There are thee characters in this story: Ben and Beth, CQMissional, and Garnett Church of Christ.
You know Ben and Beth, so they don’t need to much introduction.
CQMissional is a ministry that our friend Chris King is starting with Greg Robinson. They have a vision to “Teach and Mentor Emerging Leaders who Contribute Redemptive Works in Their Communities.” Basically they want to help people who are in their 20s figure out their passions, skills, and role in God’s kingdom. Part of how they are doing this is by staring a 10 month program that is centered on gaining ministry experience, studying a range of topics and mentoring.
Garnett Church of Christ is a church in east Tulsa which has a unique story. You can get a lot of details by reading this article on Christianity Today . The basics are that the church was a big church with lots of people, but as the neighborhood around it changed, the church began to shrink into a small congregation with a huge building and a bunch of land. Several years ago through a lot of searching and hard questions the church decided to completely rethink how they minister to the people around them. They decided that their huge building should be an open place, that they should take every opportunity to live life with the people around them, and to “equip our congregation to be Christ to neighbors, co-workers, and family members, rather than trying to coax people into signing up for every church program possible and burning families out with church involvement.”
In practical terms this means several things. The most obvious thing is that they rent their building out to basically anybody who wants it. The Tulsa school system rents classroom space; 4 other churches meet there; a small denomination has their home office; the Hmong Association of Oklahoma, a catering company, a bilingual school and a karate school all rent space in the building. All of this with the goal of living life with the people in their community to ultimately point them to Jesus Christ as savior.
All of this fits together, really it does. A big part of CQMissional’s program is working with a ministry that is doing real work you are interested in and one of the possible locations is Garnett Church of Christ. We will be participants in this program working at Garnett.
That is the plan. There are still tons of unknowns. This program really does not exist yet. We will be the first to go though it, so we will be really flexible. We don’t know where we will live yet, or what our day to day will look like, or how we are going to pay for all of this, or what we will do when we are done with the program, or even exactly when we will start (probably around the end of September). But we are excited about all of this! So many of these pieces make sense for us and answer a lot of questions we’ve been asking for awhile now.
This got a bit long, we’ll talk about why we are doing this in another post.