Archive for the ‘Outreach’ Category

h1

“Gentlemen, this is a football”

August 6, 2008

“Gentleman, this is a football”, Vintage Vince Lombardi. The quote was all about getting back to basics. And it is true with reference to more than football. Whenever you find yourself floundering…get back to basics. If you are not growing…get back to basics. If you don’t know what to do next…get back to basics.

 

Followers of Christ are in a numerical decline. Even the Baptist are beginning to fess up to their over inflated “membership” numbers and admit that there are many more on the roles than in service to the King. (Read more here). Today there is a greater profession of believe in God and a greater lack of evidence of that faith than at anytime in history. Evangelism has not only become an archaic word that strikes fear in the hearts of Christians, it is no longer practiced as a response to the marching orders of our King. Percentages of those who are involved in pornography, that are getting divorced and that are materialist to excess are about the same for both Christian and Non-Christian alike. Christ followers need to get back to basics. Can I get an Amen?

 

“Ladies and Gentleman, this is a Bible”.

 

Prophets of old along with John on Patmos were told to, “Eat this book” referring to the message that God had given them. Read it, chew on it (meditate), digest it; make it apart of who you are. This is an individual responsibility.

 

As for the assembled church, Bible Classes need to become Bible Study Classes.  Does this sound familiar? A teacher stands up and reads a verse, then asks the class, “What do you think that means?”  And off they go into 30 to 45 minutes of shared ignorance, parroted answers learned by rote and uneducated guesses.  No wonder our kids are leaving the church in greater numbers than ever before.

 

Sincere and genuine Christians are trying to be better Christians and think that the answers will be found in the next great spirtual novel or spiritual self help book. They are fighting a battle with no armor, no weapons and no ammunition. The roaring lion is hot on their trail and they are trying to fight him off with a switch.

 

If you are stubbing, falling over things in the dark and trying to feel your way through life…turn on the light!

 

 

Advertisement
h1

“Their Go’na Put Me In The Movies”

June 27, 2008

Madison is blessed with a lot of talented people. One of them is our Director of Media Operation, Todd Hibbs. I was a part of a shoot that Todd did at Panera Bread in Madison, TN yesterday morning.

Madison just began a new ministry to hurting children. Dr. Frank Scott our counseling minister heads up this program that will begin July 1st.

Bible Camp has been going on for the past few weeks and is now in the home stretch. Here is a video about senior week.

To see more of Todd’s handy work click here.

h1

UNCHRISTIAN…THE BOOK

June 24, 2008

You may not like the conclusions of this book, but you will have a hard time saying that they are not true. The following is a CNN interview with the book’s author. The interviewer is pretty savvy and I think fair in the questions he asks.

Take a look at this one also.

h1

Churchgoer vs Christian

May 20, 2008

Taking their lead from the PC – Mac parodies that you have seen on TV a group has a whole series of the Churchgoer vs Christian videos. Here are a couple. If you like them click on the YouTube logo in the video and it will take you to these and others.

h1

Final Push For Operation Dad 2008

May 17, 2008

WKRN Channel 2 in Nashville joined other media outlets in promoting Operation Dad 2008. After listen to the video below please read a personal message from Tom Haddon, our Involvment Minister (featured in the video) whose message is listed below.

5/17/08 Good morning,

We have one week to go – This is sorting and packing week. We have enough money to ship just over 4000 packages! That’s 2/3 of the way there.

Need:
Individuals: We need shipping on 2,000 more packages. Can you go to your friends and neighbors today asking them to contribute $ 5.00 to ship one box. The $ 5.00 covers the cost of the bag (small backpak with nothing in it) and the cost to ship it. For every $ 5.00 that you raise, that’s one more bag going to Afghanistan. Individual donations, for tax purposes, are treated like a donation to any qualified ‘church’.

Business:
If you own a business or know someone who does, can you ask for a corportate donation? Remember – every $ 100.00 sends 20 packages. Remind them that we will be sending out tax receipts to them the first part of June. Corporate donations are tax deductible.

