With the change in seasons, comes a change in how we approach to display the love of Christ to our community in practical ways. The season of fall always brings excitement and there are plenty of specifically seasonal outreaches you can do during Autumn. Here are 3 outreaches that you should consider doing during the fall season:

1. Free Coffee at Starbucks

The crispness of Autumn weather draws coffee lovers to Starbucks like nothing else. One the best outreaches to do is to send a team to Starbucks or a local coffee/donut shop, buy a gift card with usually around $200 on it, and give it to the employee at the cash register so when people order, they can tell them that their coffee has been payed for. Have your team either sit at a visible table inside or the tables right outside the door. Have them ask the employees to simply point to the team’s table and say, “The people at the table over there paid for your coffee today.” Excited customers instinctively come over to thank the team and ask why they are paying for everyone’s coffee. This is a great time to give them your outreach card and tell them that you are displaying the free love of Jesus in a practical way today by buying coffee for everyone. 

Over time, the employees of Starbucks will really get excited when you do this outreach. In fact some employees even ask our teams if they can tell customers why they are buying everyone’s coffee, give out the outreach cards, and tell them what church the team is with! We love to let them do this so they can experience the life changing power of advancing God’s kingdom through tangible, practical kindness.

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2. Leaf Raking

I love the fall, but the thing i hate the most about the season, is having to rake my lawn. Leaf raking can be very burdensome when you are doing it all alone. When outreach teams do it as a group and do it for other people it becomes a blast. Kids, teenagers, and adults can all work together at this outreach. Simply grab some rakes, gloves, and trashbags and go to a neighborhood with a lot of leaves. Tell the homeowners you are raking the leaves of the entire neighborhood, just to show God’s love in a practical way! Make sure you mention it is free and you are not taking donations. Spend time talking to the homeowner and after you are done ask to pray a quick 10 second prayer for them!

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3. Nursing home Pumpkin Giveaway

For this outreach send your team to nursing homes with small pumpkins to decorate and write kind/encouraging words on the pumpkins with the residents. From time to time teams will even bring a friendly dog or two. Many times the churches doing this outreach will get a letter back from the family members thanking the church for the pumpkin with a simple decoration and an encouraging sentence on it. They mention that it not only touched the family member living in the nursing home, but the entire family.

There is something moving and touching about serving those who could never attend your church gathering. When we serve with no expectations or no strings attached, we are projecting the light and life of Christ on those we are serving in a pure way. To serve in a way Jesus did always moves, and deeply touches those we are serving, families of those we are serving, and those of us that are serving God by serving others. Anytime teams do something at local nursing homes, they always come back humbled and encouraged.

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Our church loves the employees of our local Target. This is something we have tried to display in practical ways for over 5 years now. We have given them free candy packs, washed the store’s windows, and our favorite outreach, is to drop off donuts on every Christmas Eve to the employees that are working that night. Each outreach we communicate that we are trying to display the love of Christ in a practical and tangible way. Doing these outreaches from time to time has allowed us to build a relationship with our local Target.

Unfortunately Target’s employees have been getting the brunt of customer frustrations about the company’s policy on bathrooms. When we heard about this we knew that we wanted to show some love to our local Target. Our church got together to make cards that included a $5 Starbucks gift card, our normal outreach card, and an encouraging note that said:

“We know people may have been increasingly rude to you recently. We just wanted to let you know that our church is praying for you, God loves you, and we do too!”

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After making these cards, we went up to every individual employee that was working that night, handed them the card, told them we were thankful for them, and even prayed with many of the employees right there in the middle of the store. The reaction was profound. Some of the employees started crying, all were beyond grateful, and many you could visibly see a release of tension come off of their shoulders.

The employees explained to us that in the recent weeks they have been yelled and screamed at, people have been increasingly rude, and their hours have been getting cut due to the boycotts. Some of them even told us that they were hesitant to take our card because they expected the card to be, coming from a church, full of hate and judgment.

