Life Serve Notes

Had a great day at LifeServe Conference. There are a lot of very sharp, smart and committed people who really care about reaching our world, who organize, teach and attend the conference.

Somehow I was invited to speak to a few fellow travelers over lunch. Prepping, I realized I’ve been following the track of Outward-focusedness for a long time.

Cincy Vineyard celebrate 25 years this weekend. Dave Workman, Steve Sjogren and their faithful crew have done much to promote the idea of serving our way into the heart of our community. Steve’s book Conspiracy of Kindness paved the way forward. When written it was new, innovative and cutting edge. It’s still a great read.

What many don’t know is that the way they ‘did church’ was very different than the norm. The kindness expressed outside their walls was equally expressed in their celebrations (weekend services), and church life. Their model to offer free coffee, upbeat worship,  creating fun and safe environments where people can discover Jesus is now replayed in many places.

I personally owe a lot to the gang in Cincy. My life was more than changed after reading Conspiracy and serving there three years seeing love in action up close.

I also had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the USA and the world with Steve for those years and saw first hand that serving others opens hearts in any culture.

My college professor once stated, ‘If a principle connects in any culture it’s probably God. If not, it’s probably American.’

I remember the Bishop of Moscow stating through tears, ‘I now know how to reach the Russian people. We will serve our way into their hearts.’

I remember mentioning to Dave and Steve that the serving message is God’s idea and it will most likely spread around the world and that others will be raised up to push the movement forward. It’s happened. Serving our way into our community is now viral, morphing sweeping the USA and around the world.

Saying all the above I believe many ‘not yet serving others’ people still need to join the conspiracy. Donald Miller in Blue like Jazz realized his radio needed retuning.

I was addicted to myself. All I thought about was myself. The only thing I really cared about was myself. I had very little concept of love, altruism, or sacrifice. I discovered my mind is like a radio that picks up only one station, the one that plays me:    K-don, all don, all the time. blue like jazz Donald Miller

If you are interested in changing your radio station you might want to read some of the books listed.

Small things done with great love will change the world. 
Conspiracy of Kindness Steve Sjogren

Good deeds, creates good will, that opens hearts to the good news.
Externally Focused Church, Quest Swanson Rusaw
God calls us to serve. 
Servolution Dino Rizzo

Leaders serve
Jesus on Leadership C. J. Wilkes

The Church is not called to survive history but to serve humanity. The life of the church is the heart of God. The heart of God is to serve a broken world. The church exists to serve as the body of Christ, and it is through this commitment to serve that we engage our culture. The serving we are called to requires direct contact. 
Unstoppable Force Erwin McManus

Creating God Space, where God things can happen.
God Space Doug Pollock

Whatever it takes.
The Church of the Irresistible Influence Robert Lewis

The Son of Man came to serve…
The Outward Focused Life Dave Workman

Speaking to the lunch time travelers I mentioned some key tips to help:

  • No Sowing, No Reaping. (Reaching others is a process.)
  • We serve, because Jesus followers’ serve.
  • We learn to serve, by serving. 
  • Leaders lead.
  • Take a careful look at your community.(Both your faith community and the community where you are called) Where are the needs / opportunities? Obvious / Hidden.
  • Create consistent on ramps from your church into your community.
  • Think Seasonal. Be creative.
  • Begin where you are, with what you have.
  • Consistency is the name of the game.
  • Tell stories.
  • Celebrate success.

We exist to love our communities into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

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