Archive for May, 2014

PCShare the Gospel

Posted in General Advice on May 27, 2014 by Waypoint Church Partners

Over the last few months I have been haunted by two questions every time I back out of my driveway and head down my street. Why do I live on my street? And how can I reach my neighbors who don’t attend anybody’s church with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
You see on my street there are twelve houses and as of a couple of months ago ten of those houses had no one attending anybody’s church on any given Sunday. In those ten houses live 20 adults and 12 children; 32 people who are either lost or, at best, prodigals who’ve separated themselves for some reason from the Lord’s Church.

Now some are probably thinking: “Hey you dunder-head, just go down the street, knock on some doors and start inviting your neighbors to come to church or start up a spiritual conversations by asking, ‘If you were to die tonight, do you know where you’d spend eternity?'” Simple – right? Well maybe for you, but if you promise not to tell anyone, I just don’t have what Scripture refers to as the gift of evangelism. That may sound strange to you given the fact that I am a preacher. I can preach to a crowd and I can even sign up for a mission trip to Honduras to do street evangelism through an interpreter to people I’ll likely never see again. But to walk across the street and knock on my neighbor’s door to talk to him about Jesus sounds to me about as exciting a prospect as scheduling a visit to the dentist’s office for a root canal.

So several months ago I decided to just start praying for every one of my neighbors every day, by name. Of course I had a problem… I didn’t know all of my neighbor’s names. So I began praying for the bike-guy until I learned his name was Rick. I began praying for the single mom who always looks so sad and her three ‘wild’ children. And I began praying for Gary and Carole, the guy on the corner, and the two sisters who I can never get to wave back even though I’ve been waving at them for the last ten years.
And as God always does when we begin to pray in earnest for something, my heart began changing toward my neighbors. I stopped seeing the children stomping through my flower bed and started seeing kids who Jesus loves. I stopped being annoyed at the guy on the corner who never cuts his grass and started seeing a life worth redeeming by the gospel. In short, God did a miracle inside my heart and I began to really care about each one of my neighbors.

I must admit, I still haven’t gotten up the courage to talk with any of my neighbors about the gospel. But I’m praying God will ripen their minds for the gospel and open my eyes to opportunities to share the good news with the people God has chosen for me to live near. You see it’s not by accident that I live on the street I live on. The Bible says God determines the times and the exact places where we should live, Acts17:26. God himself has placed me on my street to make disciples of each one of my neighbors and through the PCShare (Prayer – Care – Share) model of evangelism even a chicken like me can reach my friends for Christ.

To learn more about PCShare Evangelism I’d recommend Larry DeWitt’s book God’s Amazing Normal or Alvin VanderGrind’s Shine His Light. Or you can find tons of information on the Mission America Coalition website (www.lighthousemovement.com).
And if you’re wondering how it’s going with me reaching my neighbors for Christ, I wish I could say I’ve baptize all 32 of my unchurched neighbors in the past few months. But that would be a lie. What I can say is six of them came to my church on Easter Sunday, two have been back every Sunday and one returned another week with a friend. Prayer is amazing!

neil wheeler - circle
Neil Wheeler
Lead Guy at Chester Christian Church
VEF Board of Directors, President

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Mobile Giving is Coming to your Church. Are you ready?

Posted in General Advice on May 20, 2014 by Waypoint Church Partners

Over the past 5-7 years churches have begun making the switch to online giving as a growing part of the regular contributions they receive from their members. Many of our recent church plants are receiving more than 50% of their monthly giving using online avenues. Hopefully your church is actively strategizing how to capitalize on this emerging trend in our online world.

Now the new thing on the block is the emerging shift to mobile giving. Morgan Stanley recently reported that during the 2014 calendar year the number of mobile devices will exceed the number of desktop and laptop personal computers worldwide for the first time ever.

The first huge implication for this trend is that your church needs to have a mobile web presence, not just a desktop version. That means a website that’s optimized for viewing from a smart phone or tablet device. Very soon more people will view your church’s website from one of these smaller platforms than from their ‘old school’ desktops and laptops. Hopefully your church is actively strategizing how to capitalize on this emerging trend in our online world.

The second huge implication that’s coming down the pike will be people’s desire to make contributions from their smart phones and tablets. In just the past couple of years we’ve become comfortable paying for things from our mobile devices. We’re paying for things like pizza, Redbox, Ebay, and many other things from a growing array of goods and services we once paid for with cash or by check. The same is true for your church. Sooner than later you’ll need to have a smooth, simple process for people to contribute from a mobile device. Hopefully your church is actively strategizing how to capitalize on this emerging trend in our online world.

Here’s a few ideas as you get the process started:

1. Align your online and mobile giving providers so it’s not two different services they need to become familiar with.
2. Create a special event that people will want to give towards to “prime the pump” for future mobile giving. Have them contribute during church to a short term mission trip or special local outreach event.
3. Refer to the mobile option often from stage. Saying it only one time will guarantee it won’t take off. Mention this new feature at least once a month, if not more often. Tell your new people during your membership class about all the ways they can give at your church.

If you don’t know where to start, check with your current church database or website provider about the options they already provide, or call the VEF for advice on where to look.

Tim Cole headshot - circle smTim Cole
Director of Church Planting