Category Archives: Herald of Truth


It’s been a busy last few weeks. Late July I was in Jinotepe, Nicaragua, for a campaign there that was sponsored by Hope For Life, a Herald of Truth ministry. Then last week I was in Cuba for the National Youth Conference; the Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene was the main sponsor of this event, while the University Church of Christ in Abilene and a church from Kimball, Tennessee, provided additional funds. I went with 3 university students from UCC.

Both trips were very profitable and encouraging. And tiring. It’s taken me a few days to catch my breath. I’m getting my bearings again and slowly getting caught up on things that went undone while I was traveling. I’ll get back to writing some things soon, as well as sharing more posts from the summer blog tour. For now, I’ll share a few pictures from my travels.

Time spent with other Christians

I was blessed to attend the Red River Family Encampment for the first time this year. My parents attended years ago, and I’ve had many friends go regularly; I had very much looked forward to being there. I got to go this year representing the Hope For Life (Herald of Truth) ministry.

And my expectations were met. It’s a wonderful gathering of Christians in a beautiful place.

On Saturday, I led three sessions in Spanish. Despite some technical issues at the beginning, we had a great time.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I taught classes in English. There were several glitches there, I’m afraid. I was invited to speak back in November, then my invitation apparently got lost in the shuffle. Early promotional material listed the usual 10 classes, but not mine. Later they added a class by “Tim Harris” to the website. When I got there, I found that they had squeezed me into an 11th slot. (Which I’m very grateful for; I’m sure that involved renting one more tent than usual)

Not having been there, I asked the organizers if I would have the ability to use PowerPoint. I was told yes, but apparently they were only thinking of Saturday. The tents for the classes don’t have electricity! I’ll admit my first class was sub-par because I was planning to use some videos and visuals that weren’t available.

Attendance at my class was very low. On Monday, I ran into one of my cousins. He said, “I’d love to go to your class, but I don’t speak Spanish.” It’s possible that he’s not the only one who thought I was only teaching in Spanish. More likely is the fact that I was a relative unknown in the midst of some very talented teachers.

That said, I had a great time. I heard some great teaching, saw several old friends, made numerous new friends, and got to share some about Church Inside Out. All in a beautiful setting in the mountains.

I had to leave a bit early because our ministry was participating in the Summer Celebration in Nashville. We had out ministry breakfast on Friday morning, then I taught one session on Church Inside Out. I wish we’d had more time there, but it’s hard during the summer to be everywhere.

I love getting to share this material that I think is important. And I especially enjoy the time spent with Christians from other places.

Guatemala trip and random travel thoughts

Just got back from a great weekend in Guatemala City. It was primarily a follow-up trip for Hope For Life (Herald of Truth) on campaign work done there last year and radio work that is ongoing. Bruno Valle and I spent most of our time with Roberto Alvarez, who has been our chief contact there the last few years. Roberto directs the Biblical Institute of Central America; his students were conducting a house-to-house campaign, and Bruno and I provided the preaching for the event. There were seven baptisms and two restorations.

A few random thoughts that have come up over the last few weeks:

  • Just finished reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. I’d recommend the book, primarily for understanding a bit more about Islam and the differences between the worldview of a shame culture vs that of a guilt culture.
  • I now read ebooks almost exclusively when traveling. I have a small iPad with the Kindle app on it; I keep it loaded with plenty of books. I like hard copies when home, but love ebooks when traveling.
  • When traveling, try to limit yourself to one carryon. That’s been my practice for years, and I’m constantly reminded of why it’s a good idea. I have what I call a half-rollerboardthat I can combine with a full-sized carryon for especially long trips. Unless I’m carrying something bulky or taking a lot of supplies somewhere, I don’t check a bag. For suggestions on how to reduce your travel load, check out
  • I love the lightweight hiking shirts made by Columbia. They do well in warm weather, plus you can wash and hang-dry them from one day to the next. I think they look much nicer than the fishing shirts a lot of guys wear. The model I’ve been wearing is Royce Peak II; I’m sure there are others that look as nice.

