A New Mission Statement, But The Same Calling

Chrysalis and Butterflies

2020 was a year of change.

I know the illustration of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly can be overused. However, most of us were definitely in a type of cocoon this last year! Organizationally TCJHOP and Outpost had a similar experience. Amidst all the shaking, we got to ask ourselves, “What’s really important?” and “Who are we as a whole organization?” We eventually arrived at a mission statement that unites all the parts of our ministry:

TCJHOP exists to love God, declare freedom, and establish outposts of restoration for the sexually and relationally broken Body of Christ.

This is not a change in who we are or what we have been doing but a change in how we clearly communicate what we are all about. While I do not have the space to go into each part in depth, I do want to point out a few things in this statement.

Love God

Loving God is a broad concept, but for us at TCJHOP, we think of it as the beginning, end, and sustaining point of all our journeys. The love of God is what calls us towards holiness, loving God is our reward, and that reciprocity of love is what continually motivates us. This is why we have a prayer room—a place people can encounter God, receive His love, and love Him in return. Healing just doesn’t happen without encounter with God.

Declare Freedom

American culture has a lot of different ideas of what freedom means and entails. For TCJHOP, the freedom we are talking about is the one Isaiah 61 mentions and Jesus quotes at the start of His ministry. It is freedom from sin and not to sin. It is God’s restorative justice. That is the freedom we bear witness to and declare to the Church and the world.

Establish Outposts of Restoration

Just as Outpost Ministries is a ministry of TCJHOP, TCJHOP would not exist without Outpost Ministries. A ministry of outposts is central to our identity. What is an outpost? It is the furthest reach of a kingdom’s territory. In establishing outposts, we are targeting 1) those who are just defecting from the enemy’s domain and 2) those who are wandering to the outskirts of the Kingdom. We are and will be a frontline and semi-fringe ministry. Looking again at Isaiah 61, we see that God is a God of restoration. He is always looking to redeem and restore, as they are the essence of the Kingdom. All the enemy-occupied territory has been taken back. The Kingdom is not about conquering new land but restoring it to its rightful ruler. TCJHOP is seeking for every heart and life stolen by sexual and relational sin and brokenness to be restored to their True King.

Changes

In crafting this clearer mission statement, we also wanted to better integrate TCJHOP as a whole and show that we truly are one ministry in a united mission. In that same spirit, you may notice our newsletter changing its format in the coming months. Part of this change is so we can include all of our ministry partners in our newsletter updates and mailings. Another part is because some updating is overdue!

What Will Be Different?

We want to bring the most relevant content regularly. There will still be monthly newsletters. However, the majority of these will be shorter and focused on the main updates from our ministry. At the same time, we want to provide a deeper look into some of our specific ministry groups and events and will spotlight one or two each month.

Additionally, we know that our articles have been a source of encouragement for many. We still plan to have these articles but will be compiling multiple articles into a single document—a longer-form letter—which we will send out a few times each year. We hope these longer-form letters will continue to encourage and inspire you and that this format will make the newsletter easier to collect and refer to when needed.

In the midst of all this change, please be patient with us as we work out some of the details. We are so excited for what God is doing with TCJHOP and Outpost and His plan for the coming year

Staying the Course

God has been good to us at Outpost Ministries. It is no small thing to be a ministry to the sexually and relationally broken and still be bearing fruit after 41 years. Our fruitfulness is especially remarkable given the reality of the front lines ministry we do and the major shifts that have taken place in culture. We begin the year with gratitude in our hearts to the Lord for His leadership and provision throughout the years. And we are looking forward to the future and staying the course, knowing that God is with us every step of the way.

Speedy Justice

In the fall of 2012, the Lord spoke to my heart from Luke 18:1-8, the parable of the persistent widow. In this scripture passage, Jesus clearly teaches us that in the context of night and day prayer, He releases justice speedily to His elect ones. As I read the passage, it was as if the word “speedily” jumped off the page. “Lord, you mean we can speed up the process? Human beings can play a role in partnering with You in the release of justice?” The answer was, “Yes”! God had my attention.

