NEO Team Update 11-19-18

NEO Team Update 11-19-18

How Can You Tell If A Church Is On Offense Or Defense?

By Karl Vaters


There are two types of churches. Those on offense and those on defense. In recent years, I’ve been in hundreds of rooms with thousands of pastors from both types of churches.


Churches on offense are not different from churches on defense in any external way. They and their pastors struggle with the same challenges of facility, finances and attendance. They’re in rural communities, suburbs and inner cities. They come from all denominational (and nondenominational) traditions. But a room full of pastors on offense is a joyous, hopeful place, while a room full of pastors on defense feels sad and hopeless. The difference is so stark you can almost literally smell it in the air. So what makes the difference?


The Difference Between Defense And Offense


Churches on defense talk about the glory days of the past. Churches on offense maintain a strong hope for the future.


Churches on defense are trying to maintain the status quo. Churches on offense are changing and adapting.


Churches on defense allow their traditions to hold them back. Churches on offense use their traditions as a foundation to build on.


Churches on defense allow their traditions to hold them back. Churches on offense use their traditions as a foundation to build on.


Churches on defense are willing to compromise their core values for expediency. Churches on offense are willing to change anything but their core values, because the mission is what matters.


Churches on defense have a hard time maintaining what they once had. Churches on offense have a hard time making the necessary changes to move forward.


Moving Upward In Ministry


Whether on offense or defense, ministry is hard. If ministry is going to be hard, why not choose the hard work of the upward climb instead of the hard work of the downward slide? No church can move upward in ministry if they compromise on biblical truths, run after the latest trend, or insist on maintaining outdated extra-biblical traditions. Upward motion in ministry happens when we recommit to Christ and his mission, whether in a traditional or contemporary setting. Your church doesn’t need a change in your external circumstances to move from defense to offense or from reactive to proactive. You don’t need more money, more people, a cooler stage design or a better building. You need a change of heart, of motivation and of perspective. Then you need to step up and do it.


Abba Ministries


Pastor Buddy and Alicia Davis continue to do excellent work leading our District Compassionate Ministries Center. So far in this church year, 67 men and women report coming to Christ as Savior for the first time and 69 recommitments through Celebrate Recovery. Forty-three residents have lived in Abba Homes, our transitional sober living facilities and 10 have graduated from the program. Gerald Burch leads the jail ministry and communicates consistently with 45 men. Manna House provides groceries and clothing for an average of 80 families per week.


Abba is always looking for people to partner with them. Volunteers are needed in a multitude of roles. Could you give 2 to 3 hours a week or month? Financial Partners are needed who can help shoulder the financial load.  We always welcome big individual or corporate gifts, but our needs can also be met through 100 people giving $10 per week! Contact Buddy Davis to see how you join become a partner with Abba Ministries.


Raising Highly Capable Kids


38 people participated in the facilitator training for Raising Highly Capable Kids! The NEO District has a grant providing materials and training for 18 months. We are thrilled about the potential for community impact!

October Reports

I Want to Celebrate. . . 


Georgina Lopez, Tulsa Cielos Abiertos. . . Our church was able to raise money to help a small in church in Honduras that are in need. We also had a vigil and we had a great time praising and praying together. We stayed all night praying for all the ministries and churches around the world.


Cary Tipton, Mannford Grace Family Worship Center. . . We believe we had 91 in our attendance of the Fifth Quarter at Grace Family. 51 were counted inside and we had 40 playing strobe light dodgeball outside the barn door. We also had our Fall Fling with several in attendance… still recovering from marshmallow stickiness!


Austin Troyer, Tahlequah. . . Our Fall Festival was better than ever. We had 330 people this year. I have never received so many questions about the church at such an event. We even had a visitor who rode the van the next day. We are so thankful that this has continued to be a success. We continue to have visitors coming every week. We have had a visitor almost every week for the past three months. The van is now running every week on Sundays and Wednesdays with consistent attenders riding with us to church.


Geoffrey Gunter, Tulsa Regency Park. . . We took in 22 new members this Sunday. We received final inspections on our expansion and our old sanctuary/chapel is being remodeled into a children’s center.


Bret Metcalfe, Claremore. . . We had the privilege to feed 136 members of the Claremore Zebra football team. It was a great opportunity to serve these teens and coaches in our fellowship hall. We had an excellent turn out for our annual G.L.O.W. outreach event to the community. Besides handing out LOTS of candy, we also gave each child a wordless book and bookmark that explains the story of salvation through Jesus Christ. We have started an intentional prayer time at the altar on Sunday morning. God is working in Claremore.


Casey Hollingsworth, Miami New Life. . . We had 200 in attendance at our “Trunk-or-Treat.” The majority of those in attendance are not connected with a church. God has opened a door for us to reach out to these families within our community. We look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit will work through us as we move forward in obedience to Him!


David Stevens, Vinita. . . We always enjoy the blessings of the Lord on our services. Our Trunk&Treat annual fall celebration went well in spite of the weather, and we made contact with some folks and invited them to Church. Johnny’s medical reports continue to be positive – the cancer is shrinking in response to the treatment. We really enjoyed having Brady Rand speak for us and share his testimony.


Yalmi & Norma Izaguirre, Tulsa Regency Park Iglesia. . . God is supporting us to move the church to share the gospel with others.


Otoniel Dannemann, Tulsa Fuente de Vida. . . We had a men’s retreat, and praise the Lord two of them gave their lives to Jesus and all of them were looking for sanctification.


Ronnie Baker, Tulsa Audacity. . . Grateful for Core Church hosting their Leadership Lab. Our leaders who made it to the event believed it was very fruitful. Making headway with the new leaders at Audacity. Very excited about the upcoming months.


Brian Loderhose, Owasso Silver Creek. . . We had a great turnout for our Pastor’s Appreciation Day and our Fall Festival on the 28th. Plus, the supplies arrived for Saturate Owasso and we’re excited to put together these Jesus Film packets and take them to our community. In addition, we’re so excited to have raised the needed funds for new carpeting and it will be arriving soon.

The Wrights are also at Cleveland Nov 28-30