Q: These days you travel the globe and preach to audiences everywhere, but your journey into worldwide ministry started with small beginnings. Briefly share how God brought you here.
A: Before you can be trusted with global/worldwide ministry, you must prove yourself to be faithful to local. My journey started with serving someone else. The Bible says, “He that is great must become servant.” After serving for over 19 years as a youth leader, I was called to evangelize locally. God began to use me locally and one day someone was sitting in the audience from another country that called me out of the U.S.
Q: As a sought-after author and speaker, how important is it to stay in step with the Holy Spirit through the twists and turns of life in the spotlight?
A: I have taught myself to never believe the hype. The same thing that you did to get to this place in life, you must maintain. An older preacher told me to stay faithful and look out for three devices that can destroy your ministry: 1) Pride 2) Greed for wealth 3) Flesh. I have to maintain a prayer life because WITHOUT PRAYER WE ARE ALL SHEEP LED ASTRAY.
Q: In your role as Lead Pastor of New Life Covenant Church Southeast, you share God’s love in Chicago communities struggling with violence and crime. How have you seen the Lord move to bring transformation in these areas?
A: The Bible says that we are light in the midst of darkness and I have brought the light out of the four walls of the church. When we first moved to the community that our church is in, it was full of drugs and violence. As a church we began to do outreaches to love on the community, we held outdoor pray meetings to pray against the violence, we did marches to come against violence, we partnered with the city and did a gun buy-back. Coming out of the church building has allowed us to see the community change and the violence and drugs decrease.
Q: You’ve always had a passion to engage culture for Christ. What are some practical ways believers can connect with those who don’t know God without compromising their faith?
A: LOVE is one of the most powerful forces to connect with those who don’t know Christ. We plan Fishing Services and the GOAL IS TO GO AFTER THE LOST. Everything from the sermon, to the songs, to the hugs is planned to win them to Christ. Our church is 15 years old and we now do 4 services every Sunday. For 15 years someone has accepted Christ in every service. Love and preparing for the lost is key!
Q: Prayer has played critical role over the course of your life and ministry. Can you share a brief story illustrating how the Holy Spirit has answered your prayers in powerful ways?
A: Everything has to be wrapped in prayer!! Everything that we have acquired has been done in PRAYER. We had no place to worship and had to rent every location BUT IN PRAYER GOD OPENED UP THE LAND. The city had told us there was no land that could hold us, BUT GOD MADE THE EARTH YEILD WHAT BELONGS TO US. We have purchased 4 blocks of land and are presently building our own church. EVERYTHING HAS TO BE WRAPPED IN PRAYER!! We have not because we ask not.
Q: Next month, you’ll be a featured speaker at Planetshakers Conference, airing next month on Daystar. Can share a sneak peak of your message?
A: I believe that God is calling us to PARTNER in this decade. It is not good for man to be alone. We are created to need other people. We are a piece to a puzzle and it won’t be complete until all the right people connect and click.
Q: What sets this particular conference apart from other events, making it a must-see experience for people everywhere?
A: Planetshakers is a conference for the world, for all ages, and for every nationality. People from all over the world gather to hear what God is saying to us!
Q: When you consider some of the divisive issues facing our world today—politics, race, and religion—what can the Church do to bring healing to hurting families and communities?
A: The church has to be the same place that people can escape the divisive issues. We must make sure that it is all about Christ and not our political, religious, and racial opinions. People come to the Church to get away from the pressures of the world so we cannot add to that pressure.
Q: What advice would you give those just starting out in ministry as they prepare to chase the dreams God has placed in their hearts?
A: Dreams take time!! Nothing is born the moment it is conceived. Joseph dreamed at the age of 17 and did not walk in it until he was 30. David was anointed as a pre-teen, but did not receive his second anointing until he was 30. Jesus came to earth to do ministry and didn’t start until he was 30. Moses was called to do ministry at 80 and Abraham was called out from his family at 75. Give God time to prepare you and make the way clear so you can be successful with your dreams.
Q: How important it is for believers—especially those in positions of spiritual authority—to stay connected to God’s Word in every season?
A: The Word of God is the life support of every leader. God said to me, “Anything you do without prayer and My Word you do without Me.” We cannot afford to do ministry and lead God’s people without communicating with Him. These are God’s people and we must consult Him on how to lead, direct, love, counsel, and nurture them.
Q: What passage of Scripture do consider to be your “life verse” and why?
A: My Scripture is Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” This verse frees me because it is not my responsibility to make it happen, but His. I don’t answer prayers, but God does and he has. The bigger the challenge, the more He will be glorified.
Q: Briefly share what God is showing you about this new decade and how Christians should pray as the future is further revealed.
A: The Lord said to me what we do in this next ten years can and will set us up for the rest of our lives. We must plan properly and wrap our plans in prayer. Make plans for the next 3, 5, 7, and 10 years and God will go before us and make the way straight.