You see, I had seen many of our clients fight for long periods of time to get justice for their souls. The warfare around getting free from unwanted same-sex attractions was intense. The enemy wasn’t letting go without a fight. This passage of scripture gave us insight into how to fight back. The answer was persistent, consistent prayer.

Biblical Justice

The Lord loves releasing justice. “For I, the Lord, love justice . . .” (Isaiah 61:8a, NKJV). Justice is when God makes the wrong things right. Though not an exhaustive list, Isaiah 61:1-4 gives us one of the best pictures of what justice accomplishes: Good news is proclaimed. Broken hearts are bound up. Captives are released. God shows favor to His people and vengeance to His enemies. Those who mourn are comforted and made glad. What has been torn down is restored.

Speedy justice for our participants is to experience the healing of their hearts and the restoration of their families. It is to be set free from the bondage of homosexuality. It is to become grounded in the truth of who they are as God’s image bearers. Speedy justice is the taking hold of their authority as sons and daughters of the Father. And it is to be made fruitful.

We said “yes” to the Lord and began the task of marrying night and day prayer with inner-healing ministry. The warfare intensified, but we started to see justice prevail in new ways. People’s lives were transforming. Our staff was growing. Our finances were increasing. God was blessing our efforts.

Now, I am more convinced than ever that times of corporate and personal prayer are key to overcoming life-dominating issues. There are many other helpful tools I wholeheartedly believe in that we use for the journey—Christian counseling, 12-step groups, life-giving community—but when we spend extended time in intimacy with God, we get more. God accelerates the process.

Not a Formula

I want to be careful not to make this formulaic—if you do “x,” God will do “y.” It is not a formula at all; God desires relationship with us. Prayer is dialogue with God. It is a conversation that involves sharing our hearts with Him. Our primary goal in prayer, however, should be listening. We are transformed from the inside out by hearing the voice of the Lord through His Word and through the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.

Discerning God’s Voice

God is always speaking the healing word. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” The Lord is quick to release truth that will set us free, but we have to be receptive to it. It can be hard to hear the voice of the Lord in the midst of all the clamor around us. There are so many other voices that demand our attention.

This is where Outpost comes in. One of the main skills we teach our participants is to discern the voice of the Lord from all the other voices—especially the voices of the world, our flesh and the devil. Our participants learn to have life-giving quiet times with the Lord and to obey what He is speaking to them.

Leann Payne, in her book The Broken Image, wrote:

 Listening to God is the most effective tool we have in our “healing kit,” for by it we know how to collaborate with His Spirit. Teaching others to listen is one of the most valuable lessons we as spiritual directors can give them; by this freedom to hear, they pass from immaturity (being under the Law or laws) to maturity (the walk with Christ in the Spirit), both as persons and as Christians. The Lord Himself becomes their chief counselor and guide, and our vocation is made easier (pg. 134).

Corporate Prayer

When we pray together, we receive more revelation of the love of God. In Ephesians 3:17-19, the Apostle Paul prays, “. . . that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (emphasis added). God desires personal prayer and corporate expressions of prayer. Thus, we teach our participants how to do both.

We provide a place for corporate prayer in the TCJHOP Prayer Room. In the Prayer Room, our participants are able to join with the greater body of Christ in a unified cry for justice—not just for themselves, but for the believers in the Twin Cities and beyond. As we pray together, we receive more of God’s heart for those we are praying for. As we pray together, we are set free from the prison of being only self-focused.

Looking Forward

One of our main objectives in the coming year is to make our resources more accessible to the region. Requests for speakers and our Distinctions Seminar are increasing. Outpost North in the Brainerd Lakes Area is going strong under the leadership of Angie Klein. We have planted groups in the South Metro that we hope to grow in 2018. As the Lord gives grace, we will consider the possibility of expanding in the east and west.

