Dr. Martins Luters Kings diena Outreach? Dr. Zinātnieks

Dr. Zinātnieks

Cienījamie Dr. Zinātnieks,

Vai jums ir kādas idejas par SE par Dr. Martin Luther King Day?

Mācītājs Eugene Jackson
–Detroit Michigan


That is an excellent question! Lielākā daļa skolu mīlu ir locekļi savu baznīcu izpalīdzēt programmām un svinībām par šo ļoti svarīgo dienu laikā. Faktiski, why not host a parent teacher appreciation dinner at one of your local schools? It would be easy to do. All it involves is taking the normal Sunday Church social or brunch on the road during the next PTA meeting. You could expand this small outreach into a reading tutoring program. Tutoring reading is actually easier than it seems. Kids love to be read to–even older kids. As you win them over by reading a few stories, you then extend beyond that and show them how to read on their own. I will let you in on a little secret. When you read out loud to kids, visualation of the story comes naturally. Most kids that have difficulty with reading lack the ability to translate the character strings on a page into viual context in their brain. That is were you come in. Sure there are some children that have serious learning disabilities that require the intervention of a trained professional, but what they often lack even more is face time with a caring adult that models learning for them. That small investment of your time and energy will pay huge dividends in their lives. The economy is really bad right now, and families with children are really feeling the pinch. So are teachers and schools. Why not consider sponsoring a few kids or classroom with books to read for sustained silent reading? I can even put you in touch with a great company that sells book with African American themes for schools, teachers, and families of students at a fantastic price. If you drop our editor’s name, you will get an extra discount:

TOWNSEND PRESS

–Dr. Zinātnieks


Sludināšana pie McDonalds Charlie Wear

McDonald's
Preaching? At McDonald's?

Man bija dīvainu sapni citiem nakts. Es sēdēju pie galda McDonald restorānā. Telpa bija piepildīta ar visu vecumu cilvēkiem, no bērniem līdz pensionāriem, precētiem pāriem un singles, un pusaudzis no visas formas un izmēriem. Jo viss bija par 50 cilvēki telpā.

The smell of fries and happy meals and the sound of boisterous conversation and squeals of playing children filled the air. I had a sense of anticipation because I knew that in a few minutes I would stand up on a chair and begin to “preach” to this crowd of people.

In my dream I was turning over and over what I was going to say to this diverse group of people that would bring them to faith. I was turning words and phrases over and over in my dream-state mind, searching for just the right combination that would have the maximum effectiveness.

On another level, I thought about how my dream-character had obtained permission to preach at McDonald’s. Somehow it had been arranged. Somehow it was authorized. I don’t know the details, but it was O.K., in a minute I would stand and speak.

I moved to the front of the room, climbed on a chair, one of those plastic kind that is attached to the table and swivels and it was as I began to open my mouth that I moved from dreaming to the twilight zone between sleep and waking. I wondered about the dream as I lay there. What did it mean? What were the words that I was about to say? What would have been the effect on the crowd?

We need to bring the message to McDonald’s

So much of the program-based church is built on the assumption that people will come to us to hear the message. We spend hours preparing and then executing our weekend “services”. We are intentional (at our best) in attempting to communicate our chosen themes to the audience that will gather. But what of the majority of people who are making their way through life without ever taking advantage of what we have to offer. Is God’s message compelling enough that it can be brought into the marketplace, into the McDonald’s?

For that matter, is some form of preaching enough, or should we also be examples of what faith can mean in life? And is that preaching, that example, truly “good news?”

I received a letter written in response to one of the articles that has appeared in Next-Wave. The letter went something like this:

“I saw the… article [in Next-Wave]… and found it disgusting. Are you people so mixed up as to think that this is somehow reverence to God? Why don`t you just drive stakes through your hands and feet? It would follow your screwed-up logic. Only morons and depraved derelicts would do such things, not real Christians. [What] is the next step…? Please pray for wisdom before it`s too late. P.S. I give this counsel out of love for your soul…..Bro. Blank.”

Brother Blank’s disgust doesn’t feel like good news to me. And he’s writing in response to an article by Christians about Christians. I wonder what message he would “preach” if given the opportunity at McDonald’s.

Paul understood

Paul, of course, understood. He knew that religion can get in the way of trusting in God. He expounds at length on this subject in the letter to the Romans, chapter 10. He describes the dangers of trying to live according to the law code, religion at its finest, as Dr. Petersen says in The Message translation: “every detail of life regulated by fine print!” Unfortunately for most of us who have been alive for a while we’ve learned that “it’s not so easy”to live right before God in our own power.

Paul says, “Say the welcoming word to God—”Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simple calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: ‘God has set everything right between him and me!’ Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, Dievs!’ gets help.”
My McDonald’s audience

I guess that is what I would have liked to preach to my dream McDonald’s audience. I would have liked them to know that you can live a life of faith, hope and love. You can draw strength and courage to face the trials of sickness, heartache, tragedy and death. God is more than willing to help if we will only ask. I would have wanted them to know that I struggle with “right-living” but that I have the confidence that God is with me in the struggle, guiding, teaching, loving and encouraging me along the way.

