Friday, September 25, 2009

Giving Ourselves Away

I believe that we are most like Jesus when we serve others by giving ourselves away. We can give of our time, our talents, our treasure, but most importantly we must give of ourselves. But giving that does not cost us in some way is not a true sacrifice.

When we stop seeing people as evangelistic targets, when we stop expecting something in return for helping them — it is only then that we can serve people and meet the needs in our community the way Jesus did.

As part of Encounter Church, we feel this is one way to be a burning bush — something that catches the attention of a city so they can not only hear the voice of God, but also encounter firsthand His crazy love through us – in a real and tangible way.

Building these types of relationships with individuals and our community is something we at Encounter call "Engaging Our Culture." We know that once people come in contact with Jesus, they are forever changed. We are not just doing community service, we are serving our community. And that is a big difference. When we serve our community we are pursuing the transformation of a community.

Engaging Culture by building true relationships with others is a lifestyle, not an event. It is something we do in our homes, workplaces, classrooms, pubs, tattoo parlors, and more. We must first live out this lifestyle as individuals, but we also know that there is great value in gathered efforts as well. And that is what Encounter's Community Impact efforts are all about.

Our Community Impact relies partly upon an intentional and coordinated effort of service with others in order to accomplish something significant to change peoples' lives in a positive way. We want to see Encounter Church not as a place we only attend on the weekend, but something we ARE throughout the week.

We have come to understand that we are not "bring Jesus" to people, but that that Jesus is already alive and active in our culture and we want to join Him in what He is doing. While Encounter does initiate some community impact efforts of our own, we are very interested in partnering with other organizations that are already successfully meeting needs in our community. And then we can join in and help make an even deeper impact.

Some of the community organizations we have already served or partnered with are the Helena YWCA, Youth Connections, Downtown Helena, Helena School System, Elkhorn Rehabilitation Center, St. Peter's Medical Center, Staples, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. We are continually looking to strategically expand such partnerships.

Isn't it time that you "give yourself away" in your community?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get Updates At

Hey friends! You're probably wondering why we haven't posted a new post over here at the eSomething Blog for a while.

A lot is going on in our lives and we're really excited about what God's been doing here in Helena. As you know, we're now pretty deep in the process of planting a new church in Helena for this generation - those in their 20s and 30s.

With that said, we've taken a sort of a blogging break from posting here at the eSomething Blog and putting a lot of effort into posting updates over on the Encounter Church Blog and in our regular prayer updates for Encounter.

We will still be posting here periodically. And at some point, we will start posting more regularly again, but not for a while.

As our friends and family, we encourage you to subscribe to the Encounter Blog and as a prayer partner now to keep up-to-date. Here are the links:

Subscribe to the Encounter Blog

Sign up as a prayer partner

Thanks so much! And visit the Encounter Church Blog here.

Updated Photo Albums 2008-2009

Surprise! It's been almost 6 months and I haven't posted anything over here at the eSomething blog. I will again resume posts here of our personal life journey...but not yet. Most of what is going on is over at the Encounter Helena blog.

However, I just uploaded about 8 albums of photos from the last year or so. Check them out on Picasa here. Or check them out on the e|Photos page here.