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America’s Great Awakening- “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God!”

The following article was written by Steve Strang in 1975 for the first edition of Charisma Magazine. It is a brief history of the American Great Awakening in the 1700″s and a summary of what some say was the most powerful message ever preached in America. (We will let you decide that for yourself) Our great country is in a great time of turmoil and struggle but some of us still trust our Almighty God can save souls, change lives, give hope and mend broken hearts. Read this tremendous article and be inspired and just maybe share it with a friend who needs to know the truth.

By Steve Strang-Fifty years before a Lexington minuteman fired the shot heard around the world, another revolution began that shook the American colonies.

It was a spiritual revolution which historians call the Great Awakening. It was marked by waves of religious enthusiasm as preachers like George Whitefield traveled the seacoast from Maine to Georgia, preaching that sinners should repent.

American history’s most famous sermon—”Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”—was preached in 1741 by Jonathon Edwards at the height of the great revival.

History records that sinners repented by the hundreds. Taverns closed as whole towns repented. Often people were so moved by conviction they trembled and shrieked and fell to the ground moaning and begging God to forgive their sins.

Edwards writes about a young woman in his congregation who was so convicted of sin she declared that “it was pleasant to think of lying in the dust all the days of her life, mourning for sin.”

The preaching about turning from sin and the importance of salvation over the rituals of the state church in places like Massachusetts, was important in the light of history.

The result of the revival, which continued strong for 15 years and the effect of which continued for many more years, was to establish early in American life the importance of a man serving God as his conscience, not the state, dictated.

Thousands of newly converted people were forced by their churches to leave because their new convictions about the importance of salvation often threatened the existing ecclesiastical power structure. This fostered the growth of new churches like the Methodists and toppled any hope of one denomination becoming dominant and becoming the American state church.

Some historians consider the Great Awakening a major turning point in American history, yet it is frequently overlooked. While the national remembers its 200th anniversary this year and next, the Christian community can be inspired by remembering one of the greatest revivals on this continent.

The Great Awakening, besides being a major spiritual renewal, did much to foster a feeling of independence in the colonies and helped wipe out the class structure brought to the New World from Europe.

It also fostered education and several major universities like Dartmouth, Princeton and Brown, had their genesis in the revival. In addition, it stimulated missionary work among the Indians and slaves.

Historian Monroe Stearns wrote: “The Great Awakening’s essential purpose was to fulfill the royal law of love—to cause men to serve not themselves but one another and to join in an effort to improve society. The vision it revealed of the social good led to a challenge of the rulers of colonial society in America and into the discussion and activity that produced the movement for independence.

The Great Awakening has been, however, relegated to relatively minor role by most historians who view it as only emotional hysteria that they say has characterized revivals throughout our history.

The truth is, however, that despite emotionalism that characterized some of the Great Awakening from 1720 to 1760, it was the first great move of God on this continent and was the first of many revivals that have come to America since then.

To understand the importance of the revival and its impact on America, it’s important to understand the religious and social structure of the day.

Many of the early immigrants to America came because of religious oppression in Europe.

The French Huguenots were the first Protestants to flee to America. In 1562, more than half a century before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, a small group of Huguenots arrived in Florida in present day Jacksonville, hoping to escape the massacres of Charles IX of France. But within months, their settlement was destroyed by an agent of Philip II of Spain. Not one Huguenot survived.

In 1620, the English Separatists among them soon headed for Rhode Island with Roger Williams looking for religious freedom the Puritans did not give them.

The Pilgrims were followed in 1656 by the early Quakers who, being unwelcomed in New England, settled in New Jersey, then in 17682 in Pennsylvania.

By the early 1700’s, group after group of other Protestants seeking freedom from European intolerance began to arrive.

Of course, not every new settler in the new world came for religious liberty. Many came for economic and political opportunities not available to them in Europe. But many of the immigrants did come to worship God as they saw fit.

This desire for religious liberty and their deep faith in God was all that strengthened many of these early colonists to brave the perils of the American wilderness.

But after a few decades the original closeness to God that drove the early settlers to seek religious freedom was replaced by the coldness and rituals of the churches the settlers established.

This is what Theodorus Frelinghuysen found in 1720 when he was sent by the Dutch Reformed Church in the Netherlands to minister to Dutch settlers in New Jersey.

Frelinghuysen was a member of the Pietists who believed the power of the Holy Spirit could only be felt because it worked on the heart, not the brain. They put no emphasis on complicated church doctrines, but on having a “change of heart,” and becoming one with God.

Frelinghuysen preached that in order to be a member of the church and take communion, one must be born again. He caused quite a stir among the young and the poor who readily responded to his message.

The established, more prosperous members at first resisted, then began to become converted. Within five years his congregations had so increased and so many people had become converted, other ministers began inviting Frelinghuysen to preach at their churches, hoping for similar results.

Frelinghuysen greatly inspired a Presbyterian minister, Gilbert Tennent, and worked with him, breaking down denominational walls.

While Tennent and Frelinghuysen were preaching in New Jersey, Jonathon Edwards was causing a stir in New England with his sermons.

When he became minister in 1729 of the church of Northhampton, Mass., he found a generation of New Englanders who had grown up in spiritual confusion and who didn’t know how to be saved.

In addition, the churches of that area were controlled by the wealthy merchant class—the same people who controlled the government and who oppressed the people.

The Puritan Church had for many years preached salvation, but as the merchants began to seize control, more liberal ministers began to say salvation was not necessary for church membership.

Edwards resisted this trend, and preached faith in Christ was necessary for salvation. He began to see results.

In 1734, after five years at the church, he reported “a concern about the great things of religion began…to prevail abundantly in the town, till old and young, and from the highest to the lowest…Scarcely a person has been exempt, and the Spirit of God went on his saving influences…in a truly wonderful and astonishing manner.”

Word of the revival spread up and down the Connecticut River valley and by May, 1735, 25 towns had experienced similar awakenings.

The revival subsided until 1739 when a 24-year-old minister from England named George Whitefield began to preach in the New York area.

Whitefield had come to America in 1738 to establish an orphanage in Georgia.

Whitefield was such a magnificent speaker that many people came to hear him merely because of his speaking and acting ability.

He frequently preached on streets or in open fields.

Benjamin Franklin, who heard him in Philadelphia, estimated that Whitefield’s voice was so powerful 30,000 people could hear him at once, because he repeated key sentences four times—once in each direction.

Whitefield was so eloquent at raising money for his orphanage, that Franklin wrote he left his purse home on purpose when he went to hear him. Still, he had in his pocket several pieces of copper, several silver dollars and five pieces of gold.

“As he proceeded,” Franklin wrote, “I began to soften and concluded to give him the copper. Another stroke of his oratory made me ashamed of that, and determined me to give him the silver; and he finished so admirably, that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collection dish, gold and all.”

The Great Awakening was not without its problems, however.

Often when people felt convicted of their sins, they thrashed about on the floor, moaning and shrieking. Emotionalism was so widespread that it turned off many who had not been touched in their hearts with the Gospel message.

Rev. Jonathan Parsons of Lyme, Conn. wrote that some converts acted as if “the joints of their limbs were loosed and their knees smote one another…Several stout ones fell as though a cannon had been discharged and a ball had made its way through their hearts.”

One lady, Sarah Sparhawk, of Marlboro, Mass., was “like one deprived of her reason” and “was brought home (from church) by some young men. She often lay there crying out, screaming and striving much in her fits for an hour or two.”

Trances, visions, and something called “the jerks” became commonplace.

The opposers of the revival were led by Charles Chauncy, pastor of the old First Church in Boston. He objected to the “preaching of terror” and the “bodily effects.” He attacked the whole movement as a dangerous explosion of emotion.

Edwards saw the extremes of the revival, but still considered the Awakening a “surprising work of God,” and stedfastly defended it. He said the excesses of emotion were “enthusiastic delusions” or “impressions upon the imagination.”

He thought, however, that to oppose the revival as some ministers did, was evil. The “prevailing prejudice against religious affections at this day, in this land” was caused by none other than Satan, Edwards wrote.

He warned the critics of the revival that “for persons to despise and cry down all religious affections, is the way to shut all religion out of their own hearts, and to make thorough work in ruining their own souls.”

There were other great preachers in the revival. John Wesley, father of Methodism, was one. He preached in Georgia a number of years, and had an impact on the life of George Whitefield. But mostly Wesley’s influence was limited to England where a similar revival was taking place.

Samuel Davies, a Presbyterian, spread the revival to Virginia in 1748 where he had to get a license from the governor to preach.

The Anglican clergy opposed this non-Anglican in Virginia and took him to court saying he had no right to preach. The issue went to London in 1753 for a verdict and Davies won in 1755. It set a precedent for religious freedom in the colonies.

As the Great Awakening began to subside people like Davies continued to spread it until the 1750’s.

The Awakening had a long-run effect on education, social and moral structure of America for many years. But its main impact—and this should never be forgotten—was spiritual.

Men’s lives were changed when they encountered a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Despite the emotionalism that accompanied the movement, many new converts were made, and these converts had a different way of living.

Jonathon Parsons wrote of the new converts that “bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking seemed to be put away from them, with all malice…Rough and haughty minds became peaceful, gentle, and easy to be entreated… Their faith worked on love, and discovered itself in acts of piety towards God, charity and righteousness toward men and sobriety toward themselves.

That’s what true revival is all about.


Editor’s Note: The following are sidebars that appeared in the original edition of this article.

John Wesley

The founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, was a methodical man. While at Oxford University, he scheduled his intellectual activity by the clock-meditating perhaps from 11 a.m. to noon on the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and from noon to 1 p.m. on the doctrine of free grace. He and other students, including George Whitefield (below) worshiped together in what some students ridiculed by calling “Holy Clubs” or “Methodists.”

Early in his ministry, Wesley was sent to minister to the convicts sent to Georgia colony. He traveled throughout the colonies and England a total of 200,000 miles—by his own estimate—traveling by foot, by horseback and carriage to preach an estimated 40,000 sermons in his 87 years.

His brother, Charles, during his lifetime wrote about 6,500 hymns, many of which we sing today, like “Love Divine, All Love Excelling” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” When a man once said he wished he had a thousand tongues to sing the praises of Jesus, Charles wrote “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing!”

