Praise and Proclaim launches outreach initiative in Riverside CA
With extreme snowy conditions blanketing much of the northern half of the U.S., arriving to warm, sunny California is not a bad place to be in February. With temperatures in the 60’s all week, it was a lovely time to go outside and proclaim the message of salvation.
Praise and Proclaim Ministries received an invitation to come to Crown of Life Lutheran Church to launch an outreach initiative. This multi-church ministry has four campuses in Riverside, Corona, Victorville, and Yucaipa. This initiative was being held in conjunction with the semi-annual western region board of home missions meeting held in Riverside.
Starting spiritual conversations by dealing with disappointment
Not just an everyday disappointment – but ones that hit you in the gut when you least expect it.
The kind of pain that takes you to your knees – and keeps you there.
A best friend betrays you.
An adult child makes terrible life choices.
A spouse breaks their promise.
The loss of a job.
The pain of disappointment is at its sharpest when trust is violated or aspirations come to a screeching halt.
And that can have a major effect on our relationship with God.
Praise and Proclaim launches outreach initiative in Escondido CA
When palm trees are part of the landscape in February, you know that the prospects of warm weather are high. For those visiting from the north, it can be a welcome respite to shed winter jackets and mufflers for light jackets and sunscreen.
This was the setting in Escondido, CA to launch an outreach initiative at Ascension Lutheran Church on February 8-10, 2019.
Pain can be an entry point to start spiritual conversations
Redeemed souls who believe in Jesus Christ are not immune to pain.
Doctors can prescribe medication and counselors can provide emotional healing.
But pain doesn’t go away easily.
Chronic discomfort or emotional turmoil can cause any person to desperately seek answers and solutions.
Believing in Christ means trusting that God knows our pain. Our greater good is his greatest desire. Faith accepts unanswered questions and patiently endures in Christ’s enduring love until that time when all pain dissipates forever at Jesus’ feet.
Trusting in God’s promises helps manage pain.
Here are three ways that all believers can use pain as an entry point to begin talking about Christ and his promises:
Starting spiritual conversations with prayer
Be still and know that God is God and I am not.
Be quiet and listen to his promises.
Stillness and quiet are adequate descriptions of contemplative prayer. It’s more about what we receive from God rather than what we give him. It’s more about his voice that resonates in our hearts rather than giving him our voice.
Praise and Proclaim launches outreach initiative in Yakima WA
Evangelism is far more about trusting God’s promises and assurances than it is about ourselves. Believers trust that God’s Word works, even though we may not see the visible results of our efforts. Immediately following the Praise and Proclaim outreach initiative at Redeemer Lutheran Church (Yakima, WA), Rev. Isaac Cherney posed the following question during his sermon on Sunday morning,
“Is the Holy Spirit in charge of the results or not?”
Mission-minded congregations embrace the joy and privilege of being God’s messengers. They are far more concerned about bringing as many people as possible to heaven through the power of God’s Word than finding new members for their church. God is in control of the results. His children are in control of getting the Word out and unleashing its power.
It is God’s wisdom that he has chosen human messengers to be his representatives or ambassadors for the purpose of driving his message out. It is God’s responsibility to convert people by filling them with his Holy Spirit. It is only through the Spirit that lost souls hear, see, and believe his Truth and are set free.
A core group of faithful members from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Yakima WA embraced this truth, received evangelism training, and went out into their community to unleash the power of God’s Word.
Praise and Proclaim launches outreach initiative in Little Rock AR
“Those are two nice ladies. You must have a great church.”
A gentleman working in his yard had just met two members from King of Kings Lutheran Church in Little Rock, AR. They had just come by his house to introduce their church, proclaim a short gospel message, and personally invite him to their Fall Festival. He was impressed. Several minutes after they left, he told us that he would consider coming to church even though he belonged to another.
He was not alone. Others were also impressed that members of a nearby church were out meeting their neighbors and were interested to learn more about the small WELS church in Little Rock that has a big heart for Jesus.
Praise and Proclaim launches outreach initiative in St. Peter MN
The city of St. Peter MN is located ten miles north of Mankato and has a population of 11,000. It is the home of Gustavus Adolphus College and could be considered a small college town with a strong ELCA presence. Some could say that the area is over-churched to go out into the community to spread the gospel, but that wasn’t the case at Saint Peter Lutheran Church and School.
Praise and Proclaim Ministries partnered with Saint Peter Lutheran and launched an outreach initiative October 5-6. We were blessed to have seventy adults and twenty-two children from around the Minnesota Valley come for the evangelism training on Friday evening. The next morning, thirty-one people went throughout the St. Peter community to put their training into practice and plant the seeds of the gospel.