Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preaching in Croatia

Did you ever wonder why people wear ties to church? Watch this video to find out.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Letter to Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty

On November 22nd, my pastor, Billy Joe Daugherty, entered into his heavenly reward.

He has joined the great crowd of witnesses and passed the baton to us who are still running the race. His life and example will continue to inspire all of us.

Below is a letter of appreciation that I wrote to Pastor Billy Joe last month. I share this letter with you as a way to honor him.

October 17, 2009
Dear Pastor Billy Joe,

Thank you! I want to take a moment to let you know how much I appreciate you. Today at your son's wedding, tears came to my eyes when you walked out onto the stage. I started thinking about how much you mean to me.

When I was six-years-old, my parents moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma and became members at Victory Christian Center. You have been my pastor ever since. Now I am thirty and so thankful for everything you have taught me over the years. Here are some of the lessons I have learned from watching you.

You taught me ministers should be harvest- minded. Both in Tulsa and around the world, you go after souls. I have never seen a service at Victory where someone did not get saved. Souls has remained your primary focus. Your example has inspired me to go to the nations and you have a part in every person who receives salvation in our services.

You taught me ministers should be visionary. You went from one Victory Bible Institute to almost a 1,000 IVBI's to setting a goal to plant 10,000 IVBI's. As the work grows, your vision just gets bigger and bigger. I am inspired by your example to believe God for big things.

You taught me ministers should give generously. Every month, for over twenty years, Victory has supported my parents on the mission field. They are only one of many missionaries that Victory has supported over the years. The amount that you have been able to give to the mission field over the years is absolutely amazing. Thank you!

You taught me ministers can live debt-free. In our modern age, few are able to live debt-free, yet Victory has been able to build millions of dollars worth of buildings without a dime of debt. What a miracle! I am sure that the buildings could have been finished much sooner if you had submitted to the yoke of debt, but slowly and steadily God provided, and now Victory has such tremendous financial freedom.

You taught me ministers should live holy lives. Over the years, so many talented and anointed ministers have fallen because of sin, but you have remained steadfast, an example to the body of Christ.

You taught me ministers should live conservatively. Some ministers have used money inappropriately, but over the years you have lived a conservative lifestyle, always focused on giving to others instead of flaunting wealth. In this time where many question the motives of some ministers, I think your way of living speaks volumes.

You taught me a minister's wife can be anointed too. I have always admired the way that Pastor Sharon ministers alongside you. When I was praying for a wife, I asked God to give me a girl like Sharon Daugherty or Daisy Osborn. God gave me Jessica, and now we minister together around the world.

You taught me ministers can have Godly families. So many PK's end up hating God and the church, but all your kids are serving with you in the ministry. From you I learned that God does not just call individuals, He calls entire families. Jessica and I are believing God for our children to be mighty in the Lord.

You taught me ministers should remain committed to the truth. I remember hearing you preach at a meeting in Florida where many pastors from a wide variety of denominations were present. I know some of them did not believe in healing, yet you preached a strong healing message and gave God an opportunity to prove His Word with signs and wonders. Over the years you have been a strong defender of the faith. Thank you.

You taught me ministers should reach out in love. You always reach out in love to other denominations and Christian groups. Instead of drawing lines in the sand, you draw circles of love.

You taught me ministers should always speak positively. I have never heard you say a negative word about another pastor in town or against someone who has hurt you. Pastoring is one of the hardest jobs in the universe, but you do the job with such grace that it looks easy.

You taught me ministers should never get bitter. I can't count the number of times that I have heard you tell the story of the preacher who told you, "If you don't get bitter, you are going to make it." This advice has kept me going many times. It is amazing how often the opportunity comes for me as a minister to get bitter, but I just remember your advice and keep working at forgiving people.

You taught me ministers should honor those who have gone before us. I have seen how you have honored Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn, Freda Lindsey, Dick Mills, and other great men and women of God who have served God faithfully. Because you have honored others, many will honor you.

Pastor Billy Joe, you demonstrate love through your life and actions. Thank you for your Godly example. You inspire me to follow God wholeheartedly. I appreciate you more than words can tell.

With Love,

Daniel King

Pictures from Croatia

Welcome to the beautiful nation of Croatia! 

Teaching the Word

This is the largest evangelical church in Croatia.
"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." 
You know the song, but did you ever wonder what chestnuts actually looked like? 

Friday, November 20, 2009

How to Speak using a Translator

Do you want to go on a mission trip? If so, you should learn how to work with a translator. Here are some ideas that might help you.

1. It is best to sit down with your translator before ministering and tell him about your sermon.
- Explain any hard concepts or unusual words you are going to use.
- Ask him to find the scriptures you are going to use and read them.
- Explain how you want him to work with you.
- Do you want him to mimic every one of your actions?
- Pray with the translator before the service. It is best if he is covered with the same anointing that is on you. The best translators are ministers in their own right who are used to flowing in the Holy Spirit.

2. Use short sentences and pause in-between each sentence.

3. Speak in complete ideas - not bits of sentences. Because sentence structure is turned around in some languages, you have to speak the whole thought so the translator knows where you are going with it. For example, in Spanish, they say “The man big and handsome...” instead of “The big, handsome man....” so if you only say the first few words, the translator won’t be able to get the sense of the sentence across to the audience.

4. Don’t use puns, idioms, colloquialisms, or slang.
Example #1:The letters J-O-Y stand for Jesus - Others - You. In Spanish, the word for joy is “gozo” which does not translate to Cristo - Otros - Usted.
Example #2: I heard a preacher say, “I had butterflies in my stomach on the airplane because Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always...and the plane was high up in the air.” The translator just looked at him. The joke works in English but it does not translate.

5. Use the time the translator is speaking to think of your next sentence. You can be aware of what the translator is saying without fully listening to him.

6. Give the translator time to translate. Don’t cut him off before he has finished.

7. Don’t let a bad translator kill a service. If a translator is not doing a good job, don’t hesitate to find a new translator. But do it gently. Explain to the audience, “I’m sorry but this translator and I are not used to working together. He’s doing great but I want to try another translator.” Ideally this situation should not come up because it is embarrassing to the translator. Try to test the translator before putting him up on stage in front of a bunch of people.

8. Speak slowly and distinctly with good pronunciation. Sometimes it is hard for the translator to hear what you are saying if you are facing away from him and the stage monitors are not working right. If this happens, face towards the translator as you speak each sentence.

9. When you ask the audience to repeat a prayer after you, give clear instructions. What do you want them to do? Give both the translator and the audience time to repeat your words.

Here is a video sample of me working with a translator.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do you have a passport?

Every believer should own a passport. How can you obey God’s command to go into all the world, unless you have the means of getting there?

Last week, at a church in Tennessee, I asked, “How many of you want to go on a mission trip someday.” The entire congregation raised their hands. Then I asked a follow-up question, “How many of you have passports?” Less than ten percent of the people replied in the affirmative. Everyone wanted to go, but few had taken the first step to be able to go. I told them, “If God gave you a fully paid, round-trip ticket to go preach in Africa tomorrow, most of you would not be able to take advantage of it. Before you can expect God to provide for you to go on a mission trip, you must take the first step and get a passport.”

When you take steps towards your vision, then God begins moving pieces into place for your provision.

So, do you have a passport?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lessons from the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Twenty years ago on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down in Germany. When this hated symbol of Communism fell, the nations of the Soviet Union began to radically change. What are some lessons from this historic event?

1. Every Wall Will Fall
From the early ‘50’s until the late ‘80’s, godless Communism was at war with Christianity. From the middle of Europe to the edge of Asia, there was a vast swath of land where the Name of Jesus could not be lifted up. Churches were closed, christians were persecuted, and faith was attacked. But then in a moment, the wall was down and the Iron Curtain was torn apart.

For decades, it seemed impossible for the Gospel to penetrate into communist areas, but in an instant, the situation changed. Only a few years after the Berlin wall fell, I stood in front of the Museum of Atheism in St. Petersburg, Russia and preached. Hundreds of people stopped to listen without fearing a visit from the KGB.

Today we face many new walls in the world. Islam has erected a wall around the Middle East in order to prevent Muslims from hearing the Gospel. China is open to doing business with the West, but still restricts people from freely following Jesus. Secularism here in our own nation continually tries to strengthen a wall of separation between church and state.

Eventually, the walls that we face today will fall. One day, every knee will bow before the majesty of God. I believe that in my lifetime, the wall of Islam will fall just as hard as the wall of Communism fell twenty years ago. The time will come when we will be able to freely preach the Gospel in every corner of the earth.

2. When Walls Fall, the Church Must Be Ready.
When the Berlin Wall fell, nations closed for decades were suddenly open to the Gospel. Some ministries were ready and immediately took advantage of the newly-opened doors, but far too many missed the opportunity.

I fear today that the body of Christ is not ready for new walls to fall. Would we be able to disciple one hundred million new Chinese believers? What would we do if we could suddenly plant churches in Saudi Arabia? What if the trade embargo around Cuba was lifted? Who is ready to go into North Korea? Could we care for ten million Muslims who decided to become Christ followers?

When walls fall, there is an opportunity for sharing the Gospel that must not be missed. Immediately after World War II, General Douglas MacArthur sent a telegram to the churches of America asking for missionaries to come to Japan. Only a handful of missionaries responded. Today, Japan has adopted the Western principles of democracy and free trade, but the Church is still weak in Japan. They adopted everything about our culture, except our religion. What would have happened if ten thousand on-fire believers had gone to Japan immediately after the war? I think Japan would be a Christian nation today.

In Japan we failed, but in Ethiopia history tells a different story. When Communism fell in Ethiopia two decades ago, the nation was only 3% evangelical Christian. But, because of the efforts of many missionaries, today over 20% of the population are evangelical believers. This success can be duplicated in other nations if the Church is ready when the walls come down.

3. We Can Bring Walls Down.
The Berlin Wall fell because of President Ronald Reagan’s bold demand, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Ronald Reagan stood against the tyranny of Communism, and because of his refusal to give up, a great battle was won for freedom.

When Joshua faced the thick walls of Jericho, God gave him a plan to bring those walls down. We face many ideological, political, and cultural walls today, but God has a plan for bringing down those walls. We must go to closed nations, preach where Christ is not known, use technology to reach an internet generation, and look for creative new ways to communicate age-old truth. If we will continue to obey God, then the walls we face today will fall down.