Another time, when a bird fell onto his window while being chased by a hawk, Charles wrote the most famous of his songs, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Let Me to Thy Bosom Fly.”

George Whitefield

The Great Awakening’s most rousing speaker, George Whitefield, is said to have been able to stir crowds just with the way he said “Mesopotamia.” The great English actor, David Garrick said, “I would give a hundred guineas if I could say ‘Oh! Like Mr. Whitefield.”

In Boston, such a revival swept the town while Whitefield was there that the Rev. John Webb wrote that “the very face of the town seemed to be altered” and that the taverns were as empty as the churches were full, for “about a year and a half after Mr. Whitefield left us.”

In one sermon, Whitefield is said to have cried, “Father Abraham, whom have you in heaven? Any Episcopalians? No? Any Presbyterians? No? Have you any Independents or Seceders? No? Have you any Methodists? No, no, no? Whom have you there?”

“We don’t know those names here. All who are here are Christians.” Whitefield would quote the answer from heave. Then, he would add: “Oh, is this the case? Then God help us, God help us all, to forget party names, and to become Christians in deed and in truth.”

Jonathon Edwards

Historians record that Jonathon Edwards was a small, frail man who preached in a quiet monotone, without gestures. He was also one of the greatest intellectuals American society has produced.

Edwards pastored in Northampton, Mass., when the Great Awakening broke out. Like other preachers during this period, he began traveling to nearby churches. The reason – there were so few converted ministers that those who were saved were in great demand as the revival spread.

It was on the road that Edwards preached a sermon that historians say is the most famous in American history – “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It is said he preached it as a last-minute substitute for another preacher at Enfield, Conn., on July 8, 1741.

Historian Monroe Stearns credits Edward’s sermon with ending the superstitions of the Middle Ages and initiating the concept that man is responsible for his own happiness through coming to God.

The sermon had a great impact the day it was preached. The congregation shrieked and groaned and cried out “Oh, what shall I do to be saved.” It got so bad, Edwards stopped his sermon to ask the people to be more quiet.

The 76,000-word sermon is still studied by seminary and Bible college students. An excerpt follows:

“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

Deuteronomy 32:35

-Their foot shall slide in due time.-

In this verse is threatened the vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites, who were God’s visible people, and who lived under the means of grace; but who, notwithstanding all God’s wonderful works towards them, remained (as verse 28)voice of counsel, having no understanding in them. The expression I have chosen for my text, “Their foot shall slide in due time,” seems to imply the following things, relating to the punishment and destruction to which these wicked Israelites were exposed.

  1. That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to a fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding.
  2. It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction. As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning.
  3. Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down.
  4. That the reason why they are not fallen already, and do not fall now, is only that God’s appointed time is not come. For it is said, that when that due time, or appointed time comes, their foot shall slide.

Application

The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ. That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell’s wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of; there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock.

Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment, for you are a burden to it. The creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly.

The sun does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts, nor is it willing a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon. The air does not willingly serve you for breathe to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God’s enemies.

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. This wrath towards you burns like fire. He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight. You are 10,000 times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.

There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful, wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell…but that God’s hand has held you up.

God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the greater part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on the great out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostle’ days; the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded.

Therefore, let everyone that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty God is not undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation. Let everyone fly out of Sodom. “Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed.”

My Notes: Our historic past is undeniable. It is what brought our young colonists together to form a united group later to be called the “United States of America”. The fiery messages that warned of a burning hell is seldom heard today because of the grace and love message that is what we love to hear. I am thankful that we serve a God of love and forgiveness, however remember those who reject Him are sadly lost as Jonathan Edwards preached. Our prayer is that you trust in Jesus Christ as your Redeemer and Savior.
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“How to Heal the Body”

As Pastors we often separate ourselves from having TRUST for anyone! WE put ourselves on an island guarded by a moat of hungry sheep! Sometimes our spouse and family are farther away than the sheep. The enemies SATAN and FLESH has caused many to buy into a culture of division! Pastors compete with each other so often while our enemies wreak havoc! Please continue. 

 

In America there are more than 250 Denominations recognized by the IRS(The World has many thousands). Throughout the “Church” in America the differences of Denomination, Doctrine, Race, Culture and Social Status has caused great division. According to the many Pastors as a group and particularly within the same denomination do not Trust one another. Sadly the Body and “Pastors” also still struggle with Racial Prejudice and Segregation. As Pastors we are taught how to build a “Castle”, more commonly called the Local Church.

