The Need for Spiritual Outreach
In Acts 1:8 Yeshua told his disciples, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” While He didn’t directly say so, I think it’s safe to say He also meant Cortez, Colorado! Those of us calling Yeshua our Messiah are also to become His witnesses, even here. Yeshua also said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19) That is what we aspire to do. So what is our mission field?
Our mission field is Cortez, the Four Corners region, and even the remotest part of the earth. Starting at home first, look around. The Four Corners region requires cultivation to make it ripe for the harvest (Matthew 13:18-23).
ECBY outreach is a witness of the Power-of-God first in our community and then to all people.
Spiritual bondage of the non-believer
New-Age, Atheistic, Animistic, Pantheistic, and non-Christian Native-American beliefs all permeate this area. We have a cultural melting pot of beliefs in this area. Additionally, it is becoming almost impossible for believers to worship through a Messianic—lifestyle. Employers do not close their doors for the LORD’s appointed times; including Shabbat, the Feast days and prayer and fasting.
ECBY outreach is about solutions to these cultural pressures, doing what is right.
Spiritual bondage within the Church
Many traditional Christian churches falsely assert that once a Jew accepts Jesus as their Savior, there is no longer a need to maintain a Jewish lifestyle or Jewish expressions of faith. This assertion can lead to anti-Semitic attitudes, which are not of God. We have also witnessed the flip-side of this thought process; that a believing Gentile is a heretic for acting upon a calling to worship in the same manner as their saved Jewish brothers in Yeshua. In Leviticus 23 God defines “His-appointed-times.” Through the grace of God we have the opportunity to “participate-in” and “partake-of” His Holy Convocations, the dress rehearsals, prophetic of His plan for redemption.
ECBY outreach educates people to break down these stereotypes.
The Need for Practical Outreach
Financial bondage in the community
ECBY has been placed in the Southwest corner of Colorado. Dolores and Montezuma counties are the poorest in the state. This area has some of the highest unemployment in the United States. Most people here are wage slaves with no possibility of taking days off without pay, even when sickness or family emergency requires it. In some cases it would jeopardize their jobs as well. Many people here rely on the welfare system. Also, there are many single parent households with strong consequences socially and economically. This trend is worsening with each year. In many cases, a traditional family lifestyle is considered impossible. The realities of financial pressure coupled with the culture preclude individuals from seeking a Godly answer.
ECBY actively focuses on solutions for economic prosperity and the Spiritual-Wisdom and knowledge to live a Godly lifestyle.
The need for balanced Spiritual and Physical outreach in the community
Yeshua taught through His actions that the physical needs of the people are tied to their spiritual well-being. Yeshua’s physical actions always have spiritual lessons that reach beyond simple human need. He healed the sick and fed the masses saying,
“I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” In this case He fed four thousand men, besides women and children (Matthew 14:17-21; 15:32-38).
James 1:22-23 makes it very clear: But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James, the Master’s brother wrote,
“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. (2:14-17)
Many Christian ministries in third world countries help people with their physical lives, recognizing the relationship with their spiritual well-being. Many missions provide schools, teaching the Word of God along with reading, writing, arithmetic, and trades or vocations. These basic services for children and families provide skills and tools to parents, making it possible for them to lead productive lives and themselves becoming doers of the Word. Many world missions have bakeries, textile mills, farms, and other facilities to improve the lives of the people in the community.
ECBY performs Spiritual and Physical functions as part of the community.
Etz-Chayim B’Yeshua is a new and vibrant ministry
Every person starts life from a single cell with all the [genetic] information to become a person. In the same sense, this ministry is starting as an embryo with all its foundational parts; so we pray for God to breathe His breath of life into the vision He has placed here and transform it into an instrument for His Kingdom.
From God’s creation itself, every plant starts as a small seed. All animals start as babies and grow to maturity. Matt 17:20-21 “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed , you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
Mark 4:30-32 “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? 31 “It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches…”
ECBY has placed it’s faith in God and in His ability to grow the vision He has placed within us.
How then shall we feed them?
Yeshua spoke a blessing over the loaves and fishes and they were multiplied. This is certainly a model for us. I frequently pray that a person’s rest be multiplied to meet their need, and for a weekly paycheck to stretch enough to cover the bills. We live in the real world, and we all have physical needs we pray the LORD will provide. How then can we take the little that we have and stretch it to cause great things to happen in the lives of God’s people?
The Law of Multiplication
Within a worship community, finances are supplied in various ways. Frequently funding is provided through the regular tithes and offerings from within the congregation. Sometimes a generous person gives from outside the community as the Holy Spirit guides. Sometimes those within the community direct portions of the finances toward worthy causes and even business ventures.
Giving Back to our Community
ECBY utilizes 45% of all the tithes presented from its members (general tithes) for direct involvement in the community around us. 10% is for community awareness and outreach. The other 35% is directly utilized to build our community and generate a culture encompassing the LORD’s lifestyle.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.