Nodarbības no resns The Cat…pabīdot lai citi Kristus Austin Cooper

Man ir jāatzīst, ka es izmantoti, lai ienīstu kaķus. Man nekad nav saprotams, kāpēc kāds gribētu dzīvnieks, kas slēpj 20 stundas dienā un hisses pie jums citā 4 stundas, ja tā nolemj, lai žēlastība jūs ar savu klātbūtni. I see all the “cute” kitten pictures girls post on Facebook and all I can think is “You need a dog in your life.” Strangely enough though, my perceptions of cats have taken a complete 180 turn in the past several months due to a stray cat named Stubby that visits our house from time to time. Stubby has not only done well for his entire species, but he has highlighted a great truth that too many of us as Christians forget: Genuine small acts of love push people toward Christ no matter how far away they are from His Grace.

Stubby started coming to our doorstep early this winter and I wanted nothing to do with him. My wife and I would sometimes put out some scrap food for Stubby. He would eat it and then go his way. I liked his lack of neediness but one night it got down to 20 degrees outside so I agreed to let him in for about an hour, but no longer. While he was in our house he was playful, well behaved, clean, and actually showed his love toward us with many small gestures. After his hour was up I kicked him outside with some warm towels that he could shelter under. A week later cold weather returned and Stubby was at our door waiting for us when we got home. This time I agreed to let Stubby stay the entire night. At about 3 am I woke up to a shifting of weight at the foot of our bed. Stubby had cuddled up and was purring more than any cat I ever heard before. All of my instincts told me “KICK HIM OFF”, but I decided to let him stay. Time and time again this has happened and now when we come home Stubby is usually waiting for us doing backflips for us to come in. I have bought him play toys, I let him stay whenever he wants, he has met all of my friends, I have bought him Meow Mix, and yes I let him sleep in our bed whenever he wants. I am officially still a dog man, but little experiences over time with Stubby has me rethinking how I view cats because now I can truly say I love Stubby and look forward to seeing him every day. At first I didn’t understand what was happening, but now I see it clearly. Stubby was working a plan. Bit by bit, Stubby was nudging me toward a relationship with him.

This experience teaches a great lesson about how we as Christians need to reach out to the Lost.

There are many people in this world who are not yet ready to accept Christ. They are “Not-Yet Believers.” They are open to a gesture of kindness and love that can nudge them closer to being ready to accept Christ. Recently, I’ve heard pastors use the analogy of golfers on a golf course to represent those who are on a journey toward coming to Christ at various points of readiness to accept Christ. Some golfers are right on the green and ready to putt their ball into the hole (accept Christ), while others are so far away from the hole it wouldn’t work all that well for a putter to move them. For the person that is far away from the hole, a simple act of love can be used to get them closer to the hole where the golfer can use a putter to nudge them into the hole (to accept Christ) so that progress will take place. Progress takes place all along the golf match no matter which club is used. The lesson learned is this – use the appropriate club depending on where the ball lies, not on your affinity for a particular club. Learn to use a number of clubs!

Too many times in evangelism we focus on the end result and we want to rush people there without taking the time to show them who God is through small acts of genuine love. There are many people who are so distant from accepting Christ, that a push in His direction with a practical service may be all that God asks at that moment. I like to think that our small obedient acts of love give the lost a first impression of who God really is, and how much He loves them. If I think about my relationship with Stubby, he did not come in and demand that he sleep on my bed and eat my food right away. I would have promptly kicked him off my property. However, little genuine acts of love over time gave me a first impression of cats and brought me to the point where I was ready to dive in to whatever Stubby wanted. When we grasp the truth that God uses even our small acts of love to draw the Lost to Himself, it inspires us to live a life that is bursting out with the love and kindness God has shown us. Every small act of our life becomes meaningful simply because a small act of love shown to an Unbeliever could be all God needs to draw them to a better understanding of who He is, which in effect draws them closer to accepting Jesus’ love.

Our church has recently caught fire on giving people within our community a first impression of who God is. As we focus on giving the Lost a little nudge closer to Jesus we like to perform small acts of kindness such as passing out free water on a hot day, passing out free candy, doing free car washes, raking leafs for free, or any free service that aims just to show people that God loves them in a practical way with no strings attached. The people we are serving often say, “I have never felt so loved by a Christian” or “I have never heard of a church doing something like this just to tell me God loves me”. Over time we have seen the fruit of nudging people towards Christ through small acts of love.

If Stubby can use small genuine acts of love to bring me to a place where I admit that I love cats, how much more can God use our small, genuine acts of love overtime to bring an Unbeliever to a place where they accept Him.

Hang in there as the ball moves closer to the hole. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will inspire you to have patience.

 

Karaļvalsts laipnība: Kā Dieva laipnība noved pie Dieva Power For Ārstnieciskā Mark Wyatt

Kad es ierauts Servant Evangelism gandrīz 15 gadiem, mana dzīve ir mainījusies uz visiem laikiem. Kā daļa no konfesijas, kas bija ļoti vērsta uz evaņģelizācijas, Man bija mācītājs, kurš ienīda evaņģelizāciju. Bet, protams,, neviens nevarēja zināt. Tāpēc es uzzināju paņēmienus, devās uz mācību kursiem, izgatavots telefona zvanus, knocked on the doors, passed out a trillion tracts. I did all of this was to try to cover up the fact that I hated making people uncomfortable, which seemed to be unavoidably woven into the fabric of every evangelism program I had ever seen.

And then came free sodas at traffic lights. Doughnuts and milk to people having yard sales. Hot chocolate to cold customers in the wee hours of Black Friday.

