Truth in Love Ministries has had to make some difficult decisions. None more difficult than reducing staff for 2013.
The Lord birthed TIL through me in October of 2007. Over five years later, we’ve had an amazing production of fruit through TIL in both counselees and the counselors who have served Christ. We look back and it is simply amazing because we do not have a building or any real assets. We do not have a lot of resources in terms of worldly standards and material things.
Yet God and His children who serve are all we have so we have a lot of resources by biblical standards!
I think people look upon the outward appearance and think a bigger church can change the world more than a smaller one. Not true. I think some of you may be thinking that a bigger TIL can change the world more than a smaller one. Not true.
Here’s a comparison to consider:
1) A pastor preaches a sermon to 1,000 people each week.
2) A biblical counseling pastor counsels 12 people each week.
Which one is doing “more” for the kingdom? Which has more impact?
Hopefully, they are both EQUAL in that the Holy Spirit is doing the work through the Word of God.
All things being equal, the easy answer is that the pastor preaching to 1,000 people is having a greater impact but let’s take a closer look. Let’s imagine that those 12 counselees are truly seeking God and truly want help to change to become more Christ-like. Let’s imagine that they all repent, grow in their faith, and walk with God in obedience. Let’s imagine that 4 of those 12 are married couples on the brink of divorce who have repented and turned away from sin and turned to Christ.
Now, how many lives have been impacted by the Gospel of grace in their lives? Let’s imagine that each of these couples has children, extended family, and friends (both Christian and non-Christian). It is not uncommon for a marriage reconciliation to directly impact 30 people apiece when family and friendships are considered (that is actually a conservative estimate). Indirectly, let’s think about the impact that their testimony will have at the work place and beyond. It is easy to assume that both of these couples will have impacted at least 100 people apiece, especially with Facebook and social networking.
There are 8 people left for the counseling pastor. Let’s imagine that the homosexual has turned away from sin and to Christ and that another person has repented from a drug addiction. Still others are trusting in Christ in areas of anger, worry, depression, anxiety, fear, and grief. Now, these 8 persons are impacting the persons around them which may be as many as 100 apiece. If we think about the impact of their new Christian walk for generations to come, then we have greater numbers still to come depending upon their obedience to make disciples by “teaching disciples to observe (obey) all that Christ has commanded them to obey” (Matt. 28:18-20).
The world is becoming a better place through the repentance of sin and renewed faith in Christ.
So as counselees/disciples, these persons were held accountable each week (unlike a sermon) to be transformed by the power of Christ working through them and now are becoming disciple-makers in their areas of struggle and helping others by pointing to the Scriptures and sufficiency of Christ! Disciple-making is taking place on a grand scale though no one sees it happening on the big stage! The impact is being felt and noticed in the kingdom of God.
Here’s my point: I’m not comparing the pulpit ministry to the personal ministry of biblical counseling to put one down and raise one up. No! We need BOTH! Yet what we value in the church is often what the world promotes: bigger is better and the more people you preach to, the better. I’m saying, “No, let’s re-examine the personal, private ministry of the Word of God and let’s value it though the results may not be as visible to the naked-eye.”
Likewise, in TIL in 2013, we have reduced staff and we have reduced some of our commitments; however, we are NOT reducing the impact of this ministry as we will focus more greatly upon disciple-making and obeying the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.
I am looking forward to what God will do as only He can do through TIL. The year will be different than the first 5 years but I am confident in the Lord that He alone is able to accomplish His will despite me and for His own glory!
Pray for us and for the staff persons who are no longer serving with TIL. I could not have asked for a better team of servant-leaders than those who have worked for TIL and I am so grateful. This is not easy but it is the direction the Lord is leading TIL in 2013.
-Mark (taking a deep breath and learning to trust God completely)