Share Jesus outside church walls, Christians urged at New England conference

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Share Jesus outside the church walls, Christians urged (reporting from Manchester, Conn.). Page 1.

MANCHESTER, Conn. – Roughly 750 miles south of here, the Queen City Church of Christ in Charlotte, N.C., started with eight Christians meeting in a house.

On a recent Sunday, 225 people — many learning about Jesus for the first time — attended the church’s worship service at a downtown YMCA.

“We are in the Y to stay,” Queen City minister Kent Massey told attendees at the sixth annual New England Church Growth Conference. “We will never own a church building. … Our mission is to be able to grow so we can already be thinking about where we’re going to plant another church.”

Anybody who has spent any time in a children’s Sunday school class knows that the church is not a building, right?

But too often, Christians focus all their attention on the place of the Sunday assembly, leaders said during the recent conference, hosted by the Manchester Church of Christ, east of the state capital of Hartford.

“The center of the Gospel should not be — cannot be — a geographic location,” Don McLaughlin, pulpit minister for the North Atlanta Church of Christ in Georgia, said in a keynote address. “A lot of our anxiety is wrapped around getting people to a geographic location and keeping them in a geographic location.

“Folks, we’re worried about the wrong thing,” McLaughlin added, suggesting that inspiring disciples to give themselves fully to God takes precedence.

One church, multiple generations: A suburban Denver congregation mixes young and old as it endeavors to share the love of Christ with its community (reporting from Westminster, Colo.). Churches That Work.

Ouch! A stone but not a tablet at the emergency room. Inside Story.

This post highlights my stories in the May 2013 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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