Intentional is a word that we hope becomes synonymous with The Pathway. However, we have learned over the past 2 years it's a lot easier to say the word or even attach it to our small groups, than to actually live with a gospel-centered, mission-minded intentionality individually & as a group. That being said, by the grace of God, we are finally starting to see intentionality permeate our church. Not just those in leadership or those who have been following Jesus for quite sometime, but the church is starting to get it. We're starting to live it. A couple of examples...
1. Kickball-- I actually didn't witness this act of intentionality first hand but I heard about it and it made me smile. One of the families in our church decided they wanted to play kickball at a local park after worship one Sunday. My family was not able to make it (which is such a bummer... how great is kickball?!), but when I was talking to a couple of people who were there they kept talking about how easy it was to meet people. After all, who doesn't want to play kickball. Some people invited their lost friends and they met so many people at the park who were just waiting for someone to invite them to play. It's really not as hard as we make it out to be to meet people. We just have to be a little intentional.
2. Dump Day-- One of the problems with our Community Groups before our gather to scatter phase is a problem that many churches face. We loved to gather but hated to scatter. We loved to be in biblical community but hated to engage the community around us. With our Gather to Scatter strategy, one of our main goals was to overcome this obstacle. The Intentional Community I lead put our heads together a few weeks back and decided that our mission field, the 2 blocks around the home where we meet, could benefit from a community clean-up. We decided to pass out flyer's to our 2 blocks telling them that if they would put their garbage by the road on Saturday morning, we would haul it to the dump for them and we would pay for it. I didn't know what to expect but so many people took us up on it. We took over 5000 pounds of trash to the dump on Saturday and got to meet a ton of our neighbors. We also intentionally planned a Memorial Day cook-out for 4pm today so that we had something to invite our neighbors to where we could reconnect and get to know each other. Please pray for our cook-out today. We long to reach our neighbors for Jesus.
3. The Front Yard Party-- Most of you rural and suburbia people don't know about the beauty of the front yard when it comes to gospel intentionality. Well, maybe some of you older suburbanites do remember the days of the front porch! One of the things we have come to love about the city is that everyone has decent sized front yards, almost everyone has a front porch and people love to gather in the front yard. I don't fully understand it but I love it. One of our IC's decided to have a cook-out this past Saturday and when I dropped by for a few minutes I noticed that they were set-up in the front yard. You see, the purpose of their cook-out was not fellowship, although that happened. Their purpose was to meet their neighbors and their method was intentional. You can't meet people huddling around the grill or the pool in the back yard. You've got to get creative.
It will take time to see what kind of fruit comes from our IC's new commitment to intentionality. But I believe God is going to bless it and multiply believers and IC's. Today I want to leave you each with a personal challenge. Are you being intentional with the way you live your life? It's really not that hard, it just takes a little thought, a lot of prayer and a willingness to do things differently. You can do it!