Circuit Riding Revivalist

Circuit Riding Revivalist
By Dave Earley

In 1703 a good news carrier was born. John Wesley and others were used of God to spark a revival the led to what historians now call the First Great Awakening. At the core of its DNA was evangelizing of the masses, serving the poor, practicing spiritual discipline, and experiencing the powerful presence of God.  It is estimated that during his lifetime, John Wesley preached the gospel 45,000 times as he travelled 250,000 miles on horseback crisscrossing England carrying the Good News.

Wesley’s movement expanded by multiplying meeting places (called circuits). Circuits were staffed by young preachers (called circuit riders) who oversaw several congregations
. They would rise early and ride to a village where they would preach and lead the Methodist congregation in that place, or start a new one. The next day, they would go to the next village and do it again. It often took a month or more to visit all of the congregations in their circuit.

As a newly converted sixteen-year old, Francis Asbury began to help lead a Methodist “class” [small group] of two dozen others. He also led a discipleship “band” [accountability group] of five young men. As a twenty-one year old, Francis Asbury left his job as a blacksmith and become a Methodist circuit-riding preacher on a trial basis. Part of his training was reading a prescribed set of Christian books for five hours a day.

Asbury gave up all for the gospel.
In his journal he wrote, “As for me, I know what I am called to. It is to give up all, and to have my hands and heart in the work.”2

Four years later, at the age of twenty-six, Asbury volunteered to go to America where he spent the next 45 years of his life as a circuit riding missionary “spreading scriptural holiness across the land.” He chose to serve west of the Appalachian Mountains where the new settlements were forming.

Asbury rose at 5 am daily and studied the Bible. Then he set out, preaching wherever he could get a crowd – fields, public squares, courthouses, log cabins, private homes, public houses, and tobacco houses. In his passion to take the gospel to the lost he was possibly the only man to outride Wesley. Although chronically ill, Asbury never-the-less averaged 6,000 miles a year on house back, memorizing chapters of the Bible as he went, preaching almost every day of the year.

With Asbury as the leader of the Methodist movement in America the church grew from 300 to 214,000 members.
He oversaw the ordination of 2,000 preachers including some of the first black preachers in America. 3

Asbury wisely multiplied himself by recruiting and training a small army of young men sold out to the gospel. For the next century, they travelled the frontiers of America spreading what has been called the Second Great Awakening through the ‘unreached’ parts of the young nation. Over half of these young circuit riders died before the age of 33. Their annual pay averaged $50. They were driven with the fire to take the gospel to every person in America no matter the cost.

The life of an American circuit riding preacher was marked by total dedication, stark simplicity, poverty, humility, spiritual discipline, fasting, prayer, study, hard work constant travel and bold preaching. Life was very difficult. The frontier was lonely, hard, and dangerous. Circuit riders faced bad weather, sickness, loneliness, hunger, Indian attacks and persecution from drunken crowds. On top of that, their lives were very challenging.

[The circuit rider travelled light, and] went through storms of wind, hail, snow, and rain; climbed hills and mountains, traversed valleys, plunged through swamps, swollen streams, lay out all night, wet, weary, and hungry, held his horse by the bridle all night, or tied him to a limb, slept with his saddle blanket for a bed, his saddle-bags for a pillow. Often he slept in dirty cabins, ate roasting ears for bread, drank butter-milk for coffee; took deer or bear meat, or wild turkey, for breakfast, dinner, and supper.4

Our vision at Grace City is to raise an army of young men and women with the passion and work ethic of the circuit riders. We are training young adults willing to give up all to spread the gospel through the city and around the world.

Notes

  1. https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/issue/camp-meetings-and-circuit-riders-frontier-revivals/
  2. Ibid.
  3. http://www.movements.net/wp-content/02-How-the-West-was-Won.pdf
  4. Cartwright, Peter, Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, Abingdon Press 1956.

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1 Pawn Shop Preacher

PAWN SHOP PREACHER

By Dave Earley

They call him the “Vegas Pawn Shop Preacher.”

Randy Pinkney was saved just over two years ago, and he has been on fire for Jesus ever since. People drive from across town to come to the pawn shop he manages just so they can receive prayer and an encouraging word from the Word. His story nearly became a reality TV series.

