I need to apologize to you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, on behalf of the entire ministry of Jews for Jesus. I think that we may have conveyed a false impression as we share victory stories about our work—one that I hope this article will begin to correct. As you read and hear stories of what God has done in the places we go and the people we meet, we may come across as selfsufficient and self-reliant—and that is far from accurate!
We want you to rejoice over the good things that are happening, but perhaps we have provoked admiration for our courage and commitment—as though all we needed was your vote of confidence—when in fact we are a much more needy bunch.
Recently I have been impressed by a question the Apostle Paul asks in 2 Corinthians 2:16: For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” (NIV) Who indeed? Not Jews for Jesus, that’s for sure!
I’m afraid that many who pray for us and support our ministry may have sensed an air of confidence that, while possibly inspiring, could have left you with a false impression that we are able to do the job all by ourselves. One of the best things to come out of Operation Behold Your God* over the last year and seven months is a growing dependence on God—and an increased awareness of our need to partner with others, especially with local congregations.
The first couple of years of Behold Your God have been a real stretching time for all of us. I regularly find myself asking, “Who is equal to such a task?” While the answer to that question is “not us,” it does not mean that we should lack confidence or doubt the vision we believe God has given us. Rather, we can recognize as Paul did that our confidence is “through Christ before God” (2 Corinithains 3:4). We need to express regularly our radical dependence upon God’s Spirit for all we do in Jews for Jesus.
We also need to acknowledge our need, and to work to establish partnerships with believers in every aspect of our ministry. Many of our best friends and supporters have probably concluded that if they are not Jewish, their partnership with us must be limited to prayer and financial support. But our needs go well beyond that, though we have not always made that as clear as we should. So if you are looking for additional ways to take part in our ministry, please know that we do need you!
Operation Behold Your God is providing a great opportunity for us to invite your involvement. We can’t do it without you! As we conduct these campaigns all around the world, we are seeing more and more Christians finding their places, helping us reach out in grassroots, practical ways. Some are helping us with direct evangelism— handing out tracts, or phoning and visiting unsaved Jewish people in their area. Others are working behind the scenes: cooking, serving, helping with administration or being a part of special prayer teams. As many as half of the personnel on some of our campaigns (behind the scenes as well as on the front lines) have been Christian volunteers who were not born Jewish. We praise God for each one.
We’re also grateful for wonderful partnerships with many ministries and local congregations. Now when it comes to Jewish ministries, I am sorry to say that cooperation has not always been the order of the day. Yet during our Atlanta Behold Your God campaign, there were seven different Jewish ministries (including us) cooperating to conduct that outreach! I’m guessing that has to be some kind of a record. The same sort of thing happened this month during our St. Louis campaign. Our campaign in Tampa was conducted in direct partnership with a local Messianic Congregation and we were thankful for the use of their facilities as our base of operations. We would not have been able to hold our Boston Behold Your God campaign apart from the cooperation of Tremont Temple, located right in downtown Boston. The examples go on and on.
This coming year we face our toughest challenges yet in Operation Behold Your God. There will be more campaigns in the U.S. and around the world than ever. (Please see the enclosed brochure.) Who is equal to such a task? Not us. We need more people praying and we need more people volunteering than we’ve ever needed in the history of Jews for Jesus.
Thankfully, Yeshua promised us that the “Lord of the Harvest” is the One who will send out workers—but it is our job to pray that He does (Matthew 9:38). So please join us in praying that God will provide all the laborers needed for this monumental task. And please forgive us if we led you to believe we didn’t need your help to do what God has asked of us.
My guess is that if we can get you to pray for God to raise up workers, He just might end up making you the very answer to your prayers and ours. Please look over the list of upcoming campaigns and consider partnering with us in one or more of these outreach opportunities.
We are a needy bunch—all of us who name the name of the Lord are—but we can also be confident that God is our sufficiency. Together, we “can do all things through Christ” who strengthens us.
*For those who are new to Jews for Jesus, Operation Behold Your God is our five-year series of outreaches in every city (outside of Israel) where there are 25,000 or more Jewish people.