Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Church planting is….

What a strange journey we've been on.  We left the comfort of a stable salary and now live every month by faith, just like Jesus' own disciples were called to do (Luke 10).  We live trusting that God will call our friends and family to provide enough money for us to do the work that God called us to do.  He called us to start a church in the Jackson Neighborhood.  A church for people who don't like church, a church of neighbors who would focus on three things:  Jesus, people, and place.  A church that started a small business to employ people in our neighborhood with barriers to employment, and started a non-profit that would meet our neighbourhood's specific needs, and a gathering that would meet weekly at Jackson Elementary to hear Jesus' incredible message as it relates to all of our lives in the Jackson Neighborhood. .    

We think the church needs to get entangled with the neighborhood. We think the church needs to love it local and invite imagination for how to announce Jesus' incredible message. We think church is about family and local community -- our church isn't above our neighborhood, we are a church of our neighborhood. We think the the church is the incarnate faithful presence of Jesus and called to demonstrate the gospel by serving the 923 homes of Jackson. And we think the church is called to dwell beside our neighbors because that's what Jesus did for us.

As a church we are going to focus on three things:  Jesus, people, and place.   And even before our launch (January 2016 @ Jackson Elementary) incredible things are happening in each of those areas.  We are hosting 3 parties in the neighborhood….because we love our neighborhood and enjoy spending time with neighbors.  We are currently renovating a dilapidated workshop in our neighborhood and turning it into a place where neighborhood teenagers could be paired with Christian mentors who are skilled woodworkers, welders, and artisans. Could those teens hear about Jesus and acquire skills that could be immediately transferable when they reach the age of employment?  Also, along with some neighbors we are in the process of buying an abandoned house and turning it into a house of hope for the neighbourhood - a place of Kingdom work and a statement that Jesus makes all things new….even ugly and abandoned things.  And our launch team is growing….in fact….6 of the team members have left their full-time jobs to become donor supported missionaries, like us.  They've been called to an unstable adventure, filled with certain struggle, persecution, temptation, and trial (Acts 14:22; John 16:33)….but they have been CALLED.  We understand that….we were called too.  But for them is a special provision:  Jeremiah 29:11.

We have an incredible life, an incredible job, an incredibly hard calling…but it's our JOY.  

And amidst all of this…we are still having fun!  Look below:   

Thanks for being a part of our lives!

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