The Alumni Blog . . . RHEMA Alumni sharing what works, reaching the world with the message of faith!
Brent (’04, ’05) and Adrienne Ancell say . . .
Help girls discover the power of purity. Lisa Bevere has written a book called Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry—a study about women and purity. The premise is that sexual purity is not about rules; it’s about freedom and power. The curriculum comes with a workbook and other materials that can be used in a small or large group. It’s meant to be a guide for every woman who wants a deeper and more intimate relationship with God.
About . . . Brent and Adrienne Ancell pastor World Outreach Church in Ankeny, Iowa. www.worldoutreachankeny.com
Joe Hernandez (’92, ’93) says . . .
Reach out to the homeless. We prepare meals and take them to people living under bridges, on the streets, etc. If you have people, time, and money, you can make something exciting happen. We’ve also gone as a group to the local homeless shelter where we cleaned up gutters, garden areas, and just blessed them any way we could.
About . . . Joe and Danille (’91, ’92) Hernandez pastor Gateway Church in Brentwood, California. www.gatewaychurch.us
Chris Sarno (’98, ’99) says . . .
Take ministry to the children. On Saturdays, we bring the church to inner city housing developments. We have a worship service and evangelistic message, and then we pray with the children and feed them. We like to serve food after the service as it gives us an opportunity to reach the community and the parents. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, we partnered with a local food bank and gave them a full meal. Basically we take children’s church outside the church walls and bring it to the local community. If we reach the kids, we can reach the parents. We’ve done this in three different communities. It’s not just a one-shot deal; we make the investment in these children every week. Consistency is the key. When parents see you reaching their kids, they are more willing to listen. We’re reaching a generation that isn’t getting some of its basic needs met by the parents. But that shouldn’t ever stop them from hearing the Gospel.
About . . . Chris and Liz Sarno pastor International Miracle Center Church in Ormond Beach, Florida. www.imcchurch.org
Ryan Adcock (’93, ’94) says . . .
Use a kids event to draw people to church. We have a big egg hunt on the Saturday before Easter. We get a volunteer to wear a bunny suit and take pictures with the kids and there is a drawing to win a $200 iPod. Everybody who comes is happy to fill out a card to enter the drawing. If they want to win the iPod or pick up their Easter Bunny photos, they have to come to church the next day. We follow up on all the names that were entered, and some families have started coming to church regularly after coming to pick up their pictures. Our best method of advertising was hanging banners outside the church; people read the banners as they drove by. We also did direct mailing for this event. The Easter Egg Hunt has received the best response of all our outreaches.
About . . . Ryan and Julie (’95) Adcock pastor Faith Family Church in Jackson, Georgia. www.ffcjackson.org
Tony and Maria Costandini (both ’96, ’97) say . . .
Minister to those released from prison. We have a weekly Bible study at a local halfway house for men who have recently been released from prison—primarily those incarcerated for drugs and alcohol. Recently we had 19 men from the halfway house attend church. We give them Bibles as needed. We have been able to buy a van, so we now have the ability to provide transportation for those interested in coming to church on Sundays. Sometimes I lead the Bible study; at other times, it’s led by two trained church members. Because we’ve established a relationship with these men, we’ve been able to keep about six of them hooked up to the church after they graduated from the halfway house.
About . . . Tony and Maria Costandini pastor Living Faith Church in Vista, California.
Ted and Valinda Collins (both ’96, ’97) say . . .
Ministry is outside the four walls of the church. Our whole goal is to get our church thinking about taking ministry outside the church. In September we have an outdoor water baptism service at the lake. Last time we had ten people sign up, but ten more people got baptized just because they were there! At Christmas we have a toy drive, and in March we hold an Easter sunrise service at 6:00 a.m. with a free breakfast afterwards. We also have outreaches where we set up outdoor services in a specific community and then we rotate to different communities. At those services we highlight different members of our congregation (maybe singing, playing, or reading) to draw their friends and family members who wouldn’t otherwise come to church. Someone gets saved or filled with the spirit at every outreach, and our church is growing as a result.
About . . . Ted and Valinda Collins pastor Renewed Life Fellowship in Moreno Valley, California. www.renewedlifefellowship.org