What is ministry?

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We think of ministry as something overtly spiritual. It looks like we are doing something for the Lord. Some may even think of “The Ministry” as in the vocational job that a pastor has in a community.

But that isn’t necessarily what ministry is.

Ministry is anything I do or say to bring another person closer to Jesus Christ.smiling-friends-with-headphones-and-books_1098-2552

Ministry isn’t something that only takes place in church, or on a specifically “spiritual” activity. When I’m around people, there is always the potential for ministry because I can do what I can to draw them closer to my Savior. It can take place at a coffee shop, a golf course, or a restaurant.

I’m not talking about “lifestyle evangelism” which seems to give people an excuse to avoid bringing up Christ at all, but instead to live well and others will simply (and magically!) take notice and become Christians. Ministry is purposeful and intentional. But it is supposed to be the operation of our life, not simply in church.

Truly, more ministry should take place outside of church services than in them.

How about you? Are you looking for ways to draw other people closer to God?

Life Snapshots

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13235650_1037754059651899_3818860632238546685_oYou just never know when you might be creating a life highlight. It could be something as simple as a hotel breakfast. Finishing up our first real family vacation, our last stop on the way back “home” (home is wherever our trailer is stationed) my youngest son wanted to go to the hotel breakfast.

Who has time for that, right?

Besides, hotel breakfasts are not that great, anyway.

I told him we needed to get on the road so we’d just grab something on the way. As we continued to get stuff packed up, my wife called down to the front desk and asked when the breakfast stopped. She discovered it was open 30 minutes later than we thought.

So Brandon got to go to a hotel breakfast after all.

In fact, not just him, but the rest of the kids ended up down there with mommy.

And then I went down to have some, too.

It may not seem like much, but sitting down there for a brief 5 or 10 minutes with my family was one of those snapshots of life you don’t realize you are making unless you think about it and mentally tag it.

What snapshot opportunities might be in your life today?

Isn’t God Good?

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Praises!

I’m sitting in my recliner (yes, I have one!) in my trailer near Nashville, TN, reflecting on what God has done this past year. So much has happened, it is hard to believe it was all squished into (soon to be) 12 months.

We calculated things out, and in our ministry we estimate we have traveled 700,000 miles. Nearly 3/4 of a million miles! That’s dating back to when I first began traveling before I was married, but still. . . that’s a lot of miles to be kept safe on the road.

We are preparing to leave the midwest and head to Chandler, AZ, where we have been basing during the winter months the last few years. One stop in Alabama to do a Christmas concert, and we’ll be traveling the rest of the way.

Miles is halfway through his 9th grade year, and is doing well. We appreciate his sense of humor. Elena is in 7th grade, and is continuing to pursue her drawing and computer skills.

5th grade Daren seems to like anything his older siblings are into. We’re working on allowing him to discover things he himself is interested in. Brandon turns 8 this Saturday, and is passionate about life in general.

We’ve had some tremendous opportunities to head to new churches and hold concerts and meetings. The most recent was a concert at Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, where the Ron Hamilton family showed up to see the family sing! That was exciting for all of us.

We are grateful for the good folks at Bible Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN, who fixed up our truck this past week after a water line blew along with the pump. What a tremendous blessing!

We are into our family Christmas concerts, and if you are interested, now is a great time to pick up our family Christmas CD album in time!

Matters of Prayer

  • Amanda has had a few issues with vertigo and distortion in her right ear. We had it checked out and it appears that she has some genetic deterioration in her hearing. She would appreciate prayer as she deals with this. She
  • My voice recovery is going slower than I had hoped. I’ve kind of hit a standstill. Most people at our concerts and meetings would probably say that they don’t notice any trouble, but I’m still operating around 75%. I’m still struggling talking with people in church lobbies and other noisy places, and it really is nearly impossible to explain it to people. (Explaining it requires talking!) I’m grateful I can minister again. But would you pray I would be able to start moving forward again? I have 4 more Christmas concerts
  • We’ve continued to drive our 2005 Dodge truck since paying it off last year, trying to be good financial stewards as we near paying off the trailer. We really are in need of a new truck, though. Would you pray that the Lord would provide this need?

We rest in the Lord to make the way clear and to help us make wise decisions. We trust that you will do the same, resting in Christ this Christmas season!

People Saved at Concert & Other News

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I am writing to you this week from Kenosha, Wisconsin, as we finish up 6 weeks of fall meetings. We are blessed to report that my voice has held up well for the most part. I’ve gotten tired a few times, but we’ve tried our best to make sure that I got re-hydrated and rested after any lengthy services or concerts.

