Creating God Space

Shared this with the church this past weekend. podcast on itunes if you are interested. Here are the notes and a link

Creating God Space Where God Things Can Happen.

Acts 17:28-29 NIV                                                                                                    God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.'

Decisions Determine Destiny

What is God Space? 

God space is a space that we can create by faith. God space is a tangible atmosphere, or an environment, where God’s presence, goodness, kindness, knowledge and power is present to nurture faith in another human being. steve bowen

Clues to creating God Space.

Learn to be a friendly open hearted person.

Proverbs 18:24 NKJ
A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

What’s friendly look like?

How do you know when someone is friendly and open heated?

What are some tips to becoming a friendlier person?

Luke 6:31 NAS
Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

Notice others, be aware of the people around you.


Guess where most people live?

Matthew 9:36 NAS
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Actively listen for God prompts.
Prov 8:34 NAS
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.  For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.

Jn 10:27 NAS
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Develop otherlyness through serving.

See Mike's Bike Pump Recycle Your Faith.  
Matt 20:28 NAS
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Offer prayer... prayer is the connection point.

Matthew 10:8 NLT
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!

Big Idea:
In order to Create God Space for others, we have to first create God space for ourselves.

No Inflow, No Outflow..

Matthew 10:8 NLT
Give as freely as you have received!

What have you received?

Two Sacrifices that are pleasing to God.

Love God... Love Others ...the law of first things.

Heb 13:15NAS
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.  And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Through Jesus, the Father creates the acceptable worshippers He seeks.
Through Jesus, our serving is accepted as a pleasing sacrifice.

Seven Bags by Ken Glassmeyer

Here is an article done by 

'Begin with what you have, from where you are.' Doug Roe

It all started about twenty years ago when a handful of people with a heart for the city of Dayton, Ohio, led by Doug Roe and Scott Sliver, pulled their resources together and went to a local grocery store and purchased enough food to fill seven paper bags of groceries.  They set out to bring a little taste of the kingdom to a few hurting families that resided in the poorest communities of the Gem City.

Fast-forward two decades and you see the incredible ripple effect of that small-scale act of mercy has had on the region. That small group of caring people transformed into a “pretty good church” that is now one of the largest distributors of emergency food, supplies, and services in the Midwest.  Their food pantry alone hands out over 3,000 lbs of food per week touching over 1500 people per month. Doug Roe now pastors the Dayton Vineyard that numbers in the thousands, Scott Sliver is still the worship leader, but also heads the amazing Hope Foundation, an incredible organization that spreads mercy and compassion throughout the region with a focus on kindness and ridiculous generosity.

They have an awesome food pantry at their Beavercreek campus that feeds several hundred families per month.  It is not your normal food pantry.  The d├ęcor is more akin to the showroom of a private buyers club.  Guests are served as they wait for their turn to shop for free as well as get invaluable counseling, and prayer.  Everything done in this building is done with great love, and just walking through it you can feel the residue of kindness.  The smiles of the people being served is infectious.  Suddenly the Biblical phrase “bring the good news to the poor” has a new cognitive traction.  The mercy and compassion given to others in this place is tangible.

These folks have discovered a way to hand out “good news you can use” as one of the patrons I chatted with explained.  I walked from the comfortable welcome area I noticed a dedicated space that was use to store the supplies. A great deal of the floor space of their church is given to endeavors of mercy and compassion.  In fact, it would be hard for you to walk more than a few steps in any direction on their campus without bumping into resources designed to serve others.  These people get it.  Not only is an outward focus part of their DNA, it is the very lifeflow of their church.  I was not only impressed with the dedication of design and implementation, but also the collective creativity of this "pretty good church."  

If you are a pastor, planter, or leader let me suggest that spending a few days in Dayton, Ohio hanging out with Doug Roe, Scott Sliver, Steve Bowen, and the incredible team these men have have surrounded themselves with might very well be the best investment you ever make with regards to training.  

