March 2020 Ministry Update
Hello all. Hoping you are all well, and praying that God is giving you opportunities to share the Gospel. You’d be surprised at the opportunities He’ll provide if you look for them. It’s something I don’t pay attention to enough, and I’m trying to do better myself. Think about who you could hand a tract to. Maybe the checker at the grocery store, of the attendant at the gas station, or your barber or hair stylist. They probably all need to hear the Gospel, so give it a try. If God opens up a particularly good witnessing encounter, please let me know. They always encourage me.
Here are a few of the things that have been going on locally. I hope they get you excited about the Gospel.
Sikh Event and Outreach
A religious group that, up until recently, I’ve had very little knowledge of or interaction with is those of the Sikh faith. But, thanks to a ministry colleague, I recently had an amazing opportunity to learn about their faith and to share ours with them. In preparation for a very large Sikh parade that will be taking place in November, I was able to partner with Dr. Cynthia Pettross of American Ethic Ministries for an event in the Sacramento area. The Sacramento metro area has the largest Sikh population in the States, apparently due at least partially to weather that is similar to Punjab, India, where the faith started. This year is the 550th anniversary of the founding of the Sikh faith, and the upcoming parade is expected to draw over 100,000 people to the small town of Yuba City, which has the largest Sikh population in the country. Talk about a great outreach opportunity!
Last Saturday I headed to Yuba City and spent some time with Dr. Cynthia and several others learning about Sikhism. Then we attended a movie night at the local Sikh community center. The movie shown was a documentary about the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. It was very interesting and well done. The movie was followed by a discussion panel, of which Dr. Cynthia was a part. Her decades of reaching out respectfully to the Sikh community has earned her respect, which is why she was invited. Though she didn’t get much time to speak, she used the time well. People from the audience then had a chance to ask questions too, and I stood up to ask the night’s final question. Unfortunately, after I said something positive to frame my question, the moderator unintentionally (or perhaps not) cut me off, assuming I was finished. But what started as a negative turned into a positive, by the grace of God. Everyone could tell I didn’t finish, and one Sikh believer after another came up to ask what my question was. I ended up in constant conversations for the remainder of the time, and was able to share Gospel truth with many people. What a blessing! I’m looking forward to learning more, and to participating in the parade outreach. To learn more yourself, check out these links:
A New Outreach Tool
Not everybody is a street preacher. And that’s OK. Not everyone is called to be. But every believer, and every church, should be looking for opportunities to reach out to their local community. And thanks to my friend John we have a new tool to help.
You have probably all seem my Gospel sketches here or on Facebook. But painting a message isn’t always the most effective tool. In many cases I’ll use a static sketch, or a banner, to catch people’s attention and start conversation. Now you can buy a set of banners, a flipchart, that can be easily carried with you, and that will help you walk through a Gospel presentation. The first few banners in the set are riddles, meant to get people thinking, and talking. The last couple have the 10 Commandments, the cross, and the resurrection. It works very well in downtown areas and shopping districts, at Art and Wine Festival, at the local mall (I can help you set that up too, if you’re interested) or on any street corner with good foot traffic. Send me an email if you’d like more information. The pictures below are me using the flipchart at the mall a few weeks ago.
Above I mentioned our recent time at a local mall, and I wanted to share a story of how I was encouraged when I was there. The picture below is my friend Nick (a very faithful volunteer) and I with James. James is an 83-year-old retired pastor. Every day he comes to the mall, Bible in hand, and walks around sharing the Gospel with whoever will listen. I’ve watched him do it, and he is kind, and fearless. Every time I’ve come to the mall recently, whether for ministry or just to spend time with the family, he has been there. When he sees my literature table, he comes up to say hi and asks for extra tracts, which I’m happy to provide. He is a great blessing, and a great encouragement. I just pray that when I reach my 80s that I’ll be as faithful as this man!
Radio Ministry Topics
Probably my longest running ministry project is the What Abouts page on my blog. It is a collection of resources that deal with what I have found to be the most commonly asked questions by unbelievers and Christians alike. For each such question I’ve provided articles, lectures and videos to help people find the answers. Recently, I’ve been using them a lot to both prepare for my times on local radio, and to share information with people while the shows are going on, by adding info to my blog after calls come in. You can see a couple examples below. We have had an amazing variety of questions, from religious groups like the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholics and even Rastafarians, controversial topics like homosexuality and abortion, the reliability of the Bible, the meanings of difficult passages, and so many other things I can’t possibly remember them all. It’s been challenging, and a lot of fun.
But despite all that, we are looking for more. When Brenton and I go on the air we want subjects that people are talking about to help bring in more calls. We always want the Gospel at the center, but we want to catch people’s interest too. So, what do you want to hear about? What questions have you been asked? I’d love to hear them, and even if they don’t end up on the show, they will end up on my What About page. So please, let us know!
Flight 1080 Radio Resources 2-11-20
Flight 1080 Radio Resources 2-28-20
What Abouts – Answers to commonly asked questions about the Christian Faith
New Kids Ministry
Finally, I’ve been hoping for more kids’ ministry for a long time, and that is finally happening. I recently visited with a ministry in East Palo Alto, a very low income and historically crime-ridden city north of me to share a sketch board message at one of their kid’s clubs. I went very well, and I’ve been invited back! I’m not sure how often I’ll be teaching, but I’ve been several possible dates, and have been asked to teach at several Vacation Bible Schools this summer. Please pray that God blesses this opportunity, and that many young people will hear the Gospel through it. I’m also still praying for a neighborhood kids club near my church. I’ve been working on making the right contacts for a couple years, and though things are moving very slowly, they are moving. Please pray that we can have something in place by next fall.
I’m still working on support for the ministry. Like other areas of ministry this is slowly moving forward, and more folks are stepping up to support us financially. But after nearly 5 years, and with so many opportunities on the horizon and so much preparation needed I really need to be able to focus on my calling. You could be a pivotal part of this ministry. Could you give $25, $50, or even $100 a month? Please consider it, pray about it, and if you are able, visit oacgive.org to make a one-time donation or to set up monthly giving. If you have any questions, let’s talk soon.
Our outreach schedule for the rest of March is below, along with some more pictures. I hope you are encouraged, and I hope you can join us!
All for His glory,
Morgan Hill Kids Bible Club – Thursday, March 5th, Afternoon
Morgan Hill (El Toro) Kids Club – Friday, March 6th, Afternoon
Campbell First Fridays Outreach – Friday, March 6th, 6PM to 9PM
San Mateo Farmers Market Outreach – Saturday, March 7th, 9AM to 12PM
Stanford University Outreach – Wednesday, March 11th, 11AM to 2:30PM
Cupertino Farmers Market Outreach – Friday, March 13th, 9AM to Noon
San Mateo Farmers Market Outreach – Saturday, March 14th, 9AM to 1PM
San Jose State Outreach – Wednesday, March 18th, 11AM to 2:30PM
Mountain View Downtown Outreach – Friday, March 20th, 6PM to 9PM
Andrew Kerin (OAC Intern) visit – end of March. Housing help still needed.
Saturday Outreach – Saturday, March 21st, Details and time TBD
San Jose State Outreach – Monday, March 23rd, 11AM to 2:30PM
UC Berkeley Outreach – Wednesday, March 25th, 11AM to 2PM
Palo Alto Downtown Outreach – Friday, March 27th, 6PM to 9PM
Great Mall Outreach – Saturday, March 28th, 11AM to 4PM
Downtown Oakland Outreach – Monday, March 30th, 11AM to 2PM