Outreach – April 2016

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Several months ago the congregation received information about the “One Degree Rule”, a simple concept that can help us see our need to grow, and then take practical steps to increase our passion to reach out. Because we forget, and because our outreach temperatures tend to burn out quickly, it is important to be reminded that each of us has an outreach temperature and there are steps we can take to keep it burning hot.

We can simply use a scale of 1 to 10 to help us identify where our outreach temperature is at. A ten represents a heart and life that are sizzling hot for reaching out to those who are far from Christ. A one represents a heart that is cold when it comes to reaching out with the love of Christ.

The good news is it doesn’t really matter what the starting number is. We can commit to raise that number by one degree. Each day it is important to ask ourselves:

  • What is my outreach temperature at this moment?
  • What can I do to raise my temperature one degree?

Practical tools we can use to increase our temperature are: Reading God’s word, praying for those God has placed in your life who are still unbelievers, spending time with those who are far from Christ, sharing how God is working in your life or in the lives of others, or asking someone to hold you accountable.

If we will become more attentive to this aspect of our Christian life and take action to increase our outreach temperature, we will consistently see it going up. The result will be more regular and passionate outreach, and we will be more receptive to the opportunities God provides for us to share the message of Jesus and the grace He offers.


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Outreach – March 2016

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Thank you to all of you who made the Team Trivia Night a successful event, either by inviting a guest or two, or by just coming out and having fun.  In all there were one hundred and eleven adults who attended the event, and thirty-three children in childcare. Of the one hundred and eleven people attending; we had thirty-six guests. Thirty-two people were guests of someone who goes to Rockford Reformed Church, and four people were from the community who came in response to an advertisement sent out through the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.  A BIG thank you also to Beth, Brian, and the youth for providing childcare, and also to those who utilized the childcare and gave a generous donation. Approximately $200.00 was donated to help fund youth mission trips and retreats this year.

EASTER SUNDAY: Did you know that unchurched people are more likely to respond to your invitation on Easter than at any other time of the year? Many of you will invite family over for dinner on Easter Sunday. Have you ever considered inviting company to your church on Easter Sunday? As Easter approaches please be thinking of the people in your life who do not have the hope of eternal life. If you will be attending the Easter Service at Rockford Reformed Church, we encourage you to extend an invitation to at least one person to worship with you. What’s the worst that could happen? They could say no, but that might say yes, and better yet that invitation may be the one thing that changes their life for eternity.


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Outreach – February 2016

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“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone telling them?” Romans 10:14

Did you know that 82% of unchurched people are somewhat likely to attend church if invited? Those are pretty great odds don’t you think? Unfortunately, only 2% of church going people ever invite someone to church in a given year. To make matters worse, 7 out of 10 unchurched people have NEVER been invited to church in their whole lives. (Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door)

Consider this: If we had 100 smiling faces in church on Sunday morning, only 2 of them would have invited a guest to visit with them.

Now consider this: If each of those 100 smiling faces in church on Sunday morning invited at least one person to visit church with them, we would see about 80 new smiling faces in our church on Sunday morning.

Outreach Question of the Month: Who has God placed in your life that needs an invitation to church?

Adult Team Trivia: Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to invite the unchurched people God has placed in your life! We have a fun and entertaining night of working together in teams to answer questions on a variety of topics! After they have had a great time, invite them to attend Sunday morning worship with you! Adult Team Trivia, led by MI Team Trivia, takes place on Friday, March 4 from 6:15-9:00pm in the RRC gym. Enter as a team of 5-8, or as a couple/individual to be placed on a team. Registration is easy! Register on line at rockfordrc.org/trivia-night or place your registration form in the box at the back of the sanctuary. REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FEB. 28!   Childcare provided by RRC youth. Donations for childcare will go toward funding youth mission trips and retreats.

Videos to amuse, inspire, and challenge you!


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Outreach – January 2016

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! 308 “Just Because Cards” were picked up by members of RRC. If all of the them were passed out, we shared the love of Jesus by doing 308 small acts of kindness in the month of December! We would like to encourage you to continue doing these small acts of kindness throughout the year. There will be “Just Because Cards” available on the desk at the back of the sanctuary and on the welcome table of the Lobby. Please pick up as many as you would like and bless the people of our community throughout 2016. In all, RRC blessed 780 people with a “Just Because Card” and either an RRC ink pen or a small act of kindness in 2015!

COMING SOON! SAVE THE DATE! Adult Team Trivia, led by MI Team Trivia, Friday, March 4, 6:15 – 9:00pm in the RRC gym. Registration begins Jan. 31! Start forming your teams of 5-8 today! Please watch for registration forms in your church mailbox and more information to follow. Got questions now? Ask Lisa DeBoer, Deb Coon, Sandy Glaza, Shirley Saenz or Miriam Carpenter.