I would have wished that some of them would have been willing to give God a chance to help them.

Scriptural formulas don’t mean much to those who haven’t trusted God

I don’t think I could have used some sort of scriptural formula to persuade folks that trusting in God is a good idea. Jūs redzat, people who don’t know the book, can’t be persuaded by the book. I probably would have had to rely on my own life experience, to tell them about how trusting God has helped me.

We need a different language

Somehow we need a different language to communicate God’s message to our friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow McDonald’s patrons. People are less willing to hear dogmatic diatribes that speak from a posture of disgust and superiority. The language and attitude of “winning” the “lost” should be abandoned. We should begin tell our stories without arrogance or pride and offer good news.

Years ago now,l I attended the Off-the-map Evangelism conference at the Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohaio. I got to listen to Steve Sjogren, Brian McLaren, and Leonard Sweet talk about the new understandings and language needed to help our fellow travelers along on the journey of faith. Their creative ideas inspired me to think about new and different ways to bring a life-saving message to my city.

Paul asked a good question in Romans 10: “But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?”

All of us Christ-followers are sent to someone, to tell our story, by preaching or example. Will you be sent to McDonald’s?

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson, 1993, 1994, 1995. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Charlie Wear is the publisher of Next-Wave. He is a lawyer living and working in Southern California with his wife Loretta and his son, Ben.

Cik daudz naudas paiet Start Doing kalpam evaņģelizācijas Steve Šegrena

Lasītāju skaits ir rakstīts mums, daloties savu vēlmi sasniegt cilvēkus savā kopienā, bet neapmierinātas, jo finanšu trūkuma. Es ceru, ka šis video palīdzēs jums virzīties uz priekšu, neatkarīgi no jūsu finansiālo situāciju:

Cik daudz naudas ir nepieciešams, lai sāktu kalpu evaņģelizācijas?

Arī, you will want to check out my interview with Mike Slaughter, pastor of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, OH. We talked about how it’s time to rediscover our apostolic DNA and become the church Christ intended us to be.

Uzglabāt staigājot aizplūšana!

Steve

PS – Please let your friends know by pointing them to ServeCoach.com!

Intervija ar Mike Slaughter Steve Šegrena

***Pateicoties Tim in Berea, OH, kuri nosūtīti pa ultra-optimizēto video failu, kas ir tikai 60MB!***

Mike Slaughter akcijas viņa sirdi, jo tas attiecas uz vairāk nekā 30 gadu cieto ministrijas pie Ginghamsburg baznīcā pie Tipp City (Dayton), Ohaio. Kaušana atspoguļo tā, kā viņa sākotnējā baznīca izaugsmes stratēģija misfired. Viņš bija iegūt redzējumu no augšienes.

Viņa ceļš ir atzīmēti ar mērenu, bet konsekventi izaugsmes jebkad kopš. Tas pats pieaugums ir atkārtots gadu pēc gada, jo viņš ir centies māceklim nelielu skaitu cilvēku viņa span aprūpē - nekad vairāk nekā ducis cilvēku laikā though. Dzirdēt, kā tas vienkārši pieeja izvešanu aprūpei turpina pārveidot par savu līderu dzīvi un savu pilsētu šodien.

Viņš piekrīt domas par dotības baznīcas, kas ir paredzēti outwardness kas ved uz veselību. Tā ir aizraujoša perspektīva, kas pacels jūsu sirdi un prātu.

Lūk MP3 intervijas jūs varat klausīties vai lejupielādēt. Tas ir 84MB (mēs iegūtu šo mazāku SOON).

eZs3

Kaušana jaunākā grāmata ir pēdējos radošo posmu ar izdevējiem:
Mainīt pasauli – jauna atklāt ministriju un vēstījumu par Jēzus.
Izdošanas datums janvāris, 2010 (Abingdon Press).

