The daily ritual begins again. I pick up my stack of mail and begin to sort it into two piles: a stuff-to-read pile and a larger junk pile. I’m always amazed by the promises offered in the stuff I label junk: “Important,” Timely,” and even “Life Changing.” Somewhere in my training I learned to ignore such promises. The senders of junk mail don’t know me apart from my name on some demographic list. They might pretend to show interest in me specifically, but they really only want me to join their program or buy their product. Of course I will ignore these promises, despite the senders’ claims to want to help me.
Most of us have become prudent market-savvy people. We are at least wary, if not outright contemptuous, of glib promises of help and care. How, then, does the Board of Local Outreach break through to communicate with our market-savvy “clientele”? Is there a way to make sure you sign up for the program we know you need? Do we need to be more glitzy, more promising, or use eloquent religious language to convince you to buy in to what this board offers?
Could it be that God might not be calling this board to invent another program? Perhaps we can do our job as the Board of Local Outreach (affectionately called BoLO) by simply partnering with local meetings and helping us all live out that to which God calls us. Maybe local outreach is exactly what our local meetings are already doing.
We as BoLO believe that buying into another program is the last thing our meetings need, especially if it comes with glitzy advertising and questionable promises. Instead, we want to find out what your calling is and how we can help. We assume God is already using our churches; after all, he is head of his church (Colossians 1:18).
We are excited to help you, but that requires us to find out what you are doing. Therefore, we’ll ask
these questions when we contact people:
- Where do you see God at work?
- Where are you finding the most passion and fruit as you make a difference in your community?
- What would you like to share with the yearly meeting as a whole?
We anticipate three outcomes from this:
- A general excitement and praise as all of us see Christ better at work throughout the local churches of the yearly meeting. “Hey, did you hear how Silverton Friends has helped many come to Christ in their Alpha
- A real network of churches that become resources for each of us. “Hey, since God is calling us to feed the hungry, let’s call West Hills and find out how they have been doing it.”
- A powerful sense of how the yearly meeting in general, and the BoLO specifically, can empower, equip, enable, and celebrate your local outreach efforts. “Hey, did you know that BoLO is offering help in starting
Expect your church to get a call, and be prepared to share the wonderful things God is doing in you and through you.
by Bill Moormann
For the past eight years Bill Moormann has served as pastor at Lynwood Friends Church in east Portland. He lives in Gresham with his wife, Lisa, and their two children, Lexie and Luke. Bill is clerk of the NWYM Board of Local Outreach.
You can download this issue of NWYM Connection as a PDF.