And as toilets were cleaned, and windshields were washed, and hotdogs and cokes were given away at heavy metal concerts, I found that I didn’t really hate evangelism. I just hated the way I had always done it.

And so, when my wife and I followed God’s call to relocate from Dallas to our hometown of Mobile, Alabama to plant a new church, Community of Kindness by Steve Sjogren became my textbook. There was no doubt that this new work would be founded on Servant Evangelism. As our vision for the city grew, so did the church, and so did our creativity. And as good as it was, there was still something more to come, something that would take everything I knew to a new level.

In March of 2006, I stood next to my friend as the Lord completely, immediately, and irrevocably healed him of Parkinson’s Disease. The very next week, as my friend and mentor Jack Taylor was preaching at our church, he said something that tattooed itself on my spirit: “Let me tell you what has happened– you have been blown into Kingdom come.” And it was true. I realized, in that moment, that I was now an eyewitness to the truth of the what John Wimber had taught with such wisdom and influence in the 1980s: the Kingdom of God is here.

As the people of our new church, Deeper Life Fellowship, and I began to really seek this present rule and reign of God, we began to see Him demonstrate it in wonderful ways. And naturally, this seeking of the Kingdom and this serving of the people began to meld into one cohesive event. We found that now, Servant Evangelism had been endowed with power from on high. It is a wonderful, Spirit-directed, life-filled activity to show the kindness and love of God to people who are walking in darkness and may not even know it. But I believe that is only the beginning.

On December 4, 2010, we held another Gas Buydown. This is where we, in cooperation with a local gas station, buy the price of gasoline down 20 cents per gallon for two hours. During those two hours, we have the opportunity to pump gas, wash windshields, give out bottled water and soft drinks, and pray for dozens and dozens of people. On this particular day, as my wife was asking one of the customers how we could pray for her, the woman said that we could pray for her niece, who was suffering serious side effects from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The little girl had gone blind in her left eye. My wife quickly motioned me over when she realized that the niece was right there in the car, and we immediately began to pray “Kingdom Come” prayers for her. And there, in a gas station parking lot, on a Saturday afternoon, that 8-year old girl received her sight in her blind left eye!

I love the power of kindness, and I love the power of the rule and reign of God. And the good news is, they are connected at the hip. Servant Evangelism for the sake of being kind is a wonderful, anointed God-activity. But it is also the railway on which the freight train of God’s power barrels into every darkened corner of our cities, delivering its cargo of hope, healing, and the supremacy of His Kingdom into every heart that will receive it.

5.5 Things darīt, ja Noraidīts On An Outreach Steve Šegrena

Nav svarīgi, cik grūti jums mēģināt nākt pāri kā "drošu" Personas, kuras jūs uzrunāt, daži nesaņems savu piedāvājumu pakalpojumu. Tas ir negrozāms realitāte. Bet nav fret. Ir daži pierādīts soļi, es esam noskaidrojuši, kas strādā labi, kas nodarbojas ar skarbu cilvēkiem.

1. The Forrest Gump-Andy Griffith Response.
It’s never a good idea to return fire with fire. Vietā, put on a combination smile and blank response. You might practice this response with others on your team. You might be more of a natural arguer – that’s my natural inclination but it doesn’t work well. I’ve managed to abate other’s anger thrown my way many times and in fact I’ve been able to later return to the same place with the same personnel and find them willing to allow us to serve them!

2. Keep on keeping on.
The one thing we can’t entertain is the possibility of giving up. The end of Paul’s verse above regarding giving up is the quip, “for we shall reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Keep that promise in your heart. There is a harvest before you and your team. Remind your team that we are doing something that blesses the heart of God. When we reach out we are doing the ministry of Jesus – that is amazing!

3. Realize what is happening beneath the surface with those you serve.
Sometimes the most angry, nearly violent responses come from the very people who are being the most profoundly worked on the most by the Spirit of God. Keep that fact before you. If people are lackadaisical, ho hum regarding your outreach attempts you might be register with their souls. Remind your team that they need to proceed by faith, not sight, and serve with enthusiasm regardless of the surface of response.

4. Release the hound of heaven on them.
Francis Thompson wrote a poem with this title about the pursuit of the Holy Spirit – how he pursues people with power and faithfulness. When we serve, according to Paul in Romans 2:4, “the kindness of God leads to repentance.” Something supernatural is released upon their lives. It’s not our job to make sure everyone we reach out to is efficiently followed up on. If you read the Book of Acts it is obvious that many of those exposed to the Gospel were followed up on by the Holy Spirit in sovereign ways that only God could arrange. In other words, don’t sweat it! Your extra efforts won’t change things in any case. It is the ministry of the Spirit to see to it that people come into the Kingdom, not yours. Do what you can, then relax, smile and continue to plant, water and harvest as the opportunity presents itself.

5. Tell your story!
Chances are some haven’t had a 100% successful day of outreach. Sometimes an encouraging conversation will un-empower the work of the Enemy that might otherwise scare the daylights out of people. A friendly sharing time will allow them to realize they didn’t fail but that it was probably just that the person they connected with who was having a bad day.

5.5 Eat a taco.
Stop at Taco Bell (or wherever) and connect with others on your team and download regarding your outreach experiences regarding what happened. Why a taco versus a burger at Wendy’s? You can eat like a king at Taco Bell for about $1.95!

