Throughout the past 3-4 years I have gone through periods where I read like crazy and then take a break and don't read quite as much. Right now I find myself in one of those book-crazy times. My newest book is an amazing book by Matthew Barnett called "The Church That Never Sleeps." The book is the story of a pastor in L.A. who has started a church that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The church operates out of an old 15-floor hospital in downtown Los Angeles and uses each floor for its nearly 200 different ministries.
One ministry that they have started is called Adopt-A-Block. What they do is send out about four people per street block to minister to that block each and every week. Every Saturday these people will visit their block and simply love and serve the people there as much as they can. They will go door to door meeting the residents and showering them with love. They will serve them in whatever way they can, whether that means mowing lawns and raking leaves, playing with kids and passing out toys and candy, or spending time with the elderly and just talking and listening to stories.
Barnett talks about how this program has radically altered their neighborhood as they have built incredible relationships with their neighbors, found out the needs of their community, and seen hundreds of people flock to church services from the area because of the radical love of these Jesus followers.
I dream about making that kind of impact on Sioux Falls, SD. I badly want to change our community for Jesus Christ and see people turn over their lives to a new way of living. I will be talking with our staff at Asbury about how we could implement this ministry in our own neighborhood. Pray for me, our staff, and our congregation as we seek to be the gospel in a world of need.