Five Faithful Years

After five years of faithfully serving our Justin, Texas site, Site Coordinator Daniel Andrews is stepping into a new season. Daniel will be moving away from the area, which means he will be stepping down from his post. God has done some incredible things in and through Daniel in his years with Feed the Need Missions, and we’d like to highlight and celebrate this!

What You Get When You Give

When Daniel first came to the Justin site, he was a guest. Within a year he became a co-leader at the site, and by 2018 he was the Site Coordinator. Daniel has a natural leadership, tremendous gifting, and carries it all with such humility. He has been an integral part of the team and has blessed so many.

As he reflects back on his time, Daniel shared with us how meaningful Feed the Need Missions has been to his own spiritual walk. When he came to the site, God drew him in and surrounded him with community and opportunity. Because he was afforded this, he grew in his walk. In fact, Daniel attributes his spiritual growth to his opportunity to serve, because there he was held accountable and challenged.

The Search for New Leadership

As the Justin site transitions, we ask that you join us in prayer over the next leader to take the helm. The role of site coordinator is a key leadership. They recruit, equip, disciple, oversee, encourage, and develop as they serve in this administrative role. And they are tasked with surrounding themselves with gifted, dedicated individuals that can fill the various lead roles for a site. Reach out to our team if you’re interested in learning more about being a site coordinator. We’d love to connect and serve alongside you!

 

It’s hard to believe that it has been one year since our big family move to Texas. Moves can generate all sorts of emotions, from fears of the unknown to the joys of new adventures. Most importantly, thought, change can generate tremendous outcomes when you put Jesus at your center of your life. 

This move first became real as we initially crossed the state line of Texas in August of last year. The joy and cheers quickly turned into shock when we realized we were still almost 9 hours from our new home in Elgin. As we traveled southeast, dreams of outdoor adventures, family memories and new chances to share about Jesus echoed in the cab of our truck. Before we knew it, we landed at our new home. The house we bought had been vacant (from humans) for six months. It was then we realized just how different Texas was then the west coast. In true Texas form (and in case you did not know) everything IS bigger here… including the spiders! As we stood laughing and crying, we knew this season was going to bring some incredible memories!  

What do you do when you are faced with overwhelming change? We discovered this year that the recipe of guided change, mixed with blanketed trust, sprinkled with the confidence found in Jesus leads to life altering impact. Within two weeks of my arrival, I found myself on stage at the 2021 Gala, challenging people to risk themselves to serve others as Jesus served us. As it turns out, that message was not just for those in attendance that night but for my family as well. We have chosen to live it out all year… and what a year it has been!

This year, I asked the Lord to do far beyond what I could ever hope or imagine. As a result, we have seen wonderful answers to prayer! There has been a significant shift in staffing. Almost 40% of our team is new to the mission. This has allowed us to focus on relationships in new and deep ways. As we continued to pray for direct field ministry growth, we are praying for two new locations for 2023. This would not be possible without the staffing additions.

In May, my family and I took over as Site Coordinators for the Smithville location. I have personally prayed with 11 people as they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This, combined with the work that has been done at our other sites, has led to over 40 people responding to the hope found in Jesus this year!

I have watched my daughter Shayla turn 16 and son Asher turn 14. Shayla has gained continual confidence in sharing her faith. When asked, many of the guests that attend Smithville are more concerned about talking with and receiving prayer from my daughter than anyone else. My son could have chosen to do anything for his birthday but instead wanted to celebrate his day with those at the site. He would has said multiple times it feels like family. 

In just one year, I have prayed for new volunteers, prayed with guests who lost loved ones, cooked 1000’s of hotdogs and hamburgers, built new site trailers. I have laughed, cried, led worship and preached the gospel. And in all this time, I have been amazed by the change that only comes from the Lord.

Will you take the time to experience part of this change with me? Come on out and see what Jesus is doing, for it is perfect. I can promise this, that when you put your trust in His plan, your life will be changed for eternity! 

At Feed the Need Missions, we often emphasize the importance of our mission, vision and values. But simply sharing the information with our team does not build personal buy-in of these things from team members. How do leaders cultivate this? Here are a few things that we find strengthen missional mindset and team atmosphere for us.

