Thursday, May 31, 2007

CARE ~ ArkALMIGHTY ... Hollywood to the Rescue?

Note from Phil >>> You gotta take a look at this ...

ArkALMIGHTY is a good deeds program that matches up the needs in your congregation with the talents and skills of the members of your church. Gathering the needs of your attendees, these requests are compiled on a Craigslist-type website administered by your church. Then, the members of your church can easily search through the needs and find ways they can help.

Maybe there’s a single mom in your midst who doesn’t know how to teach her son to throw a baseball, or an elderly person who needs a ride to the doctor, or a young couple who would love advice on saving for a home. Maybe there’s a college student who could use help moving into her first apartment, or a widow that could use a helping hand washing her windows, or a recently laid-off worker who could use help polishing up his resume. There are countless needs out there that, up until now, have had no way to be met. But now they do, thanks to ArkALMIGHTY.

The ArkALMIGHTY.com website is designed to enable youth groups and churches to easily get involved in practical and tangible volunteer outreach. Can you balance a checkbook? Can you hang a picture frame? Can you throw a spiral? You might not think of these everyday activities as volunteering, but for the people around you who can’t do them, your ability and your willingness to help is exactly what they need. You’d be amazed how a simple act of kindness can change lives.

•Become part of the Mission America Coalition ~ Visit: http://www.MissionAmerica.org

Friday, May 25, 2007

Coaching ~ Anyone "Learning" Anytihng?



Taking Learning to Task:

Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults


Jane Vella

Jossey-Bass, 2001, 151 pp., ISBN 0-7879-5277-3


Jane Vella is adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina, the CEO of Global Learning Partners, and the author of several books on interactive adult learning, including the popular and fascinating Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.

The method of teaching is "learning centered," in distinction to teacher centered or student centered. The book is focused on "learning tasks." It demonstrates seven steps to planning learning-centered courses, four types of learning tasks, and a checklist of principles and practices.

"A learning task is a way to structure dialogue. It is an open question put to members of a small group, who have been given all the resource3s they need to respond. A learning task is a way of ensuring engagement of learners with the new content." (xiii)

Most teachers structure their monologue rather than invite dialogue. (xiii)

In this model, teaching and learning are integrated and the learning task is the overall design, incorporating the lecture or input along with practice. (xiv)

Learning-centered teaching "considers adult learners as subjects or decision makers in their own learning." (xvi)

Four Assumptions:

1. Learners arrive with the capacity to do the work involved in learning.

2. Learners learn when they are actively engaged with the content.

3. New content can be presented through a learning task.

4. Learning tasks promote accountability. (7)

"In a closed question the teacher knows the answers." "A learning task is an open question…. The open question…is the heart of the matter, inviting critical thinking, demanding reflection, stimulating creativity." (9) The student's honest response gives the teacher valuable data about the learning so far. (9)

The "resources" students need to answer the open questions are made up of the new content (ideas, feelings, and skills). We begin either inductively (examining the life, history, and context of the learner) or deductively (examining the latest content). (10)

"A good teacher does not teach all that he knows. He teaches all that the learners need to know at the time…." (11).

"Learning tasks engage learners in a dialogue about the content…." (18)

"The Seven Steps of Planning:

1. Who: participants, leaders, the number of participants

2. Why: the situation that calls for this educational program

3. When: the time frame

4. Where: the site

5. What: the content: skills, knowledge, attitudes

6. What for: achievement-based objectives

7. How: learning tasks and materials" (23-4)

"The who (participants) component controls everything. It controls what time frame is useful for this group, what objectives will work, what learning tasks are designed." "Fitting the how to the who, the learning tasks to the participants, is vital in designing effective programs." (30)

As a rule of thumb you need at least one learning task for each piece of content, perhaps nine tasks, including setting the stage and completing the session, in a 6-hour time frame. (30)

Effective design needs four components, usually in the following sequence:

1. Inductive work - connecting learners with what they already know

2. Input - a learning task that invites them to examine new input (concepts skills, or attitudes)

3. Implementation - a learning task that gets learners to do something directly with the new content

4. Integration - a learning task that integrates this new learning into their lives. (33)

LEARNING is what happens in the achievement-based objective.

