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How many of you are using a Fishbowl Ministry for local outreach?? Please share your stories!!

I have the absolute pleasure of speaking to churches and ministries every day and one of the most successful and effective ministries that we hear about is our customers' Fishbowl ministries.

For those who may be unfamiliar with a Fishbowl ministry it is a simple, yet effective way to use your CD's, DVD's, Tapes etc to reach the lost. And it doesn't get any more non-threatening!

We use the term "Fishbowl" because we are to be fishers-of-men. Simply put, you are placing messages in a plastic fishbowl (Kingdom sells these for less than $5.00) and placing them in local businesses, restaurants, laundry mats, truck stops etc., and offering them free to anyone who wants them. It's also a great way to put some of those messages that you may have lying around to good use!

One story that I will never forget, and that I refer to often during calls with our customers, is a story that a pastor shared with me a little over a year ago. This particular pastor has a relatively small congregation of about 65 people. His church happens to be near a major interstate that runs from east to west coast. He manages several fishbows in his area, many of which are placed at local truck stops for truckers to pick up for free. One of his messages was picked up by a Jehovah's Witness who happened to have a connection to an unspecified religious cult over in Africa. This particular CD then ended up in the hands of some folks within this cult and then ultimately into the man's hands who was leading this group. He decided to listen to the CD and ended up giving his heart over to Jesus Christ and made a decision to follow our Lord!! It gets even better - this man was also able to convert several others within this cult over to Christianity as well! The pastor where the cd originated ended up receiving a very nice letter from the man who had been leading this cult who graciously explained the long journey that this CD had made and how it had made an impact on himself and many others close to him - all the way over in Africa!! All this from a pastor of about 65 people in a small town in rural Pennsylvania.

What a truly fantastic story this is and a great example of how you can reach just about anyone & anywhere with your messages. You may or may not hear stories quite as extreme as this one but you can rest assured that every time you see a CD has been taken you have gotten God's word to someone who needs it! There are so many hungry people out there and this is a fantastic way to reach them and hopefully even build a connection with them and get them walking in your doors!

If you are not currently utilizing this great evangelism tool I would encourage you to try it. If you do have an active fishbowl ministry and have any stories that you would be willing to share I would love to hear them (big or small), so please respond! We also like to publish such stories from time to time in both our catalogs and in a publication that Kingdom produces called "Media Ministry Newsletter". Who knows, your story may get chosen for an article! Please start them coming!

Looking forward to hearing your stories and helping us to encourage others to give this great ministry tool a try!

Thanks & God Bless!!

Sincerely,

Guy Snyder
Media Ministry Consultant/ Sales Representative
Kingdom, Inc.

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Guy,

I wanted to tell you about the fishbowl ministry we havein our little church. Our average attendance is somewhere aroung 25. However, our church has about 11 fishbowls on our community. The truly amazing thing is we can't keep them full! It seems like the messages are flying out of the fishbowls. It is a great tool that all ministries should use!
Great story Heather!! And it is bound to increase your attendance over time, but the great thing is your fishbowls are responsible for reaching people that are likely not getting God's word on a regular basis otherwise. Great job on that! Keep up the good work and please continue to share stories as they come.
God Bless!! - Guy
Guy,
I know I have personally been influenced by the testimonies from kingdom about the fish bowl ministry and in our little town of 2000 smack dab in the middle of the bible belt with over 150 churches in just OUR county it is those testimonies that keeps me putting the CD's out! We are able to give out over 20 CD's a week through our fish bowl ministry. You just never know where people are at in thier lives and in their walks!! I was at the day care not long ago picking up our little one & talking to one of the girls about our church and she said she knew about us, she had been listening to our CD's and they were really making an impact on her life! I had been really praying for her, and had no idea that the LORD was already "MOVING" in her life!! Since then she has called for prayer, and has been open to hearing our testimony and even had some tremedous healing going on in her life. The word says if we are faithful over small things we will be given MUCH... I think this is "MUCH"!! You can never ask for more then to add to "The Kingdom" and that is what the fishbowl ministry does.. I don't know where every CD goes, but I do know that the Lord has an apointed destination for each one.
God Bless...
Great Post Guy.

I have a customer in Florida that has a very successful Fishbowl Ministry. She started this well over 7 years ago. After attending one of our Media Ministry courses many years ago she felt that the Lord wanted her to send His Word out into her community. She started with one fishbowl in the local dry cleaners. After many times going back to refill the bowl she decided to put one in the pharmacy ( where the sick go to recieve medicine) what a better place to have it. The Lord will heal the sick for those who have faith. She also put some others in her community. She was refilling these bowl many times a week.
She decided to contact other local churches in her community and asked if they would participate and some agreed. Now this community is being saturated with the Word Of God. Is'nt this awesome. God is awesome.
Many times a day I share this story with other churches across this nation and they too are encourage and pledged their participation.
My prayer is that every church in every community in the USA pour the Word of God into their communities. Just imagine if this was done . What an impact this would be in this nation. May God Be the Glory.

May the Lord richly bless every individual reading this.

PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!

Sincerely,
Desiree C. Rios
Ministry Support
Pastor Steve Dennis, from New and Living Way Bible Church in Rome, Georgia, considers The Fishbowl Ministry as one of their favorite outreaches, because it has been so fruitful for them. Pastor Steve Dennis says, “We are one of the few churches in my city of more than 90,000 people who do this type of ministry.”

One church member owns a flower shop where he placed a fishbowl with recordings inside, along with a sign stating that the recordings are free. A man, married for over 50 years, came to buy flowers for his wife. She was a Christian who regularly told her husband about God and prayed for him. The husband took a recorded message, listened to it, and came back in two weeks. He told the owner of the shop that he clearly understood the message and that he had asked Jesus to come into his life. His wife shared with her church family that her husband came to know Jesus through listening to a recorded message that he got from a fishbowl in the local flower shop.
WHAT COOL STORIES have been posted about multiple listening. Being born and raised in a Christian church and being present every time the doors were open, I never gave multiple listening any consideration because I experienced hearing sermon after sermon chronologically (a horizontal basis). But to hear one sermon multiple times? Now that's a different paradigm (a vertical basis). So I gave it a try. WOW! I had no idea the Holy Spirit opens up deeper and deeper layers of meaning in a sermon like He does with studying layers of meaning in Scripture. I began to realize that everything a pastor wishes he would have said during a sermon but didn't, is ALREADY there in between the lines. As the Holy Spirit reveals underneath what is said on the surface, the spiritual depth of a sermon is bottomless.
So, true to the educator that I am, I had to find WHY this is so. Want to know what I found? I discovered stuff on (1) what a pastor does to build up him/herself, (2) how fast we forget, and (3) a parable in the Bible about brain research.
First, pastors have exclaimed how multiple listening of their own AV library built up their personal spiritual well being. Consider what a service would be like if every member listened to the message library as much as the pastor, and arrived at the church service built up to the same spiritual receptiveness as the pastor?
Second, a pastor may spend an average of 20-30+ hours each week on message preparation, deliver that message in about an hour, and have listeners within minutes forget over 50%. After one hour, 66% is forgotten, and after six hours, 75% is lost (Ebbinghaus, 1913). Conversely, two to three hearings beyond the initial one cause retention rate to increase to about 80%.
Third, the parable of the sower is really about short and long-term memories. Did you ever compare the four hearer categories with each other? The first three speak of things being quickly forgotten, what is heard is crowded out by the cares of the world, and there is no mention of any fruit. [That reminds me of short-term memory. Short-term memory is where lots of events continually pass across our attention. None of these stick because other short-term events quickly displace them.] The fourth sower category says that they "retained" what they heard and it bore fruit of 30-60-100 fold. Fruit is mentioned only in this category. The word "retained" is definitely long-term memory. [So how does one get things to go into long-term memory? Probably by two ways. One is something that happens in a shocking manner and the other is by repetition. God certainly has shocking ways of getting our attention. And for the repetition way, two things must happen. It must be repeated an X number of times within an X amount of time. I know for music, a melody must be repeated within 30 SECONDS or it is forgotten. Just think, 30 seconds is the critical period for music. The exact number of how many times differs from person to person. I'd bet the spoken word may not be too far off from music because they're both aural.] So I conclude the moral of the story is: We need to hear things multiple times to progress out of the first three sower categories into the fourth category. Do you think Jesus' ratio of three failure categories to one success category could mean that 3/4 are living in failure and only 1/4 is living in success?
Hey Pastor, if you don't practice multiple hearings in your church, how does it make you feel about your hour sermon, created from many hours of preparation, to have members remember only 15 minutes after 6 hours, from which no spiritual fruit results?
Dave,
I agree with you that listening a number of times does help me with retention. I also find that taking notes and rewriting them is about the best way for me to learn anything. That is why I take notes nearly every message. Even if I only write it that one time I will remember more than by just listening. A lot of work I know but it works.
A couple of month ago, our pastor brough in a dozen or so fishbowls. He asked people who would like to adopt them and keep them 'fed.' By the end of the service, they were all adopted and have been placed into the community. Every week the word is sown into our community through these fish bowls. And, I might add, through the media ministry we have seen two people brought into the church and there they found a vital relationhip with God!
Our church began an "adopt-a-fishbowl" campaign. Families got really excited about doing it! My husband and I placed a fishbowl in our local bowling alley. We went back about 2 weeks later to see if it needed re-stocked and the bowling alley owner told us he had to remove the fishbowl and store it in his office... because they ran out of messages very quickly! So, we made it a point to start going back much more often!

There were also a few children in the church who got really excited. They even named their fishbowl and made it a point to walk to the business after school once a week with their babysitter to see if they needed more CDs.

It's a great way to get people of all ages involved in ministry!
Great Stories!! Keep em coming!

Guy


rep said:
Our church began an "adopt-a-fishbowl" campaign. Families got really excited about doing it! My husband and I placed a fishbowl in our local bowling alley. We went back about 2 weeks later to see if it needed re-stocked and the bowling alley owner told us he had to remove the fishbowl and store it in his office... because they ran out of messages very quickly! So, we made it a point to start going back much more often!

There were also a few children in the church who got really excited. They even named their fishbowl and made it a point to walk to the business after school once a week with their babysitter to see if they needed more CDs.

It's a great way to get people of all ages involved in ministry!
Guy, didn't you talk with someone once who had a fishbowl ministry in central PA and the message ended up in South Africa and a leader of a cult was saved? Am I getting the details correct?

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