Archive for Sterling VA

Reaching Our Neighborhoods – Halloween 2017

Calvary Temple - Pumpkin Crosses

I’VE BEEN A MEMBER OF Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA FOR OVER 25 YEARS. WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT REACHING THE LOST AND ENCOURAGING THE BELIEVERS IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE HAVE MANY Events THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL. I HOPE YOU FIND THE FOLLOWING TO BE A BLESSING.

I’m personally excited about this post, to share how my church family has reached our local community during Halloween.  Now, Halloween can be a controversial holiday for many believers, who do not support what’s behind it.  I used to be apprehensive of it myself.  However, the Lord has told us to, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel,” Mark 16:15.  Now, I see Halloween as a fabulous opportunity to reach people who are literally coming up to my door.

Here are the testimonies of how two ladies and I were able to minister to our neighborhoods this year.

My Neighborhood – How it Started

Three years ago, it was on the heart of one of the young ladies in our Young Adult group at church, Kristy Lawrence, to reach the kids in a neighborhood near church.  Over twenty Young Adults volunteered their time and money to hand out Bible tracts, act out Bible skits, and coordinate games.  Feel free to read more about it here.

Noah

Noah

The outreach opened a huge door in my neighborhood.  One of the young boys who had never heard the Bible story of Noah called it the “Pirate Story” because it had a boat.  Cute!  Since that outreach, I keep a, “Kid Box,” with Bible coloring pages, crayons, balloons, several Children’s Bibles, and bubbles.  Any time the kids want, I’ll bring out the Kid Box, and we’ll color, play a game, or read a Bible story.

When Halloween came around the next year, Kristy Lawrence was unavailable, so I organized the outreach that year.  The theme was a Puppet Show, with performances by our Sunday night service’s Puppet Team.  We were able to reach a lot of kids and parents.

Last year, Kristy Lawrence was available.  Since I had been blessed to steadily minister to the kids in my neighborhood, it was on her heart to move the outreach to a new one.  We decorated our cars for a Trunk or Treat, with seven stories from Creation all the way to the Battle for Your Heart.

My Neighborhood – This Year!

This year, however, neither Kristy Lawrence nor I felt like a big outreach was on our hearts.  Instead, I felt that the Lord would perhaps use more of us at our own houses.

 I prayed more than I ever have for the Halloween Outreach this year.

Calvary Temple - Bible Coloring Pages

Calvary Temple - Jesus is the Greatest Treasure signA few weeks before Halloween, I asked a number of ladies from church to specifically pray that the Lord would use the Bible tracts to reach the kids.  Three separate times, the kids in my neighborhood came up and asked to read something!

On the actual night of Halloween, the Lord drew so many kids to my front door that I actually ran out of tracts!  The Lord then reminded me that I had the Bible coloring book, so I quickly tore out some pages and stuffed them in a Ziploc bag with a crayon.  My roommate helped during crunch time, tearing out the pages for me.  So many kids came by that we ran out as fast as we could make them!

One young boy saw the, “Jesus is the Greatest Treasure” sign by my front door.  He said, “Are you a Christian?”  “Yes,” I replied.  “I met a Christian once,” he said.  Then he said he wanted to go to church but couldn’t.  So I encouraged him that, “It’s ok.  God sees.  You can pray to Him.”

 

Overall, it went very well.  What a blessing to see the hand of God.

Kristy Lawrence’s Neighborhood

Calvary Temple - Kristy's Outreach 2017

This year, it was on Kristy’s heart to reach her own neighborhood.  Her two daughters dressed up in princess gowns, and brought out their cardboard castles as decorations.  Glow necklaces, Bible tracts and candy, and a few games completed her outreach.

Calvary Temple - Don't Be Tricked, Jesus is the Treat!

She was able to reach 80 people, both parents and kids!  A couple of parents made it a point to come back and thank her for what they were doing.  One teenager even said, “This is the best house yet!” after he saw the “Jesus is the Light of the World” sign.

Kristy had been praying for an opportunity to share with a particular neighbor.  She hadn’t seen them since she started praying, but the day before Halloween the Lord allowed their paths to cross.  Kristy had a great opportunity to share.

Stephanie Bright’s Neighborhood

For Stephanie Bright, reaching her neighborhood for Halloween was also a family outreach.  Her three young daughters helped assemble Bible tract pacts with candy.

Calvary Temple - Kids Assembling Tracts

Calvary Temple - Praying for Tracts

Dad praying for Bible tracts with his children

While the Brights did not get any specific opportunities to share the Gospel, they had the highest number of visitors yet!  They also ran out of tracts.  Stephanie ran upstairs to get more candy to meet the high demand!

