Pastor’s Desk 2016-05-31

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning SCCC Family,
 
* 22C (or 71F) this morning, so refreshing. Not only do we have a refreshing morning, but we’ve had more uniquely colored birds than I’ve ever seen on our Sahuara cactus outside of our front room window. The brightest reds, yellows and blues, all pecking away at the dying flowers on this plant. They fight each other for another chance to peck at the flowers. They vary in size from humming birds to doves. The woodpeckers seem to think their role is simply to carve another deep hole in our amazing sahuara, but inbetween doing that, they fight for some more of that “delicious” flower! I’m tempted to cut down one of the flowers and do a taste test, but I will resist.

            On another note, without any further comment, I marvel at two days of news which bemoans the death of a gorilla and fails to celebrate the rescue of a four-year-old child???
 
* “Submerged” – our summer VBS Program! Here’s the latest from Mayra:
            We are going to start with decorations and some prep work for our VBS shortly, if you didn’t sign up for decorations and have free time still you can help, painting, cutting, assembling some things, we will need many hands, if you have any question let me know!
          So far we have about 20 people in the team, but God is good and He is igniting more hearts to touch kids lives this summer.
          The first thing we need to start with (probably you are already on it) is prayer. Here are the general things we need to be praying for:

  • The children that will be attending,
  • The families of this kids.
  • For more VBS volunteers
  • For the preparations, the work during the VBS week and
  • the follow up after the event with the kids.

I leave you with the link for the VBS Songs HERE and
a MUST see video to encourage our journey HERE

God bless you,
Mayra

If you’d like an opportunity to influence a whole bunch of local children for Christ, there are still options for you to be involved. Connect with Mayra at mayglez@gmail.com . Let’s help make this the best VBS ever!!
  
* Three brand new Missionary Newsletters this month – Click HERE

* Watch some of SCCC’s best videos by clicking  HERE

* Got an email from Greg and Shelli Neufeld last week. They are the missionaries who work with many of the burn victims from the 2009 Day Care Fire in Hermosillo. Our church helped support their “Burn Camp” in San Carlos last summer. They have a simple request: “Greg and I have a question…my sister is coming from Canada to celebrate her 50th with us and she wants a beach vacation.  We are looking to house sit, or rent a place on a missionary budget from around August the 16-23. (give or take a few days) in San Carlos. It would just be Greg and myself, my sister and our two teenage kids. We are willing to do all the clean-up needed.”
      Folks, I love the servant heart of these missionaries and if you can help them out, please contact Shelli at
agentgst@yahoo.com

* Brandon and myself are planning for our fall Missions involvement and met yesterday with Devon and Marisol, one of the partner missionaries which our church helps to support. While they have a well-defined program they use to reach into Independencia, we are very grateful for the way they have opened up their doors and given our church family an opportunity to serve there.
           Jeannine and I have personally taken a number of people (both believers and non-believers) on tours of these local mission locations and every time without fail, we have ended up in conversations about the heart of service of our missionaries. People are always awed by what is being accomplished and by the love of our missionaries for the Lord.
           One of the elements of our discussions with the missionaries is our desire to see SCCC people bring along unsaved friends to help out at these locations. Just imagine, if we could create opportunities, not only to help our missionaries, not only to help people find joy/purpose through serving, but to create “natural flowing” conversations between the friends we bring and the people who bring them about Jesus and who He is in our lives and the lives of these missionaries. Honestly, I have never seen an easier way to stimulate conversation about Christ, than I have by bringing guests to these locations.  
  
* “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the Strength” was our focus last Sundayl It was fascinating for me to do a tour of the Scriptures in preparation for the message and to see when/how it is that God empowers his people. The narratives of the crossing of the Red Sea and the Jordan, Jesus first recorded miracle at Cana and the best example “the ten lepers” were all instances where God empowered people who were moving in the direction given to them by the Lord. The Red Sea and the Jordan didn’t open until the Israelites followed the Lord in obedience and marched toward these potential disasters. The Lepers – “as they were going, they were cleansed.” The water turned into wine as the servants were bringing the water to the wine tasters.
           The historical pattern of God’s empowerment always coincides with our moving in the direction of obedience. As we go, He empowers us. As we’re obedient to His will, He empowers us. We would so like to see that power in action before we face our struggles and concerns, but His pattern is to empower us along the way!
          You want to experience His power – “Pray, Believe and Go” – Pray (God’s Will), Believe (God’s Word) and Go (Experience God’s Empowerment)! (PBG) His Words, not mine – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.”

            Next Sunday – Phil 4:14-19 – Questions to consider in preparation for this message – “God’s blessings” and “God’s Pleasure” – Does God desire these for me?
 
Enjoy your journey with Jesus,
Glenn y Jeannine

A great bonus article for you this week from Thom Rainer. It’s a must read if you want to understand how church outreach has changed in a relatively short period of time.  Other than point #5, every point is entirely relevant to our church. I hope you enjoy the read.

Seven Ways Church Outreach Has Changed in 15 Years by Thom Rainer

“So what are churches doing to reach people today, Thom?”

I hear some version of that question on a regular basis. The difficult response is that more churches are doing nothing rather than something.

But, to be fair, thousands of churches are doing some type of outreach to their communities and beyond. But the times have definitely changed. Here are seven of the most common changes in church outreach practices over the past one to two decades.

  1. From in-home visitation to lunch or coffee shop visits. Relatively few churches do in-home visits. But many are connecting with people at lunch or at a coffee shop. In fact, I believe every church should have some budget dollars allocated for this type of outreach. More on that later.
  2. From newspaper ads to Facebook ads. Facebook ads are not only affordable; their algorithms allow a church to be highly focused on the target audience. Starting as low as $15 per month, almost every church can afford some level of Facebook ads.
  3. From worship services to the church website as the front door. Guests to a church in the past would check out the church first by visiting the worship services. Guests today often make their first impression decisions by checking the church website. There is no excuse for a church to have a poor and dated website today. They are affordable and user-friendly.
  4. From complex gospel presentations to simple gospel presentations. The most popular gospel presentation of the past several decades was “Evangelism Explosion.” Theologically rich and highly effective for a season, EE did, however, require a great deal of memorization and training. Today many churches look for an effective gospel presentation that requires less training. My favorite simple gospel presentation isThree Circles,” conceptualized by Family Church in South Florida, and its lead pastor, Jimmy Scroggins. Here is Jimmy explaining Three Circles.
  5. From multi-service to multi-venue and multi-site. While churches still use the multi-service approach as a strategic means to reach people, more resources are being invested in new sites and new venues. I have written on this issue extensively. I am still amazed how quickly this practice has become so widespread.
  6. From attractional to going. Many churches have invested significant resources in attracting people to their worship services or to some big event. More resources are now being expended on members going into the community. Hands-on ministry and small group connections are becoming a more normative approach to reaching people today.
  7. From national and international giving to contextual giving. Churches are now more likely to fund outreach ministries where they know the ministry or people involved in the ministry. They are becoming less likely to fund a national or denominational fund that then decides funding recipients. Of course, this issue is presenting challenges to many denominations, including my own.

These are not merely shifts; they are dramatic changes. And most of the changes took place in a relatively brief period.
What do you think of these changes? Let me hear from you.

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