Sunday, April 30, 2006



It was three years ago when the Lord Jesus spoke to Melanie and I and said, “Go to New Orleans.” We had labored there in Amarillo, Texas for thirteen years; pastoring the church that we had planted, reaching the lost, feeding the hungry and equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.

Our families were there. Our closest friends were there. Our fondest memories were there. The only thing that was not there was God’s will for what He desired us to do next. In just three months time from announcing to the church that we were leaving, we had loaded all of our earthly possessions in a school bus and began ministering full time in the streets of New Orleans.

I have discovered that each step and each place that God takes us is typically a wonderful learning experience and time of preparation for the next step in which He will have us take.

Many in the Body of Christ though grow too comfortable “camped out” in the experience and never truly get to experience the true realization of God’s destiny for their lives. We experience a tremendous move of God in our midst and instead of taking what He has taught us through that experience and using it to reach a lost and dying world, we instead “build a memorial” to the experience and spend the next 25 years trying to remind ourselves of what once was.

Across this nation there is a trend towards the Mega-Church (churches with membership over 1,000). There are even churches in the US that boast membership at 30,000 or more! With that many Mega-Churches being pastored by Mega-Ministers one would think that the Mega-Problems in our cities would be quickly solved by a mobilized army of high-powered, Holy Ghost filled disciples being churned out in these faith factories!

But therein lies the problem: Churches, or more accurately “leaders of churches” are no longer “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry”, but have instead adopted a “come and watch me minister” mentality.

On the basketball court it is referred to as being a “ball hog.” There is one person taking (or calling) all the shots and getting all the points on his personal stat sheet, but the team is suffering through yet another losing season. Friends, the time is too short for the Body of Christ to suffer through another losing season! We have got to start functioning like the CHURCH was meant to function.


Pastors, ministers, elders, leaders (or whatever is in vogue this week in regards to titles) have got to get back to the true work of the ministry!

Ephesians 4:11-12 “It was He (Jesus) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”

Instead of spending multi-millions on state of the art, multi-media comfort centers for the spiritually impotent—why not use the resources to reach the lost, equip them (discipleship) for the ministry, and then send them out to win more people to Jesus before they get too comfortable and too convinced that the GOSPEL message is somebody else’s responsibility to share with the world!

Last year in the NBA (National Basketball Association) a young player for the Phoenix Suns won the award as the leagues Most Valuable Player.

The player, Steve Nash, was the teams point guard. He was the one who called the plays on the court, he was the one who the ball came to first, and he was the leader of the team. Yet, if you looked at Nash’s statistics you would see that there were other players in the league who had better numbers in one area or another.

Nash did not lead the league in scoring or in rebounding—but he did what an MVP should do, he made everyone around him better! The one area that Nash was the very best in the league was that of assists. For those unfamiliar with that term, it means the number of times he passed to others so that they could score instead of him taking the shot!

For the season Nash had 861 total assists. The second best in the league had 668. That is 193 more than his closest competitor! The true MVP’s (most valuable preachers) in the Church today are those who make others better. Nash did such a great job that there were other members of his team that some thought might eventually be league MVPs themselves. He ELEVATED the play of his team mates.

Philippians 2:3-5 says “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Rarely, if ever, in professional basketball has the team with the leagues highest scorer ever won the championship. While the individual may boast great accomplishments on his own—he is not able to win the whole thing by himself.

This is the picture of the church of today. There is very little if any genuine equipping the saints for the Gospel Ministry. I qualify that by inserting the word Gospel, because there is much going on in the Church-but very little of it results in people taking the Gospel to a lost and dying world.

While there are many activities filling the schedules of a great many in the Christian Church of today; meetings, conferences, retreats, and even a great many Bible studies and prayer gatherings—how is it that with all of these activities being done in the Name of Jesus that so few people are out doing the actual work of Jesus?

“The Son of Man (Jesus) came for only one reason, and that was to seek out and to save lost people.” Matthew 19:10

That sounds pretty clear to me!

Some of the greatest coaches in any sport will often say, “We have got to work on the fundamentals. The game is won or lost based upon the fundamentals.” This is the same with the Gospel. It all will really come down to whether or not we are raising up people (a team) that is solid in the fundamentals. The fundamentals are pretty simple:

Love God with all your heart and life.
Then tell as many people about Him as you possibly can.

