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How God Works in the Midst of the Mess

The founder of the worldwide mission organization Operation Mobilization, George Verwer shares how God works in the midst of the messes in our lives. Read Transcript


You ever heard the term, I feel like my life is a mess?

Well, that's no problem at all, because that's

the place where God often does His best work, according

to George Verwer-- who's seen and proven time after time

in nearly 60 years of ministry.

NARRATOR: George Verwer was 16 years

old when his life was radically changed at a Billy Graham


He and his friends sold their belongings

and went to Mexico to share their faith,

and that's what he's been doing for the past 50 years.

Today, his ministry has raised up nearly 7,000 leaders

in 118 countries.

Their ships have docked in hundreds

of ports in 151 countries.

Millions of visitors have boarded these floating book

fairs and left with much-needed resources to share their faith.

Well, George is here with us right now.

You coined a term Messiology.

Well, what kind of messes are out there, George?

Well, for 60 years I've been following the Lord,

first to Mexico and then to about a hundred

different countries-- spoken at about 20,000 churches, Pat.

PAT: Good grief.

And pretty well everywhere I've looked,

there is some kind of mess.

Fortunately many of them are quite small.

PAT: Yeah?

So I always read the book of Proverbs

that you quoted from already today.

And so I wrote my own proverb-- where

two or three of the Lord's people are gathered together,

sooner or later there's a mess.

But Messiology was really God rescuing me,

because some of the mistakes that I

saw Christian leaders make, and then I

made some-- the devil was trying to get me cynical

about it, especially in the senior years.

And He gave me this word, Messiology,

which is simply His part.

And so I've seen how, even in messy churches that

may have some funny doctrines, they

may do some-- even their leader may have problems.

Who doesn't have problems?

God keeps working.

God worked during segregation.

God worked during when we were practicing slavery.

We don't understand that, but that's really exciting,

and I write about it in my new book.

Well, you were tremendously critical of other people

at one time in your life, weren't you?

And then you've learned a lot from that.

What have you learned?


I think when I was young I was radical.

I was outspoken at a very high level

of what I felt was integrity, and total honesty,

and Godliness.

I read all these books-- Tozer, very high standard.

So when I didn't see that standard in others,

and to be honest, often on Christian television,

I was quite critical.

And God just broke me.

And there's some rethinking of the way God works,

and a promise that no one hardly ever talks about,

but it's clear in the Bible-- we're all going to sin

until we're in heaven.

PAT: Surely.

You know, the less, the better, but nobody's

going to be perfect down here.

What's your book?

Let's talk about it.

Well, this is the British edition--

you've got it there-- "More Drops," a follow-up

on that book that you held in your hand 10 years ago,

"Drops from a Leaking Tap."

But the American publisher Moody Press-- because this book

is a number of themes.

The main theme is Messiology.

So the American edition, coming in April-- I'll send you one.

It's called "Messiology."

Well, you think everybody has the messes?

All the Christians have messes?

I think everybody sins, and--

PAT: Yeah.

--sin creates a mess.

Sometimes it's very small, not even noticed.

Like God has really dealt with me about my attitude,

so I think wrong attitude is judgementalism.

And I'm reading a book called "Extreme Righteousness"

that shows that it's hard to be a person like me,

so strong on the Bible-- it's hard to be someone like me

and not have a Pharisee streak.

So now there's a new book called "Pharisectomy"

I've just started to read.


GEORGE: I've just started to read that one.

So I talk about these things in my book.

I hope I don't get one cut out of me, whatever that is.

Pharisectomy. .

Extraction of Phariseeism in our lives.

The average church-- there's no such thing as a perfect church,

is there?

That's for sure.

And many people have left the church-- surveys show many have

left the church altogether.

I just read an article of another person--

quite a well-known person has completely thrown

over the Christian faith.

And my research shows that sometimes it's

because they just see dysfunction.

They see what they call hypocrisy.

That may be partly true, but I think

they have a wrong view of God.

We're all human.

We all fail.

He works in the midst of that-- not excusing anything that's

wrong, but giving his side.

PAT: Yeah.

And we need to be more grace-awakened, less critical

of our pastors.

So many pastors, they get roasted

even for small things, much less their dear wives.

So I'm getting a lot of feedback from this book-- people really


Well, it must be tough.

I mean, people-- the ladies of the church coming through

to the parsonage and look under the beds,

to see if the lady of the house cleans her floors the way

she should.

It's really tough.

GEORGE: I can give you a hundred stories at least

of pastors' wives and mission leaders' wives.

PAT: Well, give us a couple, or one of them anyhow.

Well, there was a woman that was

buying things a little more than some

of the people in the church thought she should be spending.

And so they started gossiping about her,

and became a messy situation.

And then I think of a particular pastor

who had the courage to confess he

was struggling with pornography, and he confessed it.

His marriage was holding together.

But one of these pharisee types, boy, they just went for him.

They managed to split the church.

They managed to get him out of ministry.

I'll never forget that.

What happened to him, finally?

Well, fortunately he's going on-- his marriage

is still going on, but he never got back

into the pastoral ministry.

That church never fully really recovered.


So that's terrible.

I'm hoping such people will read my book.

Well, what's the hope for you?

What have you got going on next?

Well, I'm off to Scotland this weekend.

PAT: Really?

But the most exciting thing in my life

is they've done this film about my life story, called "George

For Real."

I never thought this would come out-- 18 hours of footage,

and yet the editor put it together 55 minutes.

It's for young people who don't read my books.

A million of my books are out there.

And so I'm looking for young people

to read this-- to watch this film.

PAT: [INAUDIBLE] picture of the ship.

Talk about the ship.

What do you [INAUDIBLE]?

Well, we have just the one ship now-- much bigger ship

called the Logos Hope.

It's going really well.

We've had 5 million visitors in eight years.

PAT: Good grief.

GEORGE: And I'm always out there looking for recruits.

That took 275 meetings last year looking for recruits.

PAT: Great, great.

And we're still waiting for you to visit our ship.

We've had a lot of famous people visit our ship,

but you haven't gotten there yet.

Where is it?

It's so out of the way to find it.

Well, it's in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

You can't get there this afternoon.


I'm sorry.

But we're coming this way.

We're coming this way.


I'll call my pilots and get them-- no, [CHUCKLING]

that's great.

Well, George, it's so good to have you,

and I hope this book is a marvelous

success like everything else you've done.

"More Drops" in--

Hey, not everything I've done has been a success.

PAT: Yeah, for sure.

There were a few messes along the way.

GEORGE: That's another favorite book of mine,

"Failure-- the Back Door to Success."

I never read the book, but the cover really spoke to me.

I'm sure it will.

Well, George-- well, his book you'll want to get a copy of.

And we leave you with today's Power Minute from Proverbs.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower."

GEORGE: Love it.

PAT: "The righteous run to it and are safe."


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