I was back in speaking this week after our Outward Focus weekend. Last week Dave Workman from Cincinnati continued our theme 'Creating the Future' as he talked about ministry to the Poor.
Acts 2:46 – 47 they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
It is critical for the future of the Vineyard that we find favor with the community in this town because people not programs are our future. Most of our Church haven’t yet arrived most of them having crossed the line of faith yet! This Church includes people who don’t even know that we exist; some of God’s family aren’t here yet, some of the finest people of Vineyard Church Dungannon aren’t here yet.
The strategy for taking the city starts not with the players but the poor. Favor with the poor, outcasts, prostitutes not the local government or the business tycoons.
We must see Christ in the disturbing disguise of the poor. -- Mother Teresa
Ever seen election campaigns? You get someone on your doorstep you never saw before and probably wont see again, well not at least until the next election comes along. The doors that will get the most visits are what politicians call the grass roots, politicians know to win elections they need to gain favor with the grass roots of the community.
Why from the bottom up? Why not from the top down? I think the reason is that people at the bottom of the community have their ear to the ground. They give the signals of what issues need to be addressed. They give a sign, an alert. If the local church is in the business of seeing lives changed then we need to know what the signs of our communities are. Is it broken marriages, is it children living in poverty, is it lives being wasted by addiction, what’s our sign, where is our favour?
We want to reach for the future together; we want to advance to where God has already gone before us and call’s us to come. We need to be looking for the signs of His favour in Dungannon then go. I’m learning that our job is simply to discern where is the Kingdom, where and what is our community saying to us regarding the dreams that we have for our Churches.