An Opportunity For Missional Living in Our Own Backyard

by Jason on July 12, 2010

A Practical Way to Live Missionally With Your Money

A couple weeks back I wrote a post called What It Means to Live Missionally With Our Money, which defined Missional Living.

I followed that up with How to Live Missionally With Our Money, which discussed the concept of living with Open Hearts and Open Hands, which means:

We live our lives with hearts that are open to the needs around us.  Our hearts should be open to blessing others through our finances to help extend God’s mission of reconciliation and restoration.

It also means we live with hands that do not cling to earthly treasures or clutch tightly to our trinkets.  Instead, we live with hands that are open to give freely and graciously to those in need.

In other words, our money is a way for us to extend God’s grace.

An Opportunity to Make a Difference

Earlier this year, our church decided that each small group should get an allotment of money to be used for community outreach and missions.

The possibilities to use the funds were limitless.

Over the weekend, I learned of a really great opportunity to practically live out the Open Hearts and Open Hands concept from some friends of ours.

They decided to take their funds and have a fundraiser breakfast for another local church.

Yes, you read that right – for another local church.

Berean Fellowship Baptist Church, is located in Gary, IN led by Pastor Raymond Dix.  I’ve gotten to know Ray through one of the Pastors at our church and also through a community assessment our church is doing to discover the biggest needs and issues affecting our county.

Ray has a heart for the Lord and a huge passion for racial reconciliation and unity in the body of Christ.

Although Ray’s church and our church are from different parts of the Region and consist of predominantly different races and backgrounds – we have had multiple conversations with him about how we can partner together to unify the body of Christ to reconcile the Region by serving the common good.

The breakfast is going to raise funds for Ray’s church and its members to provide for the following needs:

  • Repair and replace parts of the roof of Berean
  • Remodel the nursery (The surrounding neighborhood of Ray’s church has a large population of single mom’s that the church simply cannot minister to because of the lack of a nursery area.)
  • Paint exterior of building
  • Repair gutters

God’s Kingdom is Bigger Than Our Church or Your Church

In Christian circles we often talk about extending God’s kingdom, but unfortunately what we mean is extending our church’s influence.

God’s kingdom is bigger than our church or your church – it is the movement of God – the reign and rule of Christ extending through neighborhoods, towns, cities and regions.

What I love about this idea of community outreach and particularly this fundraising breakfast is that it is seeking to extend God’s kingdom, not just our church’s influence, through the Northwest Indiana Region where we live.

It’s about a bigger picture of unity – precisely what Jesus prays for in John 17.

It’s about two churches from two totally different areas, with a totally different make-up of members coming together with one common mission – God’s mission.

Here’s What You Can Do

  • Pray!!  Pray that Ray’s church will be a beacon of light in their neighborhood while advancing God’s mission.
  • Come to the breakfast!  If you are from the NWI Region – you can come to the breakfast!  It’s Saturday, July 24, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at Bethel Church (10202 Broadway, Crown Point, IN)
  • Donate Time – you can come and help at the breakfast or you can help with the repairs that are needed at the church.
  • Donate Money – Repairs can’t happen without the funds.  Please consider living with open hands by donating money to this project.

If you’d like to donate money – please contact me and I will put you in touch with the small group leaders who are putting on the breakfast!  All donations are tax-deductible.

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Thanks for your partnership in God’s mission!

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