Contagious Joy, Use It

July 13, 2007 by

“When hundreds of you come flooding out of the church after services every weekend, your heads are high, your shoulders are back and your enthusiasm is obvious. Take that same joy and energy and put it into the community.”

These were the words spoken by a member of the local city council in the community where our church is located. The small group my wife Jamaica and I are a part of attended last night’s city council meeting to present a preliminary proposal for portable shower stations that could be strategically placed around the city as a courtesy to the local homeless population; a city with one of the highest concentration of homeless in Los Angeles county.

For a few months now, Jamaica and I have been gathering with a small group of people on Wednesday nights as we hang out in the neighborhood around our church and get to know the locals–primarily the locals without homes. Our usual hangout spot is McDonald’s because that’s where many of them congregate for a cheap meal.

After getting to know these precious people, we have learned that cleanliness is one of their biggest needs because it is the primary barrier between them and landing a job or even respect.

The initial feedback from the council about our portable shower station idea was positive, with many council members giving us helpful input for the more formal presentation later this summer.

In the meantime, I am marinating on the words of that city council member from last night. The affirming nods from the other council members as he extolled our post-service enthusiasm was encouraging and convicting. I recall the words of Jesus from John 13:34-35. It’s our love for one another–not our joy with one another–that will point to the hope we have within.

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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4 Responses to “Contagious Joy, Use It”

  • nathan
    July 13, 2007

    woohoo! that is flipping awesome!
    God bless you in your continued awesome efforts!

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  • Kevin Twombly
    July 13, 2007

    great job Brad! Way to see a need and work to meet it.

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  • A.B. Dada
    July 14, 2007

    Love the idea — reach out to the active needs in your community. The homeless shower situation is great; I come from a community of 80 churches and just 80,000 people. Our community had a previous homeless problem that was solved by running them out of town. Not a good solution. The door was closed on the rest, especially the drug addicts and the most violent homeless. It wasn’t a loving atmosphere from the Church, sadly.
    I wonder how many people leave a service with joy and happiness ahead?

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  • Matthew Jones
    July 15, 2007

    I hear the city challenging you to actually “be” the church. It’s nice to hear them say out loud what many city leaders are saying behind closed doors. Churches are notorious for asking for special status from the city and community, but never giving back. Finding ways to connect without asking for anything may be the most vital first step in actually impacting a community for Christ.

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