Training Leaders Worldwide

The goal of missions is to develop leaders who can sustain the momentum of the kingdom without continued support from missionaries. Short term missions are part of that goal. Teams from many churches go to aid the missions in building, repair, medical help and general encouragement. This type of short term missions makes the burden easier for the missionaries who are planting churches and other ministries like schools and orphanages.

The two teams I work with, HPIM and N2NCU, train the top Christian leaders in foreign countries. Our goal is to aid these leaders in mobilizing their local leaders to advance the kingdom in their own land. HPIM and N2NCU do not provide funds for living expenses or for travel. In fact, we cover our own expenses for travel as well as housing and food while we are there, and we leave a financial blessing for the leaders we serve.

N2NCU has developed a curriculum to give leaders an education in Bible and Theology. This is much needed in developing nations because men and women who are called to ministry have no time or finances to go away to college. They have full time jobs and pastor churches at the same time. Our program fills that vacuum by making the courses available virtually free of charge for the students in developing nations. Our schools are in Africa, South and Central America, India and will soon expand to other nations.

HPIM gathers leaders within the various countries and gives personal training on leadership principles. As we teach, we give the leaders an opportunity to get to know us and observe our lives in action. Solid relationships develop with many of these leaders, and this increases the effectiveness of the training. Our team has been in Mexico, Africa, India, and other nations as well.

Our next trip will be to the Dominican Republic April 27 – May 4. The expenses of the trip will include $500.00 for airfare, $100.00 for food and lodging and $100.00 for travel and some extra to leave behind for the leaders.

If you see this vision as worthwhile, please join us as prayer support as we touch the leaders who touch the nations. You can also support us financially. If you so desire, make your check payable to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588, or you can donate online at our website: http://www.onword.org

Thank you in advance for your friendship and support.

Fount Shults, President, On Word Ministries: http://www.onword.org

Academic Dean: Nation 2 Nation Christian University: http://www.n2ncu.org

 

Ministry Report

02/28/2015 2 comments

MINISTRY IN HARLAN, INDIANA

Our ministry continues to expand. We taught at the School of the Word in Harlan, Indiana during the first three weeks of February and participated in the Leaders Alive International conference in the same city during the last week of February.

The majority of the leaders and lay leaders who came to the conference are from a Mennonite or Amish background. It is an honor to be part of the spiritual growth of these who are experiencing the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. Their hunger for the Word of God is obvious by their responses during the sharing time as well as the conversations during the breaks.

I saw the awesome work-ethic of these people transferred to the things of the kingdom of God. The memories of these times will become part of my life and teaching in the coming days.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Last summer we were part of a team that went to Santo Domingo to train leaders from all over the Dominican Republic. Our ministry was not yet known there, so the attendance was not as large as we expected (about 50 leaders with several locals). But there were some there who represented several other groups. They were “checking us out” to see if their people would receive benefit from our teachings.

There was a very positive response, and the leaders from other groups assured us that they would have their leadership at our next seminar. That seminar is scheduled for April 28 – May 1. Our expenses will include $500.00 for airfare, $100.00 for lodging and food and about $100.00 for travel etc.

NAIROBI, KENYA

Pastors and evangelists all over East Africa are presently enrolled in our N2N courses and working toward their Associates Degree. They are learning powerful principles for sharing their faith an advancing the kingdom of God. These pastors lead over 3,000 churches in Kenya and will take teach these principles to over a million believers.

 

Through our Community Development program they are also learning and teaching how to improve the health and environment of their people. They are learning how to grow their own vegetables, how to purify water, create fire bricks with waste as well as how to take care of their animals and farms. The Community Development program is already being used as an evangelistic tool because their unsaved neighbors are asking questions.

In December of this year we will have our first graduation ceremony for those who will have completed the requirements for the Associates Degree and a few who will have completed the requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree. We are expecting around 300 graduates.

THANK YOU

We are grateful to those of you who have held us up in prayer and supported us financially. We would not be able to do what we do without the support of the Body of Christ. After 40 years of teaching on college campus and training young people for the ministry, we are finally getting an opportunity to do what we trained others to do.

Thank you for your continued support.

