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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why Serve?

Many people have been asking me how we are starting our church and what we are doing right now in Chicago. Here's the short answer: We are serving.


There are many ways to start a new church in a new city. Every new church at some point in time "introduces" themselves to the city they belong too. Many do this by spending a lot of money on creating an amazing mail out that says something catchy hoping to get 1% of that mailer as a return to attend one of their events or services. It also serves a purpose of even if they throw the mailer away, they at least know who you are now by name.

Here in Chicago with our new church, we've taken a different approach. One, because of resources. We simply cannot and do not want to spend the money on a mailer. Two, and more importantly, we want to "introduce" ourselves in a different way. When people hear of us, we want it to be for a REASON instead of for a piece of paper. AND when they do receive a mail out or flyer later on (just not an introduction one), we want them to have a point of reference: "Oh, that is that church that does..." What?

What is it we want to be known for in our city? Love. That we love God so much we love our city.

I would rather introduce our new church to the community by consistently serving it than by doing a "mailer." This advances the kingdom, impacts our community & saves money.

That's the answer to the question I've gotten of why we've been serving our school and our community since we've been here and what we're trying to accomplish. We are the body of Christ and we should be showing the love of Christ to all people. Not so that they will come to our church but because we should love them. My new friends may never come to my church, but I will never stop serving them. Furthermore, we are establishing DNA in our church so that when people do join, they know that they are joining to serve. We will make our school better and be a part of God's ministry of reconciliation in our city.

Here's a cool story:

One of the first events we partnered with the community on was a Scarecrow Extravaganza where the community got businesses to sponsor and build a scarecrow for a week-long display the week of halloween. Kids and families would then show up and build their own scarecrow to go in the lot with the sponsors. The lot was our local school courtyard. We decided to be a sponsor to help our community. We were the only church that did this and it was a lot of fun. We even saw the school principal there and she came up and gave Ash & I a huge hug, even though we've only been serving in the school at that point for 2 weeks. God was showing us the importance of what we were doing. Then he added another blessing. A lady who runs an on-line newspaper for our neighborhood and has over 7,000 followers covered the event, and we got "free" publicity to our neighborhood that we didn't even have to pay for. And, more importantly, we were becoming known for what we wanted to be: we love our neighborhood.

We need to shift our focus from the church to the kingdom. When we start a church our focus is "church". When we advance the kingdom, we can change a city & the world. We will make decisions based on the kingdom, not based on how many people this will bring to my church. We serve our cities no matter what, because it is about the kingdom and not my church. That's why we serve.

Kingdom. Disciple. Society. Church. Start with Kingdom and make disciples that engage society and God will build His church. So why serve? Easy as what my dad always told me when I asked why: "Because your Father said so."

1 comment:

  1. Good word Scott. Keep going. Mel and I are hoping to take that same missional attitude to Valley View as we seek to serve the community of Farmer's Branch. Keep sharing, I for one am paying attention.