Pray BFF Letter #183
December 24, 2010
Helping Others Take the Next Step
Merry Christmas to you all!
Dear Prayer Partners,
BFF specializes in developing media-rich materials to help people grow from one stage to the next. This letter shares about the recent development of materials for those interested in full-time Christian ministry as well as for those that train them. These recent additions on preparing people for ministry were developed for the Chinese Mission Conference (Dec 26th to 30th).
NextStep's Beginning and the Challenge
I (with Pastor Hugo Cheng) was asked to initiate a follow-up program for those interested in full-time or tent-making ministries. This began in 2002 or so. This conference is held every three years with over 2000 attending. Many are Chinese speakers, but there is a separate English track too.
We took up this challenge. We formed a team to conduct personal interviews, provide challenging articles and opportunities to further their understanding of missions (largely through a retreat).Since we never know how many people might want to talk about their mission burden, we are never sure what will happen.
This year, we are praying for 200 people to come through these interviews, 150 Chinese speaking and 50 English speaking. Basically, we want to provide the information necessary for them to take next steps along the path that the Lord is leading.
This month has been mainly occupied with updating and preparing new materials for both the Next Step Counselors, those that would conduct the Next Step interviews, but also for the NextSteppers themselves. Most of the material is in both English and Chinese.
Many articles were looking old and had to be updated in print as well as in web formatting. Things are changing! Hugo and I developed four new video trainings. I was able to produce the first eBook in ePub format (for smart phones, ipads, etc.)
By God's grace, we have updated material for both tracks. We are thankful for a gifted brother willing to take over this responsibility in the future, but we wanted to provided a good foundation of organization and articles to help him. These mission conferences will be happening more frequently, one on the West Coast and another in the UK in the next few years. The NextStep program powerfully helps those people God is moving into ministry progress further along the path.
I value training. Those things that someone shows me how to do, can be done so much quicker than me trying to figure it out by myself. Now we can pass all these resources on to the Mission Conference staff.
But first, we have a busy week ahead! Lots of late hours conducting interviews. I must admit it is thoroughly exciting to hear, in Chinese and English, how God is moving in the hearts of His people. Pray for the Next Step Counselors and the 200 NextSteppers to be!
Continuous Personal Renewal
The mission conference has many workshops. I will teach one on Monday afternoon on continuous personal renewal.
I am very excited about this opportunity because it gets at the heart of all that God has been teaching me over these last few years.
No matter where we are at in our Christian lives, we can step forward by God's grace and in the power of His truth and love. This message encourages me, and I believe it will be a stimulating and practical tool for others.
Praise the Lord that we passed the '3 million page views' web goal earlier this month!
Thanks for grace and health to update/write many Chinese and English articles for the Next Step program and those that helped edit and translate them!
I am so thankful that I could publish my first ePub. Learning new things is not easy! (Actually, four were published, two in English and two in Chinese).
Pastor Hugo and I were able to develop four training videos.
This week, Youtube changed their policy allowing me to upload videos longer than ten minutes. This enables me to only produce one video format; they take care of all the various formats and sizes needed for smart phones and computers. Also a cost savings to BFF, Youtube doesn't use my bandwidth!
Thankful for a greater amount of gifts for BFF's faith-funded ministry.
Allison is home between semesters.
Paul's voice went last night! He has much counseling and speaking to do starting Sunday night.
Pray for renewal during the workshop Monday afternoon (Dec 27th).
God would enable us to find and rightly equip the Next Step Counselors.
We are asking for 200 NextSteppers, 150 Chinese and 50 English speaking. May God enable them through the Next Step team to take those two or three steps.
Preparations for Africa's 3 seminars are already underway. Tickets soon to be bought.
Our daughter Allison has done well during her first semester. Continue to pray for finances for the second semester.
- Pray for Ryan, a Zen Buddhist that I could share with this past week.
God is Good!
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell, President and Instructor
Phone: (+01) 412-398-4559
3276 Bainton St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA