A Summer Update

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 24 July 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

BrookLink’s theme in 2019 is “From One to Many."

What began ten years ago as a hope and prayer, you have made possible!

Rejoice with us!

In June, BrookLink was invited to return again to Ethiopia to minister in the Kale Heywet churches. Pastor Timothy Ryder of Waukesha, Wisconsin and Pastor Ian Lawson of Alberta, Canada traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to lead church leaders through three days of training. Using lively discussion and readings, Tim and Ian spent these days resourcing and equipping forty doctoral students who serve as key leaders in these churches. Pastor Ian reports, "I am routinely impressed with the passion and the zeal of the Kale Heywet church of Ethiopia - currently 9,000 congregations and 1,000 church plants. This is a mission success story of the SIM who sent missionaries there one hundred years ago. Today she is a thriving and dynamic indigenous church reaching their own people with the gospel and sending their own missionaries to other countries on the African continent. How thrilling it is to help equip some of their pastors on the front lines!"

No sooner had Timothy and Ian returned to the U.S.A., when Pastor Jan Ryder (Timothy’s wife) boarded a plane for the same place. This time to train more than 40 Children and Family Ministry leaders, who minister weekly to thousands of children among the Kale Heywet. Pastor Jan writes, “It was exciting to learn about the family together, understand more of how children grow, use creative teaching methods to spark curiosity, and apply Biblical principles to practical aspects of ministry with children and families. I think the most useful session may have been one dealing with how children experience grief and trauma.”

These opportunities would not have been possible without your generous support.

Meanwhile, on the completely different continent of Europe, BrookLink affiliates Dr. Dan and Lynne Green traveled to Prague, Czech Republic to teach and train pastors and church leaders serving in this largely atheistic city.  Dan and Lynne have been offering their theological and counseling training and insights to the Czech people for 20 years with the last 4 years being under BrookLink’s banner.

Furthermore, would you please pray as Drs. Paul and Lisa Sinclair travel with BrookLink in August to two key cities in northeast India? They are uniquely equipped to conduct five weeks of doctoral-level teaching in the areas of Spiritual Formation and Grief & Trauma. Needless to say, it would have been impossible for me to step away from my responsibilities here in the U.S.A. to invest five weeks in India. The Sinclairs are excited to be a part of BrookLink and helping us move “From One to Many.”

A Turtle on a Fencepost

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 05 June 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Where do you turn in times of hardship and despair, in times of transition and change? Where do you turn when you need to gain perspective or inspiration or simply to bolster your faith?

If you’re like me, I usually go to a church. Why? Because you know that is where you will hear the Word of God, connect with brothers and sisters in Christ and build upon your faith.

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”– Romans 10:17 NIV

Many people are attracted to a church not just for what it can offer, but also because of what it provides by way of leadership.  Perhaps you are a part of a flourishing church body where members have identified their spiritual gifts, are serving with their gifts, and are witnessing the church’s capacity to bless and fulfill its mission on earth.

But as the church develops across the world, you may also share our concern that as it grows in width it must also grow in depth.  Depth comes about in many ways. One of those ways is where gifted spiritual leaders from most-reached areas of the world offer teaching, training, equipping and mentoring to least-reached areas of the world.  By providing access to this kind of quality and affordable biblical training, church leaders grow, their churches are strengthened and their communities are improved.

For the past 10 years, your prayers and financial contributions have helped make BrookLink the organization that it is today.   We are so grateful to you for sustaining and supporting our mission to equip, empower and release global church leaders for greater kingdom impact.

You are helping our gifted team of facilitators reach and impact the lives of thousands by investing in training for global church leaders.  Please consider giving a gift today! Every $200 will support one pastor or church leader receiving training in 2019.

An Evening to Remember

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Thank you to the many of you who were able to join us for BrookLink’s 10thAnnual “Windows to the World” Celebration at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. Terry and I were touched by the many sweet conversations with friends old and new to the ministry.



As we drove home last Saturday night, we spoke of Stuart Briscoe’s message about the disciple Peter’s life and his reminder from the story of the boy who gave his small lunch which ended up feeding the many from Matthew 14.

“Inadequate resources willingly offered and divinely empowered by an adequate God will always accomplish divine ends.” Stuart Briscoe


You, your friendship, your prayers and your generosity have carried BrookLink “From One to Many!” Could any one of us imagined the story God was writing when we began in 2009? Our gifts handed to the adequate God can do so much more than we can even ask or imagine.

Partners in His-story

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 23 April 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Everyone has a story. When meeting people for the first time I am eager to learn their story. Good stories grab our imagination, invite us in and broaden our understanding!

Did you know that over 70% of the Bible was written in story form? The Old Testament tells about God through the stories of His people. Even Jesus used imaginative stories to tell the world about God’s compelling love for human beings.

