Church as Shalom Outposts

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The world doesn’t need any more inward focused fear based churches and faith communities! Why does “Church” exist? What is the “Why” that brings together all of the aspects of Faith, Life and Positive Impact on the world for a body of believers gathering in the city of Lakewood?

Since 2005 Reg has led efforts to redefine why churches exist and what they can do together that no one church can do alone! The Church Network and Lakewood Faith Coalition together solve the problems in the city by building faith partners from our city! It is partnership that is going to change the world for good!

Reg challenges Faith Communities to envision their greater purpose as serving the greater good! “Inward” focused churches use their resources for themselves, but when a body of believers exists to serve their community and partners with other Faith Communities, Amazing Things happen!

Since 2012 these “Amazing Things” in Lakewood include raising $100’s of thousands of dollars to transform outdoor space at schools, mentoring over 450 children, supporting supplemental food programs feeding 1000’s and housing the homeless in churches across the city in the winter.

All of this is well and good but the bigger “Amazing Thing” might be that the fact that unity between faith traditions exists at all!  It is amazing when Churches merge their resources with the gifts and talents of other Faith Communities in order to broaden and deepen effective service impact. None of this unifying work happens without a champion and Lakewood Connects is that champion!

This year Reg has worked with a new group to support a vision tentatively called; “Shalom Outposts.” The Jewish word; “Shalom” means “Peace”, but it also means “Thriving” or “Flourishing.” When local churches thrive and flourish they, then can partner with others in order to create thriving flourishing neighborhoods. These churches become “Shalom Outposts” in their neighborhood!

Many Faith Communities in our city are struggling… one example would be Mountair Christian. This 100+ year old church serves their neighborhood in vital ways but it is aging and languishes with less than 50 members. In early June Reg led a group of faith, business and government leaders in a prayer walk in the Mountair neighborhood along with Pastor Ruben Rodriguez and the church leadership team.

We can find partnership opportunities within the Business, Government and Education communities that can support great Shalom Outposts like Mountair! The church like this needs a different “footprint” to operate from other than the traditional sanctuary! Could they transition to operate out of a Community Center? What about partnering with a Multi-Family Housing Facility? In order for the Shalom Outpost to thrive and create a thriving community we need to find new ways to do and be “Church!”

Thanks for your partnership with Lakewood Connects! The Shalom of our city depends on the work you are doing to thrive, flourish and envision a new wave of Community Connected Churches!

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