Even as the tide of culture continues to embrace gender and sexual confusion, there are still those who are seeking our services. Young people are still making different decisions about how to deal with their same-sex attractions. Instead of embracing them and living them out, they are striving to bring their sexuality under the lordship of Jesus Christ. God is meeting them in their obedience and restoring their souls. Jesus Christ has life-changing power! We have the privilege of witnessing this process week after week.

As I look forward to the future, we are staying the course. We will continue to strive to make prayer central to all we do. From the overflow of what we receive in prayer, we will do the work of inner-healing ministry. Thank you for partnering with us in this essential work, and blessings on you in 2018!

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Spare Your People

solemn assembly

I didn’t want to have to do this again. Certainly, not just over a month after writing a response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas. But, here we are again. My heart is very grieved within me. This past Sunday morning, November 5, a 26-year-old man walked into a Baptist church in Sutherland, TX. He opened fire on the worshippers, killing 26 people and wounding 20. Among the dead are children as young as five years old, a pregnant woman and the Senior Pastor’s 14-year-old daughter. One family lost nine members (this number includes the unborn baby and mother mentioned above).

Great Shaking

Beloved, our nation is being shaken. Whole regions have been severely impacted by catastrophic weather. Whole regions have been burned to the ground by wildfires. The deep darkness in Hollywood is being exposed. The curtain is being pulled back on our government as well. Immense corruption and illegal activity are being revealed. And, in the past two months, we have seen two of the worst mass shootings in our nation’s history. Yes, we are being shaken.

God’s Strategy

In the midst of the shaking, God’s strategy is clear:

12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him—a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God? 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room. 17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” –Joel 2:12-17 (emphasis mine)

Great Awakening

Demonic activity is clearly increasing in our nation. God’s solution to the increasing darkness is the Church—the light of the world. We must get brighter. Now is the time for personal repentance, fasting, weeping and mourning. Now is the time for the Solemn Assembly. Prayer is our great weapon in this hour.

Special Solemn Assembly

In light of this, I want to invite you to TCJHOP’s Prayer Room Tuesday, November 7,  for a very special Solemn Assembly. We will focus on praying for the many impacted by the mass shooting in Sutherland and for revival in our city, state and nation. We will begin praying at 6am and conclude at 7:30 PM. I will be personally leading a prayer set from 4 PM to 6 PM, focusing on these prayer points and praying from Joel 2. Hope to see many of you there! We simply cannot go on business as usual. NOW IS THE TIME TO PRAY!

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New Year, Same Mission

new yearHappy New Year! I pray 2017 is a year of peace, joy, and blessing for you and your family.

2016 was a full year for us at Outpost Ministries. We hit the ground running last January, having just merged into the Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer. There was much to accomplish: establishing the vision and mission of TCJHOP, implementing layers of protection to keep us safe and viable in the ever-changing cultural landscape, and changing the many administrative things necessary with the change of the organizational structure. It was A LOT, but we did it. Yes, there are still some things left to do, but we have accomplished the bulk of them.

Now as we begin 2017, Outpost is stronger than ever, ready to serve the sexually and relationally broken and their families who are wanting healing through relationship with Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for our diligent team who worked very hard to accomplish this feat!

Outpost is now a part of TCJHOP, but I want to be very clear, our mission has not waivered. We continue to exist to see men and women find freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions. 

Last October, Outpost celebrated its 40th anniversary. We look forward to the next 40 years. We have recently developed a one-and-a-half day seminar called “Distinctions” to help educate and equip the Church on issues of biblical gender, homosexuality, transgenderism, and a biblical response to the sexual brokenness in our culture. We believe that this seminar is “prophetic” in the sense that it reveals how God thinks and feels about humans created in His image and makes known God’s heart to heal the broken. It also calls people to return to the Lord with all of their hearts. We also offer a condensed version of this seminar. If you are interested in having Outpost present at your church, youth group, Sunday school class or other group, we would love the opportunity!

Encountering Jesus Summer Internship

Encountering Jesus Internship

Join Outpost Ministries and the Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer for a ten-week internship that will deepen your understanding of the Word of God, awaken your heart in the place of prayer, and allow you to dig deep into what it means to be whole.  Contact us for more information or an internship application.