Looking forward,

Fount Shults, President, On Word ministries www.onword.org

Academic Dean, Nation 2 Nation Christian University

www.n2ncu.org

The Spiritual Marketplace

01/01/2015 4 comments

Several people very close to me have said, “You sell yourself short. You make too many things available for free.” I’ve heard that many times through the years, and I heard it again last month.

My response is on several levels. First, Jesus’ said, “Freely you have received; freely give.” He also said it’s more blessed to gives than to receive. Jesus never asked for money, yet all his needs were met by those (mostly women) who followed his ministry. He actually believed what he taught about his Father who provides for sparrows being faithful to take care of men and women who are of much more value than sparrows. I also believe.

My second response is that my concern isn’t how much I can receive from the spiritual marketplace, but how much value I can bring to the table. I really believe my Father will take care of my financial needs simply because he loves me. His care for us isn’t tied to the value we bring to the marketplace. Yet, at the same time, I know he has given me much and I love sharing the insights he gives me without cost. For many years I have done short term mission work at my own expense.

My third response is that viewing life in this world in terms of the marketplace, judging everything by the “bottom line,” is like using the Temple as a place to buy and sell. Buying and selling as such is not the problem, but measuring everything by the “bottom line” is defiling the Temple and using those who come to the Temple to increase your own “bottom line.” This doesn’t reflect the glory of the God who gave his Son.

I seldom asked for finances up till now. For several years I sold audio teachings when I ministered in various churches. It definitely helped financially, and people were blessed to have them to listen to slowly and take notes. But I felt the Lord calling me to make the audio teachings available for free on my website. I began posting the teachings for a free download, or to listen online. You can go there now and listen online or download to your MP3 player.

Our understanding of life changes as we grow. I have a new understanding of finances now. Like every other missionary, I need finances to do what I do. Jesus needed finances to do what he did, but income was never his focus. He even allowed a thief to handle the offerings to his ministry. I refuse to make money my focus. Last year Father reminded me of a text, “You have not because you ask not.” So I began to ask for finances for travel expenses. The money for our trip to Africa came in within less than four weeks. Last summer all the finances for our trip to the Dominican Republic came in within about two weeks.

My focus in life is to the glorify our Father and to the honor those who value what he has given me to give to others. Now that our ministry is reaching out to many parts of the world, our financial need has increased while our availability to travel and minister in the States (where honorariums are available) has decreased. This puts us in a position where we simply must ask for finances to cover travel expenses as well as the cost of living.

The purpose of this blog is not to ask for finances, but to let you know why we will be requesting donations more often in the future than we have in the past. We request that you ask Father if he wants you to partner with us in the vision of touching the world with insights from his Word.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, Academic Dean, N2NCU http://www.n2ncu.org
President, On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

Visiting N2N schools in Africa

Our team was able to visit several N2NCU schools in the Mt. Kenya region while they were in session. One of the schools was watching the DVD of my class on Basic Themes of the Old Testament. They asked me to greet the students and share a short word. I challenged them to take seriously the education they were receiving, but to remain humble seekers of truth. “When you graduate,” I said, “you will have a piece of paper that has value, but the greater value is in learning how to approach the Bible with the right kind of questions.”

At another school the students were watching DVD of Brick Cliff teaching. He challenged them to take their leadership roles seriously, not only for the churches they oversee but also for the communities where they live. Our Community Development program is an excellent tool for evangelism because it improves the lives of the people. When the lives of the people are improved, they are open to the gospel. Many are receiving Christ.

The bishop over a third school was building a medical clinic to minister to the health needs of his community. Brick offered to purchase several microscopes and other equipment they will need to operate. Those are small items the team can bring with them in their luggage when we make our next trip. This project will touch people who would never come into a Christian church. What a joy to work with people who have a vision beyond Sunday worship and preaching.

I was invited to preach in one of the Nairobi churches Sunday morning. After my message, the congregation broke into the cultural singing that is so typical in Africa, with someone singing a phrase in Swahili and the congregation responding. They continued for well over an hour. It was a very moving experience for me personally. I assumed that was the traditional practice of that church. But the Pastor told me later that they had never done that before. Our Father had used the message to stir something deep in the people. I’m hoping to hear some testimonies later.