Here’s the really cool part—God not only writes His—story, but He writes the lines of my story and your story too! And oftentimes He writes the storyline of our lives to make something known about His!

For the past ten years, BrookLink has traveled to over 30 countries hearing stories and serving our fellow partners in the Gospel.

No matter where we find ourselves — whether China, Kenya, the Czech Republic, a closed Muslim country, or even the good ol’ USA, I am a huge champion of partnership in mission. BrookLink places high value on collaborating with ministries, mission organizations and movements no matter what part of the world we happen to be visiting. I am also well aware that partnerships internationally rarely go very far without partners back home! You have been such a partner!

Windows to the World Event

Written by BrookLink on Monday, 01 April 2019. Posted in Blog

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Ten Years and Counting

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 26 March 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

It is my hope this letter finds you in good health and experiencing the abiding joy of relationship with our God and Father during the Lenten season.  As we enter springtime, our hearts delight in extended daylight, rebirth and growth.  At BrookLink we are humbled and thrilled to be celebrating ten years in ministry and are steadfastly focused on why this ministry was created a decade ago.

"It is estimated that more than 80% of pastors around the world have little or no biblical training – that’s more than two million pastors that are not equipped to help believers in their churches understand and apply God’s word." Langham Partnership

Without strong leadership the spiritual vitality of a church cannot be shaped and fostered, and the community that surrounds it fails to benefit.  The risk of poorly trained pastors and leaders can result in "a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you…" (Galatians 1:8 ESV).

There are many barriers to international leaders including costs, availability of effective teachers, access to dependable and culturally-appropriate curriculum, and for some, even persecution.  Through your faithful support, BrookLink helps our partners overcome these barriers by providing free in-person training within their cultural context, so that they may spread the gospel of Jesus Christ among their people.

 

We recently surveyed our international partners, and here are some of the challenges they are facing:

  • Need for more trained leaders in theological education, discipleship and expository preaching
  • Connecting secular people with the gospel with great relevancy and truth
  • Need for more trained leaders in organizational management and staff development

Here are specific prayer requests we received:

  • For personal strength and inspiration in mission. -European church planter
  • For God’s presence, protection and provision as we serve in [Middle Eastern country]. -Middle Eastern movement leader
  • For the Lord to lead urban professionals to Him. -European church leader
  • So that [our network of churches] would grow deep to grow wide. -African movement leader

A Special Year for Our Ministry

Written by Lee Heyward on Sunday, 27 January 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! As 2019 begins I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude to God for what YOU have made possible. I want to convey my heartfelt thanks to you for your generous gifts to BrookLink. Due to your extreme generosity, BrookLink strengthened nearly 4,000 church leaders in 5 countries and finished 2018 well positioned financially for the work ahead. Truly we are “strengthening churches together”!

“Praise the Lord. Praise God for his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” - Psalm 150

2019 marks a special year for BrookLink’s ministry. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary of equipping and empowering Christian leaders! It’s also the year we will focus on, “From One to Many,” which you will learn more about in the coming months. Additionally, I’ve just begun my engagement with Elmbrook Church as their new Lead Pastor which means going forward you will hear from me, along with who are others involved in BrookLink’s mission.

The BrookLink staff, Board of Directors and Facilitator Team are dedicated and engaged to continue BrookLink’s global partnerships and commitments. We are receiving new invitations, and we are nimbly adjusting to what God has put in front of us. Just this past week our Child, Youth and Family Ministry team had a follow-up meeting with our friends in the Middle East, with whom we are partnering to develop a yearlong curriculum.

Child, Youth and Family Facilitators

The HOW

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 27 December 2018. Posted in Blog

The HOW

Dear Friends,

In the final days of 2018, my hope and prayer is that you will know the nearness of Jesus Christ and how he entered the world in humble fashion “to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

At BrookLink, we count it a privilege to know this same Jesus, and to be involved in equipping pastors across the world and at home to proclaim Him too!

In recent weeks, we’ve shared WHY BrookLink exists: Church growth in both domestic and international contexts outpaces leadership development. Consequently, pastors are overworked, leaders are under-developed, the work of the Spirit is quenched and the church’s mission is compromised.  We have shared WHAT BrookLink does: Leaders equipping leaders, to sustain and strengthen movements that exponentially expand the Gospel. 

But HOW do we equip these pastors and church leaders? 

We receive an invitation, assess the needs of the church leaders with sensitivity to their context, customize the training to meet those needs and then build upon those relationships to learn how and when to be of service again.

And HOW does this serving make a meaningful difference?

When you invest in leaders, you impact networks. You influence the global expansion of the Gospel.

And HOW is this made possible?  There is only one way.  With YOUR support.

The WHAT

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 10 December 2018. Posted in Blog

The WHAT

“They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.

