Archive | Discipleship

How The Credo House Changed the Life of this OIF Veteran

Allow me to introduce myself…

My name is Kevin and I want to share with you the impact this ministry has had on my life.

Take four minutes to watch this video and let me share my testimony with you.

You know what is crazy?

I have received multiple emails from members and supporters with the same conclusion.

The Theology Program changes lives.

I am living proof and am amazed at the stories that I am hearing everyday.

Your feedback is what helps me to wake up every morning excited to come to work here.


If you have a story about how Credo House Ministries has impacted your life or someone you know, let me know!

I will be sure to pass it along to the rest of team (and trust me, this is just the encouragement some of them need).

Also if you have any theology questions or subjects or product ideas you would like us to cover let me know and I will be sure to relay it to Michael and Tim.


We are so excited to announce the Discipleship App!

How do you grow as a disciple of Jesus? How do you develop deep roots and a fruitful life? The Discipleship App is designed to set you on a course toward becoming a fully-devoted follower of Christ. This 10-session program focuses on both Orthodoxy (correct thought) and Orthopraxy (correct action).

“Discipleship is a biblically faithful, clearly articulated, practically useful overview of crucial doctrinal issues at the core of Christian thinking and living. I know of no other tool like this one and I highly recommend it.” – JP Moreland

Topics Studied Include:

  • Session 1: Bible
  • Session 2: Mankind
  • Session 3: Trinity
  • Session 4: Jesus
  • Session 5: Faith
  • Session 6: Living with God
  • Session 7: Living with God’s Word
  • Session 8: Living with God’s People
  • Session 9: Living with Pain
  • Session 10: Living as Lights

The app allows you to stream or download 10-45 minute teaching sessions of audio and/or video. While experiencing the teaching session you are able to interact with the highly-illustrative slides and workbook.

Gift this app to a family member, friend, co-worker or church member who is wanting to grow deeper in their faith. Have someone experience each session and then meet weekly with them to discuss the important subjects. Use this as a springboard to making disciples of all nations!


Development for the Android version is well under way. The app is up and running on a Kindle Fire and we hope to have it rock solid enough for a release in the near future.

On Talking to Those Who Doubt

The first thing you have to know about talking to most doubters is that they have a strong suspicion that you have never been there . . . that you just don’t understand. It is easy to find yourself in a position of illegitimacy. I’ll get back to this in a moment.

Since I went through my depression three years ago, I have noticed something: there are those who understand depression and there are those who don’t. When I am down, I want to talk to someone who understands. And you know what? If you have not been through it, you normally don’t get it. I know this, because before I went through it, I did not get it. Back then, solutions were simple. Stop sinning, trust God, talk yourself out of it, pray, listen to Christian music, read your Bible, get out of bed, think positively!  Next! These were the quick remedies I would offer to those who were groping for hope in the darkness of despair. Not so anymore. Now, when I enter into that darkness (and I still do), I need to find someone who has been there. When I talk to people who don’t get it – who are like me before I went there – I just fall deeper into the black hole, finding less hope. It is only when I find someone who has been there, can admit it, and is not there now do I find some degree of solace. And I can tell. Those of you who have been there, you know exactly what I am talking about. Whether it is a look in their eye, their avoidance of giving judgmental advice, or their description of their own darkness, I know if they have been there. But most people are insensitive to the plight of those who are truly struggling through depression because they just don’t get it.

It’s easy to find yourself in a position of illegitimacy. It is no different when it comes to dealing with people who are doubting their faith. How do we talk to people who are in the process of walking away from their faith? You see, those people who are in doubt are in a very similar black hole and they need to know you have been there before they will listen to you.

I am going to tell a story and change some of the details a slight bit for the sake of privacy.

Last year I had a church leader from Oklahoma City call me. He was down and discouraged. He informed me that his daughter was doubting her faith. She was twenty-one and was just entering college for the first time. While she grew up in a Christian home and a conservative church, while she had been to youth group all her life, while she served in AWANA, the children’s ministry, and even led a Bible study, she was now questioning everything she knew. “She is having doubts about the trustworthiness of the Bible,” he told me. “I heard from someone that you deal with this kind of stuff. Can you talk to her?” I had them come into the Credo House.

They arrived the very next day. We sat down at the Cappadocian Bar. It was a hot day so I made them a Nicene Mocha Frappuccino. They were amazed at both the taste and the presentation of the frap ( . . . now I am getting off the subject and self-promoting my amazing barista talents). As we began to talk, I realized something very important: this girl was not simply having doubts about her faith. You see, there are two types of doubters. Allow me a brief interlude to describe them.

