2019 Year in Review - Joshua 4:1-8 - Skip Heitzig
Well, good morning.
Hey, before we get started this morning-- we're going to be in Joshua chapter 4 in just a moment-- but before we start, I want to tell you about a couple of things that are pretty exciting for me. My wife Lenua is starting a podcast. January 14th, it's going to launch. It's called "All the Things." I have no idea what that means. But I do know that she has some pretty great guests lined up in her interviews. So that's going to launch on January 14th. And there is a launch party on the west side at-- I think it's 7:30 for that. So if you're available, gals, come on out for that.
Also, she has been invited to be on the Mike Huckabee show early in January. So Mike Huckabee, on TBN, has a show. And he has a segment called "Huck's Heroes." And so Lenya is going to be on there, featuring "Reload Love." And I think it's going to be on TBN, airing the 4th and the 5th of January. So I just want to brag on her a little bit. I'm really excited for her.
So if you just turn in your Bibles, please, to Joshua chapter 4, I just want to share a couple of verses with you before we show you something special. I mentioned Christmas Eve that I was in the hospital, and I had back surgery. And I know, because I used to work in hospitals, that hospitals aren't to rest in. People don't go to the hospital to get a good rest. You do that at home. You go to a hospital to get fixed or to get diagnosed, and then you go home to get some rest.
So while I was in the hospital, and I was in between getting poked or prodded or a physical therapist or a nurse or an occupational therapist or a doctor, or whatever, I was wide awake. And I had a lot of time to think. And I had a lot of time to think and a lot of time to thank. I became very thankful. As I was reminiscing over the past, as I became thoughtful, I became very thankful.
And keying off that verse in Romans chapter 12, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your body as a living sacrifice," that's where I was living for that couple of days. I thought back on all of the mercies of God individually to me, to my family, over the years, through good, through the bad, and I became very thankful. And it was at an incredible time of worship in that hospital bed for those two days. It really was-- something I didn't expect.
So I went from thoughtful to thankful to hopeful. Because here's my reasoning. If God has been that good in the past, I have a hunch he's going to be that good in the future. If he has proven himself time and time and time again throughout all of my years, I look to the future with great hope and anticipation. So with that, I think it's good from time to time for all of us to pause, to look back, to look around, and then to look ahead, to evaluate, to commemorate, to recalibrate, and then to concentrate on what God wants us to do specifically in the future.
Well, in Joshua chapter 4, the children of Israel have crossed over the Jordan River. They have left the wilderness. They are now in the promised land. I imagine that was a huge party. I'm sure that they were giddy, excited. There was lots of hallelujahs and shouts of glory. Because it had been 40 years that they'd been wandering around the wilderness, thinking about this land, dreaming about this land, talking about this land. Now they're in the land.
As soon as they cross over, God tells them to do something specific-- not just camp and take over the land, but to set up an interesting memorial. So in the fourth chapter of the book of Joshua, we read thus. "And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, take for yourselves 12 men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, take for yourselves 12 stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.
Then Joshua called the 12 men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from each tribe, and Joshua said to them, cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that it may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, what do these stones mean to you? Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever. And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up 12 stones from the midst of the Jordan."
Once this huge crowd of 2 to 3 million Israelites got across the Jordan River, which was the east boundary of that land, now they're in the west bank of the Jordan area. When they come into the land of Israel, they set up base at a place called Gilgal. Gilgal is about eight miles from the Jordan River, about two miles from the city of Jericho, which would be their first conquest. It becomes base camp. They always come back to Gilgal.
So they camp at Gilgal. They'll take over Jericho, come back to Gilgal, fight battles up north, come back to Gilgal, fight battles down south, come back to?
Gilgal. That's where they're going to camp out. And Gilgal will become a very important place in the future history of the nation of Israel. For example, the very first king of Israel, King Saul, has a public swearing in service at Gilgal, this place in the middle of the wilderness. Later on, King David will be exiled from the land because of Absalom's rebellion. When David comes back into the land, he crosses over the Jordan River, where these guys come into the land now, and the leaders of Judah and Benjamin will meet David at Gilgal to bring him back to Jerusalem. So it would become-- it is now and would become a very strategic part of their history, their early history.
