Monday, March 15, 2021

Leadership Lessons from a Pandemic: Family of God is Vital



Continuing to fellowship and serve together throughout the pandemic made a huge difference in our lives and the lives of those we served.

"While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and His brothers stood outside, asking to speak to Him. But He replied to the man who told Him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'" - Jesus speaking in Matthew 12:46-50

Like many of you, I've learned a number of lessons this past year. I'm going to share some leadership lessons learned during this pandemic. 

The first lesson confirmed what I already knew, the family of God is vital to our growth and stability as followers of Jesus Christ. It confirmed our family truly is "whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven."

A year ago everything started shutting down, not just in the U.S., but around the world. Economies crashed and churches, schools, businesses, governments ... pretty much everything closed for at least two months; much longer in other parts of our nation and world.

We didn't close Love In Action. I was concerned with the needs of the homeless and the poor during a time of crisis when everything was closed. It meant there would be more needs to meet. I communicated with Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba and he agreed we were essential, so we kept going.

I don't want to focus on that in this blog entry, though. A very important aspect that kept Martha and me strong through the toughest times of the pandemic was keeping our Love In Action Family together. I heard from people who could not fellowship with their church family except through Zoom and other technology. It just wasn't the same for them and they struggled spiritually.

I told our staff and volunteers at the beginning that if they didn't feel safe serving during the pandemic they didn't have to, but Martha and I were going to keep doing what we can to help those in need and share the Gospel.

LIA staff member Pamela Johnson told me, "I'd be disappointed if you closed." Our small staff stayed and so did most volunteers. The elderly in our LIA Family understandably stayed at home, well, except for Robert. If you know Robert, you know there's no keeping him at home.

We gained more volunteers as we kept running toward the pandemic to help people. Our family actually grew during the pandemic. The daily fellowship kept us all strong. Daily serving and sharing the Gospel on the streets and at LIA together strengthened us spiritually. We worshipped together. We continued living life together.

Without our LIA Family being together daily the pandemic would have been much tougher. We all grew more in the Lord and closer to each other. We learned that we don't run from situations, we run to them in the name of Jesus to help those in need and encourage people who are going through the toughest times of their lives.

As a leader, I had to balance our response with safety. We changed how we did things. Instead of gathering everyone inside, we kept everything outside. We still kept our showers open and laundry services available for the homeless. Part of the fight against Covid-19 is good hygiene, so those two parts of the ministry were more important than ever.

We cut our services back to just hot meals at first, and then we continued to helped families and individuals with groceries, hygiene items and clothes. We did so with having very few people in suite 6. We sanitized everything even better than we did prior to the pandemic. Once we understood how serious the Covid-19 pandemic was, I required masks to be worn.

As we all know, the requirement of masks is not popular with everyone, and not everyone in our LIA Family were happy with my decision about masks. But, as the leader of a ministry, you have to seek God and make the decisions you feel He is leading you to make no matter if they are popular or not.

The safety of our volunteers and those we serve was just too important to me. As a leader, if there are tangible ways to keep people safe, then do it. They are family. You want your family safe and healthy.

A number of us have had Covid-19, including Martha and me. However, nobody has caught it at Love In Action. Only one homeless person has had it, and he had not been coming to LIA until the hospital sent him to us. 

However, I would not allow him to exit their van. He still had Covid. I couldn't endanger everyone else. I instructed the van driver where to take him. It was an isolated area where he couldn't unintentionally infect anyone else. We gave him a tent and camping supplies, and provided him food, water and other supplies during his time of isolation. He is healthy and doing good now. We now see him at LIA during the week.

Not neglecting to meet together and encouraging one another daily as God instructs us in Hebrews 10:25, was the key for all of us making it through 2020, and the first quarter of 2021, much easier than if we had been isolated from each other.

As a ministry leader, do your best to keep your family together no matter what's going on. God created His church, the Body of Christ, for a reason. He didn't want us to try to live this life for Him alone. We need each other.

Keep your family safe, while understanding there are risks involved. Jesus told us there would be many risks and challenges. Communicate those risks so your family will know, and so they can better understand your decisions. They all may not agree with you, but they will obey because they love and respect you. They know you are doing what you believe is best for them and the mission.

Thank you LIA Family. Martha and I would never have made it without each of you. We never would have seen 211 decisions for Jesus or distributed over 1 million pounds of food to people in need in 2020 without you. We love you all.

Thank you for putting up with your much less than perfect leader. Thank you for respecting my decisions even when they weren't popular with some of you.

Looking back, I certainly see things I could have done better. But at the same time, I see how God worked through this incredible Family to do amazing things during the toughest times any of us have ever lived through.

I'm sure the people we served will always remember how God showed His love for them and how He kept His promises of never leaving or forsaking them. 

To God be the glory!



Worshiping and serving together kept us strong during the pandemic.



