One question led Jackie on a journey of miracles of generosity, healing, and disciple-making at her local food bank
Jackie asked a simple question: "What are the needs of my community?" That one question led her on a journey of miracles of generosity, healing, and disciple-making at her local food bank. Read the first part of her story here, where a miracle led a Muslim woman to accept an invitation to DBS. Below, the story continues, showcasing God's power to heal, mobilize believers, and shut down a strip club!
Everyday Miracles of Generosity and Healing
One time at the food bank, I learned that a man's leg needed to be amputated. The food bank clients and I prayed for him. He wasn't even present because he was hospitalized! Shortly thereafter, he was released and his leg was healed—and he's back to work now! The other day, I met a woman who has mental and physical challenges who rides around on a scooter despite suffering from severe chronic pain. However, she gives away what little she has! "Last week," she said as she dropped by to contribute a few coins to our food bank, "I donated my last $10 to someone. And that day, I found enough bottles to earn $40! God multiplied my gift by four times!" These are just a few examples of the day-to-day miracles of generosity and healing I get to see at the food bank.
Acts of Service Multiply
When I started volunteering before last Christmas, I was the only one at the table doing outreach. However, over time, God has been moving. And I have been sharing the stories of God's goodness with others. As a result, 5 volunteers have joined me to make disciples and serve at the food bank!
Food Bank Manager is Now a Disciple-Making Advocate
Also, I have interacted at length with Mary, the food bank manager. I have shared with her all of the Disciple-Making principles I know, including the Conversation Quadrants, Discovery Bible Study, and the concepts behind movements. She's soaking everything up. "Oh, that makes sense!" she tells me. Mary listens to the podcast, reads up on the website, and watches the training videos on Youtube. One time I told her I wanted to talk with the other volunteers about the Conversation Quadrants, she said, "Why don't we set up a training?" Now she's setting up meetings for me! "Before you do the Conversation Quadrants," she advised, "I think you should do an introduction to Disciple-Making Movements." In addition, the executive director over several food banks usually makes an "altar call" style prayer at another food bank which is much larger than ours. "I was wondering," I asked Mary, "what does he do to disciple people?" "Well, you should talk to him about this!" Now I've been able to talk with the executive director and share these concepts in hopes to grow their food bank into more relational interaction that leads to disciples who make disciples! All of this started because I asked, "What are the needs in my community?"
After Prayer and Outreach, a Famous Strip Club Shut Down
Another thing I do is after I finish volunteering every week, I stop by a local church and share the stories of what God is doing with my friend Lizzie. I have already shared with her the Webinar on DBS. And we've done some outreach together in the past. Our town used to be home to the worst strip bar in our county. Lizzie was learning about hearing prophetic words from God. She began hearing words of encouragement from God to specific women in the strip bar. Eventually, Lizzie said, "We need to go in there!" And she began befriending some of the women who worked there. She brought some other Christian women with her, and I was one that she called up! Today, that strip club is no longer there! It shut down! We weren't praying for that outcome—we were praying that God would come and pour His Sprit on that place. However, God answered our prayers in a fantastic way!
You can ask the same question that Jackie asked: "What are the needs in my community?" It may sound obvious, but we often neglect the real needs of the people in our neighborhoods and cities. Asking this question presents yourself as someone who cares about your community and wants to actually do something about it. You never know what God will do through your daily acts of obedience!
Free Podcast: Turning Volunteer Opportunities Into Disciple Making Opportunities
Volunteering is an excellent way to engage people who don't know Jesus. But sometimes volunteering in and of itself isn't as effective as it could be. In the heat of meeting needs, we want to intentionally leave room for conversation and relationship building. And as disciple makers, we want to choose the volunteer opportunities that allow us to see the same people on a regular basis. So how do we turn volunteer opportunities into disciple making opportunities? Join us in the CDM Podcast to talk about just that!
In part 2, we go into the importance of the "needs of the community" question in the Discovery Bible Study process. This is one of the steps that lead to multiplication and showing the community that you're being transformed by the Word.