Cross Points
A Mission and Ministry Resource for the Southern District
 

February, 2014
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A Great Opportunity

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What is Cross Points?

 

Through the Southern District office of Mission and Ministry Facilitator, Eric Johnson, Cross Points endeavors to provide practical and doable resources, encouragement, stories, and suggestions to help you lead God's people forward in their mission and ministry as together we follow Jesus in reaching people with the Gospel; bringing them to faith, baptism, and discipleship. 

 

 


featuredArticle

 

A Great Opportunity 

 

One of the best opportunities for your congregation to reach out to your community is just two months away, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday!

 

Word of Grace is a church plant in an area like most of our communities where people aren't attracted to church anymore.  Needless to say outreach is tough, people aren't attracted to church so the people at Word of Grace have to find creative ways to build bridges between church and the people in their community.  The simplest way they found to connect with people who would never come to a worship service is to throw a party.  This is nothing new, Jesus attended parties where there were hurt, broken people he wanted to touch. The wedding at Canna and the party at Matthew's house come to mind as parties where Jesus showed people the love and generosity of God.  Jesus is the same today, and he still wants to connect with hurt, broken people through the parties you and your congregation can throw.

 

Easter Outreach:  Doable, High Grace/Low Risk things your congregation can do to connect people to the resurrected Christ! 

 

Throw a Party and People Will Come.

 

There are natural times throughout the year to throw parties; Christmas, Easter, Reformation Day, Graduation, Labor Day, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Back to School, Thanksgiving.  What other days are there in your community that are especially good times to connect with people?  God gives us lots of opportunities to connect with the natural flow of life in our communities, if we are willing to connect.

 

Word of Grace Party Plan:

On Palm Sunday Word of Grace throws a Free Family Carnival for the community that helps them connect in a positive way with hundreds of families and individuals. 

Here is what Word of Grace did, you can adjust these ideas to fit your congregation and community.

 

 

Teams:  First the congregation organized in teams to do the various jobs that needed to be done, i.e., prayer, invitations, food, games, greeting, information about the church, set up, clean up. 

 

Prayer and Invitation:  The congregation bought door hangers and had groups of 2 or 3 people assigned to approximately 100 home blocks.  Each group would begin praying for their assigned neighborhood weeks before passing out the door hangers.  They agreed to pray at home, on their own, and together as a group.  The congregation prayed for the neighborhoods during the worship service. They prayed for the people who lived in the neighborhood to have open hearts to receive the invitation and come to the Free Family Carnival.  They got a reverse directory from the phone company with the names of everyone in the neighborhoods they were serving and prayed for the people by name.  Then one week prior to Palm Sunday the neighborhood teams went out into their neighborhoods and put invitation door hangers on the doors of their adopted neighborhoods.  On the Friday before Palm Sunday they went out again and placed invitation door hangers in their adopted neighborhood, praying silently as they went along for the people to have open hearts to their invitation.

You can get door hangers at: 

 http://www.door-hangers-direct.com/door-hangers.htm  

1000 H3 hangers (ones used by Word of Grace) printed on one side can be purchased for $67.00

 

Hint:

Word of Grace discovered that people from the community were much more likely to come to the Free Family Carnival if it were held at a local park instead of at the church building.  You can do it at your church building, but know ahead of time that a lot of people find it difficult to attend anything at a church.  A neutral public place is best.  We see Jesus mostly doing his mission and ministry work in public places.  There is a reason Jesus ministered outside the established church building most of the time.

 

Free Family Carnival:

The Free Family Carnival is pretty simple and doesn't take a lot to do well.  Word of Grace uses Four basic elements: 1. Prayer; 2. Food; 3. Fun; 4. Connecting with people in a positive way.

 

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Greetings! 
I'm Eric Johnson, your Mission and Ministry Facilitator.
My job is to support you and your congregation in your mission & ministry within the walls of your church building and especially outside your walls in the community where people who don't yet know Jesus live and work.

 

 

Areas where I can be helpful include, but are not limited to, Small Groups, VBS, Sunday School, Confirmation, Building Bridges to the community around your church, Outreach/Evangelism, Youth, and Stewardship.  

 

Let me know what you need, I can help.

 

My specialty is helping congregations grow by build bridges in their communities to reach people who don't yet know Jesus.  

 

When you find that you and your congregation can use some suggestions with ideas and resources, I'm here to help.  

 

You can reach me @ e.johnson@southernlcms.org     

or by calling my direct line @ 985-445-9339

 

Your Servant In Christ's Mission,

 

Eric Johnson