On October 31, 2008 I had the privilege of becoming the pastor of First Baptist Church in Pulaski, VA. It's a small church comprised of mostly senior adults. However, it's also a loving church. I was told from the start that we really needed to work on outreach because the church had not done so too successfully over the recent years. That is something that I was really eager to do. After several months of talking about the importance of reaching people for the glory of Christ I've been very blessed to see some great things happen over the past month.
The first outreach we were able to partake in was to feed the local baseball team breakfast and share the gospel with them. The team is called the Pulaski Mariners (part of the Seattle Mariners organization). About 30 of them showed up on Saturday morning, June 20. Since this was our first outreach scheduled, and we didn't have a budget for it, all this was accomplished through donations from the church members and a desire to serve. We brought in close to 4 times the amount of money needed for the breakfast and had about 15 volunteers show up that morning. We were clear with the management that we wanted to serve, but that we would also only do this with the chance for me to share the gospel with the players, coaching staff, and management. Praise be to God things went very well. We are now praying for the team and are able to go to the games knowing some of them by name. Please pray with us that the gospel would take fruit in their lives and they would be transformed. Pray with us that when the season ends and they head back to their homes (some in other countries!) that God would use them to spread the gospel to others.
A second outreach that has greatly encouraged me was raising can goods for a local ministry aimed at feeding around 225 people lunch five days a week. As you can imagine it takes a lot of food to feed that many people. Unfortunately this area of the country has a high unemployment rate and many who are living in poverty. We were not sure how well it would go trying to raise food during the same month as asking for donations for the baseball breakfast. By God's grace our church delivered 30 gallons or more yesterday to the local Daily Bread Ministry.
This bring joy to a pastor's heart. Not because we want credit for what we've done. In fact, I almost didn't even post this on here. But it brings joy to my heart to see our people learning to serve and having a desire to meet needs (physical and spiritual). As a small church with limited resources and a congregation of mostly senior adults, we are seeking ways to spread the glory of Christ in Pulaski, VA. We have a long way to go, but it is becoming more and more clear to me that when the church learns to live out the gospel that people will genuinely be interested in hearing what you have to say.
With all that being said, I'm looking for more ways to reach the community with the gospel. Do you have any suggestions? What has your church tried in order to take the gospel to the people within your community?