Ministry is People

Hello, and thank you once again for your prayers! Summer always brings with it a lot to be done, so I’ll post a quick update with some of the latest highlights of the ministry here in the Basque Country.

Evangelism/Discipleship with Young People

I’ve been writing a lot lately about new young people in church. Well the Lord keeps bringing people to church through the youth group. In my entire life here, I’ve never seen so many new young people visiting church (and coming back) in such a short period of time. Along with the ones I’ve mentioned before, there are some seven or so new young people who need your prayers. They have all come to church and shown some degree of interest. In several cases, it doesn’t appear they’ve ever attended any kind of church before. Consistent prayer for these souls would most likely be about the biggest contribution you could make to the ministry here.

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The youth group: a big way God is bringing new people to church

Aierdi Farmhouse Weekly Ministry

I remember one of my teachers in college repeating: “Ministry is people, not programs.” I keep being reminded of the truth he spoke of. For many years, I’ve been going to the Aierdi farmhouse regularly to work. The farmhouse has been a huge asset for the ministry here, and it is exciting to invest time and work there. But lately, I’ve had the chance to bring some of the new young people out with me to work each week. It’s all volunteer work, but several of the people I named above have come with me to spend a day working in the woods, digging trenches, or pouring concrete. It has given me the chance to invest even more time into their lives. During the hour-long drive to the farmhouse or while we work, we’ve discussed a wide range of questions from the Bible, and I’ve had many chances for counseling.

Here’s a video I recorded the other day when I came out to work with Amadeo and Antonio.

Working at the Aierdi Farmhouse with young people from church
Ministry Transition in the Irun Church

My grandfather started Iglesia Bautista Bíblica de Irun in 1973. For many years now, he’s been looking for a young Spaniard to train to take his place as pastor of the church. This year, the Lord opened up the opportunity for Israel Piqueras, a Spaniard who was saved in the church my other grandfather (Samuel Allen) began, to come and meet the believers here in Irun. During the past few months, God has joined him and his wife Laura with the ministry of Irun. The church voted to choose him as the new pastor, and my grandfather is delighted with the prospect of helping him transition into his new role as head pastor of the church.

So this next year in Irun will be a new experience for all of us. I continue to help my grandfather with the responsibility of preaching and helping lead the church worship services. But I’ll also be helping to smooth the change in responsibilities from my grandfather to the new pastor. Israel is a good friend of mine, so I am looking forward to this year and the future. One big task I’ll be facing is bridging the technology gap between my grandfather, who does all his work and record-keeping in one or two virtually obsolete computer programs, and Israel, who is more comfortable doing things from his iPad!

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Israel and Laura with my grandparents; Israel preaching in church

Prayer Request Summary

Again, thank you for your prayers. Here’s a quick list to pray through.

  • Three guys who have recently made professions of faith
  • Quite a few young people who have visited recently, most of them unsaved, or likely unsaved
  • Israel and Laura, and the Irun church as we transition to a new pastor
  • Continued financial provision as I continue paying for graduate school this next year

God bless. Thank you for your ministry.

David
Ps. 34:3

Responding Biblically to the Practice of Tongues

Using the doctrinal statements provided by the church of the Assemblies of God, this article evaluates the modern practice of glossolalia in light of Scripture.

Introduction

The Azuza Street Revival which began in 1906 is widely held as the initial resurgence of the Scriptural practice of speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, in the modern day. Glossolalia became one of the central components of the movement that came to be known as Pentecostalism. A Pew Forum study in 2011 found an estimated total of 279,080,000 Pentecostals, and calculated that the group comprised 12.8% of the world’s Christian population.1 Of that group, the largest denomination is the Assemblies of God, with over 56 million followers worldwide.

The Assemblies of God believes and practices glossolalia, claiming clear Scriptural support for its presentation of the doctrine. Its doctrine of glossolalia along with every other dogmatically defined doctrine is presented in its sixteen fundamental truths and a series of position papers.2 This paper will compare the Assemblies of God definition of glossolalia and various alternative views on the subject, and then present from Scriptural evidence a necessary refutation of the doctrine.

  1. Pew Research Center, “Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population,” December 2011 [on-line], accessed 11 May 2013, available from http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/Christian/Christianity-fullreport-web.pdf []
  2. The truths are the doctrinal basis for their belief and practice. The position papers are a supplement to these truths, approved by the General Council addressing specific issues. “As the need arises to make a statement on a controversial issue, a study is done and a report given to the General Presbytery for approval as an official statement of The General Council of the Assemblies of God” (http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/index.cfm, par. 1). The fundamental truths and position papers are provided online at www.ag.org []