John Knox was a Scottish pastor who had a great love and passion to reach the lost souls and idolaters of the 16th century. He had many adversaries including Cardinals, the Queen Mary of England (“Bloody Mary” as the Protestants called her due to her ruthless acts against those who opposed Catholic theology) and even Queen Mary of Scotts. Yet John was not afraid of those who sought his death for he knew that God was on his side. He was quoted as saying “one man with God is a majority.” (Bond, 2011, p.33). He felt called to stand up and confront the sins of his countrymen. Knox said “By God’s grace, I declare Jesus Christ, the strength of His death, and the power of His resurrection.” (Bond, 2011, p20). He was a mighty preacher but trembled at the thought of speaking in front of so many followers. There is no record of John’s birth (somewhere around 1507) but his death by burning in 1572 had a lasting effect on both fronts. So inflamed of John’s teaching, the Scottish Parliament paved over his resting place for additional parking. People accuse him even today as being a misogynist (women hater) but he was the first to educate women. Reformed believers applaud John Knox as a mighty man of God called upon for a great but deadly mission of ministry to his beloved Scotland.
John Knox was definitely a man of prayer. He preached that not all men were called to preach but every Christian was called to pray. “Prayer is an earnest and familiar talking with God, said Knox, “It is the command of God, and it is the great engine of communion with God and the channel by which He pours out His blessings on men and nations.” (Bond, 2011, pgs. 40,41).
Earnest is described in the Encarta Dictionary as: 1. serious and solemn; intensely or excessively serious and grave in manner or attitude. 2. Done in a deeply sincere way; undertaken or made in a spirit of deep sincerity and conviction, or with deep feeling.
I remember when my prayers were done in earnest. It was during the long tribulation of my first marriage and subsequent divorce. It was during those “dark days” when I laid my full trust upon the Lord. I would cry out to our LORD just like King David did when he was fleeing from Saul. My prayers were in earnest and throughout the day. Now I’m in a good marriage with a Godly man who loves the Lord and my prayer life is sporadic and disjointed – more like a list of people and ministries that I run off to the Lord like he doesn’t know them personally. Why does my prayer life falter when times are good? What happened to my passionate pleas and willingness to seek His will? I’ve become ‘busy’ in this ministry or that – all of which are great ministries, but my heart is not engaged. If my heart is not engaged, than there is no passion; no passion, no earnest prayers.
A long time ago, a pastor and good friend of mine ran his church’s ministry outreach with what he called the rifle approach as opposed to the shotgun approach. The shotgun approach scatters their resources to reach as many ministries as possible. The rifle approach concentrates on just a few where the effectiveness is greater in those areas but does not reach all. I like the rifle approach because your passion is fueled and your prayers are concentrated on your efforts at hand.
I have two great passions, mentoring women who are in trials and tribulations; and protecting the lives of the most marginalized – especially unborn babies. If I try to get involved in too many ministries than my effectiveness and availability becomes my greatest hindrance to those I’m trying to reach. It has become evident that I must scale back the ministries I’m involved in so that I am more effective in the ones that our LORD gave me my passion in.
- Childs Heart – Greg and Patti Kerr (Para Ministry) www.childsheart.org
Purpose: To Glorify God; Reduce Human Suffering; and Strengthen the Church
- Local Ministries
- Grow with Me ministries (Strengthen the Church) – partners up older women to mentor younger women based on Titus 2. This ministry exists to bring women to maturity in Christ and equip them to be effective mentors through 12-week classes. http://www.growithme.org/
- Center for Arizona Policy (Reduce Human Suffering) – promotes legislation that protects the unborn and the sanctity of marriage as well as the right and ability to raise and teach our own children in The Way he/she should go. http://www.azpolicy.org/
- Outreach Ministries
- Lwazi Village Outreach (Reduce Human Suffering/Strengthen the Church) – Uganda (Joshua Senoga) Lwazi Village Outreach works within a village on an annual basis program. They identify a village in poverty and works with a community based project or church that has impacted the community for over three years. They partner with these organizations to increase their effectiveness and be more self-sustaining through their own initiatives. The projects has to cover four core values: Employment, Food Security, Finances, and Easy to Grasp.
- Global Training Network (Strengthen the Church) – Paul & Lisa Madson GTN’s purpose is to train the Majority World church planters, pastors and Christian leaders so that they can more effectively equip their congregations to evangelize and disciple their communities for Christ. http://www.globaltrainingnetwork.org/
- Malaria Advocacy (Reduce Human Suffering) – Greg Kerr. Purpose is to increase public awareness of preventable diseases such as malaria and the importance for early and appropriate diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Note: History of John Knox obtained in Douglas Bond’s book – The Mighty Weakness of John Knox.