Kā Flush jūsu garīgo Caurules Ken Glassmeyer

Nav svarīgi, cik ilgi man vērienu, Es esmu bieži pārsteigts, cik daudz ietekmes kalpojot citiem tiešām ir par mūsu pašu garīgo veselību. Kad mēs barības nabadzīgajiem, vai darīt kādu mazu žestu laipnību, ne tikai mēs dodot viņiem nelielu garšu valstībā, mēs tiekam atsvaidzināts garīgi, kā arī. Esmu dzirdējis vairāk nekā viens mācītājs izmanto metaforu, ka mēs esam caurule vai cauruļvads par Dieva žēlastību, kad mēs ļaujam Viņam plūst caur mums uz citiem.

Sometimes, when that grace sprays through us, it clean our pipes.

This fall, I had my hot water heater fail on me. I live in an area that has extremely hard water, and frugal skeptic that I am, I have always resisted getting a water softener. I am also not the most knowledgeable guy when it comes to home repair. Little did I know that you are actually supposed drain and flush your hot water heater and lines at least once per year, because calcium, lime, and other minerals in hard water will calcify and gunk up your taps, fixtures pipes, and even the hot water heater itself. In my case I went 15 years without ever having the heater serviced. At first, I noticed white grit in the aerators and reduced flow from the tap. Then a few weeks later every hot water line in the house slowed to a mere trickle. After a few thousand dollars and few days with a plumber, my lines were very clear, I had a new hot water heater, and a softener. I had to help the plumber carry the old heater out of the house because it had over sixty pounds of sediment that had built up over the years. All of this could have been avoided through the simple discipline of flushing my plumbing from time to time.

Can’t the same thing be said for making outreach a regular habit in our lives?

Maybe it goes back to the idea of a man with no shoes suddenly being very happy with his life when he meets a man with no feet. When we serve people that are more impoverished than us, whether it be emotional, spiritual, or fiscal poverty, it helps put our life in perspective. It flushes our spiritual pipes and gets the gunk out.

I had a similar experience with my personal ministry right around the same time the hot water heater went out. Even though most folks assume I do outreach almost as often as I breathe, it does not really come natural to me. If truth be told, I am not a very nice person. I am actually kind of jerk. Faktiski, that is proof that effective servant evangelism is absolutely dependent on God’s kindness–not my politeness. Serving others does not come naturally to me. It might look that way if you were elbow to elbow with me doing ministry, but you aren’t seeing me in my natural element. You are seeing the power of God’s kindness transform me on the spot as it flows through me to those I am serving.

As such, sometimes I get in a funk. Sometimes, I slack off with regard to ministry. Weeks and months can slide by, and then I can spiral into a really funky spiritual place. I was in such a place this fall. I had a few serious set backs in my personal life, a few deaths and illnesses in the family, and a number of financial problems. While I wasn’t shaking my fist at God, we weren’t exactly on the best speaking terms. I certainly was in no mood to serve other people, much less be cordial toward them.

I am real big fan of Harry Chapin, and if you happen to have his Greatest Hits CD around, put it in. There is a little rant he goes on between two of his songs where he talks about the ludicrousness of churches and schools getting excited about feeding the poor around Thanksgiving: “sure they eat good for one or two days off of your food drive, but what are they going to eat the rest of the year?”

I happened to be listening to it in the car and it occurred to me, that not only do the impoverished go hungry the rest of the year, some of us get spiritually lazy the rest of the year. Before I heard the CD, I had not only skipped several planned church outreaches, I had even slowed down my personal servant evangelism. I wasn’t “making my rounds” as Steve Sjogren often teaches: simply follow your daily routine, but be attentive and ready to serve the people you meet as you run daily errands and go about your normal business.

My pipes were clogged.

I had actually even thought about skipping my church’s annual Turkeyfest, an event I helped start and refine over twenty-five years ago.

I was in a funk, and while I know and have often taught others that the best way to get out of a funk is to serve others. I didn’t want to. I conjured a hundred reasons not to join Turkeyfest. Spiritual inertia had set in.

It was a very rough autumn. My grandmother had just died just as I was finally really getting to know her and visit with her regularly. Sadly, I’m still a bit unsure just where she landed on the Engle scale before dying. I felt spiritually impotent. Here I was, a type of outreach guru, and I couldn’t even witness effectively to my mostly unsaved family. The rest of my family are pretty dang near the bottom of that same Engel scale. They have a casual awareness that there is a God, but they aren’t Him. It pretty much ends there with regards to faith with most of my family members.

Then my mom was attacked by the third type of cancer she has encountered in two decades: breast cancer, skin cancer, and now finally fatal stage four renal cell carcinoma. She is way down in Florida and, living in Ohio, I can’t really see her as much as I would like to. She has less than six months left. There’s a bit more. . .I am sterile, yet changed that into a passion for being a teacher and I was pretty good at it and even won a few awards, but then I had a heart attack breaking up a fight at school and I was diagnosed with severe CHF and forced to retire early.

I spent a great amount of time in and out the hospital and have several pieces of my anatomy sliced, diced, and removed. I tried to get healthier, but with a heart that works with less than 30% efficiency, my days in the classroom were over.

I threw myself into ministry becoming an outreach maniac and even became the editor of a national magazine dedicated to teaching folks around the world how to do two things:

  1. Notice the needs of people
  2. Help them notice God that is overjoyed to meet those needs for them

Sadly that groove only lasted a couple of years. Due to medical pension stipulations, I had to resign. In fact I had to curb all of my organized ministry endeavors for I am no longer able to lead or instruct others formally—even as a volunteer. I now have to submit a report to the state board delineating my activities proving that I am not doing any form of leading others; I can’t even teach a Bible study or lead a small group. All this for the joy of collecting 21.25% of my final year’s salary—before taxes.

