MODULE 7: REGISTERING NEW ALONGSIDERS
In this module you will learn how to register new Alongsiders by using our simple Android App on your phone or tablet.
When you go to register a new group of Alongsiders, you'll find that they are a mixed bunch of people.
Some will be mature Christians and have a long history of several years of faith. They may be the pastor's children or already serving as youth leaders or Sunday School teachers. Great!
But you'll also see that there are some young people who are new to the faith. Perhaps they have come from a background on the streets or from background of poverty, addiction or even abuse. And they want to be Alongsiders.
People often assume that we must choose the best and brightest youth in each church - but that's not how we see Jesus working.
When Jesus chose his disciples, very few were wealthy, important or recognized leaders. He often chose disciples who were from the margins of society - even rejected by others because of their sinful backgrounds (think of Matthew the corrupt tax collector). And one of Jesus' disciples ended up failing very badly and betraying Jesus (that's Judas). If Jesus was willing to risk that, then we should be too!
In today's passage we're looking at Mark chapter 5 - the man who was homeless and demon-possessed, who was healed by Jesus. Take a look at what Jesus instructed him to do after receiving God's healing:
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
One of the most powerful reasons why we accept almost anyone to serve as Alongsiders (as long as they are approved by their pastor) is because they are the BEST ones to reach their own friends and neighbors.
We truly believe God uses those the world overlooks!
As a result, there are ex-street kids, ex-drug addicts, ex-scavengers and even ex-gang leaders serving as Alongsiders today. And who better to reach the kids who are currently struggling with street living, drugs or gangs?
No matter who God leads to become an Alongsider, we know that God will also have a little brother or sister planned for them - probably someone who is struggling with many of the same challenges they have already been through.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus visited the region of the demon-possessed man (called the Decapolis) and the people there were not very welcoming. They begged him to leave (Mark 5:17).
But after the demon-possessed man was healed and went back to witness to his own people, things seem to have changed remarkably the next time Jesus visits. In Mark chapters 7 and 8 more than 4000 men come to seek Jesus.
God used a man who had been homeless and demon-possessed to reach his own people as the first missionary to the Gentiles! And He can certainly use every single one of the young people who join Alongsiders to reach their own people too. Do you have faith?
Watch this brief promotional video. Share your thoughts and reflections on the video or other aspects of this module in the comments below.