Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

Bible Study Articles

Who are we and where we are going?

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
This was our first "regular" monthly article, as it is our plan on ministering to you by thought provoking insights into the Bible and discipleship providing learning opportunities for you.

Do you have and idea or need for an up coming article? If so let us know, we are here to serve you! Most of our articles and curriculums are from the ideas and needs of pastors all over the world!

This was our first "regular" monthly article, as it is our plan on ministering to you by thought provoking insights into the Bible and discipleship providing learning opportunities for you.

From April 2001, "Who are we and where we are going"?

In my years of pastoring, church growth, and business development consulting, I learned the importance of vision. In starting any ministry venture, it is best to know who you are, what you are, and what role you need to fill. Such as what are the needs in the Body of Christ? Are you able to fill that need? Is there a need for what you have to offer? Is it something you can fill? How will you fulfill it? And so forth. After over 20 years of pastoral ministry with a passion to teach others how to study the Bible and seeing a great need for Bible understanding, I have come to the conclusion what I have to offer is in great need.
 
(Prior to 2000, I have been running Into Thy Word part time since 1978 with seminars and research and since 1988 by equipping pastors here and overseas. In Jan of 2000 we went full time!)
 
So I knew who I was, what God was calling me to, and the need I need to fill. I even knew how to do it. But what I needed was a way to express that need. In business development terms it means to have a vision and mission. This will set our 'ministry perimeters' and keep us focused on the work our Lord has given us to do. In determining our mission statement at 'Into Thy Word Ministries,' I went to two of my favorite life verses in the Bible:

Philippians 3:10"…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…"

Galatians 2:20"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

I searched other passages and honed in on Psalm 119. Then after a lot of prayer and soul searching, I decided to look at other ministries and corporations to see what their mission statements said. I already had a clear idea what our ministry was about, who we are and where we are going. That is, we are here to teach people how to better study God's Word. We have the resources and experience and we desire to expand this endeavor with more seminars and resources. However, I was stuck at defining who we are in a short, simple, clear, and concise way. I was looking for a 'position statement' to define who we are and what we do in one simple clear and crisp sentence. Such as my church's, 'To know Christ and make Him known,' to McDonald's, "Our Mission Is Clear: We will do "whatever it takes" to impress customers so they will always choose McDonald's for great food, well served, at the best value." (McDonald's Oak Brook, Ill.) I looked at many Christian ministries too, but I decided to focus on McDonald's.

Why McDonald's? The reason I looked at McDonald's is because of the impact they have had on our culture. When you think of great food, well served, at the best value who do you think of? Well for most people, it is McDonald's. I personally do not agree. I much prefer sushi or, for fast food 'Wendy's' and many others. But some how McDonald's has captured American culture that no other company or product in our history has ever done before. When I was overseas in Greece, France, Turkey, and even Russia, a McDonald's was close by and the food consistent. I saw McDonald's impact on our culture and as well as with others, even in Russia! Then in Russia, I looked really forward to a 'Big Mac.'

Recently I decided to get a $.99 Big Mac which was being blitzed by their advertizing machine. I also was hungry and short on cash. So while driving through the McDonald's drive-thru, I asked the drive-thru person, "Do you know what your mission statement is?" Her response was "Say what?" So I asked her again, "Do you know what McDonald's mission statement is? She then asked me, "Are you our new regional manager?" I told her no, but I was interested in mission statements and wondered if she knew what the company she worked for and represented was. I found myself amused because she did not know, nor did the three other employees working beside her. And what really amused me was a plaque on the wall right beside her, which had their mission statement clearly and so eloquently displayed. She then called for the assistant manager and he did not have a clue. So I pointed out the plaque to them and read it aloud. Their response was "Oh that."

It seems that the upper management and local managers know the mission and purpose, but the average worker just gets a quick orientation and then quickly forgets it. They concentrate on their job and leave the focus and big picture to the 'suits.' Thus, I wanted to develop a mission statement that gives clear direction so that if we do grow, everyone will be on the same page doing what we are called to do. From me (the director) to the person in the warehouse shipping out our stuff, and especially to our missionaries out in the field.