Let me tell a bit of his story

Randy and Mickael Pinkney were featured on the popular August 29, 2012 edition of the HGTV of House Hunters (you can watch it at http://www.locatetv.com/tv/house-hunters/season-65/7712127). The show revolved around their different tastes as the hunted for their first home in Las Vegas. Much of the playful battering centered on the fact that Randy wanted a house with a pool and Mickael did not.  The episode ends with Randy and Michael happily moving into their new home at 2834 Via Stella Street Henderson, NV and getting excited about their new pool.

Now for the rest of the story

One year earlier, God called Dave and Cathy Earley to plant a new church in Las Vegas NV. Along with their church planting team, they prayed daily that the Lord would place them in exactly right places with neighbors who would be receptive to the gospel and would allow them to use their houses for ministry. On May 31, 2012, the Earley’s moved into their new home at 2836 Via Stella St. Henderson, NV.

There is more

The Pinkneys began to attend the new Grace City house church that was meeting in the home of their next door neighbors, the Earleys. In July, at the end of the teaching, Dave Earley gave an invitation to trust Christ as savior. Randy and Mickael bowed their heads, gave their hearts to Jesus Christ with tears of joy as they were born again. They opened their house up for a children’s class on Sundays and began serving with the Grace City team in weekend Block Parties and at Preview Worship services at the local middle school.

Now the good part!

On Sunday morning September 2, 2012, Randy and Mickael, along with several others, followed the Lord in believer’s baptism… in the Pinkney’s pool.

It gets better

Randy and Michael began to meet with the Earley family every week for discipleship. Randy learned how to share the gospel with the people who worked for him at the company that brought him to Vegas. Eventually, the company told Randy to stop talking about Jesus, so he quit. Immediately, he was offered a job running a pawnshop. His six-figure salary was cut in half, but they promised him he could talk about Jesus.

He began praying with many of the hurting customers who brought possessions to the pawnshop. He also shared the gospel with everyone else who would listen. Several of his co-workers trusted Jesus as savior. Soon people were packing out the story to receive prayer. People would drive from across town to talk to “the Pawn Shop Preacher. Somehow MTV heard about “the Pawn Shop Preacher” and wanted to do a reality show on Randy’s ministry. But the pawn company balked, not wanting to be known for Jesus. Last week they transferred Randy to another store and told him to stop talking about

Jesus. But that won’t happen. It will be exciting to see what happens next.

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Intercessors Needed

INTERCESSORS NEEDED
By Dave Earley

I live in Las Vegas. We have 122 casinos that are designed to take money out of people’s pockets and to empty their checking accounts. Every week I meet people who are now living on the streets because they lost everything because of gambling. I also meet people who have lost family, jobs, health, and dignity through addiction to alcohol, drugs, or sex.

We need intercessors to cry out to God for mercy and revival.
I live in the United States of America. In my lifetime the moral fabric of the nation has been shredded. Abortion is common. Fornication is expected. Homosexuality is applauded.  Church involvement has plummeted.

We need intercessors to cry out to God for mercy and revival.
I am a missionary to young people. This Lost Millennial generation represents the lowest percentage of people involved in church than ever in our nation’s history.

We need intercessors to cry out to God for mercy and revival.
Unprecedented stuff is happening. The global geo-political happenings are rapidly unfolding along the lines predicted in the Scriptures. The moral decay, the technological revolution, the spiritual landscape all point to the soon unfolding of cataclysmic, apocalyptic end time events.

We need intercessors to cry out to God for mercy and revival.
Is more prayer really necessary? Does increased prayer really make a difference?

Yes, because of Moses’s intercession, Israel was spared.

Psalm 106:23 So He said He would have destroyed them— if Moses His chosen one had not stood before Him in the breach [gap; through intercession] to turn His wrath away from destroying them.

The intercessory prayers of one man saved a nation!

Is more prayer really necessary? Does increased prayer really make a difference?

Yes, without it Israel experienced captivity.

Ezekiel 22:29-31 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy and unlawfully exploited the foreign resident. 30 I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one. 31 So I have poured out my indignation on them and consumed them with the fire of my fury. I have brought their actions down on their own heads. ”This is the declaration of the Lord God.

