Pingback: Youth Ministry Round Up #19 – Helping Youth Workers Make Life Long Followers Of Jesus, Your email address will not be published. More traditional theologians thought that the social gospel represented a narrow reduction of the gospel and expressed the liberal rejection of central doctrines of the Christian faith. Your efforts will not only help people, but also make a difference for eternity. Faith that touches all areas of the lives of the peo­ple they serve. "[12], The memory of the social gospel episode in American church history often raises red flags today when more traditional Christian churches consider social engagement. I believe that. When I gave up my position as youth pastor, I gave it up so I and the youth ministry could both win. [2] The medical care center is jointly sponsored by the Leesburg Regional Medical Care Center. See Atkinson and Roesel, Meeting Needs, Sharing Christ, p. 17. "[3] Instead, members of the congregation volunteer to spearhead efforts to provide the needed care. Who is responsible for meeting their needs? It is a word to be avoided or ignored….it is a word that negatively colors whatever it touches. Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Reach out to … In 1987, FBC added a center for crisis pregnancies, followed two years later by a shelter home for displaced women and their children. So often, one of the major roadblocks to building community is our own selves. Inspired by figures such as Walter Raus­chenbusch, many in the movement blamed social ills primarily on unjust political and economic structures and looked to the state as the means to redeem them. In fact, in my experience, when churches focus on making a difference in the community, and inviting people to Jesus, growth is a question that takes care of itself. As FBC of Leesburg demonstrates, when service to the needy arises from koinonia, it gains an added depth and community grounding that can motivate and sustain long-term care. He began with, “What is the the most valuable land in the world?” Several possible answers included the oil rich lands of Saudi Arabia, the gold mines of South Africa, the real estate of NYC, etc. 35 Leave nice notes with thoughtful ideas on community bulletin boards. There is no planned effort to connect with the community.Sure, it’s helpful to have events on the church property for the community. When the rain falls, the church rises. Disciples are released to do God’s will. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary if you want your church to move forward and your people to experience what Christ wants to do through them and in them. What motivates members of this medium-sized church to go to such lengths? I live in a fairly conservative area in western NC. Introduction. 5. Everybody has something to contribute (we call that your piece)…a special talent, or personality trait that serves the community. The FBC also offers classes in basic financial and budget management, which encourage personal savings and wise spending. It’s time for the church to descend into greatness once again. Tools for Growth We want to equip you, your family, and your LifeGroup to grow as followers of Christ. It can quit wasting time, talent and resources on stuff that does not matter and unleash the potential of it’s people to do what God made them to do and what you equip, empower and unleash them to do. Roesel explains this with the Greek term koinonia. "Many churches feel that when something needs to be done, they must hire someone to do it," observes Pastor Emeritus Charles Roesel. Lewis said that the same require­ments exist for a successful society. "If God's people are to witness and minis­ter to a lost and hurting world," states Roesel, "koi­nonia must be the sustaining context in which they find their strength and will to do so."[8]. Because, someone currently running the sound, lights, and computer, does it and would have their feelings hurt if anyone else did it. Because we believe that one can make a difference, we’re embarking as a church on “The One Challenge” in 2021. This is your church! They believe God has given them the responsibility—and privilege—of loving others. "Koinonia is a deep sense of belonging to one another," which sustains people in the challenging and difficult work of serving the neediest. Sierra,[1] an 11-year-old who was abused and abandoned by her parents, found a safe place to live at a nearby children's shelter. Consider Bob, the alcoholic mentioned at the outset. