Search Results for: “loveloud

LoveLoud … the neglected

sing oldhamRoger S. Oldham writes at bpnews.net about LoveLoud Sunday, July 21:

Every community has needs. The sheer number of people in the inner cities amplifies the brokenness of our sin-infected and impoverished world. If we are to reclaim our nation with the Gospel, there is a tremendous need for healthy churches to reach out to these teeming masses.

NAMB‘s LoveLoud emphasis has a threefold strategy: mobilize your church to love neglected neighbors, to love neglected communities and to love neglected children.

Overlooked and often neglected neighbors include those struggling with substance abuse, homelessness, hunger, incarceration and/or physical or emotional disabilities. Other neglected neighbors include victims of human trafficking, people from other nations who have moved to the neighborhood and widows.

Neglected sectors of the community can be served through innovative ministries such as literacy missions, medical and dental clinics, sports outreach ministries, adopt-a-school initiatives, and community transformation through economic and community development.

Neglected children can be served through such ministries as pregnancy care, foster care, adoption and mentoring programs.

NAMB recommends three learning steps for churches willing to embark on the LoveLoud journey.

Community Prayerwalk — seeing people and communities “through the eyes of Jesus.” Prayerwalking among the people and visiting the places where they live, work and shop will allow God to speak to you about His love for them and their great need for Him.

Community Exploration Experience (CEE) — a CEE is a natural next step following a community prayerwalk. This is an opportunity for personal interactions and an intentional focus on gathering information.

Community Strengths and Needs Survey — this step moves a church deeper in the learning process and requires developing relationships with community leaders. It is very important to show respect and appreciation for these community leaders. Remember, you are entering their community as learners and as servants. …

Communities that have a healthy church in their midst (what Donald McGavran called a “true church”) are communities that experience a “lift” that accompanies redemption. Fellowship buoys the members. Concerned friends gather at bedsides to pray during sickness. Reading and hearing the Bible reminds the church family that God is for them and is available to them. Realizing they are sons and daughters of the King, members of the church act as such and begin living for others. In short, he wrote, a community “in which many others have accepted Christ, becomes a better and better place to live.”

In preparation for LoveLoud Sunday, set for July 21 on the SBC calendar, ask the Lord to let you see the community where you live with the eyes of Jesus. Then ask Him to lift your eyes to the wider fields of harvest. While all effective ministry begins in our own Jerusalem, it must not stop there. Where in your Judea and your Samaria do you need to establish new pockets of ministry? What part of the “uttermost” is the Lord leading your church to engage with the Gospel?

Read more about LoveLoud by clicking here.

LoveLoud in New Orleans

Diana Chandler reports for NAMB.net:

NEW ORLEANS – Sue Yocum thought the man was crazy. He had approached her in Washington Square Park during one of her daily strolls with her daughter, Lena, who was only seven months old.

“Your baby is very pretty,” the man had said. The proud mother thanked him, but his next comment took her by surprise.

“Can I buy her?” he asked. “Can I buy your baby?” Yocum recalls the man asking. “It didn’t click. I asked ‘excuse me?’”

The stranger repeated himself.

Assuming his insanity, Yocum quickly returned to Baptist Friendship House across the street, a Southern Baptist mission and her home since her boyfriend deserted her upon the birth of their child. There, staff members explained to Yocum what really happened. The man had asked to buy her baby as his property.

Unable to support herself and her baby, Yocum’s circumstances placed her in two groups the Friendship House works diligently to help: the homeless and those vulnerable to human trafficking.

“To know that under-aged girls are bought, obtained, prepared, packaged and distributed like products into strip clubs, online pornography and prostitution breaks my heart,” says Kay Bennett, Baptist Friendship House executive director. “God has given me a passion to reach out and help women, one at a time.”

Yocum temporarily found work in Birmingham for six months, but returned to New Orleans in March to reunite with Baptist Friendship House, the only family she knows. The mission allowed her to clear her head, find God and learn how to pray again. The home, she says, is providing for all her needs.

“One of the biggest things that Baptist Friendship House did was give me the ability to pray and be a stronger person,” she says. “This is my extended family.”

About 10 miles away at Celebration Church in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb, 34-year-old Andrea Robertson considered hers a lose-lose situation. Facing her husband’s infidelity and alcoholism, she was ready to end their marriage.

“There was no doubt I was done. I was at the end of my rope,” she says. “If I leave him, I lose and if I stay, I lose.”

Robertson and her husband, Eddy, enrolled in counseling classes at Hope Center, a ministry of Healing Hearts for Community Development, a non-profit arm of Celebration Church. Hope Center helped the wife and mother deal with the “paralyzing pain” of betrayal. Eddy also enrolled in Celebrate Recovery, a sister ministry at Celebration Church incorporating 12 Christ-centered steps and eight biblical recovery principles. Eddy has been sober and faithful for the past six years.

Today, Andrea and Eddy are still married and providing a loving home for their four children, ages 7 to 18.

Southern Baptist churches and ministries are fighting numerous social ills in a city known for good times and easy living. In efforts to fulfill God’s command to love the least of these, to love loud, Southern Baptists are leading souls to Christ and penetrating lostness in North America.

The North American Mission Board recently launched its LoveLoud initiative to encourage and move Southern Baptists toward community transformation through compassion ministries, evangelism and church planting.

What does it mean to love loud? “It means loving neglected and hurting people as Jesus did—and pointing them back to Him as the source and ultimate author of that love,” says Al Gilbert, executive director of LoveLoud. “It means a daily commitment from churches and individuals to connect mercy ministries with missional living in support of church planting and church strengthening. Ultimately, it’s about integrating the Great Commandments of Christ in Matthew 22:36-40—to love God and love others.”

More stories of multiplying justice from New Orleans here.

Social justice and the Mission

Ryan West outlines how a church can help its surrounding community, and in turn, share the good news of God’s love.

West is the national coordinator for LoveLoud at the North American Mission Board. LoveLoud is a movement of churches demonstrating God’s love by meeting significant human need while sharing Christ.

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