The Mobilizing Power of Relational Credibility

Recently, our LBA site was facing a challenge. Jack, our staffer and site coordinator, who also serves as a senior pastor at a local church, was going to be out for a week for vacation Bible school. This meant he would not be able to lead in his typical capacity. Looking to cover his area, he reached out to several volunteers at various site locations.

The response was pretty incredible —14 people stepped up, and most of them were from other site location teams. This overwhelming response was a surprise because, not only is it a very hot time of year, but also many of these people had already served at a site location earlier in the week. So what made them so eager to help Jack and the LBA team?

Jack isn’t just a person who reaches out to people only when there is a need. In fact, he has such high capacity that he rarely asks for help. But he’s very involved with people. He helps at others sites. He focuses on building relationships. He takes time to see people, and serve them. The result is that people were equally ready to sacrificially reciprocate this posture in order to meet the need at LBA.

Taking time to build relational credibility is powerful. Often leaders make the mistake of thinking they need to flex their title or authority. And in a corporate setting that might be more appropriate. But with volunteers, that isn’t the answer. If you want the buy-in, put in the time and value the people for who they are, not just what they do.

The Unifying Power of Shared Values

The big evening came and the team gathered together, and it was a terrific success. They knew what to do because our training is consistent among all our sites. But this didn’t account for the an instant camaraderie, joy and unity they experienced in serving together. It was incredible to see people who weren’t familiar with each other come together and immediately have a rapport. The secret to how these individuals could blend so successfully as a team is our shared values.

Every week during our Table Talk discipleship time, we discuss our organization’s core values, as well as ways to demonstrate them at the site. Our Feed the Need Missions core values are:

  • Jesus
  • Servant Leadership
  • Consistency
  • Mercy
  • Simplicity
  • Stewardship

Because we consistently talk about what we value, and model what we value through action, we tend to draw people who are similarly passionate about these things. Knowing a job description is important, but mission and  core values reinforce why we do what we do and how we are to approach accomplishing our goals. A volunteer noted, “Even though we do things a little differently site to site, the heart and mindset is all the same, to share the love and hope of Jesus with guests but also with each other.”

The whole group enjoyed the experience immensely. Unity within the organization at large was discovered, and cultivated, through the experience of site members serving another site. One volunteer even shared, “It’s great to see the bigger family of Feed the Need Missions. What tonight showed me is that  if there is ever a need some place else, I want to help meet it for others within the family!”

The Contagious Power of Volunteer Buy-In

The impact of the experience was powerful for onlookers who were new to Feed the Need Missions as well. One of the Stony Point site volunteers brought a co-worker with her to check out the site for the first time. She commented about how familiar everyone seems with each other, even mentioning that the way these strangers interacted with one another made her want to get involved in the ministry. Leaning into relationship building and shared values, and the unity it enabled, created an attractive atmosphere that newcomers were eager to be part of. What powerful growth tools these are in building successful organizations!

Site Leadership at Feed the Need Missions

The Right Stuff: What Makes a Great Site Coordinator

For Feed the Need Missions, recruiting superstar leaders is serious business—especially when it comes to the site coordinator position. In considering a potential leader, we look for three important qualities, taken from Patrick Lencioni’s book The Ideal Team Player.

Humble

  •  willing to listen to others
  • doesn’t have a big ego
  • wants to see the team succeed
  • says “we” more than “I”

Hungry

  • desire to learn and grow
  • motivation to advance career
  • readiness to take on new projects and opportunities
  • wired to work hard

Smart

  • technical skills for the job and people skills
  • people skills /emotional intelligence
  • works well with others
  • self-aware
  • knows how their words and actions can impact others on the team

Site coordinators are the main leaders for the site teams. These have to be so well-rounded because they do it all: they recruit, equip, disciple, oversee, encourage, and develop as they serve in this administrative role. And they are tasked with surrounding themselves with gifted, dedicated individuals that can fill the various lead roles for a site.

Change Coming to the Newark Site

Scottlan and Ronnette Stewart have been the site leaders at the Newark Feed the Need Missions site since its launch in 2018. “In that time, Scottlan has done an incredible job building relationships, coaching churchgoers toward stepping in to active disciple-making in the field. “It’s one of the most special aspects about this site,” shares Feed the Need Missions President Jonah Beyer.

