Monday, September 12, 2011

Using the Unthinkable

Ministering to others in our current times is so much different than what it was just a decade ago. Facebook and Twitter helps everyone keep up with our every thought that we post, the internet is full of christian sites that either supply materials or make for great inspirational reading.
I personally love Biblegateway as you can pull up any verse in many of the translations. Since going to bifocals, I find it harder to read and concentrate on my printed bible, so I do most of my bible studying on sites such as Biblegateway where I can make the print any size that I want it to be on my browser.
I remember growing up, mom was not afraid to try anything new. I think she got that from her own mom, who was known for making things from scratch using items that most people wouldn't think of, such as her Vanilla Wafer Cake. Yep, you read that right. No flour, baking soda or any of the other dry products we use as a base for things. Vanilla Wafers, crushed and mixed with the rest of the ingredients gave the cake it's body. Yum Yum.
When we got our first car, the drivers floorboard was rusted out. Mom and her dad mounted a cookie sheet to keep her feet in the car. Not an ordinary fix, but it worked.
Many people balk at using unusual things for ministry. I'm sure that no one 20 years ago imagined using a computer for anything church related, other than bookkeeping maybe, but just look at how many churches have websites now. And for good reason too. Did you know that in a recent survey, over 60% of people who answered said that they always check for the website before ever setting foot in the door of a church. This provides a great avenue to put your best foot forward churches. Post your ministries, pictures and short bio's of the staff, pictures of outings and events and one other thing that most don't do. Post your beliefs. "Well, we are a bible believing church." This simply doesn't cut it. Post your "Statement of Faith" and your "Bylaws" so that people can know what they are getting involved in. If your budget allows, post either a video or mp3 of at least the sermons each week, but it would be even better to have the entire service, so that others can know what transpires during your worship time.
A great resource for ideas that you probably haven't thought about is 94 Servant Evangelism Ideas for your Church in which Steve gives different ideas and uses for common ordinary things that can spread the gospel and help with building your church at the same time.
Cute sayings on church signs, Billboards with " _ God" do not move people anymore. Such much is thrown at everyone from so many directions, and everything in the media seems the same to many people now. We have to be willing to go further, break the bonds of "well, we've always done it this way" and start reaching out to the community.
My favorite thing that VERY FEW churches ever do is to have church outside. Bring the folding chairs, invite people to bring their lawn chairs, set up a portable sound system under a tent (funeral homes are great places to get these from) and have church. Don't do anything different than you would if you were inside. Let the world on the outside see what happens on the inside without ever having to step foot inside your church. Get their interest, peak their curiousity, and show them that you're not like the other hypocrits down the road, you really do worship, and you're real when you do it.
Then you can know that you are reaching the community. Have free coffee and tea/lemonade for the people who show up, this gives your servers time to greet the new faces and thank them for being there.
Step out of your comfort zone. Step out of the box, and have a vanilla wafer cake for once!
May God bless you for visiting this blog, and have a blessed day!
ps.... the recipe, just in case you're curious ....

1 box of Vanilla Wafers, crushed (name brand works better, but store brand can be used)
6 eggs, room temperature, then whipped
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter (works better than margarine, though margarine can be used)
1 cup pecans
1 cup coconut (not frozen)

Grease a Bundt Pan really well
Preheat to 300 degrees F
Cream sugar and wafers
Add wafers and eggs until blended well.
Fold in coconut and nuts.
Pour in pan and bake for 90 minutes.

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