Greetings from Lockland! Even though our young church is still quite small, we’ve been extremely encouraged by the first budding of the fruits of our outreach efforts. While our average attendance in February hovered around ten people at a service, our attendance in March has been almost double. We’ve had a handful of folks from the local community attend, brought in through such connections as our Saturday meals or even just passing them on the street as our congregation arrived on Sunday. More encouraging even than their mere presence has been their willingness to return and stay in connection with the body. In addition, we’ve had some folks with connections to Grace BPC in Sharonville present, as well as the return of some folks who have attended in the past.
We’ve been pursuing community outreach in a number of ways of the last several months:
- providing community meals on first and third Saturdays,
- becoming involved with the Good News Club at the school,
- and even pursuing the possibility of my substitute teaching in the schools.
We have found that the meals on Saturdays to be an extremely useful way of engaging with folks where the atmosphere is informal and, while the gospel is presented briefly, plenty of space is given just to get to know the circumstances of their lives. We’ve also found it encouraging simply for the body to get together regularly outside of worship and deepen the relationships among our core group.
The Good News Club at the school had primarily been run by folks from another nearby church, but they have been extremely welcoming and have permitted me to take the lead with the storytelling and teaching elements of the club. I’ve been deeply blessed by the opportunities I have been given to teach the kids, as well as impressed by the excellent organization of the folks running the club. The kids have shown a real, substantial interest in spiritual matters, and I’m genuinely hopeful that some of these relationships can grow with these kids as they grow older.
I am hopeful that the substitute teaching will also be a way to maintain and strengthen relationships with the community, but the day after the paperwork was finalized for that, the schools in Lockland were closed due to the spread of Covid-19. It would seem that the ever-increasing lockdown is likely to inhibit many of our ministries, but we trust we have a faithful God who will continue to provide, even if we cannot see the path forward.
(Picture Caption: The Good News Club that Foundation BP Mission is partnering with.)