Outreach Question of the Month: How much time, in a normal week, do you spend praying for people you know or love who do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus?

Taking Action:

  • Make a list of family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and neighbors who you care about who are not yet followers of Christ.
  • Put this list in a place where you will see it every day and be reminded to pray for these people.
  • Take a few moments each day to pray for the love of God to pour over these people, and for the Holy Spirit to touch their lives in ways that will open their hearts to God’s love and grace. Ask God to orchestrate opportunities for you to love and serve them.

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Outreach – December 2015

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Bless someone this Christmas with a small act of kindness:

The Outreach Influence Team is hoping that Rockford Reformed Church will overwhelm our community this Christmas season with 500 acts of kindness. On the table in the back of the sanctuary are 500 “Just Because Cards.” The cards include a brief note to brighten someone’s day, along with contact information and an invitation to worship with us. Please take as many as you want and hand them out with a small gift.

Ideas for blessing someone with a “Just Because Card”

  • Leave it with a personal note and a large tip for your server at a restaurant.
  • Give one to a cashier along with purchasing their favorite candy bar.
  • Give one to the person behind you in line at the grocery store along with some flowers.
  • Give one to the person ahead of you at Starbucks along with paying for their coffee.
  • Give one to a teller at the bank along with a small gift.
  • Leave one in your mailbox along with a small gift for the mail carrier.
  • Give one to someone at the dollar store along with a dollar or two.

Rockford Santa Parade small act of kindness:

On Saturday, December 5 Rockford Reformed Church was able to bless the children in our community at Rockford’s Santa Parade. Members of the Outreach Influence Team passed out approximately 900 bags for candy, along with a candy cane and a poem telling the story of Christ love for each us. The bag also included the message “Jesus loves you”,  along with our church’s name, address, and contact information.


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Outreach – November 2015

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Thank You to everyone who handed out gospel tracts with your candy this past Halloween. One thousand children received the gospel message while trick-or-treating in our community.

Reaching our Community with RRC’s Meal Train

For the past couple of months the Outreach Influence Team has been encouraging ministry teams to find ways to extend their ministry into the community. The RRC Meal Train is one such ministry that can be offered to our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members who do not have a church home. Please follow this process if you know of someone who does not have a church home and could really benefit from some meals.

  • Ask the person in need if they would like to receive meals from RRC. Also inquire about food allergies, likes and dislikes, and the preferred schedule for receiving meals.
  • Contact your Elder/Deacon team upon the consent of your friend/neighbor/family member or contact Laura Jolliffe in the church office directly.

Several things can happen through this process; bridges can be built, friendships forged, service offered, the love of Jesus Christ extended, and lives transformed.

Outreach Opportunities for You

North Kent Community Services is seeking individuals to serve on its various committees for 2016. “I am looking for people who have skills in media/public relations, finance, fund development, law, business, health & human services, construction, human resources, and marketing,” says Executive Director Claire Guisfredi. “It is not a huge time commitment. The committees meet once a month or every other month for an hour. If you want to give back to the community and don’t have a lot of time, this is a good way to get involved.” Check the website www.nkcs.org for a list of committee descriptions and to apply online by Friday, November 20

Outreach Questions of the Month

  • Who are you praying for who is not yet a follower of Jesus?
  • Who are you spending time with who needs to know God’s love and grace?
  • Who is someone you are hoping will come to church with you sometime in the future?

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Outreach – October 2015

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“Every follower of Jesus Christ has an outreach temperature. It can be hot, cold, or somewhere in the middle. This temperature impacts the way we live our life and interact with those who are far from God. It is our responsibility to steward this temperature and seek to increase it so that our hearts burn hotter for those who are spiritually lost. The One Degree Rule is the reality that all of us need to seek to increase our outreach temperature by one degree on a regular basis.” Kevin G. Harney, Organic Outreach for Churches.

The One Degree Rule is the outreach concept that the Outreach Influence Team is sharing with the ministry teams and the congregation during the month of October. We can use a scale of 1-10 to help us identify where our outreach temperature lies. A ten represents a heart that is sizzling hot. A one represents a heart that has cooled off or is cold. When we are at a ten, we are consistently praying for, and connecting with those who are spiritually lost, speaking of our faith, and naturally sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we are at a one, we are no longer praying for lost people, we are too busy to connect with those who are outside of our church family, and we do not feel much urgency to share our faith or communicate the gospel of Jesus.

