Yesterday marked day four of four, where our church handed out free coffee at Metra train stations in The10. Many of you probably are or have wondered, why would a church handout free coffee? What’s the purpose? At Mission one of our values is “Restoring”, specifically restoring The10. Here is what we mean by restoring, “We will be actively involved in our neighborhood: enjoying, engaging, restoring. We will serve and love the people God has put right around us. We will BE the church right here in our neighborhood.”
It is kind of crazy what happens when you hand someone a free cup of coffee with no strings attached, they smile, their eyes light up, their countenance completely changes. I believe, it is not because of the coffee but because they feel like someone cares and a little bit of love. Most of the people’s responses this week have been, “I can’t believe you are out here in the cold just for us!” and “Thank you for thinking of us!”
While the feelings they experienced won’t last forever we think it can be the start of the restoration process in someone’s life. Restoring a person, a community, a village, or evenThe10 won’t happen overnight or with just one event/experience.
There are many factors that play into the restoration process. Without getting overly detailed about Mission’s strategy, in its simplest form Mission’s strategy is two-fold. “Reaching” (a Mission value) and “Restoring.” Before someone has an opportunity to be restored they first need to be reached.
I love the definition of the word reach because I think it paints a great picture of what we are trying to do with these events. To reach means to, “extend, or stretch out.” We as a church will not be able to restore The10, if we don’t “stretch” or “extend” ourselves past where we meet on Sunday mornings. To reach people it will require us to meet people in our communities where they are. We can’t expect them to come to us.
We also have to be creative in the ways we reach out to our communities. Being creative helps breakdown people’s defenses about the Church and religion. An example of being creative with reaching, outside of coffee giveaway would be, the Cubs vs Sox game for men last year or The Day of Beauty event for the ladies.
Some of you may be thinking, this is all great but is it biblical? I would undoubtedly say, YES. When you read the gospels you constantly read about how Jesus is going from one place to the next to next. Traveling in the middle of the night and even great distances in just a few days time for the purpose of His surrounding communities hearing His teachings. Jesus never said, you know I think I am just going to post up in Jerusalem and hope people come and hear what I have to say. NO, He consistently went to the people.
Lastly, let me share a passage with you, it sums up the reason why we are passionate about reaching and restoring, from Acts 13:47-50, “For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, "I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth." And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.”
We are so passionate about reaching because the Lord has commanded us to GO and we dream of the day when the word of the Lord spreads like a wildfire throughout The10.
If you want to see pictures from the coffee handout go to facebook.com/forthe10