Archive for the ‘Outreach’ Category
Posted on September 9, 2011 - by admin
One of my friends is Barry. Big guy, big smile and remembers everything..names, faces, events, stories, he has instant and amazing recall. We’ve been friends a few years now. He’s also a bartender by occupation. Neither of us go to the others work places, he says he works weekends too. But that hasn’t hindered the relationship. When I want honest feedback, he gives it and he receives it just as well. We joke about both being in the “people business” and the things we’ve learned about people, their secrets, their habits, hang-ups and such. The good about my friend is that he is highly educated (2 Masters), savvy, quick witted, a well traveled guy, good natured & enjoys everything about his life. The concern I have is the spiritual life he’s missed. He doesn’t use the things he’s faced as an excuse, but I sense they do have a negative impact. He told me one evening that a well meaning Christian preached to him that he was destroying lives. A few months later that same “witness” was fired from his work for loading porn on his computer. Barry wonders how Christians could view porn. I notice Barry is also more forgiving of others than most would be of him. He always asked good questions. He told me once of telling a customer that he too had felt blessed by God recently and the customer replied, God couldn’t bless Barry because of his job. Soon afterward, he had to cut the customer off, just so he could manage to drive home. Barry let’s a lot of stuff weaker people couldn’t handle roll off. I’ve shared the Gospel with him many times when he brings it up or conversation goes that way. He doesn’t argue or push back, he just doesn’t jump up and yell “hallelujah”. If he did I’d burst out laughing. Someone asked me recently if I had to put the names of 10 people down to call if I needed help, who would they be? He’d make the list. So here’s my take-away. Sometimes in life, you are going to have a good connection with people from a totally different place in life. Let it happen if it doesn’t cause you to lose your values and you can benefit from it. Let it happen if you believe they can benefit from it too.
Posted on February 17, 2010 - by admin
Everyday I receive in my mail another article or promo for a book or conference entitled “What the unchurched are thinking” or “How to connect to the unchurched”. I’ve finally decided to address these “studies”. Reason? Because I have a lifetime of experience in this area. Please keep reading. I’ve never read a book or went to a conference to “learn techniques” about unchurched people. I know them. It’s no surprise to me, as it was to Dr. Elmer Towns when he visited here and asked a crowd of 3500 people “how many of you never attended a church in your life before coming here?” and 80% responded that was their testimony. He was shocked, I wasn’t.
You see, I was raised in a non-Christian home far from the influence of religion until I met Jesus Christ at age 18. I know that world. When Jesus convicted me of my sins, chose me and called me, I discovered that befriending unchurched people was the most natural thing a Christian does. This trend of surveys, articles, and books on “connecting to the unchurched” is foreign to me. It’s also strange to all of my unchurched friends and they tell me so. What I’ve discovered is that when those raised in church set out to define the unchurched, they often miss the mark. First, they fail to clarify that there are two separate groups of “non-churched’. Often they are really referring to the “formerly churched” so they begin with faulty assumptions that have no relevance to the unchurched I live among. They make a mission of going after those who know church lingo, jargon, music, customs, and the rest. That group can spout off the names of preachers, religious books, and so on. They can tell you “what’s wrong with churches, pastors, religion and so on”. Church planters today go after them zealously and print invites like, “Are you tired of church, been turned off by church, try a different kind of church.” Its obvious that they after the “already reached before and strayed from church” to fill their seats.
The people I personally know have never been churched at all. They couldn’t name 3 preachers if offered a million dollar reward. They know of Billy Graham and Mother Teresa. Period. I know, because I’ve asked them over the past 2 years. 60 or more of them and besides me, that’s all they know. Now I’m talking about both successful, wealthy, educated, white collar friends along with struggling, blue collar workers all with one thing in common. They have zero experience with church. I do almost every breakfast, lunch, or trip with one or more of these. In time hundreds have come to Christ. I fished for 14 years with one Doctor before he came, I traveled the states for over 10 years with another. Some came over months, but not all.
As is well known, for years I leased a hunting preserve each season for 15 people and the only requirment to hunt on it was that the other 14 people had to have never been in a church in their entire life. Never! I connect better with these people than church people. For years I chartered a fishing boat and took strangers who had never been in a church in their lifetime in groups to fish. That’s how I can say I know these people. Now for the interviews. Over the past 2 years, I’ve asked each of these what keeps them from the Christian faith? The number one (#1) reason they don’t have faith in Christianity or go to church in every single case was exactly what Jesus it would be in John 17. They (my friends) see Christians as divided and judgmental (not of the world, but of other Christians).
