Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One Man's Wisdon and Generosity

On one occasion in the Philippines, Franklin Graham visited our ministry for several days. He is the son of Billy Graham and the President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

While taking him to the airport after his very successful visit, he said “You know Doug, I have been all over the world and visited many countries and have ridden in every kind of vehicle imaginable, however, I must say, this car of yours is the worst vehicle I have ever been in! Where did you get this thing?” We laughed together as I told him of occasions when the steering wheel came off, the gear shift slipped out, tires fell off, and other horror stories.

As I was getting Mr. Graham’s bags out of the car at the airport, he said, “Doug, joking aside, I would like to mention something; I feel you are working your people too hard.” At that time, we had about 160 dedicated Filipino team members working alongside 30 ACTION missionaries. I responded, “Yes, they do work hard and are a very dedicated group.”

He then asked, “When was the last time you took your team on a break?” I answered, “A what?” He replied, “A break, a retreat, a time of fellowship and refreshment.” I answered, “We have never had one of those.” He then reached into his pocket and pulled out 20 - 100 dollar bills ($2000). (The purchasing power of that gift was five to seven times more than it is now.).

As he handed me the $2000 he said, “Take your team for a break as a gift from Samaritan’s Purse,” and we did. We took the whole team, including their families, for a three-day retreat. We had a wonderful time studying the Word of God, enjoying fellowship, praying, resting, and playing, to the glory of God!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


On my radio show today we discussed President Bush's recent statement that he did not believe the Bible to be literally true. He would not be considered a literalist he said, though he did believe God sent His Son. I asked my listening audience if they believed a person must believe the Bible to be the Word of God to be a true believer. While it caused an hour of fast paced lively discussion, I was impressed by all of the good questions that were brought up. Questions of original languages, of genre, of the process of the Bible being put together by men. Questions about how it is that God would have sinful men be the vessels He used to write His Word.

It occurs to me how difficult some of these questions are to deal with for me and others, and we have all of the helps we need as far as commentaries and resources. Yet with all of the resources at our disposal, this is still deep water and tough going for many. And I thought, if it is difficult for me and others, in a country that is blessed with so much, how much more difficult must it be for the brothers who are pastors in less fortunate countries. Consider the heartache of a man of God who receives the hard questions and does not have the resources we have to draw upon. These needy pastors who we are seeking to help at ACTION. This is why Pastoral Leadership Development exists. For us to be able to come along side these dear brothers who have much less than we do, but are no less godly, and no less passionate about the Lord and His flock.

This is why we feel it imperative when a publisher like Crossway allows us to print great commentaries at a fraction of the cost, that we ask you to help. This is why we need your money, yes money. Of course we covet your prayers, but quite frankly we need you to give to this great project. We are able to give unbelievable commentaries to needy pastors for only a few dollars per commentary. We can get it all done for thousands of pastors for only $189,000.00!

I am asking you to give to this worthwhile project that will bless and effect hundreds of thousands of believers around the world, as their pastors are exposed to good theology and can impart that to their churches. Would you give to this project? Some of you may be able to give it all in one check. That would be a great use of your money. Or maybe 189 of you can give 1000.00 and we can carry on with the project. Whatever you can do, please do.

Please mail your checks to
PO Box 398
Mountlake Terrace Wa. 98043-0398

please note Crossway Publishers BookShare Project

Or you can go online to and donate there. Tough questions and situations are not limited to this country. They come to pastors in every country, and you can have a part in helping them point others to the cross for the Glory of God, with your gift!

For His Glory,
Tom Crouse

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ACTION Bible Institute

ACTION Bible Institute (ABI) in Zambia will commence on January 19, 2009, with ACTION missionaries Tracy Singleton and Steve Allen as the teachers. Tracy (former pastor from Illinois) will be teaching Module 2 of Veritas which is a Biblical Training Study Program covering Old Testament narratives. Steve will be teaching a class on the book of Ephesians.

We are challenged with the finances of the ACTION Bible Institute ministry. The vision for training these pastors embraces the need to help them financially. The commitment for training takes them away from necessary employment for few are fully supported by their churches. ACTION’s desire is to defray some of their costs to free them for training, including transportation to ABI, food for their families, and books. The total cost of ACTION’s support goal for each ABI student for a year is $658. If you would like to help one or more of these pastors go to on the web and follow the directions to give to ACTION Zambia Pastoral Leadership Develop.

Let me encourage you with the following, They went out for the sake of His name . . . therefore, we ought to help such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth (3 John 7-8, nasb).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Zambia Pastor's Graduation

A report from Tracy Singleton's blog -

This past Friday fifteen pastors received their certificate of completion for Module 1 of the Veritas class. After a short time of fellowship, refreshments, and singing, Tracy spoke to the men about keeping their souls happy in God. Amid all the duties pastors have, this one thing is the most crucial.

