Taking Ministry to the Streets (of Louisville)

Servant's Heart in Louisville, Ky., doesn't hold traditional Sunday services and doesn't consider itself a church. Instead, the Assemblies of God mission is taking ministry directly to residents in the low-income community known as Portland.

Teams witness during weekly prayer walks, regularly visit a liquor store to share Scripture with customers and hold home Bible studies. The mission also has held clothing and food giveaways and helped sponsor free medical clinics. "Our focus is to do our best and minister. It takes different forms and shapes," says Dave Heigl, pastor of the sponsoring Servant's Heart Church in suburban Jeffersontown, Ky.

Jared Miller, the 24-year-old leader who operates from a church-owned apartment, calls Spirit-led prayer its key. Teams pray for words of knowledge before prayer walks, and he says God often shows them specific situations they will encounter. He estimates nearly 100 people have been healed in recent years of such problems as back ailments, ear pain and depression. "There's so much opportunity, so much spiritual ripeness," says Miller, who supports his family by operating a construction business. "That's why my wife and I moved here."

The ministry has received a boost from an unusual series of gifts. Since 2007 two men have given Servant's Heart five houses, which have provided shelter to various people in need. As miraculous as these gifts are, Miller says nothing matches God healing people and bringing the book of Acts to life. "I had never experienced spontaneous prayer and repentance before," he said of one impromptu prayer circle last year. "I was catching a glimpse of what revival will be like. For people in our neighborhood, we believe that stronger than Sunday morning worship time is a seven-day-a-week connection to the family of God." 

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