This week Dona and I had the privilege of sitting down with the Mayor of Parma, Ohio, Dean DePiero. He was such a cool guy – very kind and eager to help us. One of the purposes of our meeting was to initiate a bridge between our church, The Branch Community Church, and the community. We felt this initiative involved the mayor and city hall because they generally have a sense of what the real issues and needs that challenge the community are. We also plan to meet with the area school district and other community groups.
My heart beat is to see our church become a church without walls, in which there is an overwhelming outpouring of faith, hope, and love that is not simply contained within our building, but is projected out into the neighborhoods of our community, without condition. People need love, but they don’t need to be required to come to your church first. The Bible says in James 2:17, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” The message of the Gospel is meaningless to people if it is not coupled with action. Many people won’t automatically come to a church to see the Gospel displayed. The church then must give the Gospel arms and legs by “going out” and responding to the needs of others with the true love of Christ.