The following week we took a bus south to Tanzania. It was about a six hour ride to Arusha where we met a man named Godsave. He is a Maasai who got saved and has a ministry to orphans. He was sick when he was born, and the Maasai expose sick and deformed babies to the elements to die. His father sent his mother out to leave the boy in the wilderness, but she had compassion and took him to a clinic. A Lutheran pastor prayed, “God, save this child.” That’s where he got his name.

We also met “Mamma Anna” who has a ministry to Maasai and Moslem widows. She is showing them the videos of the N2NCU training. The Moslem women wanted to take the classes to learn what the Bible was all about. Many of them have accepted Christ, and others are interested. She is a serious student herself and spoke very highly of the courses we offer.

Our teaching and training is having an effect in Tanzania as well as Kenya. More details will follow in our next blog.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, Academic Dean, N2NCU http://www.n2ncu.org
President, On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

PS. Please remember us in your prayers and in your giving. Thank you.

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Divine Appointment

While we were in Nairobi with Bishop Mophat, our President, Brick Cliff, mentioned that he wanted to get the material translated into French because many of the African nations are French speaking. Mophat left the room for a moment and returned with a man from the Congo who has been a translator for the UN. He has translated many documents from French to English and from English to French. He also was the interpreter for many speakers. This man agreed to do the work for less than a fourth of what it would cost otherwise.

We will soon be able to start schools in the French speaking nations. We already have contacts in several of those nations who are simply waiting for the courses to be available in French. Through these contacts we will also have access to other continents to expand even more. Using some of the money give for the Africa trip, On Word Ministries contributed $220.00 toward the French translation project. Those of you who supported our trip in prayer and with finances are partners in this expansion.

The potential of having our courses available in French is mind-boggling. Our contact in the Congo is overseeing over 8,000 churches, all of which are French speaking. When you add the other African nations that speak French, we are speaking of tens of millions of people who could be influenced by the N2NCU training. As I mentioned in the previous blog, when I saw this potential, I gave $220.00 of the money collected for the trip toward the development of the “French Project.” Those of you who supported us financially are partners in this venture.

Meanwhile, unbelievers are being drawn in as the Kenya bishops and pastors reach out and help their communities in many practical areas of life, including health, nutrition, farming, livestock care, etc. Pastors are watching and using all kinds of material from our community development series. One pastor in the slums of Nairobi is teaching rooftop gardening. One has not bought vegetables for over a year now. They are enjoying harvests of fresh vegetables grown in old tires on the roofs of their small tin shacks or in their yards.

Other pastors are growing Meringa trees and using the seeds to purify their water and the leaves to supplement their diet. Others are seeing an increase in milk, meat, eggs and general productivity of their animals.

It was so exciting to realize that the key bishops and pastors are discovering God’s call to be community leaders of real influence, bringing the people of their communities out of spiritual darkness and helping them come out of poverty and disease. This cannot help but draw many to listen to the good news of life in Christ Jesus. It’s already happening.

We will post another blog with more details shortly. Keep in touch by signing up to receive notice as soon as a new blog is available. Simply enter your email in the link provided.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, Academic Dean, N2NCU http://www.n2ncu.org
Founder and President of On Word Ministries http://www.onword.org

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Nairobi Seminar

We had about 100 bishops and pastors attending our seminar in Nairobi. Bishop Mophat Kilioba is the General Overseer of 3,130 PEFA churches (Pentecostal Evangelist Fellowship of Africa) in Kenya. He organized the seminar for the top leaders of the churches he oversees. He was one of my students at Elim in 1985-86, and testified before the group of how his life was profoundly affected while he was at Elim. I am honored to have been a part of his journey.

Bishop Mophat has a strategy to influence the entire nation of Kenya politically, economically and spiritually. His vision goes beyond pastors and churches. He is training his bishops and pastors to reach out to their communities. He is insisting that all his leaders use our N2NCU training to become educated. Many of those pastors have never had any Bible training at all, not even Sunday school. The ministry level of many of the pastors has increased greatly due to the training they have already received.

Bishop Mophat began with his bishops who oversee 18 regions and 300 districts. Each of these bishops is over several churches. Some of these churches have over 1,000 members. After training the top level leadership, the pastors of local church leaders will be next in line to receive the teaching and training, then the members will be included. The church as a whole will become educated in Bible and ministry.

They are also using the Community Development program of our sister organization, “Pursue Hope,” to reach out to their respective communities and teach practical ways to improve the life of the people. We have training on animal husbandry, agriculture, water purification, health and hygiene etc. These and other skills are much needed throughout the African nations. The pastors are using this program as an evangelistic tool. As the communities see the improvement of life in their area, they are already beginning to come to Christ. This includes many Muslims.

We will be graduating several hundred students next December with either an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. This pressures me to record more classes next Spring. This will require preparation and travel expenses to go record the classes. The estimated cost for this project will be around $1600.00. If you would like to participate in this vision, send your contributions to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588.

There are many other profound things to share, but those will have to wait until another blog. Hopefully I will have pictures to share soon. Our photographer will edit his pictures before he makes them available.

If you are not yet signed up to receive notice of new posts, go to http://www.onword.org and click the link for the blog. You can enter your email address and be notified when new blogs are posted.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, Academic Dean, N2NCU http://www.n2ncu.org
President, On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

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Elder vs. Elderly: Wisdom vs. Learning

11/01/2014 1 comment

The young Hebrew professor responded to my quote from another scholar, “He used to be a good scholar, but he has become senile.”

During my postgraduate studies in the Hebrew language at The University of Texas at Austin, I was reading some of the insights of W. F. Albright. Albright had at least four Doctorate degrees and had moved from being a liberal Bible scholar to understanding the bigger picture of biblical history. In his later years he had come to conclusions that agreed with several conservative scholars. He wasn’t addicted to the conclusions of his early years.

When I quoted one of Albright’s insights in a Hebrew History class, the young professor said, “W. F. Albright is senile. He has lost his edge in scholarship.” It’s typical of young scholars to disregard seasoned scholars just like teens often disregard adults. “After all,” they seem to think, “How could they know anything about what I’m learning today? They’re just behind the times.” Young people are usually addicted to their own point of view. I know I was.

It becomes clear why the biblical tradition sees elders as the ones we should look to for wisdom. But, at the same time we must realize that there’s a difference between being an elder and being elderly. Many elderly people have spent their lives resisting new ideas and remaining loyal to what they were taught as children. They are in fact behind the times. It’s amazing how quickly we dismiss any idea that contradicts what we already believe.

It’s like my friend who said, “If I believe you, I’ll have to admit I’ve been wrong all these years.” That was his response when I spoke to him about the Holy Spirit. I wondered if he really heard what he just said. It’s like he was addicted to his belief system and couldn’t break free to consider a new idea even when it looked right. But he’s not alone. I’ve also caught myself holding on to a belief system long after evidence pointed another direction.

This puts us all in a position of needing discernment. How can I tell whether a new idea is worth considering or not? How can I know I’m not just holding on to my childhood training? Apart from discernment, I can’t know. The problem is that addictions, anxiety and prejudice block discernment. If a new idea looks like it might be worth considering, I know I might be rejected by my peers if I consider it. This anxiety is the motor that runs prejudice.

My respect for the elderly men who were appointed elders in my church was shattered when I heard one of them say, “I will stake my eternal salvation on this interpretation of that verse.” It was a verse that had four different interpretations offered by leaders in our denomination. I knew I could never stake my eternal salvation on a particular interpretation of any verse. There’s too much room for human error. Eternal life is secured by Jesus alone.

I remember walking home from the meeting that night, weeping over the heart condition of the one who’d made that statement. It was painful to embrace the fact that an elder, whom I respected and loved, would make a statement like that. He was addicted to a belief system based on a human understanding of one verse. I knew I could no longer be a part of that camp. I had to move on in face of the rejection I knew was coming.

The journey to wisdom doesn’t end when you graduate from high school or college. It doesn’t end when you become a Christian or when you have a new experience of the goodness of God. There’s always more about life than what you’ve already experienced, and each new experience has the potential to teach me something I didn’t know. It might even cause you to see the trivial nature of something you believed to be ultimate truth. When we stop learning, we die.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, President, On Word Ministries http://www.onword.org

PS. If you enjoy reading what we share here and on our Facebook page, you may help us keep these insights coming by contributing. Go to http://www.onword.org/donate.htm or make checks payable to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct. Myrtle Beach, SC 29588.

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