Matthew 22:36-40 challenges us to continue to live out the greatest command which simply put is to love God and love others. We are only able to accomplish this through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of sin. As we embrace His forgiveness for us by faith, we are then empowered by God’s Spirit to truly love God The Father and love others. This truth is the guiding force for all that we pursue as the family of Mountain View Chapel. This overview outlines the MVC plan for outreach.
“In Country” (USA) Service:
Goal: To pursue opportunities for service that will glorify our Lord and Savior. The primary focus should reflect the instructions to help those who need help providing for themselves during difficult times. James 1:27, James 2:14-26, Zechariah 7:10, and Luke 4:14-21. There must be service that is put in action to show our faith. The Approach: The leadership team will be responsible for providing “hands on” opportunities for the MVC family to love and serve people in the community, the region/state, and the nation. The desire would be to provide a minimum of twelve appointments/involvements that would be conducted each calendar year or at least one per month as possible. This would not necessarily be a set time and place each month but rather an organized response to a revealed need. Prayer should be the primary expression for securing these God appointments.
The appointment may develop in the following manner:
- Pray for God’s revealing and leading;
- Look and listen for God’s leading;
- Share God’s exposure of a need with someone on the leadership team;
- Seek God corporately for confirmation;
- Strategically plan the outreach appointment/involvement; and
- Love and serve to fulfill God’s process.
Christmas Breakfast Banquet Outreach Photos:
“Out of Country” (non-USA) Service:
Goal: Seek to establish long term relationships with church families in various countries to fulfill the command of our Lord from Matthew 28:18-20.
Approach: The Mountain View Chapel (MVC) family should pursue the following steps to maximize effort and energy in accomplishing our goal.
Step 1. Connect with someone in leadership of an out of country church family on a personal level. This is not just an introduction but rather the pursuing of a relationship that would build trust and create confidence over a period of time.
Step 2. Once the personal relationship has grown to understand the needs of the out of country congregation, pursue a friendship partnership. We would begin to invest in the out of country church family as an extension of the MVC family.
Step 3. Send a “front” team to the country to encourage and affirm the relationship. This would typically be done by a two or three member team in the following manner:
- Approach the visit as service, encouragement, learning, evaluation, and assessment by the members of the team from MVC.
- Encourage current relationships and extend friendliness to others. Make greater connections with people in the out of country church and their community.
- Bless and serve others. Function as servants of our Lord, not tourists.
- View the visit as a family reunion with relatives you have never met.
- Learn as much as possible about the culture, the region, the language, and any special information that would impact ministry efforts.
- Be aware of things the “out of country” community could teach the MVC family. Realize that their experiences could benefit us and foster growth in areas of weakness for us as US believers.
- Pay attention to details that could impact our future relationship with the church family or the community. Evaluate potential project involvement and/or assistance.
- Examine and determine the support capability for sending a service team from MVC to partner with the local church family. Example: Housing for group and size, food provisions, transportation, and project scope/involvement.
- Assess safety concerns as well as cost issues that could directly impact a larger group travelling to the country.
- Prepare a report to present to the leadership team as well as the church family that would express vital information regarding a long-term relationship and continued support.
Step 4. Before arriving back in the USA, conduct a team evaluation of the realistic potential of sending a larger group from MVC to partner with the out of country church family. The evaluation should also include a determination of how MVC can more effectively help the out of country church proclaim the gospel message.
Step 5. If steps one through four prove productive and God guides, a qualified person would lead a team “out of country” to love and serve in the specified location.
The following was submitted by Tony Anzalone, missionary to Ecuador:
“I want to mention that flexibility is a very important component to evaluate in your “out-of-country” team make-up. Things will inevitably go wrong, be different than expected, or require change. We have observed that some team members have a hard time with that. You should also plan on being flexible in the area of cultural differences. If information can be given by your hosts, team members need to prepare ahead of time about the differences to expect. The team members should also plan on being sensitive to different areas of the host culture: food, friendliness and appropriate interaction, respect, etc. in addition to language acceptance. Team members don’t have to be perfect, but they do need to be spiritually-minded enough to understand the purpose of the ministry, and to be able to approach the team’s trip as a ministry to others. Unfortunately some visiting groups accept team members who aren’t spiritually mature, don’t project humility toward others, and are disruptive. Teens may need to be reminded that the mission trip isn’t an appropriate time to find a new boyfriend/girlfriend in the host country, or to go through an emotional “break-up.” I think your idea of sending advance teams is very positive so that you will have a clear idea of housing, food, and ministry opportunities, and can better define expectations. This will help us to be better prepared at both ends of the equation: both your hosts in whatever country, and also your team preparation. We are praying with you as you plan. May God open many doors of ministry opportunity for your church both in the USA and around the world.
The MVC family is open to sending a group on an “out of country” outreach trip as often as possible. It is important to not make assumptions about opportunities and frequency but rather pursue the open doors of God’s provision on an individual basis. Prayer is vital to this process.
Guidelines for “Out of Country” Service Team Development
It is imperative to formulate a team to assist in the selection and placement process for all “out of country” teams. The team leader should have the final say as that person will be responsible for the safety and well being of the team. The following is a list of components that are important in the evaluation process:
- Attitude expression and management;
- Physical condition;
- Spiritual aptitude and followship;
- Age restrictions; too young (with and without guardian) & too old;
- Other language availability;
- Team commitment;
- Openness to prayer; and
- Overall passion for “out of country” service.
John 17:21 creates an expectation from our Lord regarding His goal for the group dynamic. Unity is accomplished because there is a spiritual connectivity that each person should have because of a personal relationship connection with our Savior. A team is a very special unit that functions and survives on the strengths and weaknesses of each and every member. Just as a healthy family has different members with differing roles, the team must function like a healthy family. The dynamic (or personality) of the team must have the potential for: trust……..bonding……..sharing……..serving……..selflessness……..support……..hard-work……..sacrifice……..etc These characteristics should grow and intensify throughout the trip. Therefore team selection is imperative to experiencing the blessings of God on the greatest level possible. No one is sinless or flawless. The team will not consist of perfect people. At the same time, it must be clearly understood and communicated that an “out of country” service trip is not the place to work through major issues of faith. A sensitive heart pursuit of God must be evident in the life of someone who desires to participate as a team member. The personal need level cannot be greater than the need in the country of ministry or the need of the team that is serving. The commitment to Christ and the “out of country” service team should be a conscious decision that places the individual as less important. The Biblical process of dying to self must be evidenced in practical ways before leaving the USA. Galatians 2:20 and Galatians 5:24-26. In simple terms; if a person has serious baggage that they don’t want to address here in the states, that baggage will keep them grounded and unable to fly.
Mountain View Chapel Guidance & Plans
Since the launch of our church family, we have worked diligently to create an atmosphere where we are open to God and pursuing what He wants for us as a church family. We continue to use the Bible as our guide for matters of both eternal and practical consequence. So it is with the development of plans and guidelines. We do not want to get ahead of God and His leading. We do not want to start programs just to have an activity on the list. We want to respond to what God is doing and how He is leading. Once He shows us the way, then we respond in obedience and walk through the opening that He has provided. We believe this is faith. We will walk by faith. We want to know and experience the heart of God for us and others. The development of the “in country” and “out of country” service opportunities is an example of responding to what God is doing. We must remain sensitive to God’s presence in us and the world around us. Proverbs 4:23 NIV “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”