Recently, Scottlan took a new job and made a move further away from the site. It has become increasingly difficult for him to make to the site each week. Being in he midst of such a big transition for his family, he has realized it might be the right time to pass the torch to a new site leader. “Thankfully, he’s done a great job of raising up leaders,” Jonah said. So, the staff team and the Stewarts began to prayerfully seek out who could step up as the new Site Coordinator.

 

The Search for a New Leader

When it came to selecting a new site leader, the challenge was that there were so many invested and skilled volunteers to choose from.

  • Larry Naugle, for example. Larry has totally embraced the vision of Feed the Need, and makes a full outreach ministry out of doing the shopping for the site.
  • Dennis Wayne, who is an elder of his church, attended a training last fall and has quickly become a key team player. He has already expanded the team, inviting Dana, who spent his life doing door-to-door evangelism, to serve.
  • Dana McNights, who has had to step back from his ministry due to knee issues, has been thrilled to have place to serve in his area of passion. “I can’t tell you how much this fills my heart. I can’t go door to door like I used to, but now the cars are coming to me!”

While because of her unassuming humility she wasn’t the most obvious choice, the team came to the unanimous conclusion that Edie Lieblang was just the person to take the helm. Edie attended the very first Newark training and has been serving since the site began meeting. She has been a consistent presence, she loves the people in the community, and she’s administrative. “I’ve watched her grow personally and I see how she’s risen to the challenge of sharing the gospel herself. I think the opportunities she’s had with Feed the Need Missions have helped her grow perfectly into this role,” Jonah said.

A New Team for Newark

With so many great leaders to choose from, it became clear that God was orchestrating more than a single position for Newark, but rather an entire team. As Edie transitions to the Site Coordinator position, Dana will become the Guest Experience coordinator, Dennis will become the volunteer experience coordinator, and Larry will become the Equipment Manager. Because of their incredible and varied skills, it made sense to ask Larry, Dennis and Dana to fill leadership positions in an official capacity as well.

What an incredible testament to Scottlan and Ronnette’s leadership to have replicated so many leaders for this season. We are so thankful for the investment they have made and the groundwork they have laid at the Newark site location. And we are thrilled to see what will happen with this amazing new leadership team stepping into place.

Interested in Becoming a Leader with Feed the Need Missions?

It is so exciting to watch God build and assemble new teams. It’s incredible to watch leaders replicate new leaders and support one another as they serve together. And there’s always room for one more!

We are always on the search for leaders who are humble, hungry and smart. Are you looking for ways to share the Gospel? Are you passionate about serving your community? About growing teams and discipling hearts? Come visit one of our site locations. Reach out to our team. We’d love to connect and serve alongside you!

What is Faithfulness?

What does faithfulness look like? While you could simply Google a definition, we have discovered that the most vibrant definition of this most excellent trait is best understood as it is lived out and witnessed by others. Faithfulness is active.

 

To grasp it, you have to understand it’s root— faith. The Bible defines faith as “being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). In other words, faith begins with trust. A trust in Jesus’ plan for you that surpasses feelings, circumstances and even understanding.

 

Faith turns in to faithfulness when a person takes that inward heart posture of trust and allows it to saturate and dictate their mindset, their words, their decisions and their attitudes. Within Feed the Need Missions, there are many people that exemplify faithfulness. Our friend Charley is one of them.

A story of faithfulness

Faithful People Deflect from Self

People who are faithful don’t do what they do because they want accolades or attention. In fact, they often downplay their impact and quickly point to the One who has given them this transformational power. Charley is a great example of this.

 

Charley has been serving with Feed the Need Missions for more than four years. Though he is a model of faithfulness to everyone around him, he has a reluctancy to share. This comes from a place of reverence for Jesus and all that He has done in his life.

 

When you ask him how and why he got involved at Feed the Need Missions, Charley is quick to deflect from himself. “I wanted to give back something to Jesus since He has given me so much. I wanted to do great things.” He simply does what he does because he is grateful for what Jesus has done for him. “I realize it’s not about me. I need to take a back seat and allow God to do great things through me.”

