I’m indebted to Greg Paul and Sanctuary Ministries. They let a group of us from Richview come last night and learn from them. I’ll be writing about some of what we learned in coming weeks, but for now I’ll say it was well worth the trip.
Tim Keller has said that being outwardly focused requires two skills that aren’t often found together. One is to listen to the community, and to be taught by them the best way to serve them. The other is to announce the good news of Jesus. Churches that listen to the community are often good at serving the community but not very good at evangelism; churches that announce the good news are often good at evangelism but very poor at community service. It’s rare to find the two skills together because they are so different. It’s relatively easy to do one or the other but not both.
At Sanctuary you get the sense that they have learned to do both. They are with people and provide a safe place for them, and offer community. Yet last night when we worshipped, it was all about Jesus.
Greg Paul, the Executive Director, has written a book called God in the Alley: Being and Seeing Jesus in a Broken World, which I reviewed here. Last night he mentioned that he has a new book coming out in August called Twenty-Piece Shuffle: Why the Poor and Rich Need Each Other. Looking forward to it.