Consistency in Action.

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Our local news station showed up this week when we were serving 264 families in need. We go out 3 times every month to different locations dotted around the community. The Dayton Vineyard partner's with the Food Bank, The Hope Foundation and others who serve the less served of our community. The Vineyard provides a warehouse to store the food, to sort the food, bags to pack the food, a truck to pick up the food and to deliver the food to the people. We provide volunteers who help us pack and load the food on the truck. Also a group of people from the Vineyard go to the distribution points dotted around the city three times a month.

We attempt to treat every person we meet with respect and seek to serve their needs by carrying the food items to their home or their car. We also offer a listening ear, encouragement and prayer.

The Joseph Project Food Pantry is our onsite food pantry that is open 5 days a week Monday - Friday 10am to 2pm. Our Community of Hope team are scheduled each day to care for the people who come to receive help.

Each month we serve over 1500 people in need throughout the area.

It's a pretty good church serving our community with God's love in a practical way.

Power of Consistency...

Article in Serve Others

The Power Of Consistency by Steve Bowen

consistency 300x225 The Power Of Consistency by Steve Bowen 
The steadfast adherence to the same principles, or set course, staying the course day in and day out, week in and week out and year in and year out.

I’m reminded of the movie Galaxy Quest. The captain who was usually in trouble stated, “Never surrender, never give up.”

For a decade a simple sign was on my desk which declared,”Never give up. It’s aways too soon to give up.”

Consistency doesn’t give up. It sets its course and stays true to its principles.

Consistency is the common thread woven into the life of those who are called to change their world for Jesus.

David Wilkerson living in NY was always there…going out into the community, talking with people, encouraging seekers, and taking risks.

Floyd McClung living in Amsterdam and Afghanistan was out day by day, having conversations with people along the Hippy Trail, breaking down barriers, building bridges and loving people into a relationship with Jesus.

Billy Graham really didn’t ever change… His message was simple, direct to the point month by month year by year. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

Loren Cunningham mobilized the youth of many generations into their world encouraging young people to pray, to go, to believe, to serve, and to care.

Steve Sjogren learned the art of serving his community by going, doing and serving. He lives out his values by serving others with small acts of kindness consistently.

Mike Pilivochi and Soul Survivor in the U.K. serve, worship and share the good news, impacting thousands in Manchester, and London with Soul in the City.

How do you know when serving is beginning to impact a community?
1. People you serve begin to define your church in a positive manner. 
Hint: we are all already defined by our community, both positively and negatively.
The good news, we have a major part to play in creating a positive image.

If you want to know how your community defines your church go out into your community and ask.
A sample question: When you hear the name of our church (say name of church) what comes to your mind?

A few years ago living in Florida I went out into our community.  I asked. I found out we were known as the church that no longer existed. We were the church that had a nasty in-house disagreement and had split and died.

Slowly, but surely the tide turned. The church is now know as a major caring force and is respected in the community with 5 satellite locations. How did they change? They began to identify who they were and who they were call to be. They also discovered their mission and began pursue their mission and to serve others.

Oh, you’re that pretty good church that serves the community!
A couple of years ago I lost my phone. I went to my phone provider with an old phone to activate. When I went to the desk I was asked, “What business name is your phone under?” I said, “the Dayton Vineyard.” The lady standing next to me exclaimed: “Oh you’re that pretty good church that serves the community! I’ve heard about what you guys do.” I asked, “What have your heard?’ she then related examples of the positive things she and others have heard and seen us do. Humbly, but joyfully I replied, “Yep that’s us, we’re just pretty good.” I walked away encouraged. I thought, it really does work. What you sow is you reap.

How does happen? It’s simple, hard work. Years of hard work sowing, caring, praying, going, being out there in season and out of season.

We are consistent. Our consistency has given us favor and redefined ‘church’ to much of our community. Often people come to see what a pretty good church looks and feels like. Many become Christ followers as they hear our message and and observe our lifestyle.