Forget going to the next conference or workshop.  Instead, get your hands a little dirty and work shoulder to shoulder with these folks to get some real kingdom training.  Perhaps that is most interesting thing about this unique church:no matter what your role is, being a servant comes first. 

Even the worship leader is skilled at using a manual fork truck and is not immune to hefting heavy boxes of food and frozen meat.  Every member of the staff and core leadership gets involved in some shape of form with mercy and compassion.  During the visit, I met one of their missions leaders and he was prepping to take a team to Honduras later this year.  They had all shown up to help around the pantry and prep for the outreach.

What is interesting is that in order to participate in foreign ministries you do not simply send in a deposit and go to a workshop or a few meetings.  There is a required sweat equity deposit that goes along with the trip cost.  You have to serve locally before you ever begin to think about heading out of the country! 

While the pantry may be at the nexus of their operations, these folks are driven to continuously export the mercy and compassion that is in great supply here far beyond the four walls of their church—well actually they have more than four walls, as they grew exponentially in direct correlation to their generosity to the community to the point that they purchased a vacant Furrow’s Home Improvement store that was retrofitted both as a place to worship and serve as a depot of God’s grace. Now they are getting ready to move into there new modest Worship space designed to seat 1800 people.

They are always thinking about new ways to tweak outreach to better serve the people of the community.  The facility is the true essence of mutli-purpose.  This is one of the most flexible groups of people I have ever met. They have tapped into the secret nature of mercy.  See once you invest your organization into serving the community, more opportunites present themselves to increase and enhance your ability to serve.  What started as a group of friends with seven bags of groceries that they bought out of their own purses and wallets has become an adventure.  There are now partnering with the Dayton Food Bank and receive surprise supplies from various other sources within the community. When your only agenda is serving the community, people you don't even know begin to trust you with their abundance because you develop a reputation for spreading mercy.

Most impressive is their mobile food pantry.  They rotate their visits to thepoorest of communities of the Dayton area, twice per month.  They load a truck (with a huge lift-gate!) with nearly three tons of food, including frozen meat, to take directly to the center of the poorest neighborhoods.  It starts with dedicated volunteeers showing up Wednesday nights to pack and sort the food and early Saturday morning to prep the truck and load.  

Especially impressive are the portable "coolers" these folks have fashioned out of those black tub inserts that people usually use for landscaping ponds.  This ingenious crew used two of them to fashion a sort of fish sandwich box with bolts and wing-nuts to make a top and bottom that fastens and holds the ice to keep pershibles chilled during transport, and their truck has a fork lift to unload this and other supplies right in the middle of whatever neighborhood they happen to be serving.  

It is really quite amazing to watch.  Folks receive enough groceries to help them make ends meet for a few days--often enough to help them make it to the end of the month.  This is especially true because not only are they getting the canned and dry goods, but each family walks away with more than five pounds of frozen meat!  You have to see the faces of the folks being served to understand how unusual this is.  When they are guided over to the makeshift butcher shop and told they can chose what they want, bacon, ground beef, sausage, sirloin patties, turkey, hot dogs, frozen chicken, and even beef brisket their eyes just shine. 

Thanks to a little bit of elbow grease and humble hearts, hundreds of people get a little taste of the Kingdom. The volunteers also assist the people who show up by taking their groceries to their cars, or homes. Here is the kicker, they always offer prayer as an option. Ninety-nine percent of the people in need say yes to receiving prayer. It was amazing to see small groups of people huddled holding hands praying.

Not only do they touch the lives of the people they serve, moving outside the four walls of their church transforms the lives of the people serving.  

I went on one of the Saturday morning runs and briefly paired up with two incredible women, Robin and Junatita.  This happened to be their first time out to serve.  It was amazing to see them at work.  They were born naturals dispensing kindness and mercy.  They confided in me that they had been nervous--especially about evangelism.  Once they saw that they were only responsible for showing up, helping people with their groceries and being quick with a friendly smile, their worries were over. Once they understood that they were just to be themselves and share the love that God so generously shared with them, they were able to serve with confidence. I stepped back and let them do all the talking and they did just fine.  They even led one man in a salvation prayer--with out even having to witness beyond the kindness they were giving, and simply answering the man's childlike questions with simple honest, personal answers.  It was incredible--watching a new birth by new midwives of the kingdom always is a wonerful scene.

