YOU MAY BE A BARNABAS

YOU MAY BE A BARNABAS
By Dave Earley and Tom Swanner

YOU MAY BE A BARNABAS IF:

[  ] If you get more excited about the ministry success of someone else whom you have helped than you do about your own success, you may be a Barnabas.

[  ] You are content to do most of your ministry behind the scenes and off the radar, you may be a Barnabas.

[  ] If ministries that you have started tend to fizzle, you may be a Barnabas.

[  ] If you would rather listen quietly to the struggles of a young leader than lead an evangelistic rally, you may be a Barnabas.

[  ] If you get your greatest joy from watching the individuals that you have discipled become movers and shakers in the kingdom, you may be a Barnabas.

[  ] If you are awakened often in the night with an urgency to lift up your senior leader in intercessory prayer, you may be a Barnabas.

[  ] If you are more about what other leaders are doing than about what you are doing, you may be a Barnabas.

[  ] If you are often tempted to see the needs and inadequacies in senior Christian leaders and think of ways you can help, you may be a Barnabas.

Dr. Tom Swanner

The church needs apostolic, entrepreneurial, high-impact leaders like Paul. But remember, there will never be a “Paul” without the encouraging ministry of a “Barnabas.”

At Grace City, Dr. Tom Swanner fills the role of a Barnabas.  Last fall, Tom and Angel, along with their two daughters, Grace and Cierra, and Tom’s Mom, Joanne,  moved to Las Vegas by faith to help Grace City in any way they could.

In January, Tom and I partnered to open the Grace City Bible Institute. This summer we are launching our first two church planter cohorts through our Church Planting Center.

I am the guy with the vision, connections, and energy to get these ministries going. Tom is the guy with the patience and steadfastness to mentor the potential leaders through the process. Without me, these ministries would not be getting started. Without him, they would not keep going.

This week, I asked Tom to enlighten us as to what it means to fill the role of a Barnabas. Tom writes:
“Most of my life I struggled with thoughts of inadequacy and self-doubt. I was sure that I was supposed to be in some kind of ministry; however, I did not feel that I was supposed to be the lead in any Christian organization. I knew what it took to be a leader, and many times I found myself in leadership roles, but I never felt entirely comfortable.”

“One day I was studying the life of Paul. I realized that there was a person who was not only humanly responsible for Paul being in the ministry, but there was also a person responsible for keeping him effective at ministry for an extended period of time. His name was Barnabas.

Barnabas: Son of Encouragement

“Barnabas was really a nickname that Joseph (his real name) picked up after the early believers learned what kind of person he was. The name “Barnabas” means “son of encouragement.” The longer I spend in ministry, the more I am convinced that this type of leader is vital for the sustainment of our campaign against the darkness. While we may see the need for real men and women of God to lead the masses, the often-overlooked need of the son and daughter of encouragement is just as fundamental.”

“The problem with being a Barnabas is that there is often very little recognition in the modern Christian economy for someone who is a second leader. People tend to ask, “Who is in charge here?” People want to get that guy’s attention so that they can get what they want. They do not ask for the guy who is not in charge of something, because that guy cannot give them what they want.”

“Jesus said that whoever would be great in God’s kingdom would be the servant of all (Matthew 20:25-28). As a Barnabas, you have a great responsibility. Your job is to keep the “Paul” in your ministry encouraged and on track. They do not need your criticism from the sidelines. They need your encouragement.”

If you would like more information on our BX (Bible Institute) or CPX (Church Planting Center) contact Tom at swanneriv@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“LOVE ON ITS KNEES:” INTERCESSORY PRAYER

“LOVE ON ITS KNEES:” INTERCESSORY PRAYER

BY Dave Earley

The effective work of Christ on earth is never the result of just one person. It is almost always the fruit of a team of people, some serving on the front lines and others back home . . . all of them working together. One of the absolute most strategic ministries for all missionary advance is intercessory prayer.

Love on its knees” is the definition and description Dick Eastman gives to intercessory prayer. 1 Such prayer seeks the best for others before the throne of God and brings their needs to the One who has the answer.

One of the unsung heroes of Grace City is Becky King. Becky does not live in Las Vegas. She lives in Virginia. Yet, she influences the ministry in Las Vegas daily as she practices intercessory prayer. Becky is a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church. She is a small woman who prays very big prayers!

