When we look at the great need of evangelism and mission, we continue to see the church paralyzed to be able to get the general public to enter our buildings and attend the beautiful worship services we produce. We also feel that if we do enter the community to share the gospel it must be either preaching, performance or some form of benevolence. I work in the disabilities field as my weekday job now and so I am aware of opportunities that I did not know of as a pastor.
When the AG and COG missionaries invited me to Uruguay recently, I was grateful to preach and do music in the churches as we traditionally do on mission trips. I, however had a vision some years ago to do something different. The idea was to represent American music to the university setting by providing an American guitar clinic-in this case it was blues guitar technique. This genre finds as its context the African American churches and jook joints of Mississippi, etc. I approached this from a historical perspective and it was well received. About 15 students got college credit for the clinic from two music conservatories.
I was also scheduled to do movement music programs and blues guitar demonstrations at two elementary schools, one technical school for adults and a school for autistic children. I preached at none of these, but shared in church concerts following these presentations which resulted in some coming to church that normally might not. This all resulted in these schools asking "what would cause the church to provide these educational opportunities without requiring to be able to witness formally?"
This endeavor resulted in friendships in which I am providing resources for the intellectual disability community in Uruguay and among the schools. I am thankful we were able to make friends for the church in the educational and health care industries. Do you think your country might benefit from such a project?
To view my photos from my Uruguay trip go to: