Operation Suburbia

My first morning in McKinney is at Starbucks. I walked in to see a large group of men [and some women] meeting in a circle. Being a church nerd I thought, “A Bible study!” I asked one of the men if they were a part of a local church and he looked at me like I was crazy. He said “Nope, this is just a group that got to know eachother over the course of 9+ years.” There is even a police officer in the mix.

I love it.

One guy asked what I did and I said, “Ministry, men’s ministry specifically.” He looked at me with an uncomfortable glare as if I was going to try to convert him on the spot. Actually, I would have taken the conversation there but my sights are set on the entire group. This group doesn’t know it yet, but I am going to start praying for them. And I am going to keep coming around this coffee shop and try to join the group. I will share Jesus with them and plan to start a Master’s Men team out of this location.

My neighbor that backs up to me is African Amercian. He was working in the garage this weekend and I walked over to introduce myself. Was nice to the guy and told him when Hannah and I grill out we will have him and his family over to join us, and if they ever need anything to drop by. I wish I had a camera so you could see the look on his face.

Priceless.

Either the fact that a ‘white man’ was nice and welcoming, or that a neighbor said hello. He was stunned and you could tell appreciative. Honestly, it was out of character for me too. I am introverted and not that talkative.

It has me thinking. What if we brought the Gospel into our neighborhoods? What if Christians took ownership of their neighborhoods? I mean that is what a community church is, right? It is people in the actual community… living, reaching out and worshiping together. That way each community church was potent and targeted into their community. And then each community church could work together to reach the city.

When I sold my last house I actually looked at a home that was for sale in the same neighborhood. A great house, but not the one the Lord had for us. Looking through the house we found that the people who lived there were Christians.

I never knew.

For 5 years I lived in that neighborhood and never met them. I had large church parties at my house, hosted Bible studies and worship events. My house was a worship center in my neighborhood but I never got to know my neighbors.

My confession of a failure to live out a basic Christian principle.

That will change in this house.

My friend and fellow Master’s Men staff member Lanny O’Steen was once asked why he hung out and did ministry in the Oak Lawn community. He said, “Wherever I go, I have a heart for those people. If you love God, and you love people, you will be on mission wherever you are at.”

I don’t love people. But I am asking the Lord to change that, and He is. I do love Jesus and I find my feet in McKinney. This eclectic suburb that borders Oklahoma. Full of cheap rent housing and people occupying them that illustrate the melting pot of America. The possibilities to bring the Gospel into this community have me energized and excited.

Operation Suburbia.


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