Below is a prayer email from Pastor Joe Staniforth of “Lighthouse of Holiness.” This ministry is committed to God’s inerrant Word, His message of salvation and holiness, and taking that message to the streets. You can visit them at their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/groups/lighthouseofholiness/
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! As there are those who have recently joined our prayer support, we would like to restate the vision that the Lord has given us.
Lighthouse of Holiness (previously “Lighthouse Ministries”) is a ministry that is committed to the Great Commission: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) For this reason, we have been involved in taking the Word out onto the streets and equipping others to do the same. Furthermore, we are convinced that the church needs to return to preaching the full counsel of the Word. In simple words, if it says it, preach it.
It has grieved us to see that many houses of worship have become a cross between a superstore and an activity center. Like the superstore, they use all types of commercial gimmicks to attract people into their midst – e.g. slogans, bake sales, beautifully constructed buildings and a consumer-friendly atmosphere – instead of simply following the commandment to go out. When the crowds come, they attempt to keep them there with plenty of fun activities. In turn, the Word is watered down, as such teachings as sin, judgment and repentance are omitted or redefined, for fear of losing members (I Ti. 4:3-4).
Several months ago, I was praying some distance away from what appeared to be a church. It had all the semblance of your typical house of worship – a steeple, stain glass windows and plenty of room for a sanctuary. When I took a closer look, I noted that the sign on the front had been changed. It now read: “Humble Activity Center.” To my horror, I began to realize that this is what many churches have become – centers full of godless activity: A place where so many have fun, but so few are changed into the glorious image of God. When you water down the Word, souls are no longer washed by it (Eph. 5:26). Just that morning, I had been reading these words from the prophet Isaiah: “Oh my people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.” (Is. 3:12)
Christ intended that a church be more like a lighthouse than an activity center or superstore. For the lighthouse, it is imperative that the light must go out into the darkness. The lives of all those that sail the seas at night depend on it. The church has been commissioned, not to attract people in or to entertain them, but to go out into the darkness and rescue souls from the grip of sin and hell Brothers and sisters, if we hide the light of God’s Word with commercialism and “commotionalism,” then that light will be snuffed out (Mat. 5:15). In other words, the church will lose its witness to a hell-bound world.
Since becoming independent, the Lord has blessed our ministry in many ways. Just this last month, the Lord opened up several doors into the community. Just across the road from us in Brownsville, TX, there is a trailer park that resembles some of the poorer suburbs in Mexico. After witnessing there for a few months, the Lord has opened up a building on the premises. We now meet with kids each week, and teach the Word. Also, we have been given access to an apartment complex close by. Praise His holy name! God has been answering your prayers!
Lighthouse of Holiness is also committed to training young people to do evangelism. Last month, we began to partner with a holiness church that shares our vision for street evangelism – “Victoria en Jesus.” I have already had the privilege of leading some of their youth out onto the streets. It was a joy to witness young people handing out tracts in the downtown areas. One young man was even preaching to immigrants from across the border. Praise the Lord!
We are sad to report that the situation in the border city of Matamoros, Mexico (just across the Rio Grande) has grown worse. Slowly, the cartel (the Mexican mafia) has begun to take over the city. We hear reports almost every day of atrocities that are taking place. We have not crossed the border for over a month. However, we are still supporting our brothers and sisters with necessary supplies. Please pray for the new church in Matamoros, and the two soup kitchens of which our ministry is a part. Pray that the gospel message will not be hindered, and that the Lord’s protection will be upon the churches.
Finally, we are praying about starting a school of evangelism. Lighthouse of Holiness would like to begin to train men and women who have a divine call to preach. Many Christian colleges and universities in the Western World are becoming humanistic in their understanding of God’s holy Word. Emergent/emerging ideology and other teachings of man have been given full rein on these once hallowed campuses. Furthermore, the doctrine of holiness, which many of us hold dear, has been compromised. Though we grieve over these issues, we must endeavor, once again, to raise the banner of “Holiness unto the Lord.” For this reason, we have changed our name from “Lighthouse Ministries” to the “Lighthouse of Holiness.” Please pray that the Lord will give both the wisdom and the grace that we will need.
Thank you for all your prayers! We are grateful for all of your support!
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Joe Staniforth