By Shawn Seguin at Eastside Community Church
Original Post: http://shawnseguin.com/hotdogs-and-the-gospel/
Mission: Possible! Austin has strategic partners apart of our Family of Ministries. Eastside Community Church plays a strategic role in discipleship and reaching families in the community. In partnership with us, Eastside Community Church have their Community Groups adopting a local apartment complex. 95% of people in apartment comminities in the Austin area are unreached! These are communities Mission Possible is engaged in on a weekly basis. Shawn Seguin is Eastside Community Church’s Resident Church Planter and wrote this in his blog:
By Shawn Seguin:
Our church has done this beautiful thing where each community group adopts a local apartment complex to pour into. Our community group has spent many times of prayer focusing on our apartment complex. We have gone door-to-door several times and actually seen a little fruit. This past Thursday we hosted a hotdog cookout at their apartment playscape.
Luckily, we weren’t doing this alone. Our church has partnered with the not-for-profit Mission Possible (our church actually meets in their building on Sunday mornings), who reaches out to these apartment communities regularly. Mission possible had about 100 backpacks to give away and we were able to distribute them at our cookout!
At events like this, usually the kids are the only ones who come out, but we attempted to make it as adult-friendly as possible, and the results were amazing! Our community group was able to give away every backpack, 130 hot dogs, over 100 waters bottles and tons of chips. The best part was that people from the community showed up 45 minutes early to help us set up. Mothers and fathers were so happy to be a part of what we were doing and it was amazing to see the complex look more like a community.
While we handed out lots of church invites, the best part was how willing people were to write their names down to receive prayer. When people believe that we care about them, they are willing to ask for prayer. I have to say that, I have knocked on many of these residents’ doors and rarely were they interested in spiritual conversations (or conversations at all) or receiving prayer, Almost every person I asked at the cookout gave us some information so that we could be praying for them. I even got to pray with two people right there at the cookout.
People are spiritually hungry, but until we give them a tangible expression of love, they will not open up to us. This is what this cookout did. It opened people up. It is not that we did it perfectly, or that we are geniuses or anything. We just put forth some time, effort, money, prayer, and we engaged them. We made the gospel as tangible as we could. Thankfully our efforts paid off.
I would encourage you, if you are part of a small group, to adopt an apartment complex, school, or even a business. Begin praying for that place. Pray for the people who work there, for the people who do life there, and begin to get creative. Find ways to make the gospel tangible.