Friday, June 29, 2007

A Eucharistic Understanding of Evangelism

Here is a video I have been working on that is a sacramental view of evangelism. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Volunteer Appreciation Lunch

This past Sunday at New Season we had our Volunteer Appreciation Lunch to thank all the people who help to make New Season a church that "helps people become all that God intends them to be." We brought in a caterer and feasted on herb roasted chicken, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and more.

As any church planter knows, volunteers are critical to beginning a new faith community. It is of utmost importance that they are thanked, feel appreciated, encouraged, equipped and know why they do what they do. In addition to our Volunteer Appreciation Lunch here are some other ways we thank our volunteers.

1. Say it. Say it again. And then say it again. Always thank those who give up their time and use their gifts to further the cause of Christ.

2. Send a thank you card. A good practice to get into is to send a thank you note to at least one person/ family once a week to thank them for what they do and more importantly who they are.

3. Splurge on them. Put a Starbucks gift card in your note or some other gift card- especially for those who rally step up.

4. Recognize groups of volunteers- those who sing or play instruments, the people who load and unload your truck/ trailer, children's ministry people etc.

5. We have not done this one yet but it is one on our radar to show a brief video during our offering to highlight ministries people carry out in the church and to make a connection between our giving and our service.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wisdom From a Old Dead White Guy

William Booth- Methodist and founder of the Salvation Army

A Spiritual Battle Cry
While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight;
while little children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight;
while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight;
while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God,
I'll fight-I'll fight to the very end!

Handle with Care: Because Parenting is the Most Important Thing You Will Do

Please find below the podcasts for the message series "Handle with Care: Because Parenting is the Most Important Thing You Do. at New Season Church.

To listen now, click on the podcast icon below.

Handle with Love and Discipline

Some days it’s a walk on the beach; other days, you’re caught in an undertow. How can we shape our children’s character so that they stand strong against the sometimes-crashing waves of life? Whether you’re a confident parent or if you’re struggling, this message series was designed to help you make your family the very best it can be.

Subscribe to this podcast via Apple iTunes by following this link.

Get Apple iTunes for PC or Mac here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Evangelism Tips

Tim Hull from Harvest Church and I had a display out our Annual Conference's Evangelism Expo. Part of what we gave away were free ideas folks can use in thier local setting. Below are what we gave away with links to the PDF files. Please use as you are able.
Reaching New Neighbors- A brief explanation on how to begin to reach a segment of your mission field that is most open to attending your church for the first time.
Websites- Less and less people will pick up the phone to call your church to get info. They will anonymously go to your website- what will they find? Or, not find? Learn basic principles about using the web as an evangelistic tool.
Working Your Neighborhood- You need to know your mission field better than anybody else. By working the neighborhood you move beyond the walls of your church to engage your community, learn from your community and raise awareness about your church- find out how here.
Mailers/ Postcards- Direct mail is one of the ways to raise awareness about your church in the community, invite persons to your church, and empower the regular attendees at your church to invite friends, relatives, co-workers and neighbors. You can also utilize in-house postcards for new message series you begin at your church that can empower regular attendees to invite others. Learn more here.
Guestology- Do you expect guests to show up at your church? How will they be greeted and treated? Offering hospitality is vitally important if you want to reach people who have never been to church or have stopped attending a long time ago. Get some pointers and stir your imagination here.
Servant Evangelism- Sharing God’s love in a practical way is a fun, easy and faithful way to demonstrate the love of Christ in your community. You will experience more persons participating in outreach efforts and make a greater impact in your community through this low threat-high touch method of evangelism. Check it out here.
Sign Drop- Do you have one of those metal road signs that is rusted out and people stopped noticing three months after you put it up. Create new awareness about your church by conducting a sign drop in your community. Don’t let the realtors, politicians and loan companies be the only ones who raise awareness, redeem this method of creating awareness about your church for the glory of God. Learn how here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Potent Quotables

I am working my way through George Hunter's How to Reach Secular People and came across two really great quotes. Here they are...

p. 112 Christianity was lauded as a monumental movement of fishers of men and women; today we are keepers of the aquarium.

p. 113 Wesley said, "The world is my parish." We often say the parish is my world.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Not About Us

While the approval of the continuance of the work of the Task Force to make plans for the birthing of 250 new faith communities was exciting the approval of an 8 million dollar financial campaign to renovate and add onto the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone demonstrated the a lack of foresight on the part of the Conference and reinforced the need for a recalibration of the missional mindset as found in people like John Wesley and Francis Asbury.

While the arguments for and against such a campaign are emotional for many, the crux of the issue has to do with setting priorities. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, your heart is." Is our heart to be in a building or reaching people for Jesus Christ? How many new disciples were made at Blackstone last year? How many people could be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ for 8 million dollars? Is this 8 million dollars spent "on us"? Yes. How will having such a grand renovation help us in making "new" disciples of Jesus Christ?

The Great Commission says go and make disciples not build buildings for retreats. It is indeed a sad day in Virginia when we are focused on buildings instead of people.

Task Force 250 Update

The Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church unanimously approved the continuance of the work of the 250 Task Force to develop a plan to begin 250 new faith communities in the next 30 years. The rest of this year and next will be taken up with developing that plan. Before this group makes these plans it does well to keep in mind that there is a need to ask God what his plan is before we tell him ours.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Busy Couple of Weeks

I have got a busy couple of weeks this week and next. I am in the midst of taking a two week summer intensive course for some Doctor of Ministry work. The second week of that I will be going back and forth from Richmond to Roanoke for our Annual Conference. And yeah, I will be doing the teaching on both Sundays. Pray for me.

Church Planting Breakfast

This year at our tribes Annual Conference I am working to get together church planters and those interested in church planting. The response has been really great. I think this is just indicative of the larger movement in our Annual Conference that church planting is the most effective way to make disciples of Jesus Christ. This of course is part of the larger movement of the "Third Great Awakening" which will be a church planting awakening.

Details of the Church Planting Breakfast:
Tuesday June 12 7:00 a.m. Hotel Roanoke Pocahontas Room B Cost $13
Make your reservation by emailing me.