New Castle News

Closer Look

January 19, 2013

Crusades rely on gifts on local residents

NEW CASTLE —

 “The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  — Second Peter 3:9

“If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard ...”  — Judy Garland as Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

The Rev. Randy Crum wants what God wants.

And he doesn’t have to be a balloonist-turned-wizard to know where to claim it.

“This is a mission field right here,” the evangelist and pastor of Wayside Emmanuel Church said of Lawrence County. “A lot of our churches — and mine — have people who go into different countries to minister, and that’s the thing to do. ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.’

“But if we don’t clean our own house, then we’ve failed.”

Crum organized Vision Ministries Inc. 12 years ago to do exactly that. He’s launched a series of what he envisions as quarterly crusades in various areas of the county. But he’s not only looking to reach local residents for God — he’s enlisting them as well.

“One time I brought (Dove Award-winning singer-songwriter) Alvin Slaughter in to the Cathedral,” he recalled. “But I’m going to use gifts the people of the city have — and there are plenty of them. We don’t have to go outside the city to get these things; we don’t have to call big names to do this.

“There are plenty of people here who are talented, and they ought to be able to use those talents toward a ministry right here at home.”

And you don’t have to be able to sing, preach or perform to be a part of it.

“I’m breaking down teams — praise teams, follow-up teams, a security team, a promotion team, a legal team,” Crum said. “I’m getting leaders to be able to take those teams and make it happen.”

Leaders, though, may not automatically come forth. Indeed, Crum said, they may not even recognize themselves as leaders. Therefore, his crusades have a twofold purpose: the quickening of the church in addition to the winning of the lost.

“The church can quench the Spirit or grieve the Spirit, but they still know the Lord as savior,” he said. “They’re out there, but they’re kind of dormant, stagnant. What they need is a quickening; an illumination.

“People are very depressed in the spiritual realm; they haven’t seen victory enough. I believe we can change that. You’ve got leaders who may not know how to lead, but you have people who believe that ‘With Christ, I can do all things.’ So you get out there and show that it can be won.”

When spiritual leaders step up to the front lines, Crum said, revival follows.

“The revival comes from those who are dead — people who might not have any hope in Christ,” he said. “They are revived to be born again and to be part of the kingdom of God.”

For those wanting to learn more about Crum’s Vision Ministries and what they might do to help advance his crusades, there’s a meeting at 6:15 p.m. Monday at Wayside Emmanuel Church, 4437 Mitchell Road

 Crum believes, though, there’s really only one thing you need to know.

“Do you know Christ as your king and savior? If you do, then he wants you,” he said. “Show the world and make a difference, so they can see it.

“If you can’t see it, then you can’t be a testimony. You’ve got to make a difference. It’s as simple as that.”

(Email: d_irwin@ncnewsonline.com)

 

 

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