MARSH CONNECTIONS

Our Heritage Is to Be “That House”
by Tom Walsh

Marsh 2.0 is Outreach! But wait—doesn’t “out-reach” mean ministering somewhere else? How can beautifying our own church facilities be about outreach?

If we merely think about our church as a historic building and ourselves as its stewards, then it’s a stretch to see the connection with outreach. But when we think about Christ’s heart for our church as a big bustling family, it changes things. Our church facility needs to be “that house.”

Let me explain.

Chip and Marla Darius and their kids have been our friends for years, and we love going to their home. Their home is “that house”! They have a pool and deck, a big back yard, a game room and a big open kitchen that turns out tons of food! There are always bunches of kids hanging around, because the kids know that the Darius home is “that house.”

Their place is often buzzing with activity. Their family is fun (and a little kooky!), and their home is Mission Control to host friends from far and wide at the ongoing celebration that is their life.

Outreach is not about avoiding ministry on our church campus, but initiating redemptive relationships of love with folks who might never come to our church campus. Outreach is incarnation “putting on flesh and blood and moving into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message), but it’s also invitation—“...go to the ends of the roads and invite everyone you can find” (Matthew 22:9, ABPE). We invite them to our home, and our home is “that house.”

First Church is a big, bustling family, but our house needs some TLC. We all agree that the renovation is much needed and long overdue. Historically, we have always been “that house.” Marsh 2.0 is our commitment to continue being “that house” to this generation and beyond.