TRANSFER is using the concept, skill or attitude in another setting.

IMPACT is the change in the organization as a result. (36)

An inductive task helps the learner clarify where he is, what she knows. It begins with an open-ended question about the life and experience of the learner. It sets the stage for learning by sharpening the perception of the learner. Sometimes it is used as a warm-up. The learner's perception is the substance of the task. (38-40)

An input task invites the leaner to grapple directly with new content. New content is presented and the learner is asked to something with it in order to learn it. "Presenting new content is done within the framework of a learning task." (40-41)

Knowledge is more than cognition. (42) The knowledge must be shaped so that it has meaning in one's own context. (43)

An implementation task invites the learner to use the new knowledge/skill/attitude in the learning environment immediately, to practice it and to provide feedback on the learner's understanding. Consider one implementation learning task for each input learning task. (44-5)

In an integration task, learners are invited to apply what they have learned to their life and work, either by imagining what the learning will accomplish in their workplace or to accomplish a task after the course. (46)

Verbs are important. Specific is better. Learn is too big. Productive verbs such as design, edit, decide, select, write, distinguish, organize, demand considered action. Discuss leads to no result. Avoid it. (52) Page 53 lists a table of verbs to achieve learning cognitive, affective and psychomotor responses. "Achievement based objectives must "sparkle with specificity." (56)

"A learning task engages learners in action and reflection. The design … must challenge learners cognitively and emotionally--and often challenge them to complete some psychomotor activity." (59)

"A learning task invites dialogue between learner and teacher and among learners as well..." (60)

Achievement-based objectives are quantifiable and verifiable. They begin with verbs that indicate what the learner will do with what is being learned. For example, by the end of the day, the participants will have reviewed…, distinguished…, practiced…, identified…, examined…, used…, etc. (62)

In the first or second learning task, the participants will tell their own persona expectations, what they hope to do or learn, perhaps write them on Post-it notes. (64)

Designing learning tasks is difficult work. We all face the constant temptation to 'teach'--to tell what we know. (111)

· "Three elements are essential for effective learning: ideas, actions, and feelings." (119)

Appendix C is a very useful technical guide for designing and using learning tasks===>Click headline for more of the review . . .

David

David Mays

DavidMays@efmamissions.org

Helping leaders fulfill their roles in the Great Commission


Become part of the Mission America Coalition ~ Visit: http://www.MissionAmerica.org

Monday, May 21, 2007

Coaching ~ Communication Matters

The Seven Worst Communication Habits for Church Staff

I recently ran across a secular leadership article by Jamie Walters titled "The Seven Worst Communication Habits." According to Jamie, "The big seven worst habits of communication are bad enough when they happen occasionally. They become "big and bad" when they’re practiced habitually. And they do, ultimately, exact a cost, whether it be in miscommunications, lost projects, lowered productivity, missed opportunities, or poor relationships." As I was reading, I began to think that these are the same bad communication habits that creep into church staff life and relationships…

Here are the top seven. How many might have caused a problem for you in the past week?

1. Contacting others only when you need something.
Is there someone in your life that you hear from only when they need something? Are you like me and find that annoying? Jamie says that this type of person "routinely surfaces when they're job hunting, when they've got a problem, when they need a reference, and when they want ideas from you." When they don't need anything, they don't call you. As a matter of fact, this person might not even return your calls or emails when you try to contact them.

QUESTION: Do you as a church leader only contact people when you need them to do something for you or the church? If so, you run the risk of making people feel 'used'.

FIX: If you feel guilty of this communication habit, make a list of people that come to mind and make contact with them this week. Ask for nothing; just touch base. They'll appreciate the contact!

2. Not following up, or closing the loop.
Ever given a gift and not received a thank you? Has someone promised to let you know the outcome of a certain meeting or conversation, but you never heard back from them? This type of person simply is not closing the loop or following up with you. This is a vitally important communication skill.

QUESTION: Is there anyone in your ministry that you recently promised to get back with or follow-up with that you haven't?

FIX: Contact that person this week and close the loop. They'll love the fact that you did follow-up.

