Archive for March, 2011

>Let Us

Posted: March 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

>On Saturday at the mall I hung around for only three hours and had three really interesting conversations.  Two ninth grade girls stopped to talk and one proudly announced that she had lost her virginity.  I really have heard it all, but that comment sort of caught me off guard.  I tried not to let my face show my shock and I couldn’t think of any return comment so I just sort of stood there with a goofy smile.  It is of no use to chastise her or call her names or be appalled.  Of course, after a while, I thought “Well, can you go back and find it?” but you never get those awesome lines while in the mix.  

A little later I stopped to talk to a lady I have known for a while and we discussed her family and their church involvement. They are struggling with their life and future and are not plugged in anywhere.  The kids and mom like sojourn but dad is a bit skeptical.  In our conversation she stated that sojourn is small and she assumes everyone who attends would have to be involved in some ministry and that they just don’t want to get busy doing church work.  She said they really needed ministering to, rather than ministering to others.  
Sojourn is not about lots of church work.  We have very few inside-the-church type jobs and ministries.  We have small groups and no Sunday School.  We have a few young people who teach and tend to the children during the worship gatherings rather than a full up children’s ministry.  We all meet in the same room and do what we need to do to worship God together on Sunday mornings at 10:30AM.  We play dodge ball with about 150 people on Friday’s and we give out Ice Cream during the week (when we are open).  Everyone who wants to serve does and visitors and attenders and folks “checking us out” are not pressured to be involved.  In fact, we haven’t pressured anyone to get involved, we’ve waited on the Lord to lead them and folks work within their spiritual gifts.  
I told this nice lady that she and her family could sit in a chair and we wouldn’t have a problem with it.  
We do a good job with what we do, but we are really good at loving on people.  Which is what this family needs.  They need a group of believers to just love them and accept them and let them heal from a pretty tough time.  Sojourn is really good at that.  We have created a warm, welcoming and accepting place for people to worship and hear about Jesus Christ.  
As I thought about my fellow sojourners, I realized that all of us could use a little ministering.  Each person who gathers with us has some stuff going on in their life and each one could use someone to love them and listen to them and pray with them.  So we did a little of that Sunday.  
I’m hoping that this family will drop their guard and just hang with us.  We could really love them through this hard time in their life.  The Church is not a bunch of perfect people with their stuff together.  We are a bunch of regular people with faith in Christ, Who is healing and leading and delivering us from stuff, but when times are tough, we know we are learning and growing.  It is really nice to do this together.  
Let us not give up meeting together, as the manner of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

>Ministry Update

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

>We’ve had some good weeks ministering here in the mall.  There is a nice couple visiting with us right now.  Even though their church background is more liturgical, they seem to enjoy our style of worship.  Last week at our College Bible study a young girl from the mall attended.  Her and I had some conversations in the past and I had just spoken with her in the previous few days. It was really nice to see her at the bible study and the other girls readily accepted her and made her feel welcomed.  Surveys show that most people want a church to be welcoming, accepting and comfortable (as in secure). I think our people do a great job of creating this environment.