Where does time go? Things had been going so well on the blog and then…poof…the Cantankerous one had disappeared almost as quickly and mysteriously as he had appeared. Sounds so good when I put it like that. The truth of the matter is that ministry happened, as well as trying to figure out a rhythm since moving to the Ville. Now that the ever elusive rhythm has been established, which for me is insuring that I have sufficient time with the fam and that I have time in the gym in the midst of chaos, I hope to be able to update the blog with more regularity.
-So, the last time I posted we were gearing up for the “Back to School” celebration and what a celebration it was. Our little church ended up providing school supplies for over 350 children. That’s an impressive number no doubt, but what makes it really exciting to me, is that with those supplies were able to provide the means for another to church to also reach into their neighborhood. We kept 175 at Grace and provided 176 to Breath of Life on the other side of Taylor Boulevard. So this “little” church not only impacted over 350 lives, but also impacted two churches, and two neighborhoods. Pretty cool.
-Building on the momentum of “Back to School” we started “Neighborhood Family Movie Night” (Fridays at 5pm, 900 Denmark St….come join us!!!). One of the early issues we became acutely aware of is that the children of the neighborhood have nowhere safe to go and this is our early, quick response. The neighborhood, adults and kids alike, are able to come in, get something to eat, and to watch a movie, all at no cost to them.
-In the month since the Back to School event Grace UMC has provided ministry/outreach to over 500 people. If you had told me back at the beginning of June that this is what we would have been looking at after roughly ten weeks I would’ve thought you were nuts…and I’m someone who likes to dream big.
-However, allow me to temper those numbers a bit. While I am certainly coming to appreciate patience, as well as the wisdom it seems to facilitate, I’m feeling a stirring deep within that refuses to rest on those numbers. Part of that is that I truly detest the metrics of ministry. I recognize that they are a necessary evil and I’d certainly prefer to have them, than not, but at this point, that’s all they are, numbers. However, the bigger discomfort for me are the questions I find myself wrestling with...Where are the lives transformed? The lives being devoted to Christ? It is the unquantifiable that tends to give me a little more peace. I recognize that lives are being touched (there’s nothing cooler here than getting a high five from a kid speeding by on their bike), that a foundation is being built, and that we are in some ways successfully turning an oil tanker in a canal, but I also recognize that lives/souls/eternities are slipping away all around us every day.
Trying to blend patience, passion, energy, and my tendency to want to race the bowling ball to the pins continues to be a struggle as we look for ways to establish foundational, sustainable, transformational, Jesus ministry. Please be in prayer for us as we continue to search for the way forward.