In my last post I talked about my frustrations with the local government sounding like it was giving up on keeping people around. Since then I’ve been busy. I’ve had a funeral for a 17 year old who overdosed on drugs. I’ve been to our annual meeting for the United Church of Canada in the Maritimes. Over both activities I’ve had many conversations about the state of our community and the state of the United Church.
Many of the church discussions I’m having are about the “mission” of the church. People are tired of seeing how the “same old thing we’ve always done” is not bringing people into our churches, and they are beginning to wonder what can be done to save them. This is encouraging as I am starting to hear terms like “evangelism” and “mission” and “outreach” start to be used.
When I look at the streets of my town, when I look at the hurt in the homes, when I look at the strangle-hold drugs has on our youth and young adults, I see we have more work than we know what to do with.
So where do we start?
The church needs to get back to the basics. It needs to preach the Gospel and create disciples. This is where it starts. It begins by letting Christ lead us back into our communities and finding where God wants us to spread his love. We can no longer expect to sit in our buildings and wait for people to come to us. We must begin to reach out and help, one person at a time. One life at a time.
My friend Joey recently commented on his own blog a post called “Colt 45’s on the Sidewalk” about how maybe we aren’t living up to our call as we watch our young people destroy their lives before it even has chance to build into something great.
So where do we begin? Maybe God is calling us to begin in different places! I’ve talked with a number of people in town lately about their various dreams and visions for doing God’s work here. And then all of a sudden I’m at a community meeting and someone stands up and says they are doing something else, and all I can think about it how two other projects are going to be able to help this new one.
God is placing us in various locations, with various ideas in our hearts so we can all share the love of God with people around us. We are not where we are by mistake. God has called us to where we are, and is using us in amazing ways.
It just isn’t in my community, but its in yours too. Take a look around. Talk with folks. You’ll be amazed to hear the works of God offering hope in the darkest places.