INFORM: What is the purpose of your ministry? What are you doing on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to accomplish the tasks God has set out for you to do?
Bluff Park Community Church desires to be “a diverse, local family of disciple-making disciples, proclaiming the Gospel MESSAGE in Gospel COMMUNITY on Gospel MISSION”. We began in 2013 as a small group Bible study of OMPC with about 15 people. Within about 6 months, we had grown to about 35, multiplied into two Community Groups and launched weekly worship as Bluff Park Community Church. Currently we are 5 community Groups (multiplying to 7 in the
Fall) with around 135 gathering weekly for worship.
INSPIRE: What is your ministry's vision? What is a story of impact that you would like OMPC members to hear that would inspire them with what God is doing in/through your ministry?
We simply want to be a local church, proclaiming the gospel of God’s grace both in word and in deed, making disciples, and planting other churches throughout our city, our region and our world. As a “local” church, our commitment has been to invest in the community where God has sovereignly planted us. As a result, we have been given multiple opportunities to love neighbors well. What follows are just a few examples.
There is one older couple who lives between us (the Tuckers) and another one of our families. The husband is significantly disabled from a stroke and as a result both the husband and wife are homebound. Several of our Community Groups have built a relationship with this older couple which has led to multiple yard and home improvement projects. After one less than honorable contractor started a driveway job, cashed the older couple’s check and then disappeared with the rest of the money, one of our members who owns a construction company heard about what happened. Before the week was out, he had taken his crew over and completed the job. Just this past Saturday a group from our church went over and sat with this couple, prayed with them and observed the Lord’s Supper together. By the end the wife was in tears, because this was the first time in years that she and her husband had been able to take communion together.
Because of the relational investments that we have made at both our local public elementary and middle schools, one of the principals (who is not a member of our church) contacted me (Jason) about performing his upcoming wedding. I agreed on the condition of them meeting together over 8 sessions for pre-marital counseling. Over the next couple of months meeting together and going through Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” we were constantly having conversations, not only about preparations for marriage, but how the gospel transforms people’s hearts. Since the wedding, our relationship with this couple has continued as friends and neighbors living out the implications of the gospel together in community.
One snapshot example of this is that, when two siblings from the school lost the ability to stay with their mom, they had two choices; DHR could take custody and allow them to enter into the foster care system, which would have meant possibly moving to a different school along with all of the other chaos they were experiencing, or they could move in with the principal and finish out the school year with as much stability as possible. Our friend and his new bride gladly opened up their
home so that these two brothers could at least finish out the school year in “their” community. Last one (I promise). For some reason, God has brought us several families who formerly served in full-time pastoral ministry in other states. Many of them have experienced the ugly underbelly of serving in a heavily legalistic and performance-driven ministry environment. To love these families well and see their trust in God and their love for His church being restored is a tender privilege that we have been entrusted with. Just this past Sunday, one of these ladies who serves on our worship team was struggling through some significant issues. Before worship a couple of other women from her Community Group noticed her struggle, called her aside and prayed with her for an extended season. (She actually missed the worship set!) Afterward one of the ladies who prayed for her confessed, “That’s the first time in 40 years that I have ever
prayed for someone else out loud. Thank you for allowing me to do that.” In God’s mercy, he seems to be allowing this woman to see her weakness, not as something to be hidden in fear, but as something able to be redeemed by God in the strengthening another believer’s faith!
ENGAGE: How can OMPC members get involved? Whether it's one-time or ongoing, what are ways OMPC members can plug in?
Certainly ongoing prayer support.
• Prayer for spiritual protection
In many ways we are on the “front lines” of pushing back the darkness of a “cultural Christianity” that preaches the gospel for justification, but then pushes behavioralism for ongoing sanctification. It is incredible to see people’s “light bulbs” turning on. But as people are coming alive to the gospel, we certainly feel the spiritual opposition. Over the first two years of our plant, our own (Jason and Susie’s) youngest two children have struggled with significant nightmares. And these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill children’s nightmares. The images are graphic, and there have been times that both Jacob (10) and Emilia (8) have been afraid to fall asleep.
• Prayer for finances
As a young church, we have more needs than we have finances. We are preparing in the Fall to move our worship from the Fellowship Hall of our worship location to the main sanctuary. This will free up more space for children’s ministry as well as more room for new worshippers. Using more of the building comes with a higher cost. Also, with the growth, we are rapidly approaching the time when we need to move our children’s ministry from being volunteer led to staff led. We need to find the funds for a p/t Children’s Ministry Director.
From day one we have had more children than adults. This is certainly a huge blessing, but it also places a large strain on our smaller volunteer base. On any given Sunday we have 6 - 10 of our adults missing worship because of the need to staff our children’s classrooms. If there were a couple of Sundays during the year where OMPC members could provide 10 people to cover children’s ministry on a Sunday evening, that could allow a welcome respite for faithful volunteers to worship together with their families.
It’s amazing how “far” the 30 minutes between OMPC and Bluff Park can feel sometimes. We were reminded of this when several OMPC families joined us for our 2nd anniversary service back in January. It was really good to see familiar faces and be reminded that we are part of a larger family. So especially during the summer when OMPC’s LIFE Groups are taking a break, if families wanted to occasionally drop in and visit us for worship (Sunday evenings @ 5pm), this could go a long way! I know in the past when OMPC families have been able to do something similar with the the ministry team in Japan, or the Wheelers in Uganda or the Granberrys in Yakima, the encouragement has been huge.
Posted: 6.7.2016 in Missions Share: