Ministry Spotlight: Local Outreach

         Outreach can be a confusing term. For different people it brings up different images.  Some imagine passing out gospel tracts or going door to door. Others might picture mowing yards for the elderly or food pantries. So it begs the question, ‘what is outreach’? Simply stated, it’s reaching out. When Jesus left this earth he gave us a commission: “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to all creation.” Notice he said “go.” Too often today the church waits from broken and lost people to walk in their doors before reaching out to them. I would argue, however, that Jesus intended for us to go out and bring them in. That’s how I view outreach.

            If we take time out of our busy days to notice people around us, we’d be surprised at the number of lost and broken we interact with each day. Outreach doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be well thought out or organized. Outreach is relationships. It’s being good neighbors to those you think don’t deserve it. At LCF, we’ve aimed to build an outreach program close to the heart of Jesus. We want to build relationships with the lost and broken in our community.

            Currently we are focusing on the small community of Fox Meadow. This is the local subsidized housing in Lebanon, home to around 200 people. It’s been over six months since we first began our relationship with Fox Meadow. In November of 2016 we held a fall festival on site. The first 45 minutes people stood on their front patios watching from afar. It was clear they were suspicious of us, but as time went on people came closer. Soon we had nearly 50 residents and kids enjoying hot dogs, corn hole, and inflatables with us. God was beginning to stir something in this community.

            Since then we’ve held a Valentine’s dinner, put on an Easter event for the kids, and hosted a Women’s night. We’ve also attended a concerned tenant meeting every month with the residents. It’s been a slow process of building trust and forming relationships, but with each event more and more people come. Each visit I have deeper conversations and more gospel opportunities. We’ve had some of the first Fox Meadow residents attend our church, and one of them accepted Christ and was baptized!

            I imagine this is what Jesus meant when he said ‘go.’ We must go to our neighbors, to our coworkers. We must go out of our way to serve and to love. We must build relationships with the lost and the broken because we were once like them. Now we have found a great treasure in Christ, and we must share it with the world  and with Lebanon. 

 

Gabby Range is the Local Outreach Director at LCF Church. She can be contacted by emailing her at grange314@gmail.com

Sustainable Freedom

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:1-7

This passage is so rich with gospel truth that entire books are written on the subject. It is impossible for me to cover or unpack this entire passage in a few brief words, but I do want to take a moment to point us toward how to walk in greater freedom. 

If you take a moment to read the passage above, it would seem contrary to the human intellect that I would talk about increasing our freedom in Christ by pointing to this chapter. In our cultural context, we think of freedom as the ability to do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it. However, I want to make the claim that true freedom is defined quite differently. 

Freedom, real Christ-given freedom, is not the absence of rules or regulations. It is not the ability to do whatever we want, whenever we want it. True freedom is doing exactly what you were created to do. It is only when we discover our true destiny and calling that we can fully walk in our God-given freedom. 

To think of others as more significant as ourselves (verse 3) or not dare grasp at equality with God or men, but rather to be humble (verses 6-7) are patterns of living that seem counter-intuitive to our happiness. However, it is in dying to ourselves that we truly find our lives (Matthew 16:24-26)

Today, I want us to think about where we are buying into the lies of our culture; where we are wanting to exert our own desires over and above the desires of God. My prayer is that as we read this and recognize the profound way in which Christ emptied himself in submission to the will of God. Furthermore, that we would be gripped by Christ’s example to empty ourselves of our own plans and purposes for life. It is in expressing obedience to the will of God that we find the sustaining freedom that only Christ can give. 

Radical Community | Part 1

Acts 2:42-47 ESV

 

 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

 

 

This blog is going to the first in a series of blogs that focus on “Radical Community for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom” at LCF church. We are going to spend the next few weeks looking at various aspects of Acts 2 and how we can apply this text to our lives today. I truly believe that as we submit ourselves to the will of God, we will see our lives transformed and our communities redeemed. 

 

This passage starts with three main themes that mark the life of the new testament believer. We are to be devoted to the apostles teaching, fellowship and the breaking of bread, and prayer. 