If I, as a minister, do not lead the league in assists, then I am really not my teams MVP. The church, and especially those in leadership have got to get back to the basics (fundamentals) of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry of reaching people for HIS KINGDOM and not just establishing another flesh-based, low-impact, man-centered program that might make the “spiritual highlight reel,” but will never make the type of eternal impact that HEAVEN DEMANDS.

“Ball-Hog” Christianity may fill up stadiums (or sanctuaries) but it will NEVER win the ultimate prize: “Well done My good and faithful servant.”

Jesus raised up (12) and then told them, “You will do even greater things than I have done.” That was His goal– to teach them how to take it to the next level. Yet, a “have your best life now” mentality has slipped into the church under the guise of positive Christianity that has been the death knell to global evangelization. Instead of raising up a generation of blood bought, word taught, Holy Spirit filled warriors of the Cross– the church at large has cloned a brood of spineless, powerless pew-sitters with no urgency for those outside of the walls who have not had the opportunity to hear the Gospel themselves!

2 Cor 4:3-5 “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord;

Bigger buildings, more luxurious surroundings, a more relevant approach and a more welcome atmosphere seem to be the mantras being chimed by today’s diminished standards.

Jesus said the “fields are white and ready to be harvested”, yet the “fields” that He spoke of where the harvest fields of souls filling street corners and the market places of this world-that demand that we GO and take His message to the masses.

Today the “harvest field” has instead become the proverbial “field of dreams” and the empty promise is “if you build it...they will come.” Buildings, programs, pizza parties, lattes, and grinning greeters will never draw a person into His presence. These things are things that man has power over! These things are man-made and man-centered.

Romans 1:21-23 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man…”.

The GOSPEL demands GOING. The GOSPEL demands DYING to SELF and LIVING for JESUS. This is rarely a comfortable situation! Can you imagine these book titles in your local Christian Bookstore:

“Go through hell NOW so that you can experience heaven LATER.”
(Rom 5:3, Rom 8:18, Phil 1:21, Phil 3:10-11)
Or perhaps this one
“How To Be Hated”
(Matt 10:22, James 4:4, John 17:14)

These titles would obviously have a more scriptural foundation! Now am I saying that living the Christian life is just some hard, negative, drudgery? Not in the slightest way! It is the GREATEST LIFE that one could ever know and experience-but with it there are GREAT DEMANDS and great CONSEQUENCES involved.

To see someone’s heart miraculously changed and transformed by the Holy Spirit upon hearing and receiving the Word of God is indescribable!

Watching an alcoholic pour out the drink he just paid for in the street and then kneel down in front of thousands weeping before Jesus defies description.

Suddenly seeing a light come on in the darkened soul of a young man set free from years of homosexuality is the most amazing thing!

All THESE things require GOING out where the broken and bruised are. If your Gospel doesn’t REQUIRE you to GO, then it is not GO-SPEL, but just a SPELL!

Galatians 3:1 “Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has cast an evil spell on you? For you used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ's death as clearly as though I had shown you a signboard with a picture of Christ dying on the cross.” NLT

It is time to break free from the spell and then GO do that which God has repeatedly commanded in His Word.

Most Christians would readily agree that “this world is not our home” and that we are all just “strangers and pilgrims” in this place—–yet why is it that the core of our time and investments are made in those things that are so temporary and this-worldly? I lay it squarely upon the shoulders of pastors and teachers who have failed to equip, empower and release His people into their God-given and God-required mandates to reach people for HIS KINGDOM.

As long as winning the lost (with the Gospel—not a bounce house, hot dog or cappuccino machine) remains on the backburner of Christendom and not our primary purpose in this life, then the church will remain a place of “ball hogs” and “bloated statistics” with no true victories.
If we genuinely believe that our stay is temporary, then why not “pass the ball” and get other people involved in the game rather than building more coliseums to showcase our religious superstars.

Church buildings, gymnasiums, air conditioning—there is nothing inherently wrong with those things—but once THEY become the focus, THEY become the idols that testify against us and set us in difference toward the TRUE Gospel of GO.


Upcoming Events & Opportunities For Ministry

Regular Weekly & Bi-Weekly Ministry
Raven Midwest
(Terry & Eileen Shuff, (574) 612-6800 ) are leading teams into inner-city Chicago and also into Detroit each month. They are feeding and ministering to the homeless and drug addicted as well as doing one-on-one evangelism.

