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Every opportunity that we get to speak to or serve others is an opportunity to heighten and extend our reach to others.  Such opportunities equal open season for us to act as extensions of God’s grace and love, even His forgiveness and mercy.  We could serve as instruments in the Master’s hands.  We could simply reach someone else for Christ.

I say no to that.

It is not that simple.  We have to expand our evangelism.  We have to maximize our missions.  We have to increase our impact.

Look in Acts.  Barnabas mentored and partnered with Paul.  They took John Mark along with them on their missionary journey.  Later, Paul and Silas took along Timothy.  Somewhere in there, Luke his way into the text, too.

What do I mean?

Add an element of engagement to your ministry.  Engage youth in a mentoring and training program, even rites of passage.  Prepare youth for college withal rigorous teaching based on sound biblical principles and include a summer intensive tied to. community outreach and service.  Mandate scholarship recipients serve as summer interns with vacation Bible school or other church ministries, even working with the church administration.

Read Titus chapter 2 again.  It’s about how we engage youth through our churches and communities.  We, the pastor, the men, and the women, are to serve as a “pattern of good works.” We need to engage others in every effort that we make.

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Key question: Have you built a ministry that builds up people to be better servants of the Lord?

Take your time.  Think about all of the people who serve under you.  Let things play back in your mind. 

We need people experiencing edification.  We need people being built up within our midst.  We need to get busy building folks up.

Why?

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people
to do his work and build up the church,
the body of Christ.
– Ephesians 4:12 (NLT)

We are called to do so.  We have been commissioned to do so.  It is our calling.  Let us live up to it.

Give the people who come to you an extreme experience.  Offer an edifying experience.  Take people to the edge by standing on the cutting edge as opposed to the status quo.  Let people experience Christianity beyond the stuffy, Sunday morning sermonized Savior that seems so distant that He could not have possibly walked on earth.  Give them the real deal when you share about the Savior.  Show them the Jesus who saves.  Share the Jesus who sacrificed for the sinful.  Provide an opportunity to experience Jesus in spirit and in truth.
Look at some examples of radical Christianity. . .

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Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12 (ESV)

We have work to do.  We do not need to do this work because Jesus came and did many works.  We have great works to do because Jesus has gone to the Father.  We need to do such works as Jesus Christ.

We continue in the works that He began through His earthly ministry.  How? Just like Peter and the other apostles of Jesus Christ did.  Just as Paul did so.  Just as the early church did so.  We need to continue just as Jesus Christ started.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:- Philippians 1:6 (KJV)

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Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.-
Martin Luther King Jr. Poster Print, 24x36Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life Path Ministries & Services is launching a four-month sponsorship drive for its Youth-N2-Action program.  Youth-N2-Action targets at-risk and low-income youth in grades 10 and 11 for community service, leadership development and tiered mentoring.  Our goal is to teach and train a minimum of 50 youth entering into the 11th grade next school year with leadership skills, mentoring support from community and business leaders, and offer community service and service learning opportunities over an 18 to 24-month campaign period for the class of 2013.  During 2012, we plan to expand the program to include 10th graders and have our Difference-Makers Camp offered for both classes as an excursion of education, exposure and empowerment.

We believe that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders.  It is imperative for today’s leaders to teach and train today’s youth for tomorrow’s leadership opportunities.  Join the effort to help us help youth in San Diego take charge and take action.

Go to the site: http://200club.chipin.com/200-club-youth-sponsors and donate a one-time sponsorship of $200 or a partial sponsorship of $100 during the campaign.  Forward the link http://200club.chipin.com/200-club-youth-sponsors and/ or this post to 5 other people who are concerned and compassionate about the issues facing our youth today and the leadership gap that will exist if the youth are not taught and trained today.

