We are continuing our journey through various expressions of what it means to bring about “kingdom transformation” in local ministry contexts. Again, the premise of this series is that by following God’s kingdom priorities as laid out in the New Testament, our communities and churches become a greater reflection of God’s kingdom. Thus, making us agents of kingdom transformation.
I’ve been having a variety of conversations with Alex Rompilla, 2017 graduate of Winebrenner.
Here are a few of Alex’s reflections:
I continually pray about, “If we, as Christians, are doing what we are called to do, why are our local communities transforming backwards?” When Coronavirus first arose, a majority of the churches in my local communities closed their doors and went online. Suicide rates increased, domestic violence rates increased, substance abuse and overdoses increased, depression increased, homelessness increased…How can you transform the world when we’re afraid to enter the world?
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The Bible says to judge a tree by its fruit. Maybe the biblical plumbline we should be using to measure how well we are transforming the world is by the amount of biblical fruit that is being produced.
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Another thing I’ve been thinking about is, “Shouldn’t churches look more like God’s kingdom?”
Maybe what needs transforming is the church itself to go back to an Acts church!
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Here’s another thought… Church buildings spend 60% to 80% of the week empty. Are we being good stewards of these spaces? When I worked in Kansas City, a group of churches utilized their spaces to be emergency woman’s shelters. They would rotate churches every night to keep the abusers from knowing where the women were.
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The great thing is, I’m having fun watching God use the skills He has blessed me with to bless these ministries.
On Tuesday nights Pastor Russ Thomas from the “The Gathering Place” shepherds a bus ministry comprised up of servants from nine different churches which serve the homeless in Allen county. [You can read more by clicking here.] Over the past year, the ministry has seen people we minister to change from being homeless to getting a job, a stable place to live and being able to support themselves. We have encountered some rough patches but by leaning on the Word of God, God has gotten us through it all.
On Thursday nights, another group “The Remnant” began worshipping in downtown Lima on Thursday nights. [You can read more by clicking here.] Through their dedication and obedience, we’ve seen healing, deliverance from substance abuse, people being fed both physically and spiritually, people getting baptized and strongholds being torn down.
The following pictures represent areas in Lima where Alex has found homeless people sleeping and calling home. In the first photo, the person was actually sleeping inside the bushes and the blue item is his/her sleeping bag.
Throughout this series we are revisiting and updating some student stories from the past few years. In August 2020 we shared the story of Alex (click here to read more about his life and ministry).