Archive for May 2010

Cleaning Toilets

We went out to connect with retail shops by offering to clean their toilets. We simply walked into these places with our cleaning kits in hand and said, “Hi, we’re here to clean your toilets – for free – to show you a bit of God’s kindness.” Pretty much everyone gave us a funny look. They all said they didn’t want it – but I could tell they assumed we wanted a donation. I know they thought this. We had to say several times we were doing this strictly for free with no donations accepted at all. It was only after we had told them several times that this was for FREE and we weren’t taking donations that they lightened up. After that we were able to connect with them. We were able to tell them this was a way of conveying the love of God to our neighbors. They warmed up quickly after that.
The Church has a lot of work to do in this area. We need to get to work by conveying to the culture around us what we are about. It is common that people who aren’t a part of church (perhaps they are a part of church…) think we are all about raising money. It is almost inconceivable that Jesus’ followers would do something altruistic. We need to get to work by serving others in a big way.
At the same time this provides the Church with significant opportunities. We make a strong impact by serving in surprising ways. We are able to break through into people’s lives by doing simple, doable serving projects. I don’t have a corner on the market of ideas we need to be involved with but I have discovered a few things apparently connect with the watching world.
I pray for more hearts in the Church to be able to hear the challenge God is offering these days. I pray we can sense his calling out to the culture around us. As Jesus said the harvest is plentiful – it is the laborers that are few.

Lessons Learned in Outreach Lately

Picking up some great lessons in the realm of outreach lately.

  1. Diligence. The race isn’t to the fastest or the most impressive initially, but to the one who hangs in there for the long haul. I am impressed that we have seen some great things happen in the area of outreach – as people are being touched they are opening up – we are mentoring the community in civility it seems. I am impressed that we are able to turn on the faucets and see people respond.
  2. Indomitable spirit. We need to have a willingness to hang in there no matter how rough the going gets. I am convinced we are going to see God show up in a stellar way as we just continue to persevere. What is the goal of all of this? Isn’t it to fall in love with others who are different than us? I think so. I can’t fall in love with the people of the city unless I am around them on a regular basis – unless God mentors me in these things. I am going to warm up to them – I am going to turn on the rocket boosters of this machine in order to get around the people who are desperately seeking Jesus. They might not know they are desperately seeking Jesus quite yet, but that’s okay. I am going to hang around them until they get it.
  3. Recycle lessons learned. I am seeing that the lessons I learned a time ago – a season or two ago – are still timely. God is able to resurrect those lessons into my daily life so I am able to pick up on the lessons learned. As Wimber used to say, “Old marching orders are good marching orders.” What I started out to do some time ago still works. Those insights are good, pleasant, helpful – I will persevere in following those out.
  4. Emphasize obedience. It all starts with us humbling ourselves and going back to the things that Jesus spoke to us to begin with. Unless we obey his call – unless we walk out his words to us – we will not get very far. I am convinced he is calling us on a big scale to do similar things. I hear people tell me all the time that they have been called by God to serve their community. I also hear many tell me they have gotten off track in the original calling – they have fallen into building facilities, into strategizing budgets, into the notion of building facilities in the belief people will automatically gather. I don’t buy the idea that we are okay with the erecting of facilities at the expense of dropping outreach efforts. We are all about outreaching on a perpetual basis if we take the model of scripture seriously. Unfortunately many have been able to get by with that schedule – with the idea that as they serve a little or not at all. God operates on the basis of serving, outreaching = forward progress. God don’t let us see surface progress and confuse that with your God given momentum. I like the heart of Catherine Booth of the early days of the Salvation Army fame–she said that Jesus never called us to build and simply gather – rather he calls us to outreach and aim beyond as we gather the hurting, the impaired, the discouraged.

Ask… Seek… Knock… Our Way Forward

I was able to speak this morning to the gathered Coastland Church at the Brandon AMC Theaters. We have been looking at the Sermon on the Mount for the past number of weeks. Specifically we have been looking into the things that cause us to come into alignment with the Kingdom of God. Jesus projects the standard of the Kingdom to us when he speaks of prayer – that as we see the Father rightly we will be able to “ask… seek… and knock” to make progress. We are to “keep on asking… keep on seeking… and keep on knocking.” That’s difficult if not impossible unless we see the Father accurately. If we don’t see the Father as he really is we will lose heart in connecting with him. Human nature tends to see the Father as more or less an exaggerated version of one of us. We tend to think of the Father as an exaggerated, big version of one of us. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Father is nothing much like us at all. He is perfect. Repeatedly the Scriptures tell us, “God is not a man…” What we consider to be perhaps unreasonable he has set in motion as the norm of the Kingdom. Life goes forward as we bring our every need to him – as we, again, “ask… seek… knock” our way through life. He delights in us bringing our needs to him. There is something about that connection that makes the heart of God excited. We humble ourselves over and over again by realizing he is able to do for us what we can never accomplish. “Ask… seek… knock.”

How To Launch SE In Your Church In 6 Months Teleconference

TODAY we have a super cool, practical teleconference on how to expertly launch your church into Servant Evangelism in 6 months. If you have found it challenging to incorporate an outward-focus in your church, feel stumped getting traction with Servant Evangelism, or are looking for a step-by-step guide (from planning your outreaches 6 months out, creating sermons to go along with the outward focused mentality you are striving to instill in your congregations, or the set up, break down and wrap ups of all your serving events) then you DEFINITELY need to join us this TODAY, May 13th at 10:30 AM PST / 1:30 PM EST.

Charlie Wear, publisher of Next-Wave Ezine, will be our host, and this teleconference is free for anyone to attend! Either listen in online, or dial in on your phone…your choice! For the details on how to connect to this teleconference, go to this link:
http://AttendThisEvent.com/?eventid=12775485

Soon after this teleconference, we will be releasing a 6 month jumpstart course at ServeCoach.com on how to launch Servant Evangelism in your church, with step by step instructions, checklists, tracking worksheets, outreach templates, planning calendars, outreach prep talks, sermons, and more! This course will be available to all members of ServeCoach.com at no extra cost.

We are so excited about how this will be able to help so many churches that are trying to take SE to the next level. Whether you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate, or advanced practitioner of SE, this course will surely increase your effectiveness. Look for the first month of material (and more info about it) coming your way soon on ServeCoach.com.

As always, we are constantly interested in hearing how we can best serve you, so please do not hesitate to contact us with your feedback.

I look forward to connecting with you soon!

Steve
P.S. For this Thursday’s teleconference, we have 250 phone lines available, and 2000 spots online. Almost 10k people will be getting this email, so you if are truly interested in listening in, be sure to get on the call a few minutes before it starts!

Details Details – God is in the details

I have been working to launch teams of windshield washers. It has been a while since I last connected with strangers in this particular serving style. Found some very cool squeegees – they have metal handles and expand long enough that you can wash both sides of a large windshield at once. Got them at WalMart for about $5 per item. Went into WalMart to get equipped for both restroom cleaning and windshield washing. Ended up spending around $125 for a LOT of great serving equipment. It pays to go to a place like WalMart – it is easy to find the cool stuff needed and at a great price!