Afterwards Tracy awarded certificates to each of the pastors.
Especially gratifying was that fifteen pastors began the class and fifteen pastors completed the course. He also gave each of the pastors a book, Breaking The Bread of Life. In addition, Peter Zulu received the perfect attendance award, with Alfred Mwanza only missing one class. They each received reference books as awards. Mr. Joseph Zulu then spoke to commend Action Zambia for its good work with pastors and challenged it to continue its ministry.

Following the graduation, pastors were given the opportunity to sign up for the Action Bible Institute (ABI) which will begin in January. Thirteen of the graduates signed up to enroll in ABI. Please pray for Tracy and Steve Allen as they prepare to instruct the pastors. Please also pray for the pastors. By enrolling in ABI the pastors are making an investment and sacrifice. Rather than spending their time working a second job (and most of them need to do so), they resolve to faithfully attend classes instead. We look forward to what God is going to do in and through the lives of these shepherds.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


“Praying will make thee leave sinning or sinning will make leave praying.” This well-known saying may well have originated with Thomas Wilcox (1622-1687) and speaks into the life of every pastor. I rarely read a biography of any minister of the gospel where they do not look back on their lives and wish they had prayed more. Prayer is essential for the man of God, and yet it is most often neglected. Prayer is what keeps us mindful of our dependence upon God, and yet it is so often not on our mind. Prayer is worship, and yet for those charged to lead others in such worship, it is often lacking. Lets us not come to the end and wish we prayed more. Why not commit now to praying more? Why not use this gift and privilege we have been given to the utmost?

Brothers let me encourage you to become men of prayer. Your flock believes it to be true of you, that you are a man of prayer. Your people believe that you pray for them, this is why they call you first with prayer requests. The question is, are you the man of prayer that the people you lead and shepherd believe you to be? If you are praise God, press on brother. If you are not, I would call you to repent now, not later, but right now, and get on your knees and beg God to give you those desires and affections for Him, that will make prayer a delight to your soul. The people that God has entrusted to your care, are counting on your prayers for them and the lives of their family. Pray pastor, pray!

For His Glory,
Tom Crouse

Friday, December 5, 2008

"Really, I Can Have This Bible?"

He couldn’t believe it! It was as if he had just learned that he had won the lottery. “Really, are you sure?” He said. “You are giving me this Bible?” “It is mine to keep?” Pastor Me*h had come to a pastors’ conference from a remote area of Asia and cherishes God’s word. He had seen it work powerfully in his own life and in the lives of others.

I asked him how he had planted the churches he pastors. He simply said that when he had accepted Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior he shared Christ with his family and they all accepted Christ. Then he shared Christ with his village and they all accepted Christ. Then he went to another village and they all accepted Christ. He mentioned the all night prayer meetings at his church as they prepare to reach out into areas hostile to Christians.

Pastors like Me*h often live on $20 a month with no reference books and Bibles. In contrast how many resources we have as pastors in the United States. Our personal libraries are full. Often we run out of room for our resources. Where would I put another bookshelf anyway? And with the advent of libraries on computer, a few clicks, a credit card number, and we are all set for that sermon series coming up.

Would you be able to help an under trained and resourced pastor by weeding out s few of your evangelical reference books, study Bibles and commentaries—perhaps books you have duplicates of, or you don’t use that often, or you have now on the computer as well as on the bookshelf?

ACTION has a 20-foot shipping container being prepared for shipment in the next few months. If the Lord led you to send a few books, it would be a tremendous blessing. Your help can extend your spiritual influence beyond your congregation and community, to the nations!

The address to send the books and study Bibles is as follows:
ACTION (Philippines Container Project)
Chapel Library (Mt Zion Publishers)
2603 West Wright Street, Pensacola, Florida 32505

IMPORTANT: Please do not send William Barclay commentaries or Scofield Reference Bibles.

If You hve any questions, please contact Candi Arveson, Founder's Office Coordinator, at 425-775-4800 ext. 18.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


When this time of year comes around, there is an expectation in many churches to hear sermons driven by the season. Christmas or Advent sermons. It was in my 5th or 6th year as a Pastor when I told my church that I was out of Christmas sermons. From that time on I would each year at Christmas time simply continue to preach verse by verse through the book I happened to be in, and an amazing thing happened, no one complained! It was a blessing to know that my church cared more about the Word of God being faithfully and accurately proclaimed than they did about it fitting the season.