2. You will discover you have favor with your community.
We know we need God’s favor to be upon our lives and upon what we do. So we seek to humble ourselves and ask Jesus to place His favor upon us as a church. He is the one who builds His Church. He is the only one who can bring the increase. He is the only one who opens doors and gives us favor with the people in our community. He is the one who gives us favor with mayors, school systems, park departments, and people of influence.

God’s favor is what empowered Daniel, Esther, Joseph and Jesus to impact the people within their sphere of influence. In fact the early church‘had the favor of all the people’ and Jesus ‘grew in favor with God and man.’

How do you gain favor with God and man?

You ask Jesus for His unmerited favor to increase upon you and your church.

You serve where you are, with what you have, while you can.
God honors faithfulness. As you faithfully serve others your heart will most probably lean toward loving what God loves. Having his heart for your community will also increase His favor upon your actions bringing you favor with the people you serve.

You learn to serve others with the attitude of Christ. (see Philippians Chapter 2.) The chapter defines true humility, embracing genuine love, developing a serving attitude, and serving others with a servant heart.

How do you learn to love like Jesus loves? By serving others.

In season and out of season…consistency is the key.
It’s consistently showering your community with good deeds done with the love Jesus gives.  It’s living consistently with the favor and grace that God provides. It’s being out in the community in which we live, day in, day out. It’s being wise. It’s how you act toward every person who talks to you about the hope you have within you.

Paul sums it up this way…
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 NIV

No great secret why serving churches are energized, thriving, and growing. It’s simple: Someone is praying. Someone is serving. Someone is loving. Someone is caring. Someone is going out into the community and sharing Gods love… consistently.

Buzz about Buzz

Taking 4th of July Water Outreach to Infinity and Beyond
Externally Focused Network Article.

What’s the problem?

The Vineyard Church has a strong desire to reach their city for Christ.  Many of the people that they want to reach simply have no interest in coming to a church, no matter how awesome they can make a Sunday morning service become. The attractional church model just isn’t quite cutting it. To reach the unreached of Dayton, The Vineyard Church has to take Jesus outside of their four walls to the streets.

What’s a solution?

In preparation for July 4th, 2011, The Vineyard Church developed a buzz to move them forward in their summer water outreach to the Dayton community. They purchased different well-known full sized characters – including Buzz Lightyear, the Hulk, and Justin Bieber. These characters were placed in different locations around the building as an encouragement for people to drop off cases of water. Each week, the characters were moved to different drop off locations to keep things interesting.

Each person was encouraged to give according to what they were able to. One guy dropped off 35 cases of water. Others brought one or two, while some just gave cash. The water piles continued to mount up until over 7,000 bottles of water had been gathered. Many people spent hours sticking labels on the water. A few people helped load the truck, which included packing the barrels and a holding bin with water bottles and 80 large bags of ice.

However, all of this wouldn’t have meant anything without those that scattered across Dayton on July 4th to distribute the water bottles to nearly 5000 people at 3 different firework shows. In addition to handing out the free bottles of water, the members of Vineyard Church spent time loving on, talking to, and praying for the people of their community, demonstrating Christ’s love in both word and deed.

Though this outreach has affected many people, one story stands out in particular. A few years ago a guy was walking with his family to the Delco 4th of July celebrations. A teen handed him a bottle of water. The man read the label and stopped walking and shouted to the teen who gave him the bottle, “What kind of church are you?” The teen replied, “The kind of church that gives water away for free.” Her reply really lodged into the man’s heart. 12 months later he brought his family to check out the church that gives water away for free. They are now serving members.

Want to do something like this?

Do you have people? Do you have access to bottled water? If so, you are a prime candidate for this kind of outreach. Also, don’t be afraid to make it fun for your congregation by purchasing life-sized characters to mark the drop-off locations for water, soda, or whatever else you want to give away during your outreach.

The Vineyard Church Website:
Story Originally From Steve Bowen’s Blog: