“Athenians, I see how extremely religious
you are in every way. For as I went through
the city and looked carefully at the objects of
your worship, I found among them an
altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown
God.’ What therefore you worship as
unknown, this I proclaim to you.”
Acts 17:22-23

Acts 17:16-34

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The mission of our church is meeting people where they are and helping them take their next step towards a Christ-centered life.

In our readings both for yesterday and today, we see Paul and his companions doing exactly this. Yesterday, we read how Paul used the Scriptures to reach the people of Beroea who already had a deep love and respect for the Scriptures.

Today, we see Paul meeting the non-Jewish people of Athens where they are by talking to them in the Areopagus and using things they were already familiar with to introduce them to the good news of Christ.

Paul does not condemn their worship of idols and false gods. Instead, he uses the altar of an unknown God as a bridge to help them understand the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He meets them where they are and helps them take their next step to a Christ-centered life.

One of the things that makes ministry so challenging today is that the context we are in is more like Athens than Beroea.

While fifty years ago an overwhelming majority of people had both deep respect for and a broad understanding of the Scriptures, today that is simply not the case.

The reality is that on any given Sunday over 75% of the population of East Baton Rouge Parish does not attend worship.

A recent survey estimates that over 40% of the population is at least two generations removed from active engagement in any community of faith. In the city of Baton Rouge, children under the age of 10 are the largest unchurched population.

Rather than despair over these facts, Christ wants us to follow the example of Paul. This means living out our mission by meeting people where they are knowing that Christ has already gone before us, and the Spirit will equip us for our task.

Today, ask God to give our church an overwhelming desire to live out our mission to meet people where they are and help them take their next step towards a Christ-centered life.

One of the most exciting things happening in the church across America is the Fresh Expressions movement. Our dinner church, Red Stick Together, is inspired by this movement to get outside the walls of the church and meet our community on their turf.

Since the pandemic began in March, we have served hot meals and shown God’s love to over 4,500 people in our community. We could not have done it without the support of both your prayers and your financial gifts.

God has given us big dreams about expanding Red Stick Together to a second and then third site before the end of the year. I hope you will join me in praying for the success of this endeavor as we seek to follow the example of Paul in the Book of Acts.