427151

I asked Becky to write part of this report in order to give you some insight into how her prayer ministry on behalf of Grace City works. I think reading it will help you realize the essential, behind- the-scenes role that intercessors play in God’s kingdom.

“At times I have been awakened from a sound sleep and the words coming out of my mouth would be ‘God, please protect Dave Earley.’ I am not even aware of the fact that I am praying. The Holy Spirit seems to pray through me while I sleep.

I am thankful that God knows what Dave faces and that His precious Holy Spirit can be praying perfect prayers that I have no clue are even taking place! I know whatever He prays through me is always right on target and always gets answered! 

3:00-4:00AM appear to be especially important times to pray for Dave Earley! I don’t know what kind of battles he faces during those times of the morning, but it is always such an intense matter of spiritual warfare. I feel like I am doing battle with the devil over Dave. I pray often for his safety and protection. I pray for him to not have demonic attacks and nightmares while he is sleeping. I ask the Lord that when he lays down at night, His arms would be on that mattress so that when Dave lays down he is literally encircled in God’s hands while he sleeps.

So many times I find myself praying for Dave Earley to be protected. It’s almost as if someone is trying to harm him or he is in some personal or spiritual danger. Intercession seems to make me feel the same feelings he is experiencing. I literally feel like I am afraid, or being pursued, or in danger. It’s a really weird emotion, like stepping into the actual encounter myself.

Intercession is hard but so worth it if it helps Dave be strengthened. I find myself continually asking the Lord to not allow Satan to harm him physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually! I ask the Lord to place a hedge of protection around him and for no one to hurt him. 

Praying for Dave Earley is a regular occurrence now. I find several nights in a row I wake up at the exact same time, so I go to the living room and ask God to please move for Dave Earley! I pray for strength and encouragement, safety and protection. I will pray for at least an hour and a half before I feel like it releases somewhat. This happens every week.

I am amazed that God’s loving care for one of His children is so great that He will wake another one of His children up to pray for them! How loving He is! What a good Father!! I am totally encouraged that He will go to any length necessary to meet the needs of one of His soldiers. I ask that the Lord may always use me to pray for him.”

Becky is not our only intercessor. We are blessed to have people from all over the world praying for us. I am very humbled by their ministry and am extremely grateful for each of them.

Maybe God is calling you to be an intercessor.

1Dick Eastman, Love On Its Knees (Old Tappan, NJ: Chosen Books Pub Co, 1989), 1.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

YWAM & Loren Cunningham:

YWAM & Loren Cunningham:
Training Young People to Take the Gospel to the World

By Dave Earley

4151

4152

God gave a young man a big vision.   Loren Cunningham saw waves of young people being sent from the nations to the nations, ultimately covering every continent with the gospel. From that moment, he has lived a life of bold faith and radical obedience to fulfill the will of God. In 1960 Loren and his wife,  Darlene,  launched YWAM (Youth with a Mission), a unique missions agency based on exposing young people to global evangelism , discipling them in Live/Learn Environments,  and taking them to share the Gospel to the least reached.

4156

Since then, YWAM has grown to become one of the largest mission agencies in the world with over 20,000 full-time missionaries, serving on 1,500 bases in 191 countries. Over 5 million people have now experienced missionary training and participated in outreach efforts with YWAM.

In 1974, Cunningham followed the Lord’s direction to start a mission base and training site at Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The vision was to create a launching pad for ministry into Asia and create a place where young people from all over the world can be trained for missions.

The base at Kona now houses seventeen ministries including:  aquaponics, movie-making, sustainable living projects, the Uniscript Bible translation project, global mapping that measures the spiritual needs of every person on earth, the arts, Crossfit sports ministry, YWAM Ships, and a prayer room.

4153

The Kona training site also has been developed as University of the Nations. Every quarter, well over a thousand students are studying in ten to twenty schools. Each student spends three months studying and serving at the base and two more months doing outreach at mission bases throughout the world.

In February, I had the opportunity to sit down with Loren Cunningham. The seventy-eight year old spoke with us for over two hours as he shared his passion to get the Bible in every home, every hand, and every heart on the planet. Along with written copies of the Word, he was very excited about how they were creating an audio version of the Scriptures for the illiterate or for those whose languages are not yet in written form.

4154

Loren had just returned from a trip on which he met major Christian leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope, seeking their blessing to give Bibles to the adherents of their groups.  (He showed me a selfie of himself talking with the Pope at the Vatican). The goal is to have the Bible available to every person on the planet in their language by 2020.

4155

Loren has modelled a heart that listens to God’s voice and a life that quickly and completely obeys. As a result, he is seeing his original vision fulfilled. Young people are rising up from all over the world to be trained to go back into the world, especially the 10/40 window, taking the Gospel.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PUSH: PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS

PUSH: PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS

By Dave Earley

Two months ago, we challenged our congregation to PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens. The components of PUSH consist of eight action steps discussed over the eight weeks.

1.     List seven specific prayer requests that you believe the Father wants to give you (Luke 11:1-10).

2.     Persistently intercede for family members including children, siblings, and parents (Matthew 15:22-28).

3.     Actively believe the power of prayer to save cities (Genesis 18:2-32), nations (Psalms 106:23), and the lost.

4.     Deal with the issues that often cause our prayers to go unanswered – selfishness (James 4:3); the sovereign mystery of God (Is. 55:8-9); unbelief (Mark 11:20-24; Matt. 17:18-21; Romans 10:17); a lack of forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:24-25); and unresolved sin (Isaiah 59:1-2; Psalm 66:18; John 9:31; Proverbs 28:9;Isaiah 1:15;  1 John 3:21-22).

5.     Understand the role of spiritual warfare to hinder our prayers (Daniel 10:12-13) and fight back with fasting (Daniel 10:2-3).

6.     Don’t be afraid to ask God for personal blessing and expanded spheres of ministry influence (1 Chron. 4:10; Gen. 32:26).

7.     Practice acknowledging sin as an element in revival (1 John 1:9; Prov. 28:13; James 5:16).

8.     Initiate the power of praise before the answer comes (2 Chronicles 20:20-24).

On the last Sunday of PUSH, we gave our people a chance to come to the mic and share a one minute testimony of how God had answered. It was powerful! People got jobs. Lost souls were saved. Relationships were reconciled and prodigal family members returned home. Plus, God even did the unexpected including:

·       Steve shared how God had lead him to start an after school Bible Club in Eldorado High School where he teaches.  They not only obtained the principal’s permission, but they had a room full of kids tearfully seeking God.

·       After Steve, Randy came and told how he did not know that Steve even taught at Eldorado, let alone had started a Bible Club. Yet, on Randy’s PUSH list was the request that God do something at his old high school … Eldorado! Steve’s testimony of God moving at that school showed him that even though he did not realize it, God was already answering his prayer!

·       Kelly told how God had answered in the life of her husband and her son. Beyond that, God had used her to see a homeless man healed during the Sunday morning homeless feed!

·       11 year-old Cierra told how she had asked God to save 30 people during outreach week. God topped that, as 35 were saved!

·       Audrey rejoiced that the Lord had answered all seven of her requests! He freed her of years of fear and bitterness. Moreover, in addition to God giving her $6,000 for her medical bills, he also worked in the lives of each of her adult children. One came home and told her he wanted to give up using drugs and turn his life around. An estranged daughter moved back to Vegas to be near Audrey. Another got his work schedule changed so he could bring his family to church. Then, out of the blue, another estranged daughter knocked on Audrey’s door to see her!

·       Graham and Rachel were asking God for $4,400 for an upcoming mission trip. As they prayed, they felt led to ask for $300 extra. When they tallied up the money that had come in, it totaled … $4,700!

·       Scott shared how he had been praying for God to move in the lives of the middle school students to whom he ministers. Eleven were saved in one night!

·       Chris had not been used of the Lord to see anyone saved in quite a while. During PUSH, he led five people to Jesus!

·       Joe needed a job and financial help. During the last week of PUSH, God gave him both!

·       Mickael also needed a full-time job.  She asked specifically for a fulltime job with a specific amount of pay and benefits provided for free. She got all three!

·       Shane had been asking God to get paid for playing music. During PUSH, he got a paid to play a show and invited back to play regularly!