Then I found out I have a brain chemistry problem that the doctors still have not put their finger on. I have become a test subject for pharmaceutical companies, only I am paying them, rather than them paying me as they try medication after medication to stabilize my brain chemistry. Quite possibly it is never going to be fixed and could be a result of all the other medications I take for my Congestive Heart Failure; Hypertension and the fact that I no longer have part of my intestinal tract and stomach.

Some mornings I wake up and wonder why Job was being such a cry-baby.

In other words, I still love God because He is my Father, but lately I haven’t been in the mood to talk to him very much and being around people that are more “cheery” than me makes me even edgier than some of you have ever seen me, and if you thought me rude and brusque before, I am down right spiritually cantankerous at the moment. . .kinda like a crotchety Christian Dennis Miller who thinks he is funnier and smarter than he really is, and says everything he is thinking out loud. So I began to stay away from gatherings so I am not toxic to others.

My spiritual pipes weren’t just clogged—they were backed up.

Anyway, I was almost in such a funk that I dang near took a pass on handing out turkeys this year, causing me to miss my first Turkeyfest. . .well since before we really didn’t have a name for it. Back when we started it in the late 1980’s we just all pitched in out of our own pocket, loaded up a few pickup trucks with frozen turkeys, stuffing, canned goods, pumpkin pies and just doing the best a group of loving amateurs could do to hand out mercy and kindness from the back of a tailgate.

Twenty five years later and we were feeding over a thousand families each Thanksgiving—with a really nice spread. I was going to bail on it.

Then two things changed my mind.

1) I heard a rumor that we might revisit the “old-school model” and have a bit more freedom to freelance/pray and stretch a few atrophied prophetic muscles and find random families to serve as the Lord led rather than use leads (with triplicate paperwork) from a social services agency making us little more than pizza delivery boys. One time last year I was yelled at by the person I gave the turkey dinner to, that I bought out of my pocket, because I was ten minutes late arriving.

2) My youngest nephew, Adam, would be joining us for his first Turkeyfest. This precocious young man is the life of any party: a kid that is two parts scoundrel and three parts saint. You never know what is going to come out of his mouth, but more times than not it would be profound and sometimes even holy.

We reduced down, not going with a larger group this year; just our little extended family of me, my wife, and some of my inlaws. They are Catholic, but let me tell you, that particular faith has forgotten more about service and kindness than any cutting edge parachurch you can name. We bought two turkey dinners to give away. The organizers at my church provided heavy-duty laundry baskets (This is an awesome idea by the way—it holds a great deal of food and a full-sized turkey without breaking, and can be used to do laundry later!) and we just went to the store and filled it with a Thanksgiving bounty including a good sized bird.

The worship was awesome, but I had to chuckle when little Adam leaned into his mother’s shoulder and said: “Uhhmm, mom, I think we went to the wrong place cause this sure ain’t no Catholic church.”

It was going to be a good day.

We drove through Lincoln Heights with our turkeys. The landscape has sure changed since the days of the white bus and food runs I used to organize in this impoverished neighborhood when I was on staff over twenty years ago. The entire place has been gentrified, but if you look close, you can still see the hidden poverty sprinkled around all the new condominiums city planners put in when the bulldozed the eight block grid housing project. I almost go lost.

As we were driving down Chamberlain Ave. little Adam was inspired: “Uncle Kenny, Instead of driving around all day and looking at houses, why don’t we just stop and ask that lady if she knows anybody that is hungry–she looks like she knows where we should go with the food.”

I look over and there is a single mom trying to load her car with a ton of laundry in plastic bags as she also herded two young kids. I hop out of the van and help her load her car introduce myself and ask her if she “knows of any families in the neighborhood going through a bad time that could maybe use an thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings?”

She stared and me blankly for a moment and started crying and pointed to the door of the house. “I don’t live here–that’s my dad’s place,” is all she said, but kept crying.

I motioned to the van and we all carried the pies and stuffing and potatoes and turkey etc inside to meet Marcus and his grandson Javonian.

Marcus explained that his wife had just recently passed and he was trying to make things okay, but it was real rough on the family. To make matters worse, the heater was out, his car was broke, and he was about to lose his job. On top of all that, his wife had always put out a large spread for the family at Thanksgiving, but not only did he not have a clue how to cook, he didn’t have the money to afford such a spread

I started to show him that we had even gave him some basic cooking directions and showed him the cooking tips guide in the basket, but he stopped me. He pointed out the window at his daughter, “She won’t come in here right now ’cause she’s mad at me and the rest of the world. She can cook just like her ma could though, so we are good there. Don’t worry. She’ll come around. She just knows we’re about to do church in this living room, and that is probably more than she could bear right now.”

Adam frowned up at the man, “Why is she mad?”

“Well. . .” tears welled up in his eyes, but he laughed, “we were just arguing this morning about what to do about Thanksgiving this year, and I told her I would pray and God would provide–then you all showed up a few minutes later. She ain’t really mad-mad, she just knows it is time to get right with God again, you know? You folks showing up is just God messing around with her–and some folks don’t think God has a great sense of humor,” Marcus smiled down at Adam as he wiped a tear from his face. “Little man, you and your kin are an answer to prayers this morning,” and with that Marcus grabbed all our hands and we did church in his living room.

We prayed for Marcus and his grandson while his daughter lingered and watched with curiosity from the porch. Then Adam tugged on my jeans: “Aren’t you going to pray for his heater?”

I picked up the broken thermostat in my hand and Adam covered it with his and we prayed that God would “send a friend over that could help him hook it back up right.” The phone rang just as we were leaving. It was a friend of Marcus calling to see what would be a good time to come over and rewire the thermostat that had been lying on the floor.

