Hi Crosswalk family!
Fall is in the air. Brown leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes, and kids dressed in costumes to trick-or-treat. As you may have heard, we are having our annual costume party this year with the theme of “Where’s Waldo”. Although it is awesome fun with carnival games, music, and food, sometimes the vision or main idea gets lost.
Silly events like this actually have a deeper theological reasoning and are important for our church’s overall health. This year, we are not having the bible candy, so a question that arises in my own mind is “wasn’t this party supposed to be direct evangelism for children?”
At our staff meeting we explained the party to be more of a pre-evangelism avenue—a place for people to invite friends and to create a presence for our church in the community. If we think about it, what spaces do we have to invite non-christians to? In the contemporary, Western church culture, we see church as a place to take from rather than a place that gives out.
On an even broader level, this mentality sometimes affects our own spiritual lives because attending church and participating in spiritual things becomes separate from our lives at school, work, and non-christian friendships. I want to advocate a different way of doing our spiritual lives: a renewed focus on a holistic view of our faith.
The word ‘spiritual’ comes from a Greek word meaning voice or breath. This is in part due to the view that the spirit enters into us in relationship. We want to begin to model how the church can engage the world in this relational way as well. I want to challenge us on a practical level: do we compartmentalize church as just another part of our lives removed from the overall community?
This event is hopefully more than just a party. It is a chance to form partnerships with the community and to create a presence for our church in Sunnyvale. But on a more spiritual level, do we do this with our friends and non-christian world? In the original greek, the word evangelism and discipleship are one and the same. Although we tend to lean towards evangelism as outreach and discipleship as inreach, they are not separate from one another.
Personally, when I was a newer believer, I only wanted to show my non-Christian friends the good parts of my faith such as God’s love and blessings without the hard parts such as the suffering and trials. But I want to encourage us to grow towards a more transparent culture of being comfortable and open about who we are as Christians—in all its entirety.
So how is our church growing our own people while also reaching out to the community? And for us personally, how are we viewing our faith in a more holistic way, both in growth and giving? Of course, it requires balance, but if you feel compelled to help out in some way with our Costume Party, shoot me or Pastor Angel an email. We could always use more help and would love your partnership.
Hope to see you all on Friday night!