This spring, a few Gateway members who attend our N Main campus had an idea for an informal outreach opportunity to do over the summer. Their idea was pretty simple, really - every Wednesday evening at 6, any families who choose to participate show up at Bernard Park (1105 Bernard Ave, Findlay) to play together, have a snack, and be intentional about forming relationships with the kids and families in that neighborhood. Two of the people spearheading the idea, Angi Goeller and Lisa Hoy, are both teachers at Jacobs Primary school and had an opportunity to spread the word about the gatherings amongst their students before school was out for the summer. Unfortunately, their first Wednesday was rained out, but the past two weeks, they have seen a good number of students, Jacobs staff and Gateway families gathering together for fellowship and fun.
Last Wednesday, a few of Lisa’s former students were at the park and asked if they could come to church with her over the weekend. Lisa and her husband, Nate, brought 3 of the kids to church Saturday night where they participated in our Kidway program, enjoying stories, songs and a silly paper bag puppet video. The kids enjoyed it so much, they asked to come back on Sunday and jumped right in helping Lisa and Nate on the parking lot team! In Lisa’s words, “I know this family fairly well, and these are great kids that are born leaders. I feel blessed to be able to help them see a positive way to use these leadership skills while being embraced by a loving church that can show them the true love of Christ...so they can build a solid foundation of faith that they can rely on when undesirable aspects of life come their way.”
Wow! As we are wrapping up our “Ordinary” sermon series this weekend, isn’t it exciting to see how God is using a few “ordinary” believers with an “ordinary” idea to impact the culture around them? How about you? An evening playing at Bernard Park may not really be your thing and that’s okay, but what is your thing? Where are you already going or what are you already doing that you need to start viewing through the lens of intentional “going?” As Pastor Josh challenged us last week:
Don’t go to the grocery store to buy groceries. Go to the grocery store to be a witness of the resurrection of Christ and while you’re being a witness, buy some groceries. Take your kids to the soccer game to be witnesses first, and while you — and your kids — are being witnesses, enjoy playing soccer. Go to school to be a witness for Christ and while you’re there, learn. Go on vacation to be a witness for Christ and while you’re there enjoy God’s blessing of a vacation. Go about life — doing ordinary things — but go as a witness for Christ — looking for ordinary opportunities to point others to Jesus — for that’s what we’re called to be — we’re called to be His witnesses. (June 9-10, 2018)
Would you join us in praying not only for the Bernard Park outreaches as they continue throughout the summer, but also for one another - that God would ignite a passion in each of us to see our ordinary lives as outlets for engaging with the community around us with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?