The Gift of Giving Through Team Ministry - A Christmas Outreach
by: Denise Capra
People too often live in the past or the future. Mostly they are hurt from the past and afraid of the future. We need to help them have ability to experience love NOW. As a ministry, we want to make a difference in the lives of people now. We want to invade their space with good news and dispel the misconceptions that they may have picked up about God and about Christians.
We initially spent time asking ourselves what were some of the ways that we could connect with our community and be a blessing and a service to them. So as president of the local church alliance at the time, local outreach ideas were discussed. This information came to light and we acted on it immediately. Our church loved the idea of being relevant in meeting a need with Christmas giving.
We just hosted our 5th annual toy outreach. We are celebrating the well orchestrated team effort from many of our church partners that resulted in 114 salvations! We were able to pray with them all on an individual basis because of the counseling team organized by Frank Livingston.
In the preliminary steps we gather thousands of toys from local Toys-For-Tots distribution center. Then we have a toy team that sorts and organizes and categorizes all of the toys.
We send out flyers to all the public schools making the families aware of the opportunity to receive two toys per family. We receive calls months ahead of time now asking us for the toy-give-away information. There is excitement that builds up as parents with limited income plan to make the Christmas for their kids really special.
Our registration team sets up a desk in the foyer of the church and personally connects with the parents. They then line up and flow into the auditorium to view a skit presentation. We have a drama team that came up with a short – but –to-point idea that would really connect with the audience. Their kids who can’t go toy shopping with them – are ushered into a room with the children’s ministry team for games, puppet show and this year a special soccer boll demonstration with a professional soccer player from Brazil! Then as t he adults view the drama we clearly present the gospel in an invitation for them to get saved. Most respond by coming forward and get prayed with and then even get tapes and a booklet that fully explains what happened to them. We have a follow up team that calls them after that too.
Then they are ushered into the toy auditorium for their shopping spree. The toy team in the back keep the spirits up with festive music, directing them to find a gift item and trying to assist through being as accommodating as possible as the toys are bagged up for the trip home. We are a church body and more, a team gathering together to build each one up, discipling and evangelizing strategically.
As James says in chapter one, verse: 22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
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