Thursday, September 22, 2011

Muffins, anyone?

Big, huge, exciting things are happening at South Bay Church right now! This weekend we are launching into 40 Days of Purpose with our "What On Earth Am I Here For?" message series. The amount of preparation and hours of work that has gone into this is unbelievable. We are praying BIG prayers and expecting God to move mightily in our midst over the next 7 weeks.

This week we are starting over 50 new Life Groups- each discussing "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. We have really encouraged our Life Group leaders to invite friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to join their groups instead of simply filling them with people who are already connected to South Bay. Our goal is that every adult who attends South Bay will get connected in a Life Group, but we don't want to stop there. We want to be salt & light in our community as well!

To bridge the gap of connecting with neighbors, Andy challenged our church (and specifically our leaders) to host a "Matthew Party". To listen to his whole sermon, click here and listen to the message from 8/21/11. But in short, a Matthew Party is just an informal and typically fun environment where followers of Christ and those who don't yet follow Christ can interact and engage in conversations.

Our friends, Dawn & Kent, had an awesome idea to host a "Mug & Muffin" party in their driveway one Saturday morning. They invited all of the families who live on their circle in their neighborhood to drop by and have coffee and a muffin together. Check out this awesome invitation that Dawn made: 

They had a great time that morning building friendships with about 13 families that dropped by. What a huge win! They are living intentional lives, investing in those that God has put in their sphere of influence. Their neighbors may not be interested in spiritual things or South Bay Church or coming to a Bible study in their home. But God can use our willingness to reach out in ways that we can never predict ahead of time.

At the Mug & Muffin, Dawn & Kent had out these fliers inviting people to join them at their Life Group:

Intentional, but not "in your face". A non-threatening invitation to spend more time with fun people learning about our "purpose" in life...something that is important to everyone.

I'm sharing all this with you because I'm hoping that God will put it on some of YOUR hearts to host a similar event. Andy and I totally swiped their idea, reused their invitation (with minor adjustments), and we're hosting our own Mug & Muffin this Saturday. We spent two evenings this week walking around after dinner to invite people. We simply went door to door through our apartments, talked to people if they were home, and left it for them if they weren't. No one was unkind to us or slammed the door in our face. Quite the opposite, actually. People were so happy that someone was taking the initiative to get people together.

I don't care where you live, God is at work in people's hearts around you. When we moved to the Bay area to start a church, we were warned about all the opposition we would likely face from people here because the Bay area is so resistant to the Gospel. While there are certainly some pockets of resistance here, there are ALWAYS people in whose hearts God is at work. And we don't know who those people are. But if we will pray that God leads us to them and then create opportunities for those types of relationships to form, I believe with all my heart that God will bless it every time!

If you throw some sort of "Matthew Party" in the next couple of months, you BETTER let me know so that I can rejoice with you!

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