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January 15, 2021 12:00 am
Hello and welcome to wisdom for the hard Stephen baby, I'm Scott Wiley. Today's broadcast is going to be a little bit different compared to the normal broadcast we bring you each weekday.
This is going to be more of a conversation.
Stephen and I sat down in the studio to record the session because we wanted to update you on what the Lord accomplished in our ministry during 2020, and Stephen has an important announcement to share with you as well. This is normally a time when we would be doing a question-and-answer session we been doing that for many years. The first and third Fridays of each month. This is actually going to be the last of our Q&A sessions, at least as far as what we do on the radio Stevens going to continue answering your Bible questions. It's important for us to start putting those imprints. Yet the heart-to-heart magazine has become really popular and by the way friends if you don't have it. This is kind of I guess aside commercial that gives a call and will be glad to get you on the mailing list but were taking up a page or two out of that magazine, which includes a daily devotional and some articles that I've written and were answering these questions, it'll actually give you something to go back to and read footnote tuck away and maybe even do a little more study on your own rather than listen on the radio and hope you catch the gist of the answer. Yeah, we've had a lot of people actually calling with questions that had been asked in the past and this'll make it so much easier to go back and find those were also going to archive those on our website. In fact, some of those are actually there now so if you go to wisdom online.org the archive of Stephen's teaching ministry is posted there and there's a new page called Bible questions and you can see some of the questions that other listeners have already asked and that Stephen has answered for them. So that's one change Scott, I hope you're gonna rattle through a few things that have happened in 2020.
As we look back over our shoulders. Been quite a quite a year really hasn't. We started early in the year with this disease right. I didn't really know what was going to happen, but the Lord has blessed the ministry of wisdom for the heart and wisdom international immensely. What are some things that we've done differently. People might be interested in where we are sitting in a brand-new recording studio. Well it's not. It's not a new building our new room, but we retrofitted our storage closet, a large storage closet into a beautiful soundproof recording standing out here retrofitted the office yet we are we are quite tired of having to stop recording every time a Harley-Davidson went down the road or truck pulled into the gas station across the street. We literally would have to push pause whenever tucked back away from the road in this inner room, which allows us the ability to soundproof it and we hope the sound is clearer for those of you who are listening and of course Stephen, you've already mentioned heart-to-heart magazine, heart-to-heart magazine. Launched in April was actually the first to write the first issue of that and the response to heart-to-heart magazine has been tremendous. Stephen mentioned that we would love to get that into your hands if you don't get it. And that's true that magazine features articles from Stephen.
It features a daily devotional guide to help you stay rooted and grounded in God's word every day. We started throwing in some fun things like a recipe and some quotes and and other things in ministry insights as well as updates on new resources that we have available. You can call us today at 86 648 Bible if you've not seen heart-to-heart magazine.
There's also a link on the website where you can sign up to get the next three issues will send those to you just as our gift to you so that you can see it.
Another thing that happened in 2020 was a new website and so now we have a website that were proud of and that makes it easier for you are listening audience to navigate the resources that we have available for you.
There the complete archive of Stephen's 35 years of Bible teaching is there you can listen to every one of those messages. You can read the manuscript that Stephen prepared as he was writing those sermons. All of that's available to you free of email@example.com and Stephen we have some big news on another front friends, you probably all know that in addition to being here at wisdom for the heart. Stephen and I both serve on the staff team of a church together great. Stephen's been there. While Steve is the founder of the founding pastor so you been there since the beginning. I came in 1995 I was there before Moses feels like it sometimes busy, but that we have a we have some news that we want to let let you know about regarding that church. Yet I think it be helpful for you even though your you're not part of our church and our church does not fund wisdom for the hard wisdom international is really a separate ministry, but because you know I'm in the pulpits of colonial and have been for all these years and you hear me introduced periodically by Scott is the pastor of colonial Baptist Church but we wanted to just allow you an opportunity to know some of our thinking at the church and and why we changed the name.
