I became a believer in the fall of 1989, few months before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Communist regime in Bulgaria. Hearing the Gospel for the first time, I instantly knew this is what I had been looking for my entire life.
It was explosive!
I began to witness to all my friends and they started to get saved one by one. Within few months, it turned into a small group of young people. I opened up my apartment and even more people started coming to our improvised home meetings. Then I began preaching on the streets of Sofia and the rest is history. Within 4 short years, we had some 1,000 people regularly attending our Sunday morning services. The core of the church, however, was made up of some 70 home groups, most of them young people.
After the initial period of explosive growth, the Bulgarian Parliament of 1994, made up mostly of former Communists, changed the law and the Attorney General of Bulgaria at the time, ordered our building to be shut down. Some 70 Christian organizations lost their legal status, but our church in Sofia and another church in the city of Plovdiv were the two main stories covered by the national media – TV, radio and newspapers. Hundreds of newspaper articles were written against me by the corrupt media, which had been a propaganda tool for 45 years in the hands of the Communist party. Old “habits” die hard, they say and this so certainly true of any post-Communist society. The corrupt former Communists tried to destroy our church, forcing us to operate like an underground church for a period of about 5 years before we were allowed to emerge again.
A new law regulating religious denominations came into effect in Bulgaria in 2004. This allowed me to lay the foundation of the Apostolic Reformed Church – an apostolic body of churches and ministries in Bulgaria, of which our church in Sofia – Breakthrough Christian Center is the flagship apostolic center. When using the term ‘apostolic’, I mean mostly a self-started, self-supported work, under the leadership of Jesus, the Head, through the Holy Spirit.
Breakthrough Christian Center and Apostolic Reformed Church are expressions of the apostolate (the office, ministry, and mission) God has entrusted me with and I am excited to be part of this sovereign move of God. The work God has begun is reformative in nature and has defied the odds through the years. It has never been “supported” by a foreign (Western) organization.
In our almost three decades of ministry, we have seen thousands of Bulgarians come to faith in Christ through our church, many of whom have left the country and now live overseas. Overall, Breakthrough Christian Center has brought the Good News to tens of thousands of people in Bulgaria. We have organized a number of humanitarian efforts, conferences and various types of ministries throughout the country.
Also in 2002, I was asked by the late Dr. Peter Wagner to join the International Coalition of Apostles. The next 10 years became a period of intense international travel for me. I have now been to close to 40 nations preaching the Gospel in churches, Bible Schools, conferences, seminars and evangelistic events.
A New Era
In the last several years I have been praying and seeking the Lord: “Show me your ways! Show me what you are up to! I want to be part of what You are doing, not to try to make You part of what I’m doing… or what I think I should be doing. We don’t have much time, make me a faithful and wise servant.”
Gradually, I began to get clarity as to what is God’s mandate for this work: it is best explained as three Kingdom mandates working together as one.
- The Gospel Mandate
- The Cause of Liberty
- The Mercy Mandate
These three are each its own cause, stream, mandate, or a sphere of life. But together they make for a powerful force that can change people, society and our world as a whole.
They have always been part of what the Lord has had me involved in over the last 25 years of ministry. No matter what the “mission” was; starting a church, ministering alongside various ministries around the world, advocating for the persecuted, or raising help for those in need… these three dimensions of God’s Spirit have always been at the core of who I am and what God has had me do.
I now see clearly, more than ever, the significance of each one of these causes. How they connect, work together, and how they are instrumental in advancing the Kingdom of God more effectively.
These three different streams were always meant to work as one. These aren’t three different “projects”. They are three great forces working together as one in the name of LIFE itself!
Many are tempted to reduce God’s work in the earth to a “project” or many “projects”. We all like to be practical, we want to contribute to things that seem “real” to us and add “value” to our lives or to the lives of others. This is all good, I understand the power of being specific, pragmatic, and effective.
However, I am deeply convinced that before we get into “projects” or “missions” that require valuable resources, and before we get into the “how” question, we need to answer the “what” and the “why” questions as they relate to any significant undertaking.
To use Jim Collins’ “Good To Great” bus metaphor, once we know “what” God is up to…we need to identify who the right people are who are called to get on “the bus” (our mission, or project, if you will). The last thing to figure out is what are the right places for the right people. And then to determine where we want the bus to go.
This following is an attempt to bring clarity to all these questions.
My goal with Threefold Christian Alliance is to connect the right people, in the right way, to advance the cause of the Kingdom as outlined by Jesus Himself in his famous Sermon on the Mount teaching:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
I have identified the following three domains the Lord would have Threefold Christian Alliance involved in:
1. The Cause of the Gospel
The Gospel Mandate pertains to the preaching of the Gospel. God desires to restore the authenticity of Biblical revelation and for it to be imparted to this present and to future generations. This includes the reformation of the Church, the activation of God’s gifts in all believers and the impartation of strategies that spiritually impact whole churches, networks, and movements.
2. The Cause of Liberty
The Cause of Liberty is near and dear to God’s heart, my heart, and the heart of everyone who has been part of the work I’ve been a part of across many nations. This currently involves (but is not limited to):
- Serving the persecuted church.
- Speaking to issues relating to Liberty in places and nations where we are currently ministering, including countries from the so-called “free world”, as well as the developing world.
- Developing platforms and initiatives to empower believers to become active citizens, to get involved with civic activities ( which includes running for various governmental offices).
3. The Cause of Mercy
The Mercy mandate is about delivering tangible, critically important “hands on” help and support to those who need it in order to survive, the thrive and ultimately fulfill God’s plan for their lives. This could mean supporting a child from the poorest part of Manila to be able to go to school and escape the cycle of systemic poverty and possibly becoming a victim of a sex-trafficking ring. Or it could mean supporting a young person from America’s inner city – the scale of need is different, but the battle for the lives of people is the same.
There are many talented and gifted believers in the Body of Christ. When ministered to in practical terms, they can flourish and become the champions God has called them to be. However, many don’t have the means, the guidance, or spiritual insight to accomplish this on their own.
The Mercy Mandate must also reach out and be “there” for the neediest and vulnerable. To provide them with a pathway to embrace, appreciate, and celebrate life.
And there you have it!
Whether it’s preaching the Gospel, educating young people about the principles of liberty or helping break the cycle of systemic poverty, these three work together as one: advancing Jesus’ Kingdom on the earth, creating and celebrating the culture of LIFE and empowering others to do the same in their immediate sphere of influence.
- If we only preach the Gospel and we don’t help people understand Liberty and how God desires all people to live a life of liberty, are we not robbing people of the promise of a better life he so well articulated in the Gospel of John 10:10?
- If we only pound the drum of Liberty but we fail in preaching the Gospel, are we not failing society by holding back the power of the Gospel, which can bring out the internal change in us as individuals that no law can produce?
- If we only preach and teach, but we fail to help the starving and the needy, are we not violating Jesus’ mandate to be there for the most vulnerable, as seen in His teaching in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, verses 31-46?
Do you want to join us in this awesome challenge?
Do you want to better understand how you fit into God’s greater plan?
Do you want to network with others in your city or around the world and use serve in the power of the Spirit where God sends you and where people are calling for someone like you?
Myself, our team and our ministry partners are here to help connect you better with your purpose, help bring clarity to you in how the Kingdom of God operates in these three domains and how you might possibly plug in as the Spirit leads.