Living City Project Wow!

The Living City Project!
A few months back I joined a team of Jesus lovers, city changer dreamers!


We are a motley crew. 

“A motley crew is an informal expression for a roughly organized assembly of individuals of various backgrounds, appearance, and character. Typical examples of motley crews are; pirates, college fraternities, Western posses, rag-tag mercenary bands, freedom fighters, and groups of programmers in high-intensity tech startups.” Wikipedia

I add, Diverse Radical Followers of Jesus!

Our dream: Bring churches, community organizations, businesses, and people together all across the city of Dayton to love our city together… A city-wide Cleanup!

Our hope: People would see the church in action… not just saying we love our community, but demonstrating our love in a practical way by going low, picking up trash, and washing our communities feet.

Some people didn’t believe this could happen. Others were skeptical, yet some believed.


Sponsors jumped on board. Dayton Inspires produced a video which now has over 54,000 views. Momentum kicked in and. over 35 churches joined as well as 20 other community organizations.

Wow! Working together, we did it!

29 host locations
1233 registered volunteers
21,580 lbs (10.79 tons) of tires collected
228,980 lbs (114.49 tons) of bulk wast collected
250,560 lbs (125.28 tons) of total weight collected!

Make Montgomery County Beautiful provided bags, gloves, and trash pickers. They also removed the 125 tons of trash collected on the day!

City cleaning crew. Firefighters Union 136. After Party,

Over 1200 people participated on the day. A sense of unity and community engagement was apparent.

Mayor and Team.

Postscript:
Our team were invited to attend the City Commission Meeting on Monday. We gave our report and received thanks from the Mayor and the Commissioners representing The City of Dayton.

Now people are asking, “What’s next?”

Our crew know the event was God ordained and blessed. We also know Jesus did what we could not do. We understand His Kingdom is an ever-increasing Kingdom which knows no end. He is the one who receives all the glory and honor!

What’s most amazing! No one group, no one person, could take any credit for The Living City Project. It is collaborative in the deepest sense of the word. It’s exciting what God can do when no one person gets the credit!

Dayton Inspires Promo Video Pre Clean Up. 54K views.

sPattie and I are grateful for Phillips Temple, Pastor Jimmy Washington and Upper Room, Pastor Arron for their constant support.

Also, we are grateful for all our supporters who enable us to do what God has called us to do. We value your prayers and support. Please pray for our family as we press into our new season.

Steve and Pattie

Fun, impactful, and encouraging!

I’m still working with Phillips Temple and Upper Room. Both churches are seeing an increase of the Holy Spirit’s presence in worship and in the messages. The Spirit and the Word have power!

Phillips people will be placing Saturate materials into their neighborhood in April just before Easter.

Our last outreach we went to a Laundromat. We could not help people fold clothes. When we walked in people immediately asked for prayer. The team prayed for forty-five minutes. Vivian stated, I’ve never seen anything like this! The people were so hungry for prayer.”

I am working with The Living City Project in Dayton for a city-wide cleanup April 6th.

We are developing host sites and encouraging the communities of Dayton to join in.  Dayton Inspires just released a video of the project. So far there have been fifteen thousand views.  Thirty-five churches, organizations, businesses and health suppliers are on board. We are expecting many more.

#KindnessNow Summit combines Kindness Outreach, the spiritual power of Acts of Kindness, with God Space, communicating God’s Kindness in Relationships.


Join the conversation with Steve Sjogren, Doug Pollock, and others. (see also KindnessOutreach.com and GodGPS.com)

Kindness Outreach our #kindnessnow 2.0 Summit will be in Cincinnati May 2nd – the 4th.

 
This week
Upper Room is hosting a team from Bethel Discipleship School, California. We’ve connected the team to several young evangelists and inner-city ministries who are passionate about changing our community. Saturday we will be heading out into Tipp City to love people in practical ways. Peeps, Daffs and Prayer. Stores will receive a vase and Daffs. Some people will receive a box of Peeps. What I love most about the Upper Room is their commitment to serve others and to freely give away what God has given to them.

Steve & Pattie

Prayer Points.

  • Our future: We are sensing a possible shift coming.
  • Pray for continued favor and open doors.
  • Pattie will be changing jobs. Pray she will have favor, an open door, and clear direction.
  • Patties mom is ninety-five. Pattie and I will be going to Birmingham this summer for a couple of weeks to be with her. We’ve postponed any distance travel this summer to be accessible.

Here is an informative book review of my book Go. Sow.

Kindness Summit 2.0

#kindnessnow servant evangelism 2.0 summit.

By Steve Bowen0 48

#kindnessnow 2.0

Join us for new insights, communication skills, and profound encouragement of Servant Evangelism 2.0 and God Space Conversations at our upcoming Summit!

