The Routing - Volumes 1, 2 & 3

 

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The Routing
Volumes 1, 2 & 3
Cover price: $5.95
Size: 6" x 9"
Number of Pages: 170
ISBN: 978-1-73422702-3-5
Publication Date: 04/12/2020 <

 

 

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(From the back cover):

The Fairfield Christian Group was a fellowship of Bible believing workers in a factory in Indiana from 1993 to the mid 2000's. It consisted of both management and labor (to include one CEO) of various denominations. They considered their work place their corporate mission field and accepted responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the collective, praying for those suffering loss, offering counseling and charitable donations.

The Routing is a collection of weekly Bible-based tracts that were published by FCG in an effort to promote the Gospel within the factory. They gained popularity and eventually were distributed in five other work places under different mastheads. They were used as study guides in Sunday School in some churches. Volumes 1, 2 & 3 were produced from 1994 - 1997. They are thought - provoking devotionals geared toward both the lost and found.

(end of cover quote)

 

Excerpt:

The Routing is a series of essays on God that were published each week for nearly 9 years. This is the story of how they came to be. Once upon a time in a land far away, there was a factory that made gears and employed about 1000 people. One day, one of them, a church guy, organized a bunch of other church guys within the factory to form a fellowship to pray for God's guidance and blessing on the company; to pray for the needs of the workers; to comfort the sick and grieving; and to further the Gospel.

They called themselves, "The Fairfield Christian Group" (FCG), and their motto was, "In Gear for Christ!" They were all laymen representing a broad spectrum of Christianity: from Catholic to Protestant, stoic Fundamentalists to babbling Pentecostals. What united them was the understanding that all Christians are missionaries (with different mission fields), and sharing a common mission field, they should join forces to fulfill the Great Commission where they found themselves.

According to pollsters, the vast majority of people in this land claimed to believe in God, while simultaneously; the vast majority did not attend church. The sampling of people employed by the gear factory was a representative microcosm of the whole.

It was apparent to FCG, that while most people didn't go to church or read their Bibles, everyone needed to be exposed to the Word of God, as much as they needed the bread that they came to the factory to earn: "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Mt 4:4)." So the question arose of how to further the Gospel in their corporate mission field.

One church guy suggested that someone could abbreviate sermons given at their church, like Reader's Digest condenses books, include scripture references, and publish them weekly on the bulletin boards and in break areas. The whole group approved, and commissioned the guy who suggested it to follow through.

Product flowed through the factory, starting as raw material, from department to department having different processes performed at each, then trucked to another department until it arrived at shipping complete. When it arrived at each stage, the operator would print out a sheet with work instructions that also told the truckers where to move it to next. This paper was called a "routing." FCG decided this was an appropriate title for a paper telling people where they need to go, and what to do to get there.

And so The Routing was born.

They've been called devotionals, but that's not actually accurate. The target audience for devotionals is those who already have a relationship with God, to edify their existing faith. The target audience of The Routing was the "unsaved," to present the truths of God, and to debunk myths and Christian stereotypes often portrayed by the world.

As it happened, the guy who started writing them discovered a gift for presenting biblical teachings in parable form, and never did rely on messages previously preached from the pulpit. All of them are original. And while FCG expected resistance to the effort from cynics or competing religions like the ACLU, that never happened. Ordinary people could care less if someone else wants to post their views on the bulletin board. In fact the only complaint was from another church guy, who insisted that only ordained priests have the authority to speak on God's behalf. But his initial objections abated.

Well, you know how church people gab. When word got out that FCG was publishing a micro-sermon in their workplace, others said that they would like to post it at their workplaces as well. At the zenith of its popularity, The Routing was printed under 6 different mastheads, and distributed at 6 different venues: the gear factory, a trailer factory, an aluminum plant, a paint factory, a transmission shop, and a gas station.

Average people with no active interest in religion would read them regularly. Why? They were bored. Every workplace has areas where you have to stand and wait for something, or a break area, where there is idle time. Inquisitive souls will pick up anything at hand and peruse it whether it interests them or not.

Sunday school teachers were using them as lessons. Each edition had at least 7 scripture references, so there was plenty of ammo for rooting around in the bible to substantiate the message.

A local pastor confided to one FCG member that he envied them. He preached to a congregation of 120 people, but they were already saved. And the content of his ministry had to conform to denominational guidelines. Here these laymen were, reaching potentially 1000's of lost souls, didn't require ordination, and didn't have to worry about losing their tax-exempt status if they stepped on anyone's toes.

So is the content of them biblically sound? Read them and judge for yourself. They passed the Grandma test. Many times workers would question whether something written was true, and they would take them home and ask Mom or Grandma to authenticate. If she says it's true, it's gospel. Nobody knows God like Grandma does.

The purpose of this book is to provoke others to emulation. There are scores of Christians who feel like they should be witnessing to those around them, but are too timid to approach them. This is a non-intrusive way of doing so. You can use the messages already prepared in the volumes contained here. If you don't like the content of the messages, use the method and apply your own messages. Condensing sermons from audio taped church services is still a good idea – like Cliffe's Notes.

It's a concept FCG called, "bulletin board evangelism" or "workplace evangelism" Anyone can do it. And the venues aren't limited to workplaces. Other suggested points of circulation were the racks of free literature often found in the breezeway of grocery stores, waiting rooms and lobbies. With the advent of the internet, email and blogs, distribution is not limited by printing costs. Make the content engaging and your audience will return.

So if you're looking for a ministry that doesn't require speaking skills or a divinity degree, here's an opportunity for you to get "In Gear For Christ!"

 

(end of excerpt)

 

 

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