At Friendship Church, we are in the visioning phase of our five step process. We have had many great discussions with the elders, and the leaders and church involving mission, vision, and values. Our coach, Jeff has been tremendous in helping us through this process and after many hours I believe we are near the point to discuss strategy for the future.
One of the things we have been focusing on in the meantime is reaching out into the community, specifically, the Park West neighborhood behind us. We have had a burden for actually taking our people over into the community, and being visible to our neighbors.
We hit a home run on Easter, with over 300 folks on our property for the Easter Egg hunt. [Read about Easter Here.]
Recently, one of our leaders bought a house directly to the right of our property. This family immediately felt burdened to help reach Park West and wanted to bridge the gap into the neighborhood, literally and relationally. Together, Josh, our neighbor from church and I but a wooden bridge over a highly-weeded ditch that divided our land from his. We trimmed back the weeds and added a nice sign that signifies Friendship bridging the gap and getting into our community.
They asked if they could host one of our Wednesday night food gatherings that Friendship does every week in the summer. We rented a food truck, parked it on their driveway, rented two bounce houses, and set up lawn chairs all over the yard for people to sit and eat. We took over donated school supplies and did a backpack giveaway. Over 200 neighbors walked over, from ALL OVER Park West. Many were YOUNG FAMILIES like we are striving to reach.
The line for a free meal was down the driveway for food from the Helen’s Restaurant Food truck. The bounce houses were full all night long (or at least until the pastor, of all people, ripped a hole in the jousting ring).
That evening, there were people from Friendship and Park West connecting all over this yard. I personally had 9-10 couples come to me amazed we would go out of our way to do this. Many were excited, some were even emotional, that we would do this for them. Our answer to each person that asked why was that we are committed to LOVING YOU. Whether you have a church home or not, you are OUR FAMILY.
Many said they may try us out, many said they loved us even if they have a church home. But most importantly, we loved on Park West. I am in totally amazement today at how God worked. One of our kids ministry leaders broke down in tears because it has been her passion and dream for years to physically GO INTO PARK WEST AND LOVE ON FAMILIES! She said last night, we finally lived out what has been her dream for the community.
Are we done? By no means! But we are fired up. We are so ready to reach people for Jesus Christ, and to love them where they are.
I am so overjoyed and had to share this with you all. Again, thank you for pouring into us. Thank you for providing Jeff and his leadership. Our church has embraced him tremendously and loves you all!
Pastor, Friendship Church
2 thoughts on “Bridge to the Neighbors”
Love the idea! At South River Park Church we began “”The Dollar Club.” We stole the idea from Crossings Community Church in OKC. People throw single $ bills into the offering plate each week. The money is set aside for random acts of kindness in our area. The 1st 2 months we collected over $400. Our 1st act was to pay school fees for a young lady who graduates this year. Without our help she had no way to get the money. We’re looking for other projects. I love the free meals idea!
What a cool idea! Do you wait for the projects to come to you or do you seek them out?
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