What an amazing weekend! Thirteen brothers and sisters in Christ from Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete, Illinois traveled to Liberty Hill, Texas to partner with and support the outreach efforts led by Pastor Stephen Apt and the people of Peace Lutheran Church.
The PEOPLE and Why They ENGAGED
Pastor Stephen Apt was called to lead the mission efforts in Liberty Hill. Over the past two years, he and a small group of about thirty have been worshiping in a store front building. Stephen and a few others have been working to share Jesus with many in their growing and developing community. Pastor Stephen, Praise and Proclaim Ministries, and Trinity’s Adventures for the Almighty Team which developed out of our MEMBER MINISTRY SYSTEM agreed to partner.
The Trinity people who came together had different gifts and different backgrounds
- We had men and women ranging in age from twenty-nine to mid sixties
- We had fairly new members to life-long members
- Lots of us went because we personally knew Pastor Stephen Apt
- Some wanted to learn how to more effectively share the gospel
- Some were attracted because they had family in the same area and the location appealed to them
- Only a couple of us had ever gone door to door before
The Holy Spirit led each of us to participate for unique reasons.
What did we have in common?
- God had touched our hearts and called us to this opportunity.
- We were motivated by what Jesus has done for us
- We wanted to more fully follow the great commission by intentionally witnessing of our faith to others
- Our family of believers at our church believes and teaches that every member is a minister and that we all have a role to play. We believe that each one of us have the responsibility of sharing Jesus
- Most of us have participated in a self-discovery class to understand our gifts and talents and learned ways we can most effectively put our faith into action
- None of us had evangelism in our top five spiritual gifts but we are growing in our relationship with Jesus through Bible Study and living out our faith through other areas of ministry
- Many of us have been sharing our faith by our actions both inside and outside of the walls of our church. However, we weren’t necessarily speaking boldly about our faith. We all wanted to become more confident in o verbalizing our faith.
- We were nervous!
Praise and Proclaim Ministries EQUIPPED AND EMPOWERED US
Dave Malnes, from Praise and Proclaim, took us through a great training to EQUIP us on Friday evening. Each step throughout the process, he had us practice with one another helping to build our confidence. He gave us great key phrases to use and transition points. After we had gone through the entire training we felt prepared to share Jesus.
On Saturday morning he EQUIPPED us with the tools we needed going out. Clip boards, maps, copies of invitations, post cards and maps of the area we were to cover were all provided. He called us “Mighty Warriors” and assured us that the HOLY SPIRIT was going out with us as we went out to share the gospel. He gave us PERMISSION, ENCOURAGEMENT, and the spiritual and earthly SUPPORT we needed to be confident and successful! Then we bathed the experience in PRAYER. He also let us know that he was just a phone call away and would be CHECKING IN on us- and he did!
Dave had us share our stories at lunch and dinner. We shared our highs and lows. The entire time we were out sharing the gospel we counted the seeds of the gospel that were planted and we counted 153! God is so good. MAY HIS NAME BE PRAISED!
While we were out sharing the gospel we were also inviting people to an Easter Egg Hunt the next day and to an outdoor worship service that Peace will be hosting at the Santa Rita Ranch on Easter Sunday.
We (Pastor Apt, Trinity members, and Peace’s amazing people) are all better equipped to live out our faith and share Jesus. We’ve learned to look for OPPORTUNITIES and have some great skills for transitioning conversations to the gospel message!
And all those Easter eggs you see in the pictures… they were put into Resurrection Egg kits to share the amazing story of Jesus! Thanks to Steve and Gail Johns for gathering all the materials for us. The Resurrection Eggs will be distributed to families attending the outdoor worship service this Sunday.
A big shout out to Dave Malnes from Praise and Proclaim Ministries with a THANK YOU for sharing your gifts and talents with us and helping us to grow in our gifts and talents! You are a blessing to God’s kingdom!
Thank you to Krist Sebald, Kingdom Workers North American Field Rep for joining us in this experience! Kristi hopes to create more partnerships like this with WELS mission congregations.
A WOO WHO to the people from Peace Lutheran and Pastor Stephen, Ann and Debbie for making us so welcome, comfortable and well fed while there. You were wonderful! Thank you!
And a WOO WHO HOW COOL to my brothers and sisters in Christ from the Trinity family for STEPPING OUT in faith to LIVE OUT your faith and TO SHARE JESUS! So very proud of y’all!
So why all the capitalized words throughout the article you might wonder? Because all those ideas are key parts of a MEMBER MINISTRY SYSTEM. So if you’d like to see ministry like this happening in your congregation and you don’t have an intentional means to engage, equip and empower members in your congregation, FAITH UNLEASHED can help.
May JESUS name be praised! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Happy Easter!