Outreach – June 2015

outreach-ministry

Have you ever wondered why God draws people to a particular church? Have you ever asked yourself why God would draw people to RRC? Have you ever been apprehensive about inviting a friend or neighbor to church? Has it ever crossed your mind that God might actually keep people from attending a particular church, even Rockford Reformed Church?

The Outreach team has been studying the book Organic Outreach for Churches by Kevin Harney. During the last two meetings we have been discussing and contemplating these very important questions and how they relate to each of us personally and to Rockford Reformed as a church.

Matt. 22:37-40  To those who asked him what matters most to God, Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Loving God and loving others are the two big hooks on which everything hangs. When we think of outreach, love must be the foundation and our motivating factor. Jesus made it clear that love is our starting point for everything. “If we fail to love God, he will not draw people to our congregation. When we love God passionately, he will entrust people to our congregation so we can lavish them with His love and grace.” (Kevin G. Harney, Organic Outreach for Churches)

As a church we need to seriously ask ourselves: Does our heart, as a church, beat with the love and compassion of the living God? Can people see our compassion? Can they feel it? Are we fulfilling God’s call to lavish him, each other, and our neighbors with love?

SATURDAY, JUNE 13 we have the opportunity to invite our friends and neighbors to watch the fireworks from the hill at RRC. This is a non-threatening way for our church family to show the love we have for God and for His people. Please say a prayer and invite your friends! We hope to see you there!

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU: We have a great opportunity for the person or persons who has the gift of video-taping and editing. Our hope is to video-tape testimonies of God’s goodness and grace in the lives of our church family so that we can use them to encourage and inspire people within RRC and those outside our doors. Please email Lisa DeBoer at ladinteriors@hotmail.com or call 616-560-6220 if God is calling you to be part of this exciting opportunity.


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Outreach – May 2015

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Saturday, June 13: Summer Celebration Fireworks – View From The Hill. You are invited to enjoy the Start of Summer Celebration fireworks from the hill at Rockford Reformed Church. Free popcorn, refreshments, and children’s activities provided. Please bring a chair or a blanket, your family and friends, and enjoy the beauty of the fireworks from a top the hill at Rockford Reformed Church. Hope to see you there!

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Outreach – April 2015

outreach-ministry
The Outreach Team has begun to study the principles outlined in the books Organic Outreach For Churches and Organic Outreach For Ordinary People, both by Kevin G. Harney. Over the next several months we will be examining and dissecting the ideas presented in these books, hoping to utilize many of the concepts to transform lives in our very own community.
 
You might ask – what is organic outreach? Organic outreach is simply a way of sharing our faith in a way that is authentic and real, and feels natural to the people around us. It is loving people, serving in our community, building authentic friendships with those who are far from God, modeling Christ’s grace, and telling stories of Christ’s transforming power in our lives.
 
What kind of person does outreach best? Outreach is done best by extroverts, introverts, and everyone in between. It’s best done by people who are thoughtful in their thinking or have an intellectual bent. It is most effective when it’s done by someone who is bold and fearless, by someone timid and sensitive, and by everyone in between; by those who are mature in their faith and by those who are brand new believers. Look in the mirror! You’re exactly the kind of person who does outreach best!
 
What are you waiting for? Matthew 9:38: Then he said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” God made each of us for such a time as this! There is someone out there who needs someone just like you to be the hands and feet of Jesus! The Holy Spirit is willing and waiting to reach out and touch someone through you! Let’s say a prayer, take that leap of faith, and then watch what God will do!
 
Encouraging one another! There are many of you who are already practicing organic outreach in your daily lives and are reaching out in love to the people around you. We would love to hear your stories so that we might be able to use them to encourage and inspire others. I Thessalonians 3:11: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up just as in fact you are doing.
 
What we’ve been up to:
  • Hopefully everyone saw the new ad in the Rockford Squire for RRC. We are hoping to gain more exposure in the community – especially for those who are looking for a church home.
  • We gave a “just because card” with a free bag of popcorn to the people who came to the church garage sale. This is a business size card that is given with a small gift as a random act of kindness to brighten someone’s day. It includes a note that says, “Just For You, Just Because! We hope this small gift brightens your day!” It also includes our contact information, address, worship times and an invitation for the recipient to be our guest. It is estimated that we gave out about 200 at the garage sale along with some additional ones at the Easter egg hunt. We will be using these “just because cards” for various events throughout the year.
  • We have plans under way for an outreach opportunity during Rockford’s Start of Summer Celebration in June. More information will follow as plans develop.

