Author, Willing to Walk on Water
Senior Pastor along with her husband Matthew of Angelus Temple (more than 6,000 people per week)
Started pivotal programs at L.A. Dream Center such as Family Floor (transitional program for homeless families) and Project Prevention (foster care intervention program designed to keep families together
Married to Matthew, two children Mia and Caden
Caroline Barnett: Willing to Walk on Water
The 700 Club
CBN.com - WILLING TO SERVE
According to co-founder of the L.A. Dream Center Caroline Barnett, the world doesn't have to look the way it does today. With the army of God that He has, there is no problem we shouldn’t be able to fix. Her prayer is for the body of Christ to know what an army they are, know the power they have, and for Christians to take our places in Christ. It can be as simple as just being willing and available for God to use us in whatever capacity is necessary.
Caroline wanted to work for the Lord. The Center is in a rough neighborhood but Caroline and her family worked faithfully. The Rodney King riots occurred during her high school years and some of her teachers tried to protect them. After deciding to make her relationship with Him a priority and wanting to find ways to serve Him, she began volunteering at the Dream Center when she was 18. Caroline hated L.A. and wanted to leave, but she was totally committed to the Lord and helping those in need there, like prostitutes, the homeless, gang members, and single moms. Caroline was a shy person, but because she was willing and available, God caused her to see the need outside of herself. As a result, she grew in boldness to help other people. Though she had found an area where she could serve, God was taking her to another level where He would challenge and change Caroline's perspective on making a difference, how to serve others, and working for social justice.
CAROLINE'S TURNING POINT
A few years later, Caroline saw a documentary that changed her life. It was Invisible Children, which is about the decades-long civil war in Uganda that has destroyed the lives of its country's children through abuse, torture, and death. Caroline cried while she was watching the video. She was heartbroken and felt defeated – the problem was overwhelming. She was mad at God and asked Him why He allowed this to happen. Then she heard His gentle, non-condemning reply. He reminded her that He had already sent Jesus to die and pay for all of the sin and healing needed and He had provided everything to change things. Then He asked her why she allowed this to happen.
Caroline began to see the world differently. She started seeing the need that was immediately in front of her.
She picked up her Bible and started reading the stories of Moses, Joshua, Gideon and others – stories of ordinary people who did great things for God empowered by His Spirit. The more she studied she found the key that made things happen – willingness.
FINDING YOUR TRIGGER
It finally clicked for Caroline – God is looking for willing people. She loves what her husband, Matthew says, “Find a need and fill it.” We don’t need to wait for God’s confirmation to relieve injustice or help others. We just need to begin somewhere. For example, Caroline and her best friend started the Food Truck Ministry delivering food to impoverished families and individuals each day. Today, more than 50,000 people are fed each month through this outreach ministry.
Caroline says that there are “triggers” that show you what God is asking you to fix. She says you can begin by finding out what you are passionate about. It might take trying different things to discover your passion, but you will eventually find it. In serving others, God has as much for you as He does for the people you are serving.
Serving God is not always going to be easy. You may encounter personal challenges along with the challenges of ministry. For example, when Caroline and Matthew were married for two years they became pregnant. They were so excited about their coming child and had shared the good news with everyone. Unfortunately, Caroline had a miscarriage. It was a long and painful experience. After a time Caroline knew it was time to move on. She says heartbreak changes your ministry in many ways, but every season of brokenness makes you stronger. Caroline believes that we are defined by how we respond to loss instead of our victories. She realized that this moment of brokenness would one day become a divine weapon of usefulness for God. Even when we face challenges, we must still be willing and available.
MORE ABOUT CAROLINE
In 1996, Caroline came to The Dream Center after hearing her family discuss the work being done there. After her visit, Caroline felt God calling her to volunteer at the Center.
In 1999, Caroline wed Dream Center Senior Pastor Matthew Barnett, and they have two children, daughter Mia Aimee, and son Caden West. Together, they have ignited a spark in the inner-city of Los Angeles. The Dream Center is currently reaching thousands of people every week for the Lord Jesus Christ, providing food, clothing, shelter, medical care and other necessities.
In 2001, Matthew and Caroline also became the senior pastors of Angelus Temple, the birthplace of the Foursquare denomination, giving The Dream Center ministry a much needed sanctuary. Together, the historic Angelus Temple and The Dream Center are reaching thousands of people in Los Angeles and are truly effecting change in an impoverished area of a hurting city
Caroline has played a pivotal role in program development at The Dream Center. Programs such as the Family Floor, a transitional program for homeless families, and Project Prevention, a foster care intervention program designed to keep families together, and many more have all been created out of her desire to help families succeed. Caroline also leads Angelus Temple’s women’s ministry. She is passionate about inspiring the women of the church to find their God-given cause to change this world with just a little bit of effort and a lot of faith; simply their willingness.
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