"Why Are We Here? Missions & Outreach"

Apparently, Central Illinois is struggling with the second round of this super-flu that’s been going around since early April.  So I’m on my second round of antibiotics, and half of our church family is coughing and blowing their noses and/or home with a fever.  Please be praying for all of your sick brothers and sisters.

Having said that, we still had a wonderful--and busy--time this weekend here at First Covenant.  On Saturday, we held our monthly VBS workday (which was interrupted a bit by the husband of one of the teachers we worked with at Manual coming over work with Randy to help fix the church van, and then Randy and Scott helping Lucy later on when her car conked out on the way home!), then had a meeting to help all of our child ministry workers learn how to prevent--and, in worst case scenarios, report--child abuse in our church, followed by a Sunday School teacher’s meeting that wrapped up the 2018-2019 school year and planned for next year.  After that, we held our last quarterly Kids Club (that nearly doubled the number of kids in attendance from the last time!) before we start kicking in with it as a weekly ministry in July.  Suffice it to say, everyone was pretty tired at the end of Saturday’s festivities.

So on Sunday, we held our annual Family Cookout after the service, and I have to say that it’s becoming something of a well-oiled machine around here.  Most of the food was warm and ready by the time that FCCers made their way down there, and we had three tents protecting people from the sun (though Marge was thoroughly enjoying sitting out and basking in its warmth), and we even had a “bouncy house” left over from Saturday’s Kids Club fun.  Thank you to everyone who brought food, as well as everyone who happily invited new people to join us for Saturday and Sunday.

As we discussed in our message this week, part of the reason that we exist as a church--why any church exists--is to actively live out the Kingdom of God in reaching out to those around us as ambassadors.  In fact, since it’s the only one of the “why we exist” emphases that we’ve discussed that we won’t be doing in Heaven, then that should place something of a special focus on it for us.

When you think about it, outreach isn’t really about being a missionary to Guam (though there’s a place for that), or about starting up potentially awkward conversations with strangers about Jesus (though there’s a place for that as well), but rather just always being open, always being willing, and always praying for the opportunity and discernment to share with those around us about the most important and exciting thing in our lives.  We share about our kids and grandkids, about our favorite sports teams and favorite foods, so why not about the God who loves us so much that He was willing to die to wash us clean and give us eternal life?

Brag a little about your God today.  Invite people to your church.  Share what you learned from your last Bible study.  Pray for the opportunity simply to let people know that God is living and active in your life... and that He’d like to be living and active in theirs.

That’s a large part of why we’re here as a church in this world...