IMG_3034.JPGThe Simple Solution:

Diligently Strive to Transform our Differences into Wholeness in the Body! (One Body with many parts working together to grow the Kingdom) Develop a “Kingdom Culture”! This is the culture when Pastors in a community agree to attack the enemy as one Army and one Body in love, trust and power! It is the mindset of bringing the Lost to the Kingdom and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct them to the right “Church Fellowship”. Pastors Need each other! We must find Pastors to establish True Relationships of Trust, Accountability and Encouragement across all barriers and walls. We suggest that every Pastor make a commitment to find Three other Pastors-different denomination, race, and culture “if possible” and meet with them EVERY WEEK for about 1-2 hours to talk as real men about real issues.                                                                                                                                    20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20 NAS

The Results: The Body is quickly Healed! More lost will be brought into the Kingdom of God. Communities will see what being “Christian” really means. Your “Church Fellowship” will benefit because you get refreshed and re-fired every week. Many Pastors say that their “Messages” become more powerful. Your Wife will be Thrilled because she will be spending more time with her Husband and not her Pastor. You will develop trusted friendships to share things that only another Pastor can understand. You will finally have a place to unload without fear of betrayal. You will personally grow because you have embraced accountability. You will learn more about the “Body”…… a lot more! As we build these Friendships with Trust and Encouraging Accountability the Body also comes together and is held tightly together by this bonding also! The community will become shaken. When Pastor’s come together publicly and regularly in love and relationship it overflows to congregations and communities. Note: Pastor’s Marriages, Ministries, and Lives have been saved by starting these weekly Champion Tables! (Just ask Me)                  

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The Pink Elephant in the Church

Hello dear friends, there has been an invasion in God’s church and it has been named “The Pink Elephant”. This Pink Elephant looks harmless and has many people wanting to look at it ride it and even feed it and yet it is crushing men women and children by the thousands. This Pink Elephant’s history is widely known and despite it’s familiarity the church has unwittingly allowed it to enter.

Friends we have message of warning that we beg you to see and hear. This video will open your eyes and prepare you to defend against and defeat this awesome and terrible enemy. Please watch this to its end and pray that God will empower you with His Spirit to have victory.

We are praying for you.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoVLXFdjlyw&list=UUHh5YIfMcC0KI9UeRJIpHvA&feature=share

 

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“God Day” Celebration in Orlando Florida Introduced to the World!

Throughout the world there are many one day special celebrations set aside from Presidents Day to Secretaries Day, from Mothers Day to Fathers Day. The list is countless. We are excited that Pastor Joshua Fowler and a team of visionary Pastors and Christian Leaders in Central Florida have been charged by God to start a “God Day” celebration! You may ask, why “God Day”, isn’t every Sunday supposed to be God’s Day? Yes it is, however this “God Day” is a time of bringing unity to the Kingdom Body by demonstrating God’s love.

It stands out as a “Day” for pastors to show everyone in Orlando, Central Florida and the World what can happen when the Body of Christ (the church) works together. This very special day is bringing pastors and churches together to touch their community by putting thousands of shoes on children who are in need. It also is a day of new beginnings, new beginnings of friendship and care that touches these little ones as Jesus tells us to do. Different denominations, races and cultures have come together to minister to the children in Orlando Florida, many of whom have never owned a brand new pair of shoes. A New pair of shoes will be placed on each child’s feet by a local Pastor or Christian volunteer.

We pray that this will be a huge success and Orlando embraces the opportunity to recognize and celebrate our creator and lord, Jesus Christ!

Pastors we applaud you and your obedience to the Holy Spirit who put this on your hearts. Please take this opportunity to embrace one another as God’s leaders and Ambassadors publicly and wholeheartedly and let this unity continue through each and every day.

We are praying for you and that many lost families will be brought to know Jesus and receive His everlasting love!

The “God Day” celebration is officially on December 12th starting with a “Declaration” from 6:00 PM- 9:00 PM.  Followed by a Global Awakening Ministers Congress on Friday the 13th from 9:00 AM-9:00 PM  and Saturday December 14th is the big shoe distribution, a  United Demonstration of The Father’s Love!

To get involved or learn how to plan for your church to get involved contact :  www.godday.com

Thank You Pastor!

Thank you Pastor for loving me when I am unlovable. Thank you Pastor for listening when no-one else will. Thank you Pastor for coming to my side at 3:00 AM when I was at my worst. Thank You Pastor for preaching God’s Word without compromise. Thank you Pastor for being a “Man of God” worthy to be followed. Thank you Pastor for picking me up every time I fall. Thank you Pastor for showing me how to love my wife. Thank you Pastor for feeding my family when we have no money. Thank you Pastor for teaching our church how to love one another. Thank you Pastor for teaching me to lead. Thank you Pastor for renewing my vision. Thank you Pastor for giving me hope. Thank you Pastor for encouraging me when you never knew how much it was needed. Thank you Pastor for teaching me how to love my children God’s way! Thank you Pastor for for not quitting when our church gave you a hard time. Thank you most of all for telling us about Jesus and His never-ending Love!

Pastors everywhere,  thank you for working 24/7  tirelessly, always giving, always smiling, always faithful, always strong!

You are our Champion for Jesus!

We love you!

Jesus and Moses had one, What about you?

Pastor, what is it that you struggle with? Is it depression because everything is so hard and no-one helps or cares? Is it the secretary because she is always smiling and starting to look too good, or is it the lady who you are counseling and you should never be alone with!!? Is it the “power” you have over people as the leader and you like it , oh so much? Do you have a strong desire for more titles and prestige so more people will go wowwwww? Is money causing you to slip away from God’s way? Are the attitudes of people driving you to quit or compromise? Are the sheep biting you and your spouse and you feel like the sacrificial lamb? Do you feel like striking back? Is the church your mistress and your wife is ready to leave you?