That’s it for now. Have a great day!

Pepperdine Lectures 2017

Teaching on Church Inside Out

I was out in Malibu last week, speaking at the Pepperdine Lectures. Included in that “speaking” were two sessions where I served as translator for Tony Fernández from Cuba.

Tony arrives in Los Angeles

Tony flew direct from Havana to Los Angeles, a first for him. Much easier than having to stop in Miami to do customs and immigration. He was only in the States for a few days, but it was a needed break from him from the fast-paced life of ministry that he normally leads.

Church Inside Out had good placement in the Pepperdine Bookstore

The class I taught was based on my “Church Inside Out” book and the seminar I lead based on that material. Tony talked about church-planting in Cuba and the power of prayer in the Christian family. I was sorry that more people didn’t make it to Tony’s classes. I think I should have included “Cuba” in the titles of his classes, just to generate more interest. He has such good information to share.

Buena Park Church of Christ auditorium

On Sunday, I got to speak to the Buena Park Church of Christ. The congregation is made up of English speakers and Spanish speakers, so I did a bilingual class and sermon, talking about what the Hope For Life ministry is doing around the world. Lovely group of people.

I have 3 more lectureship-type events coming up later this year. I’ll be at the Red River Family Encampment in late June, followed by the Lipscomb Summer Celebration that same week. Then in September I’ll be speaking at the Harding lectures. If any readers expect to be at any of those events, I’d love to meet up!

Pepperdine has put recordings of the classes and keynotes on iTunes; you can find them here. You can listen to my class, Tony’s classes, and lots of other good presentations from this lectureship.

Teaching on Church Inside Out

Church Inside Out seminars

I believe that the material in Church Inside Out is important for our churches. I have no illusions of getting rich off selling books. I do have dreams of the contents helping some churches become more effective in reaching out to their communities.

It was gratifying to hear that 21st Century Christian has already had to do a second run on the workbooks. I guess some churches are buying the book for their teachers and the workbooks for the class members. That works.

I’ll be presenting this material in four large events this year: the Pepperdine Lectures in May, the Red River Family Encampment in June, the Lipscomb Summer Celebration in June, and the Harding Lectureship in September. I also have several seminars planned at churches in the U.S., plus a request from the Dominican Republic!

I’d love to present this material at your congregation. The Church Inside Out seminar is a practical workshop for the congregation that wants to increase its impact on the community around it. The four sessions of the seminar are:

  • Session 1: The Church Inside
    Christians face new challenges when trying to reach today’s changing society: hostility toward religion, skepticism toward the Bible, apathy toward church membership. Yet the biggest hurdles we face are often inside our own congregations.
    In this first session, we will look at attitudes in our churches that distance us from the communities around us. We will also examine the role of Christians as ambassadors of the Kingdom.
  • Session 2: The World Outside
    In this session, we will look at how to analyze the make-up of our community and how to purposefully serve that community. We will also discuss the need to develop relationships with non-Christians to be able to share Christ with them.
  • Session 3: The Church Goes Out
    Conversion is a process, and church members need to know how to actively participate in every stage of that process. The third session will look at how to treat people who are at different points in their spiritual journey towards God. We’ll learn how to recognize when people are ready to hear the good news and how to share it with them.
  • Session 4: Outsiders No More
    When foreigners come to a new country, they go through something called acculturation. This is the process of learning the appropriate ways of doing things in their new culture. When new Christians begin meeting with the church, they go through a similar process. The final session deals with how to help new Christians become active members of the church.

Our seminars page on the Hope For Life website explains the costs:

The only cost to the hosting congregation is transportation, hotel, meals, and an opportunity to tell the Hope For Life story to the congregation, elders, or Mission Committee. Contact Bill Brant, or call 1-800-234-7995, for more information.

I hope to see you soon at a Church Inside Out seminar