1) Those whose doubts turn them to depression because they don’t want to lose their faith. They are walking away from the faith facing backward, crying out for help. Because of this, I have more hope for these kind of doubters, but they are in need of emergency counseling. I have hope for them because I know that they want to keep their faith. Therefore, finding the source of the doubt and rebuilding a strong foundation is normally attainable (from a human perspective).

2) Those whose doubts turn them to anger because they think that they have been misled all their lives. They are walking away from the faith facing forward calling on others to follow them. It is not that I don’t have hope for these doubters, but I have less inclination to believe their faith was ever truly established. Sure, these doubters experience anxiety and depression because they are leaving everything they knew, but they are more likely to turn into evangelists of unbelief if something does not change quickly.

I fear for those who have never doubted their faith more than for those who have gone through (or go through) the darkness of uncertainty. At least with both types of doubters above, you know they are taking their faith seriously. Sooner or later you will know where they stand.

I quickly came to realize that this girl I was talking to over coffee was the second type of doubter. It broke my heart as I clearly saw her father’s anxiousness as she expressed her doubts to me. It was not a simple distrust in the reliability of a particular portion of Scripture; this was full-blown antagonism toward everything in the Bible. This person was coming to the bottom of the hill of doubt and just about to cross the line to full-blown unbelief.

However, with both types of doubters, before you can effectively minister to them, you have to gain legitimacy. And the way to gain this is the same for both. They need to know that you have been there. They need to see your battle scars with the Lord. They need to see that you have truly wrestled with these issues. They need to see that you walk with a limp too. Otherwise, you are immediately going to be written off as a naive Christian. In our postmodern society, naivete is the greatest disqualifier for your counsel and witness. So it is important that you raise your shirt and show your scars across your heart. And you know what? Your wound does not necessarily need to be sewn up and closed. It could be wide open. You may be in the middle of the battle yourself. As long as they see you are/have been there and that you have still kept your faith, they will be much more likely to listen. It is just like depression. Once someone sees that you have been there, their first thought is hope. “I am not the only one!” they think to themselves. “How does this person hold it together? There must be a way!” is often their thought.

I know this gal was very surprised as I trumped her struggles and doubts with greater struggles of my own. When she brought up the “atrocities” of the “Old Testament God” I told her that while this was indeed a problem, there was a much greater problem that I have than God leading the call for the death of nations (men, women, children, and animals).  The greater problem is hell. Why would God allow people he loves to go to eternal punishment when he has the power to save them? I don’t know the answer to that (and please don’t let this blog turn into a debate about this issue). When she brought up a “contradiction” in the New Testament, rather than quickly solving it, I acknowledged it and then brought up what I believed to be a much more significant problem. Now, I have my ways of dealing with all of these problems, but this is not really want the doubter wants (or needs).  What they want (need) is to know the listener identifies with them. They need to see that you have truly been there.

There was a long, baffled silence as I continued to acknowledge her problems and then up the ante. After a bit of time, I felt the question I was waiting for was arising within her mind. “Why then are you still a Christian?” A fuller, unexpressed version of the question was this, “If you have the same wounds as me (and more so), how can you still keep the faith?” It was then that I began. It was then that I had an audience. It was then that there was hope for this young lady. I began to explain to her why I believed that true faith and doubt were compatible. Christianity is not understanding seeking faith, but faith seeking understanding.

If you do not show your true colors – worse, if you don’t have true colors – the doubters will go to someone who does. Unfortunately, the crowd they will find is made up of atheists, agnostics, and relativists. Why? Because they are almost always honest about their struggles. If the doubters cannot find identity in a Christian crowd, they will find it in another.


The Insecurity of our Faith

I believe in what is called “perseverance of the saints.” I am less inclined toward the designation “eternal security of the believer,” but it will do. I can even accept “once-saved always-saved,” so long as it is properly qualified. However, I also believe there is a type of faith that does not save. What a statement of insecurity this may be to you! But I really don’t know what to do with some of the language of Scripture. Some have labeled me an enemy of the so-called “Lordship Salvation” position (look it up). While I do have some issues with certain articulations of the Lordship position, I am in agreement that as believers, we should be continually testing our faith to see if it is of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:5). Why? Because it may not be.

Let’s talk to Jesus just a bit:

“”I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.” (John 16:1)

(“Why this passage?” you ask.  Because it was in my daily Bible reading today.)

What a fascinating passage this is. Here, in the middle of the great “Upper Room Discourse,” Christ is comforting his disciples and preparing them for his imminent departure. This passage follows on the heels of Christ’s warning that his disciples are going to suffer persecution for bearing his name. “If they hated me, they are going to hate you,” he tells them (John 15:18). “But don’t worry . . . this is your life now . . . a life filled with suffering and persecution.” Why is he telling them this? Well, that is where our current passage comes in: to keep them from “falling away.”

