Dollars by Teddy James on Flickr. Some rights reserved.
Your church might not be big enough to start the large-scale medical ministry that Southland Christian Church in Kentucky did, but surely any church can embrace the principle that led to its beginning.
As their pastor Jon Weece says,
“We decided we needed to take a season, read through the gospels and the book of Acts, look at the pattern of Jesus and the first church and pray and say, ‘God, what are we uniquely created to do in the Kingdom?’”
The process took a year and a half, and Weece admits it was a difficult season, fraught with layoffs and some disillusioned families. But the church’s mission became clearer for it.
“We started focusing on people outside our four walls, and we found our niche. It was a catalytic season for us in that we determined we’re here in central Kentucky to love people that no one else in our church community was paying attention to.”
Weece is candid about this identity, to the point of drawing lines in the sand.
“People come in and we just tell them, ‘You know, we don’t offer a lot internally for Christians. We’re focusing on the people Jesus would want us to go after,’” he says.
The whole story is here.
On 17th November 1957, Martin Luther King preached a sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. An audio extract has been preserved. Listen to how MLK links the Cross to love for enemies and hence to transformation in the world.
It’s hard not to be aware of the great damage caused in our western societies by debt. Our economies thrive or fail based on how much people buy non-essential goods. Consumerism is the great idol.
Meanwhile, more and more people slide into debt. It becomes unmanageable, and predators swim around them, smelling blood. Archbishop Justin Welby has recognised this grave social evil, and declared war on the loan sharks. Here is a video filmed by the religious journalist Ruth Gledhill, showing churches in deprived east London districts setting up credit unions to benefit the community.
Is this something your church might do, either on its own, or in partnership with others?
More on the story here.
So – you have a Masters degree in Maths, you’re raking in a large City salary as a hedge fund manager. What do you do?
If your name is Jenny Dawson and you’ve been affected by the teaching at your church, you start a business making chutney from food waste and you employ homeless people. You sell your produce everywhere from Borough Market to Fortnum and Mason.
The Daily Mail covered her story a year ago, but didn’t mention her faith. The interview below, from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, does. You’ll hear other stories, too. Make a coffee, and settle down to be inspired.
Some British Christians will remember the Hope 08 initiative. The same team is now bringing Hope 14 as a way of blessing our communities in Christ’s name. Here is Roy Crowne introducing the project and encouraging churches to get on board, either on their own or in partnership with others:
Challenging interview with Shane Claiborne: