Two down. Not sure how many more to go.
So far this is a three week series. In the first post I explained how a group of friends in Christ decided to do church a little differently. Last Monday I told the story how we didn't even get the right date on our invitations, but God showed up anyway. Also some people.
We decided last week to meet again at this local park. It is in the midst of a low-income housing area, with over one hundred apartment complexes. In our city it is known as a rougher area of town. The thing we found last week is that people were receptive to us coming and spending time with them.
After some preparation and more invitations (with the right date, thank you very much) we showed up again on Sunday morning. The first gentleman I talked to asked what denomination we were with.
"Well, we're just a home church trying to do something a little different."
We had another good day. People came back from last week. New people showed up. We prayed for people, made arrangements to help one person move, and ran out of hamburgers.
The takeaway point for me was one woman saying, "Our complex needs this. Thank you for making a little community time together."
There are many people out there who are proponents of home church who say it is the only way to do things. I'm not in that camp, but I think our modern American lifestyle does not allow for true coming together as neighbors. We don't sit on the front porch anymore - we huddle in our backyards behind privacy fencing. We don't go to the local church - we drive 30 miles to the one that "makes us feel good" and "meets our needs."
I know we've only done this twice, and I can't make too many generalizations from just a couple of events. However, it seems that people are hungry to find some grace out there, and I would suggest that the followers of Jesus are the ones to bring it.
A minister friend of mine, Tom Brock, says something to this effect: "Belong, Believe, Behave." We need to make people feel that they belong, that they are welcome and that they are worthy. If we help them belong, then they will come to believe. Out of that, they will learn to behave. So many of these folks have gone to church, sought after God, and have been rejected.
It grieves my heart.
We're on a little adventure right now. I know we're going to that park again on Sunday, and after that we don't know. I'm not sharing this because I have some secret or that we're doing things "the right way."
We're doing things one way, and God is showing up. It is refreshing. It brings life. I hope to share a little of what we're learning here is all.
And if you're bored on Sunday, drop me a line. I know a cool place to hang out.