My pipes are clean now.

Galdu Kopā = Growing Together Austin Cooper

“Enjoyed spending my morning with the kids and my church family doing a Winter Survival kit outreach!! It’s an awesome experience and I am so thankful to be able to have the opportunity to teach my kids how to show Gods love in simple, practical ways.”

“I am blown away by God’s mercy, just to be a part of His work…it’s amazing!!! Today we got the opportunity to drive a little boy and his sister, whom we met on an outreach, to church and he said are you taking us to Jesus’ house??? He was SO excited! What a blessing to be able to be used by God to draw people into Himself…we are SO unworthy!!! It BLOWS my mind.”

These quotes are real Facebook posts from two different people in our church that have occurred in the past month. As a culture of Servant Evangelism is enveloping our church there seems to be a two part blessing that has occurred from our church developing an outward focus: a blessing for us as a church and a blessing for the people we are reaching by showing them God’s love in simple and practical ways. Nothing highlights these two blessings better than the two Facebook posts above.

In August of 2010 our church started participating in Servant Evangelism. As a church we did a kindness outreach on a Saturday from 10am-noon once a month in which we served people in very simple and practical ways such as $1 car washes (wash a car and give away the dollar), leaf raking, toilet cleaning, soda and water giveaways, washing windows, etc. When we were asked by the people we were serving why we were doing this we would just respond, “We wanted to show you that Jesus loves and cares for you in a practical way.” Furthermore, we passed out a card with a big smiley face on the front that says: “We hope this small gift brightens your day, there are no strings attached. We just want to let you know God loves you.” We had so much fun we decided in January of 2011 to start doing the kindness outreaches twice a month. Finally in June of 2011 we decided to completely dive in and start doing a kindness outreach every single week whether we have 1 person show up or 20 (trust me there has been plenty of weeks where we have had only 1 person show up to an outreach, but God still uses it) and we have seen the outpour of blessings that God has put upon our church, both from the inside and the out.

From the very beginning of our outreach efforts it became apparent that God was using this outward focus to bless and bring our church together. Whenever we step out and look to further God’s kingdom there is a great deal of joy involved. I have never felt or seen strangers within a church grow to become a loving family quicker than when we are serving others in fun and practical ways. When we set out on our outreaches whether it be simply giving away soda or putting on a block party there is an overwhelming sense that God’s Spirit is going before us and just as in Acts 13:52 which says, ““And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” there is a great deal of fun, bonding, and joy involved. Mēs visi esam dzirdējuši frāzi: "Ģimene, kas lūdzas kopā turas kopā" ​​labi es gribētu teikt: "Baznīca, kas kalpo kopā aug kopā." Šis pieaugums nozīmē notiek gan fiziski, gan garīgi. The two Facebook posts at the top of the page illuminate this truth greatly. Dievs svētī mūs vislielākajā iespējamajā veidā, kad mēs svētītu citus.

Of course our ultimate goal in reaching out to others in our community is to allow God to use us to bring those who he chooses to a place where he can draw them to Himself. When we pass out sodas, or chap stick, or whatever it may be we always pray that God’s spirit will use such a simple, material thing to change someone’s heart towards him. I like to think that through Servant Evangelism and a simple offer of a 10 second prayer after we serve someone, we are giving people a new and redefined first impression of who Jesus is. This impression destroys any other impression that they may have had in the past through bad experiences with other Christians. We constantly get comments from people who say “I have never heard of a church that would do something like this” or “I have never felt so blessed and loved by a simple act of kindness”.

After consistently serving every Saturday for just an hour and a half for 6 months we have started seeing many of the people we have reached out to come to our church on Sundays where they get to hear in even more detail about who Jesus is and what he has done for them.

At a recent free block party outreach we put on I met a student, introduced him to Christ then baptized him. This was one of the neatest moments of my life. We have multiple people in our church picking up those who we have met during kindness outreaches and bringing them to church (i.e. second Facebook post at the top). We have people that have never been to church before coming in our doors and actually enjoying it. The truth is God chooses to bless those who are warriors for his kingdom. Strangely enough our warriors clean toilets, rake leaves, mow yards, and pass out soda, however sometimes there is nothing more fulfilling to us, and useful to God, than to reach out to the Lost providing them with a spotless toilet, a clean looking yard, and a quenched thirst.

Esiet laipni pret Poor Robert Pittman

"Būt labs pret nabagiem ir kā aizdevumus Kungam; Viņš atdos jums par to, ko jūs esat darījuši. " (Salamana 19:17)

 

Once a month we go out as a church and we call it “Love Louisville.” We also do an annual event that is city-wide with the same name (check out: www.lovelouisville.org for more info).

As a follow up to Christmas, we recently did what we called: “Winter Warm Outreach.” We collected new or gently used coats, hats, gloves and scarfs for men, women and children. We worked with Starbucks and they donated coffee and hot chocolate along with freshly baked muffins.

We often do other types of outreaches like bottled water giveaways, business blast where we take goodie bags to area workers, or gas buy-downs where we give out $2 bills at area gas stations and wash people’s wind shields for free. We still do those, but recently God has given me a heart to reach out more to the poor, the abused, the lonely, the neglected. So every month we have been very deliberate about doing outreaches that touch those people. So off we go to “Winter Warm.”

We drove to one of the poorest areas in Louisville and set up our giveaway in the area park adjacent to the projects. While people set up, a couple of guys and I started knocking on doors to invite people. “We’ve got FREE coats, hats, gloves for you and your kids along with hot chocolate” and people came in below freezing temperatures because of love. Up to 100 people loved, served, clothed, conversations with, thanks given, prayers prayed.

