Who we are
get to know about Acts29ministry.
Patrick Griffin and Fred Mendrin began doing ministry together in the early 1980s. Now, with our beloved wives, Donnalee and Liliya, the four of us have formed Acts29Ministry to reach out and join our souls with others for prayer, encouragement, counsel and instruction.
We are committed to using the unchanging Bible, combined with our own life experiences, to reaching out and engaging others with positive, Christ-centered thinking. We absolutely believe and know that Jesus Christ is alive and is Lord, and that He is able to create peace and wisdom in every person who will place their confidence in Him, regardless of the circumstances.
acts 29 ministry
vision and goals
which version of world
reality we can safely rely on?
In a time when so much information is coming at us and trying to shape how we think, how do we decide which version of world reality we can safely rely on?
How can a person know that he or she is committed to the right direction in a world that is constantly changing, and in which we have few, if any, ways of testing which competing story is the right one?
The Bible presents a story you CAN count on. A story that does not change, is not filtered through a narrative-shaping media, and will not mislead you. Acts 29 Ministry holds to a deep conviction that Biblical Christianity did not end with the Book of Acts, and that all who follow the Jesus of the Bible are continuing to write the Book of Acts with their lives and ministries through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Having said this, we do not endorse what is called “Open Theism”. We believe the Bible is complete, and “if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this Book”—Rev 22:18.)
biblical teaching Resources
Along with active, local church membership, we aim to utilize resources on social media and other venues for using our lifetimes of experience and learning to reach into the lives of others—to inspire, to encourage, to lovingly challenge and to educate. To this end, we provide doctrinal and inspirational teaching in the form of books, videos and articles by Patrick, edification offerings in the form of exhortations and testimonies by Fred and Donnalee, and a prayer/fellowship line. We have a YouTube channel (NAME) and can be reached…
Intermediate Studies in Bible Prophecy
Patrick Griffin teaches that the meaning of life is to bear God’s image through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He provides this teaching through carefully structured Bible Studies, and also through exhortations and testimonies that aim to encourage, challenge, convict and edify those who read or listen. He is currently leading a weekly Bible Study course at his local church (via Zoom), titled Intermediate Studies in Bible Prophecy. In such studies, Patrick relies on two basic, commonsense rules for understanding the Scriptures:
- 1. Our knowledge must rely on what the verses themselves are saying, not on what the teacher is saying about the verses.
2. We cannot allow our understanding of difficult passages to contradict what the simple verses plainly tell us.
teaching assignment came in 1982
Patrick understands the difference between being merely “a classroom educator,” and having a teaching ministry among the churches. His first teaching assignment came in 1982 when a church elder, having gathered about forty members for a Bible Study, stepped to the podium and announced, “Today we are going to hear a message on grace by a young preacher named Patrick Griffin.” Patrick, seated in one of the student chairs and having had no idea this was coming, stood and walked to the podium with his Bible. He was 23 years old, and until that day he had not thought of himself as a teacher.
With no notes in hand, Patrick drew from what he had daily absorbed during his year in the faith, and he was more surprised than anyone in the room as he led the class through a forty-five-minute study on what the Bible teaches about the grace of God. That is when Patrick realized what the church elders had already seen in him, a gift from Christ for a teaching ministry among the churches.
brotherhood and friendship
One of the men in the class on that day was Fred Mendrin, with whom Patrick had already begun forming a strong bond of brotherhood and friendship that has now lasted nearly forty years. From Scriptural example, and through regular fellowship with Fred and others of the local congregation, Patrick absorbed the understanding that having a teaching ministry involves building personal relationships, letting others do most of the talking so he can understand them personally and know what their strengths, needs, and challenges are, and going deep in spiritual fellowship for the sharing of life in Christ among members of the church individually.
bearing one another’s burdens
Patrick believes that, without this personal connection and sharing of life, standing in front of a church to preach or teach is an incomplete ministry. He believes that a teacher must provide a strong example of “bearing one another’s burdens,” and that “as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:2,10). He views his primary calling as being involved with other Christians for mutual growth in knowing and serving Christ for the Father’s glory, without downplaying the responsibility of all Christians to bear witness to the unsaved through verbal confession and a lifestyle committed to honoring the One into whose name we are baptized.
Although Patrick, over the decades, has patiently walked through the history of theology and philosophy, his teaching emphasizes the simplicity of Bible Study, of comparing verses with verses for direct observations of what the Scripture is saying about itself. He distinguishes between what he calls “commonsense hermeneutics” and “system-building hermeneutics”.
In the late 1990’s, Patrick began losing Confidence in the idea of “system” for the development of christian teaching.
In researching the history of Christian theology, Patrick observed how the architects of each respective system developed a package of hermeneutical strategies and assumptions useful for producing interpretations to support that particular system. He observed how when a Christian scholar locks into a particular system (such as any of the various formulations of dispensational or covenant theology), that system itself becomes a stronghold.
The Stronghold of Systems
Patrick is currently working on notes for a book that will be titled, The Stronghold of Systems, in which he will aim to survey the various roles of hermeneutics in the building of Christian theology. Although Patrick recognizes the need for careful and patient scholarship among Christian teachers, he seeks to show how church teaching throughout history has often been hijacked by what he calls “the priesthood of scholars”. In other words, we need careful scholarship, but the teaching must rely on what the scholar can point to in the Scripture, not on what the scholar can load into the Scripture.
Patrick insists that Christians must not allow a teacher to stand between us and the Bible to “tell us what the verse means”. Rather, we need teachers who will respectfully stand to the side and call our attention to what the verse itself is saying, and to what the verses are saying about each other. “Background studies” are sometimes useful for enhancing our understanding of a verse, but that is not the same as using such “studies” to change the meaning of a verse.
What is commonly called “historical context” is, in most cases, merely the latest theoretical packaging of scraps of historical data and inference. Historical context can be useful, but we need to keep up our guard because, really, how accurately can we know the thought forms of people from different parts of the world thousands of years ago, when we struggle to understand the thought forms of other people-groups in our own day? God has given us a Bible that we can understand by direct readings, with occasional, minimal input from extra-Biblical sources.
verifiable Biblical knowledge
Patrick aims in his teaching to raise awareness of the difference between having a knowledge of the Bible, and having a knowledge of a theology about the Bible. Patrick acknowledges that he has learned much about the Bible, and about the Christ of the Bible, from teachers who are committed to particular systems. Yet, he aims to show how every system also carries the baggage of theological creation mingled extensively with verifiable Biblical knowledge. We need to recognize the difference. The architects of theological systems have taken hermeneutics into the stratosphere, developing sophisticated strategies for producing whatever interpretations are needed to support that particular theology. Patrick insists, and aims to show how, we can and must bring hermeneutics back to earth. We must reconsider some of our commitments and assumptions in the use of hermeneutics for the development of Christian teaching.
Stories of Praise
Patrick and his beloved wife, Donnalee, with contributions from Patrick’s close friends, Fred Mendrin and Carlos Aceves, have written a newly released book titled Stories of Praise. This book, from beginning to end, is a true story of triumph through struggle, aiming to show the role of praise in the walk of faith. Stories of Praise uses contemporary true stories, along with easy-to-follow Bible studies, to help illustrate the Biblical teaching on praise as an expression of worship and a weapon of spiritual warfare.