When McDonald's wrote, "Our mission is clear, we will do whatever it takes." I asked others and myself do we have a "whatever it takes" attitude in our obedience to the Lord or in our churches? Are we living out what we belive, so it is not just a plaque on the wall, but entrenched upon our hearts? To my church's focus that our minds are surrendered to Him {Rom. 12} and our mission, so our being is to know Christ and to make Christ known? Or are we working off the easiness factor?

I know that McDonald's will continue to serve hamburgers without the average employee knowing what the mission statement says because they have everything organized and orchestrated. Everyone knows their job and sticks to it. And I know my church can continue to function without the average member knowing the mission statement because most people have their niche firmly established in the church. Such as a ministry they are involved with, study that they attend, or they just show up to services.

But, what if every employee at McDonald's took their mission statement seriously and was willing to do whatever it takes. I wondered would it make a difference? Would the hamburgers be better? And would it make a significant difference at 'Into thy Word Ministries' if everyone associated with us took our mission seriously? If we had a "whatever it takes" focus to:

"'Into Thy Word Ministries' purpose is promoting discipleship, showing the 'Way' to be surrendered, and poured out before the Lord."

I believe it would make a difference because it would wake us up out of our complacency, so we can have an impact to those seeking to know His Word. It will lay a foundation for a legacy. It will fuel our enthusiasm and passion to live out Galatians and Philippians in our lives, so it infects those around us.

What I proposed with this mission statement to our ministry partners and potential benefactors is that there is a need for us. We can fill that need with passion and conviction, being models of our Lord. What we are doing are being the people of God so we can do the work of God. Then we can provide the resources so people will get into His Word and people will come to know Christ. We could do it as those McDonald's employees, by knowing our job and doing it, or as most people in visionary churches just let the leadership do that planning stuff. But, I firmly believe we can be better with a clear understanding of not just knowing what my job is, but how it all fits together. Everyone is doing the ministry, serving the Lord with passion and conviction, as it is God's call. Because it is God's call! What we are and where we are going must be in all of our hearts and minds and then to our feet. So we all can fit in with each other as a team honoring our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Just think how many times you went to McDonald's and they got your order wrong, or did not give you ketchup or just one napkin for a carload of kids. Would that have happened if the employees understood their mission and were living it out? I believe not! So it is with us. If we do understand what God called has us to do, and we do, then we can have a, 'whatever it takes attitude for you' (within reason of course). We want you to know God better and how we do that is through His Word and prayer.

Just think how your church would be if each member were living out the mission statement. Would they be better at telling their neighbors and friends about the Lord, if their mission were to know Christ and make Him known? Would they be more devoted to their spiritual growth? Would not their devotions have more meaning and be more exciting? Of course knowing the mission and doing the mission will add a supercharger to your business, church, and in our case, ministry.

For example in the church, if each committee member knew their mission, how much time would there be in idle discussions and debate with nothing getting accomplished? Would the evangelism committee be all talk, while the very idea of evangelism is to be on the committee itself, period? So they did not actually do evangelism, all they do is allocate money and debate over minutes and issues. Would that be ridiculous or normal? Would the Christian education committee spend all of their time criticizing the youth or children's pastor for messing up the carpet, even though several youth came to know the Lord that night? Or would they see how they could empower their people to do Christian Education. Would there be training of teachers and leaders to be trainers and leaders of the members, or circles of useless discussion that leads nowhere? Is it an idea or is it a practice? Does it carry substance and passion or is it just squabble and stale indifference? Would the Worship committee be picking out songs they liked and making a good show living in the past glory days or would there be a genuine concern with how to better worship our Lord with passion and reverence, with love, and being poured out? What would your church look like if they really lived out the faith? What would your town look like? What would our country look like? What would the world look like?

You see the mission statement shows us the map. The map of what God has called us to do through His Word. It points to where we are going. Yes, our Lord empowers us, our faith drives us, and our commitment and obedience keeps the fuel flowing. But do you know where you are going in that faith and obedience? If you do not have a map or if the map fly's out the window, we will wander aimlessly without any purpose or direction. How sad that would be. How will people around you come to know Christ? How sad it would be for us to not take advantage of the opportunities and call He gives. The map of God's call keeps us focused on the right direction we should go. It is also the corral to 'herd' the rest of the team, church, ministry, or business to the direction Christ has called. To show the way to greener pastures and better opportunities, to use the resources and gifts our Lord has given us to use, to give Him glory!