Ken Glassmeyer is the Editor of Serve! Magazine.  He has been doing SE outreach in the midwest for over twenty years.  Ken is the author of a number of PDF guides available at Kindness Resources including the latest:  "Tactical Kindness." You can contact Kindness Resources LLC for more information on having him come to your church to coach, speak or consult. 

WaterKidz! 2

What an amazing time at the Beavercreek 4th of July parade! We had a blast!

We loaded up 10 Kroger shopping carts with water approx 1500 bottles. (a shopping cart can hold over 150 bottles, we lined the cart with plastic drop cloth to keep the ice and water in the cart, well at least some of it. It was a hot day)

We gathered at our position, we were number 26 in a line of about 80 participants. We even had a tree for shade to wait under until the launch of the parade.

One thing we immediately noticed, people participating in the parade, and those who were waiting for the parade to start were thirsty. Approx 300 bottles left the carts before we started the parade.

In hindsight we should have brought a few carts of water just for the people participating in the parade, pushed the carts down the line up, and had a few carts of water waiting at the end of the parade route for the people who marched in the parade.
Along the mile route, Comments like, 'You guys are the best thing in this parade!' 'Thanks a lot! You are a life saver! You rock!'

It was interesting, we intentionally did not have a giant banner sign that said, 'The Vineyard A pretty good church.' We did have many signs that stated, 'Free Water.' The only 'church' item was the sticker. It was interesting to see the reactions when people read the label. Smiles, puzzled looks, interested expressions, one lady said, Vine Yard, no, Vineyard, they're a church?!

No large sign was the spin, humble intention, that hopefully stated, you are the important one, not us.

The Vineyard Kidz had a blast, the parents and adults on the team also were hero's and represented a good cross section from kid, to teen, to young adult, to people my age.

Here is a note from the organizer.

Thanks so much for supporting the Beavercreek parade; fireworks tonight. We really appreciate having the Vineyard Kidz out; about! Thanks for sharing hydrating the crowd! Hope to have you back next year!!

pictures Susi Kosac White and Juanita Gonzalez




WaterKidz 1

Outreach 101. A foundational principle of reaching out to your community is... Take a careful look at your community. What's up? What's happening? How can you help? Where can you serve? How can you give support? How can you participate? How can you make a difference? What can you do?

One place to go to to look for what's happening is your local chamber of commerce. They usually have a list of events, happenings, gatherings, key city wide listings and partnerships.

One event that is happens every year is the local 4th of July celebration. In our area it's a big deal. In the past we have blitzed the 80,000 people who attend downtown Dayton with free water and special labels or stickers. We partnered with the fire station and used their location as a reloading station. The EMT crew were always grateful that we were in a small way making their job easier. Also, the local organizing and planning team from City Folk were always grateful for the 40 cases of water we donated to serve the people who set up the huge event.

More locally our teens would go to Delco Park and offer free water and light sticks to the people arriving.

Push Pause
Asking questions helps stimulate thought and creativity. This year we are asking questions. We don't just want to go through the motions, but to seek to make sure we are on target meeting need and making an impact.

This Sunday is the 4th of July. We are joining the Beavercreek 4th of July Parade. Our Vineyard Kidz will be pushing 20 Kroger carts full of water during the parade and handing out water to the people view the event. We will be wearing Vineyardkidz t-shirts. Our carts will have small signs saying free water.

The announcement will introduce our team  and say, "The Dayton Vineyard is a pretty good church that seeks to meet the practical needs of our community. Vineyard Kidz are serving the community today giving away free water." Simple, connected to the community and above all fun!

Cincy Vineyard: Small things done with great love will change the world.
Rick Rusaw: Good deeds create good will that opens hearts to the good news.
Steve Bowen: Serving others creates God Space where God things can happen.

It's all a process people, all a process.