Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Spiritual Blacksmith in the United Methodist Church


My family name is saturated with images of fire. My Grandfather Thomas Harrison Phares was a blacksmith. He stirred the coals into flame in order to work with the metals he shaped. A blacksmith balances the fuel and air in the fire to suit particular kinds of work. Often this involves adjusting and maintaining the shape of the fire. Stir the Fire Ministry continues this tradition balancing the fire and wind of God to reshape the United Methodist Church in the forge of revival! I am committed to being a spiritual blacksmith in this time in our history.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Don't Let the Fire Go Out in the Methodist Church

 In 1979 God called me to be an evangelist. I was on a Holy Land tour with Pastor Robert A. Shelley and we were in Bethlehem. On a rooftop overlooking Shepherd's Field, I heard the voice of God in my spirit say, "I am calling you to be an evangelist. Do not let the fire go out in the Methodist Church!" Pastor Shelley knew that something significant was happening to me and asked me what did I hear? When I told him what the Lord had said to me Pastor Shelley said, "Yes, that is your gift and I witness in my spirit that you should do it!"

During my years as a Methodist minister, I had the privilege of serving as a Conference Evangelist for four years, two years as a Missionary Evangelist in Living Sound International, and four years as a Missionary Evangelist to Zambia. Even when I served as a pastor of local United Methodist churches I was known as a pastor/evangelist preaching in campmeetings, revivals, retreats, and seminars. For a total of forty years, I remained true to my evangelist call received in Bethlehem, Israel.

For the last two years, I thought those days were in the past but on Sunday I sensed God's Spirit blowing on the embers. The name of my evangelism ministry in the United Methodist Church was called STIR THE FIRE MINISTRY. I have been saddened by the direction and decline of the United Methodist Church. The denomination has drifted farther and farther away from its spiritual heritage. Our evangelical zeal has waned. The denomination is not going to survive the inevitable division. Even in the midst of moving in that direction, meaningful ministry is happening in congregations and communities.

Revival can break forth! New life can emerge. Coals that once burned brightly can be stirred to renewed flame! Now is the time to "Stir the Fire!" I believe God is renewing the STIR THE FIRE MINISTRY for such a time as this! I sense the Holy Spirit blowing on the embers. I am committed to stirring the fire. I don't know how God will cause this to happen but I cannot escape the call, "Don't let the fire go out in the Methodist Church!" The call is stronger today than it was in Israel in 1979. I am asking for partners to join me as I restore Stir the Fire Ministry.