But here, the Lord says, I want you to build me a memorial out of stones. I find it interesting that when God wants a memorial, it's simple. It's not extravagant. 12 stones-- you look at it and go, so what? A pile of stones. I notice when man builds a memorial, they go all out.
I've been to the Taj Mahal. I was just amazed at that building. And then I was shocked when somebody said, you know why that was built, right? I said, no, is that a meeting place? Is it a worship center? They said, no, it's a grave. It's a tomb. The dude's wife died, and he built this huge building. I thought, boy, he must have been happy that she died.
He didn't build it before. But it's extravagant. God says, I want a memorial, but just get 12 simple rocks, pile them up. Because in the future, when you're walking along this road, your kids are going to look at that little pile of rocks and go, Dad, what's up with that pile of rocks? Why is that here? That is going to be a simple teaching moment. You'll be able to say, well, son, I'm glad you asked. Let me tell you what happened when God opened up the Jordan River, and we walked across on dry land, just like their forefathers did at the Red Sea.
So Gilgal, this place of remembrance, became very important. So all of this is a setup, because I'm going to show you some highlights about what happened this year through you all, through this church. You know, the Bible says, in the New Testament, that we are living stones, living stones, built up into a spiritual house by Jesus Christ, First Peter, Chapter 2. So what I want you to see-- and you're only going to see highlights-- of what the Lord accomplished during this year-- what you're about to see, these are our memorial stones, our Gilgal of what God has done. And then I'm going to wrap it up at the very end with some closing thoughts. But let's roll it.
- You're about to see a lot of numbers. But numbers only tell part of this story, because behind every number, there's a name. And behind each hand, there's a heart. In the next few minutes, we'll see the impact that Calvary Church has upon our congregation, our community, our nation, and the world.
Our first mission is to create opportunities for life change. And we know that the clear and effective teaching of God's word is the most effective tool in our box. We are committed to providing our church body biblically-sound teaching as we passionately worship God.
In 2019, Pastor Skip taught through three major series-- "Spirit Hacks," "Bloodline," and "Heart and Soul." He also continued with our midweek survey of the entire Bible, called "The Bible from 30,000 Feet." "Spirit Hacks" was a short series presented at the beginning of the year, which gave the church tips and tools for mastering their spiritual life. The "Bloodline" series coincided with the release of Pastor Skip's book with the same title, Bloodline. We will wrap up 2019 in our current series "Heart and Soul" A Study through the Book of Romans."
Our final flight through the Bible from 30,000 feet is scheduled to land in April of 2020. The basic structure of this series remains the same, transforming the church lobby into an airport complete with check-in, mock security scans, and boarding passes. Passengers earn miles when they come to service and take a weekly online quiz. A very special prize awaits the person who acquires the most miles, a trip to the Museum of the Bible, in Washington, DC.
In June, Pastor Skip turned over the controls for the entire month services to Pastor Nate and a team of guest speakers. We called the series "Mix Tape." Every generation has their favorite songs, and each generation needs to discover timeless and biblical truths. This collection of teachers brought these lessons home during the weekend and midweek services.
Our heart for this community leads us to throw open the doors at our campuses and give our time, talents, and treasures to serving our city and sharing Jesus' love in a wide variety of ways, from special services and events, to tangible expressions of love and generosity. One look across the beautiful Bosque, and it's easy to have a heart for New Mexico. Unfortunately, our state scores poorly on national statistics involving crime, childhood wellness, and education. In 2019, we experienced the value of promoting unity across denominations for the good of our community.
One of the easiest ministries to be involved in at Calvary is Feed New Mexico Kids. New Mexico ranks number one in the nation for childhood hunger, and Calvary is committed to helping these children. We collect non-perishable snack food, which gets delivered to Albuquerque public schools and then is distributed to children in need. So far this year, our congregation has given over 23 tons of food.
Last fall, Calvary also participated in a Thanksgiving food drive that provided 2,000 meals for APS children and their families. We asked our community to donate $40 to buy a prepared Thanksgiving dinner for four. In fact, we exceeded our goal in 2018, and this year we aimed to feed 3,000 families.
