Monday, October 15, 2007

WWJDWTC: My Story: Part 1

What Would Jesus Do With The Church .....

A few of my new blogging friends are doing a synchroblog. After reading Erin's heart and passion on numerous subjects and her invite to join this "cause"; I have decided that I am DEFINITELY going to take part in this event.

This is the challenge or cause that has been laid out for us:

In this synchroblog, not only do we ask you to address what you believe Jesus would do with the church; we also ask you to examine the implications for your own life and ACT on it. It is easy to sit at our computers and rail against the church; it is much more challenging to assume personal responsibility for change.

Therefore, we would invite to this synchroblog anyone who is willing to put "shoe leather" to a complaint, correction or change you would like to see for the church, whatever your interpretation of 'church' happens to be. It doesn't have to be huge…simply anything you're willing to commit to for a period of 30 days.

Please write an initial post for October 15th. Then, post periodically over the following 30 days (October 15-November 15) with any additional thoughts and reports on your progress.

I have been wrestling with this for the last 5 days (ever since I saw the challenge).

I come at this issue from a little different slant than the others (most of them) who will be participating (I encourage you to read the others who are part of this - when the list is compiled, I will link it at the bottom of the post). The difference is that I am on staff at a local church.

The church has failed GREATLY in numerous areas. I think that Jesus is very frustrated with what we are calling church. The one area where I think we have made a huge mistake is that we are more concerned about bringing them to us (a building) than us going out to where the hurting are locate. You can read more of my thoughts on that subject here.

I am becoming a very big cheerleader for us being out there and making a difference. We NEED to transform our community. To me, that is more important. I know that alot of people disagree or say that I am compromising my beliefs because I am not "pushing" the gospel.

Anyhow, it is time for me to be more than a cheerleader and I need to lead by example. Thus, this synchroblog is "forcing" me to put my faith & words into action. So, how am I going to change my community ??? Here are a few things that I am going to do starting this month (I will update the process throughout the 30 days and beyond).

1. I am going to be volunteering with Meals on Wheels of Wayne & Stark County. I will be delivering meals to approx. 15 homes a week. At the present time, I am going to be volunteering 2x a month with the hopes in a few months for me to be having it a regular route (same homes)every Friday. I will make a separate post on them later.

2. I am going to be volunteering with the Viola Startzman Free Clinic. I have a heart and passion for those who are uninsured and are trying to stay healthy and are doing everything in their power to get the treatment that they need. I am meeting tomorrow with the coordinator to see where I will fit it. Most likely, I will be filing their charts and placing re-fills for them (prescriptions). When I know more about the clinic, I will make a separate post on them as well.

3. I am going to be be working with Wayne County Children Services. I started communication with them about 6 weeks ago. My heart breaks when I am in contact with them. There are so many children in our county who are hurting. I am going to be very active with them in promoting their services and we as a church are going to be "spiritually adopting" some of the kids and foster parents. In the very near future, I am going to have a long write-up on them and what we are doing. I will then pass along 10 Things that YOU can possibly do for them or one in your area. The big thing that I will be doing for/with them pertains to one specific child. I can not release any info yet because he is not in their permanent custody (court is back-logged). My heart bleeds for this kid. I am going to get to meet him in a few weeks; we are working things out with the case worker. I am going to help this kid. He needs a break and a good turn of events. What is happening and what will be happening - should not be happening to any kid.

4. I am going to practice the art of presence. I have been working on this, but I need to step it up a notch. I am wanting to be where our "church" is and I want to have individuals with us, so we can begin to truly know them. I want to live life with them. We need to do life with them. Community occurs in circles not rows.

So, I think that if Jesus was walking on the earth in the 21st century; he would be pretty angry. He would be treating us as he treated the pharisees. He would say to us, " you think you are doing great things and you are so proud, but you really are not doing what you should be doing ". We as churches would be shocked and stunned. He would continue, " You are ignoring the marginalized. You are forgetting those who are hurting in your community. You are not making a difference to those who have nothing and are clinging on to life. "

I am going to take time to step out of the office. I am going to spend more time in the community. I am going to spend time helping those who are in despair and alone. I am going to make attempts to begin to "making community" with those connected to our church. I am going to try to do what I believe God wants His church to be doing.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

WWJDWTC Participants:

Glenn Hager
Gary Means
Alan Knox
The Refuge
Nate Peres
Sally Coleman
Rick Stillwell
Jeff Greathouse
Barbara Legere
Jonathan Brink
Jason Ellis
Cynthia Clack


Update # 1

Update # 2

Update # 3


Dan said...

I think your fourth goal is a lot like my entire goal. Now I feel like a bum. Seriously though I think your whole idea is great. I have been really challenged lately by the idea of actually helping people and not just saying "yeah buddy, I'll pray for you." I think Jesus would like that more and other people would think we were less like jerks.



Alan Knox said...


It seems that we are dealing with a similar issue. I'm looking forward to hearing about how you are able to interact with people outside the church.


Jeff Greathouse said...


No need to feel like a bum. Your goal and purpose is a very important one.


I agree that we are dealing with the same issue. I think the Christian Bubble is one of the most difficult challenges for those in ministry.

Jonathan Brink said...


Simply being an example of love. Hmmm.

I'm laughing because it doesn't get any simpler than that. Nicely done.

Jeff Greathouse said...


You are right, it is about love and loving people. It is pretty simple.

I am ashamed that it took me so long to figure out that it is more than what happens inside the doors of the church or how many "programs" that you do to reach people in / out of the church.

BTW, I love your writings. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful voice.

glenn said...

Dan- Now that's shoe leather ans inspiring.

Jeff Greathouse said...

Thanks Glenn.

I have been contemplating changes for awhile and having the "shoe hit the floor" and your challenge made me process it more and put a plan into place to "act" it out.

I am looking forward to this month.

kathy said...

jeff, thanks for putting yourself out there and making very tangible some actions you are taking. one of the things that is so clear to me is that we must be OUT THERE not inside buildings expecting people to come. last week i was over at a section 8 apt building where a few refuge families live in the suburbs and i was so blown away by the need for tangible, incarnational presence there. but the truth is that it is hard to do because it is scary, unpredictable, and not at all safe & comfy. but i am pretty sure that's where Jesus would be. so that is where we, His Body, needs to be. it's pretty much just that simple. the "church" has made it so much more complicated than it needs to be. best to you as you step out and live in the trenches.

Jeff Greathouse said...


Thanks so much for the words. These seem like such micro-steps and things that I will be doing.

But it isat least a start for me. I just clicked on your web-page that you have linked. I can not wait till I have some time to look at it. It looks like a great place for some wonderful ideas and thoughts. Hopefully, I can get to it tonight or tomorrow.

Erin said...

Wow Jeff - Nothing like taking the ball and running with it! Those are some wonderful steps. I wish you the best...people are going to benefit from your being "out of the office" as much or more than they do when you are "in".

I love how everyone in this is talking about people - OTHERS. That isn't the direction I thought this synchroblog would go, but I'm glad it did.

Jeff Greathouse said...


Thanks for the best wishes ..

I would be interested in knowing what you thought was going to occur. There definitely seems to be the "others" common thread.

Nate said...

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for dropping by my site and commenting. What are your thoughts of haging out at a bar and befriending the people there?

Jeff Greathouse said...


If it is not for the purpose of bait and switch, I am fine with it. If you are there to make friends and love on them; that is cool with me.