With someone else preaching for me on Sunday (because of the Missions Conference), I’ve been afforded a great opportunity this week to get caught up on some much needed preparation for some ministry we’re kicking off around Easter. I’m not big on putting on a dog and pony show for Easter, but I think there is something to be said for taking advantage of the potential openness of folks to discussing the resurrection of Jesus surrounding this time of the year. We’re supposed to be proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ all year long, and at Easter some folks who don’t attend church might even “expect” to be invited to church. What are we saying to them if we don’t?
Now, it’s not about getting people into the doors of the church. It’s about sharing the Gospel with them, but a conversation with our neighbors about coming to church is a great way to open the door to discussing this very topic.
This year, we’re going to be having a couple of outreach initiatives that we hope will encourage our people to engage missionally with the people in the community. I’d like to tell you about one of these today, and then share the other one tomorrow. One of these initiatives is our 40 Days of Scripture project. Beginning in April, we will be making available outreach bags to our families and encouraging them to give them to folks in their neighborhood, workplace, and throughout the community. The bags will include an ESV New Testament, an audio CD with an MP3 of the entire New Testament, and a postcard mailer from the church. We will distribute the bags to families over about 3 weeks encouraging them to do this distribution on their own, then we will distribute the remaining outreach bags on Saturday, April 17th….the Saturday before Easter. On that Saturday, we’ll take the remaining bags, and blitz the surrounding neighborhoods around the church.
What I’m really excited about this particular project is that we will be reading through the New Testament in 40 days, beginning the day after Easter. The New Testaments in the outreach bags are divided into 40 daily readings, and on each day we will have a short devotional posted to this blog so that folks both in our church and in our community will be engaging in and exploring God’s Word together for these 40 days. Imagine what God can do with a church and a community that is listening to Him…through the revelation of the Word, for 40 days. I’m pretty pumped about the possibilities.
You’ll see more about this in the coming weeks, but if you would be interested in underwriting a case of these outreach bags, please let us know. For $50, you can underwrite the costs of a case of 50 bags, and ensure that 50 homes in our community will receive God’s Word from God’s people. Not a bad investment in the Kingdom, huh!?