“Good news!” Stephen came on our bus with a huge grin. “There’s a theme park across the street from the venue today, which means ROLLER COASTERS!”
Everyone cheered. Everyone except me. I hate roller coasters. I hate feeling like I’m falling, I hate feeling suspended, I hate heights. This was not good news. But it was for the majority of everyone else. So while they all ran out to be dropped from a six-story building, I opted to stay behind and drink coffee with my feet firmly planted on the ground.
Good news can take many forms. It isn’t always universal, which is what we’ve found when it comes to sharing the good news with the world.
One of my favourite stories from tour so far comes from our first week in Oregon.
“I have this friend in Utah,” a local church-planter shared with us over the din of the crowded lobby. “She started to wonder if the Gospel is meant to be good news, how could she communicate that in a way her community would understand.”
Essentially, what was good news to her community?
Because she lives in a neighborhood with no community fitness centre, she decided that was her good news. She opened a gym in the heart of town, where the local community could gather and share life.
Today her fitness centre is the biggest gym in the community and as a result, a small but fervent missional community has also started to meet there regularly, to pray, to teach, to walk through life together.
I love this story so much.
I love that this woman took to command to love her neighbours as herself so literally. She took the time to get to know her local community, she listened to their needs, and thought creatively about what it means to share the good news.
I also love this story because we’re not all called to be church planters. Frankly, some of us would be terrible at it. But we are all called to share the good news. Maybe our call is to be the best middle school teacher, or nurse practitioner we can be? It could be that good news to your community means providing free child care for single working moms, or affordable dental care.
If we’re brutally honest, in some communities a new church is anything but good news. For some people news that there’s a new church on the block, might sound just as great as a park full of roller coasters does for me.
Jesus provided physical food for those who needed it, even though they more desperately needed food for their souls. He gave them both, in a way they could touch, feel, and understand.
So what’s good news for your community? How do they see and receive love?
These are the questions rattling around in our hearts in our As Family We Go community, and I encourage you to let them rattle around in your heart as well.