Thursday, June 21, 2007
Summer of Love ....Are You Experienced?
This is the 40th anniversary of the summer of love in San Francisco... We weren't aware of this. Yet we seemed to click into the feeling with the design of new Vineyard water label...
This weekend I will be doing a reverse outreach for kindness to go.
What's a reverse kindness to go?
Sometimes veteran outreach guys and gals have "the curse of knowledge"(see the book made to stick). In other words, we, who have the knowledge and the experience of positive outreach, know what an outreach feels like, looks like. We are the ones who know and understand: outreach for us who are experienced is easy, not scary. Our experience for the most part is positive. We know servant evangelism builds bridges, opens the heart and mind for great conversations, and encourages the heart of both the giver and the receiver.
We have the knowledge and the experience.
Pause: Reality, not so for others they have not the experience. Until someone participates in a positive experiential outreach they don't have the knowledge, the understanding, the feel: the positive emotions, the sense of wow and seeing the life changing effect.
The people we are attempting to encourage toward outreach may also have the 'curse of knowledge.' They may have had a 'bad trip'. Their experience or perception of outreach may not have been positive. This 'bad trip' forms a negative experience, which can create a 'no way hosea' mind set.
What to do? What to do?
Education (positive communication) + doing = understanding = lifestyle change
In Scotland. My mission for a summer was to led a team of 50 college aged students to reach out to the thousands of people Edinburgh...I spent several sessions teaching the principles of sowing and reaping, methods of reaching the current culture vs reaching past culture etc. I opened up the sessions for questions. 'How's does this work?' 'Duh?' 'What about?'
It was clear they just didn't understand... I believe outflow / kindness outreach or servant evangelism is much like a modern parable...It takes an experience to bring a paradigm shift to bring understanding.
How do people learn? They learn by doing. Having an experience.
So out we went...the first people we met were from a radio station...we handed them a small coke...they asked what we were doing...the students replied...the radio station people were stunned... after a lengthy dialogue, answering why? what? how? who are you? they were then recorded for a show on BBC1.
The second person was contacted by the disbelieving (this stuff can't work, or relate) student leader. He handed out a coke to the interested person...the guy read the connect card attached to the can and asked, 'I've always wondered...How can I become a Christian? Can you tell me?'
Needless to say the team were now experienced. They had a positive outreach experience that was a shift that moved them from hearing, to doing, to understanding. The experience changed their perceptions and actions.
'Are you experienced?' jimi hendrix
The question how can we begin to give the people of our churches a positive outflow experience? What can you do? Communication is part of the process but a positive experience is needed.
Answer: plan a reverse outreach.
How? It's simple.
1. purchase some bottled water ( we have our own label)
2. put water in coolers
3. Have teams in the parking lot after the services hand out bottles of cold water with a smile
Tip: Our kindness to go geared to reach the people of the vineyard is the weekend before our Dayton Fourth of July BBQ and Water Everywhere Outreach.
During the plugs for the coming outreach we will hold up a bottle of water and announce the date and the time.
As people leave they will receive a bottle of water. Hopefully, they will become experienced, and will begin to realize that the coming outreach is easy, fun, and meets a need... thirst...
that's kindness to go in reverse