Just as the Apostle Paul equipped and trained ministers of Gospel, Richard did likewise. Over the years, it was my privilege to join him in that endeavor, discipling ministers around the world and leading our annual ministers convention.
When I first came to the Lord and entered into ministerial training I lived in Richard’s household. All of us living with him were in training to be ministers of the Lord so opportunities to learn were abundant. Just as in Jesus’ ministry, Richard’s reproving, rebuking and exhorting of us occurred in the presence of one another. While this was embarrassing to the one who may have been on the “hot seat” at any particular time, it did mean that we each had the opportunity to learn from one another’s mistakes as well as one another’s successes.
Over the years, as you may have read already I grew in knowledge and experience by preaching, writing, teaching, doing tent revivals and evangelizing with Richard and others. Obviously, your example is always ministering to others, sometimes for good and sometimes not. The first time, I think the Lord really began to use me to train others, however, kind of occurred without me realizing it, except in retrospect.
Specifically, in 1997 I took over the reigns of Dog River Business Solutions (“DRBS”), a computer and business consulting firm that Richard had started in 1991. Since 1993, when he went out with our revival tent, Richard had left his son-in-law in charge. At that time, we knew that I ultimately would be in charge of that business, but it took several more years for me to be ready to assume the controls. When I finally took it over in 1997, the business was on life support.
When Richard’s son asked me what I would do if I were back in New York City, I told him that I would fire everyone and find some people who wanted to work. What I found, however, was that every time I tried to turn to those outside those who the Lord had given to me, the Lord’s disapproval was immediate and dramatic. Each time we almost went out of business entirely until I would fire the “outsider” and determine to move forward with those He had given to me.
In process of time, DRBS became much like Richard’s household formerly had been. It was the primary place of daily ministering to the local body as many of the key members worked for me and lived in my household. Personally, it was a mighty struggle for me to get things organized in manners that were pleasing to the Lord and a blessing to those involved.
This should have been no surprise for the Word says:
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:8-11.
Pride would want me to tell you that I saw the way from the beginning or maybe the middle or even in the end, but the truth is the entire time I ran DRBS I was confounded. Day by day I always seemed to do something other than what I thought I had to do. As a result, my “to do list” just kept growing and expanding until I would review it and dump most things on it and start again.
While I may have been confounded, the fact of the matter was that my brothers and sisters in the Lord, who were working for me, were growing in wisdom and stature. I was too close to the situation to really see it at the time, but in September of 2000, when I was on one of my “prayer walks”, the Lord told me that I had “completed” the work that He had given me to do. That may have been the most confounding thing of all because I could not see what I had done. Nevertheless, after He said that to me, it was as though He smiled and all I can say is that I basked in the glory of that smile for years afterwards. So on January 1, 2001, I split DRBS into two businesses, Dog River Design, a web design and marketing firm which Richard’s son Rick Eutsler runs, and DRBS, a computer consulting firm to lawyers, which my friend Charles Hocker runs.
Within a year of that fateful prayer walk, Rick, Charly and I all met and married our wives. Now, when I look back, I see the mighty blessing that the Lord passed to all of us during that formative time of our walk and rejoice in the blessings of God upon my brothers and their households.
Towards the end of my time running DRBS, the Lord opened a door for me to establish a new fellowship in New Hampshire. It was with that fellowship that the Lord really began to show me how to train others to be ministers. Specifically, I learned that when the Lord moves through you to preach the Gospel to someone and that person receives Christ, that newborn babe will look to you to be fed, clothed and guided in Christ. Much like natural fatherhood, that responsibility is a joy, but one that is certainly fraught with struggle along the way. As with all things in the Lord, the task will seem too big for you, but I have found that if you will step out by faith, in love, that the Lord will meet you there to guide and direct in His grace, His wisdom, His power and His love! He is way bigger than me, which is why we call Him God, and capable of moving through anyone who has a willing heart. My time running DRBS certainly taught me that.
Since that New Hamsphire fellowship started in 1999, I have had the privilege of leading many folks to Christ and training them to take their place in the Body of Christ to minister. I have also had the opportunity to work with many Christians who I did not lead to the Lord, but who I found needing guidance and direction at some point in their life. This latter group can be the hardest to deal with because they have often been taught man’s ways, rather than Christ’s ways and it can be a very hard thing to let go of their erroneous ways. Still, I have found that anyone who is willing to humble themselves before the Lord and receive the love of the truth, even if the truth testifies mightily against them and those things that they have learned, can make it through to take their place in Christ’s Body to minister.
If you are or want to be a minister of the Lord and believe I may be able to help you, please get in touch. I also want you to know that you will be welcome at our ministry’s annual Ministers’ Convention. It is held out at Grace Ranch in West Texas every October and is free of charge.