When we were about to leave, the manager of the store came up to our team, explained how grateful she was that we would do this for her employees, and how hard things have been lately. She called for every employee that could to come down to the front and take a group picture with us.

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Later that night she posted the picture on Facebook and wrote above the picture:

“Had an amazing group of individuals come to my store tonight to express how much they appreciate and love us despite our corporation’s current news stories. Greenwood Baptist Church we are so grateful for your gesture. We have had a tough few weeks, but you have reminded us of how great our Lord truly is. We need more people like you in this world!”

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This Facebook post, along with some others, was shared over 100 times. People all over the nation and even around the world viewed this post and our message was received. Believers were encouraged, unbelievers were shocked, and Jesus’ love was on display.

I think my favorite part of this entire thing is that the manager continued this outreach the next day with the left over cards we had given her!

This outreach is incredibly reproducible and I would encourage you/your church to love your local Target in a similar way. We have to understand that as believers if we want our voices to be heard in a post-Christian society, we need to serve in outwardly, public, and tangible ways. People want to see our hearts before they begin to value our words. I’ve often wondered what would happen if every Target in our nation had a local church loving it consistently, humbly, and practically. Maybe posts like this wouldn’t even be necessary.

 

With the recent controversies regarding Christ followers and Starbucks (which has been going on for a while before the silly red cup thing) more and more believers are calling for their brothers and sisters in Christ to completely boycott the corporation. In fact, because we as a church do an outreach where we buy everyone’s coffee that comes in for a period of time to show God’s love in a practical way, we have even been questioned if that is a morally acceptable outreach.

With this in mind, I would like to share about the relationship our church has with our local Starbucks, share how that relationship was built, and let you make your own conclusions on how a church should interact with local businesses that might not have the same beliefs as we do as believers.

This might come as a surprise to some people, but over the past 5 years our church has developed a great relationship with our local starbucks. It did not start that way however. I’ll never forget the first time we went into our Starbucks with a window washing team that was washing the windows of businesses for free to share the love of Christ in a tangible way. We were not only told that we could not wash the windows at Starbucks, we were basically asked to leave and for lack of better words, not to come back. About 6 months later we were in the same area, washing windows again, and as the team leader when we came up to Starbucks, because we had kids with us on our team, I said, “Let’s skip this business, they weren’t very happy with us trying to do this outreach last time” I was trying to protect the kids from any sort of rude comments I knew we would get from the staff if we went in. After i told the team to skip over Starbucks one of the kids looked at me and said, “Why are we skipping over Starbucks, just because we had a bad experience last time, you never know what God is going to do.”

I hesitantly agreed to send our team in, and I decided to stay outside so I didn’t have to hear the Big Fat NO our team was about to receive. As our team came out the front doors, I asked, “Did they at least say no nicely this time?” To my surprise, the team was smiling and said, “They said we could wash their windows!” So we got started.

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After we were done, some of our team members went back in, prayed with the employees of Starbucks and left our outreach cards with them. As we were leaving the parking lot, one of the employees came out with a bunch of free frappuccinos and said, “I know you guys don’t take donations, but will you take some free coffees as a thank you from our staff?” We accepted them and got a sense that God was at work.

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From that moment on we have consistently served our local Starbucks by washing their windows, washing their restrooms, bringing in goodies for their employees, etc. In fact sometimes when we are buying coffee from them to do a coffee giveaway outreach at a park, college campus, or parade, they will actually donate it to us. Can you believe it? A Starbucks donating coffee to a church!

Furthermore, one of our favorite outreaches to do is to buy a gift card at the register and tell the employees that everyone’s coffee that walks in for the next hour is on us! We simply sit at a table and when people go to order their coffee, the employee tells them that the people over at that table bought your coffee today. The employees love it when we do this. Sometimes they will even tell the customers that we are with a church, and there has even been a couple of occasions, that the employees have asked to give out our outreach cards during the “Kindness hour”

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Usually what happens, is that the person receiving our act of kindness will come over and ask why we bought their coffee. This gives us a perfect opportunity to share about the love of Christ. On many occasions we make deep connections and pray with people for God to move in their lives. I remember just a couple weeks ago our team stood up, held hands with a family that was asking for prayer, and we prayed with boldness over their broken situation. All of this done right there inside Starbucks.