Keying off the generosity of our community, we extended that spirit into Christmas with our annual toy drive. Over 3,000 kids here don't know when or where they'll get their next meal, much less a Christmas present. So we set up our giant red Christmas gift box and filled it to overflowing. Individual schools allowed us to distribute these gifts to families in need.
For 30 years, Calvary has been hosting New Mexico's largest church service, Easter sunrise at the University of New Mexico football stadium. With picture perfect weather, thousands of people heard the final teaching in our "Bloodline" series, including the message that God's redemption plan includes them.
Calvary hosted New Mexico praise prayer meetings with pastors across a variety of denominations from our community. From this association, grew initiatives to unify the body of Christ, such as Love Week.
- You know, for the past few years, we've been doing Freedom Celebration. And Freedom Celebration has been so great, to see thousands of people say yes to Jesus. But our heart in starting Freedom Celebration, from the very beginning, is that this wouldn't be a Calvary event, but that it would be a city event. It would be a church event for churches across the city to come, and that not just Calvary's numbers would grow, but that the kingdom of heaven's numbers would grow as more people said yes to Jesus and churches all across our city grew.
And so this year, we started something that we had never done before. And we called it Love Week. What we did is, the entire week leading up to Freedom Celebration, we got churches from around the city together to serve with one another, with the express purpose of making our city better-- not evangelizing, not trying to get people to come to our church or inviting them to an event. We just want to show them that we love them and by proxy, that Jesus loves them; serving them, doing things like park cleanup, helping out at senior citizen homes, helping out just across our city, painting schools.
Whatever the city needed, we served the city. And in doing so, we saw something incredible happen. We saw, not only did churches who had never wanted to serve together or work together come together, but we also saw our city come together, a city, that at times, could be considered hostile towards Christianity.
Our city got behind us, donated money, donated time, donated resources. And as a matter of fact, our mayor, Mayor Tim Keller, the mayor that got elected this past year, endorsed Love Week as one of the premier serving opportunities during the summer. We saw thousands of man hours. And for me, it was an incredible answer to prayer, really a lifelong dream that I've had, to see churches working alongside one another, to see Christians serving alongside non-Christians, all for the express purpose of making this city a better place.
- What better way to celebrate our Love Week volunteers and their service to the community then our fourth annual Freedom Celebration? Seven bands took the stage over two nights Isotopes Park for one of New Mexico's biggest parties, that included a gospel message from Pastor Skip. This is our biggest evangelistic event of the year, and it's free-- a gift to our community and a celebration of new life in Jesus.
[MUSIC - BATTLEDRUMS, "BREAKTHROUGH"]
[SINGING] I was a prodigal, longing for home again. I've seen the darkness rising to try to steal my hope. I've heard the Father tell me, be still and know.
- Jesus Christ see you tonight, sitting there. No matter what you're going through, no matter who you are-- you might feel lost in the crowd, you might feel like nobody cares-- Jesus sees you, and he loves you as if you were the only one in this stadium, the only person who ever lived.
[SINGING] Where every fear is shattered by the one truth. 'Cause you are here, I come running to the breakthrough.
- What a phenomenal two nights we had here as Isotopes Park for Freedom Celebration. We had a really great worship. We heard phenomenal music, from Gawvi, from Phil Wickham, Jordan Feliz, and others. And we heard two really impactful messages from Pastor Skip. And you can see people responding to the gospel right now, right behind me. Hundreds of people have come forward to make a decision to follow Jesus.
Whether it's Freedom Celebration or weekly services, our servants at our Osuna, Santa Fe, Nob Hill, and Westside campuses are essential to making this ministry possible, from the welcome team, to Calvary Kids, to safety and traffic control, to Battledrums worship and technical support, our servants are the heartbeat of Calvary Church. Life Track trains each volunteer who serves at Calvary, and to date, over 1,700 servants have completed this four-step process. Life Track ensures that our servants are prepared and plugged into the serving opportunity that best fits their God-given design.
In 2019, our welcome team welcomed many new faces to Calvary. Once each quarter, we celebrate Welcome Weekend, when we ask the congregation to invite their family and their friends to Calvary, where they are given a warm welcome, and they get to hear a clear presentation of the gospel. Every weekend at Calvary, we place a Welcome Center kiosk in the amphitheater, along with tables, where pastors and leaders meet people, answer questions, and help people find their place at Calvary.
