Starting a new church can feel like starting a business: A lot of planning and strategy meetings. As we began Crossroads North of Fayetteville just two months ago, I felt a strong conviction that if we began this church as a business and not a compassionate community of Christ followers, Jesus might just come in and flip over our tables. We needed a starting point for serving the least and the lost in our community – we chose sandwiches and water.
During our Wednesday night Missional Community gatherings we took some time to make a couple dozen PB&J’s. On on noon the next day, in the blazing hot August sun of North Carolina, a small gaggle of well meaning Christ followers took those sandwiches and a cooler full of cold water to downtown Fayetteville. We handed out the food with an invitation to pray for any needs. Some passed on the package deal. Some loved the food and water, but didn’t want prayer – but to our surprise, that was the minority report. Most of the people that we were encountered were not only grateful for the food and/or water, but they were happy to pray with us and to prayed for. We prayed for jobs, transportation needs, healing from cancer, for freedom from addiction, and for brothers, mothers, and children who lived in far-away places.
We knew that we were not saving the world by handing out provisions and prayer – we weren’t even sure that we were helping more than hurting! We were quite clueless and probably looked a little silly walking around downtown. We were quite aware that homelessness and hunger are complex issues that can not be solved by two slices of white bread, a glob of peanut butter & jelly, and a 16oz bottle of water. But this was something…and something is better than nothing. It was a starting point to encounter those in our community with needs. It was a starting point so that we could listen for our Father’s voice of confirmation..or perhaps God would shout, “Wrong way! Change course!”
Funny how God works…by just showing up and trusting that Jesus would be with us, some doors interesting doors started to open…
We will see what’s on the other side of those doors next time. In the meantime – get out there! Show up, somewhere…anywhere…because God is everywhere. And I think he is waiting for us to show up.
Kyle Burrows, Pastor of Crossroads North & Spiritual Entrepreneur