Acts 14:21-22a NIV

Dear Friends,

As my wife, Terry, got off the plane from West Africa in Detroit, Michigan, I was boarding a plane for East Africa in Chicago, Illinois. We spent Thanksgiving Day apart this year. But don’t feel too sorry for us. We were on Kingdom business and following His lead. Last month we talked about why we do what we do at BrookLink. Strengthening the church is WHAT BrookLink is all about. We were invited and available, so off we went.

“Thank you, Pastor Lee for coming! Will you come again?” were the words I heard over and over again from the leadership team in Soddo, Ethiopia. BrookLink facilitator and dear friend, Ian Lawson, and I spent three full days teaching eager pastors. Their receptivity was energizing and their questions were engaging. This is WHAT BrookLink loves to be a part of around the world. Leaders equipping leaders, to sustain and strengthen movements that exponentially expand the Gospel. 


Our answer to those dear friends is “YES, we will come again!" The prayers and financial gifts of so many have made this “YES” possible.

With just 20 days left this year, you can contribute towards our goal of $70,000 to continue the work of strengthening churches together in 2019 and beyond.

Equipping the church of Jesus Christ has been the WHAT for BrookLink from the beginning— ‘equipping’ pastors, church leaders and churches not just in East Africa, but in over 50 countries and 8 U.S.-based churches, classes and small groups—for the past ten years wherever we have been welcomed and invited, we go.  But we have not done it alone.

An Important Letter from Lee

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 29 November 2018. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

I am humbled and blown away by your response to #GivingTuesday. Your dollars have allowed BrookLink to serve and minster to thousands of church leaders and pastors around the world and here at home for the past 10 years. Without your support, this work would not be possible. I am writing today to update you on what has been going on for the past couple of weeks.
 
Please let me tell you a story.
 
Webster’s Dictionary defines FULL CIRCLE as, a series of developments that lead you back to the original source, position or situation from which you began. 
 
Allow me to explain. 2018 marks a special year for Terry and me. Forty years ago, we were married and as young college graduates, adventurous, and full of newfound faith in Christ, we spent our honeymoon driving from Atlanta, Georgia to a new job in good ol' Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Days after arriving we attended Elmbrook Church where we met the then Senior Pastor, Stuart Briscoe. With his British accent, his usual positive attitude and engaging style, Stuart encouraged us to get involved in Elmbrook’s High School ministry. After two years of serving as volunteer youth leaders, Stuart invited me to join Elmbrook’s staff as an Associate Pastor, where I served for three transformative years.
 
After completing seminary in Chicago and at Stuart’s prompting, a small group from Elmbrook Church invited me to return to the Milwaukee area to help start a new church called Northbrook. We purchased our home, settled in the suburbs, raised our family and nurtured a burgeoning congregation northwest of Milwaukee. After 23 years serving as Senior Pastor of Northbrook Church, God clearly called us to full-time international ministry and we launched BrookLink in 2008.
 
For the past ten years, I’ve crisscrossed oceans to lands beyond—connecting, equipping, empowering and releasing church leaders to lead, learn and love well in their national contexts. More than 50 countries, eight U.S. churches, thousands of leaders, lots of miles, and adventures aplenty—God has been abundantly faithful to BrookLink! Additionally, He has surrounded us with a host of extraordinarily generous friends who have supported BrookLink’s efforts prayerfully and financially.
 
Three years ago, I was having coffee with a dear friend—a mentor of sorts. He looked at me with his piercing eyes and asked, “Lee, why don’t you do more for church leaders here, what you do so well for churches overseas?” His question was like a whack on the side of my head. I responded, “Because we go where we are invited.” I’ve pondered my friend’s question ever since.
 
Which brings me FULL CIRCLE.
 
Elmbrook Church—the same church from which I started in ministry is undergoing a pastoral transition. The Elmbrook Council of Elders has invited me to step in for a season and serve as their Lead Pastor. After long consultations and with the full support of BrookLink’s Board of Directors, I have accepted their invitation and will begin full-time on January 1, 2019.
 
Perhaps you’re wondering, “What about BrookLink?” I will continue to serve as President of BrookLink, giving overall vision and direction to the ministry. We remain committed to Strengthening churches and Gospel movements around the world by equipping, empowering and releasing leaders. BrookLink’s team of trainers is expanding, and invitations in 2019 and beyond keep coming. BrookLink’s Board of Directors along with my superb ministry staff have tirelessly stepped up to formulate a plan to keep us visible and growing. Our pledge to you as partners is to communicate these plans in the months to come.
 
The Lord is leading and guiding.
Please continue to pray that we will listen closely and follow well. 
 
Strengthening churches together,

C. Lee Heyward
 
PS: I invite you to reach out to me with questions. I would be happy to share further details of this journey with you. You can contact me at info@BrookLink.org.
 
 
Click here to read the announcement Elmbrook Church sent to its congregation today.
[12 3 4 5  >>  

Visit lbetting.co.uk how to sing-up at ladbrokes