Calvary is a big church. And we find that the best way to overcome what can be overwhelming is to take our congregation from a large group seated in rows to small groups seated in circles. Connect Groups give our congregation the opportunity to establish real gospel-centered relationships with a close group of people, people who can live life together.
Several years ago, as Pastor Skip was seeking God's vision for this ministry, the Lord gave him a heart for a part of the community where we really didn't have a presence-- Albuquerque's Westside. Through faithful prayers and generosity, our vision to open Calvary Church Westside became a reality. On May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, we officially launched Calvary Westside. Positioned at the busiest intersection in the city, Calvary Westside extends our reach into this fast-growing community west of the Rio Grande. Every week, a growing congregation of over 400 adults hears Pastor's Skip's weekly teaching via video. And since the new campus is only about 15 minutes away from the Osuna campus, every once in a while, Pastor Skip pops in to teach at the Westside campus in person.
You may remember when we introduced the Creating Life Change light wall. We said that for every $500 that was donated to the launch of the Westside campus, we would put one light bulb in that wall. Well, now that the campus has opened, we've put that wall up here in our lobby. And for every light bulb that's in the wall, that represents one life that has been changed, one individual that has said yes to Jesus. And so far, we have 47 light bulbs in that wall.
Those salvations aren't only the product of people's generosity, but they're also the product of the 137 active servants we have here at this campus. And we're so excited to be able to host more than 85 kids every week here in Wilderness Adventure. At Calvary, we have several special services and events designed to minister to our church body and to our community. Each and every event has the specific goal of reaching the unreached with the gospel. What follows is a rundown of some of those special services and events that made an impact for Christ in our community.
Every year, we host Fall Fest, a Halloween alternative. And last fall, we extended the festivities to the parking lot of Calvary Westside six months before the new campus, even opened. This year at Fall Fest, we expect to treat 3,500 kids and their families at the Osuna and Westside campuses with outdoor games and lots of free candy.
The holiday season at Calvary begins with Thanksgiving. At our annual banner service, we joyfully declare God's faithfulness and our thankfulness. After service, we gather in the amphitheater for cocoa and treats, music and fellowship, and our Christmas tree lighting. Christmas services at Calvary are always a high point of the year, and 2018 was no exception as we presented "Christmas Through the Ages," experiencing Christmas from the Middle Ages all the way to present day.
Near the beginning of each year, we share with the congregation what we call Vision Weekend. This weekend is dedicated to get us all on the same page, so that we as a congregation all move in the direction that God is directing our leadership. This year's theme was The Heart Behind the Hand, a reminder that all of our ministry efforts, both big and small, are intended to touch the lives of individuals.
In March, we hosted the New York Times best-selling author and Middle East expert Joel Rosenberg for all weekend services. Joel brought his expertise on biblical prophecy and current affairs to our congregation. Pastor Skip took that opportunity to sit down with Joel to discuss their joint trip to Saudi Arabia, along with a host of issues concerning Israel and the political and spiritual conditions in that region. Their engaging discussion was produced into a nationally broadcast radio special.
- The other thing is just the openness of Jewish and Arab people to the gospel. I mean, it's amazing. We're just living at the most amazing moment, where Jews and Arabs are open. They're open to the gospel. They're not all responding rapidly, but they're curious. We have had so many conversations. And they're not all because we've tried to create at some moment. And like our kids, people are just asking us. That's exciting.
[SINGING] Make a connection.
- Twice a year, we celebrate the Weekend of Generosity, where we highlight groups and individuals who live life with open hands. In April, we celebrated with special guest Brad Formsma. Brad shared with us how to use our thoughts, words, money, influence, time, attention, and stuff to create generosity ripples in our homes and community.
she Ministries at Calvary wrapped up decades of weekly Bible study in the spring of 2019. But before the end of their last semester, they hosted the she Spring Gathering, featuring guest speaker Jenny Lesko, on Mother's Day weekend. As the event concluded, we geared up for our annual celebration of Mother's Day. she Is More was the theme of the weekend. And guest speaker Levi Lesko gave a powerful message to an enthusiastic congregation.