Mike Slaughter
Mike Slaughter

Par Mike Slaughter
Galvenais Dreamer, Ginghamsburg baznīca
Mike Slaughter, svina mācītājs pie Ginghamsburg baznīcā, ir trīs desmitgades sapņotājs of Ginghamsburg Baznīcas un garīgā uzņēmējs no ministrijas Marketplace inovāciju. Viņa mūža kaislība, lai sasniegtu zaudējis un noteikt apspiestajiem bezmaksas tagad padarījusi viņu nenogurdināmi un vadošo advokātu par pārvietoto bērniem, sievietes un vīrieši Darfūrā, Sudāna, nosaukts par U.N. kā sliktāko humāno krīzi mūsdienu pasaulē. Saskaņā Pētera vadībā, Ginghamsburg Baznīca ir kļuvusi zināma kā agrīnā novators mazo grupu ministrijas, Baznīcas "mediju reformācija" un cyberministry, ar Ginghamsburg mājas lapā izlīdzināšanu 50,000 apmeklē reizi mēnesī no visas pasaules. Tā uzsāk Sudānā Project janvārī 2005, Ginghamsburg ir ieguldījusi vairāk nekā $3.7 miljonus humānajai palīdzībai Darfūrā. Iegūtais lauksaimniecības projekts, bērna attīstības programmu un drošu ūdens iniciatīva paplašinās sasniegt ceturtdaļu miljons Sudānas bēgļiem un ciema. Kā mentors, Mike dodas pasaulē runāt un izmantot savu "dāvanu kairinājumu" aprīkot ministriju līderiem, lai samazinātu ķieģeļu un palielināt misiju, lai tie varētu pilnībā izmantot misiju Jēzus pasaulē. Mike ir arī autors vairākām grāmatām par baznīcas līderiem. Plašāku informāciju par Mike, apmeklēt www.mikeslaughter.com.

Kā Serve ka skolā Steve Bowen

Es nezinu par jums folks, bet daži no labākajiem ielu iespējām pienācis, kad es vismazāk gaidīt tos. Most of them come from me just speaking less and listening more. One example was our outreach to Fairborn elementary School in Ohio.

Adopt A School
Adopt A School

Mums bija sākuši garo pieņemšanas procesu Fairborn pamatskola. This past year has been a proving ground for us.

Rick Rusaw once answered when asked, How are you making such an impact within the school system you are in?

“We raked a lot of leaves.

It is such a simple approach. Schools have thousands of felt needs. all you have to do is look around for one you know you can meet. then you do it. You gain favor with an organization when you serve them, no strings attached. While you are doing that, spend time with the people you are serving and try something different: Let your actions spread the gospel rather than your mouth. While you are being silent and working, listen to the people you are serving and you will find out how you can best serve them.

It is a simple kingdom principal: begin with what you have from where you are.

We already knew Fairborn Elementary was one of the lowest income schools in our area. The principals are a good kind of crazy, and really attempt to maintain an upbeat, creative fun environment for the 1700 kids and the teachers. They have a clothing shop at the school for the kids. When they see kids walking around in flip-flops, or with no coat they know the kid probably needs a pair of shoes and some warm clothing. Discreetly, they take the kids to the shop and they are able to pick out the the clothing and their own pair of shoes. We knew we could help them with this.

We began to reach to the school by partnering with the Hope Foundation, a not for profit mobile food pantry. Each first Saturday of the month we deliver food to the school for the low income parents and kids. The principals spread the word and the people show up. They like what we do.

Backpacks Delivered
Backpacks Delivered

This spring we received a gift of $400 for shoes for the school and another couple added $300 to the gift. This enabled us to purchase 70 pairs of various sized shoes for the kids. My friend Cindy went on a shopping spree. She had a blast purchasing the shoes she thought her kids would like. When I brought the shoes to the school the principals helped me bring the shoes in from my car.

I chatted with them as we walked and they began to share their thoughts and needs.

We decided to ask what were the greatest needs of the school. We found out the custodians were over worked and needed help. We offered to do a Big Spring Clean. Leading up to the date they gathered a punch list. Mainly landscaping, signs and painting. On the day, we pulled weeds, painted, put up new signs and cleaned. The place looked great.

While we were doing this for the staff and kids, we discovered another huge need. They have some serious problems with traffic flow as they handle 1,700 kids arriving each morning either by bus or car. We looked over at the parking lot and found that we could fix this very easily–well with a little sweat equity and planning. Having had similar woes as our church grew exponentially over the last few years, we had a pretty good handle on dealing with parking and traffic woes. Pretty soon our best people were put on the case. It took quite a few man hours, but before long we had painted traffic lanes and bus slots on the parking lot and presented

Now we are heading into a new school year. We will be continuing to care for the kids and the teachers by purchasing backpacks. Our people will take the packs home and fill with needed supplies. Our goal is to continue to serve our way into the heart of the school. Good deeds create good will that opens hearts to the good news.

Lots of Goodies!
Lots of Goodies

I went to the school to take pictures for the Big Spring Clean! I was snapping pictures in the playground during the recess period, a kid runs up to me and asks, “Hey mister, will you tie my shoes?” I replied, “Sure.” As I bent down to tie the smiling kids shoes I noticed, new shoes, no socks.(was wearing flip-flops now had shoes) I asked, “Hey did you get your new shoes from the school?” Grinning from ear to ear, he replied excitedly, “yep!” I finished tying is shoes, He said, “Thanks mister!,” and ran off to play. In that moment I felt the Son shine in my heart.

You know, small touches aren’t often long term need meeting events, but for that kid, and for that family it was a small thing, done with great love.

Who knows it may have even changed his world.


