About two months ago, we felt like God showed us where our first missional context would be. After spending time in that area, praying, and reflecting, we feel like God has identified a specific neighborhood within that context for us to focus on.
The Osage neighborhood is home to the Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School and Fisk Park. It also has a local convenience store. We are super excited to have clarity about our primary missional context!
Now that we have clarity about the specific neighborhood we are being sent to, what’s next? In a previous post, we shared a diagram that maps out a process for doing incarnational mission. The first step is to Immerse ourselves in the neighborhood. We don’t currently live in the neighborhood, so we do this by spending time there doing normal everyday kinds of things, like: playing basketball in the park, walking to the local convenience store and buying a drink. The goal is to be present and quietly participate in the rhythms of the community.
The obvious next step in the process is to Interact with people. This is basically about building social capital with people who currently live in the neighborhood, as well as those who live outside the neighborhood – like church, business, and civic leaders – who can potentially be an asset for the neighborhood.
God has already opened up several doors for us to meet some really cool people who want to see that community flourish. For example, at a local neighborhood association meeting, we met an amazing lady who “just happened to be” the Director of Member Relations at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. She is a tremendously gifted and spiritual woman, as well as a stakeholder in the North Nashville community. After meeting with her, she offered us a sponsored membership at the Chamber. This gives us greater visibility, creates awareness of whats going on in North Nashville, and offers opportunities to connect with people of influence. Wow! What a gift! It’s amazing how God opens doors and, if we have the courage to walk through them, meets us on the other side with all kinds of surprises.
We’re also attending some of the local churches in the vicinity to help us get a feel for some of the good things God is already doing in the neighborhood. We believe God is already at work in the community, and we want to synergize with whatever He is up to!
At some point in the near future, we will be reaching out to the elementary school to explore ways that we can partner with them in, to use the language on their website, “help every student reach their full potential.”
Here are some next steps we would invite you to pray about:
- Immersion – that the Spirit will guide our steps as we plan and practice a monthly rhythm of life.
- Interaction – that God would open up doors for us to form new relationships with people in the neighborhood.
- Partnership – that we will finish developing our strategy to invite people to partner with us in the mission.