Stacie had worked for the pastor and his wife when they were managing a summer camp in Oklahoma. We were able to easily step in as old friends and offer them our hands and feet. They are a small body of believers that are so intentional about doing life together. Bobby and Kelli (the pastor and his wife) have literally planted themselves in the midst of the most broken part of Tacoma, the Hilltop. They live in a house with their 2 kids and are constantly opening up their home for whoever wants to come in. It is a literal representation of the phrase, "Our door is always open." People eat their food, sleep on their couches, and hug their kids. They offer one another all they have because they know none of it is truly theirs. At the same time, they hold each other accountable in their individual relationships with the Lord. They love the way Christ loves, pushing one another closer and closer towards the cross, even if it hurts. Bobby and Kelli desire people's lives to be changed, at all costs. They pour out grace and love but never forsake the tough truths of Jesus' callings. The Pathway is a family of all different ethnicities and socio economic backgrounds...they triumph and celebrate, they mess up and get frustrated, they cry and they laugh, they are gentle when necessary and hard when necessary, and they do it all together. Acts 2 style.
As a part of the family, we have taken whatever role was needed. We've scrubbed a kitchen from top to bottom, watched kids so the adults could grow together, volunteered at a local festival, assisted a family in a time of mourning, prayer walked the streets of the community, and knocked on doors in hopes of sharing Christ and extending the family. The Pastor does this on his own every week..which encouraged us to join him.
What image comes to mind when you hear the phrase "door-to-door"?
It might be of two young men dressed in slacks, white shirts, and ties...Mormons. Or maybe it is of the less uniformed Jehovah's Witness. Either way, most people have seen these missionaries, been visited by them, or know someone who has been visited by them. These two groups have experienced slammed doors, resistance, persecution, and have blatantly been ignored. Nevertheless, they continue to knock. They are well aware of the fact that they are the source of many jokes but nothing keeps them from fighting to tell every person about what they believe...one family at a time.
We walk up to doors only be asked if we are Mormons or Jehovah's witness. If they are not home we find a Jehovah's Witness magazine (The Watchtower) stuck in their door. They are good at what they do either because they are really convicted about what they believe in or they are simply crazy...
...which is kind of the same thing people say about Jesus. Either he really did believe what he was preaching, or he was crazy.
It got us to thinkin....What if we were as consistent and persistent as they are? When Jesus was asked about the kingdom of God his response was " The kingdom of God is within you." If we hold within us the kingdom of God, the truth to all the lies, the peace for all the chaos, the water that never runs dry....shouldn't we be known for sharing it at all costs?
Are we saying that we are now converted Mormons/Jehovah's Witnesses....No. We are simply saying, they have something figured out that we need to learn from. We want to look and live like Jesus...even it means we look insane. We want the passion that they have, even if it means rejection. We want the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven....even if it means we have to bring it to people.