“But I thought a believer could never fall away? I thought you said that we were eternally secure.” Well, we are. But we are not. Forgive me for the apparent double-speak but, best as I can tell, I am just following in the footsteps of our Lord. You see, Christ has already said, in a previous John passage, that we are (eternally) secure in the hands of God:

John 10:27-29
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

(What a comforting passage)

Yet here in John 16:1, he seems to suggest that his disciples could fall away from the faith. The word here for “fall away” is skandalizo. It is the word we get “scandal” from. It means “to be brought to a sinful downfall” (BAGD), or “to stumble or fall,” or “to fall away.” Louw-Nida (my favorite Lexicon so long as I am using Bibleworks) has it as “to cause to give up believing, to make someone no longer believe.” It is the word used in the parable of the soils for the soil which experiences persecution: “But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away [skandalizo]” (Matt 13:21). This is appropriate to Christ’s usage in John 16:1, since it parallels the thought. There is a type of faith that can be “scandalized” and fall away, never experiencing the benefit of true faith: the salvation of the believer’s soul. Continue Reading →

How to Disciple 1.3 Million People: Update #3

The last few days have been so interesting in my quest to investigate and report on the efforts of one organization seeking to disciple 1.3 million people. This organization does not simply seek to reach any random 1.3 million people, but reaches the absolute “least of these.” I’ve been spending time this week with the 81,000 least of these in Kenya.

I’ve seen more in the last few days than I can quickly process. For this post I’ve decided to throw up on you. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Ok, what I mean by that inappropriate imagery is I’m not going to try to put everything into a nice flowing narrative. Hopefully that will come later as I can spend more time digesting many extreme experiences. I’m simply going to bring out a bunch of random pros and cons I’ve been chewing on from the last few days:


  • Encouraged: Compassion International uses 83% of all donations to go directly to the children. Only 17% of funds are used for staff members, fund-raising, trips like the one I’m on, etc… This ratio is absolutely amazing. Most of the other prominent children-based organizations are nowhere close to this ratio.
  • Encouraged: Compassion International is completely church-based. Everything they do happens through a local church. Children are selected by the pastor and elders of a local church. They best know what’s happening on the ground and can best team up with Compassion to make a lasting difference.
  • Encouraged: Compassion International is a one-to-one organization. Every child is sponsored by one specific person in a developing country. I asked many kids who their sponsor was and received names like, “Carl, Mr. and Mrs. Wendt, Judith, etc…” Kids are not a number to this ministry, neither are sponsors just a wallet. Compassion processes more than 10,000 letters per month between children and sponsors in just their Kenya efforts. While we were talking to the director of letters in Kenya, a man named Ken who was once in absolute poverty and is now a college graduate all thanks to Compassion, we oversaw a letter written from a young lady in America showing her sponsored child her wedding pictures. It was very emotional for all of us. This is a real ministry, reaching real children by real people.
  • Encouraged:Compassion International uses only local people for all staff members in a country. It takes a very good local organization to help 81,000 children and families. All in-country staff must be from Kenya. The same is true for the other 24 countries in which Compassion ministers to 1.3 million people.
  • Discouraged I’ve sponsored a child for more than 10 years and I had never heard of their groundbreaking Child Survival Program and their unbelievable Leadership Development Program. I fear most people are the same.

Child Survival Program

  • Encouraged: This program is unbelievable. There are currently 50 places in Kenya where the life of 35 women, and their husbands and children, are being radically changed. I met so many women who weren’t naming their children until they were 2 years old because so many had died. These women had no emotional, spiritual and physical hope. They now have hope. So many had found hope in Christ and hope in their future. Many were now: playing with their children for the first time, learning new skills with their husbands, creating products and services to earn a living.

Continue Reading →

How to Disciple 1.3 Million People: Update #2

It’s interesting to be in Kenya. Sometimes I wonder if this is really a developing country. We were driving through one neighborhood earlier today when Peter (more on him in just a bit) asked me how much I thought the houses in the area cost. I couldn’t imagine offering a guess so I gave up quickly. His answer: Close to 3 million U.S. dollars! I couldn’t believe it.

My doubts about the “developing country” status of Kenya only last for a moment. Yes, there are some very rich people who have made their fortunes through Tea, Coffee, Construction and Government Corruption. 80% of the country, however, earns $60 or less per month.

