Church Planters & Compassion Ministry leaders in the Greater Baton Rouge area are getting a treat this weekend, learning from Tulsa, OK, Church Planter Kujanga Jackson. Kujanga & his wife Kimberly planted New Beginnings Church in North Tulsa. NBC is the incredible story of how God birthed a Multi-Ethnic church near the spot of the largest race riots in US History. And NBC has in 10 years, planted 6 other churches & started a non-profit called TOUCH which reaches into 6 major schools & many low income multi-housing developments. The thing I love about this story is that NBC is in one of the poorest communities in Tulsa, but has found a way to be a self-sustaining AND multiplying church. Utilizing the non-religious non profit TOUCH for fund raising, for ministries, & employment of staff, the church doesn’t have to shoulder the financial load of ministries in a community with high unemployment & low incomes. Self-sustaining, reproducing, impacting the community. That’s what we desire of all our churches. Look forward to having Kujanga back in the future!
A few other big takeaways from our time with Kujanga:
- To be a reproducing church you must stay lean & mean. Each time New Beginnings reaches 120 in attendance, they know they are pregnant & begin preparing to send out.
- For transient, low income communities, link strategy to local schools.
- On Multi-Housing Ministry: What you use to draw’em is what you’ll have to use to keep’em.
- Counter entitlement thinking in communities by making them a part of the process, allowing them to participate in planning & implementing events & ministries in their communities.
- What is a Mature Multi-Housing Ministry? The residents involved in the process of making their community better. The church as a link for resources.
Christmas is about a BIG GIVEAWAY! God gave away his very best so that others could know Him & have Eternal Life (John 3:16). This year, Bridge Church took on a BIG GIVE in order to help others know God & have eternal Life. We set out to give a stocking to EVERY MULTI-HOUSING RESIDENT in Covington on Christmas Eve! Great project that any church can take on!
Here’s what we put in the Stockings:
- A copy of The Value of A Soul, this year’s My Hope DVD from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. $1 per. Three great testimonies from real people on how life In Christ impacted them.
- The Living in Christ Book from My Hope with Billy Graham. $1 per. Includes how to begin a relationship with God, 4-part study on beginning the Christian life, & the Gospel of John.
- Christmas Candy & Goodies. (Most of this was left over from our rained out Trunk or Treat. Ha!)
- Some type of small family game. Like a deck of cards or mini board game or puzzle. $1-$2 at local dollar stores.
- Fresh fruit purchased at a local fruit stand. $35 per case.
- A few packs of Hot Chocolate. $.10 each at Sam’s Club.
- Invite to our church & an area Bible Study.
We knocked on each door & said “Merry Christmas from Bridge Church!” & asked if there was anything we could pray for them about. Great conversations. Loved serving with my family & other on mission believers from our church on Christmas Eve. With great participation we were done by noon. We even had some leftovers that we were able to deliver to area Fire Stations. Probably touched over 500 people on Christmas Eve.
Hope you’ll pick a multi-housing complex or a neighborhood & tackle a BIG GIVE project next Christmas!
Our church partners with a few area Multi-Housing complexes to provide New Resident Welcome Baskets. We also want to make them available for the rest of us to bless new neighbors with as well. We stuffed a bunch at our last Faith In Action Sunday. Here’s the list of stuff in ours, which was put together by our Creative Team. Their leader Angie McGinty sent me this list.
- Basket (I have been lucky enough to find some the perfect size in the dollar section at Target, but I think they are out now)
- Archer Farms Brand (@Target): Box of cheddar sourdough cheese straws and caramel macadamia popcorn in the big clear container (by chips). I picked these because they look nicer and more gourmet if you will.
- Some type of gender neutral note pad (I found ones with magnets in the Target dollar section)
- A nice pen to go with notepad (I usually only get these if they have some in the dollar section…nice pens are not cheap)
- Antibacterial hand soap (I get the nice ones from Bath and Body Works..they were running a special for 7 of them for $20 but they may not be running that anymore. If not, I know that Target has some nice ones like the organic hand soaps) I think adding a nice soap with a great smell really makes the baskets kick up a notch as opposed to just some random everyday soap. I still have 4 of these left.
- A nice dish towel/hand towel. You may be able to find some cute Spring ones on sale at Hobby Lobby right now. I got a neutral color from Target for a few bucks.
- Thick wire edge ribbon to tie around the basket (Hobby Lobby has great ribbon and usually on sale)
Cost of each basket: less than $25
- Every multi-housing complex had a partnering church to welcome new residents.
- We noticed & took responsibility for new movers into our neighborhoods & cultivated relationships during this important season in their lives.
What else would you include? Does your church do anything like this?
If you do ministry to Mobile Home parks, here’s a quick download that we shared with one of the largest MHP’s in our region. We actually put on a short weatherization clinc with hot chocolate, popcorn, and a follow up outdoor kids movie at Christmas. The tips were passed out along with caulk and other weatherization supplies. All in all, we spent $200 on the event.
And, interestingly enough, a Spray Foam insulation company heard about what we were doing and volunteered to insulate the trailers for a few of the neediest residents before Christmas. Great ideas usually attract great partners. It’s a Word Doc, so feel free to adapt it, or add to it. If you make it better, send it back to me please :))-.
Doc – WeatherizationTips