Daniel Zopoula

The Digital Musings of a Bushman, Speaker, Author & Trusted Advisor.

Author: Daniel Zopoula (page 1 of 4)

Daniel Zopoula On Misconceptions about PTSD in Youth

Bishop and founding Pastor at the Miz City Church in Lethbridge, Daniel Zopoula has spoken out about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dispelling common misconceptions about the condition in young people. Zopoula is himself wounded and personally scarred by the circumstances surrounding his upbringing, but has emerged with both dignity and integrity. In spite of a modest background in West Africa, he chose a path in social advocacy in Canada and has followed his lifelong passion, inspiring others to greatness guided by love and justice.

Highly devoted to Christian practice, Dr. Daniel Zopoula is the Bishop and founding Pastor at the Miz City Church in Lethbridge, Alberta, and a senior consultant at Life Direction Training and Consulting Incorporated. With a profound awareness of human nature and mental health, Zopoula is well placed to address the issue of PTSD in young people, explaining on his website recently that research has revealed children as young as one to six can develop PTSD. The symptoms in children differ from those experienced by adults, with young sufferers perhaps forgetting how to talk, acting out the traumatic event or events during play, exhibiting clingy behavior, having extreme temper tantrums, or being aggressive in their conduct.

Daniel Zopoula - Addresses Misconceptions about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Young People“Thankfully, PTSD can be effectively managed and treated with medication, especially when used alongside other techniques,” expressed Daniel Zopoula. Psychotherapy can help with the processing of the event, and self-management strategies can teach someone to manage their feelings and calm themselves, perhaps even with the help of a service animal such as a dog or a horse (equine assisted therapy). A myth that surrounds PTSD is that a person will eventually overcome their trauma in time. However, PTSD can occur some time after a disturbing event, or something can happen to trigger an onset of symptoms. People who experience repeated situations such as neglect, abuse or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD, which may not develop until years after the event. “Another myth is a mistaken belief that where the trauma occurred in the past, it is too late to do anything about it,” Zopoula says. “It is never too late to address the trauma. If severe trauma has been experienced early on in life, then it can affect a child’s development.”

The public speaker, author, and trusted advisor, Daniel Zopoula is also an advocate for mental health. He explains that the exact cause of PTSD is not fully understood, but could be due to the human survival mechanism working to prepare you should the event occur again. It may be attributed to abnormally high levels of adrenaline, or perhaps it is due to changes in the brain as a result of the traumatic event or episode. Symptoms of PTSD can include intrusive memories or flashbacks, avoidance of certain subjects or places, negative mood swings or feeling numb and changes in emotional reactions or behavior. PTSD is triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it first-hand or being a witness. Children can be particularly vulnerable when circumstances deprive them of the protection and support they deserve in life and Zopoula aims to help wherever he can.

Born in Burkina Faso, West Africa, Dr. Daniel Zopoula studied the Bible and theology at a number of schools in Canada and the United States. Zopoula established the Bridges of Hope International Network in the late 1990s to give something tangible back to communities in developing nations. The multinational, non-profit organization is dedicated to overcoming poverty and injustice, assisting with economic development and providing practical assistance to children, families and communities. The charity has provided medical aid and micro-financing initiatives, among other programs, with the aim of encouraging growth and sustainability, leveraging contributions amongst the poorest of people in Canada and beyond.

 

MORE NEWS HERE:

Daniel Zopoula – Bishop, Author, and Charity Leader: http://danielzopoulanews.com

 

OTHER ARTICLES:

Daniel Zopoula — Highlights Importance of Unity in Struggling Communities: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/daniel-zopoula-highlights-importance-unity-030641299.html

Daniel Zopoula — Helps Families Overcome Poverty Through the Bridges of Hope: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/daniel-zopoula-helps-families-overcome-045404130.html

 

Daniel Zopoula Highlights Importance of Community Unity

West African Pastor, author, and inspirational speaker Daniel Zopoula has shared a remarkable message of the meaning of unity. He wants modern society to embrace this idea as he believes it can help struggling communities survive and improve them for the future. His own humble upbringing in Burkina Faso taught him valuable lessons about the necessity of perseverance in hostile circumstances. Zopoula regularly brings this message to his congregation at his southern Alberta church, and channels it through his other work counseling, writing, speaking, and consulting.

In addition to his own personal experiences, Daniel Zopoula has learned a great amount about the realities of struggle through working with his Bridges of Hope International Network charity, which he established in the 1990s. One recurring theme he has observed is the increased strength and potential for improvement of communities that display a unified character.

“Communities that support each other can make it through the most difficult of times,” Zopoula explains. “Those that fail to do this are often headed for disaster or total collapse.”

He reminds us how the Bible repeatedly urges people to live in unity:
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. Finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

Daniel Zopoula - Highlights Importance of Unity in Struggling CommunitiesIn following the advice of the Good Book, Zopoula shares his discoveries of the different ways communities can unite and their importance. The greatest danger to any community, Zopoula explains, is hopelessness. Compassionate individuals or organizations such as his charity, NGOs, and others can do their best to help bring hope, but the source of that important feeling must be the community itself. Regular meetings where hope and unity are reinforced can help these values become part of the community’s core, which are then repeated in daily interactions. With this foundation, the sense of unity spreads to many central areas. When challenged by outside forces that wish to exploit or harm them, a unified community can quickly recognize the danger and band together to protect themselves.

“Though the advantages in each of these situations are clear,” Zopoula reveals, “the importance of unity is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Soon, a struggling community realizes that as a unified group, the possibility of survival and progress is a very real one. As is often observed, working towards improvement becomes a self‐fulfilling prophecy and opens the community up to greater visibility and increased assistance.

“I encourage the brave communities striving for better conditions and those assisting them to add the consideration of total unity to their plans,” Zopoula concluded.

Daniel Zopoula is the founding Pastor of the Miz City Church in Lethbridge, Alberta. Born in Burkina Faso, West Africa, Zopoula moved to Canada where he studied the Bible and theology at a number of schools, seminaries and institutes. He continued to become an accomplished public speaker, author, lecturer, entrepreneur, consultant and valued advisor. Among other philanthropic pursuits, he has run his own charity, the Bridges of Hope International Network, since the 1990s.

Recommended News

Daniel Zopoula — Helps Families Overcome Poverty Through the Bridges of Hope: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/daniel-zopoula-helps-families-overcome-045404130.html

Daniel Zopoula and Bridges of Hope Help Families

Founder and President of Bridges of Hope, Daniel Zopoula believes that poverty, inequality, and injustice have become three of today’s most important global issues. With over three billion people living on less than $2.50 a day and 80% of humanity surviving on less than $10 a day, it   is restricting people and the progress of society as a whole. Every day, Zopoula makes it his mission to guide families out of poverty and suffering with Bridges of Hope, a multinational charity he founded in the late 1990s.

Through the Bridges of Hope International Network, Daniel Zopoula has helped thousands of children and families overcome economic struggles in poor communities. For more than 20 years, the Canada‐based charity unites the efforts of multiple relief, development and advocacy organizations with the primary goal of relieving poverty. To date, they combat illiteracy and a lack of adequate health care encouraging sustainable economic development, and address critical areas of the world. Through various partnerships, more organizations can spread their reach to be more effective instruments of change for the future.

Daniel Zopoula - Helps Families Overcome Poverty Through the Bridges of Hope-2

According to leading business strategist company, The Valcort Group, one of the main reasons why charities and non‐profits fail is because of a lack of productive relationships. Many organizations focus heavily on connecting with donors, but neglect the importance of developing a support network with other like‐minded groups. Through Bridges of Hope, Daniel Zopoula has provided a place for organizations who share a common vision and goal to connect, partner with one another. As a result, his network helps more people than they otherwise would have been able to. Together, the partners of Bridges of Hope have over 30,000 beneficiaries, serve three million meals a year, and have contributed to the education of over 10,000 children across the   world.

Groups like Haiti Village Health, a non-profit providing health care and training to one of the most under‐serviced areas of Haiti, and Youth One, a Canadian organization providing young people a space to feel safe and engage in a healthier lifestyle, must do more.

“The charities and organizations we partner with are able to reduce their administrative and overhead costs, which means more of donor contributions go towards achieving goals, rather than trying to sustain a particular agency,” explains Zopoula.

