It was a blessing to be able to attend the 28th IPHC General Conference last week. We experienced God at work in this denomination! The business sessions flowed with unity as Presiding Bishop Beacham led the delegation from around the globe in the business of the church.
The evening services were phenomenal with Beth Moore, Samuel Rodriguez, and Bishop Doug Beacham—all speaking powerful words of life to the IPHC. The Friday evening service concluded with soil poured into a glass container on stage by the various leaders around the globe. This was an act of faith symbolic of the areas that the IPHC desires to have a church presence by the year 2033.
The Election of General Officials:
Bishop Doug Beacham – General Superintendent
Bishop Tommy McGhee – Executive Director of Discipleship Ministries (Vice Chairman)
Bishop Talmadge Gardner – Executive Director of World Mission (Corporate Secretary)
Bishop Garry Bryant – Executive Director of Evangelism USA (Corporate Treasurer)
Congratulations to these men that serves this denomination well!
On Wednesday evening of the General Conference, the delegation from LifePoint Ministries gathered for a meal and fellowship. Thank you to our ministers, pastors, and lay persons for attending the General Conference and experiencing what God is doing in this movement.
Also, congratulations to Erica Campbell, LifePoint Ministries’ Administrative Assistant, for her appointment as Secretary of the IPHC Women Ministries General Board. We are proud of Erica and her continued representation and service to the Women’s Ministries of the IPHC.
You can view the business session minutes by going to the IPHC.org website at: http://iphc.org/generalconference/reports/
Thank you for allowing us to represent you at the 28th General Conference. I look forward to the plans that God has in store for us in this denomination.
Our leadership team sometimes reminds me that in ministry, “we are not running a sprint but a marathon”. In a marathon there are usually people at the starting line cheering you on and people at the finish line congratulating you for completing the race. Sometimes it can be a lonely place between the two lines, but running this race will require endurance.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT).
We are called to serve forward with longevity. Many people we serve are for a moment, some for a season, and others for a lifetime. We may not always be in the same city, church, or have the same congregation, but we are to serve God for the long haul.
In fact, in a sprint you most likely will finish the race with those who started the race with you. In a marathon there are those that never finish the race, fell behind in the race, or finish before you do. There were people present when I started out in ministry that were of great encouragement, that now have already completed their race. Others of us are running side by side, not to compete but to complete the race together.
Navigating through your journey of ministry includes being able to put all of this in perspective. Here are seven things that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and reminded us not to neglect:
• Do not neglect your family – I Timothy 3:4
• Do not neglect spiritual or physical discipline – I Timothy 4:8
• Do not neglect the gift that’s within you – I Timothy 4:14-16
• Do not neglect those in need – I Timothy 5:3,4
• Do not neglect the “elders” in your life – I Timothy 5:17
• Do not neglect the study of God’s Word – 2 Timothy 2:15
• Do not neglect your ministry – 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Pace yourself and run with patience. Run with others and run for others. Serve forward with longevity!
“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us” (Philippines 3:14 NLT)
Kingdom Life Conference was full of Life Changing Moments! The message I kept hearing as the speakers shared was this: “let’s do church differently than what we have been accustomed to doing.”
Life Center Worship Team began Wednesday night leading us with a powerful time of worship that set the atmosphere for all that God had in store for us. They led with a spirit of excellence the entire week by ushering us into the presence of the Lord!
Bishop Frank Ofosu-Appiah spoke prophetically over LifePoint Ministries on Wednesday evening by saying, “We are beginning to enter into a new season in LifePoint Ministries.”
On Thursday and Friday morning, Mr. Joey Leggett and Pastor Doug Studdard shared powerful stories during the “Life Talks” that related to their respected ministries and empowered us to serve forward.
Callie Sorrows shared on Thursday morning with an inspiring message titled, “We Don’t Need Another Church.” She challenged us to look outside the four walls of a church and reach the unreached by taking the church to them.
