Spring Ahead 2.0

Insanity has been defined as: doing the same things over and over, while expecting different results.

What happens in some organizations, businesses and churches is that we discover something works well, and then we cast it in stone.

The midnight-madness sale, the rock-a-thon, the phone-tree prayer line.

We tried it out, and it worked great–so we commit resources to do it over and over again. It works for awhile, then eventually starts to lose momentum and fizzle. Old business practice was to simply throw more money at it, add more balloons, put some announcements on the radio, and get ready for the crowds to start rolling in. But it didn’t have the same impact it used to have.

In this transition season at Evangel, we’re closely evaluating the things we’ve been doing. Nothing is off-limits. Everything is negotiable. We’re looking for ways to impact our community that go beyond the tried and true.

Food for thought: sometimes the tried and true is just tired and true.

We’re examining the various ministries/avenues we use to make a difference in our community. We want to bring positive, life-giving change to the people we meet and care for, and we realize that the way we do that has to change. of course we believe that this positive, life-giving change has it’s origin in the Kingdom of God–that the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ is the only source of a life the way it’s meant to be lived. And that’s what we want to communicate and point people toward. But old methods aren’t working like they used to, so we’re trying something new.

One example from our student ministry is KD Tuesdays. Students face an avalanche of pressures and need to process a flood of messages every day. They’re told they need to look a certain way, have certain things, and behave in a certain manner in order to fit in with the crowd. They get pressure from teachers, parents, friends, and the ever-present media to live up to society’s ideal of life. But when the kids head down that road, they end up finding it’s hollow, empty, and not at all what they were promised.

So our youth pastor (Landon McAllister) has teamed up with Tony Curtis and some other youth pastors in the city to create KD Tuesdays as an opportunity to give students a safe and fun place to hang out, make friends and experience the accepting love of God…all over a bowl (or two) of Kraft Dinner.

It’s really an awesome spectacle, to see students from Leo Hayes High School flock into the community room of the Willie O’Ree Centre every week to encounter people who really care about them, no matter what they look like or what’s going on in their life. It’s something different. It’s not the same old way of doing ‘ministry’. But it’s changing lives, one bowl of KD at a time.

Spring ahead.

Spring Ahead

Well, we made it. March Break is past, and the first Sunday of Daylight Savings Time came and went. The snow is melting, and it won’t be long before the grass is green and waiting to be mowed.

But first, we’ll go through a season of transition. The weather will be fairly unpredictable: some days you’ll need your winter coat, and other days a jacket will be fine. You’ll look out the window and see the increasing strength of the sun’s rays, but the wind will still bite those who step outside unprepared for its’ teeth. Yes, it will be a few days yet, but summer is on the way. I tried to encourage some UNB students from Nigeria with that hope yesterday. I think my idea of ‘warm’ differs from theirs.

Yes, summer will come, but first the transition of spring.

For as long as I can remember, that’s the way it has worked. To go from one season to another means passing through change. Anniversaries fly past; the calendar turns; and birthdays keep showing up, ignoring our orders to cease and desist. Growth means transition. Growth means change. Spring ahead.

In the next couple of posts I’m going to share with you how we’re walking through the season of growth here at Evangel. Please pray for us and with us as we’re working to tell everyone we know the Good News. Spring ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Your Way

When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.’ – anonymous

We’ve had some fun talking about relationships and marriage this month at Evangel. Our Once Upon a Marriage series has produced some interesting conversation. This coming Sunday we’re wrapping up with what might be our most thought-provoking talk yet: Passive Husband, Pushy Wife. Catch it live @ our Maple Street location this Sunday at 10:30am.

Also, I’m pretty stoked about our next series of Sunday talks, Money Myths.  We’re going to examine some of the common ideas about dollars and cents. Stuff like, money brings happiness, money = security, and more money means more value.

A couple of myths can be debunked right now. In case you’re wondering: I’m not going to ask you for money, and if you come, you’re not going to be pressured to give.

Also, Mark & Kim Pope are joining us to share about their vision of reaching people in Thailand. Next Sunday they’ll be with us (along with their cute kids) and you’ll kick yourself if you miss it. Get to know them a little before you meet them by reading this.

Before you know it, Love Fredericton will be here. Start praying now.

 

Book Review: The Heart Revolution

Confession time: I’m a book nerd.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed reading. Maybe it all started with studying the back of the cereal box at the breakfast table. Mom thought it best to feed me Shredded Wheat, but of course I wanted my Count Chocula. Where it started isn’t really important, I just know that somewhere along the line I started reading the backs of toothpaste tubes, Outdoor Life and Field & Stream magazines, hockey cards, Hardy Boys and just about anything I could get my hands on.

Reading still gets me jacked up. Give me a book and a quiet place, and you’ll lose me for awhile. That’s why I was blown away when Graf-Martin Communications asked me to read and give a review of Sergio De La Mora’s book, The Heart Revolution.

The Heart Revolution (THR) is an easy read that encouraged me to consider the potential of life surrendered to God. In both a physical and spiritual sense, our ‘heart’ is the driving force of life.

If your physical heart isn’t working right, you’re headed for trouble. Ditto with your spiritual ‘heart’.

Too many people experience failure in their relationships, their careers, their personal development because something wrong with their heart–it isn’t working right.

The condition of your heart will always determine the course of your life.

For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. (Matthew 12:34-35 NLT)

Sergio points out several things that clog the arteries of our spiritual heart, but doesn’t leave you there. It isn’t a ‘beat-you-up’ book. I didn’t walk away from it thinking, ‘I should…‘ but rather, ‘I can…

This is an encouraging book!

‘God chose you, set you apart, and predestined you to accomplish amazing things for Him. You weren’t born by accident. You weren’t a mistake. You are one of a kind, fearfully and wonderfully made, and every one of your days has already been prepared in advance…’ (p. 131)

Check out The Heart Revolution, by Sergio De La Mora (Baker Book House Publishers)

note:

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing group.”

So That Others May Hear

Our national fellowship has been suffering a collective heavy heart these past few days.

The PAOC has always been a mission-focused movement. It’s in our DNA. To tell as many people as possible the Good News of God’s love has been our mandate from the beginning. We’ve always encouraged people to be involved in global evangelism, whether as a career or a short term. We’ve raised millions of dollars, trained many workers, and cried many tears as family and friends did the back-breaking, knuckle-scraping, gut-wrenching work of taking the Gospel to places no one else had.

About a week ago, a young man was ushered into eternity while working on the construction of a Bible College building.

Rob, his beautiful wife Kate and their three children, Kathryn, Simeon and Cameron, came to TTC in October of last year.  He came with a vision to teach the vulnerable and poor of Zambia how to use agriculture as a means of sustainability.’ – Don Mann, regional worker in Zambia

Rob’s passing leaves a big hole in the lives and hearts of his family. They need your prayer.

I encourage you to stop by this site to find out how to pray more accurately and intelligently for the Halls. I also encourage you to honour this man who gave his life so that others could hear. We would do well to model his faith and passion. We would do well to pray for his family.