"We want to present the good news of Jesus in our neighborhood in an authentic way," said Pastor Wasny. His church recently moved out of a rented storefront and is now in the process of building its own facility–and its place in the neighborhood. “It's not enough to just put up this church building so we can hold services in it on Sundays. God put us here on purpose to bless our community in every way," he told us. Pr. Wasny was inspired to seek new ways for his church to bless the community after participating in the 1st National Consultation on Integral Mission we coordinated in November last year (see our January ministry update). As a result, he recently invited us to lead a training for his church on Integral Evangelism.
We began our training at the church on Friday night with a Bible study reflecting on the redemptive mission of God and why Jesus came to earth. Saturday the group explored why the church exists, the role of the local church in God's mission, and what is poverty from God's perspective. (By the way, how would you answer the question "Why does our church exist?”) Saturday afternoon we ended with a practical seven-step planning process, and presented examples of how to mobilize the whole church to be part of the whole mission of God.
We praise God for this church family and its pastor! The church has now begun a 30-day prayer campaign, and folks are meeting every morning and every evening(!) at the church to "seek God's vision for our city. … We want to understand how the Lord has prepared us to start specific ministries in our neighborhood. Then we'll prepare ourselves to start our first seed project." They are also planning a prayer walk and march in cooperation with other churches in the city in March. Their excitement and commitment is contagious!
This is Jesus' model of evangelism: the good news of the presence of the Kingdom of God proclaimed in words and actions. Thanks for walking with us in this ministry!