The Alumni Blog . . . RHEMA Alumni sharing what works, reaching the world with the message of faith!
Jerry and Melanie Stone (’87, ’88) say . . .
Reach out to families. Two or three times a year we’ll target an area of our city and have a family movie night. We find a public place— maybe a grassy knoll in a business park, or we’ll rent a community building or apartment clubhouse. We canvas the area with flyers two weeks in advance, mainly targeting the kids, inviting people to a free family night with a movie, games, and free food, sponsored by our church. That night we’ll have outside games for the kids and serve free hot dogs, burgers, and soda pop, and then start the movie when it gets dark. We give away free minibooks and have our church banners and literature set up for people who are interested. Then we’ll go back to that area a couple of months later and do something else to bless them.
About . . . Jerry and Melanie Stone pastor Life Church Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. www.LifeChurchCharlotte.org
Paul (’85, ’86) and Samantha (’81, ’82) Roach say . . .
Bless people at Christmas. We run a program called “The Blessing Basket.” The first year we gave 100 baskets with a full Christmas meal to those in need. Now 12 years later this outreach has expanded to several other towns in our county—giving food, gifts, blankets, toiletries, and more. The whole town gets involved in donating, including the schools, fire and police departments, and other churches. The program has expanded to include shut-ins and the elderly, and last year more than 1,000 families were blessed.
About . . . Paul and Samantha Roach pastor Faith Family Church in El Reno, Oklahoma, and also serve as RMAI District Directors. www.FaithFamilyChurchInc.com
Dwight Collins (’95, ’96) says . . .
About . . . Dwight and Jean Collins pastor Risen Christ Family Church in Duncanville, Texas. www.RisenChristFamily.org
Mont Herdman (’86) says . . .
Make a difference in your community. We have an inner city church in a low income area that used to have gangs and driveby shootings regularly. We wanted to get kids off the street and get them into church, so we went to schools to ask how we could help. We started by getting involved with the school programs. Now we run Shining Light Day Care which ministers to about 300 to 350 preschoolers per day, plus we have an after-school program, and are working with high school students, getting them into college, etc. When a dog track opened nearby, we offered a discount to their employees for day care. We don’t have drive-by shootings anymore—people know we’re trying to help kids. The lives of the kids are changing, and their families are coming to church. People used to tell us we needed to move out of this area, but this is where our church is called to be a help.
About . . . Mont and Stephanie Herdman pastor Shining Light Celebration Church in Charleston, West Virginia.
Mike and Jaida Campbell (’90, ’91) say . . .
Believe together for salvations. Early in 2008 we purchased a $10 fish tank at Wal-Mart and put it on the platform along with pens and strips of white paper and red paper. Congregation members believe God for someone to get saved, write that person’s name on a strip of white paper, and put it into the fish tank. Occasionally during services we’ll pray as a congregation for the names in the tank. When a person gets saved, the congregation member writes that name on a red strip of paper and puts it in the tank. As more and more people get saved, everyone can see
it. This keeps soul winning before the whole congregation and helps them keep believing together.
About . . . Mike and Jaida Campbell pastor Trinity Assembly of God in Cookeville, Tennessee. www.TrinityAlgood.com
Cal Langford (’77) says . . .
Help the needy. Our church has a program called “Shield of David.” When a person calls us with a need for food, utility payments, and so forth, we ask if we can send someone to their house to talk with them. While we’re there we can assess their need. Then in addition to meeting that need (we don’t give them money, but we go shopping with them or send them to our food pantry), we look for other needs around their home—maybe leaky pipes or a broken air conditioner. If we find those, we send a team to fix the problems and we pay for all the repairs. We have a Shield of David fund financed by offerings from the church and donations from other people in the community.
About . . . Cal and Nita Langford pastor Foundation Life Fellowship in New Bern, North Carolina.
Randy and Vickie (’03, ’04) Lynn say . . .
Raise up your own musicians. When we grew frustrated over the lack of musicians in the church, the Lord directed us to do something about it. For one hour on Sunday afternoons, our band members and others give lessons for anyone interested in playing for praise and worship. In different rooms we have lessons for bass guitar, drums, piano, organ, and guitar. We teach current songs as well as hymns. Classes are open to all ages, but we have a lot of kids who come. The lessons have really spurred growth in our praise and worship at the church.
About . . . Randy and Vickie Lynn pastor Praise Center Ministries in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. www.PraiseCenterMinistries.org
Rick Sharkey (’79) says . . .
Get everyone to church. We have designated the first Sunday in October as “100 percent Sunday.” Well in advance we announce to everyone that this is the Sunday when everyone makes it to church (as at Easter or Christmas). We advertise it and made it a special occasion for everyone attending (much like having a guest speaker or a barbecue) and the results have been incredible.
About . . . Rick and Linda Sharkey pastor Spokane Christian Center in Spokane, Washington, and also serve as RMAI District Directors. www.SpokaneChristianCenter.org
Gary Hayhurst (’76) says . . .
Help your members stay informed. We send church announcements out every week or so to everyone in the church who has e-mail and wants to receive them. This also enables us to remind people about special events right before they happen. First, it’s just another way of announcing things (since not everyone pays attention during church announcements!), and second, it’s another way to touch people’s lives when they’re not in church and remind them that we’re here for them. It’s been an effective way of staying in touch and keeping people
About . . . Gary and Debbie Hayhurst pastor Faith Christian Family Church in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. www.FaithChristianFamilyChurch.com
Jane McDonnough (’79, ’80) says . . .
Keep your helps ministers fired up. Forty minutes before Sunday morning service we have what we call “Huddle Up” in the main sanctuary. All the workers from every department come—greeters, children’s workers, ushers, and so forth. If these ministries met by themselves they would be small groups, but together we make a crowd and it generates excitement. We start by “sounding off,” with everyone giving their name and place of service for that morning. Then I give a quick word of encouragement, we pray together, and we end by stating the church’s mission for the year and cheering. It has pumped everyone up, and they are on time to serve. Many come early! It’s been a very positive and unifying thing.
About . . . Jane McDonnough is pastor of Faith Life Church in Tampa Bay, Florida. www.FLCTampa.org