Turkey time! / Staff Outreach /

Turkey's Giving Away Turkeys.

A couple years ago we adjusted our outreach in order to involve more people, create a safer environment (morning instead of after dark), create less stress and to create a greater sense of team (over 300 people showed up for instructions and to do the outreach last year).

Here's what we have discovered:

• people want to make a difference....each year over 350 boxes that were placed at the exits were taken the first weekend in November.

• people like simple...people grab a box as they leave a weekend service. The box has instructions placed inside the box to help guide people as they purchase the food items. It also lets them know what to do, and where we are meeting the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

people enjoy the sense of togetherness...We encourage participation: families packing the box together, or joining with friends, or joining as a small group to fill the box. Then we gather as a large group to receive instructions, introduce team leaders, and receive instructions and maps to the low income apartments.

some people like to participate but don't want to go on the outreach...that's ok, participating at any level is appreciated. The 'no go but want to serve people' will bring their filled boxes at 9am instead of 10am and the boxes are then lined up for people to take as they leave the info meeting.

• people like the fact that we go to the areas we have consistently served in the past...we divide up into four huge teams, caravaning to the location in order to reach out to four low income apartments in Beavercreek, Huber Heights, Fairborn, and Centerville.

• people like the adventure... we go to homes unannounced, present the Thanksgiving meal and offer prayer. When we leave the home we place a small sticker on the door notifying the rest of the team that the stickered door is a home we have served.

• people who serve begin to see life through an externally focused lens...

One family went to a home and offered the Thanksgiving dinner. The single mom invited the family inside to place the dinner on her table. The family noticed...all she had in her apartment was the table. Their perspective changed. Their hearts were softened through the experience, and began to view life through a different lens.

  • God space where God things happen are created. Our serving opens the door for caring prayer. Often heaven comes to earth. People weep, are encouraged, and discover Jesus in a new way.

Going, serving, praying = caring for others ...an externally focused life.

Here's the packing list:

Thanks so much for helping to make Thanksgiving possible for the less-served of our community!

This year’s date for Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys is Saturday, November 17th. We will meet at Beavercreek Campus at 10am and join team leaders to head out to 4 different locations: Beavercreek, Huber Heights, Fairborn, and Centerville.

How to participate: Join together as family, friends, or a small group to fill up the box with items listed below.

Turkey’s Giving Away Turkey’s List.
• 2 Cans Corn
• 2 Cans Green Beans
• 1 Large Can Yams
• 1 Can Cranberry Sauce
• 1 Box Au Gratin Potatoes
• 1 Box Brownies
• 2 Boxes Mac and Cheese
• 1 Dinner Bag Rolls
• 1 Box Stuffing Mix
• 1 FROZEN Turkey

• 1 Pie
• Fresh Veggies
• Roasting Pan
• Fun Stuff

Important Instructions:
If you are going on the outreach...
Please leave your dinner box in your car and come into our main room for instructions at 10am. Be sure to pick up a few stickers.

Not going on the outreach and you only want to participate by filling a turkey dinner box...Please drop the filled box off at the Vineyard by 9amish at the top main entrance Worship Center.

Staff outreach.

Almost every time there is a 5th Tuesday we as a staff go out into the community to serve, share and to care.

The Big Why?

We have structured the church around four key values. Loving God, Loving People, Establishing Families, and Making Disciples. Each value is nurtured by a team of leaders who's mission is to ensure the value is honored and is alive throughout our Vineyard family.

My friend Marc Dupont says, "The message is the messenger." In other words, leaders lead because of who they are more than just having a message to say. It's out of who they are the message flows.

Also leaders leak (that's another Post see here Your Karma Is Leaking). They leak their passion, their vision, their practice and hopefully they leak life. Each main leader here at the Vineyard truly embodies their key value and seeks to honor and embrace our other key values.

Loving People seeks to create God Space where God Things happen out in the city and toward those in need within our Vineyard family.

Outreach reaches beyond the 4 walls, and Community of Hope and Recovery reaches out to those in need within our Vineyard family.

The Big Why? Every church exists to love their city into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Having a planned staff outreach is one way we seek to keep the outward-focused fire burning within our heart.

Here's what we are doing this week. We are heading out to the businesses to show God's love in a practical way.  We will worship for an hour together. Then pack the bags.  We'll break up into 5 teams N S E W 0. Pray to discover where specifically in each area we should go. Then head out into our community.

We'll be going the businesses to say Treats no Tricks!. And thank the businesses for being in our community. Then offer prayer. We will inquire of needs, or if anyone is there sick, etc. We'll  stop and get coffee together before or after the outreach.

Serving is the bridge that creates God Space where God Things happen. Prayer is the connection point that brings heaven to earth

Good deeds creates good will that opens hearts to the Good News.



God has placed eternity in the heart of man.

God is always at work drawing mankind to Himself.

Billy Graham often mentions there is a hole in the human heart that only God's presence can fill.

This is why many people crowd their lives with activity, or things. The empty heart always seeks to be filled with something. We are created in such a way that His presence is the only source that can truly fill the void in our heart..

Below is a great passage...in context Paul is addressing the people of Athens about an idol to an unknown god...Paul goes on to describe the God who is knowable.

Acts17. 22-28
So Paul, standing before the Council, addressed them as follows: "Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious, for as I was walking along I saw your many altars. And one of them had this inscription on it 'To an Unknown God.' You have been worshiping him without knowing who he is, and now I wish to tell you about him.

"He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn't live in man-made temples, and human hands can't serve his needs for he has no needs.

He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need there is.

From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. "His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.