As of January 1. Our church changed its name to the shepherds church is a little' at the end of shepherds which indicates we belong to him and and it might be helpful for you to know as well. Our elder team and I'm on that elder team decided this before coded before cancel culture before rioting before disturbances before any of that stuff ever happen and I think the background would be helpful for you to understand why we didn't even back then. Well I I grew up near Williamsburg, Virginia, and I can recall many visits that created an appreciation for the colonial style architecture and if you saw our buildings you would see these corner coins there like white blocks interspersed with the brick, you would see columns you would see the curved Palladian windows on my father planted a church in Virginia Beach while I was away at college. I immediately like the name he chose for the new church colonial Baptist Church to 34 years ago September 1986 when I moved here to carry with Marcia. My wife and our five month old twin sons to launch our church. We had 28 people show up that first Sunday. Scott will never forget that. And we put in at the newspaper and prayed that somebody would show up in 28 people did. We knew none of them by the grace of God. Six months later we had 56 committed adult believers and we officially chartered our church membership. We had a doctrinal statement with bylaws and we had. By the way, that same official church name colonial Baptist church, and I I joke with our staff and our congregation that we we had started a family franchise.
My dad had when I had one for $10 you could have one who literally rate everything was going along swimmingly until about 10 years after that point I traveled over to India and to Africa to preach in different parts of those countries, and in both countries. I quickly realized this is now about 25 years ago that the name of our church was creating confusion and it raise questions and the questions were fairly transparent.
You why. Why would you name your church after great Britain's colonial expansion in Re: are you related it to England. Are you representing Great Britain affected several rallies I had to follow my hosts introduction of me with an explanation that the term colonial was an architectural style. It wasn't a statement on imperialism or American early American history and the audience is admirable.
Watching them relax and smile and look at each other and go oh okay Anna and I realize that while this name is not a good name for around the world. Not that point we were on the radio, the Internet hadn't hadn't been invented yet, but I realize this was a good work well overseas and then wisdom for the heart.
Launched in 2001. Which of course expanded the global impact of your teaching ministry because now were heard all the crossed mainland China and or Mandarin broadcast were heard all across the Arabic speaking world.
The Spanish-speaking world.
The Portuguese speaking world in the name colonial in many of those cultures has actually been a barrier because of what you just mentioned that great Britain's colonial expansion of some of those people groups right today that they were confused as to why we would we would name of the church. Something like that again. For here stateside is not a problem for the average individual, they think of early American history Williamsburg. They see the colonial architecture and they get it, but it over time became more and more of a problem and that of course the Baptist name.
We are not changing our doctrine, by the way, where were at work.
Continuing with our commitment to the Baptist distinctive.
I guess you could say it is really a biblical distinctive of baptism by immersion. I was not raised in a Baptist church. I got my final Masters degree from really a Presbyterian seminary, predominantly, and that I emerged from my graduate studies committed to immersion simply because that's what the word means vented so that did so my means immersed in. So I was committed to that, but over the years. It's again created an obstacle. Are you part of the convention. Are you part of an association are you one of the independent Baptist area southern baptistery free will Baptist the there's just this long list of names and a spectrum of what it means to be a Baptist that again was confusing and so for for the most part we spent a lot of time telling people what the name of our churches in explaining but were not this one at this or not, that were not that different, since we have a plurality of elders leading our church why that's not a Baptist distinctive but it is biblical and so we have attempted, by the grace of God to pursue a biblical model for ministry and we continued to especially the international reach face when obstacle after another. Stephen, you mentioned that our doctrine is not changing. Seems like it was maybe four or five years ago that we went through the process of not changing so much as expanding our doctrinal statement. Wisdom for the heart and of the shepherds church share the same doctrinal statement and that's not changing in any way right, but I wanted to mention that because friends if you'd like to see that and just be able to read through that there's a link to that on our website. Wisdom online.org. We also have some some printed copies of that.
However, he does have the old church name Stevens if you don't S giving and giving those away still say colonial Baptist service but but it is the exact same doctrinal statement for people who would like to just read through what it is that that we believe are our distinctives as a church and as our broadcast ministry here at wisdom from the heart. Another thing that's happened over the years is the expansion of a family of ministries using the term Shepherd or shepherds that we started a few years away years ago now shepherds 360 that's a national conference for church leaders held on our campus or church campus, and we have hundreds of church leaders come annually and you probably heard Scott and I talking about that to encourage you to register and show up that we typically have that in the in the fall.
