Kingdom Kindness: How God’s Kindness Leads To God’s Power For Healing by Mark Wyatt

When I stumbled into Servant Evangelism almost 15 years ago, my life was changed forever. As part of a denomination that was very focused on evangelism, I was a pastor who hated evangelism. But of course, no one could know. So I learned the techniques, went to the training courses, made the phone calls, 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.

Surprise People with God’s Power by Doug Addison

People are longing to be touched by God’s love, power and acceptance. As Christians, we carry inside us an amazing arsenal of spiritual gifts that can help those in need in the hurting world around us. As an outreach leader and trainer for a number of years, I have come to realize that to become more effective we no longer have to go on an outreach because our life is an outreach!

I never grow tired of watching people’s faces light up when we do something that practically demonstrates God’s love. I call these divine moments or power encounters. I have had many power encounters and my most recent was at a comedy club. My wife and I struck up a conversation with a New Age hypnotherapist and she shared a reoccurring childhood dream, which took place outside a church. I gave her the interpretation, which was that she had an amazing spiritual destiny yet to be fulfilled. She was about to find out more about the special assignment or calling God has had on her life since she was a child. She went into tears and said she felt warmth, love and goose bumps all at the same time.

When I talk about power encounters as a means of reaching people with God’s love, many different ideas may run through your head. I realize that the story I just shared may sound a bit extreme and it came after years of experience. Let me share with you some secrets on how I got started and give you some simple tips on how to have power encounters with people in your community.

The power of presence
Power encounters occur when we bring God’s presence to a person who does not believe in God or is trapped in darkness. There is power just by bringing the presence of God that is inside us into contact with those whom God is drawing to Himself. I call this the ‘Gift of Showing Up’!

God’s presence in us is like a light that shines and distinguishes us from those who do not have this light. We are told to “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). When we intentionally allow the presence of God’s love to be released through us to touch others, people are drawn to us and experience a peace that they have not experienced elsewhere. People can just sit next to us and walk away changed, without knowing what happened to them.

The power of process
Oftentimes, we miss the fact that people tend to come to Jesus through a process of circumstances and events. We need to allow people time to experience God and not be too quick to try to get them to pray the prayer of salvation prematurely. Just like in nature, there is a growth process for new life to emerge. We would never force a rose bud open or plant a seed expecting it to mature instantly. In the same way, people are often relieved to find a Christian who is not “evangelistically trigger-happy.”

Most people want to know God is real and have questions and doubts that need to be worked out over time. Combining the power of God’s presence with the power of process, we can befriend people and hang out with them over time. It feels more natural and relational while being very effective in reaching people today.

The power of love
We all can demonstrate the power of love. The Bible makes it clear that our enemies are in the spiritual realm and they are not the people we are trying to reach (Ephesians 6:12). We show love in the natural, while our enemies are in the spirit realm. When we take God’s light into the world, it is best not to judge people that you may not agree with. Focus on loving anyone you may disagree with because love powerfully attracts people to Him. Jesus does say to love your neighbor.

The power of encouragement
There is profound power in simply speaking kindly to people, building them up. When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well, he gently pointed out that she had relational issues. But he encouraged her, going on to call her honest (John 4:18). People are often beaten down and discouraged by their circumstances. It is amazing what a kind word can do to build them up. It is the kindness of God that leads people to repent and receive Him (Romans 2:4).

The power of surprise
As we do practical things to demonstrate God’s love, we open people’s eyes to God’s love for them. This is often a surprise to them and gives that “tilt of the head” in astonishment. Another surprise is when people discover we are Christians and we are also nice. Sad to say, many people have had bad experiences with unloving Christians. It is so fun to show people the opposite spirit by practical, surprising acts of love and reveal that God is real and really loves them.

Making it practical
Power encounters are not as difficult as you might think. Here are some easy, practical steps to see this in action. Ask God to show you someone who is need of His touch. If you know them, consider going to coffee or lunch and just listen. Then find a way to practically meet a need in their life.

If you see someone in public that God highlights and you don’t know them, be courageous and tell them that you just read something about the power of encouragement and you were wondering if you could practice with them. Proceed to give them a short uplifting word of encouragement. You don’t have to pray long prayers or get them on their knees repenting to be effective in sharing God’s love. You’ll be surprised!