3. Not returning telephone calls or email messages.
How frustrated do you get when you're trying to get ahold of someone and they simply don't return your call or email? Actually, this is a pretty common occurance, but it still is a very bad communication practice. It should be your goal to quickly acknowledge and return each phone call, email and note that you receive. (This is an especially hard one for me... this morning, I have almost fifty emails that I need to respond to (some from the middle of last week! (GUILTY!) It's hard not to fall behind!)

QUESTION: What pink telephone message slip do you still have on your desk? What emails have been sitting in your 'inbox' waiting to be replied to?

FIX: Take a few moments and clear your desk and your in-box. Your quick response will help you gain credibility in your communication.

Well, how are you doing? And how will you do on the next four 'worst communication habits'? There's only one way to find out...

Have a great week!
Todd A. Rhoades
Todd A. Rhoades
Editor / Publisher - MondayMorningInsight.com

PS -- This week, I'll be at the Externally Focused Conference at LifeBridge Church in Longmont, CO. If you're there, but sure to find me and say hi.



Become part of the Mission America Coalition ~ Visit: http://www.MissionAmerica.org

Friday, May 18, 2007

Coaching ~ Questions are Better than Answers


Leading with Questions:

How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask

Michael Marquardt

Jossey-Bass, 2005, 216 pp., ISBN 0-7879-7746-2


Michael Marquardt is an educator, consultant, and professor at George Washington University. He is also the director of the Global Institute for Action Learning. Powerful questions can take a leader and his team much further than top-down answers, direction, and control. Learning to ask good questions and to make a practice of it is the subject of this book.

Marquardt helps us become stronger leaders by learning how to question effective, listen effectively, and create a natural climate for questioning. (3) “Good leaders…ask many questions. Great leaders ask the great questions.” (7)

He deals with benefits, asking the right questions, developing the art of questioning, developing a questioning culture, and using questions in managing, coaching, teams, shaping strategy, and enabling change. The book is characterized by many examples from the literature, a long list of benefits scattered throughout, a number of excellent example questions, and considerable repetition and redundancy (but I repeat myself).

Benefits of questions. Questions

· Wake people up.

· Help us admit we don’t know all the answers

· Help us become more confident communicators (2)

· Encourage people to solve their own problems. (12)

· Aid and encourage learning (13, 29,

· Lead to mutually satisfying objectives, empowerment, less resistance, and a wilingness to pursue innovative change. (19)

· Create a culture of “we.” (28)

· Foster curiosity (31)

· Improve decision making and problem solving (32)

· Help find the truth more easily (32)

· Energize people (35)

· Build people’s confidence and self-esteem (36)

· Move people from dependence to independence (36)

· Help a group recognize and reorganize their collective knowledge. (37)

· Enable leaders to develop closer relationships among people. (38)

· Demonstrate the questioner’s empathy and care (38)

· Encourage reflection. (40)

· Help people develop themselves (41)

· Create energy and vitality in a group by triggering the need to listen, to seek a common truth, to justify opinions and viewpoints (141)

“When the people around us clamor for fast answers—sometimes any answer—we need to be able to resist the impulse to provide solutions and learn instead to ask questions.” (11)===>Click headline for complete article . . .

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Coaching ~ Why the best leaders are servants

In Praise of Selflessness

Why the best leaders are servants.
By: Leigh Buchanan

Who are you doing it for? Asked that question, many entrepreneurs would answer, "me." There's nothing wrong with that. Plenty of great companies were built by people for whom CEO is an imperfect acronym for "He who must be obeyed."

Servant leaders, by contrast, put their people and their organizations before themselves. They don't view employees as a means to an end; rather employees' happiness and satisfaction is the end. A former AT&T (NYSE:T) executive named Robert Greenleaf introduced the concept in 1970 (although the authors of the New Testament had laid the foundation a bit earlier). In the movement's argot, servant leaders "wash others' feet." Some of the most successful entrepreneurial companies--including Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) --are servant led, buoyed by the contributions of trusted, respected employees. ===>Click headline to access complete article . . .



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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Coaching ~ What Coaches Do

_
Coaches help us get better at what we already do.