We believe #KindnessNow is more important than ever!  We envision Christ followers trained and activated in word and in works to reach our world.  At a recent gathering of over 62,000 people called The Send,  Andy Byrd from YWAM closed with this statement:

“It was not about a stage, not about microphones, not about speakers, not about worship band.  It’s about the everyday, common believers filled with an uncommon spirit and an uncommon passion to go anywhere for the sake of the Gospel…. We are stepping into the most activated generation in all of human history.”-Andy Byrd, The Send in Orlando 2/23/2019

Kindness Outreach Creates:

  • Outward Focused Cultures in Church Plants
  • Connections between Social Justice and the Gospel Story
  • Contexts for (Power) Encounters
  • More In-depth God Space Conversations
  • Next Steps for Citywide Movements
  • “Out” in Small Groups/Missional Practices/Neighboring
  • Bridges for Multi-Cultural Evangelism
  • Momentum for Stuck Churches

Research from the recent Barna study, Reviving Evangelism, describes the distance between what Not-Yet-Believers need in faith conversations versus the skills possessed by Christians they know.  (https://www.barna.com/research/non-christians-faith-conversations/)

#KindnessNow combines Kindness Outreach, the spiritual power of Acts of Kindness, with God Space, communicating God’s Kindness in Relationships. Join the conversation with Steve Sjogren, Doug Pollock, and others.  May 2nd – 4th in Cincinnati, OH./#

Get your tickets now!

You’ve just been kissed! February Outreach.


How’s it works… One year we were focusing on teachers. So we made their day on Valentines Day by delivering 100’s of special Valentine cupcakes to the schools. Teachers need appreciation and the outreach help us build bridges and also meet a need in a practical way.

Here’s how we’ve done the outreach in the past.

special connect card goes into each pack
tables are located at all exits, red or black table cloths and fun balloons create a fun vibe.
The two weekends just before Valentines day. Our teens and children’s areas pack thousands of Hershie Kisses into small zip lock bags with our special ‘You’ve just been kissed!’ connect card. People grab several of the bags as they leave the weekend services and go about kissing the people Dayton during the week.
packed by our kids ministry helps spread the DNA of kindness

                                        Instruction sheet helps people know what to do

 A couple of years ago I went to the gym on one of my usual gym days. (My wife tells me it’s a good thing.) When I arrived I asked the receptionist, ‘Have you been kissed today?’ She smiled and said, ‘Nope, not today.’ I then gave her a pack said, ‘Well you’ve just been kissed.’ She laughed and exclaimed, ‘You’re from the Vineyard right?’ I replied, ‘Yep. We are kissing people all over the city this week.’


Here’s another example of what we’ve done:

On the Saturday before Valentines Day we head out to a couple of strip malls near the Vineyard. We take the packs of kisses, and several buckets of carnations. We pop into the businesses and head to the customer service desk and ask, ‘How many ladies are working today?’

We then count out the flowers and Hershey packs…and say, ‘We are from the Vineyard and you’ve just been kissed.’

Usually some of the other assistants are around and join in the exchange. Often, a male worker will ask for a carnation for his girlfriend or wife. Some guys say, ‘Thanks for the reminder.’

Most people are open, curious, laugh and catch the vibe.

One group went to a high end Spa/Hair place, all of the working ladies gathered to receive their flower. ‘Who are you guys? Others exclaim, ‘This is so cool.’ Or sigh, ‘This will be my only present today.’Flowers and kisses were also handed out to the ladies who were becoming beautiful-er.

One of the team noticed one of the ladies getting her hair cut didn’t receive a flower. So, being the sensitive, thinking person she is, made an extra special effort to find another team grab a flower and run back to the shop…when she gave the lady the flower, the surprised and delighted lady exclaimed, ‘You’ve just made my day! Thank you.’

Really? Made her day? Makes me wonder what one of her days looks like? Makes me wonder if she was ever loved, or had a caring boy friend, or had husband, or is now connected to an uncaring guy?

What’s in a gift of a small flower and a pack of kisses?

I think serving others in a fun, creative way sends an upbeat message to the people in our stressed out world.Serving others often is a small action that sends a signal that says, ‘Hey, someone cares for you.’ The action preformed with genuine love somehow touches the heart.

My friend Scott, says, ‘Agape love revealed… means my love is demonstrated as I serve others through the choices I make, and by the actions I take.’ 

Process for Kiss Dayton:
4 weeks out: have connect cards printed (www.marketplaceprinting)

4 weeks out: order Hershey Kisses (snacc foods Cincinnati)

4 weeks out: order 4”X4” zip bags (BGR bags West Chester OH)

4 weeks out: order boxes of Carnations for pick up

2 weeks out: have kids or teens pack the bags
Week of: have packs placed at all exits
Valentine Day Outreach
3 days out: pick up flowers, cut stems and place in buckets of water so they will be open on the day

3 days out: design maps with instructions and contact phone numbers

3 days out: make name tags
3 days out: gather Kiss packs and place in a larger bags for transport or containers

Saturday the day before Valentines Day…
Outreach
Gather at 10am

Give Instructions: go to shops, go to check out or customer service, ask, How many ladies are working today, count out Kisses packs and flowers give to workers, Say,
‘We’re from the Vineyard and you’ve just been kissed.’ Also, be open to God’s leading and offer pray with people. Divide up into teams Load up and head out.
After project head to Caribou Coffee, or Starbucks for download and great java.

 

Steve Bowen