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Evangelism

Articles about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those you serve in your ministry.

One Thing the World Desperately Need to See - The Visible Gospel

I think many in our country today share the following attitude towards Christianity: "Show me the gospel!!!" (with respects to the movie, Jerry Maguire). As society drifts away from knowledge of what the Bible teaches, I believe it's helpful for people to see Jesus (through Christians serving), so they can hear Jesus.

Jesus, Himself, in the Sermon on the Mount, directed His followers to, “...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16, ESV). 1 Peter 2:12 exhorts Christians to “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles (unbelievers) honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (ESV).

Decimated bathroomThat’s one of the things that’s so exciting about home repair. Homeowners, and those watching, understand how important it is to live in a safe home, and they can see the value and relief we provide, in Jesus’ name. Many of those we serve face very difficult financial decisions. Will the homeowner fix the leaky roof that threatens the structural integrity of the entire house, feed her family, buy her medication or pay utilities? Through our supporters and volunteers, HRM can help alleviate some of these financial and safety challenges, and serving them can provide an opportunity to share why we’re serving - the wonderful gift which Jesus has given us - eternal life and a personal relationship with God, through His shed blood, to pay for our sins (and it’s available to you, too, Mr. or Ms. Homeowner!).

Would you like to partner with us and help show and share the gospel with low-income homeowners? Support HRM's work




Loving Your Neighbor Through Home Repair

Helping Hurting HomeownersPeople with a high view of scriptural authority have often been strong in word ministry but "not so strong" in deed ministry. This has often bothered me, because our example, Jesus, was mighty in word and deed (Luke 24:19). So, that is why we think a church with the capacity and with interested people should be out there helping hurting people stay in their homes.

Coming from the other direction, just fixing houses isn't enough. If the work does not address a person's greatest need, redemption from sin, we haven't "loved our neighbor as ourselves". One reason I like home repairs is that people are inviting us into their homes. We're not selling anything, and by the way, "Do you understand why were are helping you? We're telling God, 'Thank you', for redeeming us from sin through Christ, alone".

Isaiah 58 talks about ending religious posturing and getting practical enough to help real people in real need. Verse 10 says, "if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday." Our world desperately needs such light.

How about you? Does your church have someone who loves to fix things and could start a team (it can start very small)? Our ministry exists, in part, to help you start or grow your team. You'll find a wealth of information in the resource center and ministry library. Sign up now at no cost!



Passing it On

1969 was a big music year. The Beatles "Yellow Submarine" was released and the Woodstock concert was held on a dairy farm in the Catskills. The same year, a song called “Pass it On” (copyright Bud John Songs, Inc, Words and Music by Kurt Kaiser) entered the church. The song began, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going . . . . that’s how it is with God’s love, you want to pass it on”.

Serving homeownersFor those of us in Christian ministry, the song embodies what we're going for - sharing God's love with others. That love is often expressed in meeting someone needs. But it can also be expressed in teaching someone a skill so that they can deal with future problems themselves.

A home repair ministry gives us an opportunity to do both. We can often relieve a pressing problem for the homeowner, but having worked in inner-city ministry for many years, my mind immediately focuses on making ministry developmental - giving people skills & knowledge to improve their situation rather than keeping them dependent on us. The last thing we want to do is hurt the people that we’re trying to help. In fact, that’s the central theme of Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett’s book, When Helping Hurts. We actually got to meet and talk with Steve at a church conference we went to in June, 2013. He gave us some great ideas and challenged us to make sure that we don’t ultimately hurt the people we serve.

What about situations where it either isn't practical of possible to pass along a skill, say because of age, safety or complexity? Even in situations like this, we have much more to offer - the Gospel! It came to me freely, by God’s grace, and the expectation is that I won’t keep it to myself, as though it isn’t worth sharing or that I’m hoarding it. 

Passing the Baton

from freeimages.com / Michal Zacharzewski

Perhaps it’s like a relay race, where, unless there is a successful ‘passing’ of the baton by the lead runner, the race is over for a team. Like that runner, my job, as one who has benefitted from the promises of God in Jesus, is to offer the Gospel in an engaging way to someone else (who will then carry it to others). 