 

First, we are to be devoted to the apostle’s teaching. That means that you and I are people that submit ourselves to the word of God. At LCF, we are a people that find our place under the authority of the word of God. We do not bear weight on the word of God, but the word of God bears weight on us. We are to be devoted to the reading of scripture. 

 

Secondly, we are to be a people who fellowship and break bread together. This means that we have to spend time with one another. We make places in our day for believers and take intentional steps to be in community with one another. 

 

Lastly, you and I are called to be people of prayer. We believe in a God that moves on behalf of His children. We also believe in the truth of the word that communicates this idea: we are accepted and invited into the presence of God. Therefore, we are a people of prayer. We pray at all times, believing that God hears, sees and moves in His wisdom and might. 

 

These three things are the beginning and also the foundation for what it means to be a radical community for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom.

Justin  

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

You formed me. You knitted me together when I was growing inside my mother.

Just let the truth claim that is being made here resonate in your soul. Do we live lives from a position of belief in this statement? Or do we allow the accuser to tell us that we are accidents? That we are no good? That we have no purpose? May it never be. God formed you. And He formed you on purpose...

UPDATE: Packing Party 2016

We are so thrilled to announce that our kids and youth were able to pack 120 BOXES for Operation Christmas Child at our 2016 Packing Party!! 

We just wanted to share a highlight video from the night so that if you weren't able to make it, you can see what we did and hopefully it will make you want to join us next year!

To those of you who helped out at the Packing Party, to those who donated money to purchase items to pack boxes, to those who donated money to help cover shipping costs...

THANK YOU!

We couldn't have pulled this off without all of your help. These boxes are changing lives and here at LCF Church we are always excited about spreading the Gospel!

If you would like to pack your own box this year, please feel free to do so! We will be collecting boxes at the church on November 13th and 20th. There are extra boxes or you can use any regular size empty shoebox. Hop over to Samaritan's Purse to get more information about their ministry and how to pack a shoebox!

Operation Christmas Child | 2016 Packing Party

We are so excited to announce that KidJam/KidStuf and Uturn are partnering up to do Operation Christmas Child this fall! As we study the Bible we see that God talks about giving rather than receiving, loving our neighbors, and acting out our faith. What better way to teach our children about giving and loving people than by packaging shoeboxes for kids all around the world to receive for Christmas!

Each week we will be sending home a themed packing list of items that your child can bring the following Wednesday or Sunday. We hope you have a blast with your kids talking about why we give. Involve them in the shopping process and pray over the kids that will receive the items!

On Wednesday, November 2nd we will have a Packing Party with KidJam + Uturn! Our Uturn students will help the kids pack their own box and write a letter to the child who will receive their box. Leaders will also be taking a Polaroid photo of each kid to include with the letter. Often recipients of the boxes will write back thanking you so be sure to remember to send your child with their mailing address that evening. We would love for parents to join us this night! Our goal is for LCF Church to pack 200 boxes so please join us for a night of fun!


[[Operation Christmas Child - Weekly Themed Packing List]]
Wednesday, October 19th- Let’s Get Healthy
Sunday, October 23rd- Study, Study, Study!
Wednesday, October 26th- Accessorize!
Sunday, October 30th- Play Time!
Wednesday, November 2nd- $7 per child OR any extras!


**Please note, do NOT bring the following items:
-used or damaged items
-war-related items (toy guns, knives, or military figures)
-out-of-date candy; no chocolate or food
-liquids or lotions
-medications or vitamins
-breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers
-aerosol cans


Get more info at www.samaritanspurse.org and join our Church Event on Facebook for all the latest updates! Be sure to invite your friends!

You Are An Heir With Christ

You Are An Heir With Christ

How do you define yourself? When you think about your identity, what comes to mind? Do you define yourself by your marital status? Your employment? Your achievements? Most of us introduce ourselves to others by what we deem to be most impressive or important about ourselves. We look into ourselves and see what we like most about ourselves, and we try to put that foot forward. We let so many things play into our “identity.” However, how often does this leave us with the same question still roaring in our minds: “who am I?”...