I have had several guys ask me about our Love on Longview (LOL) campaign. Several were wanting some info about it. So, instead of sending out a dozen e-mails, I figured it would be easier to explain it here and point all to this page.
First off big props to Chad Graves and Ryan Copico at Pauline Baptist in Monticello AR and Craig Duncan and Matt Griffith at Lonoke Baptist in Morrilton AR. These guys led their churches in “I Love Monticello” and “I Love Morrilton” campaigns and their vision was my inspiration for our “LOL” campaign.
So this entire effort began with a vision. The vision was to take an entire month and try to engage our whole church (or at least as many as we could get) to serve our community in a great big service and outreach project. We (Tony Harp, Jimmy Jones, Jalena Branch, Norman Jones and myself) stole some ideas from others, but also put a whole lot of creative thought into this project as well.
Our first step was to sell the vision and create urgency among the people of our church. We began this process back in October by first explaining the vision to our church planning committee. Naturally there were some questions, but overall folk saw the need for a large service project to reach our community.
We decided April would be the best month to do this by using the momentum of Easter to carry right into LOL. Also we knew April would be a great month weather wise because many of our ministries are done outdoors.
We then decided to do the projects on Sunday afternoons. Honestly, this was the area in the process where we got the most pushback. A lot of folk still view their Sunday as the “sabbath” (although we worship on Sunday because it was the day the Lord arose, Saturday is still the “sabbath”) and several didn’t like the altering of our traditional Sunday evening worship format. I respect their thought, but I felt Sunday was by far the best time to do this and have maximum impact.
The biggest reason we chose Sunday was because it gave us the best opportunity to engage the most people with the fewest other things competing with their time. This time of year activities like baseball and soccer tournaments take a lot of our people away on weeknights and Saturdays, but for the most part Sunday afternoons are free. So Sunday afternoons in April became our “when”.
We knew that there were some ministries we really wanted to do, but some of the other ministries were a result of people who had a conviction for a specific area and were willing to lead a group in that area. The ministries we settled on as a result of what areas of need we saw and gifts of our leaders are as follows… Construction (3 teams), random acts of kindness, nursing home (3 teams), women’s ministry (local maternity home), elderly cares, door-to-door evangelism, prayer, letter writing, food/ feeding, neighborhood blitz, children’s ministries.
Once we had these ministries chosen and firm, we then made sure we had solid leaders over each team. We ended up with 15 specific team/ministries and about 150 folk serving in these areas. Our leaders did an excellent job of securing the logistics of their ministries and making sure they had any supplies needed. It is KEY that you have great leaders over each area and we have some fantastic ones here at LMBC.
Because we were serving on Sunday afternoons and wanting to involve as many people as possible, there were some things to consider.
We have a bunch of young families in our church and we wanted eliminate any challenge that would keep them from serving. We first made sure there was a nursery available.
We also established a toddlers ministry. We have a great group of ladies serving in this area and during our ministry time they are teaching these little guys about serving and also getting them outside doing simple things like picking up trash around the church.
Next we wanted our elementary age kiddos to participate in some way. We have one of our nursing home groups that is dedicated as an area of service for 6-12 year-old. These kids are doing some worship music and spreading encouragement in 3 different area nursing homes during LOL.
One thing we did have to make sure of is that the ministry start times were pretty coordinated so that childcare was available when the parents needed to drop off their kids to head to their ministry locations.
With having the ministries for the kids, again, it is giving childcare to our young families making it possible for them to participate. Also, I love the fact that between the children’s areas and our prayer teams we have areas for all people to get involved. We literally have people from age 3 to age 80′s serving!
Sunday Evening Service
Several have asked me “so what are y’all doing about Sunday night service then?” What we have done is taken our regularly scheduled 6:00 Sunday evening service and turned it into a weekly celebration. We meet in our fellowship hall and activity area and have a meal, have some scripture, share some testimonies and spend some time in prayer. The energy during this service last Sunday was like nothing I have ever seen in a Sunday evening service. Just AWESOME!
We are going to wrap up the month after all is done with a big final celebration service where we share testimonies from those who served and videos from those we helped. We will also have a time of worship and prayer during this service.
Our key scripture for this effort is from 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NLT ) “10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.”
Our motto is “God’s Glory, Others Good, Our Growth”
Hope this explains well what many have been wondering. If you have any questions, please hollar!