 

Charley also highlights the examples of other godly men who instigated his involvement. He recalls that it was an invitation of his pal John Reese that prompted him to get started serving. “Because of my schedule I couldn’t get involved until I was retired. Now I can’t imagine not being involved.”

 

faithful people reflect Jesus

 

Faithful People Reflect Jesus

If you were to encounter Charley today, you would know you are loved. Not just by Charley, but also by Jesus. That is the impact he has on others. While Charley may not highlight himself, we can look to what others observe about him to see the impact of his faithfulness. The way those who serve alongside him see him is more powerful than anything he could say about himself. Here are a few fellow volunteers who have personally experienced Charley’s lifestyle of trust.

Allen: Faithfulness is Contagious

“Charley has a quiet demeanor and likes to help people. Because of him, so do I. I learned from him not to give up on people. He is one of a kind and an honest man. He never gave up on me.”

Frank: Faithfulness Embraces Everyone

“We went to Texas Baptist men for a few years together. I was at the church and was power washing one day when a homeless man walked up to me and put his arm around me. I didn’t know how to react and was fearful of what might have happened. Then Charley came up to him. He spoke to this man with a kind and sincere heart. He showed me how to care. He’s the perfect example of a solid Christian man.”

Don: Faithfulness is Care-FULL with People

“Charley and I know each other from Calvary Baptist. I started volunteering up at the church and he always asked me how I was doing. It was his patience that drew me to him. Charley has a real Jesus-focused heart. The way he handles people is a real gift.”

Tommy: Faithfulness Brings Others Along

“When Charley was asked to pull the trailer to the Stony Point site, I decided to go with him and help him at the site. I learned so much about helping others because of Charley. He’s a great man with great faith. He is best brother-in-law I could ever have.”

 

faithful people enable others

Faithful People Enable Others

The impact of faithfulness in the lives of others is powerful. It is so important to remember that people are watching. More than our words, people remember how we make them feel. It isn’t the result of just one encounter, but an accumulation of conversations and divine appointments over time.  “I’ve realized the Lord was teaching me to allow Him to use others to reach the Gospel. As I’m serving I pray for those in line and for the servers that are reaching them,” he shares.

 

While faithfulness comes in many forms, what we learn from Charley’s story is that a deep trust in Christ allows us the freedom to let others feel seen and valued. It takes others on with open arms and without fear. It enables and activates others. Ask yourself, what is the cumulative impact you are having on others?

 

We invite you to come and experience faithfulness first hand. Come on by our Stony Point site any time. Grab a free burger, allow our team of loving volunteers to pray over you, and meet Charley. And, if you dare, take a step in faith and begin to have this kind of impact on others around you as a Feed the Need Missions volunteer. We can’t wait to meet you.

It’s a late summer afternoon and a line of cars has already started to form. Busy preparations are being made in anticipation of something unusual. A truck and trailer are parked parallel to a very busy road. People begin to arrive and open up the trailer. And as the contents spill forth and excitement begins to build. A very worn grill, some worked tables and chairs, a couple canopies are erected for shade and food prep. Cutting, dicing, chopping… rustling of paper bags and a distinct smell of beef being grilled. Laughter, hugs, excitement and love are on the menu.

 

A name begins to be murmured. Someone asks, “Is Dana here yet? Where is Dana?” At the other end of the site a regular volunteer is responding “Ask Dana, she will have the answer. She always has the answers!” A random person bicycles by and yells, “Tell Dana hi and thanks for last week!  She invited me to come by and I will be here soon.”

 

‘Who is this Dana?’ I wonder. ‘She is clearly someone with a servant’s heart.’ Little did I know how impactful Dana has been with so many at our LBA Site. Volunteers eagerly cook, assemble and bag not just a burger but a gift. The FREE gift of salvation. One that Dana is overwhelmingly familiar with.