Monday, March 8, 2021

Sharing Jesus, Making Disciples in Dothan

Pictured above is one of our previous T4T discipleship classes. Below, Jameson highlights his Bible during a T4T class. Jameson is one of our T4T discipleship graduates.


We serve countless plates of hot food, bags and boxes of groceries, bags of hygiene items, and clothes every week at our Love In Action campus in Dothan and out on the streets and in impoverished neighborhoods.

Yes, we do it to meet the many physical needs that are in our city and region in accordance to Matthew 25:35-40. The main reason we do all of this, though, is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and the first three Saturdays of each month we are on our campus praying for and sharing the Gospel one-on-one with the homeless and those living in poverty as we meet their physical needs.

Every Wednesday, Friday and the first three Saturday afternoons we are on the streets, at homeless camps, low-rent motels, and impoverished neighborhoods, trailer parks and apartment complexes praying for people and sharing the Gospel one-on-one and in group settings. The Gospel is preached and shared with the lost and hurting. Those who are already saved are encouraged.

As people come to Jesus we strive to fulfill the our Lord's Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) through baptizing new believers and making disciples who can make disciples.

We teach Training for Trainers (T4T) for our discipleship method. It's a very solid discipleship course that is taught throughout the world. We have also taught it in Myanmar, India and Haiti. 

A new T4T discipleship class is currently underway at our Love In Action Campus in Dothan. Please pray as we make disciples who can make more disciples.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Obedient to the Great Commission


Jesus gives us His Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. He commands us to "Go and make disciples of all nations." The word "nations" in the Greek is "ethne" meaning people or ethnic groups. 

In Acts 1:8, Jesus says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Therefore, we are to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples at home and around the world. Here at Love In Action, we are so thankful and excited for each opportunity to fulfill our Lord's Great Commission.

We thank everyone who has joined us to make disciples who make disciples as our Lord commands us. You help us spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through acts of compassion, which helps draw people to Jesus. Then, we are able to make disciples who make disciples.

Thank you to everyone who supports us financially. If you haven't been, please prayerfully consider becoming a financial supporter of Love In Action.

Your tax-deductible donation can be mailed to: Love In Action, P.O. Box 85, Dothan, AL 36302. You can also give securely online via PayPal through the donation page on our website by clicking on this link, https://loveinactionministries.com/donate

You can also give via the Venmo app. Our username is: @Loveinaction-InternationalMini and also online at https://venmo.com/Loveinaction-InternationalMini

Love In Action International Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit Christian organization. All donations and gifts are tax deductible. Our tax-exempt number is 63-1274627.

Thank you and God bless you.




Sunday, August 23, 2020

We Need Your Help to Expand Food Ministry




We have an opportunity to expand our food ministry to levels we never have before. We have just built a 2,400 sq. ft. warehouse to store and distribute food to those in need. We are currently helping 12,000 people a month with food. A critical part of this warehouse that we need is a 10 ft. X 30 ft. walk-in cooler and freezer. We need to raise $15,000 to purchase this cooler and install it. This will allow us to accept meats, dairy products, eggs and more produce, that we currently have to turn away because of the lack of refrigeration space. Being able to provide perishables along with non-perishable foods will be a huge blessing to people living in great need in Dothan, the Wiregrass and tri-states region. We will easily be able to double our reach with the new warehouse and walk-in cooler/freezer. That means, we will double those we can reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we share the Gospel through acts of compassion.
Please help us if you can. Every donation will add up to help us reach this goal.
You can mail your tax-deductible donations to:
Love In Action, P.O. Box 85, Dothan, AL 36302
You can also give securely online via PayPal through the donation page on our website by clicking on the following link and then clicking on the "Donate' button -
https://loveinactionministries.com/donate
Thank you and God bless you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Mobile kitchen outreach continues to grow

Ken and Shaun praying with a man during a mobile kitchen outreach.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us," - Ephesians 3:20

When we first started our mobile kitchen outreach, we knew God was going to do great things through it. What He has done has exceeded our wildest expectations. But, then again, isn't that like God.

Each week we take our mobile kitchen to 12 different sites. There are four other sites we visit on a semi-regular visits. That's 16 different places we are able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ while meeting the vital need for food.

We serve delicious hot meals and also distribute boxes of produce and grocery items. It's a joy seeing people's response of thankfulness. We have heard such comments as, "We didn't have any food and didn't know what we were going to do." Other comments have been, "Thank you. May God bless y'all."

The need for food continues to be real. It stems from the poverty that was here before the pandemic, and has only gotten worse since the pandemic began.

We couldn't put in the 12-14 hour days without the help of volunteers. Some serve on specific outreaches that fits in their schedules, and others go with us for every outreach.

We also couldn't do this without everyone who donates financially to support us, or those who donate items we use on each outreach, such as bottled water, three-compartment togo boxes and cutlery packets.

We definitely couldn't do everything without those prayer warriors who keep us lifted up in prayer. It takes all of us to make it happen.

We thank God for everyone who supports us in every way. May God bless you all.

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