Raven West Coast (Rudy & Lori Gonzales, (707) 206-2748 ) are leading teams into several at-risk areas in Santa Rosa, California each week. They feed the hungry, witness one-on-one and hold Street Church. They are also scheduling outreaches into San Francisco as well.

Raven South (Pastor Alex & Holly Hill, (806) 206-1070 ) are leading teams into Austin, Texas’ famous 6th Street and various other venues (homeless ministry, college campus ministry, etc) Pastor Alex is also available to speak in your church. He is a powerful minister and Holly is an anointed singer and they also serve as Assistant Directors of Raven International with Pastor Troy.

Raven New Orleans (504) 202-0939 The team is leading outreaches into the French Quarter and Bourbon Street each week. Call to check on the availability of short-term missions trips.

Raven South East (504) 202-0939 will be hosting outreach in Daytona Beach and inner-city Orlando throughout the summer months. Call or email for schedule

Upcoming Special Outreaches/Services
May 18-22, 2006 Boot Camp in the Big Apple
- Raven Outreach and Streetwise Ministry are teaming up to host an outreach to New York City. We will be taking (30) men to the “streets” for an awesome time to ministry. There are a couple of spots still open! 504-304-6535

June 10-11, 2006 Raven School of Evangelism - Pastor Troy will be with Pastor Russ Clifford of Hope Chapel West in Santa Rosa, California.

June 22-26, 2006 Hollywood & Skid Row Outreach - Raven will once again be teaming up with Bobby & Dot Chance of Streetwise Ministry of Hollywood to take the Gospel to one of the world’s most recognized and celebrated cities. Call for details 504-304-6535

June 29-July 4, 2006 Beach Reach 2006 in Daytona Beach, Florida - Raven will be teaming up with Pastor Frank Gresham and the Jesus Centre for an outreach “on the beach” during 4th of July Call or email for details or 504-304-6535

July 8-15, 2006 Jesus Loves New York - Raven will be teaming with Pastor Rick & Arlene Del Rio of Abounding Grace Ministries for their annual inner-city outreach. This is an incredible outreach opportunity for all ages! Email for details

August 21-28, 2006 Raven International, Pastor Troy will be ministering in Amsterdam.

Aug 30-Sept 4, 2006 Southern Decadence Festival in New Orleans this has been called the “Gay Mardi Gras” We desperately need your help during this outreach! Raven@BigGrace.comOctober

2006 Extreme Mexico Church Build (exact date) TBA, Raven is teaming with Casa por Cristo in Juarez, Mexico to build a new church in this city.


"And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world

for a witness unto all nations;"

I have long loved reading the history of some of the great revivalist who preached in Western Europe; men such as John Wesley, Evan Roberts and William Booth were powerful voices for God in European history in the past 300 years.

In the past year the Holy Spirit has placed a peculiar burden upon my heart to go and minister in Europe. This burden to go and reach the lost in another country seemed far off and almost out of reach because I did not know anyone or have any type of contact in Europe to set this up for me.

That was two weeks ago! Now I am scheduled to be in one of the most notorious regions in Western Europe in the next three months!

My idea of foreign missions is much different than what most church define it as. I am not looking to visit museums or eat at famous restaurants or shop in exotic places and call it a mission trip because I visited an orphanage one afternoon, taught a Bible study to a group of foreign nationals and then retreated to my five star hotel for the remainder of the trip!

THAT’S NOT MISSION WORK! That’s a vacation disguised as evangelism. So when I was invited to join a team heading to Amsterdam for a week in late August to “spend 12-16 hours a day preaching to the lost in the red-light district,” I immediately knew in my heart that this was a door in which God was opening up!

Amsterdam is where the red-light district was originated. They have prostitutes in display windows illuminated by red florescent lights. Amsterdam is also home to legalized marijuana and they have many Café’s that sell various types to patrons!

In other words—this is the type of place that God has long prepared and equipped me to go and reach the bound and broken with His life-changing Gospel! Most of the people in this nation (where English is widely spoken) have never heard a true presentation of the Gospel! They see the ancient churches of the nation as museums that people visit for their nostalgia and not as houses of worship!

What Amsterdam needs is people to take THE WORD OF GOD WITH POWER to them in these last days! I praise Jesus for this amazing opportunity to be His “hands, feet & voice.”

The cost of this trip will be $2,000.00 and is scheduled for August 21-28th.
Would you consider standing with me as I obey the Holy Spirit to take the message of the Cross to a place in such desperate need of the truth?

