Monday, November 1, 2010

Ministry Spotlight

Brian Stewart began Simple Message Ministries in 2007 after 13 years in law enforcement when God radically changed the direction of his life. You can read his story on their website, so I won't go over it all here.

Brian was at our church on Wed night filling us in on what God has been doing through their ministry to law enforcement officers. I was reminded again what a unique and much needed ministry that he carries out, and wanted to share it with you, so that maybe you would want to take part in this work.

I don't know of another ministry just like his. He simply travels around with his wife and four children (under 5 yrs old) in tow, to many states here in the southeast. He goes to different law enforcement agencies unannounced, and gains permission to speak to the officers/deputies at shift change (6 AM). With his background as a deputy and a Georgia State Trooper, he gets in places with ease, sharing war stories and identifying with these officers having been there, done that. Most of these places he gets into, we can never get into ourselves. As the chaplain to our Tift County Sheriff's Office, it has taken me several years to become trusted and accepted, because I am not one of them; and it takes him about 10 minutes.

In addition to sharing the gospel with them, he leaves them free law enforcement New Testaments to put in the squad room and give out to other officers and personnel. And he puts out a daily email devotion tailored to law enforcement, and currently has over 700 officers in several states, and three countries receiving and replying to. He also speaks at Law Enforcement Appreciation banquets (which he has done for me) and services for churches and other organizations.

He comes from an independent Baptist background, but he ministers to all. He focuses on the main thing--the gospel, and does that well. His greatest desire is that the law enforcement community is reached with the gospel, and so he quit everything and began to do that.

The law enforcement community has high rates of divorce, alcoholism, stress, and suicide; and 21 years lower life expectancy that the general population. They are a young, relatively unchurched, and needy segment of our society. They put their lives on the line for us, and we should do everything we can to let them know about the One who gave His life for them!

So I commend him to your service. Pray for this ministry, that the seeds of the gospel will bring forth a harvest in due season. Pray that God continues to provide for their family. And if you have a need for this ministry, please don't hesitate to contact him. You can find him on Facebook here.

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