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Jesus made it very clear that as agents of His kingdom we are not identified by what we stay away from, rather we are identified by what we are called into. We are called into a broken world, to share His light and His love. To free captives of sin and to serve those that don’t look or act like us. At the end of the day, we don’t go to Starbucks to support Starbucks, but we go because that is where the people are. In our context it is the most culturally relevant coffee shop and until that changes we will be there loving on people, and paying for their coffee. If you told me that every Christian in North America was boycotting Starbucks, it would give us even more of a reason to go and do outreaches there!

So rather than asking the question, what would Starbucks look like if Christians boycotted buying coffee? I think the questions should be:

What would Starbucks look like if every local Starbucks Coffee Shop had a relationship with a local church that we have with ours?

I believe a church’s health status can usually be measured by the way they are grooming and mentoring the young people within their church. There is something to be said about a thriving youth or college ministry within a church. God has always used young people in order to grow His kingdom. So how can we as a church start to cultivate our young people into roles of leadership in our outreach efforts? Here are some practical ways that we have found to be extremely effective.

1. Create a specific time for young people’s outreach.

Young people respond to activities that are specifically for them. Try planning an outreach that is geared and marketed only for young people on a frequent basis. This is easiest when done through youth and college ministries. At the church I serve at, we offer young adult outreaches at least once a month. The response of our young people in our church to these specific youth or college outreaches has been astounding. I find that our normal church wide outreaches we do every week are starting to be manned and even led by our young people due to us creating specific outreaches for them.

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2. Feed Feed Feed!
There is an obvious truth that becomes apparent when trying to attract young people: Where the food is, they will be. Try to always go get drinks at Sonic or tacos at Taco Bell after a young people’s outreach. This is a time where sharing what God has done through their service comes out organically and the excitement and hype of the outreach grows larger and larger. Furthermore, leaders are formed during this time of eating and sharing naturally in the same way they are at school at the lunch table. I have found this part of our outreach time to be so important that I have actually budgeted to be able to feed our youth or college students after an outreach… at a place like Taco Bell of course.

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3. Have your older adult leaders serve during the young people’s outreach. 

This might sound like a contradiction. Let me explain. With every youth or college ministry there are older adults that help out within that ministry. Too many times during youth outreaches, youth adult leaders sit back and watch the youth serve with an “I am too old for this” mentality. Try jumping in and washing the first toilet or washing the first car that comes into a free car wash. We always try to have our youth/college minister and adult leaders showing the students that they are willing to get their hands dirty and do the very thing we are asking the young people to do. Students respond to adult leadership and after 2 or 3 toilets/cars that our adults washed our young people are ready and excited to serve. Jesus showed us this as well. Jesus was willing to get on his hands and knees and wash feet which led the disciples to serve in the same way Jesus was showing them. Jesus did not teach the disciples what to do simply by words and then stand off and watch, but he led them into their leadership roles by willing to get his hands dirty as their leader.    

4. Brainstorm with a selected group of young people.
When young people feel that they have played a part in planning something,they will naturally want to participate and lead what they have planned. Try brainstorming creative outreach ideas with 5 or 6 handpicked youth/college students. Not only will this group of students come up with some fantastic outreach ideas, they will show up to the outreaches they have created and be more inclined to lead those very outreaches.
5. Put your young people in leadership roles during church wide outreaches!
Nothing nudges young people to be the leaders God has called them to be more than when they are leading those who are older than them. Try putting your young people in charge of different outreach groups when you have a team
that is splitting up to do various kindness outreaches across your city. You will have to make sure that the ones you select to do this are ready, but if they are it will increase their confidence and leadership abilities more so than anything else. Young people want to know they are trusted by their authority to do important tasks. As far as outreach goes for the young leader, there is nothing better than having the outreach leader say, “I know you can lead, why don’t you lead this team in this area today” Is this not a picture of the same way that God entrusts us to carry out His work here on earth?