But there was one person I’ll never forget. Her name was Sellina. I was walking back from knocking on doors when I met her. She was in her car getting ready to take off when I walked up to the window and told her about the giveaway in the park. She said, “I thought about coming over, but I didn’t want to take away from other people who needed it more than me.” And then to my surprise she pulled out a $5 bill and insisted I take it to put in our offering for outreach. I normally don’t take any kind of donations because we don’t want people to think there are any strings attached to our outreach. But she was insistent and started to tear up as she said, “Please, please take this and put it toward your outreach.”

She placed the $5 bill in my hand and as she did I joined hands with her and asked if I could pray with her. After I prayed, I looked up and there were tears streaming down her face and she could barely get the words out: “You don’t know how much I needed that…I’ve just been evicted.”

$5 dollars to her was like $50 to someone else, vai $500, vai $5000. It reminds me of the story Jesus told about the poor widow who gave money to the offering: “All the others gave what they do not need, but this poor widow gave out of her need” (Mark 12:44).

I never saw Sallina again, but I’ve never forgotten her and neither has God: “He puts poor people on their feet again; He rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope, restoring dignity and respect to their lives” (1 Samuel 2:8). Guess what? He uses you and me to do it.

All God asks is this: “to remember to help the poor—something I really wanted to do” (Galatians 2:10). Because on one of the coldest days of the year, a woman who was evicted touched my life. And I believe God used me to touch hers.

Dziļāka Kind of Love Steve Šegrena

“Love one another deeply for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Pet. 4:8

Kā Sv. Valentīna diena tuvojas ļauj pieņemt palūrēt pie varas mīlestību, kas kustas ar mums - gan tad, kad mēs sasniegt, un mēs koncentrēsies uz mūsu brāļiem un māsām Baznīcā.

Sometimes outreach people can become so fixated on reaching out we can poo poo the need for the obvious – to show love to the obvious, the already gathered.

Let’s pull that verse apart:

Love one another deeply

Love those inside the church first.

The call here is not just to merely love but to love “deeply.” It takes far more grace and power to love insiders than outsiders. Here’s my thought – God will develop our ability to love others through the difficult people he places in our lives in the Church we are unable to avoid. As that capacity to love deepens, we will be all the more effective at loving outsiders.

“…love covers

As we love, something redemptive is released.

“Love covers…sins.” That’s an amazing promise! There aren’t many promises that bold in the Bible. When we fail we can choose empowered attitudes and actions that God will anoint to cover our failures. Pārsteidzošs!

“…love coversa multitude of sins

God’s power is released, our sins and failures are covered, when we love other Believers.

The key is that are willing to aim our love toward others in the Body of Christ. It is easy to shy away from taking advantage of the promise of 1 Pet. 4:8. Believers are far more difficult to love than those outside the Church! They are people in process, thus they are more irritating, sometimes stuck in repeating, irritating patterns and when they change it seems like a very slowww process. Let’s face it, those on the outside, the ones we have no relationship with, are ones we can extend grace to far more readily.

Christian love is empowered by the Holy Spirit.

This kind of love is not brought by human effort. As people who move in the world of kindness outreach we all know from experience that it’s not an act of deciding with our wills that we will love that makes outreach love happen. We need God to give us the desire and ability to move in the power of his love. It works the same way when we reach out to those inside the Church.

…Keep in mind:

Don’t wait until you get your love skills perfected on the inside of the Church before you reach out and serve.

I’ve heard confusion on this point from those in leadership who are concerned about the point of readiness for outreach. I appreciate the concern, but the truth is we will never perfect our love this side of heaven (1 Cor. 13). We will in in a continual process the rest of our earthly lives. We will always be moving toward greater effectiveness in our love. Our role now is to be available to do the bidding of God. He will use us as we are willing to be sent. Ready – FIRE! – Aim. That’s our guiding motto!

 

“What we do in life…echoes in Eternity”

(The Gladiator)

Plānojiet Tagad Valentīna diena laipnību Outreaches! ar Janie Šegrena

"Vai jums jūsu mīļotais šodien?“ It’s easy to put a Valentine’s Day outreach together in a short time. Cilvēki ir patiešām atvērt šī gada laikā, un visi mīl kļūst mazliet mīlestības parādīts uz tiem!

Rozes ir lieliska ideja, ietin ar mazuļa elpu un kādu florists papīru no jūsu vietējā florists. Order the parts and have your team wrap everything up. Wrap up each red rose individually. Wrap with baby’s breath, red florist paper and clear plastic sheets, then tie a ribbon with an outreach card to it. Roses are great to give out on street corners, and people are surprised it is free. Some churches use a “$1 Roses” sign and then give the rose and the dollar to people! Red carnations also work well for this project.

Chocolates are a great gift of love this time of year. Put Hershey kisses or other wrapped candies into small clear bags tied with ribbon and a card stating that “This is a little way to let you know God loves you, no strings attached!” Gifts of candies to workers at stores are often well received, as well as showing love at nursing and care homes. Buy 3” X 5” zip-closure bags online.

Set the date and time! Get your team together, plan what you’ll give out and set the date for your Valentine’s Day outreach. Make sure you have all the items to assemble before the outreach.

If you pack them, your people will give them away! Another great way to get the sweets out to people is to send your Sunday attendees out the door with 5 vai 10 sets of candies with cards attached ready to give away.

People need to know they are loved, and this is an easy way to do it!

