Archive for the ‘Pentecost’ Category

Twelfth Sunday of Pentecost-B

17 Aug

Ministry to travelers – Few people think about those that travel, yet a large portion of our society travels at one time or other. Many travel by car and by plane but many also travel by bus. Many spend only a short at their destination before returning home. Most will stay in motels while away from home. Those who regularly attend church at home may or may not seek a church to attend while they are away. My wife and I usually seek a church to attend on Sunday when we are away from home. We usually do a computer search to find a church nearby and how to get to it, however many travelers may not be able to or may not want to take the time to research it. Motels used to have notebooks in each room with a list of nearby churches compiled by local ministerial groups, however I have not seen any for years. Searching usually requires going through the phone book to get names and then looking up their websites or Facebook page. Since we usually are not familiar with the area, we must then look up directions to them, to see if they are nearby. That is a lot of work. Unfortunately, many churches do not have addresses on their websites or Facebook page. I may look up First Church in Columbus, Oh and it will pull up a list of pages for First Church. Many of them may be in New York, Texas, Florida, or someplace else. If the site doesn’t list the city and State, you don’t know if it is the right one. If it doesn’t list an address, you have no way to know if it is nearby. Obviously, travelers are not going to visit them. Putting addresses on websites and Facebook pages would be a big help. It would also help those moving into an area find a new church home. Distributing a list of nearby churches to local churches with directions would help many travelers find a church to attend.


Twelfth Sunday of Pentecost-Aug 21-A

17 Aug

Truck Stop Ministry- Few people take any thought to the many trucks that travel our highways day and night. Many truckers have families that they don’t see for weeks at a time. Often, they are alone for long periods except for stops at truck stops to fuel, eat, and sleep. Drivers have long periods with nothing to do but think as they drive, or while they rest over layovers and while they may have passing conversations with truckers they pass, they often have little meaningful conversation. Truck stop ministries are springing up where truckers can stop and visit and where volunteers are glad to minister to their spiritual and social needs. Many ministries are getting trailers to use for worship services where Christian drivers can worship while they are on the road, since it is difficult for drivers to drive around town on Sunday morning looking for a church with a parking lot big enough to accommodate their rig.


Tenth Sunday of Pentecost-August 7

03 Aug

Hospital Ministry- Those in the hospital are often not there by choice. Many people hate to go to the hospital when they are sick or injured, though it is sometimes necessary. In unfamiliar circumstances, away from family and friends, and often unable to do many things they normally do. Staff do not have time to stop and chat so days are long and boring. I spent a number of times in the hospital as a child and a couple times as an adult and I don’t like it either. When I was a child, I always looked forward to the “gray ladies” (retired women who volunteered in the hospital and would bring around pop and ice cream in the afternoons and stop to talk) and the “candy strippers” named after the red and white stripped uniforms they wore(teen girls who volunteered in the hospital who brought around books, magazines, games, puzzles, and crafts in the evenings and spent time with us playing games and showing us how to make simple craft items). When I was in the hospital at age 40 for my hip replacement, no gray ladies or candy strippers came around during the week I was there. They tell me they get very few volunteers these days. Many tell me they hate to visit friends or family in the hospital because it is so depressing. If you feel hospitals are depressing, think how the patients feel. In addition, many people work and don’t have a lot of time to visit. Lastly, many people have no friends or family close by who can visit. Days are long when someone is confined to bed all day and although hospitals have TV sets, they get old after awhile.


Ninth Sunday of Pentecost-July 31

27 Jul

Jails-Sunday Services, Bible Studies, and counseling are greatly needed in jails and prisons. Many in jails are short term and more minor offences while prisons are more long term and more serious offences. While ministering in jails and prisons is a very difficult ministry, it is very rewarding to see inmates turn to Christ. Many who have broken the law feel guilty and want to find forgiveness. They need to know that there is forgiveness and redemption through the shed blood of Christ. Others realize that what they did was wrong and want to mend their ways. They feel that they can’t change so why try. They need to know that we can become a new creature in Christ and there are people willing to help them. Often those let out of jail face problems they don’t know how to solve. Getting back home, reestablishing a residence, getting a job, etc. Many are afraid to face the unknown ahead and encouraged that someone who understands the process is willing to walk with them through the process. Families are inmates also struggle and need encouragement.