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Outreach – March 2015

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The March 6-7 Organic Outreach Conference was AMAZING! For 2 days, designated team members participated in a local conference put on by pastor and author Kevin Harney. It was so inspiring that the team purchased copies of Harney’s book, Organic Outreach For Churches, for each member of consistory, as well as the Outreach Team. It is highly recommended reading for leaders and individuals who wish to infuse evangelistic passion into every aspect of their personal life and the life of the church. Please check out Kevin’s website (kevingharney.com) for a variety of free tools and a glimpse at his thought provoking books.
 
Harney challenges churches with 3 questions that serve as building blocks to help cultivate church culture that invites evangelistic passion:
  1. Does your church believe, honor, and follow the teachings of the bible?
  2. Does your church love people and long for them to know Jesus?
  3. Are the people in your church willing to sacrifice to the point that they will willingly embrace change?
 
Careful contemplation and response will reveal the desire to value and embrace the Good News of Jesus in the community and world. Harney’s questions and other key concepts will be utilized during the upcoming Adult Sunday School Spiritual Formation Workshop: Knowing and Showing Christ. This workshop will serve as a springboard to renew our minds and ignite passion to reach out to others! Please prayerfully consider attending this 6-session workshop between services March 22–May 3 in the Fireside Room. See you there!

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Outreach – February 2015

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God’s solution is His church – it is for each individual Christian to be passionate about their faith; sharing their faith with everyone around them.
 
The Outreach Team met for the first time on Monday, Jan 26. This initial meeting was spent building the foundation and working toward establishing God’s vision for Outreach at RRC. The majority of the meeting was spent on devotions, discussing trends in Christianity and outreach, looking at God’s solution, and sharing personal testimonies.
 
True Facts: The Great Evangelical Recession by John S. Dickerson reports that in the U.S.,
  • 2.6M Christians are lost per decade
  • the fastest growing sub-cultures express a militant antagonism against Christians
  • true evangelical Christians represent only 7 to 9 percent of the U.S. population
  • unbelievers come to church or Christ because a friend or relative asked them
 
But in your hearts set Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.  I Peter 3:15
 
The apostle Peter says all believers, of all ages, incomes, spiritual gifts, genders, and so forth must “always be prepared to give an answer.” Not always prepared to invite to an event, though that’s profitable. Not always through a silent living example, though that’s also important. But every believer is to be “always prepared” to speak with their mouth and explain the Good News behind the goodness of their life.
 
Real Faith: In his book Why Give?, John DeVries shares how one little girl was prepared.
 
There was a 9 year old girl in India who was transformed by Christ during a Mission India Bible Club. Her immediate impulse was to give away what she had. So she asked her teacher for materials so that she could teach her friends. Her teacher said that she was too young to teach, and besides they had no more workbooks. The little girl was undaunted. She would do it without the help of books since she had memorized all of the lessons! She rounded up her friends, all ninety of them, and held three of her own Children’s Bible Clubs, teaching Bible lessons as she remembered them. She taught each club for two weeks.
 
Many of her friends were transformed and started to give to their parents. And as the stream of life flowed through these little ones to their parents, within a year 50 parents had been transformed and started a little church.
 
This little girl has become the headwaters of a massive river of streams of eternal life that is continuously expanding. What is happening to those boys and girls she led to Christ? How many others are they touching? What about the families and the parents? How much living water is flowing through them? What will it be like when we get to heaven to see the eternal consequences of every gift that we thought so inconsequential? Think of how God’s giving will increase during her lifetime. Think of how it will increase throughout time until Jesus comes again!
 
Pressing Forward: The next Outreach meeting will be on Feb. 23 to prayerfully consider God’s vision for Outreach as it relates to RRC. Here are a few opportunities to help and to grow:
  • PRAY. Please pray for our team and how God will use you to reach those you come in contact with each and every day.
  • STUDY GOD’S WORD. Please consider joining a bible study, small group, or Sunday school classes. Mark your calendars for March 22 and join us for a Sunday School workshop on “How to Know and Show Christ”.
  • SERVE IN LOVE OF CHRIST. Consider serving in the many outreach opportunities RRC has to offer!

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Outreach – January 2015

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Ephesians 2:10. It was God Himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ago he planned that we should spend these days in helping others.

Do you have a heart for helping others, a heart for reaching out to the poor, the orphans, the widows, and those who do not yet know Jesus Christ? If so God has given you a heart of service and compassion.

I would like to invite you to please prayerfully consider if God is calling you to use your talents by joining the newly forming Outreach Team.

If you feel God is leading you in this direction and would like to serve RRC and the surrounding community in this valuable way, please contact Lisa DeBoer at 616-560-6220 or email ladinteriors@hotmail.com.

P.S. On Friday, March 6 & Saturday, March 7, Corinth Reformed Church in Byron Center will be offering an Outreach training event. This event will equip us to learn how to share the love and message of Jesus Christ in natural ways that fit who we are. I will be going and would love to have you join me. Early bird sign-up is January 31. Please let me know if you are interested.


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