We’re excited today to introduce you to another one of LifeWay’s simulcast specialists: Shari Chamblee. Shari, her husband Steve, and their four children live in Tucson, Ariz., where Steve serves as lead pastor of Grace Fellowship.
Shari spends countless hours connecting with churches all over the southwest region of the country to tell them about LifeWay’s Living Proof Live and Priscilla Shirer Live simulcasts. Read this story of how Shari got involved with LifeWay simulcasts and how the Lord has used technology to impact her community.
I’m a southern girl. I lived in Alabama for the first 35 years of my life. I love sweet tea, walking barefoot on dew topped grass early in the mornings, and the smell of a fresh rain while sitting under a tin roof covered deck overlooking tall pine trees. So, of course the Lord would see fit to move us across the country to plant a church in Tucson, Arizona. No sweet tea, no grass…only rocks in my yard, no dew (that was the weirdest thing to me), very little rain, no tin roof, and no trees. Lovely. But…what the Lord has shown me so vividly is that my heart should not be downcast because of the lack of sweet tea but because of the lack of the gospel light!
In the south, there are multiple churches, and when I say multiple, I mean you could easily pass nine or 10, some different denominations, some the same, on a four or five mile drive. There are opportunities almost monthly to attend some type of evangelistic or growth level conference within driving distance. Christian bookstores are easily accessible. Now, I understand that just because these dynamics are true does not mean the gospel is being constantly or consistently proclaimed. I understand that there are still people in these areas that are not being touched by someone who desperately care about their soul. There remain pockets of darkness even in the midst of strategically placed churches. However, they are there…strategically placed so that believers will be equipped to share the light of Jesus with a broken and hurting area. Not so in the west.
Here, in my city of five years now, you can easily drive for twenty or thirty miles without passing a church. You can order Christian books and resources online (thank you Jesus!!!), but to walk into a bookstore that “smells” of Jesus means a drive of almost an hour. There are over a million people in Tucson and maybe two Christian bookstores.
This is why I am so very thankful for the Lord’s gift of simulcasts! He has opened a door of opportunity for us to reach the masses where they are. I believe with all my heart this is a special gifting from Him to enable us as we seek to fulfill the great commission we are given in Matthew 28:19, “…go and make disciples of all nations…” and Acts 1:8, “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
These simulcasts are being taken into un-churched areas, prisons, and even countries that are closed to the gospel. Amazing! I beseech you to use this tool of simulcasts to reach those in your area for Jesus! You can facilitate a community wide outreach, use them with a small group, or purchase individual simulcasts for those you know of that are homebound or are missionaries in other countries and in need of a touch from the Lord.
May we be heartbroken for the lost in our world and ask the Lord to create in us such a passion for Him that we not rest until the whole world knows of His glory and His name be made famous!
“LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2