Serving tips...

Serving Tips... kindnesstogo

tips to help you strengthen your serve

We want to help people to serve well...

Serving Tips
How to serve others more effectively

If you have signed up to serve at the Vineyard, you might be excited, nervous, and feeling a bit like a fish out of water. Good news… it’s normal. Here are some tips to help you develop confidence as you serve.

Gain knowledge…be sure you seek the information you need and that you have an understanding about your assignment. It’s ok to ask questions and to ask for a simple job description before your time of service. Be sure to attend any training sessions before the event. Find out What, When, Where, How.

Exercise…confidence grows as we apply our serving skills through experience. Simply put…the more you serve…the better you serve.

Find a place…Show up early to receive instructions. If you show up late there may be people are rushing to meet time lines; setting things up, moving here and there the energy is high.

The show up events can feel a little like being out of control, chaos. We prefer to call it organized excitement. We really do have a plan and know what we are doing.

The key to press through this stage of the event is to actively seek to find a place of service. Step back and look around and begin to ask yourself is there anything needing done that’s not being done? Is there any equipment that needs to be moved, or set up, or trash needing picked up? Are there any volunteers that seem over whelmed you could help?

Ask people on the team questions. Most have served before and are always willing to explain what's going on. Learn to step back and take a wide look at what's going on, then take a deep breath and begin to serve.

People focused… remember people are always much more important than the task at hand. In the midst of serving... remember it’s all about building relationships and revealing Jesus to the people we serve.

Attitude…have you ever been served by an uptight aggressive person? I have. I’ve wondered why they are serving in the first place? Having a positive attitude toward the people you are serving with and toward those we are serving is all important. People are usually pretty perceptive and can sense when we are uptight, having a bad day, or when we are full of encouragement and are genuinely seeking to care about them.

Tip: before the event it is important for you to do some personal prayer prep, to pause and think why you signed up and ask God to help you care for others, and help you to serve with a good heart. Chose to wear a smile, and to allow your love to be real.

Paul writing in Philippians chapter 2 talks about having a proper serving attitude. He says, in your serving:

Don’t be selfish…as you serve don't be focused on your feelings and your needs, but choose to focus on the needs of others. Chose to be outward focused by thinking ...'no matter what I am going through, how insecure I feel today, I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and focus on the needs of others.

Be humble…begin to think how you can effectively express Gold’s love and grace toward those you are serving. Perhaps your expression of humility will be a kind smile, a calm voice toward and aggressive stressed out person, a warm look toward someone who looks out of place, a gentile hug to affirm a kid, an informative answer to a nervous question, or a prayer asking God to meet a need.

Bottom line…How do you learn to serve? By serving. Serving others generates a healthy other centeredness. Consistently serving others is one of the ways God brings health and healing into our lives.

Block Party On Main

another great Block Party...

this was the first on Main St. We were in a field next to the Dayton Vineyard Campus downtown. The history of the field is interesting...about 15 years ago the Dayton Vineyard held the first Christmas Party in the school building which is now the field where the party was located.

We had the usual games, bouncy castle, food, crafts, prizes and YWAM Team Extreme. Their short show was amazing.

Power lifters, brick breakers, bar benders and great story tellers. In the end they invited people to give their lives to Jesus Christ and offered prayer.

Our team of pastors prayed for lots of people for healing and encouraged people toward Jesus.
Huge fun, a great day...

Several of the people we serve breakfast to on Thursdays showed up to serve with us...

A real sense of God's presence, peace and encouragement.

By the way rain threatened all rain until we were packed up and headed home...then came the downpour....This has happened over the 6 years of FunFests
never rained out. Interesting.

kindness is action

Recently there has been an unprecedented move toward serving and expressing kindness around the globe. Oprah's Big Give, American Idol Gives Back etc. Also, the church around the world is advancing the Kingdom through serving... love in action.

Kindness is revealed through action. Action does speak louder than-words.

A decade or so ago there were few early explorers who ventured into the arena of kindness expressed through serving. The Cincy Vineyard was a church who began a great experiment. They began to wonder what would and could happen if they began to serve their city in practical ways?

To their surprise the people of Cincinnati responded in a positive manner. Believers who had had enough of going through the motions of simply attending, listening, attending, listening, over and over... began to show up to play in the game. They discovered they could Find God, Find Friends, and Find a Job. They were provided with many opportunities to make a difference in their community through serving.

Some of the serving was stumbled upon by accident, or as people noticed need. The projects ranged from giving cold drinks to drivers on hot days, bags of groceries to the poor, cleaning windshields at filling stations, to handing out newspapers on street corners. The response was usually, Why are you doing this? The answer, 'We are just showing you God's love in a practical way.'

Out of this grand experiment a book titled Conspiracy of Kindness was penned by Steve Sjogren. It has continued to sell in large numbers. It has now sold over 200,000 copies. Yet, when the book first hit the book stores church leaders were intrigued, yet cautious.

The early adapters began to experiment within their context and the kindness movement began to spread. Now the kindness / serving movement is world wide. No longer contained to Cincinnati but as with any truth, spreading. The DNA is also morphing. Serving is now expressed in various ways within the context of a locality.

