I just ran across your cover story on Matthew Barnett and the Dream Center ministry ("Not Just a Dreamer," September/October). Last June, my college and career Sunday school class took a missions trip to the Los Angeles Dream Center. I went on this trip expecting God would do great things--and He did--but what I encountered there was more than I ever could have hoped for. It was truly a life-changing experience.
While we were there (for a total of nine days), we were able to get our hands in just about every ministry they have to offer. This included some of the more difficult ministries, such as the outreach to prostitutes and people on Skid Row. It was awesome. One night I was able to speak with a young man named Eddie. The Lord used me to show him that he needed Christ, and before we left each other that night, a soul was saved. I could tell you story after story of how the Lord worked in and through our team on this trip.
Your article was well written. Thank you for giving me and others a chance to relive the phenomenal experiences we have had the advantage of experiencing while at the Dream Center, as well as reminding us to never let the dreams the Lord gives us die. You have ignited my passion even more than it was before. Your article will bless people more than you may ever know.
Key to Church Growth
Ah, the light just went on! Larry Keefauver's feature, "His Presence: The Key to Church Growth" (September/October) was awesome. I am a young pastor, struggling to define the framework I believe God is birthing into His church. Keefauver's article summarized many of the things I have been trying to explain to those surrounding me. Thank you for this outstanding, life-giving, vision-casting article.
Should Women Pastor?
I devoured the July/August issue and found much to applaud. I did, however, find one area in which I must take strong exception. In his column, Reviving Word ("Goodbye, Good Ole Boys Club"), Bishop T.D. Jakes seems to be inferring that women pastors and bishops are the future. I contend that in spite of the fact that women are as intelligent and capable as men for any office in the church or in the secular world, that God ordained the hierarchy of the sexes in order that society be preserved and healthy.
I'm not questioning ability; I'm questioning the propriety of women serving in those positions that God gave for men to serve in. I support women in every office except elder, pastor or bishop, based on what the Bible says clearly.
Paul N. Shafit
Canoga Park, California