Friday, August 5, 2011

Evangelistic Seminar

A Secret to congregational growth: meet the needs of the community in which you serve.

Written by Michael Farris,
Heritage Christian University Alumnus

Every Christian has a special place in the body.
The congregation's work at South Haleyville on July 29th serves as a great example of what can be accomplished when every member does their part!

Many in Haleyville, Alabama have had a difficult economic year. After a season of disastrous weather & rising unemployment, many parents struggle to make ends meet, even more so to budget for extra expenses such as backpacks & school supplies for their children. Being aware of this financial need, allows an opportunity to meet even a greater need in this society: the training of parents to train their children. After admitting the less-than-desirable results from the typical VBS, this congregation decided 3 years ago to incorporate their normal VBS into an ANNUAL PARENTING SEMINAR. (Classes for all age groups with the focused age-appropriate topics for everyone in the home, including godly principles for the family.)

What gets all the locals to step foot into a church building to enjoy listening to an hour presentation? Simple: SCHOOL SUPPLIES for their children. In an atmosphere of love and concern for all, the knowledge of the church's desire to help makes everything go very smoothly. With the advertisements making it clear that this event is not merely a 'handout' (which usually includes some wordy tract about the church that most may toss in the trash) all who registered for the Seminar were aware their only payment for all supplies is cooperation and appreciation.

But while all the members spent countless hours preparing the classrooms, running errands, packing the bags, organizing the papers, cooking the meals, etc., a few more were needed to fill key-teaching roles to provide as much helpful, engaging, enlightening, fun, and meaty content during that short 1.5 hours the visitors time there. Along with the teachers within the South Haleyville congregation for the younger ages, Heritage Christian University alumni Kyle Mashburn & Michael Farris enjoyed the honor having Dr. Bill Bagents, Vice President of Academic Affairs at HCU, on board for a special benevolent & evangelistic evening- which met a variety of particular needs relating to the nurturing of the family.

Each speaker was given the class-group appropriate for their specialized field of expertise. Kyle, whose zealous emphasis in youth ministry suited him perfectly to both entertain and teach a full class of young junior high kids about what their roles are as children to their parents. Michael, whose joy for helping others find and develop their talents, not to mention love for magic tricks, helped appeal and relate to the high school group who are on the brink of serious decisions that will chart the rest of their lives. But no one other than Dr. Bagents was asked to accept the offer to conduct the interactive discussion with an auditorium class filled with the children's parents, grandparents, and guardians. His invaluable material and experience, along with his great ability to bond with strangers made the time fly while helping each one better deal with the situations that every parent needs advice for handling.

At the end of the program, every student present got a new backpack filled with the supplies needed for their school year. Members unite for a cause, different talents are needed & used, community is helped, the Lord's name is lifted up, God's will is taught, lives are changed. Such effective works must continue.

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