Episode 489

Reaching Native Americans, Amazing Grace Maintains Eclectic Appeal & Zach Williams Rescue Story

Nov 28, 2023

Christian Statesman Emerson Falls from Oklahoma has developed a missiological strategy for reaching Native Americans with God’s life-equipping gospel of Jesus. “Amazing Grace,” in its 250th year, has such eclectic appeal and attracts so many genres that ethnomusicologist Paul Benham often discusses with his students whether it’s a gospel song. And, as Grammy and Dove Award-winning recording artist Zach Williams performs concerts around the country, he realizes the importance of sharing his own personal testimony of God’s redemption, hoping to connect audiences with Christ.

Transcript

Christian Statesman Emerson Falls from Oklahoma has developed a missiological strategy for reaching Native Americans with God’s life-equipping gospel of Jesus. 

He has done so with wisdom acquired from a lifetime as a Native American, from more than 50 years walking with Jesus, and from nearly that long ministering among his Native people, In his final weeks before officially retiring as the full-time Native American Ministry Partner with Oklahoma Baptist Convention, Falls talked with Baptist Press about the four essential elements of the strategy he has developed.

Express the gospel in ways Natives can understand
Equip Native disciples for spiritual growth
Empower Native churches to be self-sufficient
Emphasize the benefit of all God’s people working together for His glory

While Falls has Native Americans in mind, these strategies are helpful for all people as they share their hope in Christ.
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Folk singer Arlo Guthrie sang it at Woodstock. Pop star Rod Stewart recorded it in 1971. Crowd- surfing is rampant as American Celtic punk rock band Dropkick Murphys perform it on YouTube. “Amazing Grace,” in its 250th year, has such eclectic appeal and attracts so many genres that ethnomusicologist Paul Benham often discusses with his students whether it’s a gospel song.

Amazing Grace was first sung in 1773 on New Year’s Day at Lord Dartmouth’s Great Hall in Olney, England. John Newton wrote it to accompany his New Year’s sermon from 1 Chronicles 17, encouraging worshipers to remember the Lord’s “past mercies and future hopes,” according to the Museum of the Bible.
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Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.
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As Grammy and Dove Award-winning recording artist Zach Williams performs concerts around the country, he realizes the importance of sharing his own personal testimony of God’s redemption, hoping to connect audiences with Christ.

Although Williams grew up in church and heard the gospel at a young age, it wasn’t until his life was spiraling out of control — with the lifestyle accompanied by a secular rock band — that he realized his need to surrender his life to Christ.

“I realized when I gave my life to the Lord that He never left me,” Williams told TAB. “Even in my darkest moments He was always right there with me. I look back at my life and see how many times I was traveling down the wrong path and making wrong choices, yet God was still keeping me safe even when I thought I was too far gone.”

After leaving the band Williams found renewed purpose and passion by committing to write songs with a gospel message, along with developing a heart of repentance and opportunities to refocus on his family. With the release of his 2017 album, “Chain Breaker,” Williams realized how God was stirring not only in his own life but in listeners around the world.

You can read the full piece and learn more about our daily emails at Baptist Press.com.

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