Category: Something Unexpected
December 14, 2016 by Relevant

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What follows is a story from Brian Steere on how an act of kindness changed his life.

 

“I met Matt Paddack, Relevant’s Worship Pastor, in November of 2015. A few months prior, my marriage was irretrievably broken, I had lost my job, I had no money, and I was unable to pay my bills for several months. I thought I was going to lose my possessions like my house and vehicles. Christmas was coming and I couldn’t even provide a gift for my child. I remember staring at the bare Christmas tree praying to God to show me my worth. The thought of being unable to provide for my child overburdened me.

 

Two weeks before Christmas I woke up and headed to my CrossFit class which the Wounded Warrior Project provided me to help with my physical rehabilitation. I used this time to help with the depression I was feeling. I said my good mornings to Matt and his wife, Holly, and after my workout I went to change and noticed a red card on my belongings. At first, I wasn’t sure whose it was and I am not a thief so I grabbed it and put it on the bench thinking it may have fallen out of someone’s bag. Upon setting the card down I noticed it had my name on it and what I read had me in tears. Inside there was a card that said “Something unexpected to show you God loves you” and attached to the card was God’s gift to allow me to purchase presents for my daughter. I found out it was Matt who gave me the card. I still have this card, and in fact, I have used it to start a new holiday tradition that reminds me to remember that day and the lessons God showed me.

 

On Christmas Eve, I had presents under the tree but my family wasn’t there and there was an awkward silence in the house. On the back side of the card that Matt gave me was information about Relevant’s Christmas Eve services. I felt rather than sitting in the house I would attend Relevant and am I glad I did. As soon as I walked into the Christmas Eve service I was welcomed by many people, many whom didn’t even know me. There was this black curtain up, bright Christmas lights were everywhere, and I believe they even had hot chocolate. The service wasn’t traditional, rather, I felt like I was at a concert. Pastor Ronnie was hilarious, and preached in a way I had not seen before which I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

I decided to continue attending Relevant because I enjoyed the preaching and being able to feel the presence of God again during their worship services. The presence of the Holy Spirit is not something that I had felt in a long time. I longed to continue to be in the Lord’s presence because it brought reflection and value to my life once again.

 

A year later, I still attend Relevant and even went through their Volunteer Staff program. Relevant isn’t just a church, it’s a family, and they are invested in me just as I am them. Pastor Ronnie still makes me laugh during his preaching and the music still allows me to feel the presence of God. But most important out of everything is this journey which has transformed me. Relevant has renewed my relationship with the Lord and shown me that I am valuable, I am loved, and most important of all that I am family. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 states for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to harvest. For me, my time was Christmas Eve 2015.”

 

To learn more about attending Relevant’s Christmas Eve services, visit ChristmasInElkhorn.com. To learn more about blessing others through Something Unexpected Cards, visit SomethingUnexpected.org.

 

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November 25, 2016 by John Schluchter

 

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If we’re being honest, pretty much everybody feels warm and fuzzy on the inside when we are the recipient of generosity, OR when we get to bless someone else. Unexpected generosity is especially powerful. It can change a person’s day….sometimes, their life. With all that’s going on in our country right now, it’s time to show some kindness to one another, don’t you think?

 

Last year we started a new Christmas tradition at Relevant. It’s based on the idea that there is power in “randomly” doing something kind for someone and pointing to God as the source of that kindness. For some people, Christmas is the loneliest time of the year. So we printed up thousands of cards that said “Something unexpected to show you God loves you” on them. Then we handed them out to our church and told people to pair the card with an act of kindness. People left big tips, bought meals for strangers, gave food, did acts of service…and then they left the card. It. Was. Awesome. Check out some of the examples of how Relevant people used these “Something Unexpected Cards” below (these are just a sample, click here to see all of them).

 

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We’re doing it again this year!

 

We’re going to equip YOU, our church, with cards and ideas on how to unexpectedly bless others. We printed up 2,500 cards (pictured below). Grab a handful of cards starting on Sunday, Dec. 4 and start sharing the love of Jesus through acts of kindness!

 

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You’ll see on the back, we’ve got an invitation to our Christmas Eve service. Understand that the goal is not to “get them to church”. It’s to do something unexpected and kind for someone else, catch him/her off guard, and point them to God as the source. But what’s cool about the invitation is that it “tethers them to God’s house”. It gives them a place to go if and when God works in their heart.

 

With that said, you can still use these cards with people you know. Co-workers, friends, neighbors. If you’d just like to directly invite them to Christmas Eve, hand them a card with the Christmas Eve info side up and a little candy bar taped to the other side.

 

Below are some ideas to get you going. We’ll continue posting new ideas on SomethingUnexpected.org.

