Illustration results for outreach
No people in history have had as many opportunities to hear the truth about God, to learn how salvation can be found by turning to Jesus Christ, than those who live in this country at the end of the 20th Century. Do you realize there are 450,000 churches in the United States. In fact, 24% of protestant congre-gations in the world are in this country. There are 600 religious radio stations, the vast majority run by evangelical Christians, who daily broadcast the message of Jesus Christ to people across the land. Christian TV, Christian publishing, Christian music recording, all communicate the Bible’s message. God has given us so many chances. But, there are so many folks who continue to reject the truth.
"The longer a church has been in existence, the more its resources go toward its own preservation rather than toward outreach and evangelism. Our tendency is to design ministries that meet our own needs as opposed to the needs of those who have not yet entered the kingdom." - Alan Nelson
Bill Hybels is the Pastor of the largest church in America, Willow Creek Community Church, just outside of Chicago, Illinois. His ministry began as an outreach from another church to teenagers during the early 70’s. They called the youth ministry Son City. He and his wife Lynne recount the story of their explosive church growth in their book Rediscovering church. Listen as I read an excerpt from the book, this is Lynne speaking:
"In my mind I am walking again along the quiet, tree-lined streets from the church to the tiny home where we had just begun our married life in May 1974. I am sitting at the round kitchen table with the red tablecloth. Another lonely meal. Another empty evening. An hour earlier I had begged Bill to stay home. He had looked at me in disbelief. "Kids are dying and going to hell, and you want me to stay home and hold your hand?" The words echo in my mind, and I hear them over and over in different forms: Don’t bother me, Lynne. How can you demand that, Lynne? Six months into marriage, I am convinced I have made a horrible mistake. I love the man I married. I love Son City. But I hate our marriage. I hate the pain of disappointment. I hate mourning the death of so many dreams. And I hate the loneliness." (Hybels, p. 44)
1 Corinthians 13:1-13:8
CYMBALA'S EASTER STORY
Jim Cymbala preaches at a church in the slums of New York. He tells the following story: It was Easter Sunday and I was so tired at the end of the day that I just went to the edge of the platform, pulled down my tie and sat down and draped my feet over the edge. It was a wonderful service with many people coming forward. The counselors were talking with these people.
As I was sitting there I looked up the middle aisle, and there in about the third row was a man who looked about fifty, disheveled, filthy. He looked up at me rather sheepishly, as if saying, “Could I talk to you?”
We have homeless people coming in all the time, asking for money or whatever. So as I sat there, I said to myself, though I am ashamed of it, “What a way to end a Sunday. I’ve had such a good time, preaching and ministering, and here’s a fellow probably wanting some money for more wine.”
He walked up. When he got within about five feet of me, I smelled a horrible smell like I’d never smelled in my life. It was so awful that when he got close, I would inhale by looking away, and then I’d talk to him, and then look away to inhale, because I couldn’t inhale facing him. I asked him, “What’s your name?”
“How long have you been on the street?”
“How old are you?”
“Thirty-two.” He looked fifty--hair matted; front teeth missing; wino; eyes slightly glazed.
“Where did you sleep last night, David?”
I keep in my back pocket a money clip that also holds some credit cards. I fumbled to pick one out thinking; I’ll give him some money. I won’t even get a volunteer. They are all busy talking with others. Usually we don’t give money to people. We take them to get something to eat.
I took the money out. David pushed his finger in front of me. He said, “I don’t want your money. I want this Jesus, the One you were talking about, because I’m not going to make it. I’m going to die on the street.”
I completely forgot about David, and I started to weep for myself. I was going to give a couple of dollars to someone God had sent to me. See how easy it is? I could make the excuse I was tired. There is no excuse. I was not seeing him the way God sees him. I was not feeling what God feels.
But oh, did that change! David just stood there. He didn’t know what was happening. I pleaded with God, “God, forgive me! Forgive me! Please forgive me. I am so sorry to represent You this way. I’m so sorry. Here I am with my message and my points, and You send somebody and I am not ready for it. Oh, God!”
Something came over me. Suddenly I started to weep deeper, and David began to weep. He fell against my chest as I was sitting there. He fell against my white shirt and tie, and I put my arms around him, and there we wept on each other. The smell of His person became a beautiful aroma. Here is what I thought the Lord made real to me: If you don’t love this smell, I...
August 1999 Landover, Maryland
100 years of Christian fellowship, unity, and community outreach ended last Tuesday in an act of congregational discord. Holy Creek Baptist Church was split into multiple factions.
The source of dissension is a piano bench which still sits behind the 1923 Steinway piano to the left of the pulpit. Members and friends at Holy Creek Baptist say that the old bench was always a source of hostility. People should have seen this coming.
At present, Holy Creek Congregation will be having four services each Sunday. There has been an agreement mediated by an outside pastor so that each faction will have it’s own separate service with it’s own separate pastor. Since the head pastor is not speaking to the associate pastors, each will have their own service, which will be attended by factioned members. The services are far enough apart that neither group will come into contact with the other. An outside party will be moving the piano bench to different locations and appropriate positions, between services, so as to please both sides, and avoid any further conflict that could result in violence.
