The Evangelism Group

Equipping The Future

Outreach – Celebrate The Little Things!

celebrate_smallI recently had the privilege of helping a church with some outreach events. The schedule included a time of encouraging those participating in the outreach (about a dozen) on Friday evening, a breakfast and teaching session Saturday morning, followed by our outreach event. This was the first time that this church had conducted an outreach like this so everyone was wondering how it would turn out (would anyone actually come to the event?!).

First of all, I was so encouraged by the number of folks coming together to help with the outreach! Having a dozen-plus folks show up for outreach in a smaller community is huge. The event was held in the church parking lot and included free hot dogs (cooked onsite) with all the fixings, chips and drinks; as well as some prize drawing giveaways—all while the church’s worship team played and testimonies were shared. The outreach schedule started at 11 a.m. and began wrapping up at 2:30 p.m.

Initially, the pastor wasn’t too excited about this first time event. But, I brought several things to his attention. First, the community was more aware than ever that a church existed in their community that cared enough to offer some hospitality to their neighbors. Second, approximately seventy (70) visitors wandered through the festivities, which was great for a first-time event like this! Third, consistent events pay off. Don’t make pass or fail judgments on the turnout of one event. Word will spread and the community just may begin looking forward to a church’s annual event if it’s done with excellence in the right spirit of ministry.

The pastor agreed that this would be something worth continuing and that the event was as good for the church family as it was for the community. As a matter of fact, at one point the pastor stated, “If this outreach was for nobody else, it was for us.” That’s one of the paradigms of working with God and obeying the Great Commission: when we are obedient to take the gospel to our communities, God actually does a work in us and in our church family as well. How ironic, that we truly receive something new and refreshing from the Lord when we work to give away that which we already have—the hope of Christ. So celebrate the little things and watch them grow!

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December 25, 2016 Posted by | Devotions, Outreach | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Divine Adjustment

GymnistSmallThe older I get the more I realize that I’m not as flexible as I used to be back in my high school days. On rare occasions, when I overexert myself now, my back gives me fits and gets out of sorts. Sometimes, it even forces me to go to a local chiropractor for a little adjustment. I’ve found over the years, that the doctor’s initial adjustment usually isn’t the last adjustment needed, but that there are little shifts along the way to recovery. Recently, I had a really stubborn case of back pain—to the point that my wife, Nancy, even said: “You’re still walking crooked.”

I almost never go back to have a second adjustment with a chiropractor—once is usually enough for me! However, this past week I just couldn’t get things lined out myself. I had upcoming services and did not want to battle back pain while out of town. So, I made a decision to see if there were any openings at the chiropractor’s office for another adjustment—not realizing that God was getting ready to work through me to touch someone’s life.

Luckily, they had an opening and I was able to drive right over. After my adjustment, the doctor and I started talking about things and he shared some serious challenges he was facing. I asked if I could pray for him and he readily accepted my invitation. I hardly ever ask my doctors if I can pray for them—and actually hope that I don’t need to see them very often at all! However, this time I felt impressed to ask permission and afterwards, I could tell that this had been a divine appointment. The frustration of having to go through another round with my chiropractor paled next to the realization that he needed God’s touch on his life.

All that to say, evangelism isn’t always about preaching to someone—sometimes the Lord just wants to use you as a vessel of His love and blessing for someone else. After all, our lives might be the only imitation of Christ that most people will actually listen to or see. The apostle Paul even said in 1 Cor. 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Honestly, our actions usually speak louder than words, but sometimes the Lord prompts us to speak, to ask, to listen, and to pray. I hope you will.

May 23, 2016 Posted by | Devotions, Outreach | , , , | Leave a comment

My Neighbor Is Who?

Runner_smallWhile driving around my town recently, I happened to drive by a Muslim school and mosque. I couldn’t believe that I had not noticed such a thing before and wondered how the reception had been for them here in the south where I live—the Bible belt of Christianity! A few days later I noticed an “Adopt-a-highway” sign whereby a Baha’i group had adopted a section of roadway. What was happening in my own backyard!?

Admittedly, it is a reality that religions and religious beliefs other than Christianity will spring up in my, and your, neighborhood as people from all over the world relocate to the United States of America. But how is the Christian supposed to respond? What is our responsibility?

Jesus Christ gave a wonderful illustration in Luke 10:25-37 when he shared a parable (story) about a Good Samaritan in response to a person of the law who tried to justify himself. Jesus had already shared the two greatest commandments in other verses: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:39; Mark 12:31). The person of the law repeated this but then asked, “Who is my neighbor?” The Good Samaritan (a people group often outcast and despised) parable shows that it’s our actions that qualify us as a neighbor.

As Christians we should first of all familiarize ourselves with God’s Word—the Bible. Hebrews 12:4 states that the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. The Christian must know God’s Word and be ready to share it in humility when the Holy Spirit provides an opportunity. We must also try to understand other religions in our communities and work to serve others as Christ served the Church. May we all become like the Good Samaritan and serve others with a cheerful heart—even those people with differing beliefs—bringing glory to God while emulating Christ in our daily lives and sharing his Word when he provides opportunity.

Blessings!
Marshall M. Windsor, D.Min.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Devotions | , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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