·       Mike asked for customers for the new business he had started or for a full-time job to provide for his family. He got both…the very first week of PUSH!

·       Buford shared how he never had enough money to last a whole month. At the end of every month, he ended up asking family members and others to bail him out. God gave him a paid, part-time ministry job working at our Outreach Center. Last month, for the first time in recent history, he barely had more than enough at the end of the month. He was thrilled!

YEAH GOD!!!

May reading these testimonies encourage you to make your own list of seven and

PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MULTIPLY CHURCHES

MULTIPLY CHURCHES!

By Dave Earley

Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples who make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). They obeyed that command by starting a church (Acts 2:41-47). Therefore, as we trace the steps of the first Christ followers, we too must make disciples who start churches.

330151

Grace city church planting center

Recently, Grace City Church was approved as the Southwest Regional Center of the Liberty Church Planting Network. As such, we are the conduit for high quality assessment, training, coaching and funding for church pioneers. As a movement committed to multiplication, we are excited to be able to see God using this partnership to help us train disciples who start new churches and multiply the gospel. We call this new aspect of our School of Ministry the CPX (the Church Planting Experience).

330152

Liberty Church Planting Network (LCPN) is a network of pastors and churches who partner together to start new churches in the United States and around the world. LCPN’s passion is “Changing the world by planting churches.” LCPN has been used of God to plant 1000 new churches in the US since 1980. In the last three years, LCPN has help plant over 100 churches in the US and over 1000 internationally.

330153

LAUNCH TRAINING

Grace City and LCPN have also recently linked with the Launch Group to provide effective assessment, training, and coaching for church planters. Recently, Dr. Tom Swanner (Coordinator of our Grace City Bible Experience), Richard Thompson (Director of our School of Ministry) and myself completed several days of intensive training with Launch’s CLO, Mac Lake. We are now certified to train church planters using the Launch Training System.

330154

Launch was founded by Brian Bloye of Westridge Church (westridge.com). Their excellent training system was developed by Mac Lake. The Launch Training system is based on personal interaction using ten adult training techniques to guide potential planters through twelve essential leadership competencies. These include:

  1. Identify & confirm a passionate sense of calling
  2. Master the discipline of leading yourself
  3. Identify the needs of your community & develop an intentional strategy to meet them
  4. Cast a clear and compelling vision for your church plant
  5. Lead from a bold faith that takes prayerful risks
  6. Evaluate your values & integrate them into the DNA of your church
  7. Effectively raise & manage money
  8. Be intentional about discipleship & leadership development
  9. Develop measurable systems & structures to fulfill your vision
  10. Identify key leaders to execute the vision
  11. Think strategically & execute for results
  12. Persevere through difficulty in order to get to the next level

The six month training process is built around small cohorts of 2-5 planters being trained through one-to-one coaching relationships and peer-to-peer interaction. The planters work through six books and develop a series of strategic projects.

Join the Movement!

Our mission is to be a multiplying, revivalistic, missional family in the city for the world.

If you are a potential church planter and are interested in what it would look like to be trained through Grace City, please get in touch with us. We will guide you through your next steps. Our next CPX training cohort is being formed now! Email Dr. Tom Swanner at swanneriv@gmail.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Love Vegas Week

Love Vegas Week
Dave Earley

Every spring, we do something crazy at Grace City
. Ok, so yes we do crazy things all year long, but in the spring we do a ridiculous week of outreach with students from Liberty University and some of our friends from YWAM. This year, Richard Thompson and Graham Marshall led the charge in our best outreach week yet.

Our Love Vegas week began on Monday with an hour and a half of prayer and worship, then ministry at our Flamingo Outreach Center, then on to passing out fliers for a Block Party in zip code 89119. That night, many team members also hit the Strip for street evangelism.

Tuesday:  We started the day with more prayer and worship, then outreach at UNLV and Schofield Middle School. That night our middle school group had a special event and nearly a dozen kids made decisions for Jesus!

Wednesday:  The day began with prayer and worship, followed by more outreach at UNLV. A group called the Circuit Riders from Pasadena, CA joined us for an evangelistic concert in the amphitheater at UNLV.

