The Alumni Blog . . . RHEMA Alumni sharing what works, reaching the world with the message of faith!
Aaron Butler (’02, ’03) says . . .
Team up with other youth ministries. We’ve gotten together with other youth leaders in our area to form a citywide youth pastors network. We have a bimonthly co-op meeting to create relationships within the kids’ lives, help them get to know other Christians, and reach out in a more influential way. We meet in different venues.
About . . . Aaron and his wife, Jaclyn, are youth pastors at Harvest Bible Church in Stockton, California. www.HarvestBibleOnline.org
Larry Phalen (’82) says . . .
Capitalize on interests in your community. We hold an annual golf tournament to raise money for our youth group. For $75, participants get 18 holes of golf, a sack lunch, a barbecue following the tournament, door prizes, and a chance to win a prize on every hole. We also give prizes to the first- through third-place teams, gross and net (to the best golfers of the day and also to the best scorers after figuring handicaps). In six years we have gone from a simple church fun day for about 50 people to a major tourney with 144 golfers. Businesses are now becoming hole sponsors and team sponsors, and we give away approximately $6,000 in prizes each year. We are now one of “the” tournaments that community members schedule to participate in, and the event raises over $10,000 for our youth group!
About . . . Larry and his wife, Sally, pastor Break Forth Bible Church in Glendive, Montana, and oversee several other churches. Larry also serves as RMAI District Director for Region 1.
Betty Jo Marples (’83) says . . .
Remodel for less. When we purchased our building, it had an unfinished kitchen area. The Habitat for Humanity resale shop proved to be a great resource. Individuals and builders donate used items, and the income from selling those items helps Habitat for Humanity continue its building programs. I found modern, custom-made, solid-oak cabinets, like new for a very low price. We also purchased a ceramic tiled island, a double oven unit, and vinyl flooring.
With other items donated, plus contractor fees and countertops, we spent less than $1,500 for the kitchen. Our professional contractor (a member of the church) said we have a $10,000 kitchen!
About . . . Betty Jo and her husband, Dale, have recently resigned their church and are writing books and beginning an itinerant ministry to help churches with financial issues.
Robin Martin (’89, ’90) says . . .
Invite your visitors to breakfast. We have started inviting all our first-time guests to a breakfast the next week. It gives us a chance to meet them and make them feel special and wanted. We’ve found it’s a great way to keep our first-time guests.
About . . . Robin and his wife, Wendy, pastor The Rock of Habersham in Demorest, Georgia. www.TheRockofHabersham.org
Tommy FiGart (’87, ’88) says . . .
Assimilate your new visitors. We have a system in place to not only contact but integrate our first-, second-, and third-time guests. For first-time guests: 1) We call them on the day they visit to thank them for attending and offer to answer any questions. 2) We inform the pastoral staff of those guests and mail a pastoral welcome letter. 3) We call them again on Friday or Saturday and express our hope to see them again on Sunday.
For second-time guests: 1) We call them on the day of their visit to tell them we enjoyed seeing them again. 2) We send them a “Week 2” letter. 3) We inform the appropriate Connections leader of their guests so they can follow up in the coming week, and we include their contact information. 4) We call them again on Friday or Saturday and offer to introduce them to a Connections leader when they attend Sunday’s service.
For third-time guests: 1) Prior to service we make sure the Connections leaders have the guest’s contact information and know who they are so they can reach out to them and assimilate them into the Connections program. 2) We call them, informing them of an upcoming Get Acquainted with Grace reception. 3) We send them an invitation to the reception or a “Week 3” letter.
About . . . Tommy FiGart and his wife, DeLisa, pastor Grace Family Church in Vinton, Virginia. www.GraceInTheValley.com
Angie Davis (’91, ’92) says . . .
Share the Bible in any language. The Bible Stick is a compact, easy-to-use, preloaded audio player that requires just one AAA battery and can be used as a personal study device or an evangelistic tool. The Proclaimer—a larger player powered by the sun or a hand-cranked generator—can be used by more than one person. Currently available in more than 350 languages, these audio drama New Testament players are perfect for illiterate or underdeveloped areas. Free audio Bible downloads are also available. www.FaithComesByHearing.com
About . . . Angie has ministered for years on various Native American reservations. She now lives with her daughter in Tulsa but still travels and ministers on the reservations when she can.
Harold Jewell (’89, ’90) says . . .
Use music videos for worship. If you don’t have your own musicians yet, www.youtube.com has excellent Christian music videos you can use to back up your singers. Search “Christian songs with lyrics” or “worship songs with lyrics” or even a particular artist if you prefer. If you have a CCLI license, you’re covered to use them in your services. Copy them to your computer hard drive and feed them right to your projector. You can mix and match the songs to set them up for your worship service. We have a team of five people doing vocals. It’s worked really well.
About . . . Harold and his wife, Deborah, pastor The Oasis of Love Family Church in Coldwater, Michigan. www.OasisOfLove.us
David Fleming (’90, ’91) says . . .
Use video for all occasions. I use a Flip camera for small recordings that don’t need a lot of editing. It’s quick, it’s fun, and people aren’t intimidated when you pull it out like they would be with a big video camera. It’s unobtrusive, not distracting. You can take it with you wherever you go and capture spur-of-themoment ideas. It’s a great way to get your message across. You don’t have to download any software—it comes with its own. It has its own USB connector that plugs right into the computer—no cords or anything. You can upload your video to Flipshare, YouTube, or Facebook. Churches can use a Flip camera in kid’s church, youth church, special meetings, events, retreats, and so forth. I know of churches that have used them for missions trips as well. (Only costs about $100.)