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. In God’s kingdom though, losing is winning. Since leaving, I have heard great things and a jump in adult and student participation in the youth ministry and for that I am deeply joyful because I love God’s church and I want it to succeed, whether I am the leader or not. How can the church make a difference in the community? When faced with pressing social needs, the members of FBC of Leesburg look first to their own congregation for solutions. Because most Pastor’s don’t want to give up the throne of leadership and authority nor the comfort of their position. I have seen the selfishness of leadership hold people back because they were unwilling to let go of or share their authority and empower others. Genesis 21:22-34. Make an action plan. How can you reverse the decline of the church? That’s what it means to be a difference maker. Through these relationships, the church is able to faithfully and more fully make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people. [3] Donald A. Atkinson and Charles L. Roesel, Meeting Needs, Sharing Christ: Ministry Evangelism in Today's New Testament Church (Nashville, Tenn.: LifeWay Press, 1995), p. 141. Be a part of Operation Christmas Child this year or find a way to serve with one of our local partners. While some look immediately to the government to provide solutions, local church congregations have enormous potential to meet people's needs and advance social welfare. It will probably include getting your church leadership on board. In my book The Disciple Project: Stop The Meeting Start The Movement, And Raise Up The Next Generation of Doers, I share five biblical characteristics of a disciple and one of those characteristics is: Love manifested though sacrifice – John 13:35, John 3:16. So to make a difference, it’s great to find a fit between what needs doing and your particular skills and interests. Sadly, the dying churches are praying for “miracles’ rather than doing the hard work of challenging their people and creating opportunities to lead and serve. Doug, an elderly black man diagnosed with hypertension, asthma, and a severe lung disease, was cared for at a nonprofit clinic for the uninsured. Empowering is about encouraging and reminding people about the bigger mission. In the early 1980s, when a ministry to destitute citizens of Leesburg was proposed, FBC members resisted. 38 Do your work with integrity and try to go the extra mile. If the church truly equipped and released its leaders in a Biblical way, it would change the world! [15], At FBC, by contrast, social responsibility seems to go hand in hand with personal faith. In this town of fewer than 25,000 people, many live in poverty, drug and alcohol addic­tion are rampant, and a quarter of the population lacks health insurance. That was dead on! “The hope is in the community. Roesel stresses that koinonia is not something that can be "manufactured or orches­trated artificially. 8. At Community Church, we are #ForGlynn! Is your church meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of your community? Government, no less than churches, should understand the potential benefits of local congrega­tions acting publicly for the common good. Others were wary of focusing too narrowly on social action, a concern propelled by the social gospel movement of the early 1900s. Intimate koinonia is another factor that distin­guishes FBC ministries from government programs. But it’s even … Holding that people's main problem is not sin but ignorance, the social gospel deemphasized the need for personal salvation and focused instead on social action. Church leaders can’t think of everything, and I assure you they don’t. C. S. Lewis came to a similar conclusion by draw­ing an analogy between a healthy society and a fleet of ships. We invite you to raise and donate money to the Make a Difference Campaign, and as an extra incentive, for any household that raises $1000 or more, we are giving away limited edition CLC Difference Maker hoodies!! "We do not do that. "But once they begin serving, they fall in love with the people themselves, and this motivates further service. Like too many in his situation, he turned to abusing alcohol and prescription drugs to cope with what he describes as a "huge hole in my heart.". While giving pri­ority to their spiritual needs, "Jesus was concerned for whole persons—body, mind, and spirit. That’s what it means to be a difference maker. When you help to create a welcoming environment, you become part of life change at Ephrata Community Church. One person is keeping 10 others from being equipped. Rather, it is a way of relating usually found in asso­ciations rooted in kinship, locale, and, especially, religious faith. Empowering is about believing in others. [16] Atkinson and Roesel, Meeting Needs, Sharing Christ, p. 26. We have our poor just like every other part of the country. The day before graduating from the program, Bob exclaimed with tears in his eyes, "Before I came to this ministry, I felt I was not worthy even of my own mother's love, but now I feel worthy of God's love, and that makes me able to love others for the first time."