Steve Bowen
Stīvs Bowen

Stīvs Bowen is the Evangelism Pastor for The Dayton Vineyard:

“A Pretty Good Church”

Which is located in Beavercreek, Ohaio. This column is an excerpt of Steve’s blog:

“Eyes Outward”
Ever attempted to run and play in flip-flops?

Kalpot! intervijas Sjögren

Steve SjogrenKalpot: “Vai jūs redzat interesantus notikumus Baznīcas kopumā saņēmēju lokā?”

Sjögren: “Baznīca, šķiet, ir redzēt vērienu kā normālu uzvedību šajās dienās. Outreach mācītāji kļūst arvien izplatītāki baznīcas štābiem.”

Kalpot: “Vai jūs redzat Pozitīvo tendenču par informēšanu visur?”

Sjögren: “There is certainly more focus on the topic of outreach now than at any point in my years in the Church. People seem genuinely interested in growing in outreach effectiveness. My hope is that this discussion will become many acts of obedience and that creativity will kick in in a big way,”

Kalpot: “What do you see as the challenges the church is facing right now in order to become outward?”

Sjögren: “Two main subjects come up here–leadership and finances. Pirmais, most are trying to find someone to lead outreach in their church. The actual physical work and organizing can be delegated. However, leadership in outreach will only be accomplished as the senior leader(s) are involved. Second, finances are an issue for everyone in this economy. Just recognize that and quit complaining. The only thing worse than a difficult economy is leaders who don’t seem to be able to fixate on any other topic. I recommend you dedicate a certain (and generous!) percentage of your budget to outreach. Dollar amounts don’t mean as much as dedicated, consistent funding that comes in week after week.”

Kalpot: “What is the main thing a leader needs to know in order to properly launch outreach?”

Sjögren: “Outreach will either start to launch or it will languish and frustrate your people depending on the actions of your senior level leaders–and particularly the senior most leader. As with all matters of leadership, outreach success is a team effort that will include numbers of people. However in this case it is vital that you involve senior leadership from the get go–and for the long haul–in order to properly see your people “get it.” As these few but key people get involved and talk up what they are doing your people will follow suit.

Kalpot: “What if our leaders aren’t naturally gifted at outreach? Our leaders are more the studious, introverted type.

Sjögren: “Your type or inclination doesn’t really matter. I have been doing this stuff for many years out of sheer commitment (at first anyway–it eventually became a joy). I come up as an introvert on personality inventories. The mark of a leader is she or he sees what is needed to be done and then simply does it. Forget natural inclinations. Do the right thing. God will bless your efforts abundantly. He will show pin the wake of your obedience.”

Kalpot: “Read any good books lately?”

Sjögren: “You are hitting upon a sore subject with me. I read a LOT as you may know. There is a dearth of original thinking on the Christian scene these days. If I see one more Christian author attempting to cook down a great secular book in hopes of addressing the church audience I think I will scream. Let’s get back to originality with seminal books being penned by Believers. We are in dwelt by the Spirit of God. That means we can so a heck of a lot better job with originality than we have been doing.”

Triks vai ne, lai ārstētu Dr. Zinātnieks

Dr. Zinātnieks

Cienījamie Dr. Zinātnieks,

Mans vīrs un man ir trīs bērni. Mūsu divas meitas ir vecumā no astoņiem līdz desmit un mūsu mazais zēns tikko palika seši. Matthew, mūsu dēls tikko atbraucu mājās no savas pirmās klases klasē un man jautāja, vai mēs ticam Halloween. Mans vīrs nokāsējās, bet neatbildēja, un es sāku atbildēt, bet, piemēram, mans vīrs sapratu, man nebija īsti pārliecināts, ko teikt.

Tas jo īpaši attiecas šogad, jo mūsu draudze ir nolēmusi rīkot alternatīvu “Harvest Party” mums parasti ir, sponsorēja Bērnu ministrijas. Mums jau bija devis mūsu divām meitām atļauju iet triks-vai-ārstēšanā ar saviem draugiem šogad, bet mans vīrs, Ron, un man vēl nebija izlēmuši, ko darīt ar Mateja un to, vai mēs būtu pasniegtas konfektes uz mūsu lieveņa šogad.

Par laimi, šķiet, piemēram, Mateja galvenās rūpes bija par to, vai ir vai nav es būtu gatavs padarīt cupcakes par savu klases partijai oktobra beigās. Acīmredzot, Ms. Debbie, viens no istabas mātēm devās uz kādu no tirādi par ļaunumiem Helovīna priekšā viņa klasei, kad skolotājs samaņu roku-out lūdzot vecākus palīdzību throwing klases puse. Viņa ir pat sāka petīciju, ka viņa vēlas audzināt nākamajā PTA sanāksmi. Man ir bijis Kristus-sekotājs uz ilgu laiku, bet ja godīgi man nekad nav īsti bijusi spēcīga sajūta nu tā. Vai jums ir kāds padoms par to, ko cilvēks cenšas būt āru vērsta un līdzjūtīgs vajadzētu darīt vai teikt?


