Ministry Life

Evangelist, Pioneer Mary Ellen Strong Passes at 91

Mary-Ellen-Strong-Gaines-Donna-SummerEvangelist, prophet and teacher Mary Ellen Strong, a pioneer in black media and marketing, died last week of heart failure at her California home. She was 91.

“She was the first in so many things,” said Jerrel Jones, her son. “She did have the pioneering spirit.”

Articulate and humorous, on numerous radio stations and television programs including The 700 Club, Strong's messages were delivered with the authority of knowing her secure position in Jesus Christ. She was a trailblazer for change and improvement across the globe; known to stand up with great boldness to rulers and laymen.

Born Mary Ellen Brady on June 4, 1921 in Milwaukee, Wis., she married James Strong, an attorney and U.S. diplomat to Gambia who worked with a number of major corporations, in 1970. He was a former marketing executive with the Kellogg Corp. After his death, she married Andrew Gaines, the father and manager of the late singer Donna Summer.

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The Biggest ‘Ministry Impact’ the Secular Media Never Heard Of

Charisma-Steve-Strang-and-Berin-ReportThere are a few marquee ministries the mainstream media covers—if only critically. Yet there are some major ministries doing significant things around the world.

Of course it is well known to my Charisma readers, but outside Christian circles few have heard of the International School of Ministry (ISOM) headed by Berin Gilfillan, shown here with me at NRB in Nashville last winter. Dr. Berin Gilfillan is the CEO & founder of ISOM. Formerly the television producer for Reinhard Bonnke, Gilifillan was trained at Regent University and Fuller Theological Seminary. His ministry is based in Redlands, CA.

It is well known to our readers because about three times every year, ISOM places an ad on the back page of Charisma or Ministry Today. When I learned of their exponential worldwide growth, from a few hundred training schools in 2000 to more than 15,000 training sites today in 142 nations, I wanted to find out more. Berin told me each year he adds about 1,000 new ISOM schools “and we have found no better place to expose our vision than these two Charisma Media publications.”

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Don’t Navigate the Valley of Grief Alone

Sad-girl-griefThere is something about the holiday season that amplifies our feelings. When we are having a good year, we see God’s joy and blessing around every corner.

But then there are the years of loss. This season, there will be people in your church who are grieving deeply. In fact, that person might be you.

Grief has many causes; from the loss of a loved one to the loss of a job. The holiday season seems to also bring out the loss of dreams, and desperation of what might never be.

In this article, I won’t be able to help you make people feel better. Grief is a deep valley that must be traversed at different times of life. However, you should find some new tools here that will help you love the people you walk with in tangible ways and give you the insight to share God’s perspective.

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God Desire for Us: Live Right, Live Well

d-LifeScan-PastorCareGod created and gave us times of respite for a specific purpose that’s worth taking seriously

Scripture tells us that work is one of the things God created man to do. Effort and productivity are expected in every area of our lives. Parents strain to bring children into the world, and then for the next 20-plus years must midwife their proper acclimation into society. Businesspeople must produce materials and services that serve the public while making a profit. Pastors ... well, they seem to have no end to their job description! Whatever the responsibility, work seems to incessantly demand our attention. Yet, if regular moments of respite are not prioritized, both quality and quantity of life can diminish.

Craig Sawchuk, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, debunks the idea that more work necessarily means a more productive life. After thousands of hours of research, He concluded that, “If you establish a more balanced lifestyle, enjoying your leisure can in fact improve the quality and quantity of your work.”

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Who is Playing the Race Card?

michael-browndrMy article “Open Letter to My Black Evangelical Friends” elicited some very helpful comments along with words of affirmation and, unfortunately, a number of very ugly comments. The thoughts of many hearts were certainly revealed!

Is it possible that some of the readers were not aware of the great love and respect I have for my black brothers and sisters and that it was out of love and respect that I asked some pointed questions? Is it possible that some readers wrongly viewed me as some kind of white supremacist, completely misreading my words and my intent? Perhaps I assumed too much about our unity in Jesus?

Thankfully, I did receive a number of very insightful comments, and that is the best place to start. (The only comments I will be citing were those that were made, to the best of my knowledge, by my black brothers and sisters.)

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Kenny Luck Ignites Sleeping Giant Movement to Wake Up Christian Men

Kenny-Luck-Sleeping Giant-MT

For years, Kenny Luck has witnessed Men’s Ministry in local churches leaving men unengaged and unfulfilled. The best-selling author’s heart is to see that trend cease.

Luck, an ECPA platinum award-winning author of the God’s Man and Every Man Series and pastor of Men at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, has launched the definitive website for Christian men in conjunction with the Sleeping Giant Total Solution, a proven Men’s Ministry model.

EverymanMinistries.com has ignited a grassroots movement from within that equips the local church to use modern technology to create a spiritual phenomenon: Strong men of God who will look to impact their families and the culture around them.

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