By Joan Church
The homework we were assigned one week, during our small group study on revitalization with Cid Latty, Congregational Development Associate, was to spark an idea of how we, Calvary Baptist Church in Midland, could reach beyond our walls into our community. Our idea: offer our neighbors a fun time with hot dogs and watermelon, music, games, and door prizes. And we would plan this twice during the summer months.
We had not budgeted for these events, but God provides. We applied for a missional grant from CBOQ, and we received generous donations from our church members and the daycare that leases the lower level of our building. Our team has experienced joy and hope while planning and organizing ideas even though we did not know how successful this would be.
God answered our prayers! On our back lawn, under pop up tents for shade, while listening to music and laughter, we met our neighbors. We are encouraged by the number of people who accepted our invitation and ways we saw them enjoy our efforts.
We have discovered that many of our near neighbors are single and widowed, without family nearby. We have names and phone numbers for future contact. And we are already making plans to invite our new friends to special services, lunches, and more. We look forward to discovering how we might bless them by helping to navigate some of life’s needs together.
All this planning and organizing for the 2 events this summer developed a greater comradery among us. We have been blessed with confidence to attempt future community events. This has given our leadership hope and inspiration and showed us ways we can be more missional. This was our primary goal. We are more certain there will be enough hot dogs and watermelon for anyone who wants to hear about Jesus’ love from those of us at Calvary Baptist Church.
Thanks be to God for the many answered prayers!