Thursday, April 17, 2008

Servant Evangelism Tip for This Week

Hey everyone, I want to thank Camey for adding me as a contributor to her blog. What a blessing that is! Starting this week, we will be posting a new servant evangelism tip on the Life In the Moments blog each week. These will be practical, helpful little tips that will assist you with integrating the "servant evangelism" model into your regular, ongoing outreach ministry. If you come up with an idea for an outreach, we would love to hear about it! Here's this week's tip:

Learning to work together, even on a small job -- can help a group become closer. Get your small group involved in a hands-on project. The project might be in the home of one of your group members, or it might be at your church or another location where people are in need of some volunteer help. Here are some tips:

Consider the skill level needed for the job -- is it laying tile, changing or fixing a faucet, hanging window coverings, painting rooms with decorative techniques, or refinishing wood floors? If it's beyond the average person's skill, arrange for a specialist to teach on the topic and demonstrate the methods involved. Check local hardware and home improvement centers to see if you can find someone willing to teach your group.

Determine what materials your church will provide and what group members need to bring. Make sure any supplies and tools are on hand.

Present a short devotional on Nehemiah 2:17-3:5 either before or after your project. In the face of oppression and ridicule, Nehemiah led his people to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. They depended on God to give them success. They dedicated their work to the Lord, and tackled it together. Help group members understand that even when they face adversity in life, relationships, or marriage, they can depend on God to give them success. Encourage them to approach the home improvement project with Nehemiah in mind, remembering that God called them to work together.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

God's Love - All That and a Bag of Chips

What a glorious sight it was last Saturday during the Love Granbury Kindness Explosion - 10 different churches outside their walls taking God's love into their communities, many of them working together in the same neighborhoods. It truly was an amazing day.

One of the most amazing things about servant evangelism is how common, ordinary items or acts become extraordinary when offered out of a heart overflowing with God's love. It's so cool to watch as a hot dog, a cookie, a bottle of water, or a bag of chips transforms before your very eyes into a tangible expression of God's love! In the same way, a simple act like pumping someone's gas and washing their windshield becomes a holy moment in time. We live in such a "nothing for free" society, that when faced with the prospect of getting something for nothing, many people become highly suspect. It's not at all unusual to hear phrases like "what's the catch" or "why would you do that"? Even after you tell them that what you're doing is completely free, many people still want to know if you're accepting donations! When it finally starts to sink in that they are about to receive something for nothing, simply as a way to show them God's love, you can almost hear the door to their heart creek open ever so slightly. What a holy moment indeed!

Those moments were in abundant supply all over Hood County last Saturday. We may never truly know on this side of eternity how many seeds of God's love and kindness were planted by the Body of Christ this past weekend, but what we do know about is phenomenal! Here are the overall stats as we have them:

Over 500 people participating representing 10 different churches
Approximately 1,350 hot dog lunches (w/chips and drinks) given out
28 vehicles washed
1,676 bottles of water handed out
Over 500 cookies home baked and distributed to local businesses
12 widows home worked on
Pumped gas/washed windshields for approximately 300 people
Distributed approximately 3000 Healthy Kids Summer Lunch Program fliers door-to-door in all of our Healthy Kids neighborhoods as well as at the Granbury City Park and at Granbury Middle School.

All this done free of charge, no donations accepted, no strings attached...all to show God's love in a tangible way! And remember that with each contact, whether it was from handing someone a free hot dog, a bottle of water, washing their vehicle or pumping their gas, each person was handed a "kindness card" with the simple message that what we were doing was a free gift...just like God's love is free! What a simple, yet profoundly powerful message!

As we talked about at the Saturday evening celebration service, the way to truly make Kindness Explosion 08 a real success, is for each of the participating churches to make the commitment to integrate some form of "servant evangelism" into their normal routine of ongoing ministry. Whether it's monthly, semi-monthly, quarterly, or whatever, there's simply nothing more powerful to a watching world than our churches getting outside their four walls and into their communities to share the love of Christ through servant ministry with no strings attached. To God be all the honor and glory!

Little Acts Add Up!

As Christ followers, we are called to be His hands and feet. That is what Love Granbury helps represent - the hands and feet in action! Little acts add up. Seeds planted.

  • 1676 free drinks given out in different locations all over Granbury
  • 504 homemade cookies baked, bagged and delivered to the jail, juvenile center, admin building and etc.
  • 12 widow houses received services such as lawn mowed, windows cleaned, repairs made and etc.
  • The houses in CC, IH, and CH received fliers with details about Healthy Kids. These are not your typical gated communities. Access was granted due to the nature of the fliers and the hearts of those delivering them.
  • Full service gas station, groceries bagged and taken out for customers at one local grocery stores. 600 free gift cards were given out.
  • 154 people ages 2 to 69 participated from our body alone.

More testimonies to come. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Birthday Wish List....

For those of you who keep asking me what do I want for my 40th birthday today... here's my birthday wish list:

Do acts of kindness for those you come in contact with.

Be the hands and feet of God today if you are a Christ follower.

Take time to pray with/for someone whether you know them or not.

Make today count wherever you are at!!!!!

As always - you were prayed for just now.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Unashamed. Austin's Public Surrender.

Brother G and I are thrilled to announce that Austin surrendered publically this morning to ministry as his way of living life. For to us, ministry is not a vocation alone. It is just like breathing. It is like taking one step in front of another. It is Loving Granbury (or wherever one is at) 365 days a year and not just on one weekend.

Austin is unashamed to be a Christ follower. It is evident in the moments of his very being.

I'm stopping now.... For the tears consume me. There is no greater joy as his mother... his parents.. than watching him live life for God.

We're thankful to call him temporarily ours.