Archive for January, 2011

>Trail Blazing

Posted: January 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

>We began a Friday night worship gathering last night.  Our plan was twofold; make a second worship time for folks who can’t come out Sunday morning and perhaps draw some of the 100 dodge ball players who come out on Friday nights.  This week, Chris Smolen put together a very talented group of people and played a very awesome worship set.  The band arrived early, began setting up while dodge ballers were milling about.  They talked to the students and played dodge ball.  Then at 9.00, while about 60 students were still in the room, they began to play.  I was sure some of them would stay for the music, but by 9.05 the room was cleared.  All that remained were those of us sojourners working and a new couple who’ve can’t make it on Sunday AM because of work.  We still had a good worship gathering, but of course, disappointed that none of our dodge ball crowd stayed.

Events such as this need interpreting.

In the late 1990’s my family and I drove From Omaha to Anchorage, Alaska in a little less than 4 full days.  Amazing!  Most of the route was four lane interstate highway. We were able to travel at 60mph or whatever was the same in Canadian.  In 1983 we made the same trip but it took longer as much of the route was dirt and gravel roads.  My dad made the journey in 1959 and it took weeks because of the “trail” they drove.  In 1942, the guys building the road, using 20 ton bulldozers could only manage 6 miles per day.  They had to “blaze the trail.”  It took those guys. a long time with many hardships along the way.

We are blazing a trail.  This church in the mall idea is new and we are attempting to reach people who otherwise do not think of church.  They have their stereotypes and prejudices and may are just indifferent to Jesus.  Atop this is the Devil, making them uncomfortable at ever turn as they interact with Sojourn Church.  Everything we do is new and different and like cutting through the underbrush and mud of the early Alaskan Highway.

The first week we played dodge ball six people showed up.  It took four weeks to get a regular crowd of 20 and by the end of the third month we were averaging around 60 people.  Last night, after five months, about 130 people played with us. It takes time.

We will continue to “blaze the trail.” This is new stuff for everyone.  The good news is that one hundred or so young people (and some of their parents) now have a positive connection with a church.  We’ll fight back the feelings of disappointment and failure as we focus on the calling of God and obey Him.  Remember, non believers do not have to attend worship.  Their requirement is to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  So “butts in the seat” is not really our goal.  Our goal is to love like Jesus, live like Jesus and labor like Jesus and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people.  We are meeting our goal and bringing glory to God.


>First Year Anniversary

Posted: January 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

>January 16, 2011 we marked out first anniversary as sojourn church.  It was a great day with a special worship time, testimonies, and a great fellowship meal.  We crunched a bunch of numbers for the year. We sometimes forget all that God does.  The “little things” always add up.  Remember, God is always at work and we are invited to join Him.  This past year we…
1) had over 400 conversations with people about issues in their lives.  We were able to minister, pray and/or share biblical advice with them.
2) shared the Gospel with over 70 people at Ice Cream and Answers
3) had 3000 + hits on our Ice Cream and Answers web site
4) had 2100 + hits on our Sojourn Church web site
5) hosted a mission team from Friendship Church of Springdale, Arkansas who led an Arts and Crafts Fair with over 170 visitors
6) Started a dodge ball ministry.  We play dodge ball in our large back room (50 x 24) in the Mall.  Before each match we pray and repeat the Dodge Ball Den Code of Conduct.  Last week we had 150 people come out to play.
7) Began taking care of our own budgeting and finance.  Created a budget, stuck to it, managed our money well.  

There were 37 people at last week’s worship gathering.  We baptized one person this year.  We regularly minister to about 50 people.  We have a good reputation in the mall and we have done some really good ministry.