Last year we had a wonderful luncheon for those who could come from our radio listening audience got to have lunch with you and our good friend Erwin lutes are you I hear in the studios this year because of covert. Everything was a little bit different but hopefully will be back up and running here in the next step fall session. We also started the shepherds network and that's a good is a growing fellowship of church plants. The primarily we as a church family have either mothered daughter did to existence or mentored and just finished a goal of planting or revitalizing 20 churches by 2020.
So we praise the Lord for that.
We started shepherds theological seminary and that has been going there for nearly 20 years, fully accredited graduate school anchored on our campus partnering with our church.
It's again fulfilling the vision of our church to train a generation of of servant leader for Christ and is growing tremendously.
Nearly 200 students a full faculty is just just phenomenal. See what God's done there. The more recently we started shepherds international and that's our own mission sending agency where our church mobilization office serves as the headquarters to aid in the sand and organize global workers around the world and so were were excited about that as our church sends out global workers. We now have the sending agency so you can see that shepherds 360 shepherds network shepherds theological seminary shepherds international and it almost made perfect sense to to rename our church.
The shepherds church that none of the other shepherds have an apostrophe at the shepherds, network shepherds, theological subjects talk about us we are shepherds we are training church leaders but as a church. There's an apostrophe. The shepherds church because were making a statement that our allegiance is to the great Shepherd of the sheep, the chief Shepherd of the church and moving forward. Our prayers that the early church name will be associated worldwide without any confusion to to our allegiance not to a denomination but to our Savior, not to something that could be confused as as an architectural style or a period of time in history, but are public testimony of belonging to Jesus Christ who is our shepherd. And so we are as of January 1, the shepherds church. Now let me add this. The shepherds church and wisdom are two entirely separate identities were joined at the heart. You hear my messages that I preached from the pulpit but are our budget, our Board of Directors is entirely separate. We are entirely listener supported the listener funded and shepherds theological seminary is a separate identity although it meets on the campus of the church a separate Board of Directors as separate budgets of these three separate ministries are joined at the heart we like to say but there there directed separately as unique 501(c)(3) ministries we have people that assume our radio ministries funded by our church and that it is not. Not one penny is in the budget. We are entirely listener supported and it is that it is a good partnership that we join with the church. We here at wisdom for the heart. We provide all of the audio for the for the audio broadcasts the podcasts that the church has NRA. Of course our own contents. We publish all of your books Stephen through John Cherry House publishing we do that here at wisdom and I'm it's a great partnership that we have with both the church and the seminary. In fact, many of our seminary students learned about the school by listening to us talk about it on the radio broadcast and are now here studying with us the I think is somewhere between 10 and 20% of our student body found out about it through wisdom international and so Scott another change, another change that might be. You know apparent listeners is our use of the word wisdom international.
That's another change we were originally wisdom for the heart and that's the name of the radio program you're listening to right now we are beginning the production and were probably a year or so out the brand-new program taking listeners through the Bible in weekday programs. 15 minutes a day. Through the Bible in three years from Genesis 1 to Revelation chapter 22 is gonna take 780 program says three years and that we got a lot more to do, but we are so excited about that. So as a result of that are our ministry name needed to be a little broader so wisdom international is our ministry name and underneath that umbrella.
Are these different this spokes. I guess you can see on the wheel. That's right we have wisdom for the heart, as you just mentioned, which is our daily approximately 30 minute broadcast the one that you're listening to right now wisdom from the heart. The wisdom journey. We hope that that'll launch may be in 2021, probably 2022. Will see whenever the Lord does were working hard and getting that ready. But that's going to be a shorter program. 15 minutes a day taking you entirely through the Bible in three years. This can be a wonderful resource. The wisdom journey units got the interesting thing about this at people might want to know is that you've even put up on our website right now. A couple of the early editions of Genesis, just so people could get a look at at what this is all about. Yeah that's right and what's different about the wisdom journey compared to wisdom for the heart is that were videotaping it as well. It will be a radio broadcast but were it's also going to be available for you to watch now it's just it Stephen here in our recording studio or for filming him as he records, but if you go to our website and by the way there's one website for all of our ministries. Wisdom for the heart, the wisdom journey. All of that is firstname.lastname@example.org. You only have to go to one place, but at the top you'll see the two different major broadcasts there as tabs across the top of that webpage, you will see wisdom for the heart and you'll see the wisdom journey. So if you go there today.