For connect cards and zip-closure bags, check out KindnessResources.com.

3 Things Lai Adrese Pirms starta jaunu baznīcu Doug Murren

Sākot baznīcas dažreiz iegājis ar nepietiekamu sagatavošanu. Es zinu, esmu pieļāvusi vairākas kļūdas, kas bija dārgi starta baznīcās, ņemot pietiekamu sagatavošanās periodu nav. Es uzskatu, ka neveiksme var uzkrāt lielāku ieskatu vairāk nekā panākumiem. I want to talk about three major areas of concern that need to be addressed before getting started on any church venture.

Pre-Mortem Assessment

Post-mortem assessment is very common. We usually think of reviewing our success or failure after the event or venture has wound down. I like to do what I call pre-mortem assessment. It works just like post-mortem with the exception that it precedes the start date.

I now do pre-mortems on my messages. I also like to preview and consider upcoming events. It can be fun. Basically it means drawing your team together to ask how this thing fail. It means looking at what will bring us down. Obviously once you have done this exercise you will find ways to improve even before you start and likely avoid painful post-mortems.

Here are some questions that might help your pre-mortem:

  • What will stop people from returning?
  • What could go wrong with our message presentation?
  • What will make it difficult for people to hear about us and show up?
  • How could we waste our money?
  • What parts of our presentation are week or substandard?
  • What could make our worship terrible?

etc…

Recruiting Leaders

Choosing your first leaders properly is a vital effort. Sometimes we recognize people just because we need some help. It is true that you will likely within the first three years see a complete turn over of your initial leaders. But nonetheless your chances of succeeding can be greatly increased by calling the right partners.

This is an area where I have been weak. I have often not taken the time to recruit and deploy the right people. I have invested money in the ill prepared and under qualified leader and have not only wasted resources but cost myself a great deal of pain.

Where do you find leaders? Almost always the best leaders are going to come via referrals. It is true you may need to recruit leaders from places they are already being productive. I have come to believe that you shouldn’t start if you can’t convince some friends to join you in the venture.

The following are six traits of leaders you will need to be successful:

  • They are willing to invest money.
  • They are influencers and bring other people into the journey with you.
  • Are willing to put in time on the extras.
  • Do they evangelize?
  • Are they optimists?
  • Are they there when its time to pray?

Friends of the Start

I have heard for years planters complain about little or no support from their denominations or sending church. It sounds to me like the people who join your church and want you to hand them some friends. You have to take responsibility for building your own support network.

I think finding a coach and being willing to pay them is a great step. Yes they may be a paid friend but they are still a friend. You may have to go outside your particular organization to find connections.

It is well worth the effort to make some appointments with church leaders that have been successful and ask to share your dream. Don’t ask for money. If they are impressed with you and your plan they will offer on their own. What you need are friends. Often these friends will connect you with resources you need.

I think a network of ten key mentors and friends is essential. Be a listener and learner. Offer to take them to lunch or meet whatever fits their schedule best. Be certain to ask for future meetings after your first meeting. I have had many church planters ask me to mentor them or hire me as a coach. I am always flattered. Often I will work to help them find resources.

Come prepared when you seek to collect friends. Have a list of four or five questions you would like to ask them. They can be anywhere in the country, they don’t have to be in your backyard.. But don’t be vague. Describe your concerns. Ask them to pray for and with you. Send them a note of appreciation after your meeting.

Some of my best friends in the ministry were made this way. I often asked them to speak at my fledgling churches and I was amazed how many were takers. And when you have them speak prepare an honorarium no matter how poor you are. They may give it back but it shows you value their input.

These are the areas that should get a great deal of your attention. This is why I think a church plant or new plan for a church should be preceded by six months of hard preparation time. Happy preparing!

Pārsteidziet Cilvēki ar Dieva spēks, ko Doug Addison

Cilvēki ilgojas var pieskarties Dieva mīlestību, jauda un pieņemšana. Kā kristieši, mēs veiktu mūsos pārsteidzošs arsenāls garīgajām dāvanām, kas var palīdzēt tiem, kam nepieciešama, kas nodara kaitējumu pasaule ap mums. Kā ietekmīgu līderi un treneri jau vairākus gadus, Es atnācu, lai saprast, ka, lai kļūtu efektīvāka mums vairs nav jāiet uz informēšanu, jo mūsu dzīve ir ielu!

Es nekad apnīk skatīties cilvēku sejas iedegas, kad mēs kaut ko darīt, ka praktiski parāda Dieva mīlestību. Es aicinu šīs dievišķās momentus vai jaudas tikšanās. Man ir bijis daudz varas tikšanās un mana pēdējā bija komēdija klubā. Mana sieva un es skāra pat sarunāties ar New Age hipnoterapeits un viņa dalījās ar reoccurring bērnības sapni, kas notika ārpus baznīcas. Es viņai interpretāciju, kas bija tas, ka viņa bija pārsteidzošs garīgo likteni vēl nav izpildīti. Viņa bija par to, lai uzzinātu vairāk par Īpašu uzdevumu vai zvanot Dievu ir bijusi uz viņas dzīvi, jo viņa bija bērns. Viņa iegāja asarām un teica, ka viņa jutās siltumu, mīlēt un zoss izciļņiem visi tajā pašā laikā.

Kad es runāt par varas saskrieties kā līdzeklis sasniegt cilvēkus ar Dieva mīlestību, daudz dažādu idejas var palaist caur galvu. Es saprotu, ka stāsts es tikko dalīta var likties mazliet ekstrēms, un tas nāca pēc gadu pieredzi. Ļaujiet man dalīties ar jums dažus noslēpumus par to, kā es got sākās un sniegt jums dažus vienkāršus padomus, kā ir jaudīgas tikšanās ar cilvēkiem savā kopienā.

