The Community is a United Methodist church plant in Boone County (Covington District). Here are excerpts from an update from church planter Rev. Matt Johnson.
While January and February might seem to be a slow after the Christmas rush, things have picked for your resident church planter! On January 23rd we met together for the first time as The Community, gathering in the home of one of our members to read and discuss a book called Jim and Casper Go to Church. This book, a discussion between an atheist and a pastor, demonstrates the ways that the church can accidentally exclude and make people feel like outsiders, even when we are well meaning. While I thought this was going to be small group, we have 19 people who are attending! Our small group is rapidly growing, thanks to God's grace!
Just a few quick stories-
-In December we were blessed by Carter's Chapel UMC with 25 dozen Christmas cookies. On "Super Saturday" (the Saturday before Christmas and one of the busiest days shopping days of the year) we took cookies and a flier about the new church and went to bars, restaurants and businesses all over the area, giving away the cookies to employees and wishing these frazzled workers “Merry Christmas.” People were blown away by this random act of kindness, and we were able to have a variety of conversations with folks about the new church. Beth suggested that we take several plates to Hooters and this stop elicited my favorite reaction from the recipient...As we turned the leave the restaurant we could hear the hostess say to her co-workers "They brought cookies! From a CHURCH! For EVERYBODY!" We continue to pray that God opens doors for us to reach the people that we sometimes forget about or write-off...We remember that God's heart breaks for those people who are missing. This event was the beginning of a monthly outreach called "Love, The Community," where we head out to practice random acts of kindness for people in our community. If your church would like to help by providing gifts for us to give out, please contact Matt. Our February event may be held at a laundromat, as we show up with treats and rolls of quarters.
-Last week I was sitting in my upstairs home office when my phone rang. A young man named Anson, whom I had met in September, was calling me for the first time. He was coming to the point in his life where he realized that he needed something more...and he remembered meeting me at a bar at the horsetrack several months before. I invited Anson to our Sunday night meeting, and to my surprise, he accepted! God's grace goes before us as we connect with people...God prepares the way for the Gospel message to be heard. Please pray for Anson and those like him that we continue to meet and connect with, that God may be at work in the lives of those people that need to know God's great love.
-I sat down with my friend Geoff last week for lunch. My new question for people is "What questions do you think that people have about faith?" I asked Geoff and he asked some normal questions...divorce, creation, etc and we had some good conversations. Suddenly he looked at me and said, "Do you think that it's possible to miss your chance? Like, is there a RIGHT time?" I pushed him a little to explain more to me and he shared that he's always felt that he needs to get his life in order before he can come to God...that God won't accept him if he doesn't get things worked out first. I told Geoff that he didn't need to be perfect before he came to God...instead, he could come to God and say, "Lord, I've messed my life up and I need you to take control" and that God would do just that. Geoff told me that he'll be thinking about that...please continue to pray for Geoff, as I'm convinced that God is at work in Geoff's life, bringing him back to a full relationship.
We've got much that's moving from the back burner to the front of my mind! I'm hopeful that our first monthly worship gathering will be March 5th, and if your church would be willing to help with hospitality, parking, worship, etc., I would appreciate any help! Please let me know if there is a time when I can come and share with your congregation or your mission committee how God is at work and how we might engage together in God's great mission of redemption.
In the Name of Him that can do through us more than we can dream or imagine,
The Community’s Web Site: http://www.thecommunityky.org/#
Rev. Johnson’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org