Why our 4th straight mission trip to Staten Island, New York?
This Saturday night we will embark upon our fourth consecutive mission trip to Staten Island, New York. And, for the fourth straight year, we will be working with Pastor Ray Parascondo and the Crossroads Church family. We have developed a great partnership with this church. They are much like us; a church plant that meets in a school seeking to bridge their community to Jesus Christ by serving them.
Why are we going to Staten Island, New York? That's a great question. To help answer that question, take a look at some facts about the state:
*The population in the territory served by the Baptist Convention of New York is 26 million.
*The area is 95% unchurched.
*25 million unchurched people live in the territory.
*429 Southern Baptist churches serve the area.
*That is 1 SBC church for every 61,000 unchurched persons. In the south the ratio is 1 SBC church for every 1,000 unchurched persons.
*One out of three adults in New York State do not speak English at home.
*One out of five living in New York State were born in a foreign country.
*Ten percent (10%) of the lostness of North America lives in the territory of the Baptist Convention of New York.
The needs are great! Please pray for Brian Green, Milo Wilson, and myself as we seek to bridge people to Jesus Christ through the work of the Southern Baptist Crossroads Church of Staten Island.
Summer Bridge Challenge & Woody Allen
I recently read an article/blog about sharing Jesus with people. I felt it affirmed exactly why we are doing the summer bridge challenge (mowing or paying for your neighbor's grass to be mowed & inviting your neighbors over for a barbecue, ice-cream, etc). In the article, Christian intellectual and historian Eric Metaxas was asked the following question: "How would you share Christ with Woody Allen if he were sitting next to you on a plane."
He replied, "I have to somehow figure out how to connect with him. . . . If you come across as morally superior, that's unbiblical, that's wrong, it's a lie, so you're confused. But also you'll push the person away. You've got to find a point of connection, otherwise they won't hear you. If you walk around New York you might see someone, semi-homeless, almost always from out of town, with a hat and a Bible "preaching the word" on the street. Nine times out of 10 they are not preaching the Word any more than Satan was when he was quoting the Bible to Jesus in the wilderness. The words are not magic. Some people will respond, "The word of God will not return void," and yes, the capital-w Word of God, the Logos, will not return void—but the words of the Bible can certainly return void unless they're anointed by the Holy Spirit. Many people think that if they just spew out Scripture or something that people are hearing them, but it's not true. Jesus never did that. He always connected with everyone around him."
Let me challenge you this summer to find a connection with those around you who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Doing an act of kindness for them and developing authentic relationships with them open natural doors for you to share your faith. Remember, every member at Ridgeview should look to themselves as missionaries to those around them. We go to Staten Island as missionaries. We are going internationally next year as missionaries. But, we must also go as missionaries across our yard as well!