I have never prayed for nor asked for international ministry. I’ve always thought that my local area is the mission field to which I’ve been called. Always. Yet, I have been confounded a number of times this past year at God’s reach. Now, I know that God’s reach is boundless and I’m not surprised at all of His work throughout the world. In fact, I pray for and am glad at His reach. I am glad that men and women are spreading the gospel message throughout the world.
But I am confounded and almost bewildered in the way that God is using my church’s ministry at an international level. We’re a small church in a small town in the middle of Minnesota. But as the song says, “God is on the move.” Here’s what’s been happening.
We’ve been posting the Sunday messages on YouTube for a little over a year. Generally speaking, we don’t get many “hits” or views on the messages. Really, if any of the views go past 20 I consider it to have gone viral! Remember, we’re a small church in a small town in the middle of Minnesota. (Quick, if you’re reading this outside of central Minnesota, raise your hand if you can pinpoint Upsala, MN on the map! For those who raised your hand, good job! You can now lower your hand. By the way, this is nothing at all about Upsala. It’s a great place with good people. It’s just not on the tip of tongue for many people. Okay, now back to the videos.)
I was doing some analytics on our videos for the past 30 days and here is the list of top countries in order of viewing time that we’ve reached:
- United States
- South Korea
- Kitts & Nevis
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
Is that list anything close to what you would’ve imagined? It wasn’t for me. I admit that I didn’t even know where two of the countries were. I’m guess that you might not as well so I’ve included some maps of Bahrain and St. Kitts and Nevis.
But what blew me away was that South Korea was second in terms of viewing. Apparently there is one message that seems to have been helpful. It’s about discipleship. If you want to see it, click here The Commitment of Discipleship
Do I know the impact the messages are having? No. But what I do know is that people don’t view whole messages unless it somehow resonates with them. By the way, I’m not trying to toot my own horn. Not at all. In fact, if you could see my face right now, you’d see the confused dog look – you know, furrowed eyebrows, head titled to the side. Apparently, God is on the move.
Also, through Facebook, I’ve received some friend invitations. One was from a man in Kenya who became a Christian during the course of our message conversations. Because there was no church around him, he started going door to door to invite others to meet, pray, and read the Bible. Wow, to “see” the birth of a new body of believers. Wow. Then more recently, a pastor from a Word of Life church in Pakistan reached out to me because our church is Word of Life. Through our conversations, he asked me if I would give a message to his congregation. They meet not only on Sundays but Wednesdays as well. So, on a recent Wednesday morning (7:00 am my time, 6:00pm their time), we connected via Skype. I was able to participate in their worship from beginning to end and to give a message.
Again, I’m not trying to toot my own horn at all. Far from it. Like I said, I’m a bit bewildered at it all. The only thing I’ve done is said, “Yes, Lord.”
After all, God is on the move.
Is it time that you said, “Yes, Lord”