2021 Spring Newsletter – The Power of Refreshment
The Power of Refreshment
I sat on the edge of my seat and interrupted the man sitting across from me, almost yelling out:
“Do you need to be REFRESHED?”
The question wasn’t meant to be accusatory or finger pointing. I didn’t plan on asking it and the quickness and firmness of the 6 words escaping from my mouth surprised even me.
But let me backup and explain what happened because I hate it when I get interrupted, and here I was interrupting the man who had spent 30 minutes pouring his heart out to me.
This incredible servant of God has spent over a decade at the same church teaching, leading, and loving. The calling that should be bringing him joy and peace is burning him out, primarily because of an ongoing conflict with a powerful board member. This conflict has taken a heavy toll on his health, attitude, and desire to continue in ministry. His family has also struggled with the abuse this one individual has inflicted on his character, leadership, and flock.
You could read the exhaustion and fatigue by just looking at him, and I began to worry that I might be bearing witness to yet another effective ministry leader going down in flames before my eyes. My flesh wanted to step in and take out this trouble-maker board member on his behalf to shield him and his family from the hurt, pain, and destruction they had to endure. I felt my own flesh bubbling up to a boiling point, which is why I almost screamed out:
“Do you need to be REFRESHED?”
As soon as those words left my mouth, the entire atmosphere changed. It was like I had poured healing aloe vera on a terrible sunburn. A weight lifted from his countenance, his eyes opened, and a breath of fresh air seemed to offer a hope that was missing before.
Because of your faithful prayers and donations, we were able to refresh this struggling pastor. You provided a getaway weekend for him and his wife, six sessions with one of our counselors, and a family night at the local Golf n’ Stuff. We are now walking alongside him and his family, restoring them to a place of health and refreshing them through the trials that are to come, preventing another casualty of the ministry.
When I was in seminary, I was taught how to preach and how to exegete the Scriptures. I wasn’t taught how to exegete people… I didn’t know that pastoring is dealing with people and their messiness*Quote from a pastor
“God is on the move
In many mighty ways…
…God is on the move
On the move today!”
At Romans 12 Ministries, God IS on the move and we are constantly reminded to trust, expect, and experience His ways like never before. I’d love to share this wonderful story of how God displayed His love and goodness.
We held our first first annual women’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s designed to pamper and encourage pastor’s wives, missionary wives and ministry leaders on February 29, 2020.
Those who attended our banquet on February 3rd might remember writing notes of encouragement on leaves. I kept these leaves, prayed over them and hand selected each leaf to give to the women in attendance with a special note of encouragement from me. But there was one leaf that I kept saying, “hmm, no” as I put a leaf in each card.
Finally, it felt right, and I placed it in an envelope for a woman I had not, to that point, known as well as some of the others. Her name was Kimberley.
At the event the next morning, about half way through, a woman came rushing towards me with such excitement in her step and on her face. She asked if I knew her husband.
“No”, I replied, “and you are?”
Kimberley told me the leaf she was given was written by her husband, Bryan, the lead pastor at Elements City Church. She was so excited and said what he had written was their motto for the year and this was confirmation to her that they were on the right track. I then shared with her how that leaf was meant just for her as I was selecting them.
Kimberley placed all of her tickets into a single raffle that day – an entry to win a necklace called Heaven.
And guess who won the Heaven necklace? When her name was called, she jumped up and shouted in victory,
“that is the only thing I wanted to win!”
She was having a great day!
Fast forward 5 months to July 28th. Kimberley’s world is turned upside down when the love of her life, Bryan, is unexpectedly ushered into the presence of Jesus at the age of 45. Bryan left behind a grieving wife and three teenagers.
God is so good to us and so loving in all His ways. He knew Kimberley would lose Bryan, and He chose to bless Kimberley that day with Bryan’s note and the Heaven necklace.
One of our missions at Romans 12 is to encourage everyone to be looking and expecting God to be moving all around them, and to write it down so we don’t forget. These stories encourage you in troubling times as well as your fellow believers. If you have an awesome God story, we would LOVE to hear from you!
Please reach out and share them with me, Ron or David so we can shine a light on your God story.
What do you even do and why should I care?
