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.

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

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.

You Made This Possible

Written by BrookLink on Wednesday, 28 November 2018. Posted in Blog

Thanks to over 25 generous donors, we raised more than $13,000 and exceeded our #GivingTuesday goal!

 
 

Strengthening Churches Together

Your generosity is astounding! Our fundraising goal for #GivingTuesday was $5,000 and with your help, we were able to raise just over $13,000! And let's not forget the group of faithful donors who pledged to match up to $5,000 bringing the overall #GivingTuesday total to over $18,000. Thank you for helping strengthen churches around the world!

In just one day, your generosity has helped to provide Christ-centered training and coaching to over 90 pastors and church leaders around the world, including here at home. Thank you!

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done." 1 Chronicles 16:8

Thank you for your prayers and gifts through our #GivingTuesday campaign! It is amazing to see how this day is impacting the world around us, and we are grateful for the part you played yesterday, and each day, in supporting the mission of BrookLink


Truly we are strengthening churches together!

THANK YOU FRIENDS of BrookLink!
 
"Generosity is impossible apart from our love of God and of His people. But with such love, generosity not only is possible but inevitable." 
~ John MacArthur

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday

Written by BrookLink on Monday, 26 November 2018. Posted in Blog

One more day until #GivingTuesday

Buy a gift for yourself on Cyber Monday, but don't forget to share the love with others tomorrow, on #GivingTuesday!

Your gift to BrookLink has the chance to be DOUBLED thanks to a generous group of donors who has committed to match the first $5,000 raised online.

So what's all this again?

Tomorrow on #GivingTuesday, as people around the world support important causes, donate to BrookLink to help bring Christ-centered training and coaching to Christian pastors and church leaders throughout the world. Spread the word to friends and family who also want to make an impact.

 

Let’s strengthen churches together!

7 Days Until #GivingTuesday

Written by BrookLink on Tuesday, 20 November 2018. Posted in Blog

Double Your Impact

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the back-to-back days of deals, join us in kicking off the holiday giving season on #GivingTuesday!

We are just seven days away from this global day of giving. BrookLink is raising money to provide leadership training and coaching to pastors and church leaders around the world. For every $200 raised, BrookLink can bring teaching to one leader in the developing world.


#GivingTuesday Match


We’re also excited to announce that a generous group of donors has stepped up to match the first $5,000 raised online.

Now is your chance to make TWICE the impact! 

Ways to gear up for #GivingTuesday:
• Donate today to lock in your gift and make twice the impact
• Follow us on Facebook for exciting updates
• Share this message with friends and family and encourage them to join the movement

We’ve got just one week left until one historic day of giving.

Let’s strengthen churches together!

Strengthening Churches Together: The WHY

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 14 November 2018. Posted in Blog

Strengthening Churches Together: The WHY

Dear Friends,

Here’s some great news. When you give a financial gift to BrookLink, YOU are sending us to train pastors who then train and send off their own people. Truly in this way we are strengthening churches together!  Last year alone your financial gifts helped BrookLink and its affiliates travel to 8 countries, on 15 different teaching engagements, impacting 2,250 brothers and sisters in Christ. Together, we are having tremendous impact on the global church! And still, 85% of churches in the world are led by men and women who have no formal training in theology or ministry.[i]

In his book Gaining By Losing, author J. D. Greear uses three kinds of ships to illustrate the mission of the church. Some Christians see the church as a cruise liner, offering Christian luxuries for the whole family like sports, entertainment and funny time-conscious messages that meet felt needs. Other Christians believe the church is more like a battleship. The church is an institution that focuses on finding the targets, firing the guns and fighting the culture war. The third type of church is like an aircraft carrier, which is designed to equip and load up the planes and send them off elsewhere to carry out the work assigned.


BrookLink strengthens churches! Our mission is to help pastors and church leaders see their churches as aircraft carriers, not battleships and certainly not cruise liners. What does this mean? Church leaders must understand their role is to equip other leaders in their congregation in order to send them off. Paul understood that an essential part of any healthy ministry is long-term leadership development. He wrote to his young protégé, Timothy,

“The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will be qualified to teach others also.” (2 Tim. 2:2)

Without Hesitation

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 17 July 2018. Posted in Blog

Dearest Friends,

It’s no secret that the Apostle Paul headlines much of the New Testament as a missionary, preacher and church planter. What often gets overlooked however, is a practical consideration. The success of Paul’s ministry, to a certain extent, was due in part to the spiritual and financial support of countless men and women around him.

Take for example the church at Philippi. This church, considered one of Paul’s most beloved, time and again ‘partnered’ with Paul to insure the gospel was preached and his work amongst churches could go forward. In fact, in the early days of that church’s beginning, the Philippian church was the only church that supported Paul (cf. Phil. 4:15).

Paul never hesitated to express his appreciation to the people who partnered with him. And I will not hesitate either!

In last month’s newsletter we updated you on BrookLink’s ministry and made you aware of our financial needs. Many of you responded by sending a one-time gift or an additional gift. Thank you for your gifts. God continues to supply our needs through your generosity and faithfulness. As Paul reminded his friends, so I wish to encourage you that your gifts, “are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (Phil 4:18). Your costly devotion and sacrifice to God’s work pleases God and inspires me every day!Paul concludes one of his shortest letters with a promise: Those who are generous toward the things of God will find that God will be generous towards them and will supply every need…in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Thank you for your partnership—spiritually and financially! While I derive much joy and encouragement from your kindness, my joy is intensified because the hearts of the men and women we equip across the world have been refreshed through you.

With deepest gratitude,

C. Lee Heyward

Go with the Flow

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 05 June 2018. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

When you do a google search for the word FLOWING, Dictionary.com says it means “proceeding smoothly or easily, circulating or proceeding from a source.” You inspire us at BrookLink to continue being a flowing stream moving ahead smoothly from our source, the Lord Jesus Christ.

In John 7:38-39, Jesus reminds his followers, Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” And John the evangelist helpfully adds, “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive.”

This striking image brings to mind pictures of the boundless depths of power and grace, of significant progress, impact and influence, all of which are attributable to the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit! Not only this, but the Spirit’s work, like a flowing river, spills out and over into the lives of those within its sphere of influence.

Your life and my life are like a river and the Spirit in us provides the dynamic, the grace, energy and power to make an eternal difference wherever we are.

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