Praise and Proclaim Ministries had the privilege of partnering with Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Tucson, AZ to launch an outreach initiative March 16-17. Located in the northwestern part of the city in a community called Oro Valley, the church is situated in a rapidly growing area.
Shepherd of the Hills was established in 1974 and currently has over 400 baptized members with two worship services on a Sunday morning. (shepherdofthehillstucson.com) Rev. Jason Schmidt arrived last summer from California and serves as the only full-time pastor along with Pastor Alan Eckert who is serving in a part-time position after being at the congregation for forty years.
The leadership team invited Praise and Proclaim to come and provide training for members to learn how to comfortably and confidently proclaim the gospel in their community.
The faithful members at Shepherd of the Valley were joined by several members from Redeemer Lutheran in North Tucson and Grace Lutheran in Benson. We rejoice that 67 people packed the fellowship hall and participated in the training on Friday evening. They learned that evangelism is far more about trusting God’s promises than about themselves. They learned that one of the most important promises for evangelists is trusting that God’s Word works. Only through the power of God’s Word, can a soul dead in sin be saved from eternal destruction. By focusing on the Word, evangelists trust in God’s ability rather than their ability. Evangelists are called upon to be messengers to deliver Good News and God takes it from there. Praise and Proclaim provides an immediate opportunity to put training into action to trust God’s promises by leading members to praise and proclaim door-to-door in a nearby neighborhood.
We rejoice that the Lord blessed our efforts.
A great joy for Praise and Proclaim is to see the wide range of talents, personalities, and ages of the people who participate in our outreach initiatives. For most of the participants, they have never verbally proclaimed the gospel to people who are unchurched. This becomes a meaningful experience taking part in the Great Commission.
During the training on Friday evening, Glendis sat near the front row to absorb the instruction. At eight seven years old, she needs a walker due to several injuries she has received in the past few years. After the training, she came right up to me to let me know that she was looking forward to seeing me the following day. Bright and early, Glendis arrived with her walker ready to go. She resolutely went out door-to-door in the morning and in the afternoon as well. She said, “The Lord made me able, so here I am.”
Don and Bev arrived on Friday evening, but were not sure if they would participate the following day going door-to-door. After the training was over, Don and Bev thought, “Hey, I can do this! But only if we do this together!” Watch Don describe his experience:
Several children from the congregation chose to participate in the outreach initiative and joined their parents and family members by going door-to-door on Saturday. And they participated!! They rang doorbells, gave out invitations, or served as the clipboard holder to navigate the maps and record the number of gospel seeds they planted. Watch Heidi and Catarina describe their experience below.
Can you imagine the impact teenagers can receive by going out to serve their church and verbally proclaiming the gospel? Can you imagine the impact on school-age children when they participate with their parents and watch them praise and proclaim the gospel with others? With every outreach initiative, we highly encourage members to bring their entire family to come and participate.
We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church and provide training for members to proclaim the gospel. We rejoice that the Lord provided participants on Saturday with open doors to share the gospel 119 times. We trust that the Lord will use the gospel seeds that were planted to achieve what he desires and accomplish the purpose for which he sent faithful messengers to deliver. We celebrated the seeds that were planted with a delicious tri-tip meal in the late afternoon. We rejoice that the participants returned home joyfully exhausted. May the Lord bless the ongoing efforts to plant gospel seeds in Tucson and being used by God to bring as many people as possible to heaven.