From the Desk of Stuart Briscoe
(Written in 2014)
In a writing career that spans numerous decades, I’ve received some interesting assignments. But none remotely like the one I recently received from my colleagues at Telling the Truth, which I am about to fulfill.
I’m sitting on the deck of my home at the age of 83. It’s a beautiful summer’s day; I’m in good health and in full possession of my faculties—so far as I know—and I’m asked to write a letter to be shared with you when I have departed this earthly scene and have gone to my eternal destiny!
Having never done this before—or even contemplated doing it—I’m a total neophyte, and I have no doubt the words that shortly find their way onto paper will reflect that reality.
I was entrusted by God with the responsibility of founding Telling the Truth more than 40 years ago. It was thought that some words from me reflecting a backward look concerning the original “whys” and “hows” of the ministry and venturing a forward look into the hidden future may serve to encourage those upon whose shoulders the burden and the joy of continuing the ministry will rest.
And so, I’d like to focus on two words today—intent and extent.
Let’s look first at intent.
Jill and I came to America with our family at the request of Elmbrook Church. Our assignment was to pastor a growing church. My limited understanding of pastoring included the knowledge that the preaching and teaching of the Word of God was foundational, and so I set to work.
In my 20 years of preaching around the world, I had seen many evidences of the power of the preached Word to change lives. The thought of being in a situation where I could devote myself not only to teaching but to living among the people and helping them apply the Word filled me with great joy.
Shortly after beginning the ministry at Elmbrook, I was approached by a friend, Bob Straton, who asked me, “If your preaching is worth hearing within these four walls of the church, would it be worth hearing outside these walls as well?” Assuming the initial premise was correct, the answer had to be, “Yes.” So, I agreed.
Bob then added, “Then let me put you on radio.” And so, Telling the Truth was born. Our “intent” was crystal clear—we wanted to spread far and wide the kind of biblical teaching and preaching that had already proven to be beneficial in many lives.
Over the intervening years, there have been many changes in society as a whole, many new ideas about ministry, many theories about how to “do” church, and even not a few ventures into developing new theologies.
But Telling the Truth’s original intent has not changed. We simply want to release the Word of God in the hearing of as many people as possible and to apply it to as many situations as we are enabled, always mindful that only the Holy Spirit can make the Word personal and relevant to individuals in their unique situations.
The second word I’ve pondered is extent—let’s look at that now.
Telling the Truth first saw the light of day in a small corner of a dark basement! We were a small handful of optimistic, enthusiastic volunteers with no knowledge and even less money… but we made a start!
Our capabilities when we started over 40 years ago bear no resemblance to the possibilities that modern technology now offers us. “Global” is a grandiose word and sounds vaguely hyperbolic, but in this instance, it is the right adjective to describe the extent of Telling the Truth’s reach.
Over the last number of years, this global footprint has only continued to grow as we have utilized technology to reach even more people with the life-transforming Word of God. And only God knows where the possibilities will go!
If I could make one request of you today, it would be for you to continue your gracious support of Telling the Truth to enable this ministry to continue to proclaim God’s life-transforming Truth to a world in desperate need of shifting their focus from the things of this world to the things of God’s eternal plan and purpose—to help more people experience a Life of peace and hope that can only come through a personal relationship with Jesus.
For that ongoing support, I thank you.
So, with untold gratitude to the Lord for allowing us to do what has been done and utter confidence that this ministry will carry on doing things God’s way, as He continues to bring about surprise after surprise, I move on and look forward to you eventually catching up with me.
And if we have time—in eternity!—you can bring me up to date on what happened since I left you to “Keep calm and carry on.” God bless you.