Tuesday, August 21, 2007


here are a couple of great emails concerning the backpack giveaway...

Hi Steve,

Brooke Hurt here. We did "Operation Backpack" this past Saturday at a local park. Since this was our first time doing this sorta of thing, we orderd 100 backpacks from a company and had our church members take them and fill with school supplies in which we put a list in the backpack for them. Well it was AWESOME!! I was totally overwhelmed at the response we had. We ending up giving away 85 backpacks that had been returned. We are definetly gonna INCREASE next year! You can go to Pastor's blog and check out pics and such.

So I just wanted you to know that I think people are starting to catch a little bit of fire as to what kindness can do for the Lord!

Our next outreach in September will be underwear and socks!! We cant wait!!

Thanks for all your ideas and blog! They are GREAT!



Hi Steve,
Just a brief note to thank you so much for the hard work you put into the Back Pack project for the benefit of the children in Trotwood-Madison. As I said Friday, some of these kids come from very poor homes and most of us can only imagine what it must be like to not have basic items to begin school. Your church certainly exemplifies what it means to bring "church to the people" instead of the other way around. Thank you again for your generosity and Christian love.

Rexann L. Wagner, Ph.D.
Assistant Superintendent
Trotwood-Madison City Schools

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Backpacks postscript

Friday we headed out to the Trootwood to film the teachers handing out backpacks to their kids. It was an exciting time. The Deputy Superintendent for Trottwood and Madision Schools thanked the Vineyard on film...It was a one take filming she hit all the marks and ques in less than 90 seconds (film coming soon) We then filmed the teachers gather their backpacks and head out to the housing areas to distribute the backpacks. It was electric...the teachers giving their kids the backpacks. One mom was moved to tears, another group of kids jumped up and down with excitement. Meeting a need...meets more than the physical need, it touches the heart.

We returned...very energized...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Church Health

how do you know when a church is healthy? are there indicators? are there signs that show health and growth?

Jesus often talked about faith and action. The book of James also talks about faith and action. It seems that those who sought to know God...this is the work...to believe in the Father and whom He sent...and to seek to make God known to others through caring service seems to point to personal growth and health.

Those who are in the process of becoming gracious givers instead of grasping receivers seem to point to personal growth and health. Freely you have received freely give...Jesus. The giving Jesus was talking about was to give forgiveness, love, genuine care, time, and material goods. When a large percentage of a church continues to reach out beyond themselves it is a sure sign of health.

During the last two months over 400 Vineyard people decided to put faith into action through participating in our City Care initiatives. They are learning that as they are giving to others, somehow they are refreshed in return. They are learning the principle of sowing and reaping... actions combined with an active faith= personal growth.

Back Packs an indication of health...

This year our backpack mound was off the chart...more people participated than expected and more people were generous beyond the norm. As the packs came in I noticed healthy attitudes, smiles, and a willingness to invest in the education of kids they knew not. Most included their families in the project as they packed and brought the backpacks to the Vineyard. It was exciting to see kids wearing the backpacks and then being challenged to throw the backpack on the pile.

Health can be measured by how many people are actively turning outward by practically serving others. Othercenteredness is a key to personal growth. Giving, caring, loving are active words that should move us beyond ourselves toward faith in action. Want to have a healthy life, or a healthy church? Then seek to motivate people toward a great Cause. A Commitment to a worthy Cause Creates a healthy Community...Cause Creates Community.