- Who wants to walk in freedom? I just stay, for freedom Christ has set us free. That's why it's time to declare war and win the war within.
- Special service elements, gifts for mom, and photo booths made the weekend, very special. Our youth ministry Spectrum held their annual in-town retreat, called The Weekend, the first weekend of June. At Spectrum, it's our mission to make Jesus known to the youth and to show them what life to the full looks like. Our heart at Spectrum Student Ministries is to create the opportunity for life change through an atmosphere of truth and invitation. We desire the furthest out kid to come and meet Jesus right where they're at. We don't want to be smoke and mirrors, but we want to use smoke and mirrors to attract and retain youth for life change.
Dad Day 2019 was another fun celebration at Calvary. We adopted a military theme this year, complete with military trucks at our campuses, and a light-hearted video saluting our dads.
[MILITARY RADIO CHATTER]
- O-600-- they push, I push. I knew this day would come; reviewed my plans, got the necessary equipment. But a man can only be so prepared for something like this.
- It's just the weekend. You won't even know I'm gone. Thank you.
[DRAMATIC MILITARY-STYLE MUSIC]
- Each dad was given a free pint glass filled with craft root beer outdoors after each weekend service. Every year, VBS takes over Osuna campus with worship, games, and fun. For five days, we open the campus to the children of our community, where they can experience the love of God firsthand. During the summer, Calvary hosted Sojourn, a killer student rally with Ben Courson and Dominic Done. Students and young adults enjoyed live music and food trucks in the amphitheater and got loads of encouragement from our guest speakers along the theme of preparing students for the journey. We put Ben to work that weekend, as he taught at all of our weekend services.
- The question is not, where is God? The question is, where isn't he? Where can I flee from his Ruach. If I send up to heaven, he's there. If I dwell in the uttermost deeps of the sea, he is there. If I take to the wings the morning or dwell in Sheol, behold his Spirit, his Ruach, Yahweh. Where can I flee? He's my very breath of life.
- In late July, the men of Calvary gathered on a Saturday morning for Man Up. Pastor Neil Ortiz and Nick McKinley, the founder and director of DeliverFund, shared spiritual and practical strategies with men in our community to equip them to better protect their homes and families.
We mentioned earlier that spring 2019 saw the final semester of she Ministries' weekly Bible study. But the women's ministry at Calvary are not done, far from it. Sheologie begins this fall, a movement of women who are rooted in God's word and cultivated in contemporary culture. Each quarter, Sheologie will host a four-week, Tuesday evening Bible study, starting with This Is God. Sheologie will also host women's conferences each spring and winter. One of our favorite guest speakers this year was evangelist Nick Vujicic. Nick packed out Calvary and touched our hearts with his engaging personality and compelling testimony.
- Come on down. Come on down. I'm waited for 60 with friends. Trust me-- 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25-- 30, 31, 32.
- Every service and event at Calvary is crafted to reach our local community with the good news that God loves us. We provide opportunities for families to come together and build stronger ties through Jesus. Once a month, we hold baby dedications, when the families often invite their relatives to celebrate with them and hear the gospel at the same time. Once a quarter, we hold weekend-long marriage and parenting enrichment workshops. And beginning in the spring and continuing through the warm months in New Mexico, Calvary pastors conduct baptisms for new believers at our campuses.
- My name is Suki, and I gave my life to Jesus February 16, 2019. I had a knowledge of who Jesus was. I didn't have a realization or a revelation. And before that, I was heavily into Buddhism. That's where I fell aesthetically and culturally comfortable, and I didn't want anything to do with Christians. In fact, I thought Christians were kind of simple-minded and not very intelligent.
But I realized that Jesus is not a culture. He's not a denomination. He's not a nationality. He's just the truth. Since I've given my life to Jesus, I have been able to do things I thought I never could do before. I don't live my life out of fear. And I know that life is still hard, but I know I have a purpose. And the best thing is I have something to look forward to, which is to be with Jesus for all eternity. And that's the best reward I could ask for.
And now I'm ready to get baptized and go public. And I'll let everyone know. I'll scream it from the mountaintops that I belong to Jesus, and that is a privilege and a blessing.