Under the guiding principles of dignity and respect, Bridges of Hope is successfully working with other charities, as well as ministries, governments, donors, and individuals to reach the goal of ‘promoting poverty relief and community empowerment amongst the poorest nations of the earth.’ His continued efforts are a testament to Zopoula, who is demonstrating how powerful the concept of unity can be.

Born in a poor village in West Africa, Daniel Zopoula moved to Canada, where he completed his doctorate. After years of sending money back to his community in Burkina Faso and motivated by a deep desire to do more, he was the driving force behind the creations of Bridges of Hope. As the organization’s network grew, he has been directly responsible for helping thousands of children every year. He was awarded the Orders of Burkina Faso for his work advancing international development. Zopoula is the Canadian archbishop of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, a senior consultant for Life Direction Training and Consulting, an avid entrepreneur and public speaker, and author of More Than Nothing, published in 2008.

WISDOM FOR THE BEST HEALTH OF CHILDREN

WISDOM FOR THE BEST HEALTH OF CHILDREN

The following information compares the nutritional value of sweet potato as contrasted with (refined) white rice, and the value of eating food in it’s most natural source, especially for children.

Sweet Potato vs White Rice

Sweet potato is an extraordinary source of vitamin A, white rice has none. Sweet potato is a good source of vitamin C, white rice has none.

A serving of sweet potato contains 2 to 3 times the calcium, iron and magnesium; 9 times the potassium; 12 times the fibre; and 2 times the B6 as a serving of white rice.

White rice has been completely stripped of its bran and germ layer, reducing its fiber and nutrient content drastically. The essential oils in the germ layer of brown rice are also absent in white rice.

White rice is a low fiber “simple” carbohydrate, therefore it metabolizes (digests) quickly and spikes blood sugar levels. Long term consumption of simple carbohydrates drastically increases the development of hypo-glycemia and type 2 diabetes.

Note – fiber also makes us feel full longer

White rice does have some protein left after refining. As a carbohydrate it is also very high in starch and provides a quick and short term energy boost. Unfortunately it is an “empty carb” having little nutritional value and energy levels crash shortly after spiking.

Sweet potato by contrast is considered the most nutrient dense vegetable.

“Sweet potato ranks number one in nutrition of all vegetables” according to The Center For Science In the Public Interest (CSPI), Washington D.C.

The green leaves of sweet potatoes also contain amazing nutritional content. Weight per weight, 100 g of fresh leaves carry more iron, vitamin C, folates, vitamin K, and potassium than the actual sweet potato (tuber).

Quick Fix Or Strategic Planning

Children are most vulnerable to the results of poor nutrition.

Long term, a diet high in white rice and low in “whole” unrefined foods will make them more vulnerable to many types of illness.

Short term, the glycemic (blood sugar) spike that happens after eating starchy carbohydrates can initially make them hyper (over energized) but the ensuing crash soon after will leave them tired and less able to concentrate on school work or learning.

High fiber whole foods (unrefined) and “complex” carbohydrates, like sweet potato, are absorbed slowly by the body so energy levels remain stable, last longer and have no major drop off.

Good nutrition is an integral part of the long term physical and mental development and well being of children in helping them fulfill their maximum potential.

Summary

White  rice can be a fairly inexpensive food with moderate amounts of protein and high levels of simple carbohydrates, but the health of a child can not be sustained on white rice without the introduction of high quality, nutritional, unrefined foods.

These foods will provide a complete protein, the spectrum of vitamins and minerals, and micro-nutrients, all in necessary levels and combinations to sustain life.

Current research is finding natural (unrefined) foods often contain 80 or more active ingredients. There are likely more and researchers don’t even know what many of these agents do yet or how they interact with each other. But the human body is able to identify, understand, absorb and make perfect use of all of them!

The extravagant vitality of natural food and the complex engineering of the human body to fully process it,
perfectly illustrates the genius of God.

“I will praise You, for I am mysteriously and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, my soul knows this very well.”  Psalm 139:14

Contributor: Rex Chequer

Just Hear Me Out!

Licence Your Life

Hear me out!

Who told you that you needed their permission to BE?

People Live in their own Myths.
You live in yours, they live in theirs
They pay their bills, You pay your bills
Skip the Bull, Silence your handlers
You’re on a mission, You have an assignment,
Let Your Life Speak!

