Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Missional - News of Missional Churches

Ran across this article today:

Area churches reaching out to Upstate communities in new ways

Using simple tools, some newer area churches are making connections with their communities using candy bars, cookouts and home repairs.

LifeSong Church, The Point, Life Changers Outreach Center and New Destiny Outreach Center are reaching out and ministering to the community in unique ways.

These congregations are bringing the mission field home, making a big impact despite their small size.

Jeff Hickman and Brian George co-pastor LifeSong in Lyman where the motto is: "Being missionaries where we live, work and play."

LifeSong's presence in the community was felt months before its official launch on Easter.

Churchgoers volunteer at the Southeastern Children's Home, Greer Soup Kitchen and have monthly collection drives for organizations such as Miracle Hill Ministries and Middle Tyger Community Center.

They also have rehabilitated area homes through their "Community Transformation Projects" - all this from a church that draws 70 to 90 people for Sunday morning worship services.

Hickman and George, who oversees mission projects, encourage people in their congregation to invest themselves in the community.

"We want to become so intertwined in the community that the community would miss us if we were not here," Hickman said.

Hickman said he believes many churches have become more inward focused.

"They take all these tithes and offerings up, and most of the money churches spend, they spend it on themselves rather than taking and spending those resources that are being given for the kingdom of God."

Hickman differentiates between "mission-minded ness" and a "missional lifestyle."

He said there are many organizations or causes LifeSong could donate to.

"When we send our money to these things, that's being mission-minded. But a missional lifestyle is actually where we're not giving our funds for somebody else to do it, we're actually taking those projects upon ourselves to do," Hickman said.

Tennessee teenagers turned Lyman into their mission field when they helped LifeSong prepare for its launch. About 80 middle school students from Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., performed light construction work on the church. They also led Bible studies and handed out invitations to the church launch in the community.

"We believe that Jesus gave us a clear example that you go out into the community and you meet people right where they are, and you meet their needs," Hickman said. "Meeting their needs gives you an opportunity to be able to share his love and bring them to a personal relationship (with Christ)."

The church's vision comes from Luke 10:27, a verse imploring Christian believers to love God with all their heart and to "love your neighbor as yourself."

"We're getting back to the basics of what Christ teaches," Hickman said.

"I can stand up in the pulpit and I can preach all day long. I can go out and knock on people's doors and tell them all day long that Jesus loves them. Jesus didn't just preach to people. He actually showed them that he loved them because he met their needs," Hickman said.

READ the rest of the article:

Area churches reaching out to Upstate communities in new ways



grace said...

Great article Jerry!
Thanks for sharing it.

GuyMuse said...

Bryan Riley has an excellent post on his blog entitled Imagine there's a church that represents the King that is in harmony with the above. Check it out.