“Oh, Me of little Faith”



I have spent the last couple of weeks struggling with myself. I have been struggling because I have desperately wanted to write about my experience on my first door knocking campaign with the Northwest church in Lawton, Ok where I currently serve. It has been a struggle mainly because I literally could not think of where to begin. There are too many things to mention that I undoubtedly will leave out something. So, this is in no way a detailed recap of our campaign, I merely want to highlight just a few things that really stood out to me.

1. The campaign could not happen with just a few being involved.

The story goes that there was a minister at a congregation who decided to organize a one day door knocking. It wasn’t going to be anything complicated or fancy. This minister saw in his mind’s eye the church meeting together on Saturday morning, passing out flyers, leading a prayer, and off they would go. They would knock as many doors as they could that day inviting their neighbors to come to Bible class and worship. After months of pushing this day in the announcements, it finally came. That morning this young minister and his family went to the church building… Alone. Sunday morning one of the elders approached this young minister and said “How did the door knocking go? I couldn’t make it, I was at the lake with family.” Crushed, this young man began to weep internally, feeling nothing but disappointment, and depression.

This story is far too real, this is my story.

Fast forward to present day and I still am in awe of the percentage of the membership at Northwest who are genuinely concerned for lost souls. I would like to point out that this year marked 38 years in a row that Northwest has done these “Back to the Bible Campaigns.” I make this point to assure you, that I have nothing to do with the success of this great work. I am simply blessed to be surrounded by such great people! We are a congregation that before the campaign averaged around 230 in attendance on Sunday morning. From our number we had enough volunteers to:

  • Provide babysitting for our members who were knocking doors as well as those prospects that we were studying with.
  • Keep our building clean, functioning, and presentable at all times.
  • Meals were provided twice a day for well over 100 people.
  • Song leaders, prayer leaders, and speakers for daily devotionals.
  • Worship leaders for our Gospel meeting Coordinators in the offices
  • Drivers who were getting people where they needed to be. Including our out of town helpers we also had 95 members knocking doors
  • We knocked on roughly 12,000 houses.

It is absolutely impossible to achieve any of this if it were not for so many people who are actively involved in planning, preparation, and the the “boots on the ground” work of the campaign. The most incredible aspect of this (to me) is that the vast majority of our members have been trained with a method to teach the gospel. I have been part of 5 congregations in my lifetime, and I have never witnessed anything like what I have seen out of the Northwest people. Are they perfect? Obviously not.However, the desire they have for reaching the lost, and the time, money, and work that they put in to accomplishing this task is unparalleled by anything I have witnessed. They push me to do better, and make me realize how little I have been doing.

2. The Word of God still stirs the soul

  • Satan will try his best to tell you…
  • No one is interested in truth today.
  • No one cares about God anymore.
  • The church is declining in numbers, don’t know that it will ever be the same.
  • People only care about entertainment
  • People are just “too busy” to study the Bible.

Satan lies (John 8:44)

I have heard (and made) some of these statements for most of my life. I would submit that most who would make these statements (including myself) have never devoted themselves to the work of evangelism in a very real sense. I don’t remember all of our exact “numbers” but we were able to set up well over 200 Bible studies. Many of those did not actually take place as the student changed their minds. Out of the studies that were taught 28 precious souls decided to put their savior on in baptism and have their sins washed away. 4 more souls who had been baptized for the remission of their sins but were not faithful to the Lord’s church have been restored.This is just the result of the Northwest campaign, the other congregations in this area also participated and set up numerous studies, and had several more baptisms.

It is very important to note that each of our new brothers and sisters made the commitment and decision to be baptized into Christ on their own after a thorough study of the scriptures. Each one looked at traditions of men vs. the Word of God, plan of salvation, unity, oneness of the church, worship, Christian living, and many other important elements. No one was “artificially converted.” Each new brother and sister spent several hours just looking at an open Bible, no other material, just the Bible.

3. Fields are white for the harvest.

In John 4 Jesus had a tall task in front of Him. He was trying to get His disciples to stop focusing on the physical things that are right in front of them (glad we don’t struggle with this today) He began talking to them about the harvest. They still had months until the harvest was ready, but he was asking them to recognize that the fields of peoples minds and hearts were already white for the harvest.