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Office Space - Special Edition with Flair (Widescreen Edition)

Got a case of the Mondays?  Much like the lead character played by Ron Livingston in Office Space, you may find yourself in such a predicament.  You may dread getting ready and going in to work.  That may be your issue with Mondays.
Change that malfunction into a makeover.  Approach Mondays with a new freshness.  Try some things that may get you going on Mondays.
  • Schedule your catch-up time at the end of the day Monday (after lunch may be best).
  • “Monitor of Motivation”: Adjust your screen saver and the settings to where an inspirational or motivational message scrolls across the screen when you come in on Mondays. Be sure to change it every Friday.
  • Schedule a special lunch (with your wife, old buddy from high school or a retired mentor).  Get out of the office and strike up a conversation about anything but work
  • Sunday Set-Up: Set your mind on work some time Sunday evening- maybe right after 60 Minutes.  Get your first orders of business together for the next day.  See if it helps .

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 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. – Acts 4:32 (NIV)

Running short on your street mission and shelter funding or praying that the bank doesn’t shut down your community youth center? There may be some simple solutions right at your fingertips and within your reach. You can get some contributions coming in to support the ministry that you have going on within the community.

Share What You Do

You have to tell what you do and make it known to every one you interact with on any given day. Become your biggest spokesperson. People will gladly help you when they know that what you do is almost part of your natural DNA.

Build on the Business Buzz

Truly, even with a recession like this one, you can create some unique “selling” opportunities. Identify some organizations or corporations who have found themselves in hot water lately. Imagine if you had gotten to BP right after the oil spill in the Gulf. What better way to make up for a mess than to change the public’s perception of you as a public servant, corporate leader, or a marketplace mover and shaker. Get with the Better Business Bureau or local chamber of commerce in your community to see who may be prime candidates in a position to give and get press. You may have to be prepared for a media event like a press conference or ribbon cutting for the new wing of beds donated in the name of who knows who, but the dog and pony show come with the territory. That’s the decision you need to make in analyzing who you approach for help.

Create Giving Opportunities

The ability to host gala events of $50-plate roasts and special events that sizzle with the pizzazz of all of the bells and whistles may not be something within the range of your budget or even scope at this point. Create a special event and add the things that will attract niche audiences. Attach a trendy theme to the event. Don’t rent that hotel ballroom. Go for the art gallery or the contemporary art museum, even the historical landmark site. Make the place special and off the beaten path. Use everything that sets your event apart to attract the “new” rich, i.e. techies, skaters, environmentalists, vegans, and others.

Hometown Heroes

Get your local hometown heroes to help out with your fund-raising efforts. Where is that high school phenom who went pro? Whatever became of that cute girl from around the way who went to the Olympics when they were in Atlanta? Wasn’t there a pop music artist who grew up near here? Make your hometown heroes advocates and spokespeople for your cause.

Attach to a movement that’s bigger than your ministry. Create your own opportunities. Develop a plan. Explore and exercise your options. There is a way that you can get more money flowing into your ministry so that you can do more work. It can be done.

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Today’s Youth = Tomorrow’s Leaders

We adopted that as the tagline for Youth-N2-Action during its inception.  It is a simple but profound concept.  We may see them as youth today, pants sagging and iPods or cell phones connected to their ears, but see past the present.  See them as the future.  One day they will lead the way.

Look at the 2008 presidential campaign. President Obama did something extraordinary.  He got people out to vote.  He rallied others to get others to vote.  Yes, he utilized modern technology for raising funds, but he also utilized it as a medium and means for getting younger voters involved in the political process to bring about change.  Such a change led to a change that brought forth the change of a Black U.S. President, raising the level of achievement for those who have been short-changed and hamstrung in the past and the present by achievement gaps and other socioeconomic indicators.

Believe in today’s youth.  Seek to reach them through diverse programs.  They need everything from academics and athletics to the arts and sciences. Let them freely express themselves with everything from poetry to pottery, from rap to scrap booking. Allow them to develop into the well-rounded people we want leading our nation and embracing globalization. 

The last thing we would want as tomorrow’s senior citizens is for today’s youth to look at us with blank stares and ask: “Who are you? Now that you need me to step up I can’t because you you didn’t step up when I needed you.”

Let us not let that be the case for our collective futures.

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