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Why Easter Buckets?

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Starting this Sunday, you will notice blue Easter buckets in your Sunday School classes and in the Gathering Place.  

Why are we asking every church member to bless their neighbors with blue buckets? 

 

I’m a guy.  I get it.  But I did this last year, and it worked, so I’m glad to answer: 

 

Unified efforts like this make an impact.

 

  Last year, we gave out almost 1,000 buckets to area neighbors and businesses.  I personally took some Gatorade to a neighbor working in the yard.  I thought it might be  awkward, but it wasn't. In fact, it was easy!  I ended up having a great conversation and inviting my neighbor to church for Easter Sunday.  I have every intention of repeating and expanding the invites this year.  The blue bucket helped me break the ice and open a door!

 

Shandon member Hilary Dickerson made this "bubble bath" bucket last year to invite a friend to Easter services at Shandon.
(via Instagram)

 

I wasn’t the only one who had success last year, and I want you to know what others experienced.  Starting this Sunday, you will see various examples of how others used the Easter buckets to bless their neighbors.  Feel free to copy them  or use them as  inspiration to try something else.  

 

IT'S EASY!

Step 1:  Pick up a Bucket and an Easter Invite card from the Gathering Place.

Step 2:  Choose someone to bless and fill your bucket with treats.

Step 3:  Give your bucket to your neighbor, and invite them to celebrate Easter at Shandon.

 

About a month ago, we finished Tell Someone, a 3-week series on how to love our neighbors. Let’s circle back to the 3-2-1 Challenge we issued to our church: In the weeks leading up to Easter, pray for three neighbors, invite two neighbors, and tell one person about Jesus. 

Those three challenges remain, and the Easter Bucket Outreach is a fun tool for accomplishing part two. 

We have an action-packed and exciting month ahead as we welcome George Wright on Palm Sunday and celebrate  Easter with a community Egg Hunt, The Eucharist, and 4 Easter weekend worship services! (Get the scoop here.)

Let's get the word out to those who need to hear about Jesus and be encouraged by the truth of the Gospel! 

Posted by David Taylor with

Why You Shouldn't Quit Facebook

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A stand-up comedian I like recently said he took Facebook off his phone because it's too extreme: everyone is either having the worst day of their life, or the best day. Either their house is burning down, or it's their wedding day. 

 

Quitting social media has gained a lot of steam over the last few years. More and more people are leaving Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc, and the reasons for leaving are justifiably good ones. 

 

They are all very easy to become addicted to, and the extreme, polarizing positions online are exhausting to try to  sift through. But instead of leaving them cold turkey, I believe we as Christians should use social media to shine the light of Christ. I want to encourage you not to leave  social media behind like we did our MySpace profiles and AIM screen names… because like it or not, social media isn’t going away any time soon.

 

 But instead of leaving them cold turkey, I believe we as Christians should use social media to shine the light of Christ.

 

  In 2016, 78% of the U.S. population had a social media profile. Worldwide, there are 1.96 billion people on social media, and that number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2018.

People are on social media.  And as Christians, we are called to take the Gospel to people.

Acts 13:47 says: "For this is what the Lord has commanded us:  ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

Technology has made it easier and more efficient than ever to be a light in the darkness. 

For the most part, social media is about ME.  It’s about ME posting MY pictures and MY thoughts and MY comments and whatever else comes to MY mind.

But instead of focusing our social media use on ME, let’s shift to focus it on others. When we start to use social media to look at how we can influence other people for the Gospel, the drain of keeping up with the Zuckerbergs by having our digital life be perfect starts to fade away.  

The main thing I see on my feeds lately are people searching for  answers. They look to celebrities, politicians, and their peers for the answers to life’s challenges. When they go to Facebook for answers, I want to be the person in their life who can help them find the only thing that can truly satisfy them: the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

Instead of scrolling through your feed like a sprinter, take a moment to look for those who are hurting and broken, and speak kind, loving truth into their life. Don’t beat them up, encourage them! [Side note: no one’s mind has EVER been changed by a Facebook argument. Please don’t argue online.]  

The world is desperate for a savior. It’s easy to see that watching about 30 seconds of any news coverage. And right or wrong, like it or not, the majority of the population uses their phone to express their elation or despair online. When they do, will you be there to remind them of the hope we have through the grace of Christ? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts below on how you’ve used social media for good. Share them and let’s learn how to be more effective for the gospel together!

Posted by Andrew Carr with

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