GUEST POST – Expanding the Kingdom with a Ball, Balloons and a Bullhorn

Doing church today we have developed intricate programs and processes all neatly packaged and finely tuned, each geared towards a common theme of reaching out and going deeper. I love it. It is a beautiful thing to see many well-oiled parts moving in a rhythmic motion to accomplish the goal. However, I was reminded this last weekend that amidst the complexities of doing church how truly simple it can be to expand God’s kingdom through the local church. Sometimes all you need is a ball, balloons and a bullhorn.

Last weekend we took a group of our 5th grade students, their parents and some of our Kids Small Group leaders into a low income community to conduct a game day for the community kids. The goal was simple—show up and build relationships.

After all of the hours spent in preparation for this outreach, I walked away thinking maybe it didn’t have to be as complex as I had attempted to make it. All we did was show up, were willing to use our time and energy for something significant and in tow was a bag of balls, a few water balloons and a bullhorn. I saw several things as a result of this:

I saw our kids, parents and leaders having a blast being the local church as they did their part in doing the Great Commission in their Jerusalem. I saw initially hesitant community kids make a shift and gravitate towards connecting to the Body of Christ one thrilling game of water balloon volleyball at a time. I saw skeptical community families experience the initial impact of the local church showing up and saying we are here because we care about you!

There is never one tried and true formula for doing ministry outside the walls of the church. Preparation is always necessary; it is wise. However, don’t over-complicate it. In fact simplify it, less is more! Just show up, have a blast doing it and as the relationships form so will God’s Kingdom expand.

Shawn Hyde is the 101-401 Kids Small Group Coordinator at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA.

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