Pastor, the enemy is like a roaring lion seeking to devour YOU! You need to stand firm and stand strong and perhaps get a couple of brothers to hold your arms up. Moses had Aaron and Hur to hold his arms up during the battle. Jesus even took Peter, James and John  off regularly for private times. As a Pastor and a man we all need to have an inner group that we can lean on.Men we can TRUST!  We need accountability daily, weekly, monthly, etc. We need each other to help us fight the good fight and not give in to the flesh or satan’s trickery. A good encouragement group will save you!!

A good accountability group is not afraid to question about any of the above issues and challenges. It will face these and more with you head-on. A great accountability group will go much deeper than is comfortable and walk with you through the onslaught of hell if necessary! Accountability is not to be feared but to be embraced! As Pastors we need strong accountability. We need to be questioned and drilled by our Trusted brothers in order to be the men of God we should be.

It is the Pastor who men and women see that set the standard of morality and character. If you tell off colored jokes or listen to them, then it must be okay. If the Pastor doesn’t return calls or is late to meetings or texts during worship, then must be okay.  If the Pastor doesn’t “date” his wife or show her attention in public then that must be okay too. If the Pastor has wandering eyes… well lets not go there because this is a plague in most churches among men and women!

However, if the Pastor shows his wife genuine love and attention for all to see and he is prompt and considerate in everything,  everyone will follow suite. If he worships in worship and stays clear of the appearance of evil this too will become the standard. When the congregation sees a loving, considerate man with high moral character and uncompromising values this will bring life to the messages you deliver!

It is the accountability group that helps hold us to the standards that we set and demand of ourselves. A great accountability group can help you raise the bar to another level and help you hold it up. It is brothers who link arms with you and you are never never never alone. If you have heard the phrase “they will take a bullet for you”, this is what a great group brings you.

This is why we call All Pro Pastors accountability groups “The Champions Table” . It is a place that Champions are made! It is where we step out of our box as Pastor and embrace challenging accountability by brothers we love and trust! It grows us into the” Man of God” we preach about becoming.

Pastor, what do you struggle with? The many issues we listed above are real and you know they are. The question is what are you willing to do about it? My prayer is that today you will reach out and start an accountability group today and if it happens to be a “Champions Table” we will do everything possible to support you. The Champions Table is safe and life saving. Join one today.

Blessings,

paul

A Champion Pastor from Nigeria Testifies

The Champions Table is a place that Pastors can be encouraged and feel safe. As Pastors we feel the same challenges and issues that all men have. The family can easily become left behind with the demands of a church. A marriage can quickly become damaged and broken by the bites of sheep and and goats. It is critically important that the Pastor’s family be encouraged. The Champions Table gives us the support and accountability that we need to be great Husbands and Fathers. Our wounds can be anointed and our spirit lifted.

Pastor Tom Wright and Ann have come to the USA from Nigeria to Pastor and lead. Listen closely to their short testimony.

We believe every Pastor needs a place to unload their burdens each week and be refilled and refreshed.

Become a Champion today. Start a Champions Table!

 

Top Ten Things I Wish My Congregation Knew

  1. I only have 24 hours in my day too.
  2. I need to be encouraged also.
  3. I have family and work struggles also.
  4. I have flaws and weaknesses to work on too.
  5. I get tired and cranky sometimes.
  6. I really do want what’s best for this church.
  7. My family needs away time, just like you do.
  8. I face the same temptations as you do.
  9. My wife didn’t marry her pastor, she needs a husband.
  10. My children will let you down, just as yours do.
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David Gibbs III Hits a Home Run or “Nerve” of Many Pastors

July 25th at the Pastors Power Luncheon Attorney David Gibbs and Pastor Fred Harrold both gave resounding messages. Pastor Fred reviewed many of the issues Pastors face with congregations that can be very demoralizing, however he gave a solution for many to consider, “The Champion Table”. To see this compelling presentation go to our video gallery.

Attorney Gibbs talked squarely to Pastors about real legal issues that can not only create great distress for a church/pastor but could possibly destroy a church. Churches today must be aware of the many satanic attacks that are taking place each day across America within churches. I did say within! Church membership is not something to take lightly these days. Please go to our video gallery and take the time to watch Attorney Gibbs powerful and informative message. Every Pastor and committed Christian leader should watch this!

We are thankful for Attorney Gibbs and Pastor Fred for giving their time to Pastors for this tremendous luncheon. We want to also thank Plant City Church of God for hosting and providing a delicious meal!

If you were unable to attend this luncheon please join us on September 26th at Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida to see and hear Attorney Gibbs III. (see events for details)

 

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Pastor or Politician

In America one does not have to listen very long in conversations to hear the phrase “politically correct.” Sadly, pastors who pursue political correctness often render themselves powerless in their calling to be difference makers.

In the world of ministry, Pastors are the center of attention. All eyes are on the Pastor and every ear is straining to hear what the Pastor is saying. The words Pastors speak carry life-changing power because pastors are called to be the mouthpiece of God.

This huge responsibility is something every Pastor needs to take seriously! The questions each must ask are:

Do I preach God’s message, or

Do I preach what I believe will make people in “my” church happy?

Do I teach God’s Word, or

Do I teach non-challenging politically correct words of compromise?

During the past five years of this ministry I cannot tell you how many Christians have confided that they wished their Pastor would preach more of God’s Word!

Don’t be shocked.

Our church families are seeing Christianity attacked on every front. Spiritually, America appears to be crumbling before the eyes of the world and our children are the innocent victims.

The “church” as a whole or in part, would seem to any onlooker that we have —

  • invited sexual immorality into our homes (TV, Internet and movies)
  • allowed other religions to infiltrate our schools and colleges without a fight
  • invited sinful compromise into our fellowships in the name of tolerance and acceptance
  • permitted our government (at all levels) to modify laws and regulations which hinder our freedom and ability to minister and share the gospel!

Pastors, it is our responsibility as the Ambassadors and Messengers of God to tell our congregations and family what God says is sin. “Sin” is not a word whose definition you can assume people, and especially young people, fully understand or agree with. When they see people in our churches openly defying God’s word, the word “sin” carries no weight or consequence.

The big issue is that most do not know God’s Word because they are not hearing it, nor seeing it lived in their homes. The “Church” should have open arms to ALL people in order to bring all to the saving grace of Jesus.

The “Church” should be:

  • A living body that is constantly growing
  • Helping people rid themselves of sinful ways (must be taught)
  • Alert to the attacks of the enemy and be acting upon those
  • Learning and teaching people how to be like Jesus
  • Embracing the Holy Spirit as our Helper, Teacher, and Power
  • Proactive as God’s army to make disciples on the earth

As Pastors we need to be aware of what the enemy is doing. The Bible says “satan” is roaming around like a hungry lion seeking whom he can devour. As a man of God, are you aware of what the enemy is doing in your community and city? Do you understand that this enemy is trying to keep you silent and alone! It is our job to protect the sheep and lead with all diligence. You are not alone! (I pray for you to be bold!)

Let us go just a little deeper.

  • Do you believe that as Pastors we need to keep quiet and ignore Islamic teachings that threaten our religious freedoms?
  • Do you really know what their writings say and instruct about Christians?
  • Should we keep silent about homosexuality and its obvious political agenda in America to destroy the traditional perceptions of home and marriage?
  • Should we say nothing of the fornication and adultery running rampant in many church families?
  • Should we seemingly approve by silence the pornography plague that has gripped men and women alike by the tens of thousands?

Politicians are all about getting votes. They will say anything to anybody to get their approval. They will do almost anything, if they believe you will donate to their cause! With politicians money is king. (Note: There are a very few good politicians the previous statements were made to me by one of them who loves the Lord Jesus.)

What would people say about you as a Pastor? Are you more about giving or more about getting? Are you —

  • Pastor or Politician?
  • Leader or People Pleaser?
  • Army General or Civilian?
  • Visionary or Status Quo?

The souls of America and your church family are at stake!

Pastor, I pray that you will take this post seriously. The enemy “satan” is working overtime to divide the Body of Christ and to keep us from sounding the alarm. He is distracting us from telling people they are lost and headed for Hell without Jesus!

Jesus is still the only way to Heaven!  He is still Lord!

I pray that you will become aware of what is happening in your city, community and country. Listen to the opposition and to a variety of Christian leaders on the radio and television. Listen, watch and study across denominational, racial and cultural lines. Become acquainted with fellow Pastors in your neighborhood. Take a couple of Pastors in your city to breakfast and become friends and allies in order to impact your local culture for Christ.

We need to be All-Proactive Pastors who rightly divide the Word of Truth.

We love you and are praying for you. May God shower His grace and blessings upon you and may you faithfully carry HIS Word in your mouth!

Amen

 

 

 

 

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1st Baptist Bartow Fl. invites APP to Share the Vision to Area Pastors

On March 5th  Pastor Ron Burks and 1st Baptist Bartow, Fl. Hosted and treated Pastors to a tremendous meal and wonderful fellowship. We believe that this 1st for them will start a Kingdom movement to see many Pastors join forces to reach their community for Salvation!

Special Guest Ron Ellis brought the house down with words of challenge and motivation. Pastor Ron Ellis, the founder of BAM International as well as Exalted Word Ministries speaks all across America with an annointed word from God. He challenged all to reach to the next level!

Many pastors left the luncheon charged up and ready to be the Champion God called them to be, starting at home! We were surprised when one guest even volunteered to be an Ambassador for APP to India. It was another day of breakthrough. PTL

Thank you pastor Ron Burks for opening your heart and church to APP and the local Pastors. We pray that this beginning will bring a renewed committment for Pastors to link arms together to reach Bartow for Jesus!!

,

Where can I (Pastors) go to really TALK?!!!!!!

 

  As a pastor I have found it very difficult to trust anyone. I have many friends/acquaintances in my church and denomination, but these are people I would never expose my hurts or weaknesses to. There are times that I have questions and frankly I am embarrassed to ask anyone because of what they might think. Other times I get so frustrated I just want to quit, knowing I can’t it just stays inside of me like a sore that keeps festering up. I get so lonely on this island surrounded by people! Where can I go just to talk?