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In conclusion I’ll leave you with a quote that pretty much says sums it up perfectly

“Dedicate Yourself to coaching youth. Pretty much everything great in history has been pulled off by them”                       – Steve Sjogren

I’ve heard it said that each person is given Spiritual gifts and aptitudes and although your interests and hobbies in life will change, these gifts or inward nudgings for your place in life or purpose that God created you for will find it’s way to continually resurface . My family has been attending Greenwood Baptist Church for almost 7 years . We have been very involved with Horsemen for Christ and when Brian Bond, the pastor of Greenwood, came on board with them after a cutting horse camp at Silvarado Arena, my daughters said that they wanted to start going to Greenwood and try to get plugged into a church. Until this point, as a family we hadn’t taken the step to be dedicated to attend a church gathering every Sunday.

The idea of outreach; however, was not a new one to my family. The Lord had placed this on my heart at an early age and I remember one particular Mothers Day where we were all dressed up, the girls were in matching dresses and we even made it to the early service ( which will surprise those of you that know how punctual my Family is ). In the middle of the service Jeff’s pager went off and he had to leave to go do an emergency colic surgery . So here we were , my two beautiful girls, all dressed up and our Mother’s Day lunch just got postponed. I had a moment (or so ) that I was kind of feeling sorry for myself that on Mother’s Day we would have our plans changed , but that was typical in our life . So I said, “Girls let’s go do something special this Mother’s Day.” My Grandmother always told me and my kids that the only way to be truly blessed is to give to others . So we went to Walmart and Brookshires and bought every carnation they had and my two beautiful matching dressed girls and I went to the hospital and gave flowers to all the ladies/mothers in the hospital and then went to my Grandmothers nursing home and did the same thing . For me, this was one of the most memorable Mother’s Days i have had and it was the first time I served alongside my kids.

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The kids got more involved in the Church and I too wanted to be more involved but I struggled to balance the crazy life of being a veterinarian’s wife, raising and showing cutting horses, and raising three kids . I remember my daughter Jordann’s first outreach with Austin and the church. They passed out free glowsticks to trick or treaters on Halloween! Jordann of course came home from that outreach with a big fluffy cat she claimed to have rescued from sheer doom. We still have that cat!!! She went on several more outreaches with Austin and Ashley and loved it, and I as a mom was so proud that my daughter was serving and involved in church . This seemed like a great way for the “younger” people to learn to serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Several months later I signed up to go on a church mission trip to Haiti, which I Almost backed out of TWICE. I had a long list of reasons of why it really wasn’t the best time for me to go, but in the end, after a lot of prayers I still went. In Haiti, our mission team did outreaches and served food and prayed for and gave clothes to the people of Haiti. After we got home, Austin asked me if I could help serve with Greenwood at our local soup kitchen. As we were serving Austin explained that they were thinking about expanding their outreaches where we now would, instead of just sending out one team, we would send out three teams to serve our community in practical ways. Austin asked if I would pray about being a part of this by being one of the leaders of the three teams.

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Again I thought that mostly it was the kids that did the outreaches and although I felt they were wonderful and extremely important, I just didn’t think that our crazy lifestyle would allow for every other Saturday to be available for outreaches. I prayed about it and really wanted to serve along side my Kids. So I told Austin that I would do my best, but couldn’t guarantee that I would be able to be there very much. The Lord is amazing like that because I continued to show horses, go to ball games, and live the crazy life we lead, but when I gave a commitment to The Lord of every other Saturday, all of the sudden my schedule was free on almost every outreach Saturday. When the horses would show, they would draw to compete either the day before or after but, almost never on outreach days. We were blessed beyond words to serve together and my kids and their friends love it as much as I do!! We have seen The Lord go before us and touch lives in ways that you can’t imagine through small simple acts of kindness.Here’s a story that will hopefully encourage you:

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We were finishing an outreach one Saturday and my son Jarrett who was 12, his best friend Macrae (another outreach regular) and I are driving back to taco casa to meet the other outreach teams for lunch. We pass a homeless guy named Leo and his dog shadow, and the boys tell me that they want to go back and take food to Leo. So at taco casa we buy a meal for Leo and a burrito for his dog, and head back to the corner where we saw him. I pull up, park the car, and watch out the window as these two 12 year old boys go up to Leo and give him his food. Leo takes off his hat, they all hold hands and pray together!!

