Stories of Impact
Called Beyond the Walls of our Church into Our Community
SUBJECT: First Baptist Church, Big Bear, California | January 24, 2018
A couple years ago, First Baptist Church walked through the Missional Pathway process led by our reFocusing team. The result is that they have completely changed the way they engage their community.
It started with Awaken and Activate, a two step process that led people in the church to discover and begin to live into God’s unique missional wiring of their lives. This mobilization of people in the church created new momentum and new attention to ways God might want to use the church out in their community.
So, they took it to the next level through Assess and Advance. In this congregational focused process, the Church discovered a distinct call to serve one of the local schools in their community. In this current climate, where schools and churches don’t mix well together, the results have been astounding.
On any given day of the week the church has 20-30 volunteers on the campus. They are doing small things, but doing them consistently. Helping with lunch duty, holding teacher appreciation lunches, painting classrooms, guiding sports tournaments, etc.
In the words of Michael, the pastor, “We don’t go there trying to be our church on their campus, we go there to serve them and their needs. We are just trying to help the school be a strong influence in our community. However, we are seeing real fruit from our effort.”
- Dozens of students now attending their youth ministry.
- A handful of faculty and staff families are now part of the church.
- Even more than that, their reputation in the community is developing as one of the few churches that actually wants to serve the community instead of getting something from it.
This past school year there was a change of school Principal. The new Principal was actually an atheist and was really hesitant to have the church involved in any way at all. Truth is, she wanted the church to stop serving at the school entirely.
However, the faculty and staff went together to the principal and said, “please don’t let this church go. We rely on them too much. They make too much of a difference.” The Principal listened, relented, and in fact has come to value the relationship so much, she recently asked if the church would be willing to host a district wide anti-bullying event on the church property.
“In short, this has been life-changing for our church. Churches everywhere want to have a positive influence for the sake of the kingdom in their community. The missional pathway is helped that longing become reality for us.”
— Pastor Michael
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