Monday, March 26, 2007


"Kindness gives birth to kindness."
Author:Sophocles (447 BC)

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.


"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
Author:Winston Churchill

"I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel
Author:Maya Angelou

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

think seasonal

kindness to go is a great way of encouraging people to take steps toward outwardness. I plan several per year for the people of the Vineyard. I think seasonal:

January - Give em the Bag, small bags filled with fun items to be taken to resturants, fire stations, emergency rooms etc

February - Kiss Dayton, small packs of kisses people take as they do life in the community

March - Give em the Bag

May - Flowers Everywhere, flats of flowers ready for planting, for friends, relatives, neighbors

September - Give em the Bag

December - Donuts and Candy Canes, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Christmas Eve and the candy canes in small bags people take out during 3 weeks of the run up to Christmas.

January is the kick off month so it's Give em the Bag!

What's in the bag?

I purchase the bags and the sparkle filler from American Paper and Plastics nice paper lined bags various colors. Sparkle filler that we place in the bag gives the bag some eye popping color, and buzz...we've discovered that people like to dig past the sparkle filler to see what items of interest are in the bag.

1 package of Grandmas Cookies
1 bag of peanuts
1 bag of trail mix
2 granola bars
2 rolls of lifesaver peppermints
1 peanut butter crackers
a sprinkling of small candy bars
a sprinkling of peppermint round candy
1 box of Kleenex tissues
sparkle filler
1 connect card attached to the bag and 2 connect cards in the bag on top
1 instruction sheet.

Our Teens pack the bags the Wednesday night before a Kindness to Go! weekend. We always hear from someone who was on the receiving end.

During the weekend services we mention the outreach and encourage people to grab a bag along with some instructions as they leave the service. I usually plan for around 100 bags at the end of our 3 weekend services. Long Term Sowing. Bridge Building. People Equipping. Fun and Uplifting. Creative Sparking. Outoftheboxthinking.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Tips for Kindness to Go

People who have consistently served others during our planned Kindness to go weekends often begin to develop a lifestyle of kindness. A friend of mine will be taking a group of teens bowling in a couple of weeks. He went to the bowling alley and ask the manager if they could pay for the shoes for the first 50 bowlers who show up on the night. The manager said, 'That is the coolest idea I've heard in a while.' A great connection that will surely produce a buzz on the evening.

Kindness to go tip:
When developing an idea I often begin with the end in mind. I ask questions to myself and often bounce ideas off my team. How will the person doing the outreach feel? Is the project workable, doable and easy? Are the instructions clear? How will the person receiving the outreach feel? What will they experience? Will the project connect to a felt need? Is it fun, up lifting and encouraging?

Recently, I met a friend for lunch...I grabbed a bag with a couple of connect cards. At the end of the lunch, I held up the bag and said, 'Hey, here's a small gift for you?' The startled waitress said, 'No one has ever given me a gift before at work.' We encouraged her to share the goods with the others she worked with, and thanked her for her great service and tipped big.

here is an example of the instructions sheet we place in the bags on the 'Give em the Bag' weekend outreach.

Kindness to Go!
Ok, How’s does it work? It’s simple:

Step one: Grab a bag
Step two:
Transport the bag to your favorite restaurant,
after or before the meal hand the bag to the person serving.
Say, ‘This is a small gift for you and your team.’
key… tip big and smile.

Step one: Grab a bag
Step two: Take it with you the next time you go grocery shopping, put the bag at the end of your shopping for the person checking.

Step one: Grab a couple of bags
Step two: Take the bags to your local police station, fire station or post office.

Say, ‘Just thinking about you this time of year.’

When asked,
‘Why are you doing this?’ Reply, ‘Just showing you God’s love in a practical way.'

Often conversations begin, questions are asked and answered, and prayer is given. Most people return encouraged, and have a story to tell.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Why Kindness?

Biblical kindness,
being and acting as Christ toward the people
within our sphere of influence are what believers are called to do.
steve bowen

Kindness / generosity / grace / love are attributes that are consistently revealed in the Scriptures.

Kindness, by definition, is a deliberate act to bring a person back to God.
(Nelson’s Bible Dictionary)

Planed acts of kindness are more than just doing something nice for people. They are intentional acts of kindness that demonstrates the grace, generosity and mercy of God toward an individual or toward a community in a practical way.

An encouraging impression of grace is clearly presented by the activity of kindness when the act of kindness is reflected through our attitudes and through our words.
steve bowen

Jesus our example...

Jesus was the most friendly, open hearted person on the planet. People wanted to be in his presence. There was something genuine about him that was attractive. I can't imagine anyone being attracted by a weird, ethereal, Jesus. He was grounded. He was different. He actually actively cared for people. He was a person full of compassion, mercy and grace. He was emotionally moved to action by peoples needs. When hungry, He fed them. When sick, he healed them. When downcast, he encouraged them. His plan, to empower his disciples to do the same.

The religious leaders of the day didn't understand his open-heartedness expressed through his actions. Instead of drawing near to people, they became closed, and hard focusing upon the law instead of extending grace and mercy.

They called him 'a friend of sinners', a 'glutton and a wine drinker'. He was invited to parties, went to dinners with tax collectors, allowed questionable people to be in his sphere of influence and didn't flinch when prostitutes expressed their gratefulness. He was kind, and refreshingly different than the other religious leaders of the day.

His short list of kindness found in the book of John...

His first miracle, water to wine…

Remember? He was at a party with unbelievers…they ran out of wine, the host was in trouble, what did he do? He served, meeting their need, by giving away the best wine. In this first simple need meeting action—he revealed his glory.

Feeding the 5,000 X deux
The people were tired and hungry. He fed them and began to establish the principle of sharing, generosity and giving within the lives of His disciples...

He healed all who came to Him…
Demonstrating the kindness and love of God He went around doing good…and…healing all who were sick or oppressed…

His last act of service before the cross…
He washed the disciple’s feet leaving an example for them to do as He had done…

His last act of service post cross, before his ascension?
Think about it. He had just risen from the dead. He had conquered death and hell
by his death on the corss. He had ensured salvation for all who would believe in him. He had been honored by the father as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords having all power and authority. So, what does he choose to do for his disciples?
He cooks and feed the disciples a fish breakfast on the beach. Amazing!

He continually declared and demonstrated his life mission…

The Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus Mark 10:45

Why kindness?
Biblical kindness,
being and acting as Christ toward the people
within our sphere of influence are what believers are called to do.
steve bowen

We live in a culture where words alone no longer make an impact. Our culture is shouting, show us. Be the Christ(little c) you represent. If you say you follow him, then be him in attitude, in word and in action.

Kindness as a lifestyle is a first step toward redefining Jesus to our world.
steve bowen

Imagine if every believer chose to express His kindness toward the people within their sphere of influence for just a week. To seek to help, to serve, to care, to support others actively. Perhaps, people would then begin to discover a passion for living that would blow past apathy and indifference toward the Good News that would radically change our world.

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
John 20:21 NIV