All of us need guidance and motivation at different times in our lives: someone to 'coach' us into the corporate equivalent of swimming those extra laps or helping us make those crucial adjustments to our golf swing.

Good coaching is unbiased, objective support that sees and identifies the qualities and abilities in other people and helps develop them; it sees and identifies which hurdles are hard to get over and finds ways to get over them or circumvent them when appropriate. Good coaching comes from someone on the sidelines who has their 'mentee's' best interests as a priority.

A coach or mentor is a guide; an advisor; loyal, interested, trusted and most importantly, experienced in areas that others may not be.

This person can be someone senior or on an equal footing, but who helps steer their colleagues' careers through both the good and the difficult times. They provide motivation and inspiration and help find ways to deal with immediate difficulties as well as helping plan a long-term career strategy.

Copyright © 2003 Impact Factory. All rights reserved.===>Click headline to access complete article and archives . . .


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Friday, May 11, 2007

Unity - A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity

Seems we still have a ways to go . . .

book cover

What is the state of racial reconciliation in evangelical churches today? Are we truly united?

In Reconciliation Blues journalist Edward Gilbreath gives an insightful, honest picture of both the history and the present state of racial reconciliation in evangelical churches. He looks at a wide range of figures, such as Howard O. Jones, Tom Skinner, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson and John Perkins.

Charting progress as well as setbacks, his words offer encouragement for black evangelicals feeling alone, clarity for white evangelicals who want to understand more deeply, and fresh vision for all who want to move forward toward Christ's prayer "that all of them may be one."===>Click headline to access information on the book . . .


•Become part of the Mission America Coalition ~ Visit: http://www.MissionAmerica.org

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Coaching ~ The Coach A Leader


See more book notes at www.davidmays.org

SanYoud 07-03-023

YOU DON’T NEED A TITLE TO BE A LEADER

Mark Sanborn

Doubleday, 2006, 102 pp., ISBN 0-385-51747-5


Sanborn is a motivational speaker and the president of Sanborn Associates, an idea studio for leadership development. He uses simple stories to illustrate fundamental motivational principles and business truths. Being easy to read makes the book no less useful.

“You don’t need a title to be a leader in life. And the simple fact of having a title won’t make you a leader. …everyone has the opportunity to lead, every day.”

Leadership is positive influence. (Introduction)

Characteristics of leaders. Leaders:

· “Believe they can positively shape their lives and careers.

· Lead through their relationships with people, as opposed to their control over people.

· Collaborate rather than control.

· Persuade others to contribute, rather than order them to.

· Get others to follow them out of respect and commitment rather than fear and compliance.” (Introduction)

“The bottom line is, influence and inspiration come from the person, not the position.” (7) “The desire to influence the world around us is what real leadership is all about.” (11)

“…fame is based on what we get in life, but true greatness is based on what we give in life. It is contribution through action.” (14)

“Genuine leaders make things better not just for themselves but for others, whether or not their contribution results in financial reward or popular recognition.” (16)

ROI = Relationships, Outcomes, and Improvements (18)

All leadership begins with self-mastery. “You can’t lead others until you can first lead yourself.” [I wish that could be stated differently. I can’t help but see in my mind a dog leading himself by chasing his tail, a rather counterproductive image. dlm] “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Gandhi) (28)

“We must constantly refresh ourselves by gathering new information and thinking critically about the information we receive.” “Great leaders tend to be great thinkers.” (32)

“One of the quickest ways to burn out is to stop doing what you enjoy. The more successful you are, the greater the risk that you’ll move into a position that will take you away from doing those things you’re really good at doing and really like to do.” (34)

“Reading outside your area of expertise, or outside your comfort zone, can stimulate your thinking.” ‘Occasionally read different publications or take a ‘field trip’ to visit businesses you’ve never been to before.” (38) “Record your insights.” (39)

“The biggest difference between people who manage others, versus people who lead others, is how they develop those under them….” (50) “Leadership is power with people, not over people.” (51) “I’ve found that those who aspire to lead (or lead better) learn to build people up, encourage them, and make them into heroes.” (52)

“To get others to follow you requires character, competence, connection – what I call the 3 Cs.” (53

