Impacting Our Community

It has been said that a church should not measure their attendance on Sunday, but rather the impact they are having on their community.  I’ve been thinking about that more and more as God continues to open up incredible doors for us to impact our community. We aren’t a big church with money to burn and multitudes of volunteers.  We aren’t an old church that has a long established culture and history. We are a small, young neighborhood church. But by the grace of God, we are having amazing opportunities to have an impact on our community.

This past Monday John Carlson and I had a meeting Roland Lamb, who is the Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health.  He oversees Addiction and Substance Abuse Treatment for our city. In the words of one of our members who works for DBH, “He’s a really big freaking deal.”  We got this meeting through John’s connection to PRO-ACT which is a very well respected organization in our city, as well as through his wife Jeanine, who sits on the Mayor’s Drug Commission board.  Mr. Lamb is incredibly down to earth and big hearted, but as he was sitting in my office I kept thinking to myself, “what on earth is he doing talking to us?” Our addictions ministry is very small and just getting started.  And yet, he walked away thoroughly impressed by what we are doing. He gave us a long list of names of people he wants to connect us to in the city. South Philadelphia has the second highest drug overdose death rate in our city.  Only Kensington beats us. Mr. Lamb said there is nothing down here like what we are doing and he is eager to see us take off and have a wide influence throughout South Philadelphia.

 Pastor Jeff, John Carlson (Executive Director of Transformation to Recovery), and Roland Lamb (Deputy Commissioner of DBHIDS)

Pastor Jeff, John Carlson (Executive Director of Transformation to Recovery), and Roland Lamb (Deputy Commissioner of DBHIDS)

Also, on Monday we had the privilege of serving breakfast at our local public school, Kirkbride Elementary.  Last year they approached us and asked if we’d like to start exploring a faith based partnership with them. What a strategic opportunity to impact the next generation in our neighborhood and to be a blessing to the teachers and staff who work so selflessly.  So it was our joy on Monday to give them a free meal for the staff’s first day back to school.

 Setting up for Breakfast at Kirbride Elementary School

Setting up for Breakfast at Kirbride Elementary School

That’s just two examples from one day!  I say none of this to pat ourselves on the back.  This kind of stuff just floors me as I see the impact God is giving our small church in only 3 years of existence.  God has a heart for our city. God wants to move in South Philly. He’s been here before us already. He’s doing tons of stuff through so many other fantastic churches.  It is just an incredible privilege that He is bringing us into His good work here.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Christ Church through prayers, giving and serving.  There is a powerful ground swell that is building, friends, and I truly believe that we can’t even imagine the things that God wants to do.  Let’s keep following Him together!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Jeff