  • Leave an extra big tip and a card for your server at a restaurant.
  • Put an envelope with money and a card on the windshield of a beat-up car.
  • Give a certificate good for free babysitting and a card.
  • Attach a candy bar or a Scooter’s gift card to the card and leave it on a co-worker’s desk.
  • Shovel snow off someone’s driveway early in the morning and leave a note and a card on their front door.
  • Pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive-thru and have the cashier hand a card to them when they pull forward.
  • Bake some Christmas goodies for someone and attach a card.
  • Do an act of service for someone, and leave the card.
  • Leave some flowers with a card.
  • Pay for someone’s dinner at a restaurant and have the waitress give them a card instead of their bill.
  • Come up with something original and thoughtful!

Be intentional! Be prepared! Keep the cards and whatever other supplies you need in your car. When you see a need, MEET IT, and point to God with the card. Imagine if hundreds of us were using these cards each day. How might that change people’s perceptions of the Church and our Heavenly Father?!

 

Lastly, we would love for you to share what you’re doing with us. You can post what you’re doing online and tag it with #SomethingUnexpectedCards or send us a photo and a description at stories@relevantcommunity.org, and we’ll post it on our social media pages.

 

You ready? Get excited. Grab some cards on Dec. 4th. Go big! Do something really unexpected! And pray that God works in people’s hearts.

 

John Schluchter

Communications Pastor

@jschluchter

 

December 14, 2015 by John Schluchter

 

If you missed our original post on the purpose of these Something Unexpected cards, you can read it here.

 

It’s been a fun couple weeks as we’ve heard TONS of stories about people using the Something Unexpected Cards! Below is a string of many of the posts we’ve seen on social media so far. Search for the hashtag #SomethingUnexpectedCards on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to stay up to date on how Relevant folks are blessing others during this Christmas season.

 

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December 2, 2015 by John Schluchter

 

Raise your hand if you hate being generous. Raise your hand if you hate being on the receiving end of generosity. Anyone? Generosity is a two way street paved in chocolate. If they’re being honest, pretty much everybody feels warm and fuzzy on the inside when they are the object of generosity, or when they get to bless someone else.

 

Unexpected generosity is especially powerful. It can change a person’s day….sometimes, their life.

 

I saw an idea a couple years ago at Church of the Highlands, my wife’s parent’s church in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s based on the idea that there is power in “randomly” doing something kind for someone and pointing to God as the source of that kindness. The church printed up thousands of cards (pictured below), handed them out to their congregation, and told people to pair the card with an act of kindness. They’ve been doing this for years now. People leave big tips, buy a meal, give food, do acts of service…and then they leave the card.

 

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Here are some of the ways I’ve seen these cards used by people at Church of the Highlands. Take a few minutes to read the comments.

 

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We want to do this at Relevant. We want to equip YOU, our church, with cards and ideas on how to unexpectedly bless others. We figured Christmas is a great time to start, since (for some) it’s the loneliest time of the year. So we printed up 2,500 cards (pictured below). Grab a handful starting on Sunday, Dec. 6 and start sharing the love of Jesus through acts of kindness!

 

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You’ll see on the back, we’ve got an invitation to our Christmas Eve service. Understand that the goal is not to “get them to church”. It’s to do something unexpected and kind for someone else, catch him/her off guard, and point them to God as the source. But what’s cool about the invitation is that it “tethers them to God’s house” as Church of the Highlands puts it. It gives them a place to go if and when God works in their heart.

 

With that said, you can still use these cards with people you know. Co-workers, friends, neighbors. If you’d just like to directly invite them to Christmas Eve, hand them a card with the Christmas Eve info side up and a little candy bar taped to the other side.

 

Below are some ideas to get you going. We’ll continue posting new ideas on SomethingUnexpected.org.

  • Leave an extra big tip and a card for your server at a restaurant.
  • Put an envelope with money and a card on the windshield of a beat-up car.
  • Give a certificate good for free babysitting and a card.
  • Attach a candy bar or a Scooter’s gift card to the card and leave it on a co-worker’s desk.
  • Shovel snow off someone’s driveway early in the morning and leave a note and a card on their front door.
  • Pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive-thru and have the cashier hand a card to them when they pull forward.
  • Bake some Christmas goodies for someone and attach a card.
  • Do an act of service for someone, and leave the card.
  • Leave some flowers with a card.
  • Pay for someone’s dinner at a restaurant and have the waitress give them a card instead of their bill.
  • Come up with something original and thoughtful!

Be intentional! Be prepared! Keep the cards and whatever other supplies you need in your car. When you see a need, meet it, and point to God with the card. Imagine if hundreds of us were using these cards each day. How might that change people’s perceptions of our Heavenly Father?!

 

Lastly, we would love for you to share what you’re doing with us. You can post what you’re doing online and tag it with #SomethingUnexpectedCards or send us a photo and a description at stories@relevantcommunity.org, and we’ll post it on our social media pages.

 

You ready? Get excited. Grab some cards on Sunday. Go big! Do something really unexpected! And pray that God works in people’s hearts.

 

John Schluchter

Communications Pastor

@jschluchter

 

 
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