Thursday, April 3, 2008
Krispy Kreme in Oxford, England. Imagine my surprise as I walked around the corner and saw this.
God is awesome! What a great trip to England. As I have mentioned before, Christians only comprise 2-3% of the British population. This really saddened me, but it seems that this small minority is fired up for Jesus. And it seems like all of the dead wood & the branches that don't bare fruit have been cut off, as Jesus said in John 15.2.
These people in Bristol are engaged in some creative ministries of outreach. They are involved in making space in their churches for coffee shops where people of the community can come in have a good cup of coffee or tea, and learn about Jesus if they want. You have to know that these churches are located in inner city areas, surrounded by poverty, crime, homelessness, etc. and unlike in the Bible belt of the states, most folks in these areas don't know much about Christians, or a church, or Jesus. So a coffee shop is a great way to reach out to people in a non threatening way. So is a holistic healing center that a church and my friend are planning. They are seeking to create a place that address spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical healing, knowing that all of these areas are tied into one's spiritual life and relationship with God. Churches in Bristol are feeding the hungry and homeless for free. Imagine this, instead of requiring people to pay to eat, they GIVE meals to those in need one day a week.
What these are doing, are what we in the states need to be doing, assessing the needs of the community in which they find themselves and trying to meet these needs to engage these people. In doing so meeting people where they are and sharing the love of Jesus, instead of requiring them to come into the church on Sunday morning for the first time. If you've forgotten how intimidating that is, go by yourself and visit a church where no one knows you. I've been reminded of this lately as I have been visiting different churches to preach. It's pretty scary at times even for me as the preacher. So let's meet folks where they are in love and grace even if we have to go out of our way just as Jesus did to meet the women at the well.
God loves ya, me too, Kel out