Here are some of the things God is doing through this ministry as well as some things we hope and pray will happen with your support:
Most important is our walk and growth with Jesus. Ministry is the overflow of our relationship with Jesus and we are seeing this overflow bare good fruit! Please pray that we will continually see positive transformation in our own lives and ministry so in turn, we will see wonderful, real life transformation in the lives of those in the Salt Lake valley.
Also very important is our involvement and development in team ministry. By working directly with other pastors in our efforts, we are finding a greater humility, stronger support, less burn out, and and elevation of gifts in all that God is leading us in. We are working to develop strong ministry teams as well as seeking future leaders and teams of leaders to pass this baton to when the time comes.If you or your church are willing to commit to regular prayer for this ministry, please feel free to contact me and let me know. It will be a great encouragement to hear. Also, I would love to send you an invitation to The City, where we have developed a special group to communicate with those who are supporting us or want to keep up with what we are doing. In addition, we would like to regularly pray for you as well!
By the grace of God, we have doubled the number of community groups at Risen Life through training, encouraging, and equipping new leaders. It is our hope that this number will double again over the next year. Presently, we are raising up teams of leaders who are highly focused on community and reaching this valley for the Kingdom.
As the church is growing the communication has become challenge. To help keep people better informed, get guests connected, and catch people who were nearly falling through the cracks, we have introduced The City to Risen Life. The City is an on-line communication tool designed to support real life connections, growth, and service. In addition, we will train people to use this tool to reach the lost within our communities. We have seen a huge value in the City, especially in the ways we are reaching those not very well connected and how the community groups are using this effective tool.
I have been teaching classes weekly; however, it is my prayer to raise up other leaders to teach this class or another one. On Sunday, I co-teach a class on the Synoptic Gospels and hope to have more teachers teaching the Bible to adults. Lisa and I are leading groups of a community group leaders and I am developing a group of men to be future spiritual leaders in Utah. These gatherings are often in our home and includes some younger pastors and future leaders. It is my hope to develop more courses that will be filmed so they can be viewed in small groups or by individuals. On Tuesday nights I was teaching a two-hour class on systematic theology but to have the largest reach, I am examining ways of developing courses in non-traditional formats that have a greater overall accessibility and impact. The purpose will be to foster spiritual growth and equip the saints in Utah. I anticipate the involvement of at least 3 other pastors. In addition, I hope to include these videos on this website free of charge. I have also started an audio podcast with other pastors.
Working with the missions pastor, we have encouraged and developed more service opportunities. Some of these opportunities include supporting two homes that are owned by Risen Life and used as ministry homes. Often, ex-polygamists women and their families are utilizing these homes to re-integrate into society. We are encouraging a life-style of prayer and teaching prayer walking among many other spiritual disciplines. Groups are meeting regularly and many of the believers at Risen Life are praying for at least five lost people daily and watching for opportunities to share the gospel with the people they are praying for. We call it Pray and Watch. In addition, I have developed the next stage in this training that is designed to help people intentionally reach their communities and develop a lifestyle of relational evangelism. Utah is a mission field with evangelical Christians counting for only 3% of the total population. Part of our ministry is to train the believers living here to daily serve as missionaries wherever they may be.
We are redeveloping a men's ministry that is getting stronger. We believe if we can get the men "right," we'll see the church get "right" too. This includes building and supporting more men's groups, life support classes, coffee groups, breakfasts, and retreats. The results are promising and I anticipate a very strong group of men and leaders within the next year or two.
I have a dream to create a mission training and service opportunity in Utah, one of the largest and most neglected mission fields in America. It is my hope that this "camp" will host incoming church groups and no cost for housing and food. We will offer some classes on how be a missionary that is culturally relevant right were we live as well as a first-hand introduction to Mormonism and polygamy. There will also be some service opportunities and opportunities for some fun. We will likely also tour unique parts of Utah that feature significant religious or cultural points of interest. (If your church may be interested in a domestic mission opportunity, please don't hesitate to contact me.)
Risen Life Church is working with another church planter in the valley who is just getting started. I will be working closely with him and his team as we help them launch a church across the valley. And when this church is standing firmly on it's own, I hope to plant a church in the valley with another pastor couple and a core group.
If God is leading you or your church to financially support our work in this dry part of the King's Vineyard, please contact us or Risen Life Church, or you may give on-line through Risen Life Church. (Please select "Catherman's Ministry" in the drop down box.) Any giving is tax deductible.
Lisa and I thank you for your prayers and financial support. It is only because of God's movement though you and others that this ministry may continue. Again, thank you!
Soli Deo gloria!
Bryan and Lisa Catherman