On the flip side, if we make appealing attempts at spiritual discussion and the person we are serving doesn’t want to receive “the baton”, we don’t force it on him or her. We can’t make others receive Jesus. At some point, the person we just served may be ready to receive the offer of eternal life in Christ from someone else.


Home Repairs - The Gospel in Word and Deed

People with a high view of scriptural authority tend to be strong in word ministry but "not so strong" in deed ministry. This has often bothered me because our example, Jesus, was mighty in word and deed (Luke 24:19). So, that is why we think a church with the capacity and with interested people should be out there helping hurting people stay in their homes.

Harvey and JohnnyComing from the other direction, just fixing houses isn't enough. If the work does not attempt to address a person's greatest need, redemption from sin, we haven't "loved our neighbor as ourselves". One reason I like home repairs is that people are inviting us into their homes. We're not selling anything, and by the way, "Do you understand why we are helping you? We're telling God, 'Thank you', for redeeming us from sin through Christ, alone".

Isaiah 58 talks about ending religious posturing and getting practical enough to help real people in real need. Verse 10 says" "...if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday." Our world desperately needs such light. Can your church bring some light to a dark world? We have some no-cost resources for churches and organizations to start or grow their own home repair team. We'd love to help you get started. If you have questions related to a home repair ministry, please leave a comment or send us an email and we'll follow up with you.


Turning Outreach on It's Head

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that outreach is important to the church. It’s one of the ways that we try to engage with folks and fulfill the Great Commission.

What we're going to talk about in this blog isn't intended to downplay personal outreach and evangelism - those will always be important and probably the most effective methods. But what we're talking about here is church-wide outreach.

Forgive the following over-simplification, but here’s something of what it usually seems to look like. A church wants to meet some folks in the community, so they hold an event or open house. People come, say “hey”, and hopefully decide to return to your church the next week. But maybe, in today’s “show me” culture, it’s time to look at that model again, or at least supplement it.

What if your church could offer a critical service and meet the community at their own front doors, literally?

And what if outreach was the community looking to your church for desperately needed help and inviting you to their homes? Think about that last part. Outreach = people inviting you to come to them. In their hour of need and on their own ground. Sounds pretty compelling, doesn’t it?

2011_4I think that a lot of churches have that opportunity and aren’t even aware of it. The opportunity I’m talking about is a home repair ministry. Most churches probably have one or two guys (or ladies) that can be called on when something goes wrong with someone’s house. By taking that informal team and ramping up a bit, you can be a vital part of the community that gets turned to when a local non-profit agency has an elderly widow with a leaky sink. Or, when someone recently disabled needs a wheelchair ramp in order to get in or out of their house. With a few community connections, or maybe even by joining up with another church or two, you might even be able to find a low or no cost option for a senior whose heater breaks down in the deep of winter.

And do you think these people might possibly be receptive to discussion and/or prayer after you’re done?


Why Are These People Helping At Your Home?

The following blog is a short excerpt from an evangelism booklet that we created with the same name. The booklet explains the gospel in simple terms, both as God's mechanism of salvation and the motive for our volunteers to serve others in need. If you want to know more about God's plan of salvation and would like a copy of the booklet, please email us.



Do you wonder why these volunteers are working at your home today? Is it to feel good? To do a good deed and make the world a better place? To earn favor with God? The answer may not be what you think!

For most of your volunteers, the answer to the question is not to feel good or do a good deed. While that is part of the reason, it’s only a small part! What about earning favor with God? Believe it or not, that’s definitely NOT the reason! Why? Because the Bible teaches that people cannot earn God’s favor. It’s impossible for us to do that!

Why Are These People Helping at Your Home - Evangelism BookletThe real reason we are here is - God has already done everything needed for us to have a right relationship with Him! He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for the wrongs we have done (sin) and offer us a wonderful life with Him that begins the second we accept His gift! Romans 5:8 says - ”But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Because of that great news, we are serving you to say, “Thank you!” to Him and to show you His love in a real, practical way.



A special "thank you" to volunteer Bill K. for his help with putting this together.