Dear Melody,

Ar atvainošanos Viljama Šekspīra, Es jutu nosaukums bija atbilstošs. Tā ir vārdu spēle uz slaveno līnijas no viņa populārākajiem play. Tāpat kā Hamlets, daudzi no mums saņemt paralizēts uz bezdarbību, jo mēs pārāk daudz laika pavada pondering, ko darīt tālāk. Šeit Serve! mēs mēģināt nevis izsmej ļaudīm to vērtībām. Mēs saprotam, ka ne visiem ir tāda pati pielaide tradīcijām cilvēki ir daudzveidīgā sabiedrībā. Harvest puses ir brīnišķīgi obligāciju veidošanas pasākumi ģimenēm konkrētā pagastā vai draudzes, bet mēs vienkārši neredzu tos kā lielisku līdzekli evaņģelizāciju. Nav nekas nepareizs ar tiem, tas vienkārši nav dzīvo aizplūšanu Dieva laipnība, lai izvairītos no mūsu kaimiņus par vienu no retajām reizēm tie var būt, un par to.

Personiski, Man patīk izmantot šīs brīvdienas, un ir mazliet vairāk kā Jēzum–iet izklaidēties ar grēciniekiem, ja jūs. Kas ir labāks brīvdienu nekā vienai oktobra beigās? Cilvēki mēdz būt svinīga rudenī, un atklāti, kad viņi sastopas ar Ms. Debbies mūsu baznīcu, labi tas atstāj garšu mutē, kas ir sliktāka nekā piedeguma popkorns bumbiņas. Melodija, Es aicinu jūs un jūsu ģimenei riskēt. Call to vienu gadu eksperiments. Iet visiem, un tiešām patīk jūsu kaimiņiem. Dodam no papildus speciālas gardumus un varbūt pat noteikti kādu sidru vai karsto šokolādi par chaperones par maz bērniem, kas triks-vai-ārstēšanā jūsu apkārtnē. Neliels žests laipnības un vienkāršai sarunai iet garš veidi šajās dienās.

Esi godīgs ar Mateja un vienkārši izskaidrot savu dalītas jūtas par brīvdienu un to, ka ne visi piekrīt. Ļaut viņam pievienoties ar jums jūsu eksperimentā. Nav svarīgi, ko jūs nolemjat, uzturēt sarunu ar viņu un jūsu meitas. Tas ir labs mūsu bērniem, lai redzētu mūs strādāt mūsu ticību. Attiecībā uz klases pusi, Es būtu labākos cupcakes tu spēj–un pārliecinieties, ka jūs sūtīt maz, lai Ms. Debbie. Viņa, iespējams, ir noslēpums salds zobs.

Dr. Zinātnieks

Turēt uz Galdu… Mērķa grupa ar Charlie Wear

In 1998 Man bija sadedzināti out. Three years earlier, I had taken over as the interim pastor of a local Vineyard church. Par manu trīs gadus pastoring baznīcu, everything that I had previously learned about church growth and leading a church stopped working. As a person who believed that cause and effect were a predictable process, this was a hard lesson to learn. I also found out, like Charlie Brown, that “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.”

I had every possible kind of bad experience, from church splits, to church rebellions, to gossip and slander. I was kind of cheered up when I read a book on pastoral burnout and realized that I hadn’t ended up on the floor of my bathroom in a fetal position, like the author of the book. Eventually, the church had “grown” from about 125 to 30. It was time to call it a day, and start over. We released the remaining church members and decided to re-launch in a few weeks.

Skateboards at the foot of the cross
Skater’s “cast” their broken boards at the foot of the cross at the Skate Ranch in Moreno Valley, Kalifornija.

I had become a pastor because I wanted to see people “saved”, birthed into the kingdom. I hadn’t seen much fruit from those efforts. We had tried some outreach efforts, mostly on a small scale. Simple servant evangelism projects, like handing out cokes on a hot day, on a hit or miss basis but with no sustained commitment. I had heard of Steve Sjogren, the guy who cleans toilets for Jesus, I had read his books, but I hadn’t really become outward-focused in my daily life.

Here is where the story gets interesting

At the first meeting of our re-launched church an amazing thing happened. In preparation for that evening, I asked one of our teenage boys, “What if we were to rope off an area of the parking lot for skateboarding, and set up for your band (a Christian punk group) to play, would you be into that?” He said yes, and that he would invite some of his friends.

I didn’t think a whole lot more about it until that night when nearly 60 skateboarders showed up! At one point there were more people participating in the skateboarding and watching what was happening in the parking lot, than were inside for the things I had planned for the launch of our new church.

I have learned from the scripture and from experience that you have to keep your eyes open to see what God is doing, and then to act on it! God was doing something with skateboarders! One of my fellow church members, Marv Schuler, jumped in that night, picked up a microphone and began to run a skateboard contest. Viņš un viņa sieva, Karen, were called that night to reach out and to minister to these kids.

The re-launched church became a small group that met on Sunday evenings and eventually that became just four of us who became truly committed to serving those skateboarding teenagers.

Bird's Eye View of Skate Park at the RanchThe Schulers’ own 10 acres in Moreno Valley, a place we affectionately learned to call the Ranch. We poured some concrete and built some ramps and skateboarders began to come most every Thursday night for skating, snacks and to hear us explain what Jesus was all about as we gathered around the fire pit. We committed to serving and showing God’s love to those skateboarders, no strings attached.

In 1998, when we held the first Christmas party, Karen prepared and served a dinner, and desserts consisting of several pies. A professional skateboarder came and shared the gospel. The Christian punk band, CIP (Christ in Progress) played. And over 100 kids showed up on a winter night!

I told Karen that night, God was going to save some of these kids with mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. That’s the only gospel presentation they are going to need. When I told her that, she said she just to see the kids come to Christ! Marv spent 4 months constructing a half-pipe. Karen and Marv took some of the kids who needed a place to stay into their home.

We shared the gospel every week over that long fall and winter of 1999. I had taken a job and was commuting daily by train about an hour and a half from my home. I wasn’t enjoying my life very much and we hadn’t seen much evangelistic fruit from our efforts with the skateboarders. I’ll admit it, after about 26 weeks of altar calls in the dirt around the fire pit, I was ready to throw in the towel.

God speaks through Steve Sjogren

It had only been a few weeks since I had stared out of the commuter train window and had uttered this simple prayer, “God, get me out of this mess.” I was offered a new job, easier commute, less responsibility, more money and with the break between jobs I decided to attend the 1999 Vineyard Pastor’s Conference in Anaheim.

On Tuesday evening, Steve Sjogren spoke on the topic, “Six Things I Learned When I Almost Died.” I had read Steve’s books and had dabbled in Servant Evangelism. The skateboard ministry was taking the principles of Servant Evangelism to the max, targeting a specific people group, concerted and focused service in the form of a skate park, food, skateboard repairs and more. But I was ready to quit.

Steve told the amazing story of his medical accident and his encounter with God. His positive attitude in the face of his ordeal was inspiring in and of itself. But near the end of his talk he used a story from the life of Moses to encourage all of us to simply be faithful to the ministry that God had placed in our hands. He explained how Moses argued with God about his ability to do what God was asking him to do. Steve was talking to pastors who did not know what to do next in their ministries, and he quoted God’s question to Moses, “What is in your hand?’ He drew the parallel that we should look to the things that God has placed in our hands and be faithful to using those things and doing those things. He told us that God “will change the world through the simple thing that he has placed in your hand.” In the case of Moses, it was his staff, but from the burning bush forward when God did something significant in Moses’ life it always seemed to involve that staff. During the prayer time after his message I became convinced that I should not quit the skateboard ministry.

Keeping on…

What was happening at the Ranch was not normal church, but the kids (mostly teenage boys, with a few girls who like to be around the boys) were experiencing the gospel through servant evangelism (the skate ramps and food have been presented as a gift from God); through personal evangelism (there is plenty of opportunity to talk with the kids one-on-one); and through proclamation evangelism (the kids hear the gospel around the fire pit every week).

This was not your normal youth group, most of the kids had no church affiliation and did not come from homes where God is an active presence. But God did something great. We even have had the opportunity to pray for healing for parents, and for broken ankles!

A lot of raw material…

I was not sure at the time if we would ever get a church out of what we were doing at the ranch. I did know that we had a lot of raw material to work with. It was fun to be in on the ground floor of something that God was doing. It was also fun to be part of an adventure, especially when we didn’t know how it was going to turn out.

Eventually the small group got smaller…

The small group which was hanging out at the beginning of The Ranch consisted of the Schulers, my wife and I, two couples of the former parishoners of my church and my former worship leader. Our early conversations concerned whether we would allow the skaters to smoke cigarettes or not, and whether we would resist allowing the skate ministry to be turned over to the children of Christians. Eventually my wife and the two couples stopped coming to our weekly meetings.

Somehow the mission grew larger…

For years Karen’s dream had been for the Spirit to fall on Moreno Valley and for the Valley to be saved! The Ranch played its part in fulfilling that dream. In the early weeks I gave “altar calls” at the fire pit. I never saw much fruit from that sowing of the gospel. Marv spoke every week and told the kids: “This is a God thing.” “God is building these ramps, God is building the Ranch.”

We never made a conscious decision to live in community, bet…

We never made a conscious decision to live in community, but about one year after we started the skate ministry my wife and I separated and I rented a room from the Schuler’s. Tom Chapman, the former worship leader at our church, bought an RV and parked it at the Ranch. So there we were, the four of us living in community! We encouraged one another, ministered to one another, and made all of the ministry decisions effecting our mission.

One sign of mission is opposition

Early on the next door neighbor made it clear that she didn’t like what we were doing at The Ranch. She hired a private investigator to video tape our preaching time and file investigative reports. She filed complaints with the City of Moreno Valley. She called the police. We went to court in that first year and won our case, we weren’t operating a church illegally, nor were we disturbing the peace. A few months later, the neighbor sued Marv and Karen for nuisance. At that point we had been cussed out, hauled into court, Marv was punched in the face and cited for assault!

Eventually we saw thousands come to Christ…

The skateboards at the foot of the cross signify the skaters who have surrendered their lives to Christ at The Ranch. My new ministry position was defense attorney. We settled the suit out of court and agreed to move the skate ramps over 150 feet away from the neighbor’s property line. We had already been asking what God’s will was in the midst of the opposition. We were convinced that he wanted us to continue to serve the skaters and preach the gospel. When we moved the concrete slab and the ramps we made the area bigger. Soon, we were joined by two young men, Mark and Matt, an evangelist and a teacher, who began sharing regularly. Ministry was opened five days a week. The “altar calls” began to yield more fruit. Over a 12-month period we gave away 3000 New Testaments to young people who responded to Mark and Matt’s messages.

I wish I could report that the opposition decreased. While we thought the police calls would end, they continued. The code-compliance complaints continued. Eventually the neighbor got the ear of two city councilmembers and the City brought their full weight and authority to bear to close the Ranch.

Living in community has ebbs and flows…

Eventually my job took me to another geographic location. The code complaints made it impossible for Tom to continue living at the Ranch in his RV. We moved away from the Ranch, but others took our place. Tom would always be the businessman who funded much of the early construction. I continued to be the defense attorney. I defended the Ranch before the City Council and before a Superior Court judge.

Others came alongside Marv and Karen and ministered to the skaters. However, in 2005 the injunction went into effect and the Ranch skate ministry was closed.

We saw God work…

As Marv says, there are many stories of how God has worked in the lives of the skaters. I know he has worked through the prophetic, in evangelism, healing, dreams and visions over the last five years. He has poured out financial blessings. While there was opposition, there was also favor. As we tried to obey what God had asked of us, he was always faithful in spite of our lack of faith.

Being missional…

We didn’t set out to have a mission to skaters. That was God’s idea, and we saw what he wanted, listened to his voice, and obeyed by serving them week in and week out for several years. We learned that a few people can accomplish a lot when they are on a mission from God. We didn’t set out to live in community, it just turned out that way. I know my life has been changed for the better because of that experience. We didn’t start out with a lot of faith, but our faith has grown as we have seen God move, with resources and fruitfulness.

Kā jūs Pareizrakstības Efektīva: S-I-S-P-L-E Doug Roe

A few years ago, Es stāvēju uz ielas stūra, kurā prom kannas sodas. Satiksmes jāatbalsta, jo cilvēki apstājās, lai saņemtu savu bezmaksas sodas. While most people were pleasantly surprised, one man stood out as particularly unhappy. Viņš velk uz stūra, the windows of his big dark blue Buick rolled up, with an annoyed look on his face.

“Diet or regular?” I asked. He took a diet soda – though he was not appeased.

Several weeks later I was washing cars at a business near the same intersection when who should appear? The same annoyed man in the big Buick!

Annoyed Man!
You are causing a traffic jam!

My job that day was to be the “wheelman” – that is, to wash tires and whitewalls. I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the grim from the annoyed man’s tires, when I looked up to see him towering over me like a vulture. He had the same annoyed look on his face. I figured that I needed to say something before he did.

The first thing that popped into my head was this: “If Jesus were here, what would you ask of him?”

The question seemed to disarm him, and for a moment he forgot that my act of kindness had annoyed him. He offered money for the car wash, but I refused. I continued my offer to pray for him. He asked me to pray for his family, so I prayed a quick prayer and he was on his way.

A few weeks later, low and behold, I was shocked to see “Mr. Buick” and his family seated on the front row at our Easter Sunday service. At the end of the service, he and his wife came forward and asked me to pray with them. We prayed, and he accepted Jesus as his Savior.

In more than 20 years of serving others, I have learned a few things that have helped me enjoy the ride.

Servant Evangelism cannot be delegated!

People will follow what they see their leaders doing. Leader must be involved in serving others as a completely natural lifestyle – an overflow of their living, vital relationship with Jesus. If you are the lead pastor you don’t have to be the one developing the ideas and doing all of the legwork, but you do have to be the lead server.

Start small with out-of-the-box ideas.

Often when we start a new project we think of starting something that is creative and dazzling. The power of serving is not in the size or “uniqueness” of the project. Projects that capture the inspired, creative attention of your people don’t need to be “sexy” or have a lot pop and sizzle. Simplicity if often the best approach to take. If you get nothing else in this article get this: The essence of the power of serving is in showing up in unexpected places. It is a simple act of compassion shown in a place where it is completely unexpected. Keep it simple, and the creative things will follow.

Listen to your community.

Every community is different. And those unique needs that can and will be met by the unlimited resources of the kingdom of God flowing in and around us. The key? To find a need and then meet that need. The best ideas for reaching the people in your city are to listen to the people in your city – understanding their rhythms and needs.

While shopping at a local grocery store, I overheard two single mothers discussing what groceries they had put back in order to get the oil changed in their cars. The thought popped into my head, “I can do that! I can help them change oil in their car!”

So I went to a local mechanic to ask if he would be willing to help. “Now that is what the church should be about!” he said, blowing a puff of cigarette smoke in my face. We now change the oil in 300-400 cars a year, and we are beginning a new, broader ministry to single parents.

Servant Evangelism is like growing asparagus.

When thinking about evangelism, we often think of wheat, but I have discovered that it is more like growing asparagus. When a gardener grows asparagus it takes three years before he can yield a crop.
Asparagus Bunches

Pastors often ask, “If I do this serving thing in my church how many people will come to my church?” That is the wrong question to ask, and really reflects a “me” mentality. Servant evangelism is about the Church being the Church and serving others. If I try to grow my local church things just get mucked up. But if I serve other people, seek to expand the kingdom of God, and do the deeds that Jesus did I find that God brings the people. In the end it is not about the size of our congregation or budget, but about the number of people we have loved along the way.

Gene, the annoyed man in the Buick, has been part of the church for more than 10 years now. He and his wife lead a small group. This once annoyed driver now helps me give soda away to other annoyed drivers.

“You know that day I stepped out of the car while you were washing the tires?” he asked one day.

“Yes,” I said, very clearly remembering it.

“I was going to chew you out for having caused such a traffic jam the day you gave out the sodas,” he said.

“What stopped you?” I asked.

“The fact that you wanted to pray for me,” he said. “I still have the can of diet soda you gave me sitting on the mantel of my fireplace. I kept it because it was the starting point that brought me to Christ.”

People may not flood into your church because you gave them a soda, but their lives will be changed because you were willing to share God’s love with them.

Tas ir Medium, Dummy Steve Šegrena

Visas komunikācijas vārīties uz leju, lai divas vienkāršas lietas: Ziņa un vidēja.

One president in our generation won his election in a come from behind victory as his election manager wrote on the central white board, “It’s the economy dummy!"Ar šo uzmanību prātā, the campaign supposedly hammered on that single message for the remainder of the campaign and squeaked by with a victory. We too have a single word that is in need of clarification – Medium. Tas ir, we understand the good news of Jesus. Face it, if my friend Dr. David Wheeler’s six year old daughter can lead ten kids in her neighborhood near the campus of Liberty University where he teaches, your people can share this message with clarity (she has been busy since August! – her approach – popsicles of kindness to open the door of relationship, then it’s only a matter of time…)

Live In The Flow

As someone who has had a huge value for being an inviter of not-yet believers into the kingdom – and seeking to show others how to live that way as well I now realize I modeled Part A and missed the far more important issue, Part B. Tas ir, the message is simple stuff. By and large, nearly all reading this would agree on the content of the simple gospel, the good news of Jesus is.

If you weren’t aware of it, stats have held steady for several decades now, that even among the most “evangelistic” congregations in the U.S., only about 3% in such churches will even one time in their lifetimes share the gospel with someone outside of their immediate family. Put it another way. If you have a church that runs consistently 100 on the weekend, chances are, only 3 people in your congregation will in their entire lifetime explain the gospel to one more people.

Four words come to my mind each time I read that stat: That makes Jesus cry. The close of Matthew 28 makes it clear that God’s family can’t be large enough to satisfy his aching heart for those he is longing to see join his family.

This begs the question – “Why is this so?” And, “Why is this not the case in the Church of the three-quarter’s world?” (Indeed the stats there are dramatically different.) This matter is one that could fill a book easily, but let me touch on one simple issue here.

Turn On The “Screen” Once Again

At one time all of us noticed others far more than we do now – at least in most of our cases. The busier we become, the less we notice others. The less we notice others, the more calloused we become. Calloused people are the opposite of the ones who live like Jesus. It is a simple progression.

Call it the “Noticing Screen” or the “Inner Radar” or whatever you wish. Until we slow it down a bit, until we begin to pray the “Jesus, I’m willing to be interrupted by your invitations” prayers, there is little chance we will see our lives be used by Jesus as a pipeline to hold the hands of others as they come into his family.

This is not a program. We aren’t “on” at times and “off” at times. We live invitationally 168 hours a week.

You live that way first. You will discover this life is amazingly energizing no matter what you may be thinking at this moment. Do this for six months and see what happens in your church. No doubt there will be a polarizing effect as you tell your stories – the good ones, the funny ones, the ones when you fall on your face, but since when didn’t the kingdom polarize?

Heading toward retiring? Forget it. It’s time to refire!

Go with those who are willing. Hug the rest and pray they get it.