Monday, August 08, 2005
The Open Door Goes Jazz
Usually The Open Door gathers for worship on Sunday nights. During the summer we decided to have a neighborhood cookout once a month at the Union Project as a way of moving into our new neighborhood and inviting the neighbors for free food before we actually move in for good. (Currently we still meet at Bellefield in Oakland for worship, but this fall we'll be gathering at the Union Project in Highland Park). Well, this month we realized that during our cookout time Highland Park was having a huge Jazz concert right up in the park. So we of course canceled our plans and joined the community at the concert, in fact some of us got there early to help set up chairs and tables, etc.
I guess this was a good example of attempting to be missional instead of attractional. We could have still had our normal cookout at the Union Project, and walked around the neighborhood inviting people to join us at our new building. But instead we left our normal plans to join people where they were gathered, instead of expecting them to gather with us. That's a big part of being missional, joining the people in our context in the things they love to do. By being their early to set up and staying late to clean up hopefully we made a little statement that the Open Door is here to be a part of this community.
It turned out to be a great time, relaxing and just fun hanging out at the park, playing with all the Open Door kids, and listening to Joe Negri play his mellow Jazz. It was great to see the community gather with picnic dinners and wine out on the big lawn.
Some may criticize us for skipping out on worship, but we would argue that this was an important step in becoming a part of a new community. Thanks to Bob from the Highland Park Community Club we were able to set up a one of the Open Door posters and put out some of the new postcards for people to take. But that wasn't the important or significant part, the important part came in the good conversations, the kids playing together, and the good music.