Thursday, December 03, 2009
Well, it's been 12 months in the working, but the Littleton Church has committed itself to a new vision that the Holy Spirit has led us to. The whole idea of vision is difficult at times. I'm much less concerned that our church has a vision and I'm much more concerned that God's vision has our church. But I feel like the words we have put together will guide us as we seek to be a community of faith that reaches the community around us.
Our new charge is: Love God. Go Love People.
Our new vision is: A Christ-centered community committed to being formed for missional living in pursuit of God's kingdom.
These two statements are packed full of dreams and imagination for what God might want us to become. Over the past six weeks I have unpacked that vision during my sermons. It was a challenging set of lessons focused on calling our people to a more positive vision. Over the next few weeks, I'll unpack more of what this vision is all about on my blog.
I'm excited about what God is currently doing in our body. We are becoming a much less self-obsessed church as we seek to find ourselves again in God's story of mission and redemption.
For a long time the Littleton Church has been a regional church that has reached out to people throughout the city of Denver, but we are beginning to focus more and more on our surrounding neighborhood.
The question that has been on my mind most over the 16 months I've preached at Littleton is this: If the Littleton Church of Christ were to close our doors, would our neighborhood miss us or shed a tear over our absence? More than anything, I want the answer to that question to be YES!!!
Over the past couple of weeks, I have walked our surrounding neighborhood with three other guys from our church. We have been knocking our neighbors doors, but this is not traditional door-knocking. Instead of handing them a tract and inviting them to church, our first words to our neighbors have been: "We're members at the Littleton Church of Christ across the street and our church has been here for over thirty years. We've been terrible neighbors for not getting to know you, so we're knocking on your door so we can get to know you better and know if there's anything we can do for you or pray for you about."
The response has been pretty amazing so far. People are shocked in a very positive way. We're not selling them anything or expecting them to show up at church. We're just trying to be better neighbors and for some reason they're finding that to be revolutionary.
Churches have to begin to reach their neighborhoods again, but not in the traditional ways we have in the past. We need to imagine new ways that we can get rid of any negative perceptions that might exist when we encounter our neighborhood.
What are some ways your churches are reaching their communities?