Archive for March, 2010

>On average, about 35 people gather together at Sojourn each Sunday to worship God. Each week we have a few new people. Statistically we are not reaching people, however, the first few weeks we were about 50% LifeSpring people and now we are about 10 percent former LifeSpring people. Which means we’ve “reached” quite a few people so far.

We’ve put up a Sojourn Church web site; www.sojournmall.com, where we’ve posted our sermons and our schedule. We are working on a micro site with AppChurch for your iTouch and iPhone (coming soon).

Download the app here
We are reaching our “target” audience though. Most of our visitors are young (20’s) a few have NO church background at all and several have just a little church background.

We like to measure our success by how many people we can get in our buildings on Sunday morning. This is OK but doesn’t reflect the huge amount of ministry we do outside that Sunday morning hour. Each week we minister to about 25 people who stop by Ice Cream and Answers just to talk. These 25 are in various stages of belief; from atheist to postmodern. None are ready to attend church, but all like to talk with us about just about everything to include religion. If we reference the Engle Scale (google it), we know that people in this culture are starting further from Christ on the scale and it will take a little longer for them to move toward Jesus and thus to attend church. Some of these 25 have given me the opportunity to explain the Gospel and most have asked about my personal journey (testimony) with Jesus.

We are still on track with the vision God has given us. We are making changes though. The live seminars have not connected well, but the online versions have. The Game Night and Movie Nights have been a flop. We are still prepping the dodge ball room and hoping this ministry will do well. We still want to try a concert and a Friday night worship gathering. Stay tuned!

>We had visitors this week. Well, we have visitors every week, but this week was different. Twenty people from western Kansas came for a visit. Chad Rhoades, Kevin McCloud and Doug Ellison brought students from their youth ministries to a conference in Des Moines, then stayed for the Sunday Worship Gathering at sojourn. It was a nice treat for us at sojourn, having 51 people in worship on Sunday. This meant 31 people from our area were there to include seven visitors.

The western Kansans, Dodge City, Liberal, and Hanston, stayed for lunch and some of the afternoon. Several of the students worked at Ice Cream and Answers, several “prayer walked” the mall, and a few vacuumed and cleaned up sojourn. We were greatly blessed by their ministry to us!

We are still connecting well with people through Ice Cream and Answers, our web site is getting numerous hits, and we are getting a great chance to minister each week in the mall. Our live seminars have not been a hit (zero attendance) and our Bible study has not been a success, but we are flexible and willing to change and make adjustments. We hope to have dodge ball going by the end of March.
We will also have our “new members class” ready soon and will have an official “membership” ceremony in April.

Please continue to pray for us.

>Polite

Posted: March 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

>Ice Cream and Answers is still a very busy and good ministry.  We get to speak with several people each day, we have ongoing relationships with many mall employees and regular shoppers.  Being in the marketplace doing ministry is wonderful.  I have a reason to be there and people have a reason to talk with me. One behavior we notice every day is the politeness of people.  I realize that in many areas we encounter rude people, but it seems free ice cream just brings out the best.  Most people, teens especially, will ask politely and say “please.”  Once they recieve the ice cream they respond “Thank you” like it is second-nature.  Parents use this as an opportuntity to train their children and even 10 year olds respond politely without prompting.  We rarely encounter someone rude or grouchy.  It’s nice. 

So, in the daily polite encounters of the ice cream business we get to give marriage advice, we give parents tips to help them connect with their teens and children.  We help young parents with child raising ideas, give job advice, give school study tips, answer math questions and generally love people and bless them. 

>Great Ministry Week

Posted: March 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

>far, we’ve had an awesome week of ministry. That’s just 2 days! On Wednesday I was interviewed by Ken Brooks of KGBI. Here is the link.. www.easysite.com/sojournchurch So Go to the Audio page and click “Interview” That evening several of our regular teenagers came by for ice cream. We talked about the usual, but one of the girls began to ask more and more questions about God and supernatural things. We talked for 10 minutes about Jesus and I was able to share the Gospel during our conversation. This crowd of teens is not religious and seem to have a very “buffett” style approach to the supernatural. Yesterday, we had several conversations with believers (obviously as a result of the interview) but we also talked with several of our regulars about more direct and personal topics. Once again, these people are all non-beleivers but we can see the hand of God moving on them. One of the ladies we met at the mall came to church Sunday with her grandchildren and really like it. She said she’d return this Sunday.

We know we have to be patient. God is doing great things around us and we sometimes want it to translate into a great attendance at the worship gathering, but we have to remember that these people are coming from a totally non-churched background and “going to church” doesn’t fit in their game plan yet. We will continue to represent Jesus in the marketplace and let God do the work.

We’ve put a page on the Ice Cream and Answers web site so we can start taking donations. Click on Donations.http://www.icecreamandanswers.com/

We have our Sojourn web site up and running now, though we don’t have a domain name yet. Sojourn Church

>Ministry and Cleaning

Posted: March 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

>We are having a great time ministering to people at the Mall of the Bluffs. Each week at Ice Cream and Answers we are speaking with around 30 to 40 people and giving out around 1000 ice cream bars. I think we are doing a really good job of meeting and ministering to the community. Of course, as a Pastor I’m concerned that we aren’t converting this ministry to people attending worship gatherings or even letting us share the Gospel. I know we must be patient, but I’d really like to see some big results from this ministry. I’m thinking we need to do a better job getting the word out on our events and we need to do a better job of inviting people to attend worship.

Chris (wife) and I went to Dodge City, Kansas last weekend to speak at a Youth Ministers conference and to preach at a friend’s church. Greg Savage and Chad Rhoades of First Southern Baptist Church of Dodge City put us up in a great hotel and treated us very well all weekend. The wonderful people at FSBC gave a tremendous love offering to sojourn. Thanks a lot, folks.

Linda Blair organized and managed a productive work day last Saturday. We cleaned the back room in order to get it ready for our Dodge Ball ministry. Linda took care of all the details and even fed us for lunch. Next week we are painting the room.