Klātbūtnes spēks
Power tikšanās notiek, kad mēs nesam Dieva klātbūtni, lai personai, kas netic Dievam vai Ieslodzījuma tumsā. Tur ir spēks tikai, apvienojot Dieva klātbūtni, kas ir mūsos saskarē ar tiem, kurus Dievs tuvojas Sevi. Es aicinu šo "dāvana Rādu Up"!

Dieva klātbūtne mūsos ir kā gaisma, kas spīd un atšķir mūs no tiem, kuri nav šo gaismu. Mums ir teicis, lai "dzīvot kā gaismas bērni" (Efeziešiem 5:8). Kad mēs apzināti atļautu piedalīties Dieva mīlestības, kas jārealizē ar mums pieskarties citiem, cilvēki ir vērsta uz mums un piedzīvot mieru, ka viņi nav piedzīvojuši citur. Cilvēki var vienkārši sēdēt mums blakus un iet prom mainīta, nezinot, kas notika ar viņiem.

No procesa spēks
Nereti, mēs garām faktu, ka cilvēki mēdz nākt pie Jēzus caur procesu apstākļu un notikumu. Mums ir nepieciešams, lai nodrošinātu cilvēkiem laiku piedzīvot Dievu un ne pārāk ātri, lai mēģinātu, lai saņemtu viņiem lūgties lūgšanu pestīšanas priekšlaicīgi. Tāpat kā dabā, ir izaugsmes process, jauna dzīve parādīties. Mēs nekad piespiest rožu pumpuru atvērtu vai iesēt sēklu sagaidot nobriest uzreiz. Tāpat, cilvēki bieži vien atbrīvoti, lai atrastu kādu kristieti, kurš nav "evangelistically sprūda-laimīgs."

Lielākā daļa cilvēku vēlas zināt, Dievs ir reāls, un ir jautājumi un šaubas, kas ir nepieciešams, lai tiktu izstrādāta laika gaitā. Apvienojot spēku Dieva klātbūtnes ar jaudu procesa, mēs varam palīdzēt cilvēkiem, un žaut ar tiem laika gaitā. Tā uzskata vairāk dabas un relāciju bet ir ļoti efektīva, lai sasniegt cilvēkus šodien.

Mīlestības spēks
Mēs visi varam pierādīt spēku mīlestības. Bībele ļoti skaidri, ka mūsu ienaidnieki ir garīgā valstība, un tie nav cilvēki, mēs cenšamies sasniegt (Efeziešiem 6:12). Mēs parādām mīlestību dabas, kamēr mūsu ienaidnieki ir Garu valstība. Kad mēs Dieva gaismu pasaulē, tas ir labākais nevis tiesāt cilvēkus, ka jūs nevar vienoties ar. Koncentrējieties uz mīlošs kāds jums var nepiekrist, jo mīlestība spēcīgi piesaista cilvēkus Viņam. Jēzus dara saka mīlēt savu tuvāko.

Iedrošinājuma spēks
Ir dziļa spēks vienkārši runājot laipni ar cilvēkiem, veidojot tos. Kad Jēzus saskārās Samariešu sievieti pie akas, viņš maigi norādīja, ka viņa bija relāciju jautājumus. Bet viņš mudināja viņas, došanās uz zvanu viņas godīgi (John 4:18). Cilvēki bieži vien izkausēt un drosmi, viņu apstākļiem. Tas ir pārsteidzošs, ko veida vārds var darīt, lai veidotu tos. Tā ir Dieva labvēlību, kas noved cilvēkus nožēlot grēkus un saņemt Viņu (Romans 2:4).

Pārsteigums spēks
Kā mēs praktiskas lietas, lai pierādītu Dieva mīlestību, mēs atvērt cilvēku acis uz Dieva mīlestību pret viņiem. Tas bieži vien ir pārsteigums viņiem un dod, ka "tilt no galvas" izbrīns. Vēl viens pārsteigums ir tad, kad cilvēki atklāt mēs esam kristieši, un mēs esam arī jauki. Skumji teikt, daudzi cilvēki ir bijusi slikta pieredze ar unloving kristiešiem. Tas ir tik jautri, lai parādītu cilvēkiem pretēju garu ar praktiskiem, pārsteidzoši akti mīlestības un atklāj, ka Dievs ir reāls un tiešām viņus mīl.

Padarot to praktiskā
Power tikšanās nav tik grūti, kā jūs varētu domāt. Šeit ir daži vienkārši, praktiski soļi, lai redzētu to darbībā. Lūgt Dievu, lai parādītu kādu, kurš ir nepieciešams Viņa pieskārienu. Ja jūs zināt to, apsvērt dodas uz kafiju vai pusdienas un vienkārši klausīties. Tad atrast veidu, kā praktiski apmierināt nepieciešamību savā dzīvē.

Ja jūs redzat kādu sabiedrībai, ka Dievs izceļ un jūs tos zināt, būt drosmīgiem un pateikt viņiem, ka jūs vienkārši izlasīt kaut ko par varu iedrošinājumu un jums bija jautājums, ja jūs varētu nodarboties ar viņiem. Rīkoties, lai dotu viņiem īsu pacilājoša vārdu iedrošinājumu. Jums nav lūgties garas lūgšanas, vai saņemt tos uz ceļiem, nožēlojot savu efektivitāti, daloties Dieva mīlestību. Jūs būsiet pārsteigts!