[Home] Copyright 1999/C.Harper .
Money that individuals give comes to the church from five sources, or "pockets." Obviously, these are not actual pockets, but symbolic pictures representing five major motives of church members in giving to their church. When church leaders understand the nature and source of their church’s income, they can better plan a strategy for outreach and growth.
First Pocket: Money for "Light and Heat Bills". This represents the desire of some people to contribute to the general fund. Members are motivated out of concern for the operating expenses of the church. "The light and heat" pocket represents money given to salaries, supplies, utilities and general maintenance.
Second Pocket: Money for "Missions". Certain members want to contribute most of their money to foreign missions. This appeal will motivate them to give more than any other appeal. Other members want at least some of their money to go to outreach, usually out of their concern for the Great Commission.
Third Pocket: Money to Support "Ivy Walls". Some members are best motivated by the needs of education. Because some church members value higher education, they direct their money to build college classrooms, libraries, or to equip science laboratories.
Fourth Pocket: Money for the "Cup of Cold Water". Some members are best motivated to give to humanitarian purposes. These members have compassion for the needs of their hurting brothers. They give to hunger projects, hospitals, and to provide housing and emergency relief.
Fifth Pocket: Money for "Bricks and Mortar". Some people are best motivated to give for buildings or physical expansion. This money is specially earmarked for church buildings. Some give large amounts to physical projects, but only occasionally fund other projects. However, almost all members want to give something for their church building projects.
COMMUNION IN YOUR ‘CIVVIES’
Janet Daley writes in the UK Telegraph about a “movement among Church of England clergy in favour of going into civvies.” One of the things that the Church of England Synod is debating is the agitation some are having for dress-down Sundays, which would allow the vicar to take Communion in his shirt sleeves.
Doing away with ‘intimidating’ vestments the church hopes will be part of an accessibility outreach campaign in which priests could look more like ordinary people. Like schoolteachers who wear jeans instead of suits in the classroom, they want to demystify their own authority - to, as they say, ‘break down barriers’.
Almost 2000 years ago, another campaign to identify with common man—“to break down barriers”-- began.
“…Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
SOURCE: SermonCentral Staff. Citation: Janet Daley, “In tragedy and in joy, an unchanged church is best.” 10/07/2002. http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/ opinion/2002/07/10/do1002.xml
How valuable is salt? 40 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine. Plato called it a "substance dear to the gods." Shakespeare mentioned salt 17 times in his plays. Perhaps Leonard da Vinci wanted to send a subtle message about purity lost when he painted "The last Supper." In that painting an overturned salt cellar is conspicuously placed before Judas. In ancient Greece a far-flung trade involving the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, "...not worth his salt." Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers and known as "Solarium Argentums" the forerunner of the English word "salary." Thousands of Napoleon?s troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal--their bodies lacked sal...
Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You dont have to have a college degree to serve. You dont have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
JUST ANOTHER DAY IN EMS
I delivered a baby on the ambulance stretcher
I baptized a newborn who’s life ended before it began.
I hugged a frightened child.
I was kissed by an intoxicated old man.
I held the hand of a teenage girl while she delivered a 3 pound baby.
I listened to the mournful squeak of a stretcher being wheeled to the morgue.
I gently stroked the fragile hand of a 102 year old woman.
I hesitated at the outreached hand of a 300 pound prisoner in handcuffs.
I trudged for ten hours in my boots.
I had a teenager vomit on those same boots.
I rubbed the feverish body of a 14-year-old cancer patient.
I cradled the ice-cold hand of a child hit by a car.
I was referred to as "an angel of mercy".
I was called every four-letter word in the book.
I always see fear in people’s eyes.
I never see joy or relief.
I listened to a tormented voice pleading for the preservation of life.
I heard the threatening words of one bent on self destruction.
I spoke with a girl who was hoping she had the flu, not a pregnancy.
I see innocent people hurt by a drunk driver, and the drunk driver is never hurt.
I marveled at the genius of a cardiologist.
I saw a 12-year-old boy who shot himself in the head, and the gun was still loaded at his feet.
I talked in circles with a schizophrenic person.
I was horrified at the battered body of a child whose parents were incapable of love.
I gazed at a horribly burned body.
I shuddered at a cold water drowning.
I see women beaten up by their spouses, but they never press charges.
I walk into houses and do CPR with family watching over my shoulder in tears.
I arrive at serious auto accidents, and the first words I hear are, "Am I going to die?"
I find out hours later they did die.
I listen to the repeated question "Why?", from a family devastated by death.
I search my soul for the answers to their question.
This is just another day in EMS.
SOURCE: Derek Perry, EMT 1. Foothill Ambulance Co.
Sacramento, CA. http://www.members.cox.net/acurrence/