Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The body at work

Have you ever been frustrated with the church not working together? Does it ever seem like denominations are not connected or urban churches are not connected to suburban churches?

Today, a good friend of mine (Pete Sutton) brought some of his middle school youth group on a work project here in Chicago. They did painting and cleaning work for Inner City Impact where I used to be employed. What a blessing to see these junior high age young people from Christ Church in St. Charles serve the urban church.

Later in the afternoon, we joined up Pete's group with a group of high students involved in a group called Youth Leaders In Action, led by two other friends. (Everett Gutierrez and Amber Harvey) We were bowling as a part of a fundraiser. This group of young urban leaders connected well with their younger Christian brothers and sisters from the suburbs. It was great to see these teenagers being positive Christian role models for the younger youth.

Pete connects with Everett and Amber. Contacts are made and relationships are established.

This is the church as it is meant to be. Relational. Connected. Urban to Suburban. Brown to yellow to white to black. People of all races, locations, and economic classes all in agreement for the purpose of the kingdom.

The church in America has a long way to go, but it is encouraging to see glimpses of progress.

How can the church do more to facilitate these type of connections? How can we continue to grow on uniting the church for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God?


Aaron said...

Great post! I am running into that more and more here in the Bay Area. Not a lot of folks want to work together.

I think we need more working together than ever. The only thing I worry about is when the suburban church comes (in my experience) to "help" it often has a low view of folks they are "helping."

I try to make it a point to educate folks about "God in the city"...

-How He is already there.
-How the urban church has a lot to give.
-How that there are actually strong Christians that are still living in poverty and injustice.
-How much the suburban and urban churches truly do need each other.

Etc. Etc. Have you encountered some of those issues?

Please know that I am not singling out the suburban church. I think the church as a whole in the states is very isolated so this doesn't just apply to the suburban church. Does this make since?

Grace and Peace,

KG said...

Great thoughts Aaron.

I took time with this group to tell them stories of what God is doing in the city.

We also planned to have mature high school students from the city to go bowling with the middle school students from the suburbs to help with this dynamic.

We told the high school students (from Chicago)that they could be role models for these younger kids (from St. Charles).

We need to make sure that these relationships go both ways or they in some ways reinforce the problems.