Many of the people I see have almost a battle-hardened look about them. At first glance they seem so innocent and so joyful, but I know they are well familiar with acts of evil. Take a neighboring country to the Southwest, Rwanda. In 1994 one of the worst genocides in human history took place. For virtually no reason other than racism (black tribes against other black tribes), more than 1 million people were murdered in only 8 weeks. Then take Uganda, the neighboring country to the West, in the 1970’s Idi Amin was responsible for killing around 500,000 of his people. More recently the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda would regularly kidnap kids, forcing them to kill at least one of their family members before spending their lives terrorizing others.

The neighboring country to the Northwest is Sudan. In the Darfur region of Sudan it is believed around 3 million innocent people have been killed since 2003. The neighboring country to the East is Somalia. Since 1991, Somalia has had no government. Every person does what is right (or wrong) in their own eyes. Many Americans will remember the 19 American troops killed in Mogadishu in 1993. Somalia is one of the most violent, godless nations on the planet. Being in Kenya feels like being surrounded by some of the worst evil committed on earth over the past 30 years.

Many Kenyans living close to the borders of these countries experience a tough life. For this reason many come to Nairobi looking for hope. Much like poor Europeans immigrating to America 200 years ago looking for a better life, people come to Nairobi hoping to start a life where they can support their family for generations.

There are limited opportunities in this city. Many of these families end up living in places where most Americans wouldn’t even store their lawn mowers. A fresh start in Nairobi begins to morph into a hopeless life of poverty. Can the hope and reality of Jesus make a lasting difference in East Africa? Can the worldwide church do what has never been done, to fix what has never been fixed? I’m here full of questions, eager to see some groundbreaking work happening in Kenya, hoping that the solutions don’t cause more problems. You can imagine I was excited for our first full day.

Breakfast with Peter

I thought my day would start very slowly. God had different plans. A man named Peter has been with our group since we were at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. I heard Peter lived in Denver and didn’t think his life would end up having a big impact on mine. As we sat down for breakfast I started asking him questions. I did not expect the answers that followed.

Peter grew up in Uganda. His father is from Rwanda. His father was one of the worst fathers you could imagine. Fearing for his life Peter went to the streets. He lived on the streets of Uganda, fending for himself, from age 11-15. Peter told me on average he would eat one meal every two days. At age 15 one man reached down into the gutter of life and pulled out Peter. This man loved Jesus and out of the love God had shown him, he had compassion on Peter.

Peter first heard about Compassion International at this time. The man who helped Peter was in charge of all Compassion’s efforts in Uganda. Peter was officially too old to enter the children development program, so the director personally took Peter under his wing. As Peter grew, his love to help children who find themselves in similar situations grew as well.

In 1994 Peter was in Rwanda. Why? He was rescuing children from the genocide. Peter told me some stories about what he saw during those terrible 8 weeks. The story that I will never forget came when I asked him about the church in Rwanda during this time. He told me about some heroic things but then turned to tragic stories. The worst came from a Roman Catholic Church which had become corrupted by the madness. More than 5,000 people had fled with their families to this church for safety. Peter went to help them. The church leadership, unfortunately, had tipped off others about the church being full of hiding families. When Peter arrived the church was full of 5,000 dead bodies. Some had survived, miraculously, by hiding under the bodies and pretending to be dead.

I couldn’t believe it. Peter and I talked on the plane about the Broncos and Tim Tebow. He told me about being in the stadium as Tebow threw the overtime pass to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, he was there. He said the stadium felt like it might collapse!
Continue Reading →

How to Disciple 1.3 Million People: Episode #1

I’m sitting in a hotel room right now. A pastor friend of mine is asleep in the bed next to mine. Cars are whizzing by outside my room. My eyelids are starting to get pretty heavy. It’s about 1:30 in the morning. For the last two days I’ve been traveling, with 13 other people, to Nairobi, Kenya.

Why am I in Nairobi? If you cut those of us who are a part of the Credo House we will bleed discipleship. Several months ago a man named Scott Werner started coming into the Credo House. Scott is over an 8 state regional area for Compassion International. His job is to connect churches with the work Compassion is doing around the world.

As the weeks went by Scott and I had conversations about all sorts of topics. One day we started talking about discipleship. I’ve sponsored a kid through Compassion for more than 10 years, but I really don’t know what Compassion is doing to make disciples of the people they touch.

So here I am now in Kenya. In full disclosure Compassion has paid all of my expenses so I can report on the work they are doing. Please check this blog daily for the next several days as I report on, “How to Disciple 1.3 Million People.” That is how many people they are currently ministering to on a daily/weekly basis. In Kenya alone Compassion is actively ministering to around 71,000 people.

Continue Reading →