Helping Without Hurting Seminar

Brian Fikkert photoThe posts on this blog keep repeating things like “serving should be our lifestyle” and serving “24-7-365.” These themes come from our annual serving event we’ve done the past 3 years called Risk Love. It has been great to see many LifePointers take this challenge seriously. We’ve even seen some new outreach ministries start up as a result! That’s really taking the “invests relationally” part of being a Christ-like Influencer to a new level!

when helping hurts book coverAnd now, here is a great opportunity to help you as you invest relationally and serve others. Brian Fikkert is the co-author of a book we love here at LifePoint Church. The book is When Helping Hurts. In our own outreach ministries we follow the Biblical principles found in this book. Below is information about a seminar where Brian Fikkert will be speaking on this topic at a church here in Baltimore! We highly recommend that you attend this seminar.

Helping without Hurting seminar
with Dr. Brian Fikkert, co-author of
“When Helping Hurts – How To Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…And Yourself”

Hosted by: Faith Christian Fellowship Church in Baltimore  on May 18, 8am – 4pm.

Register Here

  •         $45 for early registration – discount applies through May 5th
  •         $50 May 6th through May 17th
  •         25% discount to students and seminarians
  •         Major credit cards accepted on a secured site
  •         Ample free parking

Price includes lunch, snacks, & materials.  Childcare (7 and under) is available at a nominal cost.

About the Speaker

Dr. Brian Fikkert is a Professor of Economics and the founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College. Dr. Fikkert earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, specializing in international economics and economic development. He has been a consultant to the World Bank and is the author of numerous articles in both academic and popular journals. Prior to coming to Covenant College, he was a professor at the University of Maryland–College Park and a research fellow at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector.

Directions to Faith Christian Fellowship

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Almost Spring at First Fruits Farm!

wagon at first fruits farm

Here is another excellent opportunity to take the spirit of Risk Love and make part of your lifestyle–24-7-365! All ages can take part in this one–kids and adults. Your small group, your family or you and your friends. Many LifePointers have served at First Fruits Farm already. Going out to help once would be great! But since we’re always pushing you to think “lifestyle”, consider putting it on your calendar monthly!  Here’s what Carol Bernstein of First Fruits Farm has to say:

“The signs of Spring are all around us at First Fruits Farm – from the newborn calves in calf at first fruits farmthe pasture to the purple crocus flowers in the yard and the daylight stretching into evening.  Soon the ground will be warm enough to plant, and the farmers can hardly wait!!  By early April we will plant 34 acres of potatoes alone, and shortly thereafter the kale, collards, lettuce and spinach seeds will be sown.  Heeding the spiritual truth, recently reinforced in Joe’s message that the Christ-like Influencer gives generously, the farmers intend to sow abundantly with the anticipation that God will provide an abundant harvest to reap in due time.  All of the harvest at First Fruits Farm is donated to the hungry through distribution at food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.  In 2012, the harvest amounted to over 1,200,000 lbs. of fresh produce delivered to those in need – green beans, potatoes, sweet corn,  apples, tomatoes, peppers, onions, squash, cabbage…and the list goes on.  Consider serving at the farm this coming growing season.  Starting in mid-May, the need for helping hands at the farm is continuous until early November. All ages and stages are welcome at the farm, including LifePoint Small Groups, families, individuals, students, community groups, and other ministry teams.  The farm is where the community comes together to serve the hungry, make new friends, and revel in the glory of God’s creation.  Visit FirstFruitsFarm.org or our Facebook page, or email Carol at FirstFruitsFarm@comcast.net for more information about this special opportunity to serve.”

Hope Lodge and Influencers

Is serving part of your lifestyle? Do you remember back in October when we kept repeating “24-7-365”? That was our big push during Risk Love. And it’s still our big push! Where are you serving?

Why is this important? Well, there are obvious answers such as: Love your neighbor as yourself, and pure religion is looking after widows and orphans…and many other passages in the Bible that call us to serve the least of these. But here is another very interesting point. The Reveal Survey that LifePoint participated in shows that the most important organized church activity in getting people to grow spiritually is serving. Are you stalled in your spiritual growth? Are you in what some people call a “dry season” spiritually? Are you serving? Serving might be the key to getting you back on track spiritually.

Joe Duke preached last week about what it means to be a Christ-Like Influencer. Serving is a big part of influencing. In fact, we think it’s better to use the term influencing over serving. Are you an Influencer? You can be an influencer both inside the church and outside. We have many opportunities to influence at LifePoint Church. If you’re ready to find out more about those opportunities click here. If you’re looking for opportunities to influence people outside of the church email us at localoutreach@lifepointchurch.us

Hope Lodge is a great story of someone at LifePoint taking the lifestyle of influencing seriously.

Hope Lodge

Jim Mitchell, who you see singing on stage with the worship team from time to time, led a Risk Love project at a place called Hope Lodge. Here’s how their website describes the Hope Lodge: “Since 1987, the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge at Baltimore combines a home-like atmosphere with easy access to Baltimore medical facilities for cancer patients who have traveled from out-of-town for cancer treatments.”