It was a powerful mom moment to see these boys who just a year before wouldn’t knock on a door to give away Popsicles at another outreach, Become young warriors for the Kingdom and feed and openly pray with a stranger. The outreaches plant seeds in both the giver and receiver. We need more families with hearts to give, teaching their kids how to reach out, and I believe that Greenwood’s outreach is helping to shape a generation of young Leaders. I’m so blessed to be one of the “old ” people serving alongside these young people as they show us through simple ” not so random” acts of kindness how to be the hands and feet of Jesus .

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This Outreach Journey of mine started About 5 1/2 years ago when I attended my first outreach with my two kids (Zane and Kyanne). I was a struggling single mom that had been attending Greenwood Baptist Church regularly for about 2 years. I wasn’t incredibly active in the church at this time and even though I had been learning the importance of not just attending church, but being the church through various sermons that year, I just didn’t quite know how God wanted little ol’ me, a woman, a single mom, to be the church. I was confused about what my role as a woman in the church was, what I was capable of doing since I didn’t have much. I had been struggling with the emotion of “not being needed by anyone” or “worthy enough” therefore I was withdrawing in order to protect my feelings. Little did I know God was fixing to open my eyes to a whole new outlook.

One Sunday prior to my first outreach, our pastor had this “kid” ( I say kid because he is much younger than I) speak to the congregation about what it was to show God’s love by doing simple acts of service with no strings attached. He spoke of what it meant to be the hands and feet of Christ and shared of his experiences and the simple acts of service he had done with a church in the south. He wanted to bring that love and kindness back to his home church in Weatherford, Texas (Greenwood Baptist) and teach them how to love their community and others. I was impressed with this kid and what he had to say. I was extremely moved by his passion to serve others and his enthusiasm for the Lord. I wanted what he had. I left church that day inspired and told myself if he could do it then surely I could and thought this must be how God wants me to “be the church.”

The 1st church wide outreach was planned and it was going to be a reverse trick or treat. Since I had been contemplating where my kids and I could serve together within the church, I decided this was it and I jumped on the opportunity…well sort of. You see, since I was impressed with this “kid” and his passion to serve, he actually intimidated me. I was much older (I thought) and he was much wiser (he actually is) and since I hadn’t developed very many friendships with people in the church, I didn’t know who to talk to about the when’s , why’s, where’s and how’s of the upcoming outreach other than that “kid.” I kept passing the signs in the halls of the church advertising the outreach and knew I should let him know that I wanted to participate. But it just so happened that every time I saw him my mouth wouldn’t open and I would just look at the ground EVERYTIME he came in my direction. Satan was really doing a good job of preventing me from speaking up. I had excuses flying in my head about how the kids wouldn’t enjoy it and that they’re kids, they WANT candy, they don’t want to GIVE candy. Every time I passed that sign though the holy spirit kept tugging at me. A couple of days before the outreach, I was at the church later than usual for some reason and I passed by that sign, then I saw that “kid.” I wanted to talk to him and was trying desperately to gather up the nerves. “Why am I being so shy?,” I thought. I was normally very outgoing but I was cowering and the thought of him needing me and my two kids to help him with this outreach. I didn’t want to NOT be needed…LIES! I finally quit arguing with myself, gathered myself up and went to talk to him and then…BAM, my head went straight to the ground. Want to talk about a spiritual battle? I put my foot down and told myself I could do this. I turned around and there it was, a Divine Appointment. That “kid” was face to face with me. My mouth opened up just like the heavens. I told him that the kids and I were going to come to the outreach and asked if there was anything I needed to be prepared for or if I needed to bring anything? He simply replied with “Cool! Nothing needed. We’ll see you at the church at 10:00.” Man that was hard! LOL.

