The New Tears of a Clown is about accepting the challenge to unmask, to be real, and to face life in its essence. Often we cover our hurts, jealousy, malice, bitterness, fears, doubts, and other things with outward piety. This book reminds us to stop pretending in order for the power of God to heal and restore us to wholeness; thereby strengthening our witness.
The tendency to hide or conceal our real selves is not new. Genesis 3:8-10 states, “and they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou, and he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Following the death of the pop star Michael Jackson, a new book on his life was released under the caption of Unmasking. The biblical incidence concerning both Adam and Michael Jackson both point to the need and purpose of being transparent before God and mankind.
How do we respond to hurt? Do we deny hurt? Do we have a desire to inflict evil for evil? Constantly rehearsing the past is not healthy. Admitting where we are emotionally facilitates healing and also determines our future courses of action. Dr. McMillan’s exposition on the Church at Corinth is a powerful example of how even churches mask their true position in Christ. This church became stuck spiritually and thereby needed to unmask. Often in Church activities this abound. The question is do they express our relationships with the Lord or are they attempts to evade a right relationship with the Lord?
The New Tears of a Clown offers answers needed for spiritual wholeness, and points one in the direction that will be the difference between ministry, paralysis, and a community of faith that powerfully promotes healing that advances the kingdom of God.
Richard K. Thompson, Presiding Bishop
Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
There are literally thousands of quotes and comments from some of the finest men in church history about the excellence of the Epistle to The Romans. Martin Luther said, “Romans is the chief part of the NT, the perfect Gospel.” John Calvin said, “A sure road opened to the understanding of the whole of Scripture.” Bruce Metzer called the book of Romans, “The constitution of universal Christianity.” Herschel Hobbs said, “The greatest letter of all time.” One of my favorites, Matthew Henry said, “The Psalms of David and the Letters of Paul are stars; but “Romans is the largest and fullest of all.” Farrar said, “Romans is the most influential of all compositions ever written by the human pen.”
Dr. Otis T. McMillan’s “The Roman Road to Recovery” is not meant to be a scholarly presentation. It is simply a presentation of spiritual truths gleaned from the book of Romans and shared with a local congregation. His presentation is a little fiery, in-your-face, compelling, and even confrontational. Some readers may laugh, cry, and contemplate, as they experience these spiritual truths. Yet, every reader will be challenged as Dr. McMillan addresses several essential subject matter such as: (1) The power of the Gospel; (2) The Goodness of God; (3) The Joy of Forgiveness; (4) The Benefits of Justification; (5) Dominion Over Sin; (6) The Spirit of Life In Christ Jesus; (7) The Way of Salvation; (8) How To Walk Upright in a Wrong World and How Christians Ought to Behave. Each truth is designed to urge the sinner to repent and turn to Jesus; to assist the backslider in reclaiming his rightful place in Christ and to aid every Christian on the road to spiritual maturity. Let’s journey together on the Roman Road to Recovery!
The Department of Church Growth and Development
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Charlotte, North Carolina
It has been said that, “Christianity without discipleship is merely Christianity without Christ.” Discipleship is not just a church program or a one-time event; discipleship is a way of life. First century Jews had a blessing that beautifully expresses the commitment of a disciple to follow his spiritual mentor: “May you always be covered by the dust of your rabbi.” That is, “May you follow him so closely that the dust his feet kick up is what cakes your clothing and lines your face.”
In this book, The Dust of the Rabbi, Dr. Otis T. McMillan invites the reader to a Christian discipleship model that focuses on actively following in the footsteps of Jesus in the company of Christian believers, then modeling that walk for others. As Christian disciples, we are not passive spectators but energetic participants in God’s activity in the world. Since the Church of Jesus the Christ is charged with the responsibility of making Christian disciples, we need to explore more deeply the meaning of Christian Discipleship, discover the essential elements; identify and examine the distinguishing marks of a true disciple of Christ as well as study and implement the dynamics of disciple-making as the true mission of the Church.