This is your life, This is your time. This is your truth, Don’t crap your pants
Who told you that you need their permission to BE?
I lived long enough to witness the profound,
The changes that happen
When you begin to find truth
The truth in your own story;
The Devine deposit,
To give yourself permission
To live that truth.

Fire your pimps, loose the mask,
Put your own face on, Don’t spoil your story,
Face the wind, Beat the odds,
God’s in you, the Hope of your Glory,
Your shield’n defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendour’n girded with praise
My glory my comfort my peace’n the lifter of my head

Unto him I cried with MY voice
He heard me out, out of His holy hill
So Skip the Bull, Silence your handlers
You are on a mission, You have an assignment,
Let Your Life Speak!

This is your life, This is your time, this is your truth. Don’t crap your pants
Far from the peace, stained from within, Souls in danger, look above,
God is on you!
Unable to swim for good, sinking to rise no more,
Out of the angry waves,
Master of seas, my despairing cry, HEARD!
From the raging waters, me, LIFTED!

In safety I be, billowing thunders, His will obey,
On peaceful shore, Forever my feet to stand
His goodness and mercy, hunt you down, all the days, the days of your life
Frail children, of dust you may be, and feeble as frail,
In God do we trust.
Your mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!

The true sayings of Daniel Zopoula

People, We Are Already United In Love!

I am no stranger to public accusations and smearing, but through it, Christ has done a work in my heart so that such disapproval doesn’t affect me the way it once did. I guest, when your life doesn’t belong to you, survival is not required!

Our market-driven church culture is in decay. Our socio-political and economical system is collapsing too, thanks to the weight of corrupt lobbyists and greedy capitalists.  The criminal justice system has failed us. The moral compass that engenders humility, love, acceptance and forgiveness is skewed, we have violated the covenant of Love!

Only the united power of courageous and compassionate people of every tribe and nation can turn around these catastrophic realities. The dying man”s prayer was, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

Prophetic Pastors (always with their faults and blind spots) — in the market place and the meeting place — who tell the truth about unity deserve our critical support. The wicked shall be corrupt by flattery, but “those who know their God shall take action” Daniel 11:32

There is such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.  Martin Luther King Jr.

I am taking action. We do not need to be the fear we have. In the spirit of brotherhood and love we must unite. I stand with the Evangelical, and the Charismatic, and the Episcopal/Sacramental. I stand with the persecuted church, I stand with the church from ages to ages.

Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first.” Mark 10:20-31 (MSG)

 

 

 

A Brain Response Called Post Traumatic Stress

Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 4–10! – We are people helping people to support balanced living, sobriety & sanity through life altering experiences that maximize human potential to build a better world Creating a better world. For a starter, A World Without Stigma is a starter. This mental Illness Awareness season reminds us once more that we must not shame our brothers and sisters who might be suffering from forms of mental illness. We must learn to See the Person, not the illness. We must take action: Be Stigma Free! I found the following from NAMI helpful.

Sometimes our biological responses and instincts, which can be life-saving during a crisis, leave people with ongoing psychological symptoms because they are not integrated into consciousness.

Because the body is busy increasing the heart rate, pumping blood to muscles for movement and preparing the body to fight off infection and bleeding in case of a wound, all bodily resources and energy get focused on physically getting out of harm’s way. This resulting damage to the brain’s response system is called post traumatic stress response or disorder, also known as PTSD.

PTSD affects 3.5% of the U.S. adult population—about 7.7 million Americans—but women are more likely to develop the condition than men. About 37% of those cases are classified as severe.

While PTSD can occur at any age, the average age of onset is in a person’s early 20s.

The symptoms of PTSD fall into the following categories.

  • Intrusive Memories, which can include flashbacks of reliving the moment of trauma, bad dreams and scary thoughts.
  • Avoidance, which can include staying away from certain places or objects that are reminders of the traumatic event. A person may also feel numb, guilty, worried or depressed or having trouble remembering the traumatic event.
  • Dissociation, which can include out-of-body experiences or feeling that the world is “not real” (derealization).
  • Hypervigilance, which can include being startled very easily, feeling tense, trouble sleeping or outbursts of anger.

