God use every tool at his disposal. Author, actor, evangelist, vocalist, retired TV producer and director, certified gourmet chef, highly decorated Vietnam Veteran and Native American bead work artist, Shackelford is full of surprises. Born into ministry, his father William C. Shackelford was part of IA when it formed 8 â€˘ connection
and tagged his family along to summer tent meetings. From a young age he and his five siblings were recruited into a family singing, evangelism, and church ministry team. Daniel began ministering on his own during college and graduated from Western Pentecostal Bible College in British Columbia, Canada. He later obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Southern University in Joplin, Missouri. After two tours in Vietnam, Shackelford enjoyed a 27 year career as a TV news producer and director to help support his ministry and family. Tent meeting preacher, pastor, and author he also struggled with PTSD but God graciously carried he and his wife, Helen through the demands of ministry
and raising three children. Through every trial of life, Shackelford said he can look back and see God’s power at work in his life. Today Shackelford is healed from PTSD, experienced a miraculous recovery from a stroke, and at the Robert Johnson Mission Conference last fall was healed from Parkinson’s disease. “My right hand and arm would shake so violently and it was beginning to affect the left side. I went to Robert Johnsons’ mission convention. I went forward for prayer and the next thing I knew, I was laying flat on my back on the floor with my right hand extended straight up in the air. While I laid there, I watched that arm shake and people start praising God. As I laid there, I watched it stop and I’ve not had a tremor since. God’s done so much for me I don’t know how to be grateful enough for it.” A long time teacher of end time prophecy and the book of Revelation, God had something in store for this student of the Word. While teaching a class at church on what would become his next book, The Christ of Revelation, Dr. Richard Tate of Tate Publishing and his wife were in attendance and paying close attention. “I didn’t know who he was but he wanted to talk to me after church. He asked me if I thought about writing a book and I told him I would have it finished by the first of the year. I wondered why and he said, ‘You don’t know who I am do you?’ I finished the book by December 26th and by January 4th I had a contract. How the publisher came to me was almost unbelievable. I’ve done a lot of secular publishing with stories and poetry for years and to have a publisher come to me, I consider that a God thing. Not only that, to get a contract that quickly was definitely a God thing.” The book is focused on the revelation of the risen Christ and while it discusses the often taught subjects, Shackelford kept Christ as the focus. “I had spent all my time talking about the seven vials and the seven scrolls and all the good and bad things that can happen but if we spend so much time on these things, we’ll miss the message. The book of Revelation is not about that. It’s called Revelation because it’s ‘the revelation of Christ’. This is the announcement of the days that precede the coming of the Almighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I began to go through that and the things he showed me ...I just sat there half the time and
Daniel portraying an apostle
wept.” His newest manuscript, The Sword of the Lord, has also been accepted by Tate Publishing. “It’s a little different because I wrote it in scenes like a script.” In the meantime he travels as an evangelist and preacher but also brings the Bible to life as an actor. “The last four years I’ve been doing a unique presentation called the Messengers where I portray one of the apostles or prophets from the Old Testament in full costume. There are thirteen different presentations.” His books are available for sale at tatepublishing.com and amazon.com. For more information contact Daniel Shackelford at 918-919-2438 or email@example.com connection • 9
Mobile Ministry to the rescue! by: Mindy Wood
Robert “Bob” Williams is anything but conventional and seems to follow the Apostle Paul’s example when he said, “I have become all things to all men that the Gospel might be preached.” Whether he’s delivering toys to orphanages in Mexico and South America, doing construction, feeding disaster victims or preaching in line at Walmart, Williams is willing to obey Heaven’s most unpredictable orders. Williams started mission work ten years ago when a friend from church took him on a mission trip to Guyana South America. “I fell in love with the work and the people.” From there he put his construction skills to good use and began working with orphanages. “I started going with another pastor to Mexico who had several orphanages needing construction work. He got away from the Lord. I found some more orphanages that needed help and got started. God has placed people to take over the orphanages so they don’t need the constant watching over that they did,” said Williams. Recently back from the Haiti Project, the ministry is no stranger to devastation. The disaster relief efforts began with Hurricane Katrina and since then has assisted victims along the Mississippi River, in Arkansas, Missouri, and New Orleans. “We’ve brought food, medical supplies, bottled water and I’ve just been a friend when someone needed one. I’ve built walls and put tarps on roofs. When I left I always thought I had a clue as to what was going on but by the time I got there God had everything ready for me to step in and do.” Exciting changes in their efforts include a donated bus and new direction. “God told us instead of just taking supplies, we needed to gather things so we could cook and serve food
while preaching the Gospel. We want to take take of the physical and spiritual needs.” Williams had a dream that lasted almost two weeks. The dream would pick up where it left off every time he went to sleep. “I started realizing what was going and made a list from the things we used in the dream for the disaster relief.” Soon complete strangers, mostly business men were contacting Williams. “They would call and tell me, ‘we feel like God wants us to help you. Now, what are you doing?’ We knew it was God. Little Debbie Snacks donated all we needed and we’re working on getting a beverage company to donate sports drinks, water, and pop.” The bus is forty feet long with under carriage storage, resembling a Grey Hound bus. Williams said ten years of mission work hasn’t been easy but a bounty of spiritual blessing pays off. “We’ve done without a lot of luxuries over the years but God has always provided our needs. If it’s not for God or from God, I don’t need it. It’s not for gain. It’s all about Him.” The current focus of the mission work is disaster relief and as the earth takes more frequent blows, Williams and his team are ready to do whatever God orders. “We leave and we may not know what we’re going to do but God always works it out. You can see it in the people’s eyes; those who know Jesus and those who don’t. It’s a great opportunity to show them the love of God and preach to them.” For more information, visit their website www.kingdomadvancers.org or call 918-6398275. connection • 10
Executive Board Mickey Keith
President PO Box 1546 Ada, OK 74821 (580) 310-0222 firstname.lastname@example.org www.life623.com
Dr. Ted Estes
Vice President PO Box 2248 Claremore, OK 74018 (918) 341-8344 email@example.com www.lifechangerchurch.com
Secretary/Treasurer PO Box 1120 Lexington, OK 73051 (405) 527-6030 firstname.lastname@example.org www.libertygospelok.org
Director of World Missions PO Box 978 Blackwell, OK 74631 (580) 363-2734 email@example.com www.clarionmissions.org
Board Member PO Box 862 Elgin, TX 78621 (512) 281-5316 Jedmon1234@aol.com www.fwcelgin.com
Regional Representatives Southeast Oklahoma District Rev. Billy Hunter Antlers, OK (580) 298-2740 Southwest Oklahoma District Rev. Donnie Miller Cyril, OK (580) 464-2224 (580) 512-3657 Northeast Oklahoma District Rev. Mac Blackwell Locust Grove, OK (918) 479-6057 North Texas District Rev. Marc Jones Denton, TX 75751 (903) 675-6011 Southeast Texas District Rev. Herb Hawthorne Baytown, TX (281) 723-2278 South Central Texas District Rev. Jerry Edmon Elgin, TX (512) 281-5316 Midwest Regional District Rev. Mark Maynard Granite City, IL (618) 931-4106 Arkansas District Rev. Charles Kendrick Alexander, AR (501) 303-0831
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Independent Assemblies P.O. Box 1546 Ada, OK 74821