FIRST-PERSON: Go, mow & glow

Tags: evangelism

PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- Here's a wildly successful ministry idea that happened a few weeks ago.

Living Faith Indy, a church plant in Indianapolis, loaded a trailer with a riding lawnmower and some push mowers, edgers, blowers and brooms. The group prayed, asking God's direction for where to begin, then hauled the equipment to one of the modest neighborhoods near their church plant. They found a parking place for their trailer and began to go house to house, asking permission to mow each home's lawn -- for free.

As they approached a home, a different volunteer was assigned to ring the doorbell. After getting permission to work, the joyful crew meticulously groomed the yard. The volunteer lingered on the porch to chat with the neighbor, getting to know him or her.

The work team included church members and a mission team from a partner church, with ages ranging from kids to senior adults. Every person had a job: a grandpa rode the riding mower, adults operated lawn equipment, kids swept.

As the church group moved from one house to the next, the entire neighborhood seemed to come alive. One neighbor played music; another brought some water to workers; children came out to help. The atmosphere was astonishing.

The president of the homeowners association was thrilled to have her lawn done because her own mower had broken. The team gave her one of their used mowers as a gift, and she broke into tears.

When the church group left, the block looked fabulous, and they'd made dozens of positive contacts. They made friends, played with kids, prayed for peoples' needs, and served joyfully. And they'd invited every person to Sunday worship. Only eternity will reveal the final results, but that church was so energized by the response they're now planning for different small groups to do the same project on various streets until they cover their community.

The last words of Jesus on this earth before He ascended into heaven were these: "Go and make disciples..." (Matthew 28:19). The first word of that verse, "Go," indicates that Christians are to leave the premises and tell others about Jesus as they go out. If we stay inside our church building, enjoying sweet fellowship and caring only for one another, we are missing a huge part of God's command.

There are ministry opportunities all around you. The primary focus is to show God's love, to engage strangers in conversation and invite them to know Jesus. No church or small group is too small, too old, too stagnant or too busy.

Make an intentional "go" plan for your church or small group. People nearby are waiting to hear God's Good News. So, go and glow!

Diana Davis' newest book, co-written with her daughter Autumn Wall, "Across the Street and Around the World" (New Hope Publishing 2016), is a resource for an array of "going" ideas for churches, small groups and individuals.
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