First Baptist Palos Hills, IL

We were thrilled to be able to provide a Sunday night concert for this church. They recently lost their pastor to a sudden heart attack on a Sunday morning this past summer. We were glad to provide encouragement and uplift their hearts with music! The sanctuary was filled and we were warmly received.

First Baptist Church, Oak Creek, WI

12019989_1038228382876939_8878852805547368093_nDr. David Brown and Brother Jared Longsine brought us in for a week of meetings. What a great week we had! We also did a Tuesday evening concert here, which was excellently attended, as were the meetings each night. I preached on music one of the nights, and the people really seemed to connect with the principles. We were also able to see the rare Bibles collection Dr. Brown has. I held a 1612 KJV Bible in my hands! What an opportunity!

Midland Baptist Church, Midland, MI

Ben at Midland Baptist2015 159Back to Midland Baptist we went, for the 7th year in a row! What a blessing to be back with this church in my hometown area. This was the first week I felt back to normal with my preaching voice. I also received word from the ENT doctor that all signs of acid reflux damage are gone. The vocal cord health is back to normal. What a blessing! There are still some signs of stress from overuse, and it is probably a good thing that we are finishing our last week of nightly meetings for the fall so my voice can more fully recover. But to hear this is great news.

We are also thrilled that 3 people trusted Christ at the Tuesday night concert we gave at Midland! What a tremendous blessing!

Southport Baptist Church, Kenosha,WI

As I mentioned, we are currently at this church with Pastor Scott Jones. We are enjoying good fellowship with the church family, and we have two nights left. We’ve started doing concerts each Tuesday evening, and we will be doing the same tonight. We will close the meetings on Wednesday night. Your prayers are appreciated as we want to finish strong!

Major Concert at EXPO Center

This Saturday, we’ll be giving a concert sponsored by VCYAmerica. This will be at the Waukesha EXPO Center near Milwaukee, WI. Would you pray that this would go well? It will be carried live across the nation via radio and video streaming. We are praying for a good turnout and that our voices will be up to the task. We would like to do more concerts in larger venues, and this is another opportunity to reach more people. The entire family is singing together now in these concerts, and it is becoming quite a treat. Your prayers are appreciated!

Our Current Needs

An update on our needs at this time:

  • We are quite serious about finding a new towing vehicle. It needs to have enough room to fit our growing family. (Growing in stature, not size!) We are even praying that God would provide a vehicle debt-free, if that would be His will. That would take a small miracle, but God can do it!
  • We have reached the limit of what we can do with the camera equipment we have. In order to create more DVDs, and HD videos of concerts and sermons, we need to acquire a medium-level prosumer camera. (Something like this.) We are going to begin praying that the Lord would provide this need in His time.

Thank you so much for your prayers on our behalf! We are so grateful to be serving the Lord and serving His people. May God bless you richly as you press forward for Him!

Sincerely,

Evangelist Ben Everson

Ben & Book Featured on National Radio

Ben on CrossTalk

Wednesday, September 30 I had the privilege of being featured on Crosstalk, a national radio broadcast from VCY America! It was carried across several networks and around the world via satellite. The topic was “Revival” and host Jim Schneider also featured my a cappella setting of “What Manner of Man Is This.” The book I wrote on revival, entitled, “The Revival Nobody Wants” was also featured. If you would like to listen to the broadcast, you can do so from their site, vcyamerica.org, or listen below! If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can link here.

BACK ON THE ROAD!

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Voice Update

I’m excited to tell you that I am back to about 80% vocal efficiency. I’m both preaching and singing 4 days per week. My stamina is up to about an hour, which is getting close to where I want it to be. My range is back, except the low end. I may lose the low end for good, because the hyper low notes (Eb, D, Db) I could sing because the reflux made my voice lower. Without the reflux, a low F is my limit. Honestly, that’s fine with me!

My local hometown paper ran a second article on my voice, and I think it sums up things pretty well! Take a read here, and leave a comment! It is a help to the paper and the writer of the article.

Road Update

We are back on the road! What a time! We just closed out our first week of meetings at Grace Baptist Church in Birmingham, MI, (Detroit) and are in the middle of meetings near Mayville, MI. I’ve been using a DVD of myself for Sunday School time to help ease the vocal strain on Sundays, but other than that, I’ve been able to sing and preach each night.

We had some parts fall off our trailer as we traveled, and I’ve got some maintenance work to do on the truck again, but we have been safe as we’ve gotten back on the road. We’ve started doing Tuesday night concerts this fall, and so far, it seems to be a good addition to the week. I’m preaching with my BOSE tower and my hand held microphone some of the time, and this helps reduce vocal strain a lot.