For Risk Love last year, Jim led of team of LifePointers to Hope Lodge to serve dinner to the patients and their caregivers.  This gave the residents a meal they didn’t have to prepare after being in treatment all day. And then our team sat down and ate with many of the residents. This gave residents the chance to visit and talk about things other than cancer treatment. Jim has been leading a team to do this on a monthly basis since Risk Love!

Recently, a couple from South Carolina visited LifePoint Church. They left us a note on their guest registry that told us they came to see the church that made dinner for them and visited them at the Hope Lodge! So we called them and asked them to tell us more about the experience at Hope Lodge.

Pat, 73, said without people coming to visit and have dinner with them, it would be a pretty boring place. When he and his wife are there on their own, they keep it pretty simple eating canned food and such. When he’s healthy enough, they can eat out. But he said having visitors to the Hope Lodge is the highlight for him and his wife. He said sitting at the table to talk with visitors gives them a good feeling and a chance to show their appreciation for the meal.

What a great way to influence people! Are you interested? We visit Hope Lodge every third Thursday evening of the month.  For more information about being part of this ministry, contact Jim Mitchell at jmitch1@us.ibm.com.  For more information about Hope Lodge, visit their web site, http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/hopelodge/baltimore/index.

UPDATE: Christmas in Crisfield

Christmas-Crisfield_webresThank you, LifePoint, for filling our trailer with Christmas gifts for kids in Crisfield, MD! We’ll deliver them this week in time for delivery before Christmas. Remember to pray for the families that are still trying to put their lives back together.

And at this point, we have sent two teams to help them with that rebuilding! This weekend and last, Carpenter’s Hands led teams down to Somerset County to help muck out houses damaged by hurricane Sandy. If that is something you would like to do, there will be more opportunities. Send an email to localoutreach@lifepointchurch.us and let us know you’re interested.

Here are a few pictures from the team last weekend:

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What’s holding you back? Go Serve!

RL-24-7-365_FBheaderBack in October when we were letting our love overflow to our neighbors (Risk Love), we kept encouraging you to make this a lifestyle that continues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. That’s why you see us referencing “24-7-365” in other stories and comments now. And this is all still very much our desire at LifePoint Church. We want to be a church family full of Christ followers that live lifestyles of loving their neighbors.

Don’t be overdependent on the church.

You may recall a previous post on this blog that said “don’t limit yourself to the ministries of LifePoint Church.” Let me emphasize that again. Don’t be overdependent on the church. We can help you up to a point. But after that, its up to you to get out there and serve. Probably the best things LifePoint can do for you are 1) inspire and teach you from God’s Word about serving, 2) give you some training and orientation if you need it and 3) point you towards opportunities that we think are good places to serve. In other words, don’t let LifePoint be a bottleneck! Get what you need from us and then go serve! When we step out in obedience to Gods’ Word, He works through us in powerful ways!

So if you’re ready to go and all you need is someone to point you in the right direction, take a look at our Local Outreach Partners (click here). And here is a great example of a serving opportunity with one of our partners in Carroll County: The Neighbors in Need program can use your help right now. Just follow this link http://www.hspinc.org/nin.help.php

Thanksgiving & Christmas Giving & Serving

Many of you are asking about places you can serve and/or give to for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. That is wonderful! There’s nothing better than to share with others in need during the holiday season. God uses it in amazing ways to help us see the world and other people the way He does–through eyes of love.

Of course, there are many opportunities. We can not possibly know them all. Rather, we want to recommend the local ministry partners that LifePoint supports! We love them and think they are doing awesome work in our community. So below is a list of some specific opportunities for you to get started. Also be sure to check our complete list of local partners. Feel free to contact them, too!

Alpha Pregnancy Center  410-833-7864
www.alpha-pregnancycenter.org
Third Annual Christmas Party. Volunteer your time or purchase gifts for the kids.

New Life for Girls  410-848-136
www.southeasternlifeforgirls.com
Give-A-Girl-A-Christmas. Contact showell652@gmail.com for details and a gift buying guide.

Helping Up Mission 410-675-4357
www.helpingupmission.org
This Thanksgiving, you can feed one of Baltimore’s down and out men for just $2.o5

Cold Weather Homeless Shelter 410-386-6660
www.hspinc.org
Volunteer at the Cold Weather Homeless Shelter or donate items. Contact Lisa Aughenbaugh laughenbaugh@hspinc.org

Shepherd’s Staff  410-847-5944
www.shepstaff.org
Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner, Nov 22. Donate grocery gift cards, cash and food donations.

Remember to check our complete list of local partners, too! Click here.

We’ll also be dedicating our Christmas giving this year to Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts in Crisfield, MD and Staten Island, NY. You’ll hear more about that in church.

Hurricane Sandy Update

From the Pastor of Outreach, Joe Paschal:

I have had the humbling privilege of representing LifePoint Church to people that have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. I have been face to face with people in Crisfield, MD, Staten Island, NY and Long Island, NY. They have all been so thankful when they learn that we want to help them. I am thrilled to be a part of a church that quickly responds by putting their love into action! Its interesting that less than one month ago we celebrated the outreach of Risk Love and encouraged everyone to make serving others a lifestyle that goes on 24-7-365.

