Tag Archives: outreach

This Church Will Leave The Building…Again!

4 Oct

One year ago we displayed a phrase on our church sign: “This Church Will Leave The Building, October 7th”.

While we wanted to put a teaser out there to the community, we had no idea that short message would create such a stir.  Neighbors asked us what was happening.  The local police department stopped by concerned.  We even had two offers from other congregations interested in buying our building, assuming we were leaving for good.  Then an article came out in our local newspaper, and people finally got it.  We were leaving our building for a couple hours one Sunday morning.  Instead of having a worship service, we were going to worship by serving the community.  Our first Church Has Left The Building was awesome.  Read all about it here.

This coming Sunday morning, we’re leaving the building again.  We had another article in our local paper, because this time we asked people in our community to let us know how we could help them.  Two people responded!  We’re going to have a work crew worship the Lord by helping these two.  We’ll also have teams washing police cars, cleaning up the school, planting trees at the park, cleaning at Homes of Hope, and taking worship to some of our shut-in members.

Then we’ll return to church at noon for a celebration meal!  I can’t wait.

Maybe in preparation, you might want to comment below what CHLTB meant to you last year or what you are looking forward to, during CHLTB, this year!

Follow up to “Frustrated with Outreach?”

2 Oct


The word itself is a picture, an out-stretched set of arms with a hand ready to help a person in need. In the summer of 2005 we took a group of students and adults to Kingston, Jamaica, where we had previously lived/served in 2000-2001.  It was wonderful to be back, renew friendships, help a local pastor, and eat jerk chicken.  On a day off we traveled to the north coast to climb Dunn’s River Falls, a gorgeous place that should be one of the wonders of the world.

We lapped the lines of cruise-ship tourists holding hands on our dash to the top, fighting rushing water and moss as slick as ice.  I kept an eye on my two oldest boys, one in front, the other next to me.  At a particularly tricky spot, my son next to me lost footing and starting sliding down toward wet rocks below. Instinct shot my arm out to grab his wrist.  I had one chance.  Either my attempt would work, and my watery grip would hold, or he was going down hard.  Thank God it held, and we had one of those heart-pounding moments of fear realizing something bad almost happened.

We see this image in the story of Jesus.  We, his sons and daughters, going down, and in desperate need of a hand.  His hand was actually his entire life. It was an amazing gift of love, that he gave himself for us.

So what should outreach look like now?  How should we give ourselves for the people all around that God desperately loves and wants to experience his abundant life?

Let’s discuss!

Are you frustrated with outreach?

27 Sep

I am VERY frustrated about the topic of outreach. 

Each week at Faith Church we have two sermon discussions groups.  One 10 days before the sermon, with the goal of preparing, and one immediately after the sermon, with the goal of answering questions and making application.

The first one is called sermon roundtable, and I have my seminary professor to thank because it started from a class assignment.  I am deeply grateful for the people who come to sermon roundtable because I always leave with 3-4 pages of notes.  When Monday morning rolls around, the last thing I want to do emotionally is to start studying for another sermon.  Especially when the page on my laptop is blank.  So the roundtable notes are a great motivator, and because they come from a variety of voices, they always enriches my preparation.

Well…almost always.  Last week I came out of sermon roundtable very frustrated.  We were discussing the last sermon in our four part series on the mission of the church, and the topic is outreach.  It goes by many names including, evangelism, witnessing, and sharing our faith.  It sounds straightforward enough, but people have a lot of different ideas about how a church should do outreach.  Don’t get me wrong, people had a lot of great thoughts at roundtable, and I took a bunch of notes.  But there was definitely confusion and disagreement. Times have changed.  What was acceptable 50 years ago might be offensive now.

So let’s hear from you.  Are you frustrated about outreach?  How do you think a church should reach out to its community?  Does the Bible have anything to say about this?