Outreach day arrived and rain was in the forecast. There were only a couple of people that showed up so that “kid” stuck me and my two kids in a truck with this bald-headed guy that worked with the youth and his daughter and said “good luck.” I WAS FRIGHTENED! Here I am, nervous, scared and have no clue as to what to do and that “kid” throws me in the truck with a stranger. I was praying so hard that God wasn’t playing a cruel joke on me and that He actually knew what He was doing. Well, the bald headed guy drove me, my two kids, and his daughter to a nearby neighborhood. We pulled into the 1st driveway and the flood gates opened. The bald headed guy and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and then pulled all the kids out in the pouring rain, ran up to the first house soaking wet, knocked, and…nothing! No one was home. We loaded all the kids up and drove to the next house. We gave the same shrug as before, got all the kids out ran up to the door and guess what? Again no one came to the door. Talk about defeat. Cold, wet, and disappointed. God knew what he was doing though when he put this particular group of “outreachers” together. He knew that none of us would give up easy. We were determined to make this outreach successful. After all, I didn’t want to disappoint that “kid” and I certainly didn’t want to let God down. I was doing this for Him. I was meant to be there in the rain that day with my kids. The third house we pulled up to was the reason. We ran out, cold and wet with our little bags of candy and rang the door bell. Some kids answered the door followed by their parents and they were all shocked. I got to witness why that “kid” was so determined to show people God’s love. The parents asked us why we were out in the rain saying “reverse trick or treat” and giving them candy and all I could do was smile. Those three kids that we had with us told them, ” We want to show you Jesus’ love with no strings attached.” Seeing the joy on my kids faces was overwhelming. Their kindness, their happiness, and their joy to share with others the same love that Jesus did by dying on the cross for us was worth the wet hair, the potential colds, and all the “no’s” we had received prior. It was all God’s plan and purpose. God used us to show that family an example of selfless sacrifice and I got to see that my kids understood that. After that house, I believe we were able to hit another couple of houses in that neighborhood before the lightning started and we took that as God telling us “Well Done.”

I left that outreach that day with the desire to do another outreach. My kids left that outreach that day with a desire to do another outreach. Because of the outreach I made a friend…that bald-headed guy (Which, by the way, has a name. His name is Jon Hartman). I got to know his passion to share God’s love with not only the youth of our church but the youth of our community. I got to get to know his wife and daughter after that outreach, and my kids and I developed a friendship with them. I got to know that “kid,” Austin Cooper, better after that outreach and didn’t think of him as a kid so much anymore. I got to know his family and they became my family. I grew, spiritually, after that outreach. My kids started growing spiritually too. It was WORTH it!

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My kids and I attended almost every single outreach opportunity provided to us after that first outreach. It was something we did together Saturday after Saturday as a family. For about a year it was just Austin, Ashley, Zane, Kyanne, and I. We learned together, we grew together, we shared a passion for serving others humbly together. My kids knew what we were doing every Saturday morning, no questions asked. They had a desire in their hearts to love others as did I. Severing others seemed to round off our week and prepare our hearts for church on Sunday and overall helped the upcoming week flow better. We were able to open our hearts to being spiritually fed and therefore continued to grow.

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You see God used me, a scared, single mom to share His purpose with others. I had no idea at the time what His plan for me was, but I did know He had a purpose for me and my kids. He knew my heart. He knew I had a desire to serve others. He knew my love for Him, and He knew I would be obedient. He knew I wasn’t shy. He knew I could talk to a stranger and that I could use those qualities to brighten someone’s day. He knew that if I received a “no” from someone or if I had a door closed in my face that I wouldn’t give up. You know how I know He knew all that? Because He Created me. He made me in His image. He used those outreaches as a door to build up my kid’s relationship with him and with me. He used the various different outreaches we’ve done over the years as a tool for me to teach myself and my kids the act of selflessness and gave us many opportunities to be His Hands and Feet. He gave me the courage to be His voice but most importantly he gave me the ability to Be The Church.

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“Go”, this was the command that I heard so clearly that humid summer Sunday morning after hearing about Kindness Outreach for the first time. Quite honestly, I did not feel that any other answer would have been acceptable to my Father except for my internal response to Him, “Yes sir”. During the announcements the Kindness Outreach pastor explained how the car wash would operate. Saturday morning, we would be washing people’s vehicles and then handing them one dollar, instead of the other way around, in order to show God’s love to our community in a simple, practical, and friendly way. Apparently, God wanted us to take part in this fun!

You had better believe that up until the moment that the Kindness Outreach began, the enemy was targeting our family. He was using every excuse, person, situation, and even our own insecurities to try and change our minds about attending. Remembering the command that was asked of our family, we ignored the destructive lies from the enemy.

Saturday morning had arrived.

My husband, Sam and I gathered up all of the dollars we had around the house and Sam made a stop at the bank to exchange a twenty for ones (being our first outreach, we thought that we were supposed to bring the ones, we discovered later that the church generously provided those funds). I headed out to the gym, planning on meeting my husband and our two boys at the church later that morning.

Pulling into the church parking lot, my mind was a spiritual battlefield. The enemy flooded my mind with deceptive untruths. I have never experienced the enemy’s focus being intentionally aimed right at me as strongly as I did during this moment. My thoughts were being overwhelmed with deceit. These trickeries rushed to the forefront of my mind one after another, “You are going to tell people about Jesus? You sin all of the time. You are not like those people. You don’t even belong here. What are you going to say? You are not a good example of what a Christian should act like.” I had never heard thoughts resound so loudly in my head. These thoughts were bitter frigid, so much so that I felt a hollow chill creep among me. I was not sure that I actually could show people God’s abundant love for them. It was true I did sin and fall short daily of the glory of God.

Now friends, I wish I could write in confidence saying that I ended up getting right out of my car, told that rascal to bug off, and marched up to that church ready to share Jesus Christ with the world!

But that would be a lie, and would likely be frowned upon by the Creator I will answer to. The truth is…

I decided to leave. Feeling defeated, I asked God to strengthen me. I was so disappointed in myself. I was a child of God, how could I allow myself to think in this way? I continued to battle with my thoughts. Finally, just as I settled my thoughts and decided to leave, a car pulled up beside me. I slightly turned my head to reveal a courtesy smile as to say, “Hello there, all is well in this car, no battles going on here,” when to my rescue God had sent the people that made me a wife and a mother on this earth. I must confess my initial thought was, “Oh, great, it’s my husband and our boys. There is no way I could leave now. I cannot be a bad example for my children”. Regardless of my initial reaction, God strengthened me in that moment.

I wholeheartedly believe that it took that timing, God’s timing for me to process the attack I was under. I believe He knew exactly what He was doing when he told me to, “Go”. I believe He knew exactly what He was doing when my family showed up right at the very moment I was planning on leaving. I felt apprehensive in my car that day, but we serve a Father that will “…never leave us nor forsake us” Deuteronomy 31:6. When that Father says, “Go”, know that, that is the safest place that we can be.

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Today, my husband and I serve every other Saturday at our churches Kindness Outreach. I was attacked by the enemy that day because he did not want God to allow me, nor Sam, or the boys to be used as a tool to show people God’s love for them. We must remember that if we are doing anything that God asks us to do and we have those thoughts, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, we must throw them out. Those thoughts are from the enemy, and they are lies. Each of you are created carefully and purposefully by God, and he has a plan for you. I was weak that day but I thank God that he is strong and because I have asked him to be the leader of my life he makes me brave enough to share his love with my community.

God has worked in a great way through Kindness Outreaches in our family. He has made my husband and I set our priorities in His order. We know that sharing God’s love with others is what He wants us to do, we are so happy to have the opportunity to do so during outreaches and in our personal life. I thank God continuously for commanding us to, “GO”.