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PRESIDENT’S CHALLENGE From Visiting to Serving by Blaine Donaldson, President, Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches


We regularly see trends in society that are so hard to understand, mainly because we do not share the same perspective. Oſten we toss these observations into the big bucket of post-modernism. I am not post-modern, yet I am not focused on decrying it. I am more interested in asking what opportunities are present in our culture today to use as a means of making disciples. Interestingly, there are several opportunities available today amongst Millenni- als that were not available to the previous generation. A negative amongst Millennials is that they are reluctant to


join organizations. Most of our churches are finding that young people are very slow to integrate into the church, let alone become a member. However, several studies have found that Millennials have a strong desire to make a difference in the world through personal actions. Tey feel, “I care about the world and the suffering in it, and I want to feel like I am doing something about it.” Tis desire can be used to integrate them into the church. I have spoken with a couple of church leaders who have a specific


strategy to integrate new people into their body very quickly. From what I have observed in their churches, they seem to be quite suc- cessful. I would like to offer up their strategy today, and I recom- mend that you consider it. Te strategy may not be well suited to your church, but it is something worth considering. A church in downtown Toronto that has the following policy:


“If you visit us this week, you are serving with us next week.” Grant- ed, this church has many service opportunities including a food bank, homeless shelter, and other social programs which accom- modate themselves well to unskilled, unexperienced workers. If you visit on a Sunday, someone will come up to you that Sunday and say something like, “I work with homeless people on Tuesday nights. I help them find a warm place to sleep; make sure that they can get a meal; or help them get connected with social services. Would you come and help me this Tuesday?” To my surprise, most Millennials will agree to help. I know that many of our churches do not have an abundance


of these kinds of programs. However, I would suggest that we give opportunities for people to serve much sooner than we normally do. Tis week, I spoke with a man in my church who said this to me, “My wife and I have been coming to this church for more than a year now, and we think that it is time that we start serving.” I don't think that they had been asked. I've known them for a year, and I did not ask. I would also suggest that as individuals and as churches, we look carefully at our communities and seek places where we can serve the


2 FellowshipForward.org


community. I would love to see every Christian in an FEBC church serve their communities one evening a week. If we did that, we would have lots of opportunities to ask new people in church to help. Why would we do this? Serving together seems to be one of


the most effective ways psychologically to get a person to trust and respect you. Tis trust and respect facilitates opportunities to share the Gospel and integrate people into our church. While we should have a heart to serve people who visit our churches, one of the best ways to serve them is to have them serve with you.


President’s Travel March Ministry trip to Prairie West churches (Sask.) Prairie West Pastor’s Retreat Western Canada Denominational Leaders Meeting Canadian Evangelical Presidents Meetings


April


Minnesota ministry trip Preaching at Community Bible, Butterfield, Minn. RHMA Pastor’s Conference, Morton, Ill. Manitoba Ministry trip


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