Bible Questions and Answers

Dear friends,

Simona and I have been seeking God earnestly in recent weeks for direction regarding the ministry. There are so many things we could do and limited time in which to do it, so we've been seeking God's vision for the ministry and His wisdom to know what is the most efficient and fruitful way to spend our time. Many of you heard my recent announcement at our last internet church service where I shared some details, but I also wanted to write this email to all our subscribers to let you all know the direction the Lord is leading us.

We believe God has given us one key piece of wisdom: the main thing that we need to do is start a local church, with the long-term vision of starting local churches around the world, Lord willing. We have been spending almost all our time and energy ministering to people internationally via the internet, because that is where our ministry started, and that is where we've been seeing fruit. But we have come to the realization that (at least at the moment, with our current level of time, energy, and resources) we can't do both international internet ministry and start a local church at the same time. There simply are not enough hours in the week. We believe the Lord is giving us wisdom that it will be more effective and eventually more efficient to start a local church and use that as the springboard for the international ministry rather than the other way around.

There are many details we could add, but I will just mention a couple. One of the reasons we believe the "local church first" direction is wisdom, is that it is much easier to mobilize, train, and equip people locally than from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Once they are trained and equipped, they can go anywhere in the world to minister and bear fruit.

Another reason is that while there is a plethora of preaching, teaching, and worship music available online at the click of a button, and all of that is a blessing, what our audience really needs is local fellowship. That is the gaping need. Our internet church services were an attempt to fill a need in the body of Christ, but an internet church doesn't really fill that void, at least not nearly as well as a local church would. There is nothing like flesh-and-blood fellowship with like-minded believers, and a local church presence in a city or town. So we feel it is wisdom to sacrifice the short-term benefit of an internet church service in order to use that time and energy working toward the long-term benefit of starting not only one local church, but eventually, Lord willing (and assuming He tarries long enough for this to happen), local churches all over the world.

So Simona and I are going to be devoting virtually all our ministry time and energy to local church planting. We covet your prayers!

As part of this, one of the things we feel God is leading us is to do, is to take the time that I was previously spending on this email Word of the Week (several hours each week), and spend it instead on other areas of ministry locally. Going forward we'll probably send out occasional emails but it will no longer be on a weekly basis. We will also likely make some significant changes to our websites in order to reduce the time and expense involved in maintaining the internet ministry. A special thank you to those of you who have given financially - your generosity has touched many lives and helped many people! And I wanted to make sure to say thanks so much to all of you who have expressed appreciation for this website, the Internet Church, our Word of the Week and other aspects of the ministry over the past few months! Your encouragement and testimonies have blessed us so much!

May God bless you richly,

John Lilley