[20]. Not that you can, by yourself, change the world, or that you can fix all the world’s problems, but that Christians, one at a time, because of the gospel, join together to do something. Is your church meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of your community? Gov­ernment binds people to itself vertically; it does not bind people closely to one another horizontally as churches can. "[6] Such responsi­bility and love for others cannot be defined and authorized by a legislative act or enforced by gov­ernment procedures. Churches are not supposed to be supplemental or reactive… they were designed to be agents of transformation and renewal impacting the surrounding community. Although members of the FBC consider personal faith to be crucial for achieving one's ultimate pur­pose, this has not hindered them from also tackling social ills such as drug addiction and poverty. [7] For a discussion of the need for people to belong to a meaningful community, see Ryan Messmore, "Longing for Belonging and the Lure of the State," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. Equipping is training people in the necessary skills to do a task. John the Baptist said, “I must decrease and He must increase”. To learn how you can be involved or contribute to our programs, please contact the church office by calling (607) 733-9104 or e-mailing office@theparkchurch.org. Other service opportunities. Now 54, Bob was abandoned by his mother when he was a child. Empowering is about backing people with confidence, even if they mess up. These ministries call the church to risk new forms of life and membership, to be willing to be transformed by those on the margins of society, and to join them as the place where God is present and active. Here are some ways you can build a church community that transforms lives: Understand your church's purpose . The ministry village at FBC shows that churches— and public discourse in general—need not restrict spiritual issues to the private sphere, leaving so-called secular issues for the public square. If people have a great experience at theChapel it will be because you helped create it. In fact, in my experience, when churches focus on making a difference in the community, and inviting people to Jesus, growth is a question that takes care of itself. I’ve seen this waste throughout the church from senior ministry to children’s ministry with all ministries in-between. In John 1:35-42, John and Andrew are invited to follow Jesus. Staff and volunteers focused on his ultimate purpose in life, his cultivation of moral and spiritual disciplines, and his sense of being accepted by God. Author and leadership coach Bob Dale sees the problem of culture keeping churches from making the difference they could otherwise make. God can use your gifts and skills to make a difference in the lives of others at Life.Church. And down the street could be a large, ornate church that feels like a mortuary inside. We can each make a … Simply getting the men in the habit of being awake during normal business hours of society increases their chances of finding and succeeding in a work environment. There are definitely concerns we as believers have about the world, and some of them can be scary and difficult problems to solve. Consider the case of one middle-sized church in Leesburg, Florida. [17] To mount a successful voyage, a fleet requires at least three elements: individual seaworthy vessels that stay afloat, cooperation among the vessels so that they do not collide, and a common under­standing of the destination so that a fleet bound for Singapore, for example, does not arrive in Sydney instead. Where can they turn for help? Churches That Make a Difference explores the biblical mandate and how-to's of developing and maintaining an effective holistic ministry that combines evangelism and social outreach. FBC's lesson is clear: When churches exercise lead­ership in the arena of public welfare, everyone is likely to be better served. Govern­ment should not claim and should not be granted a monopoly over responsibility for the public good. Church growth is important. This full-orbed faith integrates love for God with love for neighbor. I live in a fairly conservative area in western NC. 16:1–4 as evidence that Paul actively raised money to meet the needs of God's people who were experiencing economic problems in Jerusalem. Changing our mentality. 2063, August 20, 2007, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Thought/bg2063.cfm. [18] Interview by author conducted at Men's Residence, Christian Care Center, Leesburg, Florida, on June 24, 2008. [17] See C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Touchstone, 1996), pp. Esther, a Jewish virgin, was chosen queen, from all the women who had been selected to go through the preparation. I attended the TRIBE conference this past weekend, hosted by Jeff Goins, and a speaker used an illustration I had heard before. Operation Christmas Child National Collection week is November 16-23, 2020. If you have questions about how to be the church in your community, please let us know in the comment sections below, and we will try to write a post which answers your question. This was true for some at FBC who, according to Roesel, rightly understood that social ministry is not the church's sole purpose. Here are some ways you can build a church community that transforms lives: Understand your church's purpose . One of the great debates consuming our society today is the debate over the separation of church and state. The debate finds its source in a statement made by Thomas Jefferson in … I have seen money spent on land that was never used, I have heard messages that did nothing to inspire or motivate people to live for Christ and I have witnessed the greatest waste of all, people. The Biblical concept of “church” is not that it’s a building or the place where people meet…it’s the people who meet there that make up the church. The illustration works, to a degree, but I don’t see the graveyard as the most “valuable” land in the world, the most valuable land is the land in the world is where a church has been planted. By living out their faith in ways that directly shape and serve those outside the church's walls, volunteers at FBC demonstrate the difference that one … Roesel says that this "gave rise to churches that practiced social ministries without addressing the spiritual need for forgiveness of sin and recon­ciliation with God. The social gospel refers to the teachings of social planners and preachers who were troubled by urban squalor that accompanied the Industrial Rev­olution. Pastors, it’s time to stop patting yourself on the back for a great service while you congregation lays underdeveloped. “We don’t have enough leaders” and “We don’t have enough teacher”  Is all I ever heard. Canvas nearby neighborhoods to invite families. Every class, ever message and every event is designed with giving away the ministry in some capacity. Wow! As a youth pastor and associate pastor for 30 years, I cannot calculate the amount of waste I’ve seen the church commit. They see the importance of worshipping together because, as Harader put it, “worship is important for us to do in community.” You have to abide by the law, but the sky is the … “It costs too much”  and “It’s a waste of time” are the sound of a shovel digging the grave deeper. But I also think small churches can have an incredible impact on their communities, no matter the size of their Sunday attendance. The church’s official programs can do only so much, but if every individual member of the church is serving, that’s a quick way to multiply the impact faith can have on a city. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Two years later, he learned that she had adopted two girls. I wanna start with the end in mind. I believe it goes back to the fear of losing power. Roesel quotes Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones on this point: "The social gospel divorced from per­sonal salvation is like a body without a soul; the message of personal salvation without a social dimension is like a soul without a body. Make a Difference. Members who provide help demonstrate: By living out their faith in ways that directly shape and serve those outside the church's walls, volunteers at FBC demonstrate the difference that one church can make in the surrounding community. You are qualified to have a good idea. [15] Dr. Anthony Bradley, "The Social Gospel and Protestant Liberalism," lecture delivered at Acton University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 13, 2008. We say: DOWN and out, DOWNfall, DOWNscale, DOWNhearted and worst of all, DOWN under. God is Featured Bible & Theology Topics: be the church, church, Discipleship, evangelism, Jesus, Sam Riviera, Theology of the Church. December 28, 2015 By definition, if you’re a Christian, you and your community of believers are the Church. Be a part of Operation Christmas Child this year or find a way to serve with one of our local partners. Thanks for having the boldness to call it for what it is. uh I want I wanna start with this last point making a difference. The speaker was not far off when he said the most valuable land was the graveyard, since many churches have graveyards on their property, it will only be a short distance to bury the potential they once had. 25:40). since many churches have graveyards on their property, Youth Ministry Round Up #19 – Helping Youth Workers Make Life Long Followers Of Jesus, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5FzQKNbPaU. [18] Bob has had difficulty sus­taining healthy relationships in his life, including with his wife, his family, and former employers. When the church is rooted deeply in its community, and its membership is operating as public servants, the church will impact the lives of the people and the believers will fulfill the Messiah’s mission on earth. We want each of us to love and influence one person for Jesus this year. The church of today has lost it’s ability to love sacrificially. Can one really make a difference? Engage the other side Learn how your comment data is processed. Absolutely. God had strategically placed His representative to make a difference at that momentous time. It’s time we got back to making disciples and stop patting people on the head for simply attending church. Churches That Make a Difference explores the biblical mandate and how-to's of developing and maintaining an effective holistic ministry that combines evangelism and social outreach. Display materials that include local, state, and national hotlines for these victims. At FBC's Men's Residence, Bob was offered help not only physically, but also emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. Loving one's neighbor involves helping to meet their most pressing needs, whether it is companionship for lonely prisoners or a cup of cold water for the thirsty. 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