Our mission in the church must be the map to show the congregation where we are going. Such as with the Youth committee, they are to be brainstorming how to reach youth, working with youth, getting to know youth. When there is no mission, the program fails to the arguing of committee members and frustrated youth workers. You cannot have the mentality we hire staff to do that. Professional staffs are to be trainers of the laity. One person cannot be effective, however, one person who is educated and called could train countless people to do His work! The mission will show the worship committee that they can be better at pointing people to Him. They can be better through the songs they pick and the practice it takes. Then when we come together in worship, their aim will be to glorify our Lord and get the worshipper to know Christ better through the Worship. Just think what it would be like to have worship that is poured out before the Lord and not a performance or production, or some power and control trip for those in charge.

What would overseas missions be like with trained Christlike committed people training pastors how to exegete Scripture, so they can preach the Word with passion and conviction while still being true to the Word. What would our churches be like with its members being trained and encouraged to get into the Word? How would that play out in the committees? How would it effect the nursery? How would it effect the neighborhood? Just think of the impact Christians who are genuinely committed and poured out before the Lord would have. What would our church be like indeed? Definitely much better. I know I am much better when I am in the Word than when I skip. How about you?

Is it practical? Can you get a whole ministry organization from conception to the future under one flag of purpose? Some may say it is conceivably foolish to think we can get everyone attentive to one mission statement, this is impossible, impractical and unwarranted. After all everyone has their own experiences, education, ideas, passions, and desires. Because of our sinful nature, I have to agree it is impossible. However, because of our regeneration in Christ, I disagree, because we indeed can do it! McDonald's does, my church does, as do so many other organizations. So if we are the people of God, then we should be under the same flag of purpose, and that is His purpose, His plan, His mission.

Is our mission statement a pipe dream; is it an impossibility to impact our entire planet? Well, I will let your heart and His timing answer that. "It is our VISION, call, and commitment, to point the church back onto the path of making disciples." It is our passion and directive to lead Christians away from our false perceptions and into His way." Are we being totally impractical? I was told by one ministry leader when I proposed this ministry, "people do not want to be discipled, they are not interested." He went on how our culture is to fast-paced and the direction in ministry is motivation and encouraging people. He went on to say that if you try to sit down and teach them, they will flee at worst and not show up at best. In a way, he is right. I know a lot of pastors who were asked to leave the pulpit because they taught discipleship and were replaced with younger pastors who are motivators. I was asked to leave a church once because I spent too much time discipling the youth. They saw youth ministry as solely evangelistic and our responsibility stopped at their conversion.

So what about Scripture? Does it even say we are responsible for evangelism? Yes and no, Scripture commands us to make disciples! In making disciples, we are leading people to the Lord, but that is just the beginning! It is not the end of our job; it is just turning on the Light to the room of the Kingdom. We still have to show people the room and all of its functions.

So some people may find 'Into Thy Word Ministries' as unnecessary at best and repugnant at worst in a world that seeks emotional motivation and the easy way out. Because we are not about trends, we are about His Word! But we at 'Into Thy Word Ministries' seek Christ; we seek to serve Him. His Preeminence, Supremacy and Centrality, so we can build a church committed to Him, for His glory!

We are not about pleasing or seeking the latest cultural or church trend. And we will do this by following His precepts and imperatives. And the main imperative is to go and make disciples. And we will do this by showing people how to get more out of their Bible, God's Word!
 

So are you and your church committed to His Preeminence, Supremacy and Centrality? Do you desire to build a church committed to Him, for His glory? If not fall to your knees and seek His help and guidance. Then let us know so we can come along side you!

So here is our vision and purpose all laid out before you, let us know what you think! 

Purpose

'Into Thy Word Ministries' purpose is promoting discipleship, showing the 'Way' to be surrendered and poured out before the Lord.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20

We do this primary by teaching people how to get more out of God's Word, the Bible.