Does this sound familiar? You may have other issues that only you know about. The Champion Table may be the place that over time you build deep rooted trust. The kind of trust that you can say anything and know you are not going to be cast out and burned at the stake. How refreshing to find a place where I can take my “Pastor Suit” off and just be plain old me.  

 Testimonials

I wanted to drop you a line to express my joy in our All Pro Pastors Champion Table. We have been meeting since May, 2007 now, and the intimacy level is really growing. We have seen barriers come down, and transparency taking place. Our four pastors have learned to lean on and count on one another. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t receive an email or phone call, giving or asking for encouragement. Every pastor needs a Table like ours.

In Christ,

 Fred Harrold, New life Community Church,USA

All Pro Pastors has helped me as a man, a husband and a Pastor. The impact of Champion Tables in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is changing the Kingdom of God for all of Africa. My life will never be the same!

Ambassador Peter Simwa, Higher Vision Center, Eldoret, Kenya,   

Our “All Pro Pastors” Champion Table meets every Tuesday morning. I was at a point where I had decided not to add anything else to my weekly calendar. After visiting a couple of weeks I discovered that “All Pro Pastors” was not your normal “meeting type” atmosphere as some would think.  It offered open discussion with likeminded people who share the same type of accomplishments, challenges, and needs.  We share the importance of honoring God as the husbands, fathers, and leaders in our homes.  I now look forward to Tuesday mornings as a priority.   

 Kevin M. Wynne,  FBC Durant, USA

 Getting Started 
  • Find 3 other Pastors who you will agree to meet with every week. These may be Pastors who you are not acquainted with and need to seek out. (4 total is best but you may have to start with less)
  • Establish a place and time that works for all. 
  • Be committed and make attendance a Priority!  
  • The first few meetings is a time of introduction.  Share about your family, personal interests, Salvation Experience, hobbies, where you have lived, etc.   Just get acquainted with one another.
  • Note: Each Champions Table should have someone volunteer to be the Table Champion. This is a commitment to contact each Table member the day before your meeting as a reminder.
  • After your time of introduction share with the Table any current goals that you feel comfortable sharing. (Marriage, Family, Physical, Household, Personal Improvement, Spiritual Growth, Business, Financial, Health, Education, Ministry, etc.) 
  • Share any Personal areas of Improvement that you want to be encouraged to acheive.                                                                                    
  • Examples:  I need to lose 30 pounds, I need to increase my income, I want to write a book, I need to finish school, I need to spend more time with my wife, I need to read more, I need to watch less TV, I need time off/vacation, I have many debts that I need to pay-off. You get the idea.  (Your Table is there to Encourage you, cheer you on, not judge or give unrequested advice.)                                    
  • Review the “Accountability” Questions and discuss how your Table wants to use these. (You may want to add some or revise them). Where do you want to start? How much Accountability does your Table want!? (This will make a big difference in your Table. If you have some who want a high level of accountability and others who do not, be patient. You, who want it, go ahead and lay it out on the table each week. Watch God work. Trust HIM!)
  • The week you decide to start your journey as “Champions” is a very important week. This is the week your decide to embrace the “Accountability Questions  as your Personal Guideline”. You start talking about the good and bad of your week.  You can unload or just listen to one another. Do not talk so much that others do not have a chance.  You can be reserved or let it all out. You must decide personally. Each week is different. Things happen. There is a direct relationship in what you give and what you receive.
  • Each week try to set personal and specific goals. You may have one or many goals. Write them down and share with your group.  This is your “TO DO LIST”.ASK for Accountability and each week give a progress report. This is not a requirement for the Table only a proven way to help you reach goals while building trust and real friendships! 
  • End each week by sharing Prayer needs and close with prayer.

Special Note:   The Table is not a Bible Study Group or Prayer meeting, you should already be doing that. It is Men getting serious about Real Men issues.  (Men meet with Men and Women with Women.)

PASTORS WITHIN THE SAME CHURCH SHOULD NOT BE PART OF THE SAME TABLE.  

Weekly “Accountability Points”

(You should use first names and avoid titles. Dr., Bishop, Pastor, etc).

  • How have I done on my weekly “TO DO’S”?
  • Have I spent enough personal time in God’s word and in prayer?
  • Have I had any flirtatious or lustful attitudes, tempting thoughts, wandering eyes or exposed myself to any explicit materials (TV, Internet, Mag. Etc) which would not glorify God?
  • Did anyone in/from my church tempt me (wandering eyes) or approach me in an inappropriate manner?  What did I do?
  • Have I met my wife/children’s need for LOVE each day (Words of encouragement and appreciation; Hugs, touches and intimacy; acts of kindness and service; my personal time and attention; gifts of love? What would they say?
  • Have I prayed with my wife every day?
  • Have I been completely above reproach in my financial dealings? Have I been honest with my wife about my spending?
  • Have I treated my body as God’s Temple? (Health, Exercise, Weight)
  •  ( Have I lied in any of my answers?)
  • YOUR TABLE MAY WANT TO WRITE YOUR OWN ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS AND CHANGE THE ORDER. THE TABLE IS YOURS. YOU MUST DECIDE HOW CHALLENGING AND TRANSPARENT YOU WANT IT TO BE. IT MAY TAKE A FEW WEEKS! OVER TIME THESE MAY CHANGE.

