WBVN Ministry Purpose
“A sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured it up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth… because they had no root they withered away. Some fell among thorns; the thorns sprung up and choked them. Others fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some a hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold…” (Matthew 13)
“Can the rush grow up without the mire?” That was Bildad the Shuhite’s question to Job in Chapter 8 verse 11. Bildad’s purpose for that question was to be revealed in a later verse (19), for “out of the earth others shall grow.” I remembered those words after recently being asked about the ministry that comes from WBVN. I’ve mentioned it before, it’s always hard to measure results of radio ministry, we have no direct data that identifies numbers saved, helped or encouraged in their Christian walk. Having ten to fifteen thousand people listen each week is the only measure we have of the opportunity to do ministry here. As I was thinking about describing our type of “ministering,” it occurred to me that most visual comparison was that WBVN is like a huge garden tiller. I’ll explain that later.
Back to the rushes. Bildad’s rushes were reeds that grew along the Nile River bank. Just to look at them, they would give no clue as to what a great benefit they were to that culture. However, they played a significant part in people’s daily lives and carried significant value because of their many uses. Papyrus reeds were woven and used for clothing, their roots were burned for warmth, the rushes were woven to make sails for their boats, the poor people had to eat the plant occasionally and rushes were crushed and made into papyrus paper. Moses used a reed and papyrus paper to write the first books of the Bible. The Egyptians advanced their culture because of their ability to write and pass down to the next generation. Simply, without those rushes we would have no books, no written history or literature from that period of time. Just as importantly, there would not have been any rushes without the “muck” in the bottom of the Nile River bank. That mire turned out to be pretty important stuff. It was located about 6 feet below the rushes. In its own way it was miracle stuff. It was a coagulation of dead things that produced life. Today it could be compared to the stuff you’ve felt between your toes if you have ever been brave enough to step out into a farm pond. It looks and smells terrible. Its dark, ugly stuff for sure, but without the mire the rush would not grow! Without the mire the rushes that benefited those people would not have been possible. That stuff under water, out of sight and seemingly insignificant, was the foundation to what was seen above the water. in the order of God, mire comes before reed! To have good reeds you gotta have good “muck.” It was that relationship between the plant and that murky soil that caught my imagination as I thought about ministry heard over WBVN. I think we’ve got something to do with that “mire stuff.”
The reason I compare the station to a “tiller” is that tillers are used to work the earth. Tillers take “plain old” dirt and make it into “soil;” Soil produces the plant life we see all around us. I don’t know if you have ever used a garden tiller, but what you start out with is nothing like what you end up with. What is hard as clay, full of clods, hard to walk on, with a little tilling, becomes this stuff you really enjoy walking bare-footed in. It changes the nature of the dirt into something useable and actually attractive and sweet to smell. Christian music and programming heard over FM 104.5 prepares the soil for our spiritual growth. Our prayer at WBVN is that once “worked, ” once the Christian community has been mixed with encouragement and faith, that apostolic ministry would follow, that teachers would come and plant seed, that pastors would care for and keep the ground clear of weeds and scare the birds away, that evangelists would inspire healings and baptisms. As we prepare a place for ministry to take place, our prayer is that the five-fold ministry will take hold and work the “garden” of believers. We chum the soil, mixing in CCM and Programming. We “shine” to warm it, till it to expose oxygen to the root and inspire growth. WBVN is one simple thing, a ministry of encouragement. It’s purposed to create an environment for growth. Soil needs to be loosened for the plants to grow, people need to be enriched with hope and love to bear fruit. If you throw seed on ground that has not been worked, if you toss watermelon seeds out on your lawn, you will get no fruit. We prepare a place for ministry to happen, but we are not the whole of ministry; we’re a part of the overall role of believers being a “work of God.”
There’s a difference between doing a “work” and working for God. An Old Testament illustration of this is found in the earliest scripture. Abel offered a lamb as a sacrifice while Cain offered what he had produced from the ground that was cursed. Cain’s offering symbolized a “work for God,” the work of his own labors and hands. The lamb embodied what God had done for mankind, God providing the sacrifice- Cain offered what he did, his religious work for God. God judged each for its approach to ministry. It hasn’t been based on earthly things, our abilities, or “gifting” but rooted in what we believe is His divine purpose for ministry using CCM. For us success can not be measured in financial terms but in the terms identified with the life of Noah, who did the work of God “according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” God establishes Visions in His church and each member is directed in ministry towards accomplishing that particular vision. If we do not make that vision our number one priority for functioning in ministry, then the thoughts and intents of our hearts are not God-ward but self-serving. When all ministries add their efforts together we get a “fullness” of ministry from churches, missions, Christian service ministries and yes, even broadcast ministries.
WBVN’s ministry purpose is to accomplish one thing really: to be a “help ministry” so that other ministry all around us can finish “the work of God” according to our generation, uniquely to this generation. Ministry through WBVN is the beginning of something rather than the end of something. Justas a garden full of “living things” begins with soil preparation, begins the “tiller,” “tilling” is the first thing that leads to many other things. We believe that “out of good soil others shall grow.” We’re a ministry that “sets the table” for the five–fold ministry to come and sow, tend and harvest. We prepare the environment, charge the environment, with potential for the miracles we call the Christian Life. With the partnership of our listeners for 14 years, we have invested in the preparation of our communities, that the Word of God will have a place to manifest and become relevant in believers’ lives. We spend 24 hours a day tilling the soil we have been given care of, and prepare for growth in our Christian experience. We thank all of you that have contributed to that and trust God to multiply the harvest. The Bible says of His return, “will He find us Faithful”… we are a ministry that tries to help encourage that in us.