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Kay Warren: How to Start an HIV/AIDS Ministry

f-MinOut HowTo ScottTokarWe have a moral responsibility to engage the largest humanitarian crisis in history

The AIDS pandemic remains today as the largest humanitarian crisis in history, and the church has a moral responsibility to become engaged. Every church, whether large and affluent or small with little in the way of financial resources, can make a significant impact in its community. Here are five practical steps to launch an HIV/AIDS ministry, based on the acrostic START.

Seek support from the pastors, elders or deacons of your church. Church leadership must understand why it is important to begin this ministry. Without their support, the ministry probably won’t succeed. Inform the leadership team about the number of people infected and affected—locally and globally—and about the reasons the church is best positioned to care for people who are HIV-positive. Write a purpose statement that clearly explains the aim of this ministry and how it fits within the scope of the church’s overall vision.

Talk about scriptural foundations for this with the congregation. Human emotion is insufficient as a rationale for beginning an HIV/AIDS ministry. It must rest on a scriptural foundation.

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Church Health: How Do People Learn?

Kim Martinez 2Editor’s Note: This is the third and final in a series of articles by Assemblies of God Pastor Kim Martinez on church health. Part 1 Part 2

Jeffrey squishes his car into a parking spot, grabs his bible and heads for the church.

He is on his Sunday-best behavior. He dropped his wife and kids off at the door before parking on the back 40 and slogging through the slush to get into the sanctuary. As he enters the church, his brain starts to switch off. He has walked into the presentation zone. Jeffrey wants to engage in church, and he works hard at it, but every Sunday, he fights a simple problem—his mind tries to turn off when he enters the building. He hasn’t figured out the cause, but perhaps with a bit of thought, we can change the environment so that he finds himself energized and focused instead.

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Churches Should Build Community Ministry

d-MinOut-HowLaunchWhat better time than a recession to pool your resources and minister to the needy?

It started with a bag of groceries to meet a serious need in our community. From there, our benevolence requests went from six a day to more than 40 a day, and 15 percent of our congregation were out of work. At the peak of the economic recession, our community was hurting and needed real assistance. In response, Saddleback Church launched a food pantry.

People came to our doors the first day we opened them. Today we have fed more than 80,000 people in south Orange County, Calif. Our Food Pantry provides fresh and nonperishable grocery items to families in the community. Pick-ups are available once every 30 days and walk-ins are welcome on select days and times every week.

Within two years, our pantry turned into The PEACE Center, where we also provide free legal aid, immigration help, tutoring clubs, ESL (English as a second language) classes, medical services and many more services.

And the most amazing part is that more than 1,600 people have given their lives to Jesus because of the work done through the center. People come not just with hungry stomachs but with hungry hearts as well.

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Orphan-Care Ministries Aim to Eradicate Global Problem

d-MinOut-HowWeGod’s adoption plan provides the church with the perfect ministry model

At the heart of orphan care at Saddleback Church is the desire to end the orphan crisis. We believe every child deserves a loving, lasting, legal, lifelong family of their own—and we believe this is doable. If every church empowered their members to care for orphans in ways that helped and didn’t hurt, the orphan crisis could be over.

Unfortunately, though there are still more than 163 million orphans and vulnerable children in the world today, little has been done yet to help orphansstop being orphans. As a culture, we’ve spent years trying to put Band-Aids on the orphanage institution. But children need more than food, shelter, clothing and education. We don’t want children to just survive, but to thrive—and children thrive in family. 

At Saddleback, we began asking ourselves, “How can we end the orphan crisis, and is there something every church can do?” Here are what we believe are the answers to those questions.

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Church Health: How Do You Show God’s Love?

Kim Martinez 2It is 5:30pm. Sam comes through the door, intent on surprising his wife Sarah. He finds her stirring spaghetti with one child wrapped around her leg, and the other hollering from the bathroom.

Knowing he only has seconds before she is off to help the bathroom child, he whips out his surprise:

“Look what I brought you!” He announces, as he displays a dozen roses.

Sarah glances his direction, while picking up the Klingon on her leg. “Hmmm. Thanks. Can you take out the garbage?”

Not exactly the scenario Sam was looking for.

Gary Chapman tells us how to fix this disconnect in the Five Love Languages. Sam can learn to speak Sarah’s love language in a short amount of time, and those momentary interactions will deepen their relationship instead of leaving them both wanting.

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Billy Graham Program Raises Up 11,000 Young Evangelists

young-evangelists“Learning that God is with us everywhere we go is a blessing.”

Those are words not from a pastor, a theologian, or even a quote from the Rev. Billy Graham.

This came from Damon, a normal 11-year-old, who probably enjoys video games, sports and cartoons like most boys.

But what makes Damon different is that he’s now committed to something those even quadruple his age often find to be a daunting task—confidently sharing his faith every chance he gets.

Studies by the Barna Group show that Americans are five times more likely to come to Christ between the ages of 5 and 12 than after age 19.

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