Hillcrest Chapel's philosophy of ministry has always been centered around the church as a force. Many people have come to know the Lord though everyday expressions of faith as the church has been scattered. In fact, the force of our church scattered in/on campuses, job sites, neighborhoods and through friendships has been used by the Lord to bring literally hundreds of people to Himself! I think it is time, however, to expand our evangelistic emphasis when the church is gathered, too. Wouldn't it be great if we put others before ourselves and our nurture, and emphasize outreach for the rest of this century? Because this will be our approach in different ways and various venues, we will add the following to our approach for the church gathered and scattered:
Insight for Those Like the Prodigal's Older Brother—
from Luke 15
One of the most amazing passages of Scripture is found in Romans 9:1-4, where Paul wished he could give up his own eternal life to save his countrymen. Paul says:
A short history of Valentines Day
How did Valentine's Day begin? Legend has it that it started in the time of the Roman Empire. Here are some of the origins of the celebration which has evolved into Valentine's Day as we know it.
In ancient Rome, February 14 was a holiday in honor of Juno, Queen of the gods and the patroness of women and marriage. The following day, February 15, began the Feast of Lupercalia—a chance for Roman children, normally kept strictly separated, to meet. The boys would each choose a girl's name from a vase. The boy would then partner with the girl he had chosen for the duration of the festival. Sometimes the pairing would last an entire year, and often the couple fell in love and married.
Imagine yourself living in a kingdom.
You have never met the king, but you have heard of him, good reports and bad. All you know is, he is the king: the supreme authority in your land. One day you receive a royal summons via a military officer to appear before the king at his palace. How would you feel?
There are a lot of jokes about life after death. Most of them include Saint Peter. Here is one my son sent me about Judgment Day:
Everywhere we go or look, God has revealed Himself, at least in a general way. Shouldn't that be enough to bring everyone to a complete commitment to God? Sometimes, but not often. They need something else. When an unbeliever views creation; observes a godly example; or witnesses miracles—all of which are evidence of the existence of God—they don't always immediately follow God. Why aren't these evidences enough for pre-Christians to believe in and follow God/His son?
The last few months I have been walking through several neighborhoods in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Not only is the walk enjoyable and good exercise, but it is also one of the best ways I know to get an understanding of a ministry area. As I have walked through these regions of our city, I have again been impressed with the unique culture of Bellingham, as well as the diversity of neighborhoods. We all have a tendency to define our hometowns in the light of our immediate surroundings/neighborhood, but that exposure often offers an incomplete picture.
As one application of studying this topic, I want to encourage you to walk through your area of town too, and pray; listen to the Lord; and listen to the people you encounter. It is also very helpful to ask yourself some questions about the people and the setting. For example, you might ask: