Friendship Day At Work
By Randy Tahyi
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
The Apostolic Gospel Church in Zanesville, Ohio put FriendShip Day to good use. The event attracted a great crowd from the neighborhood where the church is located. At one time this piece of land had a large apartment building that had been abandoned. After several years of it being used as a crack house, the church prayed, with monthly 24-hour prayer meetings, and the house was shut down and removed from the neighborhood.
After this building was torn down and grass was planted, Assistant Pastor Aaron Bounds preached about having a service on this corner. We gathered to discuss the possibility of getting this service organized.
Mark Mealick is one of the hardest working elders in our church. He was asked to check into the zoning and to oversee this project. After months of planning, we finally felt we had everything in order.
All those years of evil activities happening in the building that had once stood on this ground was forgotten by the neighborhood as we served free food to all that attended. Instead of stretching out a hand of destruction, we gave them a hand that would help them get up from the pit into which they had fallen. The hand of friendship was extended and many responded to the efforts put forth by the church.
After the food, music, sign language choir, and the praise team got the atmosphere charged with the power of the Holy Ghost, the crowd was ready for the Word of God. Assistant Pastor Bounds preached a message of hope to this neighborhood, encouraging them to turn to the loving and caring Lord Jesus Christ.
The altars were filled with hurting, bruised people that had their expectations raised from despair to hope in Jesus Christ. It was great to watch people that really wanted help but simply did not know where to turn to find it. Families and individuals made giant steps toward God.
Although this FriendShip Day did wonders for the neighborhood, it was also great for the church. The people driving by heard music and saw food and fellowship. But what the church saw and felt was the joy of dancing on the head of the devil!
It is not just about having church inside four beautiful walls, it is about reaching a lost world. FriendShip Day events should be done with these priorities in mind. If you dare to have a vision then dare to pursue that vision.
Have you had and reported your FriendShip Day event? Hosting a FriendShip Day event is a requirement to be a TOPS church. If you have not sent in your report and offering, please do so as quickly as possible.
Let’s all get together and dance on the devil’s head!
Puppets, Illusions, and Skits, Oh My!
By Tony Wilhelm
I have always been amazed by preachers that could seemingly just wake up from a deep sleep, grab a Bible, and start preaching from a random Bible passage with Holy Ghost anointing. I have heard great preachers that could actually touch the soul of a whole congregation, extemporaneously expressing the Spirit of God. God will take you out on that limb, if you let Him. However, the messages that have meant the most to me throughout my life have been the ones crafted by prayer, days of Bible study, and the use of other resources that helped make the Word come alive. The preacher has the task of finding a way to get the message into the hearts of people that do not necessarily have a heart prepared to receive.
A children’s worker has the same exact mandate from God. He or she must deliver God’s Word to hearts that may not yet understand or may not be prepared to follow that Word. To that end, I believe prayer, the Bible, and other resources can help us too.
In this article, I hope to give you some tools to assist you in your very important mission.
Pastor Matthew Ball caught me as I arrived at Sunday school once because he had a problem and needed my help with his sermon. I was thrilled at the opportunity to help this seasoned man of God in his time of need. I briefly envisioned myself explaining some deeper meaning in his text or maybe putting the finishing touch on his closing. Reality soon set in when I heard his problem; he needed a rubber snake. He just knew I would have one. I didn’t then, but I do now. Jesus used everyday situations and objects throughout His time on earth to explain the concepts in the Scriptures. Why shouldn’t we have a rubber snake handy, if it helps explain the Scriptures?
In children’s ministry we use many different tools to grab the attention and the hearts of little people. I have seen God move on some kids with blazing speed, filling them instantly with the Holy Ghost on the first visit to an altar. Other children have taken years to develop enough faith to allow God to move in. God has His own timetable. Week after week the struggle is to find the right mix of music, praise, fun, pup-pets, worship, illusions, and Spirit to not only get them closer to God, but also to pro-vide an incentive for them to return to your class or children’s church, next week.
Here are a few web-site resources for you to ponder with prayer. We have used material from each of these sites to inspire and enhance our own ministry. Of course, your first stop should be the ALJC online bookstore and the Pentecostal Publishing House. This is not an exhaustive list, and I’m sure there are other great resource websites. If you have some others you would like to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Puppet skits, drama skits, clowning skits
Skits, Bible lessons, VBS
Skits, puppets, clowning, games
Puppets, skits, pre-recorded puppet skits, illusions and supplies
Quality puppets and supplies
VBS, Children’s Church curriculum
Illusions and comedy with a message
These articles “Friendship Day At Work” written by Randy Tahyi and “Puppets, Illusions, And Skits, Oh My!” written by Tony Wilhelm are excerpted from Apostolic Witness the November 2006 edition.