Over the last 5 years, research on 1–6 year olds found that young children can develop PTSD, and the symptoms are quite different from those of adults. These findings also saw an increase in PTSD diagnoses in young children by more than 8 times when using the newer criteria. Symptoms in young children can include:

  • Acting out scary events during playtime
  • Forgetting how/being unable to talk
  • Being excessively clingy with adults
  • Extreme temper tantrums, as well as overly aggressive behavior

PTSD is treated and managed in several ways.

  • Medications, including mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications and antidepressants.
  • Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy.
  • Self-management strategies, such as “self-soothing”. Many therapy techniques, including mindfulness, are helpful to ground a person and bring her back to reality after a dissociative episode or a flashback.
  • Service animals, especially dogs, can help soothe some of the symptoms of PTSD.

Though PTSD cannot be cured, it can be treated effectively.

– See more at: See more at: http://www.nami.org/PTSD#sthash.36RJ4LAM.dpuf

ABOUT

We are people helping people to support balanced living, sobriety & sanity through life altering experiences that maximize human potential to build a better world

We unleash the worth and potential of individuals, families, couples, and businesses through experiential therapy, profoundly impacting the way people live, everywhere.

We provide customized intensive therapeutic experiences and personal growth workshops to help individuals, families, couples, and businesses reach their full potential.

Our workshops provoke positive and creative change, emotional freedom,  intimacy, balanced living, sobriety and personal sanity.

Through multi faceted integrative therapeutic approaches, we promote rehabilitation, healing and growth from deep wounds and perennial scars.

Furthermore, we support positive and creative change, organic forms of human “soulcrafts” and contribution towards fecundity and abundance.

Fall Political Fever in Canada

Pax Vobiscum (Peace Be With You)!
Brothers and Sisters, I strongly urge you to exercise your citizen right on October 19th. So many people died for the right to vote.  Do not vote in the hope of electing a christian legislative body. You will be disappointed. Do not be driven by the Polls, you will have a heart attack! they move up and down, so much! Refuse to vote in fear or in protest __ vote in hope!
Should a Conservative or NDP or Liberal or Green get in as your MP, remember, these are fabulous Canadians. Serve them and help them do their job well  __  each of them, if elected, will represent their Jurisdiction in office, the very best they can offer.
Do not vote for either political parties, hoping they will champion your particular Christian cause. You will be disappointed once more. Have you noticed that even your religious leaders don’t necessarily represent your particular version of morality and expectation that well? I suck at it! By the way, thanks for still loving me and praying for me! Refuse to become a disciple of the ideologies on today’s market: Worship God only.
Manifest profound compassion on these honourable women and men who run for political office. They have it really hard. Politic is a noble space for public service in our society.
If you are like me, chances are, you agree with something, from each of the political parties; and you disagree with something else, from each of the political parties. Canada is one. We do not refuse service and humanity to each other or do life together, driven by our political colours or the colours of skins, but by the content of our characters.
Politic separates people, Theology Separates people. The Economy Separates people. Religion separates people. Ideology distances us and chases people away from people. Jesus Unites People from every tribe and nation and language. Dude, He is cool, that’s what am saying. U ok!
Sursum Corda (Lift up your hearts, be of good cheer)
++ Daniel Zopoula

Four characteristics – inwardly strong–yet, outwardly focused Church

Four Characteristic of Externally Focused Churches

Introduction

Question: When was the last time you were really proud of what your church was doing?

The Church an Emerging Minority

  • The world no longer regards faith as central, the world does not share Judeo-Christian values and ethics anymore. The church may once have been the center of the community,which has changed its focus and left the church behind.
  • The religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing currently carried out against Christians throughout the Middle East and Africa
  • Church is fighting for a voice of relevance, struggling to maintain strong links with the outside world, yet simultaneously remaining faithfully steadfast to the rule of faith.
  • As  minority communities, Christians face 3 choices as to their response.
    • For one, we could “accommodate” the increasing secularization by submitting to religious liberalism.
    • Or, we may “resist it,” thereby violently radicalizing into the pattern of religious extremist groups in many parts of the world today.
    • In another choice, we  “withdraw into protected enclaves,” religious communes, such as present-day successors to early Anabaptists, or similar radical groups within Orthodox Judaism.
  • Christian—can function as creative minorities– This demanding yet risk-laden choice, the Lord demanded of the Jewish people while in Exile in Babylon:

