Kyle Burrows shares his adventures of living missionally as he moves toward launching Crossroads UMC: Fayetteville’s second campus.
I don’t always throw parties at my house, but when I do, I make sure that they are chaotic!
My wife, Lauren, and I began the work of Crossroads North at the end of July, 2015. In the heat of the North Carolina summer, our Crossroads North team was on location and we were ready to go!
The question was… Where were we going? The answer… Everywhere!
We injected ourselves into the life of Fayetteville and started to make connections – hundreds of connections. We served at the elementary school, we went to the high school for Friday night football, we attended Chamber of Commerce breakfasts – if something was happening in our community, there was a good chance that you would run into a “Northsider” there.
After about a month of running hard, we began to find a rhythm and we become “regulars” in our various “mission fields.” The baristas at Starbucks knew Becky, I became a regular at my daughter’s preschool, and my wife was making connections at her new job.
When people ask, I describe this first phase of church planting as plowing the field. We are tearing up roots, moving boulders, and turning over the hard soil. We are working the ground so that we can begin to sow the seeds of God’s’ awesome love.
So we tilled, and tilled, and tilled…and then we decided to throw a party! (Jesus people should be known for throwing great parties!)
My wife and I invited the people that we met at work, at the bus stop, and from the county recreation center. It was time to see if the relationships that were were building had any strength to them. We decided that on Friday night I would smoke several racks of ribs and we would have a big ‘ol pot luck dinner. We ended up with 30 people at the house – adults, kids, a few “Northsiders”, and a bunch of new friends. It was fun and chaotic. One mother spent the evening chasing her 2-year-old up and down the stairs. My son came running in from outside, wearing a mile-wide smile, gleefully noting that two of the other boys were pouring their cans of cola on each other’s head. It was that kind of night.
I would say that despite the chaos, the night was a success. We had good food and a lot of great conversations. It felt like all of the work that we had done in the first two months had paid off; we really were making connections with people in our community! The satisfying feeling wore off quickly though. We knew that one party on a Friday night doesn’t make a church. We have more places to plug in to, more connections to make, and more parties to throw…but next time we are hiring a babysitter!