Tangible Transformation: North Carolina Church Establishes Fresh Connection with Community

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Loving and Serving, Southeast

By Carl Stagner

Rest didn’t last long after Easter for Transformation Church, a Church of God congregation in Hickory, North Carolina. Only a few days passed before they were hitting the streets with tangible expressions of the gospel; after all, Jesus is risen, and his people have been given the most noble of assignments. In their case, the methodology involved in living out the implications of the Great Commission meant distributing loaves of bread, offering prayer with anyone and everyone who would accept it, and cordially inviting the community to a block party of epic proportions.

Thus, there were essentially two parts to establishing a fresh connection with their community. Transformation Church started with a “prayer and bread walk.” In partnership with Jaime Torres Ministries, they sent out “6 teams of 7 members to distribute 190 loaves of bread in the community surrounding the church.” Pastor Michael Hone explains, “The purpose of the bread walk was to meet our neighbors, pray with them, and invite them to a community block party to be held at the church on Saturday, April 6.” But this would be no ordinary block party with food and games; besides music and a message, they would also celebrate baptism and offer the public free haircuts!

Prayer walk and bread giveaway

“We were pleasantly surprised at the receptivity of our neighbors to the bread walk,” Pastor Mike reflects. “Many expressed a desire for us to pray with them. And many more were very interested in attending the block party on Saturday.”

The church and community were thoroughly blessed by the second part of this post-Easter endeavor, too. The block party itself was described by the church a “a glimpse of heaven as so many people gathered together.” From 11 in the morning until the early evening, the church and the community did life together in fun and fellowship. Showing unconditional love to neighbors from all walks of life, the church once again demonstrated just how essential they are in the eyes of the community. A positive relationship like that opens up so many avenues to the gospel! But this kind of thing isn’t out of the ordinary for Transformation Church; it’s part of who they are and who they’ve been.

“God has called Transformation Church to reach out into our neighborhood with the love of Jesus,” Pastor Mike explains. “We live in a culturally diverse community where drugs and alcohol abuse hold a grip on the lives of many, but we serve a chain-breaking God who desires to set us free from the grip of Satan, and we are doing whatever possible to make that happen.”

Free haircuts during the block party!

Praise the Lord for community-minded, Jesus-centered congregations like Transformation Church!

Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

Feature (top) photo: The church mobilizing for the prayer walk.

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