This also a blog that I post on regularly if you want to check it out.
A simple way to love your neighbor is to meet them where they are. You don’t have to be in a church building to minister to people – God can use you right where you are.
A popular summer activity in our area is to hang out at the local swim club. Some very beautiful, yet simple ministry happens there. Children invite their friends to the upcoming VBS and sometimes share what they’ve learned with each other. Parents talk. In the midst of children playing and shouting for “Mommy” or “Daddy” for the hundredth time, lives are shared, stories are told and doors are opened. There are even times when a person opens up and an opportunity to offer the gift of prayer arises. Mothers share with other parents what they’re learning in Christian Education and encourage others to join them. There’s also the exchanging of books such as “The Case for Christ” (by Lee Strobel) for the curious new friend. So many opportunities!
The workplace is another area of ministry. Time and time again we get prayer requests from our church member’s co-workers. Our church members have found ways to minister to their co-workers by sharing the power of prayer.
Internet communities, like MySpace, have also provided links of communication where testimonies and stories of Christ’s hope are shared, friends reconnect and where simple invites are extended to come out to church.
God has placed ways to love your neighbor all around you. You don’t need a program to minister to people, start where you are.
Instead of having a competing event on October 31st we do something that honors Christ by simply inviting our neighbors to stop by while out trick-or-treating. For the past several years our neighbors walk over and join us. Some drive from local neighborhoods and some families even make it by public transportation from the inner city!
This ministry is a very simple one. We’re simply there to meet our neighbors and put a face on Ashland Church. We meet kids, teens, parents and even grandparents. Our neighbors are always grateful. Many are surprised that we offer this free of charge and want to know why we do this – what an opportunity to share Christ’s love! Families are invited to different ministries; some join us for these ministries and for others it is simply and introduction to Ashland.
We set out easy carnival games and crafts while providing hot soup (for the chilly parents as they follow their children around), hot dogs, and of course, lots of candy. The activity that really draws a crowd is the box maze. With large appliance boxes (donated from local companies) and lots of duct tape, some very talented individuals make a maze for the children to crawl through with flashlights and glow sticks in hand. This has earned quite a reputation among the children and as soon as October hits they start to talk about it.
This very simple outreach has been a great way to reach out and get to know our neighbors.
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We are very excited this year to have had opportunities to minister to families through a local public elementary school! At Thanksgiving, we gave the school gift cards to a local grocery store. The only notations we wrote on the gift card were the amount, “from Ashland Church” and our website. The school administration then decided which families to give them to. We were able to do the same thing during the Christmas season as well. As a result, we have started a new relationship with the school administration and ministered to families we would not had known needed help otherwise.
We were also able to minister to several local families with children during the Christmas season by buying gifts for their children. At the same time, an inner-city ministry used our church hall. Ashland families were blessed to be able to donate gifts to the children that came to their Christmas party from single parent households and a group home.
During Thanksgiving we distributed baskets filled with food to local families and ministries. We also have a partnership with a local church and donate to their food bank monthly.
Although we are a small church, our church family has been able to share Christ’s love in a very tangible way.
Filed under: Ashland Church, christian, church, NJ, South Jersey, Voorhees | Tags: Ashland Church, outreach
from “Going Missional” an 18 month calendar guide to loving your neighbor From the National Outreach Committee of the EPC
Sorry the titles and parts of the pics got Cut off.
Titles are…”Poolside Chats, Workplace Prayers and MySpace,” “Costumes, Candy and New Friends,” and “Loving Local Families at Thanksgiving”
Filed under: Africa, Ashland Church, children, christian, Family, Ghana, giving, kids, Kwabeng, making a difference, missions, parenting, serving, Voorhees | Tags: Africa, Ashland Church, children, Ghana, Kwabeng, missions, NJ, serve, service project, Voorhees
How can we help our children to turn from selfish motivations to selfless ones? I believe one thing we can do as parents is encourage them to serve. I have been amazed at the hearts of my children and our kids at church as they’ve seen and met the needs of others…