Eighth Sunday of Pentecost-July 24

20 Jul

Nursing Homes  Nursing homes have changed over the years. They used to be short term where people went to die. Now they are often short term for therapy and then residents return to their homes. Far fewer die in nursing homes these days. There is a great need for workers to minister to those in nursing homes. Many are away from family, friends, and familiar surroundings. Many are no longer able to take care of themselves or do many things they used to do, either temporarily or permanently.  In addition, many of those there are facing death and need to deal with it. Like young people, they are facing a transition and are making decisions that will impact, not only the rest of their life (short as that may be), but where they will spend eternity. Many are open to hearing the hope of the Gospels. Many have lost loved ones who may be Christians but they themselves aren’t. Also, many have no family or friends nearby and have no visitors. They welcome those who come to visit. Many enjoy visits from children (though some don’t so be sure and check first) It’s a good way to teach children to minister to others and children often enjoy it as well. The government has recognized the bonding that children and the elderly develop and has begun pairing nursing homes with Day Care Centers for inter-generational programs.


Seventh Sunday of Pentecost-B

13 Jul

Public schools also are facing increased pressure to use liberal textbooks and teach false and misleading information to support liberal causes. Many have banned the Bible and moral teaching in favor of sexual license, sexual disorientation, and racially divisive teaching. In addition, many seek to turn kids against their parents to counter moral teaching. Many also allow those who are sexually confused to use the bathroom of their choice, endangering women and girls. An increasing number of parents, both Christian and those with no Christian background are turning to homeschooling and Christian schools to remove their kids from such an environment. Some schools are allowing release time where kids can leave the school property to go to churches nearby for voluntary Bible training. Other schools still allow Christian organizations and churches to have Christian clubs on campus. Churches can start Christian schools and support homeschoolers, as well as supporting Christian clubs on campus to help counter the secular teaching the kids face in class.


Seventh Sunday of Pentecost-A-July 17

13 Jul

College Students-Students, brought up in the church, are often away from home for the first time when they leave for college. The decisions they make will affect the rest of their life. They are bombarded with secular teaching causing them to question what they believe and often do not get any support for their Christian beliefs. Without support from their parents, many drift away from church and their Christian beliefs. It is important for them to connect with a church near campus and a Christian organization on campus to support them in finding adequate answers to support their faith. Parents can research what organizations have branches on campus and what churches are nearby. In addition, parents can notify a church near campus and Christian organizations on campus that their child is on campus so they can attempt to contact their child. You can support Christian organizations on campus and churches that are near a college campus can provide Christian activities for students. Liberals are trying to prevent Christian organizations on many college campuses from using campus facilities and such organizations may soon have to turn to churches near campus for facilities to meet.



Sixth Sunday of Pentecost-B

04 Jul

Ministry To Travelers-Many Christians like to get away and go camping on weekends to relax with the family but often don’t know the churches in nearby towns and don’t know if the churches will welcome strangers. In addition, those driving big motor homes don’t want to leave their lot to drive the motor home around town looking for a church and don’t have a second vehicle to drive. They welcome churches that provide worship services at the campground or provide transportation to nearby churches. Many people traveling stop at motels but do not know their way around town. They may look up churches in the phone book but not know the times of services or how to get to the addresses listed. Calling the numbers listed in the phone book often doesn’t help since few churches offices are staffed on weekends. Local ministerial groups can arrange with motels to leave notebooks in the rooms listing nearby churches listing times of services and maps to assist guests in finding them.


Sixth Sunday of Pentecost-A July 10

04 Jul

Trailer park/apartment complex ministry-When I was first starting out, I was asked to help a Presbyterian Church that was dying. After I got the church back on its feet and it felt it could call a full time pastor, my wife and I bought a small trailer and moved into a nearby trailer park while we sought the Lord for direction. Several in the park knew I was a pastor and asked me to start a Bible study. We started visiting those who lived in the park and within three months, we had three small house churches started. Many residents have no friends or family nearby and are seeking fellowship but there is nothing for them. Families living in the park or complex can start small groups in their home by getting to know their neighbors and inviting them to join them. Children in such parks and complexes often have little to do and eagerly attend outside Bible Stories. However, residents and managers are often very suspicious of groups outside the park who come in and try to get residents to come to their church so it helps to have someone living in the complex. Such parks and complexes now often have community rooms available for residents to meet in when the group outgrows an apartment or trailer or when residents want to hold activities for children or families.


Fifth Sunday of Pentecost-B

29 Jun

Para-church organizationsMinistry beyond the church In the beginning, para-church organizations to minister to the community were supported by the churches which provided oversight as well as supplying funds and volunteers. As a result, many church members were able to get training and experience through the programs. However, many churches no longer support the parachurch organizations and the organizations get very little support from individual churches, so they are often forced to draw their support from the community at large. As a result, churches often see them as competitors for money rather than as avenues for ministry and church members are finding few avenues to serve and no training in how to serve. Many para-church organizations can provide volunteer opportunities for members to serve God and often provide needed training. (see “The Important I”-LULU  Press) If you are interested in serving Christ beyond the local church check with the local Salvation Army or other church related ministries to see what volunteer opportunities are available in your area.