Saturday, September 15, 2007

Inroads into our community

It's almost 3 AM and I can't sleep. I've got to work all day tomorrow with the 150 celebration, but I'm so wired from tonight that I can't sleep. I'm so relationship-driven and get so pumped up from spending time with people, that I can't calm down.

When we moved into Gardner, I started going to the football games right away, but I didn't know anyone there. My experience at tonight's game gave me a glimpse of how we've been able to make connections into our community.

The biggest thing was the tailgate party. Last year I joined the committee to help plan the 150th Celebration that's happening this weekend as a way to serve the community and to build relationships. It's worked. My subcommittee put together tonight's "Gardner's Biggest Ever Tailgate Party." It was a great time. We had a good group from TFC there and our band was the headlining entertainment. And they did a great job! In fact, a guy that's a real leader in Gardner and for whom I'm really praying, commented to me about how good they sounded.
I talked with our Mayor and the president of the biggest bank and they were commenting on how good the band sounded. I tried to get them to start a mosh pit, but they weren't too high on that. But they were both thanking me and TFC for the service project we're going to do this Sunday, helping clean up after the big festival on Saturday. A year ago, our Mayor hadn't even heard of TFC, now she's praising us for our service to the community!

But what really pumps me up is just walking around the stands and seeing people I know all over the place. Kids running around "hey, Coach, do you have anymore hot dogs?" "Hey, Coach, that kid stole my hat!" I talked with one of our teens when I was near the student section. She introduced me to a friend by saying, "this is my pastor, he's a pretty cool guy." I was talking with some of the other Wheatridge staff and with an unchurched family that's new to our church and just invited by a TFC member.

The question, "if your church disappeared from the community tomorrow, would anyone other than your members notice it was gone?" has always haunted me. Tonight was a confirmation that we are making connections with and serving our community.
When we first moved to Gardner, I went to football games because I love football. Now I go to football games because I love football and because I'm a part of the community!
To see more pictures, click here. You'll have to register, but it's no big deal.

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