Episode 581

Texas church enjoying season of renewal; ‘Jesus’ film translated into American Sign Language; Avoid ministry stress

Apr 5, 2024

Texas church near Longview seeing renewed growth with a Gospel focus; ‘Jesus’ film translated into sign language for first time; Stephen Rummage offers time to avoid ministry stress


Build and trust your team. Effective ministry always involves working with a team of people, whether church volunteers or ministry staff. Gather trustworthy people around you and delegate wisely. Work to build a committed and high-capacity team and then empower team members through training and dele- gating ministry assignments to them. Resist the opportunity to take tasks you have delegated back into your own hands.
The “85 percent rule” of delegation is helpful: Effective delegation happens when something is done 85 percent the way you would have done it yourself. Trusting your team decreases pressure and stress.
Prioritize rest and downtime. Getting a good night’s sleep consistently is crucial. Take your day off and vacation time. I am never impressed by pastors who tell me they work 24/7 or never take a vacation. Working all the time is a weakness, not a strength. God created us to live in a pattern of work and rest. Violating that pattern becomes detrimental to you, your family, your relationship with God and your ministry.

Mulberry Springs, Texas is about 15 miles northeast of Longview. It doesn’t see a lot of traffic on a typical day.

Yet the rural congregation of Mulberry Springs Church—founded in 1892—is building a new worship space to seat nearly 800 people.

The congregation had dwindled to around 100 a few years ago.

That’s when the church began to make some changes. Their focus turned outward. They began to go to the community rather than waiting for it to come to them.

Now, more than 400 people worship weekly at the church and they are the process of building a new worship space.

The church has created a presence in the community to love and serve their hometown and to find ways to share the Gospel. Folks in Mulberty Springs and other communities are taking notice.

A new version of the Jesus Film, performed in American Sign Language (ASL) by Deaf actors and crew members, premieres April 4 at the Deaf Missions Conference in Arlington, Texas, its promoters have announced.

A broader release of the film portraying Jesus’ life is in the works, Deaf Missions has said, but details have not been announced.

Already, the Jesus Film has been produced in 2,100 languages since its 1979 English premiere, and holds the Guinness Book of World Records for being translated in more languages than any film. Cru Ministry partnered with Deaf Missions to produce the newest version of the Jesus Film designed to minister to deaf individuals in the U.S. and other nations where ASL is used.

While there is no universal sign language, ASL is used by more than half a million Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the U.S., according to estimates, and also in Canada and other countries. Globally, 70 million deaf individuals use one of 300 sign languages, according to World Federation of the Deaf.



Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.


How can you avoid stress in ministry? Stephen Rummage says build and trust teams and prioritize rest and downtime.



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