I would submit that the same is true even today in 2013. Most door knocking campaigns I have participated in before were about handing out literature and inviting someone to worship. There was something very different about the way that the Northwest church operated. We conduct a Gospel meeting at the same time as our campaign so that it makes a nice “conversation starter.” However, our goal is not to get them to come to the gospel meeting. We don’t leave the door without asking one simple question, “Would you be willing to study the Bible with me?”

Did I encounter some people who were dismissive, rude, and mad that I was there? Yes. However, the majority of those I encountered were at least polite, and appreciative of what we were doing whether they were interested or not. I cannot tell you how many people were excited at the thought of studying JUST the Bible. No creeds, handbooks, or other man made documents. The first day of door knocking I knocked on an apartment, and a man answered the door. As he answered he had a scowl on his face, he was done with me before I opened my mouth. He snatched the brochure and slammed the door. As I was walking away, a woman came out of the apartment, she told me she was his wife. She said “My husband is not interested in the Bible at this time, but I really am. Unfortunately I don’t even own a Bible, is there anyway you could provide me a Bible and study with me?” So I told her no… JUST KIDDING! I told her we would LOVE to do that for her.

It reminded me that I have no place to determine who is “worthy of my time” to try to study with. The natural thought that came to my mind after the slammed door was “No one in this house would ever listen.” Obviously, I was wrong.

4. I am a man of little faith

I have spent most of my young life buying into Satan’s lies, at least partially. I found myself depressed numerous times as I looked at the church and wasn’t seeing people being converted. I was seeing people fall away. I would watch as the congregation as a whole would feel a huge sense of accomplishment when a child who has been at nearly every service since their birth decides to obey the gospel. This is a wonderful day! No question about it! However, when our ONLY baptisms, and our ONLY “outreach” is sharing the gospel with our own children,this is a recipie for a short lived church.

Then as I think to myself and ask what I personally was doing to reverse the trend of a non-evangelistic church, I was forced to do some serious praying. Praying for forgiveness. I was every bit as guilty as any other Christian. Words cannot describe how beautiful it is to witness 32 precious souls coming to Northwest God’s way in a weeks time. 32 people who answered their door, heard that phrase “Bible study” said yes, after thorough study of the Word they understood what God expected of them, and now they are my brothers and sisters.

1 Corinthians 3:6 comes to mind upon reflecting on this campaign. The Northwest church is a great example to many, and are the hardest working people I have ever met. However, we do not deserve the glory for any success, we understand all glory goes to our Father. It is His plan that saves. It is His Son who gave His life for us. It is His grace that afford us the opportunity for salvation. It is His Word that gives us the knowledge we need to understand His plan. God deserves all glory for this or any other “success” the church experiences around the world. Having a front row seat for the campaign this year has reminded me that God is in control, God’s plan still works, God still blesses His people, it is time for me to increase in my faith. We also understand that our work is not done. Really, the hardest part is now beginning. It is up to us to do everything we can to integrate our new members into the work and life of the church. We know Satan will pull on them and try to make them second guess their commitment. We have several classes/ programs and groups in place to assist in this area. While we understand that nothing we “devise” will be perfect. The most important thing is to ground them in the truth of God’s Word. Let us all go “Back to the Bible” together!

“Modesty- And The Christian Heart”



What I am about to share with you is not earth shattering. It is nothing “new” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) It is however, I believe relevant, important, and very much needed today.

I began reading multiple posts/comments on post yesterday concerning modesty. The discussion was not about, but rather brought about by women’s beach volleyball in the Olympics. There seem to be many viewpoints on this.

Some have said that the women play in their bikini’s so that it helps them move better, or that it is more comfortable, or that it is “just a uniform”, or that it isn’t about what they are wearing it is about the sport, or that…

A few of these viewpoints can be debunked by doing just a slight amount of research. For instance, when this became a Olympic sport in 1996, it was a requirement for women to wear bikini’s (how sad!) That rule has since changed. It is no longer a requirement, rather it is a choice. The rule has been changed to accommodate “conservative religious beliefs” held by (other) countries.

