New Life Fellowship (GCI’s Baltimore, Maryland, congregation pastored by Timothy Brassell) recently hosted an Outside the Walls (OTW) event. Pastors, ministry leaders and interns from other GCI congregations traveled to Baltimore to assist and join in the training.
A day of training was held on Friday. It focused on the “paradigm shifts” characteristic of churches experiencing renewal. It also addressed some of the structural modifications that facilitate renewal, including clear and consistent community-to-congregation “connecting points.”
The training was conducted by Heber Ticas (National Coordinator of GCI Church Multiplication Ministries and Lead Pastor of one of our Southern California churches) along with Dustin Lampe (Lead Pastor of one of our Cincinnati, Ohio, congregations). Both shared examples of the renewal that is occurring in their congregations.
On Saturday morning, as part of the training, participants went into the community around the church to invite neighbors to a “block party” that was held at the church that afternoon. Though it was an extremely hot day, many neighbors attended the fun-filled event, which featured live music, food and games for the kids.
The goal of the block party was to provide a hospitable presence for the church in the community, thus creating relational “spaces” where long-lasting relationships might be forged. New Life achieved this goal by meeting their neighbors in a non-religious, non-threatening fashion. Block party participants were invited to a worship service held the next day that included a special “blessing of children” ceremony.
Here is a short video with excerpts from a couple of block party music performances by Intern Xiara Lee and Pastor Timothy Brassell (on YouTube at https://youtu.be/1-Z3noIRkw0).