You'll be able to watch a couple of these initial programs of the wisdom journey go there today will wait to were done talking, and then another and we would like to get some feedback from you friends as you go during your watch. Click on the response and and send us a note tell us what you think it's it's really a challenge when you consider the fact that were dividing the Bible in the 780 section especially for you Steve… That's a fast pace.
It is a very is available will sure 11 program might cover a chapter or two depending on the narrative because there are over a thousand chapters in the Bible but 1100+ and so that's a program per chapter. What when I preach through a book of the Bible. I'll preach a message on a verse or two. So yes, this is this is a very fast-paced 30,000 view but were touching down.
It all of the major issues and we are covering every chapter so that you can get a handle on the entire word of God. God's infallible inspired word that is to direct our lives and you can cover that with me in three years and 780 programs. That's five weekdays 15 minutes a day and and were just really excited about that video version. I'm not. By the way excited about the video version because you're looking at me. I'd really rather be behind a curtain, but I'm not even looking at the camera is just recording me so that people can use it for Bible study groups in their homes and we are going to have transcripts of every program all printed out and available for you. You can download it for free, just like we do. My sermon transcripts. Now with wisdom for the hearts program you can download this transcripts it'll have study questions, and it's just an outstanding resource.
We want people to understand the word of God the Word of God is timeless and it is timely. It's what we need today, especially in what were facing is a culture today. Will Stephen during the year 2021 of the things that marked our nation was racial tension the colonial.
The founding fathers.
All of that has come under attack and some of our listeners might be wondering if part of changing the name away from Colonial is a reaction to what's been happening in our society. Yeah, and we have been asked that fact. I anticipated hearing even more than than that I did because it does seem like a reaction.
I'm very grateful that I can tell folks that our elder team and we change this name and decided to bring it to the congregation last spring.
Unfortunately with coven that that scuttle everything and put everything on hold and so now we announce it. It sounds like it's a reaction but we have, in fact, I have wanted to change the name and he wanted to talk to others about it for many years and just felt like the timing of the Lord was that we would do this last year and so I presented to our elder team are churches led by elders, with 28 elders that includes our pastors we have 16 pastors on our staff and we have about 72 deacons and so are deacons and our elders were aware of all of this course the elders were unanimous in the recommendation and it was overwhelmingly approved by our congregation for which I I think God will Stephen we've covered a lot of ground. We talked about some things that God accomplished in our ministry during 2020. We talked about this exciting news regarding the church before we end this program, whatever. A couple of things that you would like our listening audience to be praying about when they think about wisdom international well I think I could prioritize the top one or two that would be pray for us friends as we continue to to be in heavy production mode of outlining the Bible.
Researching each section writing transcripts that could be handed to translators and then recording each 15 minute program so that we can begin to get this on the air and take people through the Bible with the wisdom journey so that would be a key priority and then secondly, for God to continue to move in the hearts of people to become partners with us as we are listener supported in some fact I think Scott will just pray right now. Shelley friends join me if you can. Father, thank you for your grace and your goodness. It is your mercy that uses us for your glory sake. There isn't anything about us the merits. Your grace and goodness. It is all of Christ as Lord Jesus, we thank you for saving us by virtue of the sacrifice you made on the cross. Thank you for your blood shed for us. Thank you Jesus that you indeed paid it all. Thank you for giving us the privilege is a wisdom team and their partners to deal with eternal things to expose our world to the truth of your word. Thank you for that. Thank you for our partner ministries like the Bible broadcasting network. Thank you for an opportunity to partner with them in this Chinese language in Portuguese and Spanish, and so many other ways continue to bless every ministry that honors and upholds your word. We pray in 2021. In Jesus name we pray.
It amen amen thank you Stephen friends before we go.
Let me give you some contact information one more time if you'd like to reach out to us. Our website is wisdom online.org that's wisdom online.org you can write to us at email@example.com you can use that if you have just a general inquiry about our ministry, but that's also the email address that you can now use if you'd like to ask Stephen a question about the Bible or the Christian faith firstname.lastname@example.org Stephen will be answering those questions and will be posting that to the website and printing them in our magazine. Our mailing address is wisdom international PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627. Thank you so much for listening today when we come back on Monday. Stephen will continue his Bible teaching join us, right here on this town for the heart