Eric Bryant had a seminar called “Hindus, Homosexuals, and the Hard to Reach.” I took notes, but here’s a link to more exhaustive notes on his blog. Check it out.
The group we’re getting together in the park on Sunday afternoons is putting the “Cause Creates Community” idea to action. We’ll see how it works. I felt like we had a great start to it last Sunday. We’ll fire it up again May 17th. The idea is that we are called to be together for a mission – what we can give rather than what we can get. We’ll see how we do.
Related to this, our desire in reaching out to a segment of our community that has a reputation of being a “tougher” community means we need to dismiss a Christian “profile” in our head before people belong. We talk about letting people come as they are. I think we do a pretty good job at that at our church (but how would I know, really?). In this environment, people are coming into a much smaller environment where any sniff of judgment will be evident pretty quickly.
This doesn’t mean we shy away from God’s Word, but we take people as they are as they’re exploring Jesus. I loved John Burke’s video materials for small groups, No Perfect People Allowed.
A closing common theme Bryant mentioned (closing for me, not Bryant) is that the church isn’t here to meet your needs. It’s here to bless the world, change the world. I pray we will.