Toward the end of the day there were about 10-15 core members of the community hanging out. Because Church on the Street has just begun the strategic planning process I thought I would ask the community what, from their perspective, was the value or practice that, without it, Church on the Street would be something other than what it is; in other words, what defines us. Here’s their responses.
- We’re a family, there’s a sense of togetherness.
- You’re unconditionally accepted; we’re very forgiving. When I get locked up I can and want to come back. You’re missed. Even if you didn’t want to come back we hunt you down.
- You’re treated with dignity.
- We are learning how to be better; how to be friends.
- Everyone contributes and has responsibilities.
- I moved from feeling helpless to feeling helpful.
- We are educational.
- We are learning to be responsible, to take ownership, not to be a volunteer.
- We are accountable to others like us.
- At other ministries you can get food, but here we have prayer and bible study everyday to build each other up and grow. There’s daily support and insight.
- We eat together as friends, not like a soup kitchen. Not just the homeless, you might be sitting with people from the suburbs or a college.
- We are truly diverse, not like others who use diverse as a catch phrase. We’re a diverse family.
- We are what we say we are.
- Everyone has input.
- We are self-policing and disciplining.
- There’s a sense of belonging. I belong somewhere.
- It’s less “churchy” and more family – everybody plays their part, role and it works. It reveals the things you need to work on in yourself.
- When you can’t pull for yourself, others pull for you.
- You see God shaping you into servants.
- We don’t all get along, but we all have our purpose.
- We work as a team with others [other ministries].
- There’s a comfortable level of intimacy – joking, truth telling, not uptight
Sometimes we get so caught up in the latest kerfuffle or in all the planning and administrating that we forget that real lives are being transformed by the power of Christ’s love. What was an administrative chore turned into a great time of sharing, encouraging and refreshing.
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