“Most attempts to motivate others are based on assumptions. Managers think they know what motivates another person. But they rarely do the work of finding out if their assumptions are true.” (56)

“You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.” (58, quoting Harvey Firestone)

“To act like a leader, celebrate the success of those around and under you as if it were your own. Express your appreciation regularly.” (59)

“Communicating isn’t the objective…. The objective is understanding.” (61)

“When people know you are interested in their best interests, and in helping them meet their needs, they will trust you. It’s human nature. And that genuine interest in helping others and making a positive difference is the essence of leadership.” (64)

“One of the biggest obstacles to effective communication is discounting another’s point of view.” (68)

“Intent without action is daydreaming. People who act as leaders couple their beliefs to their behavior. They get results.” (71)

“Big plans can be derailed by tiny details. Break big tasks into smaller ‘to do’s. A great way to create momentum is by completing as many little things as quickly as possible. You will begin to see noticeable progress toward your ultimate goal. To create an effective plan, ask:]

What needs to be done?

Why are we doing this?

Who is responsible for each task?

When will things happen?

Fill those four buckets with the necessary details to create a comprehensive and practical plan.” (75-6)

“People who act as leaders, whether they have a title or not, in some measure serve as merchants of hope.” “They have the ability to focus on what’s right and on overcoming what’s wrong.” (98)

David

David Mays

DavidMays@efmamissions.org
www.efmamissions.org
www.davidmays.org

Helping leaders fulfill their roles in the Great Commission


Use "Search-This-Blog" to find postings on: Prayer or Care or Share or Coaching ...

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Outward Focusing Your Congregation

How to mobilize your whole church for missions
by Skip Lanfried


What we have seen is that when we get one person in a small group excited, they begin to move the entire small group along on a journey. ... Over time we’ve seen entire small groups mobilized through the excitement of one person.”

Skip Lanfried, pastor of North American P.E.A.C.E. at Saddleback Church

A few years ago we at Saddleback Church began working on a concept called P.E.A.C.E. – a church-to-church mission strategy that empowers and equips church small groups to combat the world's biggest problems: spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic diseases, and illiteracy.

The big idea of P.E.A.C.E. is mobilizing every church member to personally embrace the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. That’s a pretty challenging concept. And we want to see it happen not just at Saddleback, but in every church all over the world. To reach that goal, we know that we have to do missions differently – because traditional missions strategy has failed to mobilize entire congregations.===>Click headline to access entire article...



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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Coaching ~ Defining a Collaborative Partnership

Evaluation form pictureYou have become involved in a collaborative effort.

You clarified a sense of shared vision. Leadership emerged to unite partners around that vision. Partners defined resources. Prayer surrounded the beginning of ministry. You are doing it!




This paper will help you find ways to evaluate what God has done in your efforts and how you have worked together, to celebrate partnership accomplishments and to terminate mission partnerships appropriately when the time is right.

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PRAYER ~ Macro-Collaboration

Prayer-filled church sees solid results

By Lavinia Ngatoko in Challenge Weekly, New Zealand
Special to ASSIST News Service

TAUMARAUNUI, NZ (ANS) -- A Taumarunui pastor believes a church can have all the programmes in the world but if it is not backed by solid prayer, then it is going to be "real hard work and people will burn out."

Bob Sinclair

Bob Sinclair, senior pastor of the Taumarunui Baptist Church in the central North Island, says community transformation also comes through "consistent, long-haul, never giving up, believing prayer".

Over the past few years, he says, there has been considerable change for the good in Taumarunui and concerted prayer by all the churches in the town has resulted in crime reduction in the region.

"Our crime rate continues to decrease," he says. For instance one particular street, renowned for violence and family conflict, had a real heaviness about it.

The church's prayer teams started praying both from the church and on location. They also held a number of fun events in the area and over time there has been a considerable change in the street.

"We have always tried to be a praying church and 18 months ago we set up a prayer house as part of it. This then shifted to the main business area and is now interdenominational."

The house is open for 18 hours a day, seven days a week, with people from each church in the town participating.

"We sïgn up during the Sunday service. A clipboard is handed around and you then receive a note early in the week confirming your prayer times," says Mr Sinclair.

