Discerning Church Learning to discern the movement of God's Spirit

Organic Response

Church picnics are fun. You usually have the kids running around, homemade desserts, and plenty of time to talk. The purpose is often to strengthen relationships of those who attend a particular church. Yesterday, we held our annual church picnic, combining with a sister church in our city. This year the picnic took on a different flavor.

I am not sure how it came about, but someone drove the church van over to the local mission and picked up a group of men. Another invited a couple of women from the local YWCA (a women’s shelter). A group of elderly retirement center residents joined us. The church yard was filled with a dramatic variety of people. From doctors to drug addicts, professors to felons, all were gathered in one place; eating, laughing, playing corn hole.

This is a picture of what the early church looked like. In Acts 16, the Philippian church consisted of a rich woman (Lydia), a slave girl, and a jailer. The church was not limited to one socio-economic group. The gospel bridges classes.

We have been discerning for some time now as a church. We have been asking God to lead us by his Spirit. It looks like He is prompting people to reflect His heart. The beautiful dynamic we experienced was not an organized strategy to include the underclass. It was an organic response of God’s people being the church. This is how it should work.