- Hi, Calvary, Pastor Antonio here, and you just heard a little bit of Suki's story. And tonight she's going public. Suki, because of your faith in Jesus Christ, I now baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. All right.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
- I love you, Jesus.
- Good job. Good job.
- It's stories like that that remind us, our staff and servants, just why we do what we do. Every Tuesday morning, our staff gathers, where we worship together, pray together, and hear words that challenge us, encourage us, and sustain us. And we make time for a little fun now and then, too.
Of course, our heart is to reach our city, our community, and our state. But Calvary Church also has a heart for our nation. The publishing of Pastor Skip's book Bloodline allowed us to share the story of redemption across the country through film, a teaching series, and social media. We always have an eye on equipping the next generation of believers.
The publishing of Pastor Skip's book Soaring Through the Bible allowed us to present a full scope of scripture to kids and tweens, through a national launch team and social media. We're also equipping the next generation by partnering with Veritas International University to bring some of Pastor Skip's teachings to our online curriculum.
Our School of Ministry was retooled into a fully accredited program by partnering with Veritas. And we're just getting ready to enroll the first students for their first semester. We can't wait to update you next year on this significant new ministry.
You already know that Pastor Skip's teachings are broadcast across the nation and the globe through our multimedia ministry "Connect with Skip Heitzig."
- Hello, everyone. Good to be with you. You know, these are great days to be in Christian media. Every time I walk into the Connection studios and offices, I find something amazing going on, in terms of technology, as we seek to reach the world for Jesus Christ. For example, Alexa, play Connect with Skip Heitzig.
- Sure. Playing the episode titled "Against All Odds, Part A."
- When you bring God into the situation, there's no chance--
- Alexa, stop. I mean, how good is that.
- Remember, the Bible says all things were created for His glory. And so our philosophy at the Connection is Biblical. Jerusalem is our New Mexico, Albuquerque, Santa Fe. We have a strong media footprint here-- always have, always will. And if we stretch the analogy of Judea and Samaria being America, we're on hundreds of radio stations. We're on numerous TV stations. We have many access points digitally to hear the teachings of the Connection.
And then, we really believe in the opportunity to go to the uttermost parts of the earth. And that's where things really heat up and get exciting. Last year, we went on Hillsong Channel TV, worldwide, globally really, with our half-hour TV program. And we're on Sirius XM, Channel 131 daily with a half-hour audio of "Connect with Skip Heitzig." We're taking the hot spots to both the United Kingdom and to Australia.
And here's a new strategy that is really amazing. Did you know, for example, that YouTube is considered by Generation Z-- 40% of Generation Z considers YouTube to be mandatory in their daily life. It's a huge platform. And we have a proposal ready to put YouTube audio and video teachings by Skip, all 3,000 of them, front and center on YouTube in the next year. That's really important. It will have an amazing impact. It's a huge step for the Connection.
Now, Boomers in the Boomer Generation are important. They're strong supporters of ours, and they're very important to us. But remember that there are adults today who were not born on 9/11. They speak a different language. And we're learning to speak it, too. We want to put everybody on earth that has one of these-- and almost everyone does-- in a front row seat in our sanctuary for our teachings. That's our plan for 2020. Thank you very much.
- "Connect with Skip Heitzig" airs nationally on 634 radio stations. And on 10 international stations, our weekly radio broadcast can also be heard on Oneplace.com, where it was accessed 1/4 of a million times in the last 12 months. Our weekly TV broadcast is seen across the nation and globally on Hillsong Channel and on four stations in New Mexico, Colorado, and Hawaii. We continue to produce hot spots, short excerpts with Pastor Skip, that run on local stations across the country.
Although technically a local outreach, our radio stations Star 88 FM and KNKT FM can be accessed anywhere, anytime, by streaming online. Star 88, where you can sing along with every song, reaches across New Mexico and southern Colorado, playing the best Christian music, hosted by a team of the best Christian presenters. Listen, love it, or leave it-- that's up to you. KNKT FM, our commercial station, features a lineup of the finest Bible teachers plus modern worship. We're live, local, and loving New Mexico and, like we said, streaming everywhere.
