On a recent flight to Los Angeles, I picked up the latest issue of Newsweek. About a third of the way through the magazine, I ran across a full-page ad from “The people of The United Methodist Church.” It asked the following question: What if church wasn’t just a place to go on Sunday, but helped you to have a place to go on Monday? The ad went on to ask the reader to rethink church at http://www.10thousanddoors.org/.
This ad is taped to my office wall.
I like it when the church asks us to rethink and reimagine what the Christian faith is and can be. For years, DOOR has been inviting people to come to the city and discover that their faith can be much more than a Sunday morning event.
I have this amazing privilege of traveling all over the USA – it has been fun giving witness to all kinds of people who have taken the time to re-imagine what Jesus is calling them to.
In Hollywood, our Dwellers have turned the front lawn of their house into a community garden. This garden has become a community project in every sense of that word. On Sunday, 30-40 kids, youth, and young and older adults from the neighborhood and First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood showed up to work and play together.
Bridges are being built between people who might not normally interact, all because of the vision of four young women who took the time to re-imagine how a garden and their faith might be used to build the kingdom of God!
Anton, an Atlanta board member, has made it his life mission to remind the church of the importance of hospitality – even to the “least of these.” Alterna extends hospitality to immigrants, regardless of their legal status. Anton and his work with Alterna remind us that Christian hospitality has no borders.
Brenda, a Chicago board member and regular DOOR speaker, is on a mission to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV. Through poetry, she has become an effective communicator to the youth of Chicago. A faith that can imagine combing Poetry and Christian witness can make a difference.
San Antonio Mennonite church has accomplished some amazing feats. They host four to six Mennonite Voluntary Service workers every year. They started a program 12 years ago that allowed youth groups to come to San Antonio and learn about service. Three years ago, this church, in partnership with Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church, began to host year-long volunteers from the Young Adult Volunteer Program of the Presbyterian Church. This church has never let its size prevent it from engaging in ministry – reality never got in the way of their dreams!
In Denver, one board member 15 years ago left a well-paying job at Qwest to plant a church on Denver’s west side. When he took this step of faith, very little was certain. Funding was questionable; attendance was limited to his family and a few supporters. Phil is stubborn, he knew that he was called to plant a church – today his vision for Denver’s west side is shared by the congregation’s 600 attendees!
Our Miami city director and her husband left good careers in Nashville to pursue a dream of starting a ministry that combined the highest standards in music with a deep Christian faith. Today, through Miami Music Ministries, young people discover outlets for combing their musical talents and faith.
Reimagining – this is what I do for a living!