Tag: Marty Fuqua

LA Story – I Know What You Did Last Summer

Are the International Churches of Christ a youth movement? I hope so. We are trying to be. An often heard comment of older visitors to our church services is, “Everyone seems so young!”  Some of them mean that in a negative way, but I take it positively. The death knell of a religious movement is the loss of its young people. In so many denominations, their dying churches are mostly populated with members older than 40. Now, there is nothing wrong with being over 40 – I am 59. But, shouldn’t there be more young people than older people in God’s church? The young provide so much of the energy, enthusiasm and idealism that the healthy church body needs. For several years in the Kingdom of God, we neglected our young people. But we have repented. 

Things are changing powerfully and rapidly. The first change was to energize our children’s ministries, “Kingdom Kids,” with top-notch curriculums and teaching materials. This project, headed by Kingdom Teacher Gordon Ferguson, took hundreds of hours, several hundreds of thousands of dollars and two years to complete. Now we have children’s ministries that are second to none. The second change was to restore a major evangelistic focus to the many college and university campuses. World Sector Leaders Marty and Chris Fuqua have been given
the charge of coordinating the building of great campus ministries all over the world. The third change came last year when Kip McKean called all of the churches to launch an unprecedented effort to make disciples of our own children, and to reach out to teens in our communities. Strong teen ministries are essential for strong churches.

LA Story – LA Confidential

The LA miracle is almost nine years old and is growing stronger. From July of 1989, a small group of 56 disciples has multiplied to 7,155 members today – a 100-times growth! Gloria and I knew most of the original team members, since many of them came from Boston and included our daughter Keri. They were great people, but there was not a single miracle-worker among
them. So how did they do what they did, become the first church in the history of the International Churches of Christ to grow beyond 4,000 members, and 5,000, 6,000, 7,000 and beyond? Like the author of Psalm 34, King David, we can only boast in the Lord. Sure, having Kip and Elena McKean lead the LA Church since 1990 has helped; but the success of the church is not because of one powerful couple. It is all God. The above verses describe well what has happened. This issue of LA Story, entitled “LA Confidential,” is about the Los Angeles International Church of Christ. Yes, we are doing some boasting, but it is boasting in the Lord. All of the glory and honor go to him.

LA Story – Contact ~ August 1997

Nearly all the reporters who talk to me about the International Churches of Christ assume that we are primarily a campus movement, made up largely of students. I inform them that the facts show a very different picture. For instance, college students made up only 18 percent of the church in Los Angeles at the end of 1996. While these reporters would like to present us as a student organization so that they can dismiss us as some odd religious group that is not making inroads into all segments of society, it is time to look at where our campus ministries are headed.

In recent years there has been less and less emphasis given to campus evangelism in our churches. This trend has not been from a conscious decision to neglect the campus works. However, the way that we now build churches has produced this result. We have used our most talented ministry people to lead sectors and have included campus ministries within larger sectors of marrieds and singles. The result has been that the trained and talented leadership needed to convert college students has not been available, and disciples who are students have not had opportunities to be trained in public speaking, teaching and leadership skills.

Disciples converted on campus have profoundly affected God’s modern-day movement. Of the ten World Sector Leaders, five of them were converted as students! Even Kip and Elena McKean were reached while on campus. The book of Proverbs was written by Solomon to his son. From the above quotation, he says, “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” Disciples reached as students can be helped to avoid many of the mistakes and sins that have permanently scarred and crippled so many older people.

To Russia With Love

Life can be so daily.” Gloria and I often quote those words of Pat Gempel to each other with tongue in cheek. We quote them because they are so true. The day-after-day routine of any part of our lives, spiritual or physical, can rob us of our zeal. Even in the Kingdom we often settle into repetitious patterns: one Sunday sermon follows the next, one quiet time follows the next. Even the incredible growth of our church can become “ho-hum.” I believe that, without special effort, we become spoiled spiritual kids of God. We become like kids visiting Disneyland, who for the first few rides cannot contain their excitement. But as the day wears on, they become increasingly bored and little seems to impress them. When we come into the Kingdom, we are beside ourselves with excitement. We’ve never heard sermons like these, never heard singing like this, never felt love like this. But with time it takes more and more to impress us.

Great Expectations

Starting over is refreshing. A new semester in school, a new job, a new home, a new Bible Talk, a new life in Christ after baptism – a clean start. Here we are in January, 1996. This L.A. Story is both a look back to 1995 and a look ahead at God’s great expectations.

Big

THINK BIG. HOW BIG? AS BIG AS YOUR FAITH
will let you think. No matter how big you think, you will not match up to God’s thinking. A brother recently told of his listening to a tape of one of my sermons in 1988. I expected him to share how challenged or inspired he was by the lesson. Instead he said, “Boy, we didn’t have much faith back then, did we?” I have thought about what he said, and he is right.

Clear & Present Danger

As I write this editorial ond consider the needs of disciples around the world who will read it, I think about the news of the past few days. Worldwide attention and concern has been focused on the unstable situation in Haiti and the involvement  of U.S. troops there. Sadaam Hussein, the has-been despot of Iraq is able to threaten the entire Middle East peace process and force concerned nations to send thousands of troops to Kuwait to call his bluff.