Music Update

IMG_4194For the first time in 4 months, we are beginning to record music again. We are hoping to get new music ready for mid-October, and it will feature Amanda with new songs, as well as the entire family singing. It does feel great to be able to be working on music again!

You can see Elena and Daren goofing off during practice here!

We are so very grateful for so many prayers, words of encouragement, and financial gifts that carried us through the summer. We are so glad to be back on the road, doing what God has called us to do!

Disaster Strikes Amanda’s Sister & Family

We’ve been on the receiving end of gracious treatment, and now it is our time to help someone else! We are dedicating this month’s update to Amanda’s sister and her husband and two kids. Amanda’s sister and her husband felt led of God to move out of their home and explore missions to orphans in Mexico. So they uprooted themselves from their beautiful house they remodeled, and with their twin boys moved into a converted garage to prepare for missions to Mexico. 


They’ve had a family member die (John’s Grandmother) within the first week. Barely two weeks after they arrived in Mexico, a storm uprooted a tree that destroyed the building where nearly all their belongings were stored. They are down in Mexico without a vehicle (the transmission had to be replaced) and we want to be an enouragement to them. Consider encouraging this family that is in the middle of trying to what God has asked of them and is facing some real discouragements right now! To help, you can visit this link!

 

August Voice & Ministry Update

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We are glad to give another excellent report on my voice. Steady progress has been made, and I am on schedule as hoped. Although I’m still not able to talk for long periods of time in large, noisy places such as church lobbies, I can feel the voice returning.

I have successfully changed my diet. (Friend me on MyFitnessPal!) After weeks of experimenting with methods of controlling the acid reflux that decimated my vocal cords, we think we’ve found the solution and it has been working great. No acid symptoms for the last week, without the use of acid blockers! (For a great GERD explanation, visit here.)

This doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. Staying hydrated is vitally important, but having a lot of water in my stomach has caused reflux in the past. So I’ve switched to drinking the majority of my water earlier in the day to counteract this. I’m also doing steam therapy which works wonders! I highly recommend it.

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Dr. Shellie Beeman

I’m also extremely grateful to Dr. Shellie Beeman, an assistant professor of voice at Adams State University in Alamosa, CO. She is certified with McCloskey Technique, and has been working with me via Skype to rehabilitate the vocal cords. I’m learning a ton, and her help is going a long way towards enabling me to recover much more quickly than I would otherwise.

I am planning an online concert Thursday, August 27th, at 8:30 PM, EST, as my first public singing event! You will livestreaming2015be able to communicate with me live, even make requests as the concert goes along. ConcertWindow is hosting it, and you can get tickets anytime between then and now. I set it up so that it can be as little as $1, so anyone who wants to be a part can be. Around 150 people have already made plans to be a part. There is no limit on how many can join. Click here to reserve your spot.

16 Year Anniversary & Down Time

11807540_881801871913786_5433301380578823335_oThis past week Amanda & I celebrated 16 years of marriage! Sure, everyone always says they can’t believe time has gone so fast. But you know what? I can’t believe time has gone so fast! 🙂

We have stationed down in Florida for the remainder of the summer, and the family is able to get some down time here. We are very grateful to Pensacola Christian College for allowing us to stay in an off-campus RV location as well as giving me an office space while I’m here to arrange music.

In extended family news, we are happy for my sister Natalie and her family who just closed on their first house back in Michigan. It has been a long road but they are now first-time homeowners.

Amanda’s sister Alisha and her husband John along with their twin boys are leaving the USA later this month to head to Mexico to work in a children’s home. It is an exciting opportunity for them, and we are praying the Lord will bless their effort. You can find out more here.

Yet More Travel Adventures

You would think that with us being less mobile, there would be little traveling news. But if you follow our Instagram or Facebook Page you know that hasn’t been the case! As we traveled down to Pensacola, just north of Nashville, a fuel injector broke on our truck and started spraying diesel all over the engine. (You can see Daren and Brandon’s News Report on being stuck on YouTube!) We are grateful no fires started. We were stranded on the side of I-65 for 6 hours, and eventually had to be towed to a hotel. RV repair came the next afternoon and replaced injector #4 and we finished the trip.

Big Prayers

Today in family devotions, we talked about God being able to do abundantly above all we ask or think. We are praying as a family that God would provide a new truck for us that would not require us going into debt. This is a big request, but we are asking God to do this work to strengthen our faith. We are not at all comfortable with going $50,000 back into debt for a new truck. We are asking God to provide in a miraculous way!

Gratefulness, Encouragement

We are so grateful for so many families and churches who have thoughtfully sent financial gifts our way during this time. We have been able to be worry-free in regards to our monthly financial responsibilities due to your generosity. It has truly been a tremendous blessing.