The failure of anyone to accept the assignment and intercede for the people permitted a nation to be taken into captivity as slaves.

At Grace City, one of our primary assignments is to be a House of Prayer in the city of Las Vegas for Las Vegas. Our city is not getting better. It recently enacted laws allowing the porn industry to relocate here. Sadly, we deserve judgment. Humanly speaking, we set at a defining point of repentance and revival or ruin.
There are two million people here. There are hundreds of thousands of children. They need God.  We need revival.

I am asking God to raise up more intercessors and musicians who will rise up and come to Las Vegas and help us stand in the gap for our city, for a generation, for our nation, for revival.
 We need to expand our prayer meetings from one a day four days a week to two a day every day.
I signed a lease yesterday on a property (2121 East Tropicana) we can use for offices and will be available 24/7 for prayer and worship.

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Would you being willing to dedicate the next few years of your life in service to the Lord as an intercessory prayer missionary in the city of Las Vegas?

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Upward, Outward, Inward, Forward

UPWARD, OUTWARD, INWARD, FORWARD
By Dave Earley

As a movement, a church, in each small group, and individually, we try to continually pursue the Lord’s best for us in four areas of pursuit: Upward, Outward, Inward, and Forward. This enables us to obey the four greatest commands of Jesus: Love God, Love your neighbor, Love another, and Make disciples.

Upward: Jesus said the greatest command was to love God (Matthew 22:37-38).  As a church the hub of our upward ministry is prayer and worship. Therefore we hold a daily House of Prayer Meeting Monday – Thursday 9:00-10:30 AM. We also hold several BURN events through-out the year. As individuals we try to pursue God by practicing the early church disciplines of praying three times a day and fasting two days a week.

Outward: Jesus also said that the second greatest command was to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39). We do through a variety of outreach ministries including holding Good News Clubs in public elementary schools, Bible clubs in middle schools and high schools, a Christian club at UNLV, a weekly bible study in the park, plus over a dozen major park outreach events each year, and having a food and clothing distribution ministry that in a highly personalized way serves about two dozen families a week. As individuals we try to build relationships with our neighbors, classmates, and co-workers that would allow us to care for them and share Jesus with them.

Inward: Jesus said that the new command was to love one another (John 13:34-35). We do this primarily through our 15 City Groups that meet in homes through-out the area.  Here people can build close relationships and in a very isolated city, people can feel a sense of family and Christian community.

Forward: Jesus concluded His ministry to His disciples by commissioning them to multiply by making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). We try to fulfill this command by having various seminars to help our church members grow. We also have a School of Ministry that trains young adults in increments of one week, 12 weeks, and one year. Beyond that, we are launching a Bible Institute and a regional Church Planting Training Center in the next few months. As individuals we try to read, study, believe, obey, and live the Bible and especially focus on the words of Jesus.

We certainly have a long way to. Our movement is only two years old. But we feel that we are on the right track as we kept pressing Upward, Outward, Inward, and Forward!

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We Are A Mission Field

We are a Mission Field!
By Dave Earley

I have found that many of us fail to realize that even though Las Vegas, or New England, or Utah are in the United States that they still are a legitimate mission field.

A few years ago, I was consulting with a church that proudly gave $4 billion dollars a year to “missions.” That is awesome! At the time, they were raising additional $100,000 for a ministry in the Philippines, which is 12.3 % evangelical Protestant. 2 Yet, at the same time they steadfastly and absolutely resisted the notion of doing anything whatsoever to help reach a city that has recently become less that 4% evangelical even though it was just an hour away.

Why? Because it was in the United States! In their minds, real evangelism and missions only happen outside of the United States.

Compared to other popular missionary fields, many parts of America are legitimate missions fields.1 For example, look at the chart below:

NATION or STATE % of Evangelical Christians
Kenya 49%
Uganda 37%
Nigeria 31%
Nicaragua 30%
Brazil 27%
New Guinea 26%
Guatemala 24%
Costa Rica 14%
The Philippines1 12%
Nevada 5%
Maine, New York 3%
Connecticut , Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont3 2%

 Storrey County in Nevada has 0 Evangelical Christians out of the 3,399 people who live there! 3 There are several such 0% Evangelical counties in Alaska, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Utah.

