We need more Free Grace ministries. The field is wide open. People often contact me telling me GES should do this or that. I usually respond, “Why don’t you do it?”
Here are some of the major needs that I see…
- Sunday School Curriculum: I would very much like GES to do one. We need it. The relatively few Free Grace churches that exist have mostly tried to adapt mixed theology materials and tried to give them an FG slant. I tried that myself. But it doesn’t work. We need an FG Sunday school curriculum. That means finding the right writer who will do most of the work themselves.
- Missions Agency: God bless all the FG missionaries out there, and their individual ministries. But so far as I know, there is no pure FG missions agency out there. There are some mixed theology missions that are tolerant of FG, but none where you can openly teach FG without apology, or without having to look over your shoulder.
- Music Publishers: the Charismatics are dominating this field, it seems. ‘Nuff said.
- A Denomination: Right now, most FG people and pastors try to fly under the radar in mixed theology churches. That’s bad for FG. It means FG is not openly being taught for fear of disturbing the mixed denomination or the mixed congregation. It means FG is not being developed as a distinct theology and exposition of Scripture. It means churches are only FG so long as an FG pastor is there, and once he leaves he might be replaced by a Lordship pastor, and there goes the church. In fact, I would guess the majority of churches on our Church Tracker list are actually mixed churches that will turn this way and that depending on who the pastor is, and what he believes. We need an openly FG denomination, that builds and grows openly FG congregations, and openly trains the next generation of FG pastors to take over those churches.
- An FG Our Daily Bread: A quarterly devotional from the FG perspective. Something people can read in their quiet times. Something at the very easiest reading level.
- Phone Counselling: You can’t believe how many people call us asking for advice about what jobs to take, who to marry, and what to do with depression, etc. I’ve heard that other ministries have multiple full-time paid staff that handle this sort of thing.
- An FG Study Bible: I’m working on this. At least once a week someone calls or writes asking which Study Bible they should use.
- Radio ministry: We need to reach new people. Radio seems to do that. It costs money, though. Not as much as I thought. About $300/week per station you want to be in.
- YouTube: So convenient. So easy to do. Just set up your iPhone, record, and upload. It’s just a matter of doing it.
- A Study Group at ETS: The Evangelical Theological Society has special study groups for theological movements—The Stone Campbell Study Group; the SDA Study Group; etc. We need to start an FG Study Group that would provide a neutral forum for people from across the FG community to come together and think about our theology academically.
- An FG L’Abri: There are some study centers for different theological movements. For example, L’Abri is a network of retreat centers (the original was in Switzerland) based on the thought of Francis Schaeffer, where students and adults can spend a few weeks to a few months studying. Torchbearers International, based on Keswick theology, have centers across the world, the most famous being Capernwray Hall. It would be great to have at least one really nice converted farmhouse, or mansion, or camp, dedicated to teaching FG to students on a short-term basis. Someone doing an Engineering degree could come for the summer. Maybe the classes could be accredited.
- Summer Convention: A 1-3 week long yearly convention for families to attend. Like the Keswick Convention in the UK, but FG.
If GES had a multi-million dollar budget, I would gladly do three or four of these ourselves. (And we’re praying for an increase!)
Personally, I would love to do the study center, someplace picturesque (of course!), and base our publishing ministry there. With the right property, we could also do the summer convention there. We would need two or three teachers, and guest teachers, mentoring the students who would study with us. Bob would be great at that (I have first-hand experience of how good he is at it!). Maybe it would also be a pathway to training pastors for new churches.
Right now, we don’t have that kind of budget.
But maybe you do?
Maybe God will give you a burden for one of these ministries. If so, go to it! There’s so much work to be done, and not enough workers to do it.