The Art of Simplicity

This Saturday our Church rocked an incredible outreach block party in the roughest area of our neighborhood. It was our third year doing this and by far our best year, especially as far as our kid’s activities!

The outreach was a huge success reaching at least a 1000 people in the neighborhood. We handed out 300 backpacks with school supplies and we had hotdogs, chips and drinks for everyone. However, my favorite part was seeing the CROWDS of people hoarding around the kids activities. Everything we did was a HUGE success and it was all incredibly SIMPLE.

So here is a list of what we did:-

  • Face Painting (ONLY small & simple cheek designs though!)
  • Colored hairspray
  • Removable Tattoos
  • Balloon twisting
  • Old kids Craft – DUCT tape art – Decorating composition notebooks
  • Younger kids craft: chalk & black paper, bubbles & play dough
  • Obstacle races
  • Free play (hula hoops, ropes, balls)
  • Kids fun run

As you can see there was NOTHING groundbreaking! Everything I needed fit into a car and really once you have a base of supplies the cost of maintenance is pretty minimal.

With just a 10 volunteers we were able to bring TONS of smiles to kids faces! I’m learning more and more that Children’s ministry isn’t rocket science and that simplicity carried out with a high standard is often the key to success.

I believe without the free meals or the free backpacks I could still go out with gazeboes, tables and all these activities to any local busy park and draw a crowd!

After all what parent would deny their child free face painting or a free balloon animal?

 

So what simple things do you do to reach out to your neighborhood?

 

Check out our awesome recap video from our days events!

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Open to Anyone

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Last week I spent a week helping lead the kids ministry for a Christian camp. Such a ministry can often require a sizeable team and we therefore had to look further a field for volunteers who would be willing to take the week off work. Two of the recruits were a young non-Christian couple; one of whom had grown up in the Church. Both excelled throughout the week, showed a real love for the kids and by the end of the week had given their lives to Jesus.

 

How amazing is that!? It was a great week…but one thing caused me sadness. Before the week had even begun I separately spoke to two mature Christians who were both unhappy that the Church leadership would allow non-Christians on the team. Their concerns were understandable and they weren’t out to hurt anyone; but I was struck with the thought that at times the Church is so hesitant to allow people to belong that we end up hindering people from experiencing God’s love.

 

The Church community cannot afford to be a closed community with a member’s only lounge that others can’t access! We must allow people to get up close to see our lives and experience his love. When we allow people to belong before they believe or behave; we simply model grace. Jesus’ perfectly modelled it with Judas. A man who has robbing him and who he knew would betray him… yet a man he allowed in his life from dawn til dusk, for 3 life changing years. Jesus withheld nothing from him, treated him like the others, sending him out to heal (Mark 6), embracing him instead of rejecting him…he even washed his feet.

 

The challenge is to make a way for people to belong in your life and your Church. What people experience through belonging will soon break what they believe and bring their behaviour into line. Lives will change when they are allowed to get close enough to experience God’s Love.

Chaos Creates Opportunity

When the world sees the devastating reality of what the flesh can do
they are often shocked to their core.
When we remember the riots across the UK last summer we see that
most people found it completely disgraceful. When we saw terrorists
kill thousands on 9/11 the World stood still in shock that anyone could act
in such a way. Sadly it is often only in these times that we see the true
unattractive and repulsive nature of sin.
Yet through the chaos of these devastating events an opportunity was created and was taken by the Church.
An opportunity to take our light and our Hope to a broken world.
On 9/11 pastors around North America were invited to lead the nation through their mourning.
Through the riots in the UK the Church responded by cleaning up the streets.

I like the idea that for every action from the World, the Church has the ability to give an equally powerful but opposite action that can often restore the chaos that sin creates.

Its a challenge to the Church to take the evil of this world & to show the Love of God.
Chaos creates an opportunity for the Church to Restore & Heal.
Are we seeing & taking our opportunities?

Man vs Wild: Be a Survivor

 

Man vs Wild is a show that captures the heart of every MAN!

It excites a man’s passion for the outdoors and for sheer survival.

For those of you who haven’t seen it; Bear Grylls gets dumped in essentially

the middle of nowhere and is left alone to fend for himself & fight for survival.

The journey he faces is a long hard slog, made all the harder as he is flying solo.

 

Sadly I often see in this show a reflection of our World which is full of broken people.

So many people seem to be lost in the middle of nowhere & fighting for survival.

So many people are struggling in life & most are struggling alone.

Finance, pornography, relationships, drugs & alcohol addiction, anger… the list goes on.

Yet I believe there is a better way. A way where we don’t need to struggle to survive day by day.

In my struggles I have found Jesus to be the answer. He has strengthened me & the Church has supported me.

 

Life alone sucks. But people living Christ-Centred lives together will survive the distance.

So are you in Survival mode?

Are you a little lost & struggling to go on?

What are you going to do about it?

 

 

 

Vision changes Everything

The western world is plagued with Churches…some big & some small.

But some stand head and shoulders above all the others.

They are influencial & they impact the community.

These Churches are driven by a VISION.

I am beginning to appreciate the power of Vision.

A clear Vision gives something for people to buy into.

A clear Vision gives people a cause they can live for.

A clear Vision will lead  people to find their purpose.

A clear Vision will forge & creates unity & community.

‘Where there is NO VISION; the people will perish’ – Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

What’s your vision    &   Are you communicating it?

The Hidden Weapon

The hidden weapon the Church holds in this broken World is the Love of God.
When actioned it will lead to restoration and new creation.
But more importantly it radiates everything at the core of the Gospel.
The problem is…it is often hidden.
Do you ever wonder what could happen if we practiced the Love of God in Church community?
Love actioned is loud. Like a fat woman singing at the opera. People hear of it and it takes them by surprise.
We talk a lot about reaching the community. But until we model a community of love for the unbeliever
we will only move them from one mess to another.
When one hurts, we should all hurt. When one rejoices we should all rejoice. When one grieves, we all grieve.
That is the loving community God desires us to model. That is the community which will shine the brightest.
Because whether we hurt, rejoice or grieve. We do it together. We don’t just feel. But we act on how we feel.