Bruce is the Missions Pastor at Springhouse Worship and Arts Center, where he's been for over 20 years. Over the years, he's pastored in a number of capacities and spent 3 years teaching in a Bible school in Zimbabwe. In his current role, he supports missionaries in the field and leads teams that visit and serve these missionaries and their communities, showing God's love in practical ways.
Life in Ministry
As the Missions Pastor, Bruce is able to share Christ at home as well as in other countries and to encourage and build up the saints. He's able to show them that God loves them and hasn't forgotten them and that we support them as they share the message of Christ.
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
It was God's goodness that led Pastor Bruce to Christ. He didn't need anything from God but he knew that He was good; that led him to repent and acknowledge Him as God.
Before they came to Christ, Bruce and his wife had wanted children; after 5 years of waiting, they still didn't have any. Then, just one month after they were saved, his wife was pregnant with their son. They named him Matthew, which means, “gift from God.”
Some of the real struggles of Bruce's life have been in the challenges and failures of being a parent. Matthew struggled in his relationship with God and that was difficult for Bruce to understand and deal with.
Before he went into the ministry, Bruce worked at a large auto dealership. After he was saved, he started to share what he knew as best he could. He didn't know much but he felt a call into the ministry and to help young people.
When some friends of his went into full-time ministry, he was a little jealous so he took that to the Lord.
Bruce is excited to see young adults called into the mission field. He is able to prepare and equip them. In the last year or so, we've had young people from our own church called to the mission field.
Significance in the Marketplace
The vast majority of people will be in the marketplace and we need them so much. Bruce remembers when he was in the marketplace that people didn't expect him to share the Lord or show the Fruits of the Spirit. So, as he did that, it made an impact.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew [5:16])
- Get to know the missionaries
- If you can go on a short-term trip, go and see what's happening
- Become a friend
- Love them
- Be kind to them
- Take them to dinner and ask them to tell their story
- Read their heart and faces
- Learn about their children
Bruce reminds us to take in the total picture of what God is doing. He's trying to redeem all of mankind and he's allowing you to be part of it.
Bruce shared a story of when God allowed him to experience that answered prayer when they were in Zimbabwe. They hadn't shared their need with anybody and they received it from someone they'd never even met.
- Borne more fruit of the Spirit. More patience, kindness.
Personal Success Habit
- Daily devotionals. Pastor Bruce is a big fan of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.
Shifts in Society
- Pray first
- Take a deep interest in their lives
- People want to talk about their cultures
- Look for some local churches that are open, sharing the Bible. Talk to the Pastors.
- Ask the Pastors what's going on.
- Share your heart for ministry with them.
- Find and connect with a ministry that's already doing what you feel called to do.
- If there isn't one, maybe God has called you to start it.
How to Identify Healthy Churches
- Leaders that preach the Word, sincerely and not for personal gain
- Good reputation in the community
- Known for integrity
- Handle finances well
- Love their sheep
- Involved with congregation and not distant
- Preach the Gospel and reach out to the poor themselves
- How do they care for widows and orphans
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