Categories: Evangelism, The Gospel Tags:

Disaster Recovery and Salvation - The Connection

Last year, I had the opportunity to attend a disaster simulation where newbies can get a taste and consider getting trained further. We experienced a hurricane in the a.m. and a tornado in the afternoon. What was new for me, having followed up both of those kinds of disasters, was being part of the second wave of responders that does assessments (we usually arrive during the relief phase, addressing what was already assessed) and finding injured actors from the tornado. When we found injured people in the woods, we would report by radio to the Georgia Army National Guard on site. HRM does this because ongoing home repair is complimentary to disaster response. We find that it is easier for churches to respond to a critical need if they have a home repair team organized.

This response has spiritual application because we’re usually helping people that 1) either don’t have insurance, or 2) need to cover up until insurance adjusters arrive. We are often their only option for help. God wants us to approach Him with the same attitude as those picking up from a disaster - broken, helpless and looking for a savior and helper. And God, being rich in love and mercy, responds not because we are entitled or have accomplished something, but always by His mercy and grace. In Him we find salvation and grace to endure the hardships of a fallen world. We pray that people will see God’s grace in our help and embrace eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Since the gospel has freed us and heaven is ahead let’s serve Him with all we’ve got and bring a little taste of heaven to earth!





Categories: Disaster Recovery, Evangelism Tags:

Is a Home Repair Team Right for Your Church?

A church's home repair team exists to serve it's own homeowners in need and as an outreach to your community. In both cases, we have found those most needing our services to typically be widows, single mothers, the elderly and disabled. If outreach is a priority for your church, a home repair ministry is an opportunity to share the gospel in Word and deed with these people.

If this sounds like a good idea, the next question becomes "is it right for us and can we do it?" Finding the answers will be helped by sharing what a home repair team is and what it is not.

1) A home repair team is typically not led by staff or leadership (at least, that's been our experience). A home repair team can be viewed as an opportunity to extend your congregation's involvement and outreach. In fact, the guys who run a home repair team can be the people in your church who aren't sure how and where to plug in and serve.

Find your handymen (and women), and the folks your leadership calls when you have a single mom with a repair need, and you've found your candidate to lead you local church's home repair team. We think that these guys exist in many churches.

2) A home repair team is scalable in scope. The size of your church should not be an impediment to starting a team. A simple home repair team can be two guys who help people out occasionally on weekends. In a larger church, or one with a lot of handymen, you can have several projects going on a month.

3) A home repair team does not have to raise a lot of money to fund projects. Your church can certainly choose to fund projects, but we try to either have the materials paid for by the homeowner (where feasible) or donated from local businesses or other non-profits.

Disaster Response4) A home repair ministry is a natural partner to a disaster response/recovery team. If your church participates in disaster recovery projects, a home repair ministry can help your team impact their community all throughout the year. More than likely you've already got the same types of skills on your team and are doing similar types of work. Instead of sending volunteers out a couple times a year, you can keep them busy every month, even weekly, if you have the people for it!

5) Starting a home repair ministry does require some forethought. Fortunately, our ministry and other churches have been through this before. In fact, we've been doing this for many years and learned a lot of good ideas and some not so good ones to avoid.

We've collected that information and made it available to churches at no charge on our website (you can make a suggested donation but it is not required). As we get more churches joining through our website, we desire to build a community that can share and learn with each other.

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The Purpose of A Home Repair Ministry Team

Churches Serving TogetherThe purpose of the local church home repairs team is to serve hurting people and to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ to them by first addressing a physical need: that of home maintenance and repairs. Home Repair teams can also serve other support agencies, organizations, and non-profit ministries who serve the needy in their community.

Any homeowner knows that there never seems to be enough time for all of the home repairs and maintenance a house requires. For most of us, this is an overwhelming but attainable job. For many widows, single moms, elderly people, disabled people, and non-profit ministries, this is an impossible job due to lack of funds, skills, and/or knowledge. The local church home repairs team exists to meet this need.

The goal of the team is to address a physical need while showing those they serve Jesus, the Master Carpenter, whose “home repairs” never break or wear out, and to connect them when possible to other ministries within a local church and the Christian community as a whole.

Interested, but don't know where to start? We have resources to help you get started.


Categories: About the Ministry, Evangelism, Service Tags:

Good Friday

Crown of Thorns

Image Provided By FreeImages.com/Patrizio Martorana

Today we remember and honor "...Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 (ESV)

Please take some time today to reflect on the suffering Servant King and "...the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!" John 1:29.

Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.


4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.


7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.


10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Categories: Devotionals, Evangelism Tags: