Thursday, September 13, 2012

Big Impact

"Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christs gift 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ," (Eph. 4:1-7,12-13).
There are a lot of characteristics of Praxis I love. The people are genuine, loving towards each other in our own body and those outside of it. It's real love. There is no agenda in why we love the way we love. It isn't to grow Praxis. We love because Christ first loved us. But aside from that, what I love is the unity in the mission that we share with so many others. From other ministries to other churches, we are united for one cause and that cause is to grow the body of Christ. In our short six months of existence, I have been so blessed to be apart of some of the coolest things with other churches, with other ministries etc. Right now we are partnering with another organization that is reaching families on the East Side of Arlington. Here in this little community are many different nations represented and other faiths but every week, we unite for one cause and that cause is Christ. Today I stood back in amazement as I talked with two Muslim women from Africa. They were so kind and gracious to me, loving on me and we shared stories, talked about our kids etc. But the best part....while we were hanging out, I sat and watched their children being taught about Jesus and they were okay with it. Two weeks ago Ryan and Christina were invited into one Muslim families home, they were fed by this family and then Ryan got to pray with them. Praise God. And this isn't our ministry. That's what I love about it. We just saw a need and decided to join God in on His mission. And what a blessing it is.
We learn well about unity from Mayfield Rd. They support many churches in the area. They love on us, and in many ways, we aren't two churches but one big church - why? Because we are on the same mission. They want to see us succeed and grow not because it has anything to do with us, but because it means people are being changed for Christ. And that's what we want, to see the East side of Arlington radically changed for God's glory. When we started this journey, we felt really compelled to be a church that was geared towards families and we felt directed to the East side of Arlington. We have a large family and our hearts were just really broken for the family unit in the church. So God calls us to the East side. We learned this past week that there are so many kids on the East side that they are opening up a new elementary in the fall and 2 more next year. That means there are a lot of families there.
There is much work to be done. In Arlington alone, there are 175,000 not affliated with a church. If we expand that to Grand Prairie and Mansfield, that number jumps to 275,000. Being in the bible belt, that number amazes me. But I am so encouraged because it is clear God's hand is on the East side. That little section of town is working together, and working well together. And we will make a difference, not for our glory, but for His and His alone. As someone radically changed by Him 11 years ago...nothing fires me up more than watching people learn and fall in love with Christ. And today, I stood back and talked to a Muslim woman who said she hopes to return to Africa. She has been in the US since 2006 & she told us that it is too hard living here. What hit me was that we have the opportunity to share Jesus with her and then she return to her home country. We have the opportunity here on the East side of Arlington, to impact another nation.
To God be the Glory!