Monday, May 28, 2007

Externally Church Conference

here is a review with insights from Alan Nelson. He is the executive editor of Rev! Magazine, the author of a dozen books, and has been a pastor for 20 years.

I just attended the Externally Focused Church (EFC) Conference in Longmont, Colorado, and have one more take on authenticity and its rising stock in terms of attracting people to your church, as well as to yourself as a leader.

EFC leaders were anticipating 250 to 300 people but were pleasantly surprised by an attendance of more than 600, which reflects an increasing movement across the nation of churches thinking outside the box in order to develop their congregants inside the box. As post-modern skepticism increases, people are more and more interested in who we are rather than what we know. Apologetics are going the way of the 8-track and cassette players because people have little time to invest in Christian marketing ploys. They want the real deal.

Churches that are getting people into the community, whether through fixing up widows’ homes, building Habitat houses, painting a neighborhood school, or providing water to homeless people, are doing what Jesus did. What is interesting is that many “mainline” churches have been doing social service for decades, but for some reason, there wasn’t always the connection between the good deed and a more personalized relationship with Jesus.

Now “evangelicals” feel as though they’re discovering this concept of social outreach, but they’re retaining the good news that this is what Jesus did and what those who follow him do, and you can know him, too. Far too many churches have not earned the right to speak into the lives of those around them, and then we wonder why modern marketing and slick attraction programs aren’t cutting it like they did in the ’80s and ’90s. It’s a new day.

Look at your budget and program calendar and assess how much you do for your immediate community. The osmosis approach of hoping that your church leaks into the community isn’t working. These days, you need a focused impetus on getting talent, time, and treasure into people and projects around you.

Authentic leading, the real deal, is needed for people to follow you, now more than ever. Authentic service—altruistic acts of kindness outside the church, not just to bring people inside your church—is needed for us to share our faith. This new network of churches catching the spirit of beyond-the-church-walls is an exciting piece of what God is doing all over the nation. I’d encourage you to get involved and see what you can do to lead authentically internally, as well as to lead authentically externally.

Go to and click on the “Links to other great pastor sites” (and then on Externally Focused Church Network).

Alan Nelson is the executive editor of Rev! Magazine, the author of a dozen books, and has been a pastor for 20 years.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Flowers everywhere!

good day everywhere...went was good to hear: hey it's kindness to go weekend, flowers how cool
guest to attendee...what are the flowers for?'s kindness to go weekend, it's one way we reach out to our community... really!??

hey, let's take some flowers home and plant them...nope the flowers are not for us but for our friends, and neighbors.

a lady loaded up a bag of potted plants
, we are going to plant them in our neighborhood today.

mom's, kids, grandmas, dads, uncles, aunts, and friends will be planting flowers everywhere this week. touching one life at a time. that's kindess to go! big time

Friday, May 11, 2007

SunBuddy Sunscreen

Summer is nearly here...Sun beaming, families out enjoying the sun at the beach, parks, soccer games, baseball games, air shows, 4th of July celebrations etc. Many people forget to bring the sunscreen.

Solution take some SunBuddy sunscreen with you as you attend the events with your family and friends.

SunScreen Kindness to Go:

How it works: Purchase some small packets of SunBuddy Sunscreen (I buy the family packs in bulk and get great deals call SunBuddy for details)

Attach a
connect card (you can get your cards form Market Place Printing) with some hot glue or tape

Hold up a packet during the plugs, or during the message Say, 'Today is a kindness to go weekend. As you leave pickup some sunscreen to give to the people you meet this summer. It's our way of showing God's love in a practical way.'

Have the prepared sunscreen available at the exits so people can grab a few on their way out.

Kindness to go a simple way of helping people begin to look outward.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Flowers Everywhere

This month we will be serving our friends, neighbors by planting flowers. How it works...

I've ordered hundreds of small plants like, Petunias, Pansies, Calibrachoas, etc.

I pop up a shade tent, and have the plants on racks, when people leave the services they go to the racks and pick up some plants...

They then take the plant home to give to their neighbours, or friends...

We have a card that goes with the plants...

you can order the cards from Marketplace Printing

Here is a story from last year.

A lady attended the Vineyard for the first time during our May, ‘Flowers Everywhere’ outreach weekend. As people left the services they would pick up flats of four flowers from our main entrance and take to their neighbors, friends and family just to show God’s love in a personal way.

As I was cleaning up I noticed a lady fidgeting in her car, looking my way, a bit shy and sheepish. I continued to clean up. When she walked over she held out the cash she had removed from her car and asked, ‘How much are the flowers?’ I said, ‘They are free!’ She asked, ‘Can I have two flats?’ I exclaimed, ‘Wow that’s a lot of flowers! Who are they for?’ She replied, ‘I heard the message today, and as I watched people taking flowers, I thought, ‘Who can I show God’s love to?… My dad. I can plant flowers for him, and bring some light into his day.’ I replied, ‘That’s a nice thought.’ She replied, ‘By the way, my dad lost both of his legs and can’t plant flowers anymore.’ I replied, ‘Here’s eight flats, have a great time loving on your dad.’

Then I thought, ‘now that’s what kindness to go is all about.’ Outward focused communication combined with practical application, helps nurture the heart of the Vineyard people empowering them to reach outward to their family, friends and daily connections.