Before kids started coming, Josh Bright prayed over the tracts with his children.

The girls were excited to hand the tracts out, saying, “Jesus loves you!”  A few people thought this was cute and responded with smiles.  One kid even responded, “Jesus loves you too!”

 

 

Overall, our families were very excited to be used by the Lord to reach our local community.  Though full effects of the fruit of this ministry have not yet been seen, we believe that the Lord Jesus is working.  We count it a great privilege to be used, and look forward to what the Lord will do for next year’s Halloween outreach.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on FacebookTwitterYouTubeFlickrInstagram.

Witnessing in Winchester

front porch witnessing

The Scary Front Door

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel.  I hope you find the following story to be a blessing.

There was a time, back in the day, when Calvary Temple used to go witnessing in Georgetown, DC every Friday night.  There was a diverse mixture of socio-economic classes.  You had the college students out looking for a party at one of the many bars and clubs.  The Yuppies were looking for some eclectic restaurant to talk about Monday morning.  The tourists were wandering around looking at a map completely lost.  And the homeless population was scattered throughout the neighborhood.

I was very zealous back then, which is a good thing, but I was not very compassionate, which is not a good thing.  And I would often find myself trying to argue people into the kingdom of love.  After a couple years of witnessing in Georgetown, I can’t remember one single person wanting to pray and ask the Lord into their heart.  I’m older and wiser now.  And some of my rough edges have been polished up by reproof and humiliation.  I’m more keenly aware than ever that it is only by God’s mercy that I am saved and forgiven.  Compassion grows more readily in a heart that knows “but by the grace of God there go I.”  I try to approach everyone as if they want to hear about Jesus and were just waiting for someone to tell them the good news.

Pastor Scott has been teaching about compassion for the lost and reaching our community with the love of Jesus for over a year now.  Our church is broken up into deacon’s groups and a different group goes out witnessing every month.  I used to dread it.  “People don’t want to hear what we have to say anymore.”  “They slam the door in our faces.”  “They are mean to us.”  Whine, whine, whine.  I would get so worked up with fear and dread when it was my group’s turn to go out over how people would respond to me?

I wrote a play a while back and one of the scenes is a conversation with John Wesley, an 18th century street evangelist.  I wrote the entire scene as if John Wesley were talking to me about my own witnessing wimpyness.  One line in particular comes up in my heart every time I am about to go witnessing and the fear of what people will think begins to rise up.  “Are you so fragile that you’d crumple over an unflattering look? Are they going to set you on fire?” Translation: Suck it up you big baby!

Recently, the Lord has had us going door to door witnessing in Winchester with our Bible Study group.  Winchester is a whole different world than Sterling or Georgetown.  There is both a roughness and a friendliness about it.  Many of the people are in much greater need of natural provisions.  In Winchester, there is a soup kitchen serving a meal just about every day of the week.  A whole community, many of whom are homeless, frequent the soup kitchen circuit.  I have been impressed by how they look after and take care of one another.  Maybe its because of their humble provisions, but the people of Winchester have been more open to the gospel than any other people I have witnessed to in recent years.

When we go witnessing I take two girls with special needs with me.  My job is part teacher, part mentor, and part protector.  The girls are very shy and look to me for prompting on what to say if someone opens the door.  Their job is to invite the person to the Bible Study on Monday and Thursday nights at 7:00.  Their big sales pitch is, “It’s not boring and we all get to read.”  I worry that the possibility of having to read in front of others might be a deal breaker for some of our invitees but at least they know it’s not boring.  Then the girls will ask, “Are you a believer?”  At this point the person in the doorway will answer yes or no and the girls will blink for a moment then turn to look at me for what to do next.

I ask a couple of questions then present the gospel : Jesus loves them and died for their sins so they could have a relationship with God and go to heaven.  Then depending on the outcome from that exchange, explain to the girls what we just saw.  Here are a few of our experiences around Winchester:

The Filibuster

The Filibuster

The Filibuster

When the person you are talking to doesn’t want to hear what you have to say, but they don’t tell you they aren’t interested.  Instead, they start a long dissertation about something that may or may not be related to stop you from being able to say anything else hoping you give up and eventually walk away.

Solution: You have to politely interrupt and tell them, “thanks for talking to us but we don’t want to keep you any longer so we’re gonna go.  Have a great day.”

The Too Polite

Obviously Bored

Obviously Bored

When they stand there glazed over and absently nod at you while glancing back at their friend who is hiding in the corner.

Solution: Politely ask, “Are you interested in hearing more right now?”  They will most likely jump on that like a lion on a raw steak and take the way out you just gave them.  Now you can move on to the next person the Lord would have you reach.

