On May 21 we are hosting a Fun Run at Jubilee Way to support the Tea Tree Gully CFS. There will be free donuts and a chance to give financially to the CFS to say thank you for protecting our community.
Maybe this seems like an odd thing for a church to get behind. Or, you aren’t clear on the why and our gaols.
Let me explain some of our big picture thinking.
1. Mission Pipeline
Each of us have a sphere of influence amongst our friends and family. God, in his sovereignty, has put these people in our life, to love, care and proclaim the beauty and grace of Jesus. As a church, we really value your friendships and time you put into them, and want to encourage you to be missional as best you can.
As a church, we also have a sphere of influence too. When we gather as believers, we are able to influence and point people to Jesus in a different way than you can as an individual.
We recognise the need for not just equipping you to go into your world, but, that we, as a whole church, can be creating events and spaces for you to bring your friends and family to.
Think of this as merging universes. It’s when we seek to bring those we love, to Jesus and his church, in a way that we can’t necessarily do as an individual.
Recognising both of these and how valuable they are, is important in helping us be wise and intentional in proclaiming Jesus.
These sorts of events (Fun run, sports, BBQ, Playgroup) are a great opportunity to mix with Christians and non-Christains over something that we all have in common.
If you think of mission like a funnel, with each event having a different goal and purpose to move someone towards faith in Jesus, it may look like this. Notice where the Fun Run sits:
Knowing where something sits in the pipeline helps us to have the right goals to measure an event or program by, too.
Perhaps this language will help as you think about Care and Connect events: This is a chance for your non-Christian friends to meet some other Christians. There isn’t a gospel talk, and your friends will be comfortable coming to a low-stress event.
In contrast we can describe a Commit event like this: This is for those seriously investigating Christianity. Your friends will be asked to consider what it would mean for them to follow Jesus and become a Christian.
This also means, given our goals, a gospel presentation, at each stage, isn’t always the aim. Nor is a Bible Study or even handing out Bibles.
They are, of course good things to do, but we want to help people more along the pathway, not just throw everything at them at once.
It also means we know who the event is for.
Think about the Fun Run: I hope you have a great time, come along and enjoy an hour or so with others. But remember, this event isn’t about you. It’s for helping our friends and those in our community become more aware that we are their local church who value our community.
2. The Event
So, why a Fun Run that supports the CFS?
We formed a mission team in late 2022 to think about how we can raise our awareness in the community and to work on our care and connect mission pipeline.
We noticed 3 key things about our council area:
- So much is boarded by scrub and bush. The CFS have a huge job, especially over summer.
- Lots and lots (and lots!) of people walk and run. On any given day, you’ll see hundreds of people running and walking all over the place.
- The latest census data revealed what we are generous bunch. Tea Tea Gully has one of the highest giving rates out of all the council areas in the state.
With all 3 in mind, we came up with a Fun Run to support the local CFS. We hope that this also raises awareness of us as a church.
A Fun Run isn’t the only thing we can do. We have a few more ideas up our sleeve! But, we wanted to start someone and with a low key event that is going to be encouraging and build confidence.
So, even if you don’t run and aren’t a fan of walking, why not invite someone you know that is? And even just sitting on a chair, chatting to someone you haven’t met may be just the thing to help them see Jesus a little clearer.
– Luke Dahlenburg