Wednesday evening:   The local YWAM base joined us as we held a huge (350 people) park party at Molasky Park. Liberty Students shared their testimonies and clearly presented the Gospel. Several more made decisions for Christ.

Thursday:  We enjoyed more prayer, testimonies, and worship. Then more outreach at UNLV as students took seriously their assignment to simply love the campus. Students at UNLV made decisions for Christ every time our team set foot on campus. Afterwards, there was an outreach at Paradise Elementary through our Good News Club.

Friday
:  The Liberty students debriefed. Many shared that this easily had been one of the most powerful and significant weeks of their lives. Kudos to the Liberty team who arrived in Vegas with prepared hearts and hands prepared for service.

Friday night:   The Circuit Riders led a young adult event called Carry the Love. They called the audience to live a missional lifestyle every day and everywhere. An atheist in attendance was healed and ended up giving his life to Christ as a result.

Saturday afternoon: 
 We held a park party at Desert Bloom Park. Nearly 200 people attended the event in the perfect, 75 degree sunshine.

The Love Vegas week concluded on Sunday with the baptism of Peggy. Peggy came to Christ a month ago after a 17 year addiction to methamphetamines.  Overcoming meth is a big deal! The joy of her new life in Christ was expressed when she attended the Grace City New Members Seminar and declared, “I’m so excited to commit myself completely to Jesus and His church.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

30 Days Of Crazy

30 DAYS OF CRAZY
By Dave Earley

The last thirty days have been ridiculously busy, highly exhausting, and very fruitful. I have been in seven states, been on 17 airplanes, given 18 different presentations, and had about a dozen other meetings. Yeah.

Monday, Feb.2: We presented the Grace City movement to the North American Mission Board Trustees and President Kevin Ezell in Las Vegas as part of their Vision Tour.

Friday and Saturday Feb 6-7: I was in Salt Lake City sharing with the pastors of the Utah / Idaho Southern Baptist Convention at their annual Evangelism Conference. I was speaking on Spiritual Warfare and Prayer. This great group of church leaders were incredibly open and responsive, saying they especially appreciated the times of prayer for and with each other after each message.

Monday through Friday Feb 9-13: Several of us went to Hawaii to the world’s largest YWAM (Youth with a Mission) base! We met with their leaders to see about how we can partner with their University of the Nations to train more missionaries in Las Vegas. It was a special privilege to meet with YWAM founder Loren Cunningham for over 2 hours. On the way back, plane delays left us stranded in LA overnight (American Airlines = @#$^&*$%$#@).

Monday Feb. 23: I was in Dallas at the Southern Baptist of Texas Evangelism Conference at the First Baptist Church of Euless speaking on prayer. I ran into an ice storm, but I eventually made it to Virginia.

Tuesday Feb 24: I shared with my good friends at the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia Prayer Summit on the role of Prayer and Spiritual Warfare in Revival.  They especially responded to the season of prayer after my session and said they wanted more training.

Wednesday – Friday Feb 25-27: Several of us were at Liberty University for Church Planting Conference working with the CMT. We were recruiting students for our summer internship, discipleship internship, and church planting center. We spoke with nearly 2,000 students as we taught several classes ranging from Evangelism and the Christian Life to Church Ministries to Woman’s Ministries to graduate level Discipleship. I also spoke on the importance of prayer for the Church Planting Conference.

Saturday and Sunday Feb 28, March 1: Unfortunately, Cathy and I got stranded in Charlotte for what would have been 36 hours (US AIR = @%^&*&^%$#@). Fortunately, we were able to change routes and jump on a late plane to Columbus, Ohio so I could see my brother, Steve instead.  He had a lung transplant 18 months ago and just found out he has cancer in his other lung. It was really good to see both Steve and my sister, Carol.

Monday and Tuesday March 2-3: I was in Albuquerque at the Hoffmantown Baptist Church speaking again to the pastors of the New Mexico Baptist Convention on Spiritual Warfare, Pastoral Ministry, and Church Planting.

Hopefully we can enjoy a couple of days of “normal” (Although I have yet to determine exactly what normal looks like in Las Vegas). Then, 20 college students join us Saturday, March 7 for Love Las Vegas, an intense week of outreach.

Then I am going to take a nap.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment