Power Of Msimamo na Steve Bowen

na·mwisho·katika·cy

The steadfast adherence to the same principles, au kuweka kozi, kukaa siku shaka katika siku na nje, wiki ndani na nje wiki na mwaka baada ya mwaka.

Mimi nina kumbushwa jitihada Galaxy movie. Nahodha ambaye alikuwa kawaida katika shida alisema, “Kamwe kujisalimisha, kamwe kuacha.”

For a decade a simple sign was on my desk which declared,”Never give up. It’s aways too soon to give up.”

Consistency doesn’t give up. It sets it’s course and stays true to it’s principles.

Consistency is the common thread woven into the life of those who are called to change their world for Jesus.

David Wilkerson living in NY was always there…going out into the community, talking with people, encouraging seekers, and taking risks.

Floyd McClung living in Amsterdam and Afghanistan was out day by day, having conversations with people along the Hippy Trail, breaking down barriers, building bridges and loving people into a relationship with Jesus.

Billy Graham really didn’t ever change… His message was simple, direct to the point month by month year by year. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

Loren Cunningham mobilized the youth of many generations into their world encouraging young people to pray, to go, to believe, to serve, and to care.

Steve Sjogren learned the art of serving his community by going, doing and serving. He lives out his values by serving others with small acts of kindness consistently.

Mike Pilivochi and Soul Survivor in the U.K. serve, worship and share the good news, impacting thousands in Manchester, and London with Soul in the City.

How do you know when serving is beginning to impact a community?

1. People you serve begin to define your church in a positive manner.

Hint: we are all already defined by our community, both positively and negatively.

The good news, we have a major part to play in creating a positive image.

If you want to know how your community defines your church go out into your community and ask.

A sample question: When you hear the name of our church (say name of church) what comes to your mind?

A few years ago living in Florida I went out into our community. I asked. I found out we were known as the church that no longer existed. We were the church that had a nasty in-house disagreement and had split and died.

Slowly, but surely the tide turned. The church is now know as a major caring force and is respected in the community with 6 satellite locations. How did they change? They began to identify who they were and who they were call to be. They also discovered their mission and began pursue their mission and to serve others.

Oh, you’re that pretty good church that serves the community!

A couple of years ago I lost my phone. I went to my phone provider with an old phone to activate. When I went to the desk I was asked, “What business name is your phone under?” I said, “the Dayton Vineyard.” The lady standing next to me exclaimed: “Oh you’re that pretty good church that serves the community! I’ve heard about what you guys do.” I asked, “What have your heard?’ she then related examples of the positive things she and others have heard and seen us do. Humbly, but joyfully I replied, “Yep that’s us, we’re just pretty good.” I walked away encouraged. I thought, it really does work. What you sow is you reap.

How does happen? It’s simple, hard work. Sixteen years of hard work sowing, caring, praying, going, being out there in season and out of season.

We are consistent. Our consistency has given us favor and redefined ‘church’ to much of our community. Often people come to see what a pretty good church looks and feels like. Many become Christ followers as they hear our message and and observe our lifestyle.

2. You will discover you have favor with your community.

We know we need God’s favor to be upon our lives and upon what we do. So we seek to humble ourselves and ask Jesus to place His favor upon us as a church. He is the one who builds His Church. He is the only one who can bring the increase. He is the only one who opens doors and gives us favor with the people in our community. He is the one who gives us favor with mayors, school systems, park departments, and people of influence.

God’s favor is what empowered Daniel, Esther, Joseph and Jesus to impact the people within their sphere of influence. In fact the early church‘had the favor of all the people’ and Jesus ‘grew in favor with God and man.’

How do you gain favor with God and man?

You ask Jesus for His un-merited favor to increase upon you and your church.

You serve where you are, with what you have, while you can.

God honors faithfulness. As you faithfully serve others your heart will most probably lean toward loving what God loves. Having his heart for your community will also increase His favor upon your actions bringing you favor with the people you serve.

You learn to serve others with the attitude of Christ. (see Philippians Chapter 2.) The chapter defines true humility, embracing genuine love, developing a serving attitude, and serving others with a servant heart.

How do you learn to love like Jesus loves? By serving others.

In season and out of season…consistency is the key.

It’s consistently showering your community with good deeds done with the love Jesus gives. It’s living consistently with the favor and grace that God provides. It’s being out in the community in which we live, day in, day out. It’s being wise. It’s how you act toward every person who talks to you about the hope you have within you.

Paul sums it up this way…

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 NIV

No great secret why serving churches are energized, thriving, and growing. It’s simple: Someone is praying. Someone is serving. Someone is loving. Someone is caring. Someone is going out into the community and sharing Gods love… consistently.

How to Serve A School by Steve Bowen

I don’t know about you folks, but some of the best outreach opportunities come when i least expect them. 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

We had begun the long process of adopting Fairborn Elementary School. 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, Alisema, “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
Steve Bowen

Steve Bowen is the Evangelism Pastor for The Dayton Vineyard:

“A Pretty Good Church”

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

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