Do you have any similar stories that you can share about your church’s missional engagement with the community?
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A couple examples I came across recently: one from my brother’s youth group who decided to do their fall kickoff missionally (see here
), and the second from a nearby church who held a soccer camp for underpriviledged chidlren in their community (see here
I have had those same thoughts as I survey my region of ministry, southern NJ – a lot like Coopersberg except the whites are the minority.
To think out of the box as shared gives me greater confidence in some of the ideas the Lord may be stirring in our people. Thanks for sharing and thank the brother for sharing.
Dave, great thought and challenge. We need to step out of our comfort zone to interact and welcome the “alien” often in non-conforming character and views. If we can not be friendly to the stranger and alien how can we have an open door to share the love of Christ? SMKuitems
Dave, great story, but I do have a concern. How do we walk to balance between real transformation and self-gratification? Here’s what I mean. It’s great what they did for the diner staff, but are they investing in their lives (or connecting them with others who can invest in them) beyond that initial dinner? I’m in no way questioning motives, but I have to wonder how we avoid “being missional” as a means of self-gratification vs being missional by investing in lives beyond an initial dinner or conversation. Just my current internal wrestling.
Chiming in with Rob, I find that this is precisely the place where the rubber meets in the challenging road for the Christians in our church. To give an example – our church threw three community parties/picnics this summer at a park 2 blocks from our church and directly adjacent to a large block of some high-turnover, lower income apartments. We did it as a gift to our neighbors and with the hope that our own people would naturally connect with the unchurched in our community. Both of those things seem to have worked well, but ongoing relationships have to be the next step. I’m not aware that too many phone numbers were exchanged or friendships birthed. Some of our neighbors are now becoming more integrated in the life of our church community – worship, Bible study, etc. – but it’s all happening in church programs. I pray that more connections will be formed off of our turf. That’s where the real missional frontier is found.
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