People can also sign up for the early hours of the morning and although it is harder to get up at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning to pray, Mr Sinclair points out that these hours are significant in prayer.

The church, which started off with eight to 10 believers before it was constituted as a church in the Baptist Union in 1974 with some 30 members, now has between 140 and 170 people attending its Sunday services.

Backed by prayer, church members are actively involved in their community through a variety of outreach events.

"We believe we are to pastor not just a church congregation but the whole community," says Mr Sinclair.

"As a church we try and keep the good name of the Lord ever before our community."

At its youth service on Wednesday nights, more than half of the 80 to 130 youngsters who attend are from non-churched families.

Every second Friday evening 50 to 80 children aged 8 to 10 regularly attend a junior service. A bus is available for those who need transport.

During summer the church often hosts free barbecues at different parks for young people and runs radio advertisements or mail drops to inform everyone where the event is. Children are given flyers to take home to their parents.

"There are often little opportunities to share the Gospel with the kids at the outreaches. This doesn't happen in a formal sense. It sort of occurs naturally as we keep our eyes open for the opportunities."

Mr Sinclair, with the help of others in the church leads a service at Avolea rest-home on the first Sunday of each month.

A few years ago the rest-home was struggling for money and the whole community, including Taumarunui Baptist, got in behind it, managing to raise $200,000 in three years.

"Its a great blessing to be able to minister to our older people in the community," says Mr Sinclair.

A committed team of men and women also run Mainly Music once a week for parents and preschool children to interact to music and song.

"Mainly Music is a ripper. We have about 30 parents and 45 kids attending and the place is abuzz on a Thursday mornings. We are also about to start a Kids Wise parenting course with some of the parents from the programme, 80 per cent of whom will be unchurched."

The church is also mission-focused and has a team of 15, including adults and young people, in the Philippines, ministering at a youth camp and helping in a number of rural churches for three weeks.

"These people will come back changed for the better, with a far wider worldview and God view."

The church's youth pastor and his wife have taken a team every second year for the past six or seven years. About 30 church members attend the Fire School twice a week, where there is a strong emphasis on missions teaching and training.


Lavinia Ngatoko reports for Challenge Weekly, New Zealand's independent and non-denominational Christian newspaper

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.
Send this story to a friend.

ASSIST News Service is brought to you in part by Gospel for Asia. GFA's Bridge of Hope program is designed to rescue thousands of children in Asia from a life of poverty and hopelessness by giving them an education and introducing them to the love of Christ. For only $28 a month, you can cover the cost of one child's tuition, books, uniforms, one or two meals a day and a yearly medical checkup-and your child, his family and community will hear the Gospel as a result. To learn more about Gospel for Asia's Bridge of Hope program, visit our website at www.gfa.org/child or call 1-800-WIN-ASIA (United States) or 1-888-WIN-ASIA (Canada).

ASSIST News Service is Sponsored By



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Saturday, May 05, 2007

CARE ~ "Cancel" Church & Go Fishing

Thousands at Megachurch Take a Sunday Off from Church to Reach Out to Their Community…

imageThe seats at North Coast Church in Vista will be empty the weekend of April 29, but members won't exactly have the day off. The church, which attracts about 6,500 people on weekends, is planning the largest community-service event in its history, with participants painting, landscaping, washing and rolling up their sleeves for various jobs at 54 sites throughout North County on April 28 and 29===>Click headline to access article .


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CARE ~ Giving $100 to Every Family for Them to Give Away

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net -- E-mail: danjuma1@aol.com


What you can do with $100
By John McNeil of Challenge Weekly, New Zealand, Special to ASSIST News Service

CHIRSTCHURCH, NZ (ANS) -- Helping families in crisis, providing Easter packs to the hospital cancer ward, providing books for the Paparua Prison library and a women's pamper event are some of the ways families at Christchurch's City Apostolic church are using money they were given last year to develop new approaches to community ministry.

Every family in the congregation was given a $100 note and instructions to use the money to do good.

Simon Martin

Operations manager Simon Martin says they started Project U because the church was not doing a great deal apart from a few flagship ministries.