 

The next generation is often overlooked or marginalized as self-centered and egotistical. What comes to your mind when you think about a 21-year-old young adult? Most are focused on college, careers, friendship and often their future. It is rare to find someone so young with a contrary focus—but Dana is very different. She values those things, but not at the expense of the calling that she has on her life. Dana has been transformed by what was offered to her at a time of need. That answer was found in Jesus. Specifically in the way Jesus served others.That is how Dana has chosen to live her life—through servant leadership. 

 

When Dana arrives at her site, she is quick to make the focus of the evening those she is with. It doesn’t take long to realize that the burger is just an entry point for conversation and action. Jesus says in Luke 10:27, “Love the Lord your God with all of who you are and love your neighbor as yourself.” When we actively choose to live out the Great Commission, we begin to realize that true satisfaction comes from putting Jesus first and then by accepting the life he offers.

 

People love and follow Dana not because of what she does for them, but because of who she points them to. So,if you are free on a Thursday evening, consider this an invitation to “come on by!” I can almost guarantee you will be greeted with a smile, a burger and a fantastic young lady who will offer you a priceless gift that leads to a transformed life.

 

About the Writer:

This article was created by Sean Tangen. Sean serves on staff at Feed the Need Missions as our Program Director. In his role, one of his primary roles is to oversee, train and interact with our site volunteers.

Last month, Feed the Need Missions welcomed Sean Tangen as our new Program Director. Sean’s overwhelming drive is for people to find and serve in their purpose. With 29 years of vocational, leadership and volunteer ministry experience, we know he will be an incredible asset to our mission. Recently, we sat down with Sean to get a sense of his vision as he dives into his new position here. Check out the inspirational events that led him to our team.

Q: How did you discover Feed the Need Missions?

A: Four years ago, we served as a family on a missions trip in the dumps of Tijuana. That adventure jumpstarted my search for how to live a missional life. For two years I prayed for the Lord to direct our family in how to live that trust-filled life while sharing His hope as a family. I came across a video of Feed the Need Missions late one night in my prayer and research. In that video, I witnessed someone share the impact the mission had in their life. It wasn’t about the burger, it was about the relationship! It was so obvious that he found it in the Feed the Need Missions community. His story was not unlike so many others all around us. People hungry to discover their belonging and purpose. It was then I knew I had to get involved.

Q: Tell us about your previous work/ministry experience.

A: It is said, “Do what you love and you will never work a day of your life.” That has never been more true for me. I have always had a heart to serve others. It began when someone took time to invest in me at 15 years old when no one else would. During that time of mentorship, I learned the value of Scripture. I committed to live out 1 John 4:19 – “We love because He first loved us!” That has led me to some of the greatest “jobs” you could hope for.

I have worked/volunteered with various ministries for almost 30 years. Most recently I worked for a ministry called Young Life. I served as an Area Director in four communities in three states over 20 years. I have also served as Program Director in a ministry focused on kids in the juvenile justice system. I have owned two businesses, helped start four others and currently help coach other non-profits in various ways.

Q: Tell us about you – your family, things you enjoy.

A: I have been married to my high school love, Erin, for 25 years. We have served together in life and ministry and believe that has been God’s plan for us since the beginning of our relationship. He has always showed us how to love each other well. This has be the catalyst in every aspect of our lives. 

I have two exceptional kids. Shayla is 15 and Asher is 13. Shayla is an incredible artist and writer. Her compassion for others is rarely seen in teens today. She has a heart for those in need and one day plans to “serve the least of these” through missions work. Asher is my son through and through. He loves being the center of attention and making people laugh. He also has an extremely sensitive side and goes out of his way to include everyone.

Q: Tell us what excites you about this new season.

A: I am so thankful that the Lord has led me and my family to Feed the Need Missions! The first part of my role is to help solidify and support the existing ministries that are currently happening. We have incredible volunteers that give so faithfully and I plan to support them in every way I can.

It is also part of my vision and role to grow Feed the Need Missions in 2022. We are looking to expand into three to six additional communities over my first year on staff, Lord willing. It is clear that this ministry can impact multitudes of people. I have seen a number of ministries with a similar design, but none have had the impact that Feed the Need Missions does regularly. I know firsthand the desire of wanting to be known. Feed the Need Missions offers that missing piece in our society today. I can’t wait to see what Jesus has in mind in the near future.

