Headlines from First Thoughts

Sunday, June 07, 2009

First Impressions- Diving In

I attended my first swim meet last Monday ever. I missed out on the joy of this kind of controlled chaos as a child. Now we have an ocean full of meets and mania lined up for the summer for our 8-year-old fish named Parker. For many of these second graders, Monday was obviously their first attempt at diving into a pool from a platform. They stood above the troubled waters at their post and chose whether (or not) to take te leap like the rest of their peers. The platform gave them a place from which to jump. But the swimmer had to take the leap.

Like the summer swimmer taking his first leap from the safety of a poolside platform, we are building a platform this summer to prepare ourselves for the next leap. Our platform and complementary media equipment, organ, and expanded choir loft positions us with all the evidence we need to back up the next test of faith. The question asked of our project is, "What kind of leap will we take as a church family?"

In our Reaching Beyond moment, we are expanding our capacity and vision to minister in the center city. We'll always be located downtown; the question for us now is how involved will we be in the assets of our center city community.

Throughout our region we can find all kinds of spiritual pain. Most people (over 30%) who have no faith involvement or significantly decreased their faith involvement in the last year live within a 1 mile radius of our church. Knoxville rates 15% higher than the national average for households touched by divorce or death of a spouse. Most children in our community live in either single-parent households or live in multiple homes. The Knox County school system has 350 homeless children registered for school each day.

Is this the kind of pain we are positioned to respond to? God doesn't ask us to fix every problem or even to address every problem. But could this moment give us the chance to minister to people who are going through these kinds of transitions? The waters indeed are stirring.

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