NEO Team Update


04
Dec 2017
NEO Team Update 12-4-17

December, Organic Outreach and Your Church ​December is here, which means Christmas is directly ahead. What a great season to carry the momentum and enthusiasm forward from our Organic Outreach Rally! More people attend Church at Christmas and Easter than at any other time of the year. Whether you joined us for the Organic Outreach Rally in October or not, as Christians, we should be examining how we engage with those who otherwise never set foot in a church. Walt Bennett, Executive Director of Organic Outreach, suggests the following: – For those in this category who actually have a relationship with Jesus Christ, but are not seeing the purpose in coming together in Christian Community (and most likely not seeing their purpose in living out a Christian life through all the days in-between), prepare your congregation to welcome them warmly with grace and love and create an experience that leaves......

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06
Nov 2017
NEO Team Update 11-6-17

Spiritual Conversations   Last week I watched again Kevin Harney’s teaching on “Engaging in Spiritual Conversations.” Harney believes spiritual conversations don’t have to be forced and uncomfortable. God wants our faith to overflow into our daily interactions in organic, natural ways.   Tim Keller, pastor of an influential church in New York City, says, “We could do a far better job of patiently listening. And we should not talk until we can represent the skeptic’s viewpoint with empathy so that a skeptic friend says, ‘Yes, that is my hang up; I couldn’t have put it better myself.’ Only then should we try to recommend the Christian faith to them.”   Keller echoes the conventional evangelical wisdom: “You can’t argue someone into the kingdom.” Both common sense and research confirm this is true. But it doesn’t stop people from trying! From Facebook to family gatherings, our disagreements regularly erupt into......

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02
Nov 2017
NEO Team Update 11-2-17

This is the way we roll in Northeast Oklahoma… Every person waking up each morning praying, “God, if you can use me anyway today, I’m available!” God can use us wherever he has planted us, whether in an office in Muskogee, a school in Miami or a battlefield around the world. I read this week a story of an Iraqi Interpreter assigned to the Army’s 82nd Airborne division in 2007. There he met Sgt. Scott Young. Abbas Hameed writes, “ I realized there was something different about him. He had a book in his knee pocket all the time. Every time we had a break, I observed him reading, and I was intrigued. Scott told me it was the Bible, and I started to read it every day for myself. I kept going back to Scott to ask questions about what I was reading.” A few months later, Abbas......

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16
Oct 2017
NEO Team Update 10-16-17

Celebrate Clergy Appreciation Month Throughout the month of October, churches around the world will show their appreciation for clergy and pastoral staff members in a variety of ways. These men and women can be celebrated through personal notes or gifts, by groups like a Sunday school class, or in larger settings with the entire congregation. Here are some ideas: Share a video explaining what you appreciate about your pastor using #lovemynazpastor. Organize a prayer calendar so each pastor is prayed for every day of the month. Create a slideshow presentation of pastors in action during the past year. Set it to music and play it as a pre-service video. Give clergy families a night out to a local restaurant or gift certificate for an overnight get-away. Invite children to create artwork for the pastors. Choose a day and have people text pastors hourly with a heartfelt message explaining how the pastors have positively impacted members.......

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05
Oct 2017
NEO Team Update 10-5-17

Dear NEO Family, The two days we have been anticipating and praying for are now here! Join us this Sunday, 5–7pm and Monday, 9am–3pm. Rise up O Church of God! Organic Outreach for ORDINARY PEOPLE We want to share our faith, but we don’t want it to feel awkward, uncomfortable, or unnatural…. for them or us! Organic Outreach for Ordinary People will help you shape a personal approach to passing on the good news of Jesus in natural ways. This is not a system or a program. Discover ordinary ways to communicate God’s love and the message of salvation – naturally. Sunday, October, 8, 5–7 pm, with Pastor Kevin Harney live at Tulsa Central. The event is free but we will take an offering to help with expenses. All pastors, staff, and board members are asked to join us for this event to equip and inspire us in this priority area of......

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28
Sep 2017
NEO Team Update 9-28-17

Dear NEO Family, I have been reading an outstanding book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, by Robert Schnase. The five practices he highlights are: Radical hospitality; Passionate worship; Intentional faith development; Risk-taking mission and service; and Extravagant generosity. Regarding the fourth quality – Risk-taking mission and service – Schnase writes: “Service, offering oneself in the deliberate effort to improve the conditions of others, is rooted in more than three thousand years of faith tradition. Nothing is more central to faith identity and to the church’s mission than transforming the lives and conditions of people by offering oneself in God’s name. Nearly every page of Scripture show people serving God by serving others.” It has been heart-warming to see that service and generosity on display following the hurricanes that have rocked our country the past six weeks. As soon as a storm passes, Nazarenes and other tribes have been on......

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28
Aug 2017
NEO Team Update 8/28/17

Dear NEO family, It is hard to fathom the devastation that is taking place in South Texas. We all have family or friends in the area and we are praying and communicating with them as possible. My son, David, and his wife, Elaine, live three miles west of downtown Houston. David was out of town when the storm hit and has not been able to get back. Elaine and their dog, Lincoln, are safe, but like everyone in the area, are wondering what the next few days will hold. As you would expect, several Nazarene churches have storm or flooding damage and many of our brothers and sisters have flooded homes. NEO Nazarenes are asking ourselves what we can do now to help and wondering what will be needed a week, a month and even a year from now. I know God’s people will reach out and help in......

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17
Aug 2017
NEO Team Update 8/17/17

A Call for Help! How Will You Respond? You probably saw or read the story a couple of weeks ago. A disabled man was drowning in a retention pond in Florida. Five teenagers nearby heard his cry for help, but instead of coming to his aid, they mocked and laughed at the man, even recording it all on a video that was later posted online. Legal experts say the teens were not legally required to render aid. Yet all who hear of the event agree that the behavior of these teens is reprehensible and morally outrageous. A former federal prosecutor wrote, “It seems like common sense that those kids should have tried to help the guy instead of filming it.” How thankful we are that God did not ignore our helpless plight and cries for help! God demonstrated his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ......

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03
Aug 2017
NEO Team Update 8-3-17

We want to share our faith, but we don’t want it to feel awkward, uncomfortable, or unnatural…. for them or us! Organic Outreach for Ordinary People will help you shape a personal approach to passing on the good news of Jesus in natural ways. This is not a system or a program. Discover ordinary ways to communicate God’s love and the message of salvation – naturally. Sunday, October, 8, 5–7 pm, with Pastor Kevin Harney live at Tulsa Central. The event is free but we will take an offering to help with expenses. All pastors, staff, and board members are asked to join us for this event to equip and inspire us in this priority area of mission. A declared dedication to evangelism is almost universal among churches. But so few are actually bearing fruit. In fact, most churches have hit a growth plateau or are declining. Organic Outreach......

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24
Jul 2017
NEO Team Update 7-18-17

Summertime is Camp Time!        Thanks to our Camp Directors Dustin Wine and Linda Holland, speakers, musicians, along with the many leaders and counselors from NEO who helped our kids have a great time and connect with God! NYI Worship Night at Core Church July 12 was a special night of worship for NEO youth. As we sang the song, “Oceans”, I recalled my response to God’s call to trust him completely with my life as a 9th grader at camp. And I was reminded that that same faith and trust is called for as a fifty-eleven year old disciple of Jesus! Once again tears flowed down my cheeks as I joined 120+ youth in raising my hands in surrender and trust as we sang, “Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your sovereign hand will be my guide. Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You’ve......

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