There are currently complex issues in Ferguson, Missouri. Many government entities are working to bring peace and clarity. No one seems to know exactly what happened in the past. The day-to-day scenarios change by the minute, but there is one thing for certain. There is a future that needs to be shaped in a better way. Here is my suggestion for a better outcome—How about we plant some community impacting, Christ honoring, self-control teaching, vibrant, local churches? Ferguson needs local churches that move beyond, (way beyond!) the typical one day a week, isolated, us-four-no-more mentality. Churches certainly need to teach about the afterlife and how to be assured of getting there, but a Bible believing church is perfectly poised to teach about THIS LIFE as well. Christ taught us much about living amongst each other. Our churches need to effectively get involved in the community and teach these Bible truths as well. Here are a few suggestions on how a church can make a huge impact in its local community:
- Conduct more non-Sunday, character-oriented, deep experience events. What I mean is, create events that are attractional to the community and more training oriented than teaching oriented. Get people involved in service projects, field trips, day camps, mission projects. Use every available teachable moment to build character in context. Influencing lives in real life scenarios are lessons that will stick!
- Create events that take advantage of all ages. Save the age-graded stuff for a classroom somewhere, but use intergenerational trainers in on-the-job-training. Use your creativity to create situations where Jr. High kids can help teach the Elementary kids; college kids can work with the teens and mature adults can work with the youth group age. Don’t forget to let the grandparents fill in the gaps with wisdom and practical lessons from life.
- Focus on single parent families. According the Census Bureau, Ferguson has over 40% of its kids being raised by one parent. In a majority of these situations it is a single mom. Churches must alter and adapt their many programs to focus on this vital mission field. Readjusting schedules and getting creative in event planning, a church can become a trusted partner in rearing these kids. Church events that are more like a family activity carry tremendous value. Church events that are patterned after a school classroom need to reexamined.
The violence of Ferguson, as well as that in middle eastern countries, is not an education problem. More head knowledge is not the answer. I believe most of these issues could be treated with a healthy dose of self-control. If a person’s color, race, or country of origin sets you off, you have a serious self-centeredness problem. The greatest cure for self-centeredness is conversion and immersion. Convert to Christ-centeredness and immerse yourself into a dynamic, selfless body of believers called the local church. Ferguson doesn’t have as much of a race issue as it does a self-control issue. In fact, every community on our planet has the potential to explode with self-centered, violent activity. I cannot think of a better way to shape our community’s futures than to fill them with community impacting, Christ honoring, self-control teaching, vibrant, local churches.Mike Holmes @reachkeep
P.S. If you are of the persuasion that a church should only be doing spiritual activities like preaching, witnessing and disciple making, I urge you to implement some of the suggestions above. Your vans and busses will be full, your classrooms packed and you will get to do all the Gospel sharing and spiritual work you have ever wanted to do.
I am curious. What’s your plan for Ferguson? Leave your comment below.
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