Origin of Empowering Subjects
Our nation and world have been facing dark and difficult days for a while now. People have been arguing about politics, racial matters, law enforcement, violence, and more. Many have been demanding rights of all kinds. We are polarized at least and divided seems to me a more accurate description. The pandemic and the various approaches to controlling it have exacerbated all these things.
In the Spring of 2020, residents of my city received a “Stay Home, Work Safe” emergency order to slow down the spread of Covid 19. With some exceptions, everyone would have to stay at home. During those days I embarked on yet another in depth study of the kingdom of God. I knew from previous reading that this was the leading theme of Jesus’ teaching and preaching. He referred to it about 100 times in the Gospels. Somehow, contemplating God’s kingdom during anxious and trouble days, the obvious dawned on me. The kingdom of God’s solution to the trouble in the world.
During those dark days, I observed a good bit of worry, complaining, arguing, and also some denial. I have to confess I sometimes participated in some of those things as well. But as it became increasingly clear that the kingdom of heaven was God’s way of addressing the trouble that has been in the world since page 3 of our Bibles, I determined I wanted to stop worrying and complaining and instead do something to help. That’s how Empowering Subjects was born.
When Jesus saw the harassed, helpless, leaderless people of his day, he had compassion on them and said they were a harvest, that is, they were ripe for coming under the kingship of God. He then told his followers to pray for workers. Workers, in the context, refers to people who would reach out like he did, namely, by doing good deeds, announcing the good news of the kingdom, and giving good teaching (Matthew 9:35-38). He then equipped the twelve and sent them out as workers (Matthew 10). That is the basis for Empowering Subjects and what we are seeking to do. Our purpose is to equip workers to change the world in the way Jesus did.
Education and Training
Marvin delights to share with others the insights and truths he has learned from God’s Word which have shaped his own life and outreach. He draws from a deep well of over four decades of daily, prayerful reading and reflection on the Bible with personal application.
He received a solid foundation for grasping Scripture through a BA and MA in biblical studies from Abilene Christian University. He then spent a year in a “Spiritual Internship” in St. Louis, geared toward applying God’s word to life, outreach, and church planting.
In 1980 Marvin and a group of fifteen other young people moved just outside Philadelphia and began the East Delco Church of Christ. Over his twelve years there, he helped a number of people become followers of Christ and learned a great deal about the gospel and evangelism.
Next he worked with the NorthWest Church of Christ in San Antonio as pulpit minister (1992-2020). His various roles over the years at NorthWest have included preaching, evangelism, adult spiritual formation, leadership, staff oversight, and equipping others for evangelism and for leadership. For several years he conducted a program called “A Heart for the Harvest,” designed to increase motivation for evangelism.
He began developing Empowering Subjects in 2020, and the ministry was incorporated as a non-profit in 2021. Marvin works on this ministry during the week and then preaches and teaches for the Kenedy Church of Christ on Sundays.
Marvin was raised in a Christian home by regular but genuine Christian parents. He has benefitted from godly role models from childhood on.
In 1978, he married his wife Gail, who partners with him in his ministry.
Marvin and Gail have two married children and two grandchildren. Their son Jonathan and his wife, Amy, live in Austin. Their daughter Hannah and her husband Brent live in Abilene with their two children, Fletcher and Hazel.
When he is not working, Marvin enjoys playing guitar and piano, writing and arranging music, playing strategy games, playing with the three family dogs and remembering his “glory” days playing basketball.
I believe the central matter is the death and resurrection of Jesus. This mighty act of God not only shows Jesus to be the Christ and saves us but also gives us a profound pattern for how to live our lives.
I believe “there is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
I believe in the inspiration and truth of the Scriptures and that they are useful for training us in righteousness and for working in God’s harvest field.
I believe Satan is busy deceiving and destroying people and influencing them toward banishment from God in hell. Workers are needed to attest to the truth of God’s kingdom by their lives and deeds, announce the good news of God’s kingdom with their lips, and help those who submit to God’s kingship to live lives worthy of their calling. We are co-workers with God, Christ, and the Spirit in the growth of God’s kingdom.
I believe much more and am happy to further discuss these or other beliefs with you. Contact Me.