A Neighborhood Church

I was encouraged last week by Bethel Reformed Church's willingness to open their property for their neighbors to use. Bellflower parks do not have space for our soccer teams to practice. In the past our neighborhood teams had been practicing on any open green space within the parks, but they didn't have a permit to practice and would frequently get kicked off the fields. When we looked into getting permits we found out that even if they did have a one, the official space used for soccer practice was all taken up by existing sports leagues... mainly baseball. We were all a little frustrated with the situation. We need more parks in Bellflower!

On to the good part...

Nichole, the children's pastor at Bethel, offered the field next to their sanctuary for the boys to practice on. Last Wednesday was their first day. I showed up half way through to see how things were going. When I pulled on to their campus I was struck by the beauty of a church property buzzing with life. Their new basketball courts in the parking lot were filled with neighbors from Ramona and their field was filled with neighbors from Eucalyptus. They are shouting the love of God just by offering their resources to their neighbors. What a testimony!

If your church property is empty more than it is full, I encourage you to think of ways that your surrounding neighborhood can benefit from your space. We need to move past the fear of lawsuits and open our doors and resources to become a community-friendly church. Be creative! Ask the neighbors what they want. Our church buildings should BLESS the neighborhood that they are in. Can you imagine if all 52 churches in Bellflower took an active interest in their neighbors. Beautiful!
Chrissy PadillaComment