Chris Maxwell followed up on Friday morning with a message about Servant Leadership titled “The House of the Lord” using 3 points:
• The Mirror – Looking at ourselves
• The Den – Fellowshipping with others
• The Window – Looking on the outside of the church
Thursday evening, Bishop Mike Gray drove home the phrase “Stay Focused” and stated, “God is going to disrupt some of you so that you can be a life-giver in LifePoint Ministries.” On Friday night he challenged us to live a life that exemplified the compassion of Jesus.
The Breakout Sessions were phenomenal in the mornings and were very well attended. I am thankful for Tina Anderson, Greg Hearn, Trey Jones, Tracy Reynolds, and Brian Williams that shared in these sessions.
The afternoon activities provided by Discipleship Ministries, Men’s Ministries, and Women’s Ministries were exceptional with a barbecue luncheon, refreshments on the quad, bowling tournament, swimming, and a basketball game.
Saturday morning, I shared three points using the story of King David’s warriors, mentioned in 2 Samuel, chapter 23. Remember, the place you serve has value; the place you serve has purpose; so stand your ground!
I was overwhelmed as I watched the conclusion of the conference on Saturday morning. Many participated in bringing their soil from the different counties to pour into the vase on the platform. As the soil was being poured in the vase, we all were astonished at the layers of different colored soil from Georgia. It was such a wonderful reminder that LifePoint Ministries is diverse, and yet we are all in this together serving the Kingdom of God!
We welcomed our newest church Pages of Life into the LifePoint Ministries Family. We asked other pastors that had planted a seed into this ministry to join us up front in prayer for Pastor Marcellus Hannah and his congregation.
Brian James then joined me on the platform as we unfolded the plans that the LifePoint Ministries’ office would be moving on the Emmanuel College campus in 2017.
We concluded the service with prayer for all of the districts in our region of ministry and took communion together.
I’m especially thankful for Jennifer Bell that ministered to our children at the Kid’s Conference and Nursery. We are indebted to Jennifer and her staff, and their faithfulness to pour into the lives of our youth.
Thanks to LifePoint Ministries staff and the Conference Executive Council for their prayers and support of our Summer Conference. Most of all, thanks to all of you that were able to attend. We are blessed with a great network of churches and ministers in LifePoint Ministries!
Carissa and I are very honored to serve this ministry. As one person said on the way out Saturday morning at Kingdom Life Conference, “I am already looking forward to next year’s Summer Conference!”
Bishop Tim Lamb
Everyone has a unique story to tell concerning how God has called him or her into the ministry. Throughout the Bible, we see the examples of many heroes of the faith–all of which had a unique story in which God revealed their callings. Often times, I find that many people today struggle with identifying their calling or purpose in life.
“But God does not keep secret what he wants you to do.” -Charles Stanley
Through our relationship with Him and the study of God’s Word, we can identify our purpose in life. Not all of us will have a “burning bush” experience or see the “hand- writing on the wall”. However, everyone can discover and know without a doubt the purpose in which they have been called.
In 2 Peter 1:3-4, I found these promises for those that are called into ministry.
1. His divine power has already given us everything required for life and godliness.
2. He has given us great and precious promises, which gives us the capability to escape the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.
In 2 Peter chapter one, the writer also encourages goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love to add to our faith. If we possess these things in increasing measure then they will keep us from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus.
“God doesn't call the qualified but he qualifies the called.” If He has called you, he will equip you. Look for the gifts that God has given you. Seek these attributes in 2 Peter and you will continue to grow in knowledge. Discover your passions. Be obedient by serving God and serving his people.
“Do you have big plans for Easter?” Asked the lady barber yesterday. This morning my neighbor asked, “What do you think about my crosses?” as he pointed to the three small white wooden crosses place neatly on his recently manicured lawn. Both of these questions provided me with an opportunity to share about my faith in Christ.
Opportunities to witness come for all of us, but seemly more often during the Easter season. I must admit that Easter was one of my favorite times of the year as a Senior Pastor. It provided a great opportunity to minister to churched and unchurched people. I believe that as leaders and churches are more intentional about following up with guest that attend Easter Services, then it will result in a new family (or families) attending our churches.
As Easter Sunday approaches, Carissa and I are praying that this will be a great weekend for you and your church family.