In context, God has set times, places, and boundaries around mankind so that all peoples might seek / feel their way toward Him and find Him.

Mike Bickle in his book Loving God stated, 'It takes God to know God'.

In reality God is the One who seeks after us. There is a Divine draw upon the human heart. The Father takes the initiative and seeks those who will worship Him.

John 4. 26 NIV
But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

It's amazing. God takes the initiative and seeks out worshipers.  When we place our faith in what Jesus has done for us, we then become the acceptable worshipers the Father seeks.

Eph1. 3-8 NKJ
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing...in Christ, just as He chose us in Him...to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Therefore we can draw near to God with confidence. Heb 4.16

David understood the seek principle.

Psalms 27:7-8
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. When You said, "Seek My face,

"my heart said to You,

"Your face, / your presence O LORD, I shall seek."

The principle: Seek and you will find...the word seek is stated as a contentious present tense. We are truly seeking when our hearts are poised toward God, open, seeking, set on knowing Him; set on being in His presence.

When our hearts are leaning toward God, wanting to know Him more, He hears, He then in turn makes Himself known to us...

Draw near to God, and He will Draw near to you, is a wonderful promise...The Book of James

See a need and meet it.

There’s a story about a man in the south that planned to reach the children’s hospitals in his area. The man had a heart for the hurting, and knew from experience that when a child suffers the whole family, and extended family suffer.

 He began to ponder, ‘How can I show the families I care?’

One day while walking through the local mall he noticed the unnoticeable, some kids hugging their new stuffed animals. He then began to wonder what it would look like if every person from his organization brought in a new stuffed animal to give to the sick kids in the hospital? What he envisioned was a good. So, he acted.

The next week during a staff meeting he held up a stuffed animal and invited the people to help him bring a little light into a child’s life. He encouraged them to purchase new stuffed animals and to bring them to the office. The people responded to his vision.

As the stuffed animals arrived, the animals were hung by fishing line from the ceiling, they were placed on every available shelf space, placed in the hallways, on the steps and tables, everywhere. On the given date, the staff took the stuffed animals to the hospitals and gave them to the kids.

The result: a fun, upbeat, serving opportunity occurred which connected an inspired vision to action. As a result they were able to care, love and show practical concern for the people they served.

A few years ago I was able to attend LifeServe Conference in Loveland, CO. During the conference we drove up into the mountains, stopped on top over 12,000 feet, on a balmy 65 degree day. The view from the top was breath taking. We then headed down the mountain, our mission... find Elk.

When we reached the bottom of the mountain we turned right onto a dirt road and noticed several parked cars so we pulled over. People were gathered watching a small herd. The big boy was guarding the cows and the wanna be bucks were in the next field.

We walked over to a small group of rocks and noticed two men taking photos through long telephoto lenses..

My friend asked if he could have a look through the camera. After a few minutes of casual banter my friend mentioned that he had a elk head on his wall in his log home in Ohio.

The ladies who were there exclaimed, 'You didn't shoot it did you!?'

He replied, 'Nope. I'm an author and speaker. I received the trophy as part of my honorarium.'

One guy asked, 'What kind of books do you write?' he replied, 'I write books that help Christians share their faith with others in a non-belligerent manner.

Have you ever known an obnoxious person who burns their bridges while attempting to share their faith?'

Another man instantly stated, 'Fred does. His friend used to be a Catholic and for some reason went to a fundamentalist church and "met Jesus" he came home locked his wife in their bedroom and told her she was going to hell if she didn't change her faith. He's like that all the time now. No one wants to be around him.'

An interesting discussion proceeded. We discussed the Catholic faith; how the guy should have acted toward his wife and what true faith looks like etc.

Then another guy pipped up. 'I also am an author. I write books for kids. I used to be a contractor and I have built children's hospitals all over the USA. Somehow, I now have a heart for sick kids.

My books are unique, in the midst of wild life photos, there are places where kids can color and each book has a space where the child’s parents or guardians can write the kids name in the story as they read the book. I often pop in and read my book to the children. I recently read the book to a little girl and she wanted me to read the book again and again.

The goal of the book is to help children make it through their tough hospital stay. I recently wrote another book titled Going Home.  I really don't know why I write the books. I've invested $10k of my own money.'

My friend then spoke to the man and said, 'The reason you are writing your books is because the compassion of Jesus is in your heart and your are compelled to make a difference in a child's life.

The man, in response to the statement, began to weep. Everyone in the little group knew something special had just happened. A caring man's heart had been revealed.  Later, when we walked to his car, he gave us a book and thanked us for the conversation.

See a need and meet it.
Both men in the stories above saw a need, were inspired to meet the need, pondered on / worndered how to meet the need, and then acted to insure the need was met.

I think this is how people who care for others make a difference in their world. I also believe that this process can be duplicated through personal practice. Each step is simple, and each step can be nurtured.

Notice. Begin to live life in an aware / alert state. Most people live their lives in an unaware state of mind, and never notice the needs of others. The art of noticing is a clue to help you make a difference in your world.

Receive inspiration. Inspiration is the spark that breathes life into an idea. It is an inspired process, or a God breathed idea.
inspiration |ˌinspəˈrāSHən|
 the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.
• the quality of having been so stimulated.
• a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea.
• the divine influence.

Ponder / Wonder. Wondering and pondering is a process of problem solving.  I'm inspired. Is this a God breathed idea? What would it look like if? Dare to dream, wonder and ponder. How can I best meet this need? How can I develop this idea?

Act. Action is always needed to really make a difference. Until action takes place, the idea remains merely that, an idea. Those who take a risk, step out of their comfort zone and act are usually those who make a difference in their world.