by Laura Forman
The words aggressive and Christian should perhaps never be paired. Maybe you’ve known someone that fits the description; if not, you’re probably not interested in meeting such a person. That said, when Immanuel’s Go! Group leader David Forman was asked to describe its purpose, he responded that it is to help the church be more “aggressive” in sharing God’s love.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
It takes intent and initiative to share our faith, to shine our light. In these ways, we are “aggressive” by being fired up to love one another as Jesus intended, listening to and answering God’s call on our lives, praying for each other and nurturing our own relationship with God in order to mentor others.
Each member of Go! is committed to missional living, seeing our everyday lives as our mission field. Here is how some of us are doing just that:
Deborah Jensen prays for her neighbors as she walks past their homes. A former Micro Alpha host, she is currently on the summer Alpha Team. Deb’s outreach includes inviting neighbors, friends and her daughter’s friends to attend Alpha. She is looking forward to hosting an upcoming summer neighborhood block party, complete with a campfire, s’mores and a game of tag for the kids.
Also starting right where she lives, Beth Mccullough has led three neighborhood women’s Bible studies in her home since she felt God’s call to do so a year and a half ago.
Beth explained, “I have found that a neighborhood study seems to reach a group of women who are perhaps intimidated to enter a church building for a study, or who are short on time and appreciate a casual meeting right in the ‘hood that they can walk to. The women that have been coming are quite diverse in their spiritual backgrounds, and several do not have a home church. Two of the women who joined last time had never opened a Bible before- which was SO exciting to me!”
Lisa Stewart is working with Bridge House, a substance abuse treatment center.
In Lisa’s words, to share “how the programs that we offer at Immanuel have helped me to develop a personal working relationship with Jesus Christ has kept me clean and saved not only my soul but my life as well.”
As an employee of A Safe Place, a domestic violence shelter, Cindy Johnson is working on approval to lead Micro Alpha at the facility. Those in need of abuse services would be invited on a voluntary basis.
David and I currently host Micro Alpha in our home for a group of teens in substance abuse recovery. We felt the call to reach out to this vulnerable population because many drop out of twelve step programs due to confusion over the definition of “higher power.” In our fifth week, we continue to be amazed by their openness and excitement for the program.
Beth sums up our sentiments well, “The Go! Group at Immanuel has been a tremendous source of encouragement and support; I always leave the group meetings feeling refreshed and re-energized. It is wonderful to hear how God is working through the other group members’ lives, and to see glimpses of Him on the move in Lake County.”
Hear more stories of Go! members and get support or ideas for your outreach at our next meeting, the first Sunday of the month at 10:45 in room B113.
Laura Forman is a follower of Christ and Immanuel Church member. She is married to David and they live in Gurnee with their five children. Working as both a personal trainer and a freelance writer, she can be found at church or www.lauralisaforman.com.