To say that the bikini is necessary to help them “move better” is not even close to being a valid argument. Don’t agree? Then please explain to me why the men’s beach volleyball team wears shorts (kind of baggy) and sleeveless shirts? Are these men not dedicated athletes?

In Olympic beach volleyball, the bikini’s are not about performance, rather they are about ratings. In this article we read this quote “Unconvinced? Consider this: While men’s volleyball coverage for the 2008 Summer Games was split nearly equally between beach and court volleyball, women’s court volleyball — in which athletes are more fully clothed — received no coverage, even though the U.S. women’s team won a silver medal that year. The bikini-clad athletes of women’s beach volleyball, on the other hand, were the second-most covered event for women at the Olympics. Fancy that.”

Also this article shares that many women decided to wear their traditional bikinis even in the cooler weather so as to not “disappoint” their viewers.

The issue of this ONE instance of immodesty is not even a question. Volleyball is not the only sport/event like this, it is simply the one that started this discussion.  The real question(s) is/must be, what is modesty? Is it important? Is it outdated? Is there a double standard? Does it matter what others think? What must we do? I will give my attempt to answer a few of these questions.


How Does God Define Modesty?

He doesn’t, at least not to the extent that we might like or be looking for. When summertime rolls around there are several things that I look forward to. One such thing is “Reach Week” This is a church camp that I have been part of for the last 14 years as a camper and as a staff member.

One of the great things about reach week is the dress code. Every girl, and every boy must not have any shorts skirts, dresses, that do not follow the “dollar bill rule.” This is where you take a dollar bill, turn it horizontally and place it on your knee cap, if the top of the bill does not touch the bottom of your clothing, it is too short and you must change. No low cut shirts, and if the shirt is sleeveless, it must be tight around your arm so as to not hang down exposing undergarments or more skin.

I am not writing to tell you that if you do not follow the Reach Week standard that you are violating God’s laws. What I would like to point out is that the purpose of this dress code is to help campers and staff not focus on themselves or others, but rather, to focus on the image of God! What a great week it is, and oh, how I wish every week could be this way!

1 Timothy 2:9- “likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,”

This is one of the most well-known verses in scripture in regards to modesty. Immodesty was an issue long before we arrived on this earth. This is not new. You will note in the context of this verse that it wasn’t simply wearing revealing clothes that is being addressed, it is also dealing with being different from the world, being a good example, and not dressing/acting in a way to draw attention to ourselves.

As you noticed, you did not find the “dollar bill” rule or any specific regulations in this passage, so the question remains, what is modest?

In Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve realized that they were naked, the scriptures teach that eve made a covering out of fig leaves for both her and her husband. This covering that was made according to the Hebrew was that very similar to a loin cloth. Covering the “essentials” but not much, if anything else. One might say that this would be similar to many of the modern swim suits today. God did not see this a fitting thing to wear. He proceeded to provide both of them garments that (according to the Hebrew) was much like a robe.

Again, this is not a command to wear robes. Rather, it is a glimpse into what is fitting in the eyes of God, which is generally a step above what is fitting in the eyes of man.

Modesty is not as much about specific guidelines that each piece of clothing must meet. Modesty is more about a life that is focused more toward glorifying the creator rather than the creation. If someone is dressed in a way that is mean to draw attention to them (hey, look how good I look!) this is immodest.

Is There A Double Standard?

This is a question that has been asked on numerous occasions when it comes to the issue of modesty.

Many times preachers, bible class teachers, and parents are much more inclined to talk to the young ladies about what is appropriate than they are to the young men. To all of the women, I would like to say, that I personally am sorry for this!

#1. Women are not the only gender that has the ability (or desire) to dress immodestly.

#2. Men are not the only gender that can be tempted with lust.