Bishop Tim Lamb
In my own local church leadership, I’ve recently experienced the conviction of the Lord prompting me to pay attention to what He is doing in the places and people that no one notices. I’ve felt the prompting of the Spirit to help me see the activity of the Lord in people’s lives and in our community.
This experience has led me to consider two Bible stories. In the New Testament parable of The Good Samaritan, we read about a man who is beaten, stripped and left for dead by thieves (Luke 10:30). The man is passed over by two religious passers-by - a priest and a Levite. Both religious professionals reveal a condition of the heart when they not only don’t stop, but completely circumvent the abandoned man’s presence by passing by on the other side of the path (vs. 31, 32). The man is simply passed over until the Good Samaritan arrives on the scene.
The second account from the Bible I began to consider was the moment in David’s life when he was anointed as king (1 Samuel 16). The Lord had already indicated to Saul that his kingdom would not “endure forever” and that he would establish someone in his place who would be “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).
1 Samuel 16 shows us the story as Samuel begins to survey the sons of Jesse & consider which young man would be king. He begins with Eliab and scripture tells us that Samuel thought to himself, “surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:6). God promptly rebukes him and lets him know that this decision won’t be based on what he (Samuel) notices at first - but on what He (God) notices first - the heart.
Well, you know the remainder of the story...the other sons come and they too are passed over. Finally, Samuel wonders if there are any other sons. In other words, is there a son who has been forgotten? Of course we know that David has not been called in from tending the sheep. It seems that not only his father, but his family, had overlooked the youngest. Immediately, in the biblical account, we push beyond the surface of leadership (that is, appearance and aesthetics) when Scripture tells us of David’s physical attributes, to what is most important in regard to David - his calling. “Rise and anoint him; this is the one” (1 Samuel 16:12).
My challenge for us as servant leaders as we “Serve Forward” is this:
1. Notice the unnoticed - the overlooked and forgotten that are all around us.
2. Serve by meeting their needs as the Good Samaritan did.
3. Don’t become so busy doing God’s work (e.g., the role of a priest or Levite) that we miss God’s assignment - those on the path right before or beside us.
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!
(NLT) 2 Corinthians 5:16
-Assistant Superintendent, Rick Womack
During a prayer time with a few colleagues that I meet with weekly, one of them prayed that we would be “like Nehemiah and weep over the ruins of the wall.” Immediately, the story of Nehemiah connected with my heart. One thing that spoke so strongly to me was this:
We must be burdened before we can be broken.
When Nehemiah heard of the condition of the walls, gates, and the distress of the people still in the city, he became burden about the need. Nehemiah spent about four months in prayer before approaching the king for permission to go and rebuild the city and the people that were in ruins.
So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4 NKJV).
Have you been so burdened by the needs of others that you just wept? Perhaps, you’ve experienced the opposite and prayed that you would feel more compassion. Some years ago, I felt somewhat disconnected from the heart of God and emotionally detached from the needs around me, so I prayed, “Lord help me to cry again.” However, now looking back I should have prayed, “Lord help me to be burdened, so that I can be broken. Help me to feel connected with those that are in need and have a heart to reach them in their darkest hours.”
One of the Bible characters that I admire greatly is the Apostle Paul. I think of Paul as one that remained faithful and somewhat unbroken even though he was beaten with rods, stoned, and shipwrecked. But never have I thought of the apostle as one that wept. However, when reading Philippians 3:18, we see that Paul speaks with tears in his eyes for those that live as enemies of the cross and their unfortunate fate that is to come. Now, can you imagine the burden and the brokenness of the Apostle Paul as he cried over the people’s need of Jesus Christ?
If we are going to serve in God’s kingdom we must be:
• Burdened for the need
• Broken in prayer
• Brave enough to serve
God uses broken things!
“But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over” (Jeremiah 18:4 NLT).
When we choose to become broken, our brokenness seizes the opportunity to be a blessing to serve others. #ServingForward
Recently Carissa and I attended the “Accelerant Conference” in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, an annual youth event that has ministered to thousands of IPHC youth and youth leaders since it’s conception in 1998.
