Mike Cope's blog

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

By most standards, the Highland building isn't in a great location. Have you noticed there isn't exactly a lot of construction going on around us? Wylie area -- yep. University Hills -- uh-huh. A few other spots around Abilene. But not much around S. 5th and Highland. Almost everyone in our church drives past at least one other C of C to get there. Crime, poverty, drugs -- all fairly close to our humble abode. Several years ago the elders considered the possibility of moving. They looked at the area south of town -- around where Beltway is (as I understand it). They also talked about being on the loop somewhere. But they decided prayerfully to stay. Because we're not using "most standards." We are using the standards of the in-breaking kingdom of God. And by those standards, we're in a wonderful place! Think of our new brothers and sisters from the Colonial Apartments. A few years ago that was just a nasty drug nest. Now Highland rents two apartments--outposts of love and ministry. Think of all the Colonial kids who just performed the Christmas pageant at our building. Think of all those university students who walk the neighborhoods around our building, just greeting, loving, and praying. There's a kind of openness they might not find in my own neighborhood--wonderful as it is. (Did you read Larry James's recent blog about how he lives in "Mayberry with an edge"?) Think of our gym being full of children every afternoon for Boys and Girls Club or of all our neighbors who are joining us for Oasis meals. Location, location, location. Thank God, we've got it.

5 Comments:

  • God bless you for staying! Too often churches move from places of ministry to places of comfort.

    By Blogger James, at 1/12/2005 07:54:00 AM  

  • Would it be safe to suggest that as Jesus conducted his ministry, he first went to the synagogue/city well, which would likely have been in the middle of the city, instead of comfortably on the outskirts of town, away from the crime, poverty, etc., etc.? Another reminder that if want to really follow his example, we really need to re-think our 21st century norms.

    By Blogger Paul W, at 1/12/2005 08:05:00 AM  

  • Mike, you present the other side of the coin in the "Church Inc." comment I made yesterday, and I am so glad you did.

    Large churches can serve a tremendous purpose in the Kingdom of God, and many do. Not only do they serve as trend setters (which is good if the trend honors God), but they serve as resrouce centers for other churches of all sizes, for local residents, foreign missions (supporting missionaries and relief efforts), and a safe place to land when you're wounded (Highland did that for me).

    When large churches are generous and share what they have with the community, whomever that community may be, they bless the world and share the gospel. Highland is being the gospel in the Colonial apartment complex. It was good news when they showed up.

    Sure, structures are not being built near 5th and Highland, but something better is being built.

    By Blogger Fajita, at 1/12/2005 10:01:00 AM  

  • A good friend of mine has asked that I refer everyone to Fajita's thoughts at http://homefront.blogspot.com/. I'm sure he'd welcome comments for the past few days. Thanks for participating here, Fajita.

    By Blogger Mike, at 1/12/2005 11:15:00 AM  

  • Mike--it's funny that my mom and I were just talking about this last night. You ARE in a prime location. The things the Lord is bringing into your path are shaping you. I only wish we had the same issues here. It's spiritualkly unhealthy not to. Serving the poor, loving on addicts, feeding children--all in your building? Too wonderful! To me, it's what makes Highland so unique. It's also what gives the leadership there a passion for new ministries that are desperately needed like the one Sally Gary is starting. A thousand cheers for that!

    See you in a week on the west coast!

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 1/13/2005 08:02:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home