Creating a Moment for Ministry Using Balloons

A few weeks ago, I shared a video about learning very basic ballooning for use in ministry. (See below.) I wanted to share a few tips about taking advantage of a moment like this with a kid in order to build them up. Although this is specifically about balloon sculpture, the principles apply in many interactions with kids.

Let’s consider the following example of a hypothetical interaction with a child getting a balloon:
Continue reading “Creating a Moment for Ministry Using Balloons”

Object Lesson: Reliability of the New Testament

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here. I hope you didn’t feel neglected! I’ve just been crazy busy. I’m done with seminary for the time being, so I’ve got a bit more time. (Not much, but enough to at least do a quick post.)

I needed to come up with a way to help illustrate some of the evidence for the reliability of Scripture. I was brainstorming and came up with an idea for an object lesson. The video should give you the general idea.

If you want to do something similar, here are some of the facts from the presentation.

AuthorTime Span Between Original and CopyNumber of CopiesAccuracy
Plato1,200 Years7
Caesar1,000 Years10
Aristotle1,400 Years49
Homer (Iliad)500 Years64395%
New Testament30 Years5,60099.5%

The information for the New Testament in the table above is just for Greek manuscripts. There are another 19,000 or so manuscripts translated into other languages.

If you’d like to get more information on the manuscript evidence for the New Testament, here are a few links to get you started:

Manuscript Evidence for Superior New Testament Reliability

Manuscript Support for the Bible’s Reliability

The Bible’s Manuscript Evidence

A Church Impacting Schools in Georgia

Brad Brown presents character education school assembly.

I recently completed a series of programs in Tifton, GA. It all started when the Children’s Minister at Northside Baptist Church heard that the local schools didn’t have funds for school assemblies. She came up with the idea of her church partnering with the school to bring in someone who could do both an assembly program for the school as well as an evangelistic outreach at the church. She contacted other elementary schools, and they were also interested.

That’s what led to me presenting my character education program in every elementary school in Tift County. I did a total of eleven school assemblies in four days. (For more information on my school assembly programs, you can visit my school-friendly website.)  Of course, I can’t present the gospel in public school programs, but I was able to invite the kids to the church event.

We didn’t know how many would actually come to the show at the church. We ended up with a great crowd! The Wednesday night event had about as many people in attendance as a typical Sunday morning service, and many of those in attendance were guests. I was able to do a clear gospel presentation, and the church is following up on the decision cards.

Often we get the idea that churches and schools can’t mix. The truth is, there are many ways that they can work together for the good of kids and families in the community.  I encourage you to check with your local schools to see what needs they have that you can help with.

“Begin,” A New Evangelism Resource

"Begin" Book

Many churches give away New Testaments as an evangelistic outreach. Of course, giving people the Word of God is a good thing, but there is a problem. We live in a culture that is, in many ways, post-Christian. Many people lack the the necessary foundation to understand the gospel message. They have questions that need to be addressed first. Questions like:

  • Which “God” are we talking about? Aren’t all religions the same?
  • What is “sin”? I’ve never done anything really wrong.
  • How can there be a loving God given how messed up this world is?

The answers to foundational questions like these are found in the Old Testament.

Well, I came across a resource I really like that provides a solution to this dilemma.  It’s a book that combines portions of both the Old and New Testaments to provide seekers and new believers with all the information they need to get started. It’s called Begin.

It starts, appropriatly enough, at the beginning with Genesis 1-11. This explains who God is, what he has done, and why this world is in its current condition. It then proceeds to Exodus 20, which contains God’s law. Having laid that foundation, it includes the entire Gospel of John, to present the gospel message. Next, it presents the book of Romans, which presents the gospel in more depth. Finally, it includes the last two chapters of Revelation.

It also includes commentary to bridge the gaps between Scripture segments and answer common questions.

So, if you give away New Testaments or other literature for evangelism, you should check out this resource.

 

Charging People to Hear The Gospel?

I’m going to suggest something that sounds heretical, but hear me out. Sometimes it makes sense to charge people to hear the gospel. When you are putting on an evangelistic event, in some cases it might be more effective if you charge admission rather than letting people in for nothing.

Charging admission for an event has the potential to do several positive things things. First, it makes a statement about the quality of the event. People tend to associate price with value. Something that doesn’t cost much probably isn’t worth much. Something that costs nothing is probably worth even less. So, when a church invites people to a free concert, magic show, or other event, they naturally tend to assume it will be worth what they’re paying. (And far too often, free church events live up to people’s low expectations, but that’s a subject for another blog post.) Charging admission can help people believe that the event will be worth their time, and actually increase attendance. Of course, of you do charge admission, you better deliver a quality program. 

Selling tickets will get you on people’s calendars. People will forget about free events, but if they’ve bought tickets, you can be sure they’ll remember. This is another way charging can increase attendance.

Finally, charging admission can help cover the cost of the event. Obviously profit should not be a primary motive of an outreach event. However, a little extra money coming in can allow you to stretch your budget and do even more outreach.

So, what do you think? Are there times when it makes sense to charge admission to evangelistic events?

QR Code Magic

I posted this on Facebook, but I thought I’d share it here, as well. (If this is news to you, you must not be a fan of my page. Go to my page on Facebook and “like” it. Right now. I’ll wait.)

I had the idea of using QR codes in ministry. Those are two dimensional bar codes that can be scanned by smart phones. There are a number of things they can do, but usually they are used to direct the person’s smart phone to go to a web page.

Because they’re still rather novel here in the United States, they have a good possibility of going viral. People should want to show it to their friends, just because it illustrates something “cool” that they can do with their phones.

Concept for evangelistic card with a QR code.
Concept for evangelistic card with a QR code.

I threw together a sample of a possible evangelistic piece. This is just a “proof of concept.” You would want to improve the wording and pretty it up a bit before using it. You would also want to put more work into the web page that the QR code directs people to than I did in my sample. Just remember to keep it simple enough to work on a mobile browser.

Feel free to take this idea and run with it, with or witout using QR codes. A quick Google search will tell you everything you need to know about QR codes. To get you started, here’s a good site for creating QR codes.

If you come up with any good ideas, be sure to share!

Update: There is an error on the image. The first step of the instructions should be “Focus on any red square,” not “any symbol.” (Caine, thanks for pointing out the error!)

Paper Airplane Object Lesson

Here’s a video I just put together to teach you how to do the airplane paper tear object lesson that I sometimes use in my performances. It is easy to do, and when you perform it, you are actually teaching the kids how to do it. So, they can go show it to their friends as well. I hope you find this useful.

Make Music Videos of Your Ministries

It’s common for churches and other ministries to use video to promote future events or to show past events. The problem is, they take a loooong time to to make, and many churches don’t have either the skills or equipment to do it well. I just came across a website that creates these videos for you.

You just upload your photos and music, and they do the rest. Their software analyzes your music and customizes the video to match. It is free for thirty second videos, though you can’t download these free ones. If you want longer ones, you have to either pay for a membership or pay a fee per video, but their rates seem pretty reasonable.

Here’s a sample video I threw together with a few missions photos and some music I had on hand.

 
I can see a lot of uses for this in ministry. It would be a great way to create really impressive promotional videos, camp videos, and Upward Basketball slide shows, just to name a few. If it looks lie something you could use, visit animoto.com and check it out.

Free Ministry Resourses

I just came across a blog entry listing all sorts of free ministry resources, mostly graphics and video related. It looks like there are some great sites listed there. I knew about a few, but most were new to me. If you’re in ministry and like free stuff, you should check it out.

Do you know of more free stuff out there? Leave a comment to let us know.