This article began by talking about the women’s volleyball players at the Olympics, it could have just as easily began by talking about the embarrassingly small amount of clothing worn by men in many of their events. (Let’s not stop there) We could talk about the guys who wear the tightest shirts they can find with the only purpose being to show off their figure, we could talk about the guys who are continually running outside in small shorts and shirtless (side note: I have always been very active in running, lifting weights, and playing sports I have never felt hindered or “extra hot” because I left a light t-shirt on)

We could talk about movies such as “Magic Mike” which is a movie that features male strippers, and cringe when we think about the money that brought to the box office. (If you heard that Magic Mike was not “that bad” I would encourage you to go here to read the real review yourself)

Many times we have treated modesty as if it were a one-way street, shame on me, shame on us. Men are called by God to be the spiritual leaders of our homes (Deuteronomy 6) and Churches (1 Timothy 2) we cannot expect women to dress modestly, or be concerned for the spiritual welfare of others if we are not leading by example.

Should We Care What Others Think?

“It is not my problem if someone does not like the way I dress!”

“If that person struggles with lust because my shorts are a little short then that is their problem!”

Too often I have heard these words from the mouths of Christians. I want to tell you right now, in the clearest possible language that I can use. It is your job as a Christian to consider what others think about you!

Please watch my wording, I did not say, it is your job to please everyone. Rather, you must consider their thoughts. I want to share with you 2 reasons for this as it pertains to modesty.

#1. I want you to think about the words we find in 2 Peter 3:9. We find that our God wants all men to be in heaven. We know based on Matthew 7:13-14 that this will not be possible. However, my heart needs to be in tune with the Lord’s. Every person that I meet, I must want them to be in heaven!

“What does this have to do with anything?”

The pornography “business” is booming. It brings in more money per year than do MLB, NFL, and NBA COMBINED! To say that we are sex-saturated and filled with lust (generally speaking) is an understatement. This is not a “harmless” sin. Jesus speaks in Matthew 5 about lust, and makes it very clear that the lustful thought is every bit as wrong as the lustful act.

It is time to wake up and realize that simply “avoiding the act” is not enough! Jesus calls us higher!

If my desire is to bring as many people with me to heaven, and I understand I live in a world where lust is a serious issue, I must be diligent in making sure my apparel never assists someone sinning, even if it is just “in their head.”

I would remind you of Paul’s writings about eating various kinds of meat. These were not meats that God viewed as sinful to eat, but many living at that time did. Paul warned that even though something in and of itself might not be wrong, doing it in front of others and causing them to stumble is sinful. (1 Corinthians 8)

#2. Our purpose is to bring others to heaven! You and I can not possibly convince someone else that we are headed a different eternal direction if we wear the same clothes, talk the same way, act the same way, share the same standards… church… We.Must.Be.Different! (Phil 3:20, Mathew 5;13-16, 1 Timothy 2:9, John 17:16)

What Should Be The Christian Response?

We know immodesty is all around us. What should be our response?

We must focus on “me.” I must focus on me, you must focus on you. I must make sure my wardrobe (and life) are pleasing to God, while you do the same. Finger pointing does nothing. Pointing our lives toward the Father does everything!

Someone will say, “You can’t protect yourselves from seeing it forever, so why try?” I will agree that unless you dig a hole in the ground and never come out, you will be around immodesty, and must train yourself for holiness.

Job 31:1 mentions making a “covenant with your eyes” what a great thought! Let us make a covenant with our eyes that we will not gaze upon immodesty willingly.

Below is just a few suggestions. Not commandments from God, but some things that are implemented in my home for your consideration.

  • Stay away from public pools. The temptation for lust is simply too great. Our souls, our children’s souls are far more important than a day at the pool. (side note: when we went swimming with our college ministry we had every male and female wear knee length swimming shorts and dark t-shirts, much to our surprise nobody drowned because of the cumbersome attire:)
  • Watch programming rather than television: Many of the worst parts about television are the commercials. Watch dvd’s of pre-approved shows, watch pre-approved shows on Netflix, dvr etc…
  • Review any tv show, or movie before watching it. On www.pluggedin.com

As I write these words I want you to know the only reason for this post is love. Love for you, your soul, my children’s souls, and your children’s souls. When Christ came to this earth He raised the standard on holiness. It is time for me to do the same.

In Him,