The insides of homes are now on the outsides—wet piles waiting to be hauled away by dump trucks.

We collected more than two trailers full of donations in just 3 days! We partnered with a flower shop in Mt. Airy that was also collecting needed supplies for hurricane victims. We delivered a load to Crisfield, MD and to Staten Island, NY. However, in the process we learned that while the things we collected will be put to very good use, there are other things they need even more. For example, in Staten Island they need fuel and generators. And as the utility companies make progress, those needs will change. A big need in Crisfield was cleaning supplies and heaters. And as they get the clean up done, their needs will also change.

So what should we do? We have decided that we will collect whatever people bring on the weekend of November 10/11, but we are offically no longer collecting donated supplies. Instead, the most effective way we can help hurricane victims is by giving finacially to them. So we will be accepting financial donations through our offering during church services (write Sandy on your checks) and through giving online on our website.

Where will the funds go? We value the work of the local church. And therefore, we love connecting church to church. We’re still working out some details in Crisfield, but it looks like we can work through Emmanuel Methodist Church. However, in Staten Island, we found Pastor David Biedel of New Hope Community Church right in the middle of the devastation helping people pull themselves together and get the things they need to survive. Pastor David has been doing this in the community even before the hurricane hit. Watch this video to learn more about New Hope’s vision for their commuinty.

Please remember to pray for the people these churches will reach. Pray that they will not only receive the physical things they need, but that they will also feel the love of Jesus and desire to know Him.

Pure Religion

In the first chapter of his letter, James tells us the kind of religion God sees as pure and faultless is when we take care of widows and orphans (James 1:27).

This year, Maticic became a household name for my family. The Maticic family is prayed for regularly at my house, especially by my 6 and 9 year old daughters. Why? Because earlier this year, Becky Maticic lost her husband, and Clayton (5) and Mason (3) lost their dad, Jimmy, after he was in an accident on a 4 wheeler.

Before the accident, Jimmy and Becky had been pursuing their dream together—owning and operating Diamonds Bluff Horse Farm. Suddenly, Becky was left with two young sons and a whole farm to take care of.

Besides the grief that Becky and her sons are working through, the farm needs significant work. This is their family’s livelihood.

Even though Becky and her sons have been trying to adjust to their “new normal”, she still was excited about signing her family up for a Risk Love project this year. When she learned that the church already had plans to make her farm a Risk Love project, she was humbled and thankful.

We’re looking forward to living out James 1:27 this year at Diamonds Bluff Farm. This is one example of the kinds of opportunities still available through Risk Love 2012. If you’re not already registered, please take a look at the projects and sign up today!

If you’re interested in helping at Diamonds Bluff Farm, look for projects titled Farmhouse Makeover and Farm Makeover on the registration page. Click here to register.

– Joe Paschal, Pastor of Mobilization & Outreach

Risk Love is ramping up!

As of Tuesday, September 18, less than 48 hours after opening online registration, we have 561 people registered! It’s wonderful to see our church excited about getting out into the community all at the same time to let our love overflow. Please like the Risk Love 2012 Facebook to keep up on the latest information before the event, and all the great stories and pictures after the event.

You can order T-shirts now! And you’ll get them in time to wear at your Risk Love project! Look in the box on the right called “Resources” and download the document called “A Risk Love T Shirt order form.” Print it, fill it out and bring it with your cash or check to Guest Services at church. T-shirts are on sale until Sept 30.

We have a lot of projects going on that give us an opportunity to support not only with our labor but also with our generosity. Please consider giving financially or donating gift cards from Lowes or Wal-Mart. You can also look at the Wal-Mart baby registry we set up for baby “Risk Love”. You can purchase from that registry and help supply the event.

Thank you so much for your willingness to serve and give. May God make your love increase and overflow today and everyday of the year—24-7-365!

You can sign up for a project and get more information on the Risk Love webpage: Click here.

Cold Weather Shelter Needs Help

We’re looking forward to a great week in October when we let our “love increase and overflow” for the community around us! But don’t let it stop there. What we do during Risk Love should be integrated in our lifestyle all year long—24-7-365!

Right now there is an urgent need in our community at the Cold Weather Shelter which is one of the many needed services offered at Human Services Programs of Carroll County. Many of you are already familiar with the Cold Weather Shelter. We have had individuals and small groups alike serve at the shelter. And we are only one of several churches in the community that volunteer there.

Unfortunately, just as the cold weather is approaching, the shelter has lost  one of the key churches that provided teams 3 nights a week! We can help. We can be the church to the people who need shelter from the cold weather. Here’s the official description:

“Volunteers are needed to serve at the Cold Weather Shelter in Westminster. From November 15th through March 30th the shelter provides a place where the homeless residents of Carroll County can receive a hot meal, shower, do laundry, get clothing, and sleep until 7:00am.  Volunteers are needed from 6:00pm to 11:00pm.  Paid staff are there from 11:00pm to 7:00am.”

If you’re not already connected to the Cold Weather Shelter, you may contact Peter Jones to learn how to get involved. His email is pjonesjbs@comcast.net

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