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” Jeremiah 29:5-7

The Church is “withdrawing into protected enclaves,”

  • We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
  • Why have so many churches emotionally or physically withdrawn from their communities?
  • Maybe this separation has something to do with the New Testament word for church. It is the word ecclesia, meaning “the called out ones.” Many have mistaken this to mean a physical separation from the world. The church is called to be separate in lifestyle but never to be isolated from the people it seeks to influence.
  • In our evangelistic zeal, we often think people just need more or better information in order to believe. But what do they really long for?Fewer are asking, “What must I do to be saved?” Instead their question is “What can I do to make my life work?” When the people who talk about a loving God demonstrate love, the gap between doubt and faith is narrowed, and the people around them often find themselves wanting to believe.

The Church will thrive as creative minority – inwardly strong–yet, outwardly focused Ministry

  • Definition of ministry: Ministry is simply “meeting another’s need with the resources God has given you.”

Four characteristics – inwardly strong–yet, outwardly focused Church 

  • Operate as if good deeds and good news can’t and shouldn’t be separated.
      • Just as it takes two wings to lift an airplane off the ground, so externally focused churches couple good news with good deeds to make an impact on their communities.
      • The good deeds, validate the good news. The good news explains the purpose of the good deeds.
      • God proclaimed the “good news…through Jesus Christ…and…he went around doing good…because God was with him” (Acts 10:36-38).
      • Motto:  it’s really not “church” if it’s not engaged in the life of the community through ministry and service to others.
    1. Assume presence is vital to the health and well-being of community.
      • They believe that their communities cannot be truly healthy without the church’s involvement.
      • They recognize that God has placed them in their communities (whether they feel wanted or not) to be salt, light, and leaven.
  • It is only when the church is mixed into the very life and conversation of the city that it can be an effective force for change.
    • In joining in the life and rhythm of the city, they seek to serve and bless the city, not to control it
    • After all, salt, light, and leaven are agents of influence, not of control.
    • Thus we seek to build bridges instead of walls–assets of our communities, not one of the liabilities.
  1. They value impact and influence in the community more than attendance.
    • Discipleship is not what happens inside the four walls of this church— We begin to grow when we take healthy responsibility for the growth of another person.
    • Christians grow best when they are serving and giving themselves away to others.
    • Because service and ministry are part of growth model for the church and the spiritual formation of its people, it is not unusual for huge percentages of their congregations to serve and minister outside the walls of the church.
  2. Fourth, The way to inwardly build a church is through outward service.
    • Congregations with a strong commitment to social justice and with direct participation in community outreach ministries are growing.
    • Externally focused churches have the advantage of deploying people into the community where they can be church to people through their love and service. Their light is not hidden under a bushel– No, their light shine..
    • Although these churches serve their communities expecting nothing in return, many people are drawn into the kingdom through their presence, service, and love.

The Bible tells us that Peter encountered a “paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. ‘Aeneas,’ Peter said to him, ‘Jesus Christ heals you. Get up…’ Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord” (Acts 9:33-35). The healed man was simply the evidence of the existence, love, and power of the healer, Jesus. After observing Jesus’ compassion and love, people responded, “God has come to help his people” (Luke 7:16b).

      • Church must intersect the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people in Lethbridge.
      • “The only way the gospel can be biblically shared is to focus on the whole person, with all [his or her] hurts and needs, and to involve the church in ministering to those persons and leading them to Christ. This is the essence of our ministry evangelism.”
  • If you go after the people nobody wants, you’ll end up with the people everybody wants.

Conclusion

Two strategies

  1. First, identify needs of your community and start ministries or programs to meet those needs.
  2. Second, partner with existing ministries of human-service agencies that are already accomplishing a shared mission in the community.

Takeaway

  • The way to inwardly build a church is through outward service. A good church demands attendance–a great church values impact and influence in the community. More than attendance; a great church manifests the soul of community; it is salt and light, agent of influence–not of control.
  • Discipleship is not what happens inside the four walls of the local church. We never really begin to grow till we take healthy responsibility for the growth of another person.
  • The test of your spiritual growth is simple – How has your heart grown in the past twelve months? Are your arms open wider toward others, or are they wrapped around yourself? Do you have room for anyone else in your life?
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