Sunday, March 22, 2020

Born for such a time …

A message from our executive director, Dr. Terry Goodwin

Did you ever get that feeling? It is as if fear, anxiety, calm, and a sense of destiny all roll into one. The feelings are so intertwined that you can’t separate one from the other. As I watch a surreal scene unfold around me I can’t shake the feeling that I was made for such a time as this.

I have been preaching about the decline of Christianity and the institutional church for many years. Sometimes to opposition. Many times to deaf ears. Occasionally someone connected to the message. Now here we are sitting in the new normal. A world of “social distancing”. Churches around the country scramble to get live feeds online and add electronic giving options.

The survival of the institution appears to be at stake. Limitations and restrictions on gathering divide churches and leaders. What are we to do? We are the church and Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against us. He was not speaking of the building or the institution. In fact , not many years later He destroyed the very symbol of that institution – the Temple.

We are in fact living in one of the greatest opportunities for the church in my lifetime. We have the hope of the world – Jesus! The very things that many people have placed their hope in are crumbling around them: stocks are plunging; government structures, the healthcare system and public schools are all struggling to adapt. Things are changing rapidly around. The fear of the unknown future grips more people each day. God is not shaken.

People are scared. Many are shut in their homes. They are lonely, afraid, concerned about getting food, medicine, help if an emergency arises. It is time for God’s church to rise up and meet the challenge like David met Goliath on the field of battle. We have the technology to organize and mobilize. We can still make disciples even if we can’t assemble and that is the greater command of Christ.

My destiny is to help Christians see the opportunity, get equipped to take hold of it and unite us all to serve the poor, widows and those most at risk from this pandemic. Please don’t do nothing and wait this out. There are millions of vulnerable people around this country that need us now more than ever. They need our Lord and Savior more than ever. If we rise up together the church will come out of this stronger and more united than ever before. It might not be wrapped in the institutional form you have grown so used to but God never promised to sustain the form. He promised to sustain His church, which is you and me.

Please connect with us. Fill out the virtual volunteer form. We can help those most at risk from this virus and we can do it from the safety and comfort of our homes. We can still fulfill the commands of Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves. We can be the bearers of the hope of the world. We can still fulfill the Great Commission and build God’s kingdom through this pandemic. Go to this link and fill out the form.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

God Loves You and Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life

written by Jessica Sanford, a Sun Ministries missionary

“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

I’m sure by now, millions of people— Christian or not— have heard this statement. It’s interpreted most often through our individualistic filters. God wants me to be a pastor! God wants me to get married! God wants me to be a poodle groomer!

There is one caveat. The thing most people don’t tell you about God’s wonderful plan for your life... This plan is the same plan for every person who submits themselves to His will.

It’s not a plan to make you comfortable and rich. Not to fan the flames of your ego. Not to make you “the man” or give you a long, fulfilling ministry. It’s not even for you to be a designer dog groomer.

“You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:18-29

If we look to the whole of scripture, we see a different plan. We see something wholistic. We see a plan that is about much more than our own desires.

His plan for you: to refine you by fire in order to bring you into His Kingdom purpose

What is His kingdom purpose?

  • God is gathering His people to Himself. John 4:34-38 paints a picture of a field that is ready to be harvested, and all of the people involved in the growth working together to gather. We have the privilege of being a part of this harvest, even if we didn’t do the work of sowing or growing.
  • God is setting apart a people. (Titus 2:11-14) This people keeps itself from the corruption of the world and fervently seeks to do good works.
  • He is adorning His Bride (Revelation 21). The fulfillment of His kingdom purpose is that Christ’s bride would be spotless, pure, and adorned with good works.

The thing most people aren’t told about God’s plan for them is that It has very little to do with YOU and everything to do with what God wants to do in partnership with you.

Are you willing to lay yourself down in order to accomplish His Kingdom purpose?

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

New Ways to Connect with Us

Clint Eastwood once said “A good man knows his limitations”. I am trying to be a good man. I have spent the last ten years investing in a group of young and gifted leaders in Sun Ministries. They are exceptional people. They live their whole lives dedicated to Jesus. They hold nothing back. They are brave, intelligent and spiritually gifted servants.

What I have done very poorly is connect with you – those outside the ministry. That is going to change. In the next few months you will see a roll out of a variety of tools that help you connect to the vision, mission and people of Sun Ministries. The start of this process is an updated web site and a mobile App.

We are defining the roles available for you to connect to the work. We are defining pathways for volunteers, missionaries and work groups. We will help connect your church to the training that God has given us to help you connect to your community and reach the nations from right where you live. Look for the roll out coming soon. The Facebook page is the best place to stay informed until these upgrades happen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Getting Serious

A message from our executive director, Dr. Terry Goodwin.

We started Sun Ministries in 2006 with no experience at running a ministry or non-profit. We have been in training for many years now. As we begin 2020, I feel like we are just getting started with the growth of the mission. God has shown us how to enter the most devastated areas of our country. He has given us teaching and resources to launch a movement of disciple multiplication in America. The movement will take place outside the institutional church.

We are now focused on recruiting, training and relocating Missionaries to America. We currently have locations in St. Louis, Missouri and Barnsdall, Oklahoma. We have pathways to help you engage in an active and authentic Christian faith. We can connect you to the mission field right here in America. We can train you and support you, no matter if you want to be a part-time volunteer doing your part in the bigger picture or a full-time laborer in the field.

God has brought the nations to us. We don’t need to travel overseas to reach the nations. This great melting pot called America has lured them to our shores. Maybe it is time for you to send that email and explore the harvest fields of God. The harvest is ripe and plentiful. It is the laborers that are few.