 The Brush Off

peeking

I guess you’re going in now

They answer the door and take the tract like they are interested but while you are talking they slowly shut the door and disappear.

Solution: Say to yourself, “Oh, I guess we’re done here.” And move along.

The Silent Treatment

crickets

chirp chirp

There’s lots of noise inside the house.  Until you knock. Then it’s as silent as the grave.  We know you’re in there.

Solution: Leave a tract in the doorway and keep going.  They may have been abducted by aliens.

The Yell Through the Door

doorbell broken

WHO IS IT!

No one answers the door but they holler menacingly from inside, “WHO IS IT!!”

Solution: Holler back, “WINCHESTER BIBLE STUDY!”  Sometimes the girls forget and leave part of it off and just yell, “WE FROM THE BIBLE STUDY!” I’ve been amazed that on every single occasion but one – the people answered the door after they heard “Bible Study” because they were interested.

The Walk of Faith

Scary hallway

Sometimes you have to do it afraid

The walk down the dark, dirty, hallway of the “should have been condemned” apartment building, to knock on the door that may or may not have bullet holes in it.

Six Point Solution:  1. Pray.  2. Knock.  3. Listen for the sound of the shotgun being cocked on the other side.  4. Get ready to dive out of the way.  5. Holler back, “WE FROM THE BIBLE STUDY!”  6. Hand out the tract to the very nice people when they politely answer the door.

The Possible Demon Possession

being followed

Being Followed by a Crazy Person

Sometimes combined with the Filibuster.  Don’t be fooled by this tactic of the enemy.  You can’t talk your way out of this one.

Solution: As you are being followed around town by this person who is shouting random mystical sounding things out to you and everyone else in the vicinity, ask the Lord, “Lord, do we gotta cast a demon out of this dude?”  Whichever way the Lord answers, follow up with the story about Paul being followed around by the possessed girl who kept shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God …”

 The Wild Card

Um . . . no, we don't have a single's group

Um . . . no, we don’t have a single’s group

When there’s the sound of chaos on the other side of the door – followed by silence – then someone opens the door holding a butcher knife and a cell phone. Once you are finished witnessing to them they will run after you to ask “You got a singles group there?”

Solution: . . . . . . . Yeah I have no idea.  That’s new.

Every one of these situations has really happened to us.  I can actually quiz the girls afterwards about which one we just saw and they will get it right.  “THE FILIBUSTER!”  The girls show up faithfully to go witnessing every other Sunday.  If only we all had the child-like faith that they have.  We would be so much better off.

We’ve had many wonderful opportunities to lead people to the Lord and minister to the Christians in Winchester.  You can read more about the Bible Study and what God is doing in Winchester in the Calvary Temple Winchester blog.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram

What is Happening at Calvary Temple in Sterling VA?

A Christian has two prime responsibilities in the Word of God.

  • To build up and encourage the members of the church.
  • To share the gospel with the Lost.

Jesus’ final words to the church as recorded in Matthew 28:19-20 were to go into all the world and share the gospel and make disciples.  There are many ways to share the gospel but only one message.  God sent his only Son to die on a cross for the sins of mankind so that by believing in Him we could be forgiven and have a relationship with God for eternity.

I’m a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling, Virginia under Pastor Star Scott.  It’s a lot like going to a family reunion several times a week.  Everyone knows everyone, they can’t wait to hear all about whatever is going on in your life, and you are all bonded by the same blood.  And just like a real family we can get on each other’s nerves and have disagreements – but that’s a topic for another day.  One thing we can all agree on:

Jesus has changed our lives for good. 

He’s given us hope, joy and peace.  And we want others to know that His love is for them too.  I know what it’s like to be lost and I know what it’s like to be found.  Found is better.  Found is no more fear.  Found is no more loneliness.  Found is peace in the middle of life’s most painful trials.

We are blessed that Pastor Scott has a burden to reach lost and hurting people who need Jesus.  As a congregation we share that burden and pray for opportunities to minister to our friends, neighbors and coworkers as well as the lonely, the broken, and forgotten members of society.  We have made it a priority at Calvary Temple to reach out with love to our whole community.  Even people who think they have everything still need Jesus. 

Over the course of the coming months I am going to introduce you to many of the programs and outreaches we have going on here in my church.

Our members are always coming up with new ways to spread the gospel and share the Love of Jesus.  I am confident that the testimonies and praise reports will bless and encourage you.

If you haven’t yet discovered the Love of Jesus for yourself, let us know so we can pray for you.  Reply to me below if you want to talk to someone about this whole Christianity thing and what it’s all about.

There is nothing we like more than telling people about how great our God is.