Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reaching Out is a Walk in the Park

I didn't really have much of a day off today, despite efforts otherwise. However, I did break away for a couple of hours with Becki and Emily to a park nearby the house. While there I met a young family named Matt and Courtney who have a son that is 15 months old. He is a music producer who also tours with a band. Anyway, when he asked what I did and found out that I was a minister, he started asking about High Pointe. He was interested in a non-denominational church, which we are, and in short term mission trips. I told him that on Sunday we are sending off a short term mission group with Let's Start Talking to St. Petersburg, as well as praying for the Hispanic church plant that officially launches that day. Now what are the odds that this would happen? God is amazing.

When I explained where the church building is, the Courtney asked, Are you the church that has the consignment shop? (Yes.) I know right where that is! I was just in there two weeks ago. I explained that we had partnered with a consignment shop seller who wanted to give any unsold items to a church that would give it away to needy people in the community. I explained that this is exactly what we are doing, giving away food and clothing to those who are in need.

My friends, we are called by God to be a church that is a light to the world, that feeds the hungry and clothes the naked. That goes into all the world. That sacrifices time and money to further the good news of Jesus Christ. When we do this, people take note. They want to be a part.

In order to reach out to people, we must go to where they are. Parks are a great place for families to meet other families. I talked today with one of our visitors, Art, who works at Raytheon and holds a Bible study at his workplace. Coffee shops, bars, work out centers, community centers--these are all places where people are. This is where the church must go, and serve those around us and share the good news with everyone. And along the way, we will find more and more people like Matt and Courtney who want to join us in this mission of God.

Want to reach out? Take a walk in the park. Remember, God has already gone before you, preparing the way.

What kind of encounters have you had with people that seem to be "G0d-incidences," not mere coincidences?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

James,

People are hungering for connections. God will use all us if we are just willing.

JB said...

James,
It's amazing how much easier it has become lately to talk about God and church. It seems as though there are more people open to listening and genuinely wanting to know more about "this being a Christian" stuff. Very exciting. All we have to konw is that God has put us here and he has given us the content, we just need to share it.

James said...

James,

There are indeed opportunities all around us. When we are looking for them, they come vividly to life. I am glad that these opportunites are becoming visible for you.

Matt B said...

James- you and I took a friend bowling months ago. when our small group went bowling, i invited that friend to bring his 8 yr old son. they came and bowled and had a great time with our small group members. he told met that during the week before the bowling party, 3 people had talked about bowling to him. wow- what a God-incidence. There are so many opportunities to be real and genuine and reach out to others.

It seems that many times we are so busy and wrapped up in our lives and troubles (many of which are caused by bad decisions about family, money,etc..). When we bog ourselves down with debt and activities, we can't see the wonderful chances to bless others' lives.