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hi archyive

Several years ago I had the opportunity to go with a group to a large church in the Bronx of New York (I will call it God’s House). I met one of the Pastors of this church and he proceeded to share with me how they partner in the community with other churches of surrounding boroughs. He shared their average attendance was around 10,000 and the majority of their congregation was made up of homeless, drug addictions, gang members and families in critical need. His heart for those in need was one that inspired me to move forward with our vision at Healing Waters Outreach Center. Now, when he spoke to me about partnering with other churches in the community I had this vision of giving money, maybe food or clothes or even the hope of volunteers but it went much deeper than that. When God’s House see they have a group of about 200-300 coming from a particular area in New York City, they talk with those individuals to ask them to consider going to a more local church in those 200-300 individuals area to strengthen that local church for greater ministry. This Pastor and his team from God’s House will go into said area and find a local church that would be willing to take on more members and God’s House will pour resources into that church so they will not have a huge burden of meeting the needs of those families. God’s House offers training to the local church and they offer financial resources as well. What is most amazing, God’s House does not try to impart their way of doing church they just make sure the church lines up with the Word of God.
This is such a refreshing way to help build God’s Kingdom. We see so many large churches move into communities that are already filled with churches and the majority of the time you will see church members move from one flavor to the next new flavor, thus bringing division and we all know how God feels about division. I have always wanted to ask those Pastors who feel they need to go start a new work in a community filled with enough buildings, “do you think your way is better or you can do it better than those already there”? No wonder we have so many people who no longer want to be a part of “The Church”. Why would you want to be a part of something that continues to divide itself instead of support and lift up what is already in existence?
You could be asking, “Robert why didn’t you work with what was already in existence”? I tried, I met with the local Pastor of the church just down the street where we are located in 2002 and shared a vision with him about opening a Healing Restoration Center and would love to partner with them on this ministry. I shared team would love to help Him build the congregation at their church to have the services while building the outreach center to serve families in need. He shared with me because I was not of his denomination we could not work together. I did not give up there, I also spoke with his Elder Board and they too were of the same opinion. The funny thing about it, I was raised their denomination and went to that denominations schools but I did not have that denominations credentials. So now after 15 years in the center God opened up we are able to assist 25 other ministries around the state and we are able to help other churches open up outreach ministries without having to go into that community to open one ourselves (and we have had many opportunities to do just that) We would rather build God’s Kingdom than build our kingdoms.
Mt. 15: 7-9 Says, 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’
To so many today we as “The Church” look more and more like the world. We look like we are franchising out. Why would someone want to be a part of something that is so divided and does not look much different than the world looks? I had one young lady sit with me the other day and she shared this, “Can you please tell me where is God really, all I see is religion. If God is really in the church then why am I not seeing Him in the people? If God wants me back in a Church He will let me know and I don’t have to worry about where to go, cause there is a church on every corner.” Question to you and to the Pastors who read this, Are we just honoring God with our lips and instead of building a new church would it be possible to find an existing church group to help build up, pour resources into, and encourage them to do great work? Let’s give people the opportunity to see God in ways they could never imagine He would be…together. Blessings, r
Robert H. Holt
Pastor Healing Waters Outreach Center
14036 Sardis Road
Shannon Hills, AR 72103
501-516-1602
r-kholt@att.net