Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A2 Session Three: Matthew Barnett

Topic: A Strategy for Community Impact (1st off -- nothing funnier than white people "waving their hands from side-to-side!!) Matthew is the cofounder of The Dream Center in Los Angeles, California. You can find a local expression of his ministry in Riverside Community Church's Dream Center. One of the most contagious ideas from The Dream Center's ministry is the Adopt-a-Block program that is championed locally by The South Side Mission. Nehemiah 2:10 But when Sanballet the Horonite and Tobiah, the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites. He's telling his story -- I think it's pretty well known...son of a mega pastor...moved to LA as pastor of an old church...tried to make it a megachurch in LA...God wrecked him and challenged to stop imagining speaking to thousands and to start focusing on being a blessing...he moved his office out of the building...God started to bless their efforts to be a blessing to the people that surrounded them -- the "down & outs," the hurting...God did miracles and they bought an abandoned hospital for 3.9mil. that Paramount had offered 16 mil. from and built a church that would be open 24/7 "if you go out and build a church with the people that nobody wants, God will send you the people that everybody wants...when you get a cause that's bigger than yourself...when your heart breaks for the needy people in your city, God notices." What a powerful session...I haven't taken a lot of notes...but he's really just hammering at the idea that when you focus on meeting the needs and hurts of the "least of these," that God will bless you, God will bring resources and God will do great things! You don't have to "be" the inner-city to reach the inner-city! You just have to stay long enough and love people. )

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