Tips for Building a Solid Team Dynamic

There’s an African proverb that sagely advises, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

This is especially true of any Christ-centered endeavor, whether it’s a ministry team or a faith-based non-profit like Feed the Need Missions. There are times when some of us more ambitious and energetic types might believe it would be much easier to go it alone. But biblically, to be truly effective, we must embrace the pursuit of the “dream team.”

Paul the Apostle went to great lengths to educate the ancient Corinthian Church that while we are uniquely gifted, we are wholly interdependent—designed to work in tandem to achieve greatness. Maybe you’ve had the joy of working in a group in which all are individuals operating cooperatively in their zones of excellence, not for personal glory, but for God’s glory. But for most of us, that feels like an illusive myth.

The truth is, building an effective team, and operating as one, is not easy. Great teams don’t happen by chance or by luck. They are built on self awareness, intentionality, right placement and shared vision. If you’re ready to take your group of highly skilled individuals to the next level, know that the road might not be easy, but it will be worth it. If you’re looking for practical ways to develop your mission or ministry team, read on to discover a few tools we’ve discovered that can help you get there.

Prioritize Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual gifts are unique abilities imparted to Christ-followers by the Holy Spirit. These are action-based, and are, simply put, the task God has in mind for an individual—their spiritual work assignment. Several scripture passages including 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 outline the many ways an individual may be equipped supernaturally for a particular ministry function in the body of believers.

One of the reasons spiritual gifts should be of paramount consideration on a ministry team is that it allows God the priority consideration. Placing a person on your team in a position to operate within their call and gifting will foster joy and fulfillment for that individual and great blessing to the team dynamic as they receive the fruit of it.

One thing to keep in mind is that, just as seasons change, so do spiritual gifts. These God-given abilities are given at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. They are not a person’s identity and it’s possible that over time they will change. It is important to evaluate these occasionally; in fact, they can be a helpful indicator of a need for role changes on a team.

Check out these free resources: Spiritual Gifts Test | Spiritual Gifts Explained

Understand Temperament

There’s a reason why so many corporations invest time and money to discover a potential employee’s temperament. Whether it’s enneagram numbers, animal types, the DISC or some other temperament questionnaire, ensuring a personality fits a particular team culture or a job assignment is extremely beneficial for a team’s success.

In general, these assessments give you an idea of how a person achieves the goals set before them. Some people are natural delegators or risk takers. Some crave routine, harmony and consistency. Others want to be given a detailed job and left alone, and still others love to work through problems socially.

Temperament assessments for a team bring self awareness, but they also help build sensitivity and reduce frustrations. As you share around the table, your team will discover new, viable options for solving problems. Seeing a lack of certain temperaments on your team can help you to recruit the best candidates as you expand. And hopefully, everyone will begin to appreciate the strengths others bring to the table. In short, each member will begin to understand their unique contribution while valuing those of others.

If you’re ready to dive in, try these online assessments: Myers Briggs Based 16 Personalities | DISC Personality Assessment | Working Genius (New!)

Focus Your Skills

Once you understand who’s on the team, and what they bring to the table, it’s important to align them to a singular vision. You can have the most skilled team in the world, but if they don’t have a clear understanding of where they’re going and how to get there, it’s going to be a real struggle to achieve success.

Does your organization have a strong mission statement? Creating a mission statement isn’t just about snappy marketing. It’s the driving force behind everything you do. Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People offers an exceptional in-depth guide to how to create a group mission statement. Once you develop yours, every action and decision must be filtered through the question: Does it help us achieve our mission?

Other considerations for focusing the culture and activity of your team are creating clear values and definitions of success. These help the team understand not just the goal, but the preferred way of getting to it. The best teams celebrate staff and volunteers who embrace these and make it a point to revisit them regularly.

Find Your Place

Whatever your temperament or spiritual gifting, there is a team waiting to embrace you at Feed the Need Missions. An established 501(c)3 organization operating in nine rural communities across Texas, we’re always looking for potential site coordinators, volunteers, church partners, and corporate partners in cities across the U.S. to join our mission to feed people physically and spiritually. If you’re ready to step in to an organization that is well-equipped to activate you, we’d love to hear from you.