Duane Smith (real estate agent) and Howard Ferris (civil engineer) have both organized crusades and conferences that started with email contacts. Here’s what is absolutely amazing. They are normal people just like you and I that have taken a Kingly initiative in third world missions… to the tune of 60,000 salvations and training for several thousand pastors. They are inspiring examples of what you can do as well. See Duane’s latest Philippine trip report.
Here’s the God-side of the equation. The US has historically had a national call to missions that extends right into the future (we’re not the only nation). It’s part of why we’re blessed. Intertwined with that national destiny is a marketplace ministry influence on building the Kingdom. God is using people from the business world to expand His Kingdom. These examples (crusades and church plants) will eventually extend to the release of Kings and prosperity (self-supporting missions) in those same nations. If you’ve never been to a third world nation for ministry, it’s amazing. Healings, salvations, teaching… It’s like rolling off a log. Anyone with a modest level of maturity can move in the miraculous because God’s heart is directed toward those needs.
– Nearly all ministry web sites generate inquiries from pastors inviting help from the states (ours too). Not all of the inquiries are legitimate and they have to been funded by those that go at costs that range from $10-30,000. That’s why these requests usually end up in the trash. Few churches or ministries have the staff or the budget to make it happen. However, Duane and Howard are up to a half dozen trips. We want to highlight their experience in developing these relationships for a very simple reason. There are thousands of these kinds of requests the need following up “and” I believe there are thousands of Kings out there that could do the job with a little encouragement.
I asked Duane and Howard to outline their approach to exploring recent trips to India and the Philippines. These are four suggestions.
1. Start Small
– Weeding through many email requests and choosing people of similar heart to build relationship with is challenging. Faith, patience and a divine appointment are mandatory ingredients. I always have as my first priority to build relationship. From relationship, I look at ways to get involved and co-labor in their “field of ministry”. Before any consideration of a crusade or ministry trip, the relationship is seasoned by time and smaller joint participation projects that validate their genuineness to building His Kingdom, not their own. Pictures of their churches and outreach programs assist in validating their situation. With Pastor Anil in India and Pastor Bonifar in the Philippines, we built financial accountability by sending money for bible purchases and orphan/widow assistance. Receipts and pictures of bible, clothing and food distribution were required to proceed to the next level of confidence. In both cases, their heart for Kingdom work became very apparent.
2. Scope of the Trip
– Secondly, the scope of what could be done with the contact you have needs to be evaluated. This is harder to assess. Some question that need good answers are: “Do you have other pastors that will assist you in holding a crusade? What is your follow up plan? Do you have the resources and people to birth a new church or incorporate the new believers into your existing churches?
3. Budget the Cost
– A line item budget needs to be made and adhered to. We requested the pastors make a detailed budget including, equipment rentals, transportation, facilities and government permits and team accommodations, to name a few. Pictures of the hotel are imperative. Their idea of reasonable accommodations and yours are probably different. The budget will vary greatly by the size and scope of the mission. The two day crusade in the Philippines cost about $1,000. This was a lower budget crusade with minimal advertising and 1 truck rental to haul people. The 3 day pastor’s conference cost about $5,000 (including meals and travel for the attendees). The outreach, including airline tickets for 2, totaled about $11,000. Our India trip in April was almost twice that budget. A $20-30K budget should be adequate to conduct a larger crusade (20-50,000), similar to the crusades that Howard conducted in Pakistan. Adding a pastor’s conference will increase your influence but also greatly increase your cost (few indigenous pastors have the ability to provide for their own travel and accommodations).
– In approximate terms, our first Pakistan Trip in September 2005 (3 one- day crusades) cost $15,000 and reached 24,000 for Christ ($0.63/Soul). Our second trip in 8/2006 cost $34,000 and reached about 30,000 ($1.18/soul). During our second trip one Crusade meeting was cancelled due to rain, the expected attendance was 25,000. For very rough estimates, $1 per soul is a good approximation for India or Pakistan right now. I understand that the cost per convert based on moneys given to the church in the USA exceeds $100,000 per soul. While I can’t substantiate this, I know it is very high. In terms of Kingdom economics, the greater return is in the troubled, unreached nations of the world.
– O’Dell Ministries have some excellent practical publications on preaching the gospel with signs, wonders and miracles which is mandatory for reaching the unevangelized populations of the world. Howard has been to one of their crusade training seminars. They also have an excellent booklet on the simple presentation of the gospel They have held hundreds of crusades and have reached over 13 Million for Christ in India, Pakistan, and Honduras. I don’t think their books are marketed publicly but I have their contact information. Howard has also used their resources with great success. Howard used to House Church planting model to follow up his crusades in India (see details on his interview).
How Did They Afford It?
– Duane and Howard have funded and organized these missions trips themselves to start with. A portion of their recent trips have been supported by friends or church offerings (The recent Philippine trip was funded primarily by the Duane’s church – Desert Rock). However, that’s the exception rather than the rule. Howard just dipped into his savings. He has recently connected with Mike Nelson at Red Rock Energy for a couple of investments that will help in the future. Duane is in some of the same investments plus is real estate business and holdings. God has blessed them both… For example, Duane recently listed and sold a $1.7M golf course! They are both aggressive about missions, aggressive about prosperity and they enjoy converting wealth into ministry.
Networking the Church
– Since Duane’s India trip in April, much has been done through his local church. Desert Rock, and a second local church have caught the vision, adopted a sister church attitude and sent substantial monthly support for the pastors and orphanage. The church has a program for people to adopt orphans and tribal pastors that goes beyond our local congregation. Some of the things that have been accomplished are as follows: rebuilt a burnt out village, providing food and staples for the families until they could get back on their feet; expanded the orphanage and it’s influence; provided funds to expand two church buildings to accommodate growth from the crusades; provided for sending Pastors Anil’s brother to another country to take a good paying engineers position (he is sending monthly support back to India); feed the poorest pastors monthly; purchased a motorcycle for Pastor Anil; and provided for several outreach events. This effort has involved sacrifices by many through their love offerings. Duane initiated it my simply offering the opportunity for involvement to pastor Steve and the church.
The Next Trip
– As I (Duane) think about this past year, the new found relationships we have gained are “priceless”. I don’t know of any better inheritance than this. I have other contacts in India that look like good candidates for working with and I’m making the time and finances to follow up with them (little help over here!). The door in the Philippines is certainly open to anyone that will go and serve them well. Many of the pastors that attended the conference would be delighted to have teams from America expand their ministry impact. Bonifar has Bible students in training, ready and eagerly waiting their opportunity to pastor a village. This is obviously a very small sample of the opportunity for those who will respond to the need. Pray that the Lord will send forth workers into the harvest. The fields are ripe.
Want to Go?
– Talking to Duane and Howard is a great starting place. One of our goals is to host a Releasing Kings conference in conjunction with a training session from Howard and Duane on how to put together crusades and conferences. Obvious topics will include how to lead people to Christ, pray for the sick, and follow-up with church plants. We also want to use our website, newsletter, and contacts to network Kings and opportunities to create wealth and convert it to ministry.
Uncle Sam needs you… to fulfill his destiny!
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.
PS: Conferences and crusades in the 3rd world are not the only expression of Kingly ministry. I know of two Kings that felt drawn to revitalize small towns in the Midwest. That’s after blessing their own communities. Others are starting businesses or helping with micro-business loans both locally and abroad. Bottom line – “spiritual” and “entrepreneurial” have always gone together.