We are committed to communicate the fundamental doctrines of the faith, and proclaim:

Salvation solely by the grace of God (Sola Gratia)

A salvation that is brought about through faith alone, (Sola Fide)

In Jesus Christ alone, (Solo Christo)

Based on the Scriptures alone, (Sola Scriptura)

All to the glory of God alone. (Soli Deo Gloria) 

Reason

One of the great tragedies of the Church today is fewer and fewer people are reading the Bible.

Fewer and fewer people are living the life of being His disciples than ever before. We Christians today who are living in America tend to be more concerned with who is coming to our church and the numbers and less concerned with making disciples, to which we were called to do.

When we asked people in our seminars why they did not study the Bible, most people responded with either with the typical responses of "I do not have enough time" or "I do not understand it."

We belive that the lack of Bible study and Bible knowledge are the root causes of the problems that most of our churches face.

Our churches are riddled with conflict and strife when we are called to be a light in darkness and salt to the flavorless world, to be a haven of rest. Yet, we choose to ignore our call and place the focus upon our selfish needs and quest, when it needs to be upon the foot of the Cross. Who Christ is and what He did for us as revealed in His Word.

Because of the aforementioned reasons, we at 'Into Thy Word Ministries' are committed to teaching you how to find the time for Him, to be His disciple and how to understand His Word. In so doing, the church will flourish in power and commitment for our Lord's glory! So we can be the light in darkness, the flavor, and rest in the harshness of life. To be the people of God, so we can do the work of God!

Vision

"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" Philippians 3:10

It is our VISION and call, and commitment to point the church back onto the path of making disciples. It is our passion and directive to lead Christians away from our false perceptions and into His way.

We desire to see a Church committed to His purpose and poured out to His ways. Then we will see revival through real prayer and devotion to His Lordship.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105 KJV

Our Mission

We strive to research and produce effective resources and tools for the Christian and the Church. Our primary operating perimeters are in discipleship. Such as how to study the Bible.

We do this through

Reserching and produsing the very best books and resources fpr you!

Such as, "Into Thy Word." A simple way to better understand the Bible and what God has to say to us. It teaches people to learn 'Inductive Bible Study Methods' in a way to dig more out of the text. It combines proven learning methods* from years of personal research with proven exegetical methods. We will soon be offering more books and resources.

Interactive web site so you can find what you need!

This is our primary way to get the word out about getting "Into Thy Word." To show Christians the basics of how to study the Bible and provide the tools to make it easier, along with helpful articles from committed Bible teachers. We will offer a forum to challenge and help each other, as iron sharpens iron. We also offer an on-line Bible study and proven helpful resources and tools to you free, when possible, or at the lowest cost possible and the most convenient way.

Seminars

Such as 'Into Thy Word' Inductive Bible Study Seminar. This is how we started out, by teaching our proven ways to better get into the Word. It is our goal to offer these seminars to churches, camps and conferences to High Schoolers through Adults all over the world. We have a weekend seminar for Christians desiring to grow and learn more, and to go over the basics. Then we have a weeklong in-depth seminar for pastors and Bible teachers, or for people who desire to grow even more. We will also teach people to put on these seminars all over the world.

Our Goals

We have the opportunities to send teams to teach 'Into Thy Word" seminars to train pastors with exegetical and Bible expository methods in Russia, Eastern Europe, Brazil, México, and China.

Pastors there are poorly trained and have little to no resources. Most are pastoring two our more congregations and they desire our help.

We want to send teams to each of those places in the summer of 2002! (have done so many times!)

We want to up the ante on our US seminars by offering them across the county by 2002!

We need to take on more staff and train committed mature Christians in the faith to lead these seminars. We need to do this by the end of 2001.

We need to relocate to Pasadena (We did in Sept of 2001), so we can partner with ministries from the "Center for World Mission," the resources of Fuller Seminary and other ministries to keep our costs down. We need office space and updated computers and equipment.

We need you and others to partner with us in these endeavors!  (we still do!)

 

Do you have and idea or need for an up coming article? If so let us know, we are here to serve you! Most of our articles and curriculums are from the ideas and needs of pastors all over the world!
 

"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."  Nub. 6:24-26

www.intothyword.org(c) Rev. R. J Krejcir 2001

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