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Pastor Mike Frie

Metro Harvest, WI

The events surrounding Easter remind us of many things; among them is this: Christ loved us personally and died for us publicly. The Apostle Paul tells that: “…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He came to us. Before we even knew we needed Him!

Around fifteen years ago, our church made a pivotal shift. It came about because of a gnawing concern I was having. Finally, during a time of prayer, I asked the Lord, “If we ceased to exist as a church, would our community even notice?” The answer came back from heaven quickly…it was a simple, “No.” I was taken aback, but only for a moment because I knew it was true. We were failing to reach the very people God had sent us to!

We began to make immediate changes, the most notable being that we decided to go out to them instead of waiting for them to come to us. We found ways to not just tell them that Jesus loved them, but also demonstrate Christ’s love for them. We spruced up schools, gave away backpacks, and outfitted needy moms who had newborns in our hospital’s NICU with supplies and supportive help. We got creative and did holiday outreaches and began to make a difference because we are different–connecting our practical caring with sharing the gospel of Christ. We started hosting a quarterly luncheon to help business men and women (70% of which are outside of our church) connect faith in God to what they do. Like Jesus, we got into Peter’s boat and met them where they were.

I’m also grateful that recently the mayor of our city (who’s a believer) was in our service sharing for five minutes on where our community is and praying together with us as a church for all those who have yet to hear. That wouldn’t have happened before. We’ve loved our city personally and publicly, and it’s made a tremendous difference. I’m pleased to say that much more of our community now does know who we are and what we stand for, but we still have a long way to go. Bottom line: “No” isn’t the answer I wanted to hear, but it’s the answer I needed. What’s the answer you need today?

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