“Accelerant exists to challenge and encourage teens to know who they are in Christ and to live that out everyday in His presence and power.”
The Pizza Gathering that David and Hope Hammond organized for the LifePoint Ministries (LPM) youth and youth pastors during this event was well attended. David Hammond, LPM Discipleship Ministries Director, also serves on the “Accelerant Team,” planning and promoting “Accelerant”. I am grateful for their participation and support of this event.
Here are a few excerpts from two of our LPM youth pastors of their youth’s experience at Accelerant 2017:
“I would just like to say that for Anchored Student Ministries, our big take away from this year was about our purpose. We are all called to do something and it only takes one of us to step out of the land of fear and be courageous enough to follow our purpose. We had one group member give her life to the Lord and she was the youngest on our trip! We talked over the weekend and even tonight at church about leaving the last behind and striving to change your tomorrow. Accelerant is always awesome, but I feel like this year was over the top. Great speakers and powerful messages were spoken each time.”
Anchored Student Ministries
Ascend Youth from Elberton PHC had a fantastic time at Accelerant 2017. Our youth shared on Wednesday night what stood out to them the most throughout the weekend. Many of them mentioned that they decided to give their brush/pen back to God so he could create their masterpiece. For the next several weeks we will be covering in detail, the ways we can make sure God has control of our brush. We also had several students who said the sermon "What Are You Tied To" made them very aware of the things they were tying themselves to. I believe this weekend was eye opening for many of our youth. We are really looking forward to continuing these discussions and lessons to reinforce what they brought home with them from Accelerant 2017."
Ascend Youth Ministry
As we serve forward in LPM, I am very thankful for our conference and local church leadership that invest in the lives of the youth. There were approximately 90 youth and youth pastors from LPM churches attending Accelerant this year. Make plans now to take a group of teens to Accelerant January 26-28, 2018.
Thank you for serving the next generation of leaders for God’s kingdom!
“The term leader is mentioned only six times in the King James Version of the Bible, while the term servant is mentioned more than nine hundred times.” -Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard
A true leader is one that has learned how to serve others. Even Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Jesus is the greatest leader of all times! As we serve Him, we will have the desire to serve others. It is Jesus that gives us our instructions, but like many servants this often includes helping our neighbor. One of the greatest examples Jesus gives us is when He “led with a towel” (John 13). Jesus was willing to lay aside his robe that night, wrap a towel around his waist, and kneel down to wash His disciples’ feet. Jesus saw a need and responded not out of obligation, but out of love for His disciples.
Here are 3 lessons I learned from Jesus washing the disciples’ feet:
I encourage you join us, as we focus on “Inspiring leaders to serve”. We do this by example, as Jesus did, and through teaching the biblical principles of “Serving Forward.”
For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
If you learn to serve others, God’s blessings will always come your way. John Maxwell refers to this as “residual income”. Not because we serve to get, but because we serve to give. It is more blessed to give then to receive!
Let’s serve forward in 2017!
Charlie Brown: “I guess you were right Linus. I shouldn’t have picked this little tree.”
Afterwards, Linus, the kid with the blue security blanket said, “Lights, please.” Then he begins to share the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord…”
Imagine, a thumb sucking kid with a security blanket introducing the gospel to Charlie Brown! But Linus seemed to be the theologian of the group. He often quoted scriptures from the gospels, and was found to be a great influence in the life of Charlie Brown.
Influence is a powerful thing and can be accomplished by the most unlikely one in the crowd.
Another moment of influence in the Christmas story is when the angel shared with the shepherds of Jesus’ birth. Scripture teaches us that a multitude of the heavenly host joined in with the angel praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV)
Jesus himself was and is very influential. From the cradle to the cross people followed Jesus and are still following Him today.
You too are a person of influence. This Christmas season may we influence those around us and encourage them to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Oh, the joy of Christmas!
Bishop Tim Lamb combines over 34 years of pastoral and church planting experience to lead LifePoint Ministries. Bishop Tim's unique prophetic insight, forward-thinking leadership, and compassion for people combine to make him an effective leader for our pastors and churches.