"We didn't want people to be just doing a little bit now and again. We wanted people to take on a lifestyle of evangelism, to see opportunities around them wherever they are."

When the packs were given out without warning last October, Mr Martin says jaws dropped around he auditorium.

"Since then, I've been really encouraged to hear how people have taken up the responsibility. As the months unfolded, people started to get a grasp on the idea that it was down to them, and it was simple and straightforward. It wasn't about the money - that was just a catalyst.

"It's about earning respect and the right to speak to people. So many people's eyes are down, and they don't believe anybody cares for them. They don't believe anything can go right in their lives.

"In Project U we are seeing again and again eyes being lifted, that somebody does love them, that somebody does want the best for them. As soon as those eyes are open, the potential is tremendous."

One of the first projects out of the blocks was the idea of Miriam Crothall, who has spent much of her life in Christchurch Hospital's children's and cancer wards. She and a friend made up gift boxes for Christmas and later Easter, which they took to children in the wards.

"I spent so much of my time in hospital, and I thought 'they need someone to go in there who knows what it's like'," she says. "I went in there a bit shy, but the smile on their faces - wow!

"I don't want to talk to just the kids, but maybe eventually get the parents to church, to know there's a friend who can be there for them."

Similar ideas were developed by a LifeWorks coach, who gave gift parcels to students in desperate situations; and a woman who provided pamper parcels to young Filipina women who have come to Christchurch for nursing training.

Several mercy helps are among the stories being told by church members.

A woman who works as a counselor arranged for assistance to help a woman and her three children who were burgled while out of town. The family was particularly devastated by the loss of three bicycles which the mother had saved sacrificially for and had only just presented to her children as joint birthday presents. The counselor arranged for several church families to pool their Project U money to provide help.

Apostolic pastor Sheridyn Rodgers and his wife Jan used their $100 to help a family they met through their children's school, who had to make an emergency trip to Auckland's Starship Hospital with a child suffering a life-threatening illness.

A "She" women's expo is the largest single project so far resulting from Project U. Several families pooled their money to run a pamper event for women in the community.

Nail and hair treatments were among the evening's offering, and a local fashion store sponsored a "What Not to Wear" fashion parade.

Mrs Rodgers says it was pleasing that the majority of the women were not from the church. Some came through contact with a woman's refuge, and some through contacts made in the church's regular Friday night ministry to street sex workers.

"It was very obvious they had not experienced something like this much before," she says.

Encouraging as the initial projects have been, Mr Martin says he is hoping to see more long-term projects.

"One of the things I am still looking for is a big project within our community, like a school or community centre that needs perhaps gardening or redecorating, that we can go into as a whole church.

"The stories we've heard so far have been an encouragement for people to start thinking who had not done anything yet. Some of these are probably waiting to formulate longer-standing, recurrent projects.

"But I appreciate that it's a first attempt for our congregation; they're just getting a taste of it."


John McNeil, a veteran of 40 years of newspaper and radio journalism, is South Island editor for Challenge Weekly, New Zealand's non-denominational, independent national Christian newspaper.

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SHARE ~ 7 Incorrect Ideas About Evangelism

Wrong-headed ideas about evangelism



Doug MurrenI have heard some pretty preposterous statements about evangelism over the years. As an evangelist myself I have had to face off with some obstacles to reaching wounded people by many, if not most congregations. Here are a few of the most wrong-headed statements I picked up about evangelism.

1. It is a dramatic event for everyone.

Actually most people go through many stages before they find faith. This is why servant evangelism is so effective. It meets most people at the early stages of their faith consideration and opens the door for subsequent stages toward confession. Churches who sow seeds of joy, kindness and insight will start the process that the Holy Spirit is more than capable of completing.

2. Evangelism is the work of the few.

Actually we are all directed to do the work of evangelism. Evangelists or the gifted few are simply signs that the work is worth it and doable. Evangelists really should be those who model doing the outreach thing rather than the only ones doing it. Evangelists are catalysts of evangelism not the possessors of the task.

3. Evangelism is about persuasion

Evangelism is about===>Click headline to access complete article . . .


