There are many effective ways to share the Gospel message. One of the most practical and powerful ways to start is by directly providing Scripture resources to congregations and ministries.
At the LCMS Youth Gathering this past July, more than 20,000 youth gathered to worship Jesus and study His Word. There were also daily opportunities to serve the Church in a variety of capacities. Concordia Gospel Outreach (CGO), a ministry of Concordia Publishing House, hosted a servant event on the exhibit floor where volunteers assembled boxes filled with a set of resources tailored to help churches and schools evangelize in their communities.
This school year, my family is transitioning to having a child in school all day. My oldest starts kindergarten and is anxiously waiting to find out what being at school “all day” is all about. We recently visited with his kindergarten, teacher and his big concerns were finding out how to know what was being served in the cafeteria for lunch each day and if they would be doing painting and art projects in kindergarten.
Military life is nothing new under the sun. While it is, right now, new to our family, many other families have lived this life long before me. And there is comfort in that—knowing I am not alone in feeling trepidation for what comes next, knowing there are others to lean on for support—but also knowing there is ultimate comfort in God because of His concern for our anxiety during this vocational transition.
I remember the day when my father-in-law told us his memory was failing him. I remember the flurry of medical tests, the devastating diagnosis, and the quiet times spent trying to absorb the ramifications of this turn of events. I remember worrying over my children as we searched for ways to explain Grandpa’s behavior. I remember so much because it was a pivotal time in our family’s life. But, sad as I am to admit it, one thing I don’t remember doing is thinking about my mother-in-law. She lived in the shadow of our concern for her husband from the beginning of that journey.
My son called to me in a stressed and urgent tone, “Mom! I need a big eraser!”
You’ve got everything laid out: snacks, Bibles, pens, and a welcome sign. You even turn on an inspirational playlist for mood music. Despite these eager preparations, only a few people trickle through the door. The emails, posters, and social media posts didn’t draw a crowd like you’d hoped. I’m guessing you can relate to the sinking feeling of low turnout. But people everywhere are starving for Christian community, and changing your outreach methods can help you connect with them.
There can be no doubt that 2022 will still be a year of rebuilding for many witness ministries such as LAMP (Lutheran Association of Mission and Pilots). With the pandemic still lingering in remote locations, we are unsure of how many communities can welcome mission teams back this summer. Our prayer is that it will be at least half. But after such a long hiatus, many mission teams are still trying to regroup.
Prayer is a unique opportunity that we are given to talk directly with God. How cool! The Creator of the universe, the one that spoke the stars into the sky and fish into the sea, wants to hear your words. Your God, the one who with a single word caused the sun to stand still, a storm to cease, and the sea to separate, wants to listen to your words.
For nearly everyone, the last few years have been hard. We’ve found ourselves facing unsettling situations and unwanted changes. Now, several years into the pandemic, we realize that things will never return to the familiarity of the past.
Nevertheless, we trust God to help us adjust to, and thrive, in the new normal.
As we spend time processing our emotions from the past three years, it is good to remember that every challenge we experienced was even more of a struggle for those who were caregiving for vulnerable family member.
You open your phone and scroll past another devastating news story. A friend posts about the death of someone they loved. You open your email to be met with a long list of messages that need your response. You glance at the texts sitting unanswered on your phone and decide that those will need to wait a little longer.