Ministry Update

May, 2017

Where do I begin? It’s been months since I updated you, my friends and ministry partners on my post-Word of Grace kingdom work. But I love this Bible verse: “Better late than never” (Hesitations 4.6).

Movement Day Arizona

I spearheaded the launch of this event here in Phoenix. Thousands will be gathering on September 15-16 at Grand Canyon University (http://movementday.com/md-arizona/ ), and this would not happen without the extraordinary leaders of my friend and colleague Billy Thrall, whom we’ve hired as our executive director. This has been made possible by generous matching funds from a philanthropy organization investing in kingdom movements in Phoenix.

I’m in a Movement Day interview on KPXQ 1360 Faith Talk radio with Billy Thrall and Mac Pier, “father” of Movement Day worldwide.

Billy Thrall presenting to our amazing Movement Day leadership community representing the highest profile church and community leaders in Arizona: Central Christian, Hillsong, Scottsdale Bible Church, Christ Church of the Valley, Phoenix Rescue Mission, AZ127, School Connect, Street Light, Catholic Charities, and so many more.

American Bible Society (ABS)

I am so grateful for what has become my primary focus of ministry: leading an effort to transform Greater Phoenix with God’s Word—and that I’m supported by American Bible Society in this mission!

Bible Engagement for Movement Day.  Specifically, my role in Movement Day, as mobilizer for American Bible Society, is to lead the development of scripture and prayer journeys and resources for the event and for each of the two dozen issue-focused tracks.

Bible Engagement for Hispanic churches. Wow. We are moving forward with the first annual Month of the Bible for Spanish language churches, of which there are over 400 in Phoenix. This will happen in September, and we are calling this “Unity and Revival: 28 Days in the Book of Acts.” Pastors will be preaching from Acts, and American Bible Society is helping us design and publish a daily study guide which will also be available in an app that sends everyone a daily reading and devotional from Acts. We have the support of the Southern Baptist Churches, the Church of God, the Wesleyan Church, and the Assemblies of God, as well as many other church networks. We’re also getting calls from Yuma, Tucson, and Prescott! I couldn’t do this with my awesome brothers Jose Gonzales and Hector Torres.

Bible Engagement for Catholics. I have the blessing of Phoenix Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmstead to spearhead a Bible engagement movement for the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. I’m working with a prominent Catholic Bible teacher, Kevin Saunders (http://www.arizonabibleclass.com/), to provide on-line content and Bible apps. The door has opened so wide, that in the next six months, as many as 25 of the 93 Catholic parishes in Phoenix will be offering the Alpha Course, which introduces people to the basics of the Christian faith and, specifically, the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our life. The good news is that about 40% of Americans would like to read the Bible more, including 80% of Catholics!

Bible Distribution. I’ve become a faucet for new Bibles! I was able to arrange a shipment of 2000 Bibles for adults and kids, in English and Spanish, for a huge foster care event at Encanto Park. That led to another shipment of 3000 Bibles to the Enchanted Island amusement park, also at Encanto and owed by a wonderful Christian couple. Every year, for the three days of Easter weekend, they host a massive egg hunt. Here’s what they wrote to us:

  • When the four pallets of Bibles arrived, we were overwhelmed with the generosity of your ministry. We couldn’t even count the number of mothers who said they have needed a Bible for their children and grandmothers who were so excited about giving a Bible to their grandchildren.
  • An elderly gentleman, when asked if he would like a free Bible, teared up and said, “I now know this is why I came here today. I’ve been needing a Bible.” He then sat down and started reading it. A young girl around eight came up to us and asked if we were giving away books. We told her we were giving away Bibles. She took two children’s Bibles, one for her and one for her sister, and one Bible for her mom. She ran back three times with a different person each time to get a Bible for that person.
  • Another young man was seen walking through the amusement park with a Bible in his hand, not even watching where he was going.  Kraig, the owner, knew God would do an amazing work in this boy’s life and his descendants. Another teen was seen reading her Bible at tables instead of watching the Easter egg hunt. Many employees of the park, most of whom are teenagers, asked us to save them a Bible. They have also begun asking a lot of questions about the Lord.
  • Sunday was so busy we couldn’t open the boxes of Bibles fast enough, over 1000 Bibles were gone in less than 30 minutes, WOW! It is amazing to see how many people here in America do not have Bibles and how excited they were to get one.

John 17 Movement (www.john17movement.com). As you know, I’ve been a voice in the wilderness calling Catholic and non-Catholic followers of Jesus to come together in the unity of the Spirit and bond of peace. In early June, a number of us are returning to Rome to participate in the 50th anniversary Jubilee of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Catholic Church. Most people don’t realize that the “charismatic movement” took a huge leap forward when students and faculty held Pentecostal prayer meetings at Duquesne and Notre Dame universities in 1967. Here is a helpful and fairly brief history of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last half of the last century: http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-9/worldwide-renewal-charismatic-movement.html

 

Ministry of Reconciliation. Perhaps you’ve read that Hope Christian Church on the campus of ASU has been snarled in controversy, some as a result of their style of ministry, but also as a consequence of the sadly common unwillingness of Christian leaders to come to the table of reconciliation and prayer—to resolve conflict by listening and forgiving. It’s a miracle that, as a result of my urging (not always gently), the key leaders in this “feud” (my word) agreed to submit to mediation led by the stellar ministry Peacemaker Ministries (http://peacemaker.net/). This years-long conflict has caused me no little pain, but I’m so pleased to say that all the key people have made huge progress.

Family News

It’s all good, and we are so grateful.

Easter: David’s family (Ventura), Shari’s family (Denver), Matt’s family (Virginia Beach)

Please pray for us—and give as God leads you (http://v2.garykinnaman.com/donate)

 

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