Thursday, December 07, 2006

Church & Culture Pt. 1

I recently read an article about a church in the Bahamas (the island of New Providence) . A few years ago this church, New Providence Community Church, decided to get involved in their community. Before this time they had spent most of their time, energy and money on designing an excellent Sunday morning service that people could bring their friends to. After a few years of doing this, though, they realized that it "was not creating the kind of Christ-followers that could revolutionize the island." They first opened their building up to the community, and began offering Taekwando classes, gymnastics, art lessons, etc. They then decided that they needed to begin doing something about the AIDS crisis on the island. (Nassau has one of the highest concentrated areas of AIDS cases in the first world).

Next, they adopted a section of beach that had been turned into the island's dump. "They believed that as followers of Christ, they had a responsibility to redeem this hideous, corrupted area of the island." They spent two years cleaning it up, then invited local artists from the island to come and help transform this space into something beautiful. They call it Sacred Space. (You can see pictures, along with a five minute video, here). "The breathtaking sunset views create an amazing spiritual experience - but more than that, it's a testimony to the leaders of the Island of how a community can be a significant part of th restoration of all things within their society."

This article was written by Gabe Lyons. It's not currently online, but hopefully will be soon.

Here's one final quote from the article:

"New Providence Community Church is shaping the culture of the Bahamas because they have approached their mission with the belief that they are called to be the Gospel in the context of their community. By deciding not to make their church a place for people to come and see, they have pushed their people to go and do. And they clearly illustrate the influence one church can have when it takes this mission seriously."

No comments: