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From Chris's Heart


April 2006
A New Dream for Ariel Ministries
by Nick Harris

From the moment God called me to full-time ministry in February of 1969, I sensed that he was anointing me for an outreach that would impact the entire world for his kingdom. However, as strong as my ministry seemed to be over the years, I never felt that I had achieved all that God envisioned when he had called me.

I can say that over my 35 years as a pastor, I have had some marked success. I have been honored to pastor five churches. Together with my wife, Chris, we have been able to establish a nationwide radio presence. We have seen countless people surrender their lives to Christ, and have played a key role in assisting over forty men and women to enter into the full-time ministry of the church. Yet, in spite of these successes, I have always known that something else was there, beckoning to me.

As early as 1992, I begin to feel this “something else” was a Biblical training facility, a place where I could assist people who are hungering for the knowledge of God. I want to help people to dig more deeply into the truth of the Word of God.

For at least thirty years, I had been aware that God had set me aside to be “an explainer of God’s word” (a teacher), and not “a proclaimer of God’s Word” (an evangelist). With that gifting in mind, I knew that in a Christian training center environment, I could come much closer to fulfilling this calling than I could in a local church with the hundreds of tasks related to pastoral responsibility.

So when I retired from full-time pastoral ministry in January of 2004, I began to focus on establishing a Christian Training Center. However, for two years the doors to this dream did not seem to open. God had not yet shown me how to bring this dream into reality. Then, in January of this year, God began to make everything much clearer to me.


THE GOAL

In January, God showed me three things that I am to do:

1) I am to begin to “pod-cast” my teachings over our web site on the Internet. For many months I had recognized that the radio ministry was a wonderful tool in its day, but it reaches only those people living in a restricted listening area. In addition, most of the listeners to the stations where our broadcasts are aired are already mature believers. Through the World Wide Web, especially through “pod-casting,” our teachings could be available to the entire planet without requiring any additional money. This would be a much better stewardship of the money that our supporters give to this ministry.

2) I am to open a biblical training center to be called Ariel Christian Center near the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Our goal will be this: to provide in depth training for anyone who is hungry for more of the word of God in the metro area, but with a definite focus on college students, and with an even more intense focus on the international students attending the university. These students are already in place, ready to be discipled. From the campus of Oklahoma University, we will be able to send thoroughly trained warriors for Christ, around the world.

3) I am to open Ariel Chapel for Sunday morning teaching experiences for people who have grown disenchanted with local churches, especially those churches that no longer value or teach the undiluted word of God, or those churches that have become entertainment oriented in the name of seeker-sensitivity. Ariel Chapel will not be a traditional church---it will focus on one thing: growing believers in Christ, so building the numbers of those who attend Ariel Chapel will not be our central focus. If the Chapel has one hundred in attendance, it will be one-hundred spiritually hungry people.


THE CHALLENGE

To achieve these goals I will have to purchase a facility, and God has made such a facility available to us. Six blocks from the campus is an absolutely beautiful eight-year old facility, fully suited to enable us to fulfill our mission. It is an 8000 square foot building, set in a lovely grove of pecan trees. The building has a beautiful welcoming lobby. The main room, the teaching center, seats over three-hundred, with beautiful classroom space available. This lovely building is on the corner of Boyd and Berry.

We need you to join ranks with us. If you can see our dream, our goal, would you begin to pray for us? We can change the world, but we need saints to enter into agreement with us. I am actually asking God to give us this property---stranger things have happened.





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