Monday, August 29, 2011


I had an older man tell me there was a disconnect between my vision and my life. Then he paid for breakfast.

My two-year strategy to "throw all chips on the table" in reaching the town of Leesburg for Jesus was impressive. The plan included prayer walks, a name change, new t-shirts, service blitzes, and teaching specific to evangelism and integrated ministries. If our church budget stayed afloat, I considered throwing in a cotton candy machine.

The disconnect was my front porch. Its address posts a Warsaw address, not a Leesburg one. Years ago my wife and I decided to live closer to majority of our church members. In my brief stay at Leesburg Grace, the church has never surpassed two families (or couples) from the town. We are a commuter church. The previous week, another older leader assured me, "There is nothing unbiblical about going to church outside of one's neighborhood." If this were so, most American churches would be unbiblical. (Oh, wait....)

To be honest, I don't want to leave my front porch. We have established roots and made spiritual connections in our neighborhood. These are God-directed. But I also feel compelled to preach and perform the gospel of Jesus to the broken and hardened town of Leesburg. This cannot be accomplished from my front porch. Nor can it be accomplished alone.

So I wrestle. Can I live with the disconnect? Can I alter my strategy so that it reads "mostly in" instead of "all in." Can I move the church to Warsaw? Can I move my neighborhood to Leesburg? Can I continue with "business-as-usual," and use our savings on a cotton candy machine? Only time will tell...

1 comment:

Kyle said...

It annoys me just to read this. Yes there is a disconnect between your address at the church and your home address, but you are connected to the people who attend your church because of your Warsaw address. Would you be abandoning your Warsaw congregation if you moved to Leesburg? I wouldn't accuse you of that.

Sadly, I do not know my immediate neighbors well in North Webster... However we know a lot of people around town because we are active members at the community center, shop at the local grocery, dine at the eight local restaurants, etc.

Leesburg does not offer all of these same opportunities, but Tina and I ate at the new "Pancake House" the other day and REALLY enjoyed it. Maybe we start to connect by having a Men's Breakfast on Friday or something... They might ask who we are if we start to show up regularly. We might tell them.