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Friday, May 04, 2007

LC2C City Prayer Leader Responsibilities

LC2C Prayer Leader Responsibilities

The long and short of it is pretty simple...there are two specific areas where we interact on the national level for LC2C, then some suggested duties for the local level that are up to you and your LC2C Leader(s).
1) There is a monthly phone call of the LC2C prayer leaders of the pilot cities that takes place on the MORNING of the first Thursday of the month at 11 am Eastern time. There are 9 pilot cities so it is an intimate call in that usually there are 6 or so of us on it and we get plenty of share and prayer time with one another.

( There is a Mission America Intercessors call on the First Thursday in the EVENING, at 9 pm Eastern time. Again, this is an optional call, but one you would probably enjoy and gain information on Mission America to increase your understanding of the organization that oversees LC2C).

My initial hope for the LC2C Prayer Leaders conference call was to have a setting that would encourage & assist those who are new to city reaching prayer, help with any questions and problems they might encounter in bringing unified prayer in their city. And lastly, a place where we can undergird one another in prayer and one another's cities through prayer. We have some veterans on the call, one with 20+ years experience, so that is a huge resource for any of us to tap into as well.

Also, I saw us in the networking together in prayer through the 9 pilot cities casting a prayer net over our nation by coming together to pray with and for one another and each other's cities. This is a huge spiritual plus, I believe, and hope that others catch the vision and possibilities of it. There will be other LC2C cities coming on board later in 2007, so this "net-work" will grow and it's abilities to influence through prayer will grow...which I find exciting, amen?

I would like the LC2C Prayer Leaders to so "bond" with one another that we would have meeting times together during the national meetings like the annual CIR , when we are in attendance with our own LC2C teams. There is also the upcoming annual Mission America meeting October 9-11, 2007 in Kansas City...so I am hoping we might plan on being there together as the LC2C teams gather. Pray about coming with your LC2C Leader. This would increase your understanding of LC2C and Mission America, and give us this opportunity to connect and pray together in person in a meeting time just for the LC2C Prayer Leaders.
2) The other "national" responsibility for you in being the LC2C Prayer Leader for your city is on an ongoing basis is written prayer requests for your LC2C team and city reaching that will be published monthly via email to all the pilot cities for prayer in the LC2C Prayer Alert! I will forward to you an example for you to look over.

Each month, I need this list of prayer requests for your LC2C team by the end of the month in order to publish the first week of the following month.

Through this LC2C Prayer Alert, the prayer leaders like yourself, their local prayer teams and the LC2C leaders and coaches can pray for one another on specific requests. It again shows us the variety of what God is doing through LC2C and enhances the prayer coverage from local to national levels. I also send it out to the Mission America intercessors who are located all across the nation, so it is a powerful prayer tool for you to access.

3) This last item for you has some room for interpretation and is up to you and your LC2C Leader.
We would like each LC2C city to develop an LC2C Prayer Team in their city(s) using local intercessors to pray for:
a. their LC2C Team (Leader, assistant leader, pastors of the city, etc.)
b. for the development and implementation of that team's strategy and "care/share" outreaches
c. your city's LC2C Coach and the Mission America leaders for LC2C
d. for the LC2C Prayer Alert from my office that has the other Pilot Cities requests listed each month.

I would suggest you have your local LC2C prayer team meet on a regular basis, at least monthly, and this may already be happening in some way with the LC2C Leader Team, but without your intercessors present. It would be powerful if you can find a way to include the intercessors, or have a separate prayer time for them.

You might want to consider opting for one prayer meeting a month where you are in the same location to pray - rotating between the 3 cities the location, and use a conference call for prayer another time in the month. Here is the service we use --which is free: www.freeconferencecall.com

If it would be helpful, I would gladly fly out to help jump start your team at an initial meeting and cast a vision for what you are doing and how that folds into the national vision of a network of prayer for LC2C.
I look forward to working with you and seeing all the Lord has for your region.

God Bless, Pat
cell # 214-536-1011
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pat Allen
Corporate Prayer Resource
17300 N. Dallas Parkway # 2040
Dallas, TX 75248
972-381-1471
In partnership with Mission America Coalition


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