Circle of Hope Summer Tour: South Jersey Style 2015

Circle of Hope is going to show up where South Jersey gathers. There are people around who want to know what we are doing and they even want to do it, but they don’t know about us. So we need to get out there and be noticed. The first thing I know to do to get noticed is to hand out flyers.  Luke Bartolomeo designed this funky one for us.  I like. It might catch an eye or two. But really the flyer is best used to start a conversation. I was trying this out at the Camden County Community College Spring Fling yesterday.

One guy considerately gave me back my flyer saying, “I don’t want to just throw your flyer away, maybe someone else wants it.”

I pushed back, “That’s okay maybe someone else you know wants it. You can throw it away though too. It’s all good.”

“No I’m Wiccan. I’m not interested.” He answered.

“Oh, well I’m interested in that! Tell me more.”

After a five minute conversation he decided to keep the flyer. He said most Christians he has known wouldn’t have responded to him the way I did and he might like to check out the church if I was the pastor. He gave me his cell phone number too so we could keep in touch.

That was interesting! How easy is it to make a connection?! How many people are actually interested in a Christian who isn’t going to judge them at the door, or even the handshake. This guy is young and he’s trying to figure life out. He’s finding some truth in Wicca right now, so be it. If he’s friends with me he might find some truth in Christianity that he thought wasn’t there in his previous investigations. The bar is very low it seems for exceeding many people’s expectations of what an actual Christian looks like.

Even if it’s too awkward to have a conversation with people like the one I had, I think it’s still a good idea to show up where a bunch of people are gathered and be a conspicuous presence, even if it’s just with flyers. I think it’s God’s favorite scene to work in obscurity. God’s chosen people are a tiny insignificant nation in the grand scope of civilization’s history. Jesus showed up in a shed on the outskirts of town in a colonial backwater and when he grew up he always begged people to keep a lid on his true identity.  Paul’s disciples in Corinth are ordinary people “Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.” Circle of Hope may follow in that tradition.  I promise you, I won’t be on TBN, ever. But I also hope that even the flyers we distribute can carry that mantle.

Despite all that obscurity in God’s story, Jesus is known all over the world, including in South Jersey where we find ourselves so many years later. Who knows what some half sheet of paper could do. It could connect a partner that becomes the next pastor of our movement! It could find it’s way into the purse of the sister of someone’s friend who is on a spiritual search and just so happens to know your coworker. Did that even make sense? It might not but we don’ have to make sense of it, we just have to get out there and enjoy our people. Someone might want to be a partner and get to know Jesus too.

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