Here is a modified bell curve...

The Elites are that rare breed of people who are not only visionary but the are usually the odd change agents, the little off center people who know change must come and business cannot be continued as normal. They are the pioneers, those who constantly want to make a difference within their world. They often form the early models and lay DNA.

I've discovered that 'creative elites' are generational and each new 'elite' who emerges within a generation either improves upon a previous generations ideas or creates new models. It is interesting that some of the early elites of the the servant movement are now struggling with the new emerging elites who are continuing to develop, create new ideas and expand the serving DNA within their context.

The Visionaries are people who dream of what could be and begin to create what could be. They develop and spread an idea or concept. Some are practitioners who not only dream of what could be, but begin to practically create what could be. They experiment. They practice. They take risks. They do. They are the early discovery people. Who spearhead movements or a concept. Steve Sjogren, Dave Workman, Doug Roe, Robert Lewis,
Mike Pilavachi are just a few of the Servant Leaders who began to dream and to establish serving communities.

The Engaged are forward thinking learners who know change must happen. They are looking for what could work within their context and begin to listen, gain knowledge and understanding and begin to implement and develop the idea / concept within the realm of their context.

People who are engaging the principles of serving their communities toward Christ are increasing.
Many churches are becoming the engaged and are now serving their communities in remarkable ways. Rick Rusaw, and Eric Swanson and churches within The Externally Focused Network are some of the now engaged servant leaders.I believe we are at the middle, moving toward the right of the bell curve.

Pragmatists are usually the traditionalists. This group may slowly begin to understand the serving concept, yet they want to see if what works for others can really work for them. They are the cautious. Slow to adapt and to change. The need clarification and dialogue. However, once pragmatists click in and begin to play in the game they are usually the strong supporters, key leaders and givers.

One friend of mine was a pragmatist, resistant to the idea of serving with kindness as a way of connecting to his community. However, he was changed as he committed himself to experiment within his community. His positive heart change developed as he discovered his own personal significance through serving and now is one of the champions for the serving movement in his city.

are a larger group, they understand some basic concepts, but they don’t like change especially in areas they don’t completely understand. ie. Some have declared, 'Serving isn't the's not what Jesus would do.' 'We've always done things this way'... etc.

If they don't change they will most probably cease to exist. They are probably best thought of as the 'somewhat slow off the mark people'. They are the late adopters and adapters.

A few years ago I spoke to the leaders of two main denominational conferences. Although intrigued by the serving message. It was too little too late. Average leaders age in both conferences was well above 45, few new church plants, and almost no young people, and many of their churches closing or being consolidated. These good people need to sense an urgency within their hearts and begin to see with new eyes. Change can be good.

Skeptics... change! what's change? Somewhat negative an understatement. Resistant to new ideas and ways of doing things. It takes a long time for people viewing life with skeptical lenses to discover the joy of serving.

I'm encouraged by the serving movement that is on the incline around the world. I believe the best is yet to come...

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton, In the Presence of the Lord The bluesman has been haunted by God through his early years, his born-again period, and his recovery. John Powell | posted 4/09/2008 08:00AM

interesting article in Christianity Today In his autobiography,

Clapton elaborates on the beginnings of his prayer life — that 1987 rock-bottom moment at the rehab treatment center. "I was in complete despair," Clapton wrote.

"In the privacy of my room, I begged for help. I had no notion who I thought I was talking to, I just knew that I had come to the end of my tether

… and, getting down on my knees, I surrendered. Within a few days I realized that … I had found a place to turn to, a place I'd always known was there but never really wanted, or needed, to believe in.

From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning, on my knees, asking for help, and at night, to express gratitude for my life and, most of all, for my sobriety. I choose to kneel because I feel I need to humble myself when I pray, and with my ego, this is the most I can do. If you are asking why I do all this, I will tell you … because it works, as simple as that."

John Powell is associate professor of history at Oklahoma Baptist University.
Copyright © 2008 Christianity Today.

It begins or I should say It continues

We've always gone to the least, to the lonely and to the lost. Over the next 6 weeks we will be encouraging people to Join the Adventure. To step up, take part, give, serve and Go.

We continue to push into our community and are seeing people begin to respond to our Main St Breakfast and Food Pantry. It takes time to develop relationships and to build trusting relationships. Many of the people who are consistent are opening their lives up and sharing their story.

April 19 Get On The Bus! takes a new shape by developing a Block Party On Main. People understand Block Party. The party will be located just next to our place on Main St. on an unused piece of land central to all traffic and the neighborhood. I'm anticipating a huge turn out.

I just finished teaching 3 sessions for YWAM DTS. It was fun and brought back memories of my time as a YWAMer in Scotland. The training was well received by the students and I think helpful.

My challenge this year...all outside teaching, training etc that I do I will be keeping 10% and giving 90% away. Pattie and I are pretty excited about this new adventure. Hopefully I have some bookings, for training and coaching and that will expand over the next 3 years.