Thursday, September 28, 2006

What Is Portland Saying?

We have been visiting with people downtown to ask a few questions about their faith, views of God, and suggestions about church. From what people tell us Portland needs a church, yet a church that helps people and cares about young people.

Tony wanted me to try the Tarot cards. I thanked him but suggested another time. He told me that Tarot cards do not tell the future. They only profile people's past and present. "God will not allow me or the cards to tell your future--it is not within His will." Interesting--and something new to me. "What should the church be doing?" I asked. "Helping the homeless stand on their own," he said.

Storm, not the one on "Rock Star Supernova, is writing a book about a Necromancer who falls in love with a Vampire and the two give life to a powerful child. Yet, she misses her church in Southeast. "What should the church be doing?" I asked. "Helping people and protecting women."

So far we have met mostly people who are willing to talk and open to listening. Most are willing to talk about God and what we as a church should be doing. As we move through town we should see diverse opinions about churches. Will Portland State students feel differently? Will business executives stop to talk?

We have a conviction that Jesus lived and moved among the common people. The Greek of the Gospels is the common street language of society. The people of God went from speaking Hebrew to common everyday speech. Was/is God telling us something? Do people really matter to God? To us?


Cheryl said...

I love that you are starting this listening. And learning. Too often we get stuck on the telling. Jeff has said, "Jesus was born into a culture as a BABY and lived in that culture as a child, teenager and adult...for 30 years (!) before he ever began to minister...." We productive Americans often want things to move much faster...expect results within our set time...and in all the doing and producing...we forget to listen. And to minister...I think the listening is the key.

James Wood said...

I'm so stoked about these conversations. I've dreamed about doing this very thing and really getting to know what the people of Portland really want in a church. May God guide you to the conversations that you need to be having to shape Agape into the church it needs to be for the people God is pursuing.

Rock on!

KMiV said...

Thanks Cheryl and James. I have had a tough time transitioning to being an evangelist. It seems strange not having all the regular duties of preaching in a larger church to having time to sit and listen to people. But, deep down, I love it and am seeing this as a growth experience.

James--we are preparing for you and Andrea to go after the Pearl District. These conversations will go a long way for the future of Portland.

Johnny said...

Interesting. Did you ask other questions? How did you begin your conversations? Did you just walk up and say, "mind if I ask you a few question?" I am wondering how any of this could transfer to a small town setting.

Lori Ann said...

oh, your so hip now Mr. Clark!

KMiV said...

We just walked up and asked if we could ask a couple questions. Actually, the first was a question so we should have asked if we could ask 3.