One of the things that Church180 will do and is already doing is make strategic efforts to expand the influence of Jesus.
We have determined that the best way to do that as an organization is through strategic partnerships with other organizations in our community. We have chosen two: Ebinport Elementary and Pilgrims Inn.
Pilgrims Inn is a shelter for homeless women and children.
Chaz Maldonado is our leader at Pilgrims Inn. Last Wednesday night he organized a “hang out time” with our new friends at Pilgrims Inn.
19 people from Church180 and 16 staff and residents spent the evening eating pizza and laughing together. We didn’t talk to much about the church, we just enjoyed our new friends, and they enjoyed us too.
At the end of the evening I said to our new friends, “Thanks for letting us hang out with you tonight.” One of the ladies spoke up and said, “Thanks for wanting to hang out with us.” That statement said so much! They saw us as friends… a group of people who actually enjoyed their company! And they were right!
We’ve been talking a lot around our church about why we’re doing what we’re doing, and we’ve settled in on this – we view our friends at Pilgrims Inn NOT as a project to be worked on, but as friends to be loved… and that makes all the difference.
I’m proud of Chaz and our church. I’m proud of the team at Pilgrims Inn (Susan, Angela, Nicole, Kristina, etc.). And I’m proud of my new friends for taking a chance on a bunch of church people and letting us into their home to love, laugh, and do a little life with them!
We’re experiencing the power of love, and are persuaded that the best way to expand the influence of Jesus is simply to love people!