This scale can be used to measure the outreach temperature of our church ministries also. When a ministry’s temperature is high, it is welcoming of those who are lost, it designs its programs to attract those who are not yet in a relationship with Jesus, there are consistently non-churched visitors attending, and many enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We know a ministry’s temperature is low or cooling off when it invest most of its energy in planning activities for those who are already part of God’s family, when the participants are content to just meet with other Christians for fun.

The value of the One Degree Rule is that it doesn’t matter what the starting number is. The purpose is to identify our outreach temperature and then commit to raise it one degree higher. If I am at a 4, I can take steps to raise my outreach temperature to a 5. A ministry area that is at a 6, can take steps to raise their outreach temperature to a 7. The key is to continually be turning our temperature up a bit higher. As our temperature increases, our effectiveness in outreach increases.

Kevin Harney suggests several ways to increase your temperature…read God’s word, pray for those God has placed in your life who are spiritually disconnected, make time to be with those who are far from Christ, share how God is working in your life or in the lives of others, ask someone to hold you accountable.

OUTREACH QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH:

What is your outreach temperature today?

What can you do to raise your temperature by one degree?


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Outreach – September 2015

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In an effort to begin reaching out in more ways to our community, the Outreach Influence Team has begun to meet with all the ministry teams in order to ask two very important questions: What are you currently doing well?, and How can you begin to look at ways to slightly turn your ministry out into the community?
 
We are looking at ways to…
  • THINK BIGGER – How can each program or ministry impact people in our community who are spiritually lost?
  • PROMOTE MORE WIDELY – How can we promote church activities and events in our community?
  • TAKE ACTION – How can we take steps to make sure that people from the community feel at home?
 
The real value for approaching outreach through slightly turning our programs outward, is that we are not starting new ministries, requiring more volunteers and resources. We are simply taking what we are already doing well and extending it into the community. Maybe you have an idea for a current ministry that could be easily shifted into the community. Please share it with an Outreach Influence Team member or any member on a ministry team.
 
Additionally, the Outreach Influence Team will also be sending out a monthly outreach concept and/or thought provoking question called the OUTREACH QUESTION OF THE MONTH. This question will be sent to every person who serves on a ministry team through email, and also to the entire congregation through a variety of sources… the Outreach section of the newsletter, on the RRC facebook page, postcards in your mailbox, etc. The purpose for this infusion is to continually keep outreach in the forefront of our minds, and at the top of every ministry agenda.
 
SEPTEMBER’S OUTREACH QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH:
  • How much time do you spend with people who are spiritually lost on a weekly basis?
  • What can you do to increase this amount of time?
 
Pray that God would increase your awareness of those around you who are spiritually lost and far from Christ and that He would give you opportunities to love and serve them.

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Outreach – August 2015

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“It is not enough for a church to rely on a few zealous evangelists hitting the streets. Every follower of Jesus is called to be salt and light. A vision for effective outreach must permeate your church board, children’s ministry, care ministry, youth group, worship music, preaching, custodial work, office team’s attitude – it should affect every ministry of your church. Organic outreach is a change in the culture of your entire church.”  – Kevin G. Harney, Organic Outreach for Churches

 

The current outreach team is getting a new name and a new purpose. We are currently transitioning into an Outreach Influence Team (OIT) with the purpose of building a culture of outreach at RRC. This team will:
  • Select an OIT member to join each RRC Ministry team in order to encourage each team to raise their outreach temperature through the asking of guiding questions.
    • Children’s Ministry – Deb Coon
    • Youth Ministry – Miriam Carpenter
    • Worship Ministry/Ushers/Greeters – Shirley Saenz
    • Property/Hospitality Ministry – Sandy Glaza
    • Missions Ministry – Kristen Van Stensel
    • Adult Ministry – (still open)
    • Consistory/Staff – Lisa DeBoer
  • Coordinate large all-church events, working through ministry teams and structures.
  • Equip team leaders to lead their ministry teams with evangelistic vision and action through the use of training videos, the Organic Outreach for Churches book, and additional outreach materials.
  • Encourage and assist ministry teams to look for ways to move their ministry a few degrees into the community.
The work of outreach starts with God who empowers us, inspires us, and commands us to participate in the Great Commission. God calls each one of us, young and old, men and women, introverts and extroverts, new believers and long-time Christ followers, to go and make disciples of all nations. The goal of the Outreach Influence Team will be realized when every person who belongs to RRC follows God’s command and begins to reach out naturally with the love and good news of Jesus Christ.

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Outreach – July 2015

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Photos from our first annual View From the Hill:
 
viewfromthehill-pic1  viewfromthehill-pic2  viewfromthehill-pic3

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