While the Las Vegas metro area is pegged at 5% Evangelical Protestant, that number drops significantly inside the city limits. For example in the two zip codes we target at Grace City, the total population is 122,000. However, the total Easter Sunday attendance in an Evangelical Christian (non-Catholic, Mormon, New Age or JW) “church” was less than 2,000. That is 1.6%!

That makes the main areas where Grace City serves an unreached people group!

Beyond that, Las Vegas ranks third in the nation for number of immigrants moving in each year. 33% of the students in our schools speak a language other than English in their homes.

Please understand that I am all for supporting qualified ministries in other countries. The Great Commission calls for every Christian and church to reach out in their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.  I love “cross cultural missions.” I served for several years on the board of an international missions agency focused on the least reached peoples of the world – Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists.

We must recognize that the 10/40 window has horrifyingly low rates of Evangelicals. Europe has become post-Christian. There are still nearly 2 billion unreached peoples in the world. Also, many majority world nations have severe financial, and social needs that need our help (Cathy and I gladly support several orphans in Kenya).

But please do not think that just because somewhere is outside of the United States that it is automatically a more legit mission field than some of the places in the US. That is just not true.

As our church is now one and a half years old, some of our partners have begun decreasing or dropping their financial support. Currently we are asking all of our financial partners to consider moving us from church planter status to missionary status.

Yes, we are a “church plant,” but we have also opened Grace City Flamingo Outreach Center. We are serving 5-10 families a day with individualized ministry of food, clothes, prayer, and counseling. And it is working. Plus most of the “staff” of that ministry are primarily ex-addicts!

Beyond that, we run a daily House of Prayer for the city of Las Vegas and we have a strong School of Ministry that is constantly training people for lives as fulltime Christian servants. Also, the worship service we recently started at Grace City Flamingo has been averaging 75 in weekly attendance.

If you aren’t already, please consider supporting Grace City Vegas as a missionary partner.

Notes:

  1. http://www.operationworld.org/hidden/evangelical-population
  2. http://www.operationworld.org/country/phil/owtext.html
  3. Association of Religious Archives.
  4. 2% evangelical or less qualifies as an unreached people group.
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Would You Rather

WOULD YOU RATHER…?
By Dave Earley

Would you rather be handed one hundred dollars every day for a year or be given 1 penny that doubles every day for one month?


I remember being a boy in school when a teacher asked us this question. The answer seemed obvious- adding a hundred dollars every day for a year had to be better than multiplying pennies for only a month.  So I choose the hundred dollars daily for a year, as did almost all of the other kids. $100.00 every day for a year is a good deal. After a year you would have over $36,000. Sounded good to me!

Did I make the right choice? If you doubled pennies every day for a month how many would you have?


Never Underestimate the Power of Multiplication

The teacher also had us to get a piece of paper and begin the doubling process. Day One: 1 penny; Day Two: 2 pennies; Day Three: $.04; Day Five: $.08; Day Ten: $5.12; Day fifteen: $163.84 … No big deal.

But then the immense power of multiplication began to become evident. Day 21: $10,485.76; Day 22: $20,971.54; Day 23: $41,943.04! Twenty-three days of pennies had surpassed a year’s worth of hundred dollars bills! Wow!

Then it got crazy – $83,886.08!  $167,772.161 $335, 544. 32!
On Day 28 it passed a million. Day 30 the grand total was $5,368,709.12!!!!

Jesus Commanded Us to Multiply

A weeks after Jesus rose from the dead and few days before Jesus ascended into glory, He gave His disciples some final instructions. These words were and still are of utmost significance because they are the last words Jesus ever said to His followers. As His last words, they eloquently express His greatest passion and top priority.

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The command to make disciples is the command to intentionally multiply the life of Christ in you, into others. Teaching them to obey everything He commanded includes teaching them to obey this command as well – the command to make disciples who in turn make disciples. This ensures perpetual and ever expanding multiplication.

