A RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL SENT
AUGUST 9, 1998
Most of the individuals
who contact In His Name's office for financial assistance can be engaged
in conversations about spiritual issues too.
As we learn a few details of their lives, we often see an opening
to speak about "trusting and obeying God."
Some individuals are well grounded in the faith. However, when the question of church
attendance is raised, many people tell us stories
about how they have been discouraged or hurt in a church. The poorest
of the poor "know" that they are not worthy. Everyone reminds
them of it. .
Sadly, many persons believe God too, counts them as unworthy.
So for those who will not go to church, we are searching
for an interim way for them to learn about God and to understand His love
and acceptance. I understand that from the local church's view,
they just need to come to their places. That
makes it simple for the church.
But there must be a
creative means to first show friendship in a 'safe' environment.
keep remembering that Jesus says,
what we do for them, we do for Him.
So we cannot
just brush them off.
Should we offer a home study course?
Take the person to lunch?
who would develop a plan? Periodically mail out
If you have an idea I would value your input. Or if I need to further clarify
the problem, please ask.
October 1, 2006
A METHOD OF APPEALING TO
You asked how to get some of the
"self-deemed" unworthy children of God hooked up to a church.
Here are a couple of ideas for you.
In the past we've told you about our
church. It is a seeker sensitive church.
It is a non-threatening untraditional type of church
setting. You might look in your area for any Willow Creek model of
churches. You can look them up on the Internet also. They have
listings of Willow Creek churches all over.
That is if you can get the people to go to
a church. Our church is a great setting for those types of
non-churchgoing people and they are primarily who we target.
We are also in the gym of a local high school, so we don't LOOK like
church. You could go with them to a few services to help them get a
thing my church does is get people involved in small Care and Share
groups. In these home based groups, 10-12 people meet in a home
and do some sort of Bible study depending on the maturity of the
group. That is a wonderful way to meet people's needs right where
they are. Our small groups are not all made up of people who come to
our church. Some will come to a small group, but would never go into
Once a person has been helped, often times they want to be able to return
the favor. We try to get the people plugged into a ministry as
quickly as possible. They work along side others who are grounded in
the Lord. That way they can have conversation and be ministered to
while helping minister to another.
Do you still do the Hope Boxes?
[Yes] Have one of your Hope Box friends take
along the food box to one of the 'new' friends. Not only can they relate with
the person who they are going to visit, they can learn that ministering to
another might not be that hard.
Or find out if they have a talent or
skill in a certain area. Someone who is doing ministry in a church
could take this person with them to help for a while. In the
meantime, they can introduce this person to others in the church who have
a ministry where this person's talents fit.
Sometimes all it takes to get a
person plugged into a church is a friendly face to be there with
them. It is very scary going into a new place, especially if they
already feel they are unworthy. Once the friendly face helps the new
person feel comfortable and helps them find
new friendly faces (ones who are truly sincere), the
person is more likely to stay and become a part of the
sometimes come just for the friendly contact. Hearing about Jesus is
just an added benefit until they get to a place where they feel
loved. Then they can hear about God's love and plan for them.
Getting them to stay long enough is the key. Human contact is vital
for that, in addition to feeling wanted and NEEDED. The longer they
are there without getting involved in some way, the more likely they will
never get involved, and then leave altogether.
I'm sure none of this is really new ideas for you,
but I hope it helps to know it IS working all over the country. Let
me know what you think.
Terri Niles in Florida
RETURN TO WHEN TO
LOVE, WHEN TO EVANGELIZE