And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.
Our prayer is that there would be these weekly gatherings of sinners and saints coming together at our shared tables in our Missional Communities. Sometimes, this can feel vague and can be unclear on how this can look in our Missional Communities. In light of that, I asked Lindsey Willis to share a story of how this looks in her Missional Community.
I’ve listened to Jason talk about inviting the last, the lost, and least to join us at our tables together with our Missional Communities for what feels like years now, but I never knew exactly what that would look like- or how to get there. But I trusted God to do it, and He has made it a deep desire of my heart. Michael and I have been walking our neighborhood daily asking God to do more in our missional community group, our neighborhood, and our city. And three weeks ago, He answered.
Through the Hub, I am paired with an individual in the VIP program (the end goal of this 18-month program is that these friends would be housed and either employed, in school, or volunteering). My role is to be an “Ally” during the final 2 phases of their program- to cheer them on, support them, and be a friend. Three weeks ago, I was paired with Ms. Sarah, who I’ve known for over a year now. Ms. Sarah is the proud mama of 2 boys and the grandma of 15! We made plans to go to Moor Coffee and a used bookstore on a Tuesday and as we were chatting on the way to get coffee, I invited her to our community group that night, not at all thinking she’d actually want to come. But she said yes!
She joined us at our table that first week, and she laughed with Rachel, played with Titus, visited with Kristin, joked with Michael, and got to know my community. We ate together, opened the Word together, laughed together, and prayed together. As I drove her home that night, she told me she felt so welcome in my home with all my people, and she said she felt like she had known them forever. She wanted to keep coming every week and she even asked to come back the next week and cook for all of us!
We went to Super One the next week and bought all the ingredients for fried chicken, cabbage with bacon, and cornbread. She took over my kitchen and made us the best meal. She loved watching everyone eat and enjoy her food. I loved watching God knit her into our community. It reminded me of Revelation when God brings people from every nation, tongue, and tribe together to worship Him forever. And of Jesus- who came to bring GOOD NEWS to the poor. Ms. Sarah knows the ultimate good news- she knows and loves Jesus. But I realized that night that our communities are another type of good news- we really are these little outposts of light all over our cities. Places where lonely people can come in and experience what it is to be loved by our God and by His family. What a blessing to be on a mission for Him!
What an incredible story of God’s goodness and that group’s faithfulness. I hope this story inspired you as much as it inspired me!
Praying for each of you this week!