Otis Thomas McMillan is the General Secretary of the Department of Church Growth and Development of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Charlotte, North Carolina.
For I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
In the words above the Apostle Paul has expressed what should be the sentiment of every person who has been a recipient of God’s grace in salvation. Because the gospel has been freely shared with the Christian, the Christian is a debtor to people of all races, classes, and educational backgrounds. The follower of Christ must take advantage of every opportunity to be made ready to share the gospel with others. Effectiveness in evangelism is not dependent upon one’s speaking ability or powers of persuasion. The witness’ confidence must be in the gospel as the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes. The challenge for the Christian witness is that of mastering a clear presentation of the gospel, which reveals the righteousness, which comes by faith in Jesus Christ.
It is to this end that this evangelistic manual was written. May it be a help to the many devout church leaders and Christian workers who desire to share their faith in a way that is effective and meaningful. May it also assist the many ministers of the gospel who desire to more effectively train church leaders and other members in the ministry of evangelism. The manual can be used most effectively as the guide to a seven-week training seminar on evangelism. The training format for each session is outlined. Other helpful materials are also included in this book.
The church’s mission does not end with evangelizing the lost and baptizing the convert. The mission of the church is to make disciples. This requires that the new converts be nurtured in the Christian faith and be brought to maturity in Christ. It also requires that the new converts be taught to both understand and obey the Lord’s teachings and commands. Further, this requires that the new converts be trained in how to share their faith and equipped for their own ministry and service for the Lord.
Bishop Darryl B. Starnes, Presiding Bishop
Midwest Episcopal District AME Zion Church
The Albemarle Conference, Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District
In this book, “For The Perfecting of the Saints” we are blessed with the fruit of his many years of faithful ministry, biblical preaching and teaching, critical reflection, careful research, and lucid writing. If we carefully study this manual and implement its contents, our churches will be supplied with sound teaching for growing healthy Christians and for developing missional congregations.
Dr. Starnes issues a clarion call for us to “go back to the future.” That is to say, he calls for the Church to return to the crux of the mission of the church: “making disciples of all persons throughout the earth.” Indeed, as our understanding of the missional enterprise is critiqued and transformed in helpful ways, I agree with Dr. Starnes’ vision, which is rooted in the Bible and in our Wesleyan heritage. Fostering accountable Christian relationships in weekly class meetings is a key strategy to place disciple making at the heart of the church. With Bill Hull, Dr. Starnes believes that making disciples is the heart of the Church.
Too often, spiritual formation is not an indispensable part of the seminary curriculum or of the course of study. Thus, Dr. Starnes’ manual speaks not only to the needs of the church; it is a resource for ministerial formation of those entering the ministry and renewal for those who have been in ministry for many years. I highly commend this handbook as a practical, biblical, and theological resource for more effective ministry.
Reverend Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Ministry
Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA
Presiding Elder, AugustaDistrict of the Georgia Annual Conference
The African Methodist Episcopal ZionChurch 2013
Few things impact an institution or entity more than how it views or thinks about itself. Faulty thinking about oneself will undoubtedly result in faulty behavior. This is no less true when it comes to the church of the living God. It is important how we view the church; and how we think about the church.
In Re-Think Church, the Rev. Dr. Otis McMillan makes the Book of Acts the ultimate study guide for understanding the church, its nature, and its mission in the world. He challenges us to take a fresh, yet biblically grounded look at the Church of God as the Body of Christ commissioned by Him; and empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill His mission. Dr. McMillan brings to this task nearly four decades as a renowned Bible teacher, an exceptional pastor, a world-traveled evangelist and conference speaker, and now the Executive Director of the Bureau of Evangelism for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
His subject matter is relevant. His transparency is refreshing. His insights are revealing; and his application of biblical truths to the human experience is liberating.
Bishop Darryl B. Starnes, Sr.
The Midwest Episcopal District and The Albemarle Conference, Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District of the AME Zion Church
all Books can be ordered from:
The Bureau of Evangelism
3225 West Sugar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC 28221