What am I going to do about it this week? 

As you are talking and listening, write down “action items” that jump out as this weeks “To Do’s”. These are specific actions you are planning to do before your next “Table”. You Are asking your fellow Champions to challenge you and encourage you to succeed? You must be Specific! Note, you should have a few items that you have as “To Do’s” that are each and every week in order to start new habits.

 If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always gotten and you will continue to be what you have always been! It is time to step up and step out. 

Dear Pastor,

In 2003 the Lord clearly spoke to me that Pastors needed to learn to trust one another and to love each other. He also said that we as Pastors need to live” Holy” lives at home and embrace accountability.  This word started my wife and me on a journey to begin a ministry called All Pro Pastors (APP) and now The Champion Table Global Ministries.

The Champion Table is the foundation of APP and these guidelines have helped Pastors throughout the world to experience miracles, start lifelong friendships, save marriages and ministries, and unify the Body for Kingdom building. We are committed to praying for you and encouraging you to stay the course! When we say we love you, we mean it.

Thank you for reading through the Champion Table Guidelines. We are absolutely sure the Holy Spirit has given this to us. Many Pastors want specific guidelines and others already understand the principles to become real Champions through accountability/trust and friendship.

Each Pastor makes the decision as to whether you want a strong “Accountability” table or simply a Fellowship/Friendship table. Both are extremely essential in our life. These are a few specifics that it takes to make a successful “Champions Table”.

(1)          Pastors/Men should meet together with Pastors from different churches/denominations/tribes/etc (if at all possible).  

(2)           4 Pastors are the best number at a Table. 5 or more reduce “Trust Building” genuine intimacy and increases the time needed each week.

 (3)          There are stages “Strong Tables” go through. : Fellowship-Friendship-Honesty-Encouragement-(Commitment)-Trust-Accountability-Acheivement-Success-CHAMPIONSHIP

(4)          Setting Weekly To Do’s give a foundation for commitment, it is the easiest way to learn accountability without the need for deep trust, helps establish Achievable Goals, provides a circle of friends to cheer us on to success each week  

(5)          The Table is not a Bible study. (You should already have this). It is easy for us as Pastors to avoid real issues by using the Bible as a way not to face them.

Again, Please review the attached carefully and discuss with your Table. We love you and this ministry is striving to honor God best by serving you as we serve Him. It is up to each of us.

Your Friend and Servant,

paul 

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Testimonials

Pastor Bill and Kathleen Cody, Lakeland Florida USA

Pastor Bill Cody (Lakeland)
I am so grateful to God to be a part of a champions Table. My table has made a great impact on not only my life but in the other lives of the brother that meet together. I know it has spilled over into our family life and has impacted our church life. I am so grateful and encourage you to be a part of a champions Table, you will be blessed.

Minister Cathleen Cody
If your husband is not a part of a Champions Table encourage him to do so.

Pastor Olutunji and Anne Tom-Wright

Pastor Tom Wright (Tampa) By being a part of the All Pro Pastors Table it has been awesome, it has been wonderful. I have become the father I am suppose to be for my children and the husband I am suppose to be for my wife.

The All Pro Pastors Table has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I take walks with my wife in the mornings and we exercise together. I love her more now and I have learned thing I did not know.

So I encourage you to be a part of an All Pro Pastors Table. Just Come!

Minister Ann Wright (Tampa)
All Pro Pastors is a great group because I can see the changes in my husband right now. I pray for him and the Champions Table teaches them to love their home and to love their family. The Bible makes us to understand that family is the first church.

So I pray that God will continue to bless All Pro Pastors and encourage them. And
continue to lift our husbands higher.

Pastor WF Floyd, USA

Out of obedience to God, my wife and I relocated to Florida for ministry after retirement. We had been in ministry over twenty years in Los Angeles, was ordained and worked alongside of many wonderful gifted men and women of God.

We worked tirelessly together promoting and developing ministries and events for growth while establishing very few meaningful relationships outside of church.

Ministry has been and will always be the motivating force for our lives but the road is often lonely. Although we had no clue of what God had in store for us we dared to believe and trust that He was leading and guiding our footsteps.

Prior to our move I prayed that God would send me a few friends I could confide in on this journey. Within less than a year my wife and I was invited to a APP luncheon. We were introduced to Paul and Linda and began a true friendship that later evolved into assisting them in this ministry.

APP has broadened our understanding and has deepened our compassion for pastors and their wives who are also in need of ministry.

After all of their studies, teachings, preaching, counseling, giving so much of their time, energy and themselves, they are so often left with no one to turn to other than each other, in some cases no one at all.

We are men of God, Yes! That is true. But we are first men who constantly pour into the live of others and require someone to pour back into ours which is what APP has done for me.

APP has also allowed me to connect with phenomenal men of God each week who are a part of my Champions Table and powerful men and women in ministry.

But more importantly it has allowed me to grow even greater in ministry with my family and the love of my life, my wife Pauletta.

God has answered my prayer through APP Ministries.