Together, with our community, we can get over the hump. I thank you all for what you have already done. Let’s work together to make this happen for our men and women.

Thank you,

Tom Haddon for Operation Dad 2008

 

h1

Local Media Spreading The Word About Operation Dad

May 15, 2008

Most of the local TV Stations and a few of the radio stations are spreading the word about Operation Dad. Here is just a couple reports. One from local TV Report from WSMV Channel 4. and the other The Steve Gill Radio show with our own Tom Haddon and LaVern Vivio known on many radio stations in Nashville as U-Turn Lavern traffic reporter.

 

h1

If We Are The Body…

February 13, 2008
h1

It Is Official

January 3, 2008

banner2.jpg

Arewa Aid Executive Committee Announces Appointment of Development Officer

Lee Hodges to begin work for Arewa Aid starting January 1, 2008

The Executive Committee of Arewa Aid is happy to announce the appointment of Lee Hodges of Hendersonville, Tennessee as Development Officer beginning January 1, 2008. Lee has been a minister for 30 years, and became interested in the mission of Arewa Aid through his meeting with Dr. Bradley Dean Blake, the founder of Arewa Aid.

Mr. Hodges primary responsibility will be to foster the relationship between Arewa Aid and it’s supporters, and create new relationships with interested churches, individuals and businesses that are interested in supporting humanitarian work in Northern Nigeria.

Lee has extensive experience in missions through his work with many churches of Christ in Michigan, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, including developing programs within churches to teach mission preparation.

Board Member John Mark Hicks expressed his gratitude to Mr. Hodges, stating, “I am so pleased that Lee has chosen to work with us. His reputation and work ethic will allow Arewa Aid to continue to grow while Dr. Blake and his wife Jen continue their work in Nigeria. We are truly excited to appoint someone to continue the development of Arewa Aid here in the United States, while the work continues to expand in Maiduguri, Nigeria”.

h1

Different Times Demand Different Approaches

December 18, 2007

mcvey_dan.jpg

Dan McVey is Missions Coordinator for Africa at the College For Bibilical Studies at Abilene Christian University, in Abilene, TX. He is also a Board Member for Arewa Aid. This is an important essay that calls us to different approaches to missions and our own mission. Hope you enjoy!

Since its birth 2000 years ago, the Way of Jesus Christ has always been a flexible faith, emphasizing allegiance to Jesus Christ as its single most defining characteristic, capable of entering any culture, transforming it and moving in missionary waves to cultures and societies beyond. Christianity always has had shifting centers of influence in its history of expansion. From the Jewish temple and synagogues to the Greek temples and markets, and from the Roman legions and bishops to the Germanic monks and reformers, the Kingdom of Christ has seen gradual shifts in its centers of dynamism, theology and impetus for growth. Another such shift is happening right before our eyes. In shades and hues and now in brilliant flashes of light, the Kingdom of our Lord is expanding into new territories, and our theologies and vocabularies will reflect these changes in years to come.

What we are experiencing has been termed a “New Reformation,” the “Third Church” (Orthodox as the first, Roman Catholic/Protestant as the second, and this emerging World Kingdom as the third), and the “Renewal of Christianity as a Non-western Religion.” We are seeing a changing world, a growing Kingdom and changing expressions of missions. Where is the “mission field?” The word “missionary” has lost most of its traditional meaning (a westerner who travels to foreign fields of service), and is being redefined as cross-cultural servants from anywhere to anywhere under the guidance of the Spirit of God. Migration of believers, vocational missions, and creative access to unreached people are some of the most significant movements in church planting and evangelism.

In this changing world of Kingdom Times, we need new paradigms through which we view the opportunities and calls of God to serve in his world. Questions for the future include: 1) what is our role? 2) what message do we have? 3) what does partnership with God look like in this rapidly changing time? 4) what are our goals in missions? 5) how do we participate in God’s work in reaching the unreached portions of the world? and 6) how is the Spirit of God preparing the coming generations for their roles in these momentous times?

Two observations:

  1. We cannot continue to “do missions” as we have for the past 20 years. These are different times with different needs and we are different people with the unchanging message of Jesus.
  2. “The church that lives comfortably in the post-Christendom West is unable to respond to the pain and spiritual need of postmodern generations” (Samuel Escobar). We must reflect on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in sincere/authentic expression of faith in growing communities of faith within our own culture. Furthermore, we must cast long vision into the future of what our own churches are going to look like and how they will function in the coming generational, revolutionary shift of religious expression in North America.

God is raising the bar for those who are called to participate in these Kingdom Times. Fresh looks at simple lifestyle approaches, partnership with emerging churches, and laying aside our fixation on personal safety so that we may target the truly unreached places of the world-these are some of the issues we must address if we wish to be strategic co-workers with God. These are exciting times. These are testing times. Church history abounds with examples of fellowships and movements that were marginalized through political compromise, and submission to overwhelming cultural influences and apathetic disconnection from the needs of the world. Our roles, needs and abilities may see change, but the Kingdom marches on. Some day, as a matter of routine rather than the exception, we will be studying Chinese and African theologians, singing African and Polynesian hymns, and imitating Indian and Korean disciplines of faith. And it will be just fine. We are getting closer to the vision of Revelation 7.9-10 all the time, “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'”

h1

THE NATIVITY SCENE: the view from outside a strip club

December 1, 2007

strip-club.jpg

by Jim Black

Friday, Nov 30, 2007

It was Christmas Eve. I was delivering a basket of food and toys to a family that our church was sponsoring. And I drove by it again. There was the Nativity scene – Mary, Joseph, the angels and shepherds, and right in the middle, the baby Jesus – sitting serenely on the roof of the strip club.

The first time I saw this was two years before, and I laughed at the sight; it just didn’t seem to fit. The second year I wondered what the owners were thinking that they would do this. And on this Christmas Eve I just had to find out.

I noticed that the door to the club was open. It was around 3 in the afternoon, and I parked my car and walked to the door, glancing nervously over my shoulder. What if someone saw me, a pastor, walking into this den of sin in broad daylight? Would anyone understand? Would my career be over? I peeked inside, wondering what I would find.

To my relief, the club was not open and there was a Christmas party being held for the staff…with everyone fully clothed! I asked for the owner, and a woman around 60 years old approached me. I introduced myself, and I said how much I admired the Nativity scene on her roof. She began to tell me about her belief in God, and how much she needed the Lord’s help in her life. I hadn’t planned what I was going to say, and I didn’t feel the Lord prompting me to preach to her in any way about the obvious disparity of the scene. I told her I was a pastor and I encouraged her to keep on talking with and listening to Jesus. She told me that she had tried to go to church before, but she just didn’t feel like she belonged there, and she knew what they would think of her if they ever found out what she did for a living. I told her she was welcome at our church anytime. After wishing each other a Merry Christmas I turned to leave. She thanked me for stopping in, and she told me that she had never really talked with a pastor before.

As I drove away, the strip club Nativity scene in my rear view mirror, I suddenly realized just how much it fit – Jesus didn’t come to the world to stay away from sinners (myself included), but He was born right into the middle of the filth, pain and longing of humanity. He loved sinners, they loved him; he lived with them, touched them – they were the main reason he came. It was in the religious world that he didn’t fit.

I wish I could say that the owner of the club came to church and was transformed that Christmas (then I could have written a book that would sell!) but I never saw her again, and the club was soon closed. As I prayed for her that day I realized that our meeting was for my benefit.

If Jesus came again today for the first time, where would he be found? In a beautiful church? Or in a place that at first would shock us and not seem to fit? In my mind I heard Him saying to me, “I really do love the world… “Go and do likewise…”

Take from: The OOZE