Has anyone felt, especially in the last year, that our world has gone a little bit sideways – like we are living in an “opposite” world? Our world is broken beyond repair and in desperate need of a Savior. We feel this daily as we read the headlines and see all the devastation around us. As believers in Christ, and at Romans 12, we believe the only truly effective way to change the world – to change hearts – is through faith in Jesus.
Our faith radically changes who we are, calls us to repentance and to living a life marked by love and good works.
But because our world is so broken, and so desperate, our pastors and ministry leaders face spiritual battles, temptation, division within their churches, problems at home in their marriage or with their families on a level most of us will never understand.
“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8
Our enemy seeks their destruction because he knows it has the power to hurt the body of Christ. If he can tear down a leader, he can take down a church.
Pastors and their families are essential workers.
If the leaders are strong and healthy, their ministries and churches will be healthy. Healthy churches and ministries spread the Gospel and the love of Christ to our community. This is how we work together to fulfill the Great Commission. Conversely, if leaders are broken, weary, scared, disconnected, struggling, and lacking passion, they become weak, and ineffective.
What have we learned in 2 years of serving the servants?
Marriages are under attack, anxiety and depression seek to overwhelm, busyness distracts leaders from God, fear and doubt drown out peace and security in Christ.
“Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” - 1 Peter 5:9
Because of your faithful donations and through your prayers, we are able to walk alongside these leaders, serving them when they need it most.
- We seek to be intentional about pouring into many pastors/ leaders and their families every year.
- We meet with them regularly to provide needed counsel and support
- We provide scholarships for confidential counseling, leadership training, and luncheons, marriage retreats, women’s events, men’s events, family getaways and silence and solitude retreats.
What we have learned is that each leader is different and their needs vary. But almost all the leaders we serve are starving for genuine relationships, and the peace that comes from being vulnerable. Many need advocates to fight for them and love them, not as a pastor/leader but as a child of God.
God is using Romans 12 in incredible ways we never imagined, to provide resources for these families. Have you ever had the thought of seeing where God is at work and joining Him in that mission? Romans 12 is gaining steam and making a HUGE impact in our community… but soon we will be launching to a larger community nationwide. Join us in partnership to fight for and protect your church leader and let’s see what God will do as we thwart these deadly attacks of the enemy.
I am convicted that I need to be paying attention to (caring for) myself, not just for the church. I’ve been sacrificing myself for the work and really, this is not forming myself to Christ.*Quote from a pastor
Well, you learn to play a game, to put on a mask, which then becomes a way you handle a lot of issues. You’re suddenly the holy man that has to put on the holiness aura and have it all together. And that’s going to come back and wipe you out. Wiped me out.*Quote from a pastor
We are thrilled to announce our podcast series: “Stories of Hope.” We want to ask anyone who hasn’t already to subscribe! This will help alert you whenever a new episode is uploaded. We are currently uploading episodes every other Sunday.
April 25 – The Visitation
Overview: Life can change in an instant! One day on top of the world, the next struggling for air to breathe. Our guest today shares his story of hope through battling for his life, alone but determined to see another day. On top of all this, a healing visit and message from God that reinforced his faith and purpose for life.
May 9 – Porn and the Pastor
Description: Peter Martin, an Associate Pastor at Calvary Christian Fellowship in Tucson, Arizona opens up about the struggles of pornography in the church and how that hinders true transparency in our leaders and those following Christ. As we tackle this topic most do not want to acknowledge or discuss, we discover that there is HOPE for those lost in the darkness of sexual addiction. (Warning: Parent discretion is advised)
A Night at the Drive In: We were so blessed to have had an incredible group of donors join us for our first ever Night at the Drive In event. It was a chilly one, but we really enjoyed seeing all the families huddled together, enjoying some quality time.
Thank you to everyone who came, and to all of our awesome donors who gave and/or participated in our raffles!
Pastor’s Marriage Retreat: July 20-22, $100 per couple. Please email David for more details: Davidt@romans12ministries.org
Thank you for partnering with us by donating to Romans 12 Ministries with the enclosed envelope or online at: www.romans12ministries.org/donate
*(Resilient Ministry, Burns, Chapman, Guthrie, 2013, pages 22-23)