We began a conversation this week that I think is incredibly important. How does the world view Christians and the Church? And how does that view of the church impact people's understanding of God? How does that shape their perspective of Jesus? Sadly, over the last several decades, it seems that people's view of Christianity has become less and less positive.
It seems that to a great extent, churches have become known more for what we are against than what we are for. But I don't think that is a true reflection of God. I believe God truly is FOR us, all of us. Think about that for a moment. What does it mean to say that God is "FOR" us? It means He loves us. He is passionate about us. He desires to be in relationship with us. Other wise, why would he have sent his son to die in our place. And I believe that as followers of Jesus, we ought to be FOR others. We want those outside the church to know that we love and care about them, that we desire God's best for them, that we want to bless them.
So I am calling us to begin a new initiative in which we intentionally seek to let our communities know that we are FOR them. How do we do that? What does that look like? How do we get that message out? What does it really mean to be "For Our Community." This Sunday we will be talking more about that.
One of the very simple, but highly visible, ways that we share that message is by being present at some of the community events to bless people. This Saturday is Plaistow's Old Home Day. As we have for a number of years, we will have a booth set up where we will give away bottles of water, freeze pops for the kids, donuts and other goodies. Then on June 22 we kick off Amesbury Days with the Block Party. Over nearly two weeks of Amesbury Days activities, we will have multiple opportunities to bless others in the name of Jesus.
Also coming up in Sandown on June 30th we will be offering a free Family movie night. The goal here is simple, to bless families and individuals in our community with an enjoyable evening out at no cost. The movie is free. The snacks are free. The air conditioning is free! This is another way that we can let people know that we are for them, that we want to bless them. Each time we do this kind of event, it is an opportunity to break through some of the preconceived notions that some people have about the church. These are also opportunities to build relationship with people who do not yet know Jesus. Over time, these relationship become an opportunity to share the Good News of Christ. After all, everyone needs Jesus!
I know you will not want to miss this Sunday as we continue this important conversation of what it means to be "For Our Community."