Acts 1:8 declares, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

I am willing to go, but I need your help to do the things that God has instructed us to do. Will you partner with me on taking His Light into such a darkened place? Thank you for your prayers, love and support!



In partnership with Pastor David Robertson and the ministry of Casas por Cristo, Raven Ministries International is working to plant and build a Church in Mexico this coming October.
The build will take place over the course of a week sometime in October. The exact date will be set when we have raised (or had pledged) 1/2 of the necessary funds.

We will need to raise $10,000 to build the church facility from the ground up! This will include pouring the foundation and all the electrical and finish work as well. Upon completion, the building will be ready for occupation by the new congregation!

Would you be will to make a donation to help with the build? You can do it one of two ways. 1) Send your best gift in now for the church build 2) Ask the Lord Jesus what He would have you to do in the next (3) months and then send in your pledge amount each month. Any and everything will go a long way in helping to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Mexico!

Maybe you would like to join the Extreme Mexico Church Build Team in October. In addition to building the facility, we will be evangelizing the community and ministering the love of Jesus to the community surrounding the church location. If you are interested, please call us at (504) 202-0939 or email us at Website News

The Raven website,, continues to serve as a tool to help us reach a world-wide audience. In the past month alone, we have received “hits” or visits from the following countries:

Australia, Singapore, New Zealand,
Philippines, Argentina, Peru, Canada,
Switzerland, France, Germany, Poland,
India, Pakistan, and others

The World Wide Web provides us a very up-to-the-minute means of communication that is both effective and economical. If you have not yet visited then please take the time to go and check it out. There are tons of pictures of our outreaches, that includes dozens of pictures of people that we have personally prayed with to receive Christ!

Let us know what you think about the website and if there is any information that we could add to keep you better informed about RAVEN and the people who we reach. DON’T FORGET to check out the Raven Video page that is host to several great outreach videos and a few of Pastor Troy’s sermons as well!


Tony, a 23 year old African-American young man, walked passed me on the crowded Bourbon Street as we made eye contact. I knew right then that God had ordained this moment for us to have a conversation. Continuing down the street, he stopped in front of a local strip club to stand and watch the growing crowd gather. I was ecstatic to see him stop (that way I wouldn’t have to grab him by the collar to talk to him!)

As I approached you could see the hardness that the streets of New Orleans had wreaked on this tattooed young man. “Hey, have you ever heard of Rosa Parks?” I said, without even so much as a “Hello” to open our conversation.

Looking somewhat perplexed and wondering what this white man would asks such a thing he reluctantly mutter, “Yeah.”

“Fifty-one years ago she did something that put her in the history books. Do you know what that was?” I inquired, knowing that he probably knew he details of here heroic act on that Montgomery, Alabama bus better than I.

“Yeah, she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man,” He replied in a voice to make sure that I knew he was up on his Black History.

“You’re right! Was she the most educated? Was she the wealthiest? Did she come from the right family? That was not even the first time she had ridden that bus. She rode it everyday. She had even gotten up and moved to the back of the bus at other times.” I said.

“But on December 1, 1955 something was different. THAT day she was just not going to give in to these unjust demands.” “Because of her taking a stand for something important and for refusing to go to the back of the bus, HISTORY was made and it set off a chain of events that would lead to freedom and civil rights for millions more people.”

“How many times have you walked down Bourbon Street?” I asked. “All the time,” he said, “I live here.” “And EVERY OTHER TIME the devil has come and bullied you out of the history books.” I quickly chimed in with him now looking increasingly perplexed. “Tony, God has a destiny for your life, yet every time that Satan has come and demanded that you get out of the seat of your destiny you have taken your tail end to the back of the bus.”

“Tonight you will again be forced to make a decision that will not only effect you, but also many whom God is calling you to reach for His Kingdom. You will either make a stand and repent and ask Jesus to forgive and save you or you will once more take you tail to the back of the bus. What’s it going to be?” I asked.

“Yeah, I gotta make a decision.” He said as his eyes filled with tears. I took a hold of him and began to pray with this young man that God would transform his life and keep him from “going to the back of the bus.”

Friends, that is all we are about: Souls– Plain and Simple. We need your prayers and financial support now more than ever. In the past six months things have been very tight and giving has decreased. Please help us reach those being bullied by the devil.

We love and appreciate you so much!


Pastor Troy D Bohn


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