Combined followers for Skip Heitzig and Calvary Church on all platforms increased by 51% in 2019. Now we'll hit you with some really interesting numbers. Our internet presence is vast and growing. And who can argue with the power of YouTube? This year, we amped up our visibility on YouTube, and subscriptions grew 102%. Total minutes watched jumped from 17.3 million to 36.6 million. That's an average of 3,323 individual viewers per day.
Over 82,000 audio books sold as of second quarter this year. We have over 58,000 monthly email subscribers, a 47% increase. All these numbers reflect individuals connecting with God's word through the teaching ministry of Skip Heitzig. YouVersion is the most widely used Bible app anywhere, and we developed five new reading plans in 2019-- Bloodline, Jesus Loves Addicts, Jesus Loves the Broken, and Standing Firm in Unsettling Times. All this discussion about the Worldwide Web is a perfect segue into Calvary's worldwide influence.
That's father Roni. When ISIS decimated his hometown, the largest Christian settlement in Iraq, Reload Love alongside him to restore hope to his community. This year, we dropped the love bomb on Qaraqosh Iraq, where we built a playground to help heal the lives of the Iraqi children caught in the crossfire of terror. And Reload Love has expanded its vision to support in-country partners, like Samaritan's Purse, to distribute trauma relief, medical supplies, and provide children's programs. A bomb is an explosion of hate. A Love Bomb is an explosion of Jesus's love.
Behind every hand there's a heart. Calvary Church collected gift-filled shoe boxes to help Operation Christmas Child get the good news of Jesus into the hands and hearts of children across the globe. This year, we have seen with new eyes the eyes of our heart. And Calvary Church has a heart for the lost throughout the world.
- [SPEAKING NON-ENGLISH]
- This is Kathy. The Lord called Kathy to serve him as a medical missionary in Albania, where she provides physical therapy to children with special needs. Using borrowed space at a local church, Kathy pioneered a physical therapy training center for PT students and licensed therapists. In November 2018, God provided a permanent location for the training center, very close to the university where Kathy has been teaching a foundation class with basic hands-on physical therapy skills, all the while spreading the gospel with patients and students alike.
Whether it's bringing hope and healing to Qaraqosh, Iraq, or meeting the basic needs of kids right here in Albuquerque, or creating opportunities for anyone who walks in these doors to experience life change, we know the names behind the numbers and the hearts behind the hands. Above all, we have a heart for Jesus.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
I hope that encouraged you. It really was done, because we all together did it. This is what the Lord did through the body of Christ. I do want to give a special thanks to Matt Pirolo. Come on out. Matt MC-ed that video. And Matt is one of our pastors on staff. Did I dedicate you here?
You did. Right here.
- Right here, right here-- and it worked.
So Matt has been raised at this church, and he now stars in these movies, like this. And he did say he'll be available afterwards to sign autographs.
Is that what you said? Anything you want to say to add to what you already said?
Well, you guys are the stars of everything that has happened in those videos. And it's a privilege to partner with you guys in reaching this city and the world.
And why are you wearing that odd headset right now?
I'm just contacting extraterrestrials.
He's contacting extraterrestrials. Thank you, Matt.
God bless you. Hey, before we close, and now we're bringing this to an end, the thing about Gilgal in the book of Joshua, it became a place that-- though it started out really well. It was a teaching moment, those 12 stones, to pass on to the next generation. Evidently, they didn't do that. Because evidently, as time went on, Gilgal became a place where God said, in the book of Amos, they are multiplying transgression. And it appears that Gilgal, this place of teaching, this place of passing on God's spiritual truth, became a place of idol worship, where they brought in false gods, false goddesses, in generations to come.
Here's the lesson. If we fail to pass on, passionately pass on, the truth of what God has done to the next generation, that generation is not going to stay with the church. That generation is going to follow the heroes of this world and the ways of this world.
So 38 years ago, I came to Albuquerque, thinking, what does God want to do? Lately, I've been asking, what does God want to do now? Is 2020. Things have changed from 1982. And I want to keep certain things the same. I want to keep the same values, the principles of worship, and the Word. But it's a new generation. I'm asking you to march with me in 2020. Put on your 2020 goggles. Let's see clearly. Let's march into the future for the next generation's sake, amen?
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