Jesus was a Multiplier

Jesus changed the world. How did a poor carpenter from a forsaken, enslaved nation change the history of the world? He used the power of multiplication.

Jesus’ method of reaching the whole world with the gospel of the kingdom was It was through the simple process of multiplication. He called twelve men to be trained to become multipliers (Mark 1:16-20).

The core of Jesus ministry was not Television, radio, or huge gatherings.  No. It consisted of training a handful of Jewish men so He could reach an entire world of Greeks, Romans, Asians, Germans, Indians, Arabs, Latinos, Russians, and Americans.

The training of the twelve was the primary global ministry strategy of Jesus Christ.

He knew He would have to leave. He also knew one of His disciples would fail, but He never wavered from His plan. His plan hinged on eleven trained disciple-makers. His plan to reach the whole world, over and over, generation after generation was that simple.

Jesus left His disciples when He ascended into heaven. Yet, His ministry has grown and multiplied many times over because He left behind multiplying leaders.

Within days after Jesus left, His eleven disciple-makers and the seventy other disciples were ready to handle a harvest of three thousand new converts in a citywide network of house churches (Acts 4:41-47). Later, when the Jerusalem church was persecuted and the church scattered, their disciples went everywhere preaching the gospel (Acts 8:1,4) and churches such as the one in Antioch were born (Acts 11:19f).

You Can Do It!

I started intentionally multiplying when I was 19 years old. I found a couple of guys a step behind me in the journey and invited them to meet with me regularly to read the Bible and pray together. Within a year, all of those guys began to make their own disciples.  I have been meeting with, mentoring, and multiplying small handfuls of guys ever since.

Recently, I counted and over the years I have personally spent intentional, strategic time mentoring over 40 of the young guys who have become multiplying pastors, church planters, or fulltime missionaries. Through them, my ministry has been multiplied forty timesPlus, they have mentored and multiplied their own small groups of guys, making my gospel impact spread into the lives of thousands of people. Wow! 

For example, twenty-nine years ago, I began meeting with Claude Davis on Tuesday mornings when we were both in our mid-twenties. Eventually, Claude became a staff pastor at New Life Church. Today he and his wife Ginny are launching a new church in Whitehall Ohio.

I am currently meeting with three groups of young guys headed to become pastors, church planters, and missionaries. It may be the most important thing I do every week.

MULTIPLY!

Ask God to give you someone to meet with regularly in order to intentionally pour your life into.
Start now!

You can do it!

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THE BOOK OF ACTS IS REAL

THE BOOK OF ACTS IS REAL!
OUTREACH WEEK AT UNLV

By Dave Earley

After our Jericho Week of Prayer on the campus of UNLV we focused on outreach. This past week was the first week of classes at UNLV. As an official university club, Grace City UNLV is given access to share freely with students in the Free Speech Zone.

Positioned beside the Legalize Marijuana tent we set up three stations. One Grace City UNLV tent had a table with the snow cone machine. It was very popular.  Another tent had several Waldo-ish Campus Guides. The third station gave students a chance to sit down and be complimented.




Hundreds of students were served and given info about our on campus Bible Studies. Also several were saved and healed.

One student named David is Jewish. On his first day in the compliment chair, Graham discussed the differences between Christianity and Judaism with him. They read Isiah 53 together. The next day he came back limping after having hurt his ankle the night before. He said that he wanted to see if the book of Acts was real. Find out what happened at https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10203379111092532)

It Happened Before

2,000 years ago, Peter and John were going to the temple to pray and encountered a lame man on the way. The guy was begging for money,

Acts 3:6-8  But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. So he jumped up, stood, and started to walk, and he entered the temple complex with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.

Everyone knew this guy because he had sat in the center of town for years begging and now he is healed.
Acts 3:12 When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness? …16 By faith in His [Jesus] name, His name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Him has given him this perfect health in front of all of you.

Then Peter went on and preached the gospel to the large crowd.

Acts 4:4 But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000.

God Has Not Changed
The same God who healed and saved this man 2,000 years ago, can save and heal people today.

He is.

May God’s work grow and multiply here until Las Vegas is as saturated with Jesus as Jerusalem was 2,000 years ago when thousands became Christ followers!

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