To them, God can’t be the answer since His people are fragmented. WOW! Let me get specific. They ask simple but direct questions like, “Why didn’t Christians get behind Mike Huckabee when he ran for President? If we’re so “focused on the family” as we say, why do we throw our support to the least family focused candidate instead of Huckabee? Wow again! Or why do your book sections in Barnes & Nobles or other chains offer books with contrasting arguments of election, church styles of worship, and so on, if our faith is really “ONE”. Or why does a new hip employee disrespectfully call baptism “the God plunge” in an attempt to be cool, when their college history class says people actually were killed for being baptised. What’s wrong with the word “baptism” they ask. (This was from a college professor) You see, my friends are real and real relates to real. They aren’t looking for perfection, they look for agreement in the Christian world among Christians and they find little to none. We are a divided team in their eyes. Christians slandering larger churches, Church planters wasting hours at Starbucks sitting around tables with other Christians instead of working or dining with unchurched people, Christians criticising “t.v. evangelist”. And they ask “what’s with all these conferences”? Everytime they turn around another employee wants to go to another conference. In their world of business, they attend one a year and if really necessary two, but Christians are always in their huddles.
They despise the attacking of TBN from other Christians, the slander of Pat Robertson, the hatred spewed at the late Jerry Falwell from other “Christians”, and a host of other things all in that arena and they say it’s a turn off to them. They expect the world to attack Christians, they just can’t grasp why Christians bite and devour each other. In fact one tells me of his well meaning assistant giving him a popular Christian author’s book for Christmas. The writer was outstanding he says until he came to a disrespectful paragraph on the “pink haired” lady on televison. He said he actually tossed the book into his fireplace on Christmas eve at that moment. They’re tired of hearing us bash each other. They’re sick of the elbowing our way through Gods’ Kingdom over each other. In their worst moments they don’t attack and slander their competitors like “Christians” do. We take it to levels the devil himself is surprised of. When they go to a Superbowl event or something of like kind, they support the toothless guy in bad clothing holding a sign rooting for their team even if his style of support is different than theirs. They don’t criticize their own. Yet we “Christians” take every opportunity to tear down our own in the eyes of the “unchurched” world. One gentleman tells me that after losing a $53 million dollar deal that he and his office team were at a resturant and the competetor and his team walked in. He said, “I shook their hand and we knew it was just business. It hurt, but we don’t attack them. You “Christians” slander, judge and critique proudly without so much as a care about how little or petty it is”.
What did Jesus say? “Father make them one as we are one, so that the world may believe that you sent me.” He says this 3 times in this chapter. What He knows is exactly what my friends tell me. If we can’t tolerate each other, how can we expect the world to believe Jesus is God’s answer. These are the answers my friends gave, hope it helps as we do our mission.
Posted on December 12, 2009 - by admin
Cascade Hills DOES Church. The right way and for the right reasons. There’s not a day that the ministry they provide doesn’t impact lives one on one, locally & globally. This month they’ve given an enormous amount of groceries (over 600 bags already) to 4 local food banks for the homeless and hurting. The recent dollar per follower to Bill_Purvis @twitter provided a generous financial gift to Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Giving Tree Ministry of Cascade Hills asked every school counselor in the area to provide names of children in real need for Christmas. Thus far over 245 children have been helped. Here’s some of their stories; (1) a single mom with cancer and a totaled car has children ages 7,9 & 12. Her children like to read, so her only request was for a book per child. We’re doing much more, but that’s the heart of this mother. (2) Two little boys, ages 8 & 9, with no father, had the 9 yr old ask for a gift for his little brother because he thought we only offered one gift. We’re helping the entire family. (3) 6 children who live from relative to relative because they have no permanent home, will be provided for, and the list goes on and on. My wife recently bought and wrapped gifts for a family of 7 and loved every moment of it. Two of my best friends spent the day shopping for gifts for several families they adopted and I was amazed at how generous they were and the joy they felt. I’ve always said, “Givers ALWAYS have more than enough” and it’s a fact. Cascade Hills Church does ministry not just at Christmas, but all year long, every week, every day. Every week teams of people visit waiting rooms in local hospitals to provide snacks to those unable to leave since they’re waiting for loved ones in surgery. The number of ministries like this at CHC are huge and the heart of those behind them is even larger. That just one more reason I love Cascade Hills.
Posted on April 2, 2009 - by admin
We humbly thank God for the great response to the Gospel in last weekends services! I sincerely thank all of you who bring your friends, share your faith and pray as you do. The hand of God is so evident in this season of harvest. Praise Him!
Posted on February 3, 2009 - by admin
Mark your calendar for March 30th at 12pm EST. At that time we will be hosting a live webcast on BillPurvis.com where I will be praying for your needs! If you would like to be a part of this please leave your prayer request in the form below.
I look forward to see all God has planned for you this year! Let’s start praying for those things!
The Live Webcast will air on Monday, March 30th 2009 at 12PM EST!