Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How One Church Is Blessing Their City

Photo Credit: nmiller1996
"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." ~ Jeremiah 29:7

If your church had to close its doors, would anyone outside of your congregation notice? So much of our church activity can be focused on our own needs in order to be a blessing to our own families and friends but a church with God's heart for all people will seek to be a blessing to their community and world. One church in northeastern Ohio is doing just that.

S.P.A.N. Ministries, based in Tallmadge, Ohio, recently sought to bless the community in which the church resides. S.P.A.N., which stands for Shepherd's Pasture for All Nations, is led by and comprised of a number of women and men who were involved with our Impact chapter at Kent State University. TallmadgeExpress.com tells their story:
"After an Aug. 14 service at the Northeast Avenue church, about 80 members of the SPAN congregation went to Little Caesar's on Tallmadge Circle and packed the pizza shop for about an hour.

"It was great," said Little Caesar's Co-owner Jason Zieman. "It was probably the busiest we've been on a Sunday afternoon in quite some time."

Zieman said he and other workers came in that day just to handle the rush. At one time, a line of customers stretched out the door.

[Kurran] Bishop said he was pleased with the movement's maiden run.

"It was a pretty good turnout for being our first go at it," he said. "That was just our trial run, so we hope to make it bigger."

Bishop said he got the idea for the program from an Akron church whose congregation visited a local grocery store with the goal of clearing the shelves.

"So we thought, 'What can we do to kind of bless businesses in the area on a smaller scale?'" he said. "We wanted to help out business that could use a little bit of a jolt."

Bishop has decided to target smaller local restaurants, which he feels would likely benefit the most from a modest-sized group.

The bigger picture of the "Blessing in the City" movement, he said, is to convey the church cares by giving back to the city.

"We can't just stay inside the four walls of the church to do that," he said. "We have to get out in the community and do these things."
When a church seeks to be a blessing to the community around them its members become tangible demonstrations of God's love to those who are hurting and in need. I'm proud of the way that S.P.A.N. is living this out.

To read the complete article on S.P.A.N.'s "Blessing in the City" movement please click here.

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