Here is something that just about anyone can do. Last Thursday, Sam Barnhart (Ignite’s church planter in Bensenville) hosted a cookout at his house. He made some flyers inviting his neighbors to the gathering and then handed them out in the neighborhood. He did this so he could get to know his neighbors and (if the subject came up), tell them why he had moved here from Seattle.
Sam called me that evening to let me know the between 40-50 people showed up for the cookout. Children played in the bounce house that he had borrowed, people sat around talking and laughing, food and stories were shared. Several people commented: “This is nice, we have never done anything like this before. It’s good to get together and to get to know our neighbors.” Sam told me that many people asked him to tell his story and he was able to talk about his life, his family and the new church they are going to start in Bensenville. People were interested in learning more and left the cookout saying, “Let’s do this every couple of weeks, it was fun.” Plans are already being made for the next party.
I listened to Sam describe what had happened and was excited about the new church that is already being formed in Bensenville. I also realized that there are people everywhere who are hungry for genuine community. This was another great lesson to me that lonely people around us will respond if we reach out to them.
Last Thursday, God began meeting an important need through The Anchor Christian Church in Bensenville. I anticipate many exciting stories of life change through the ministry of this new church. I continue to work toward starting even more churches like The Anchor across Chicagoland, for people need the community that Jesus offers through his church.