Ambassadors of Reconciliation
The last time I walked door-to-door in Jesus’ name, I was on a mission trip to Bardstown, Kentucky. We spread the word about our youth group-led VBS. Last Saturday night, 18 of us from FBC and over 100 folks from our community walked the Providence Heights Neighborhood off Levy street. We responded to a request from local leaders to participate in Operation Safe Neighborhood. We were also following the plan of Jesus in Luke 10, to go from house to house and let your peace fall on those who welcome you. We spread God’s shalom in the spirit of Jeremiah 29, “Seek the peace of the city to which God has called you into exile, and pray for its prosperity. If it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Our mission Saturday night was to distribute leaflets about crime stoppers, information about city services, and invite residents to a community outreach program in August. We prayed together at First Baptist, wore our First Baptist t-shirts, prayed at the Providence Community Center, and walked in teams of 20 from house to house. We built relationships with other churches and local households. Police officers distributed teddy bears to kids, and we talked to residents about their concerns.
This kind of effort is just one example of the work the church can do as ambassadors of reconciliation. According to Robert Putnam’s new book Our Kids, the poor leave the church 33% faster than any other demographic. Among these are African Americans who once attended church but no longer do. On Saturday night, we took the opportunity to reach out to drop outs in hopes that our efforts will begin a work of reconciliation in our community and help these people be reconciled to Christ. It begins with a knock at the door.