There is nothing wrong and many things right about preaching to the season. There are many great opportunities, one for me being a Christmas eve service to preach the gospel to unbelievers. But we also do not want to feel tied to the calendar. As there becomes more and more holidays, if a preacher is not careful, they will be continualy preaching about some holiday. So brothers, preach the Christmas sermons with all of your might, but please be more concerned with getting the text right and becoming faithful expositors of the Word. Your church will thank you for it, regardless of the time of the year!

For His Glory,
Tom Crouse

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Polycarp (c 69-155 A.D.) was a leader of the early church in Smyrna. "When commanded to [curse the name of Jesus Christ and] worship Caesar: 'Eighty-six years I have served Him [Christ] and He has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King, who saved me?' To the end Polycarp...disdained to defend himself before the mob. He was threatened with the wild beasts and then with fire, but he did not flinch. Once again his statement was memorable, as well as moving: 'You threaten me with the fire that burns for an hour and in a little while is put out, for you do not know about the fire of the judgement to come, and the fire of eternal punishment reserved for the ungodly. But why are you waiting? Bring what you will.' And so they did. He was burned alive. The issues were clear to Polycarp and [other] Christians: 'It is better for you to enter into life maimed, than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out' (Mark 9:43). Immediately after Polycarp's martyrdom, the local church wrote a letter describing the events, so eager were they for a neighbouring church to know of their leader's joyful and glorious end. To them and to the [non-Christians] around them such faithfulness was the best possible testimony to the truth of the gospel." (The Footsteps of God by John Legg, Evangelical Press)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I have always been amazed at Daniel. He was a man that was known to be faithful in the Word and prayer. He was well known enough for his walk with God that it was easy to trap him using that as a weapon. His enemies knew that nothing would keep him from his time with the Lord, be it a law or a Kings decree. But what is most amazing to me is when Daniel prays to the Lord for the people of Israel in the past, and their past transgressions. He goes to God for them and in spite of his never having committed their sins, in spite of his not have fallen with them, in spite of it being none of Daniels accountability, he prays to God as if he had done all that they had. It is an impressive example of how a man of God, a minister of the gospel is to identify with the people God has entrusted to his care.

For those of us in ACTION, that means we must see these needy pastors as we do ourselves. We must see their needs, as our needs, their joys as our own, and their tears as ours as well. The only way we can effectively minister to these dear brothers is to join them in heart soul and spirit. Would you join us as we join them? Would you partner with us as we partner with them? Would you do all that you can in prayer and practically to see that the needy pastors of the world are encouraged and provided for? It is a call worth answering. Daniel did not see himself as above those who went before him and failed. In fact he put himself in the thick of it, identifying with them. Would you do the same for the needy pastors of the world?

For His Glory,
Tom Crouse

The new Action Bible Institute in Zambia

We are really excited about the commencement of our new Bible institute for pastors in Zambia... Just so you can come along for the ride, here is a description of what we are doing...


Action Zambia is pleased to announce the formation of Action Bible Institute (ABI). ABI is a cherished dream of AZ missionaries to serve the pastors and church leaders of Lusaka with a formal program of theological and practical training.

General Description: ABI is a three year course of theological education and pastoral training consisting of eighteen courses. Students attend class five days a week for two hours a day. They also participate with fellow students in small groups led by AZ missionaries. Upon completion of their studies they receive a Certificate of Pastoral Training from Action Zambia.

Purpose: ABI has been established to train and equip Christian pastors and leaders in the Lusaka area with the needed knowledge, skills, and character development to shepherd and lead the church to spiritual health, maturity, and multiplication. We seek to promote the supremacy of God in all things, the sufficiency of the Bible for faith and life, and the way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone for the peoples of all the nations.

Philosophy: Our training is geared to develop leaders in the context of their life responsibilities. We seek to accommodate them with the development of a curriculum and schedule that allows them to learn as they serve their churches and families. We have developed a curriculum plan that focuses on imparting the essential knowledge and skills for ministry with an emphasis upon learning how to exegete the Bible and develop a theology that is Biblically sound and culturally relevant. Our program also includes a commitment to build personal relationships with our students for support and encouragement in fulfilling God’s call upon their lives.

Cost & Expenses: Tuition is free. We do require students to make an investment in the purchase of their class books but we also seek to financially support our students by subsidizing some of their costs of food, transportation, and additional books for their personal libraries. We are a faith organization that depends entirely on the offerings of people who support this ministry and make no commitments beyond helping students as funds are available.

Schedule: Monday through Friday; 15:00-17:00 hours

Student Requirements:

· Fill out an AZ application for ABI.

· Upon acceptance into the program, attend 90% of class room instruction and fulfill all assignments. Excused absences beyond the 90% attendance will be allowed at the discretion of the teacher.

· Tests will be administered at the discretion of the teacher.

· Students will receive a pass or fail based on their participation in the class and small group, and satisfactory fulfillment of all other class requirements.