For a few months now we have been in contact with a guy shooting a documentary of churches across Canada, his name is Joe Manafo, the documentary is ‘One Size Fits All’; He and some guys of like heart and mind, showed up here, on the east coast, about a month ago. Nevin, the dude who helps facilitate all kinds of things in our church- including spiritual growth, and myself were chillin at the Backpacker waiting for them to show up for some introductions and a few minutes of shooting. It might be the cynical, skeptical, or the distrusting church planters side of me, that was wondering how this whole thing will come off; How do you tell people that really what you feel God is doing in your church is just to ‘Dwell’ with one of the nastiest neighbourhoods in the Maritimes. A neighbourhood that my wife, my kids, and the peeps at PAXnorth seem to be truly in love with. How do you tell people who don’t know my neighbourhood or see the people we hang with everyday that we are simply committed to becoming a vital part of this community and in subversive and overt ways live out the gospel of Jesus- then expect them to get what that looks like or what that means for us here, on Gottingen St?
They came through the door with gear in tow. Looking urban, hip and a bit hurried (they set a pretty ambitious schedule for four days on the coast). Introductions got started, questions began to flow back and forth naturally like old buddies catching up on what God is doing. Over the dull hum of conversations I hear this flesh on flesh- solid SMACK, SMACK…shuffle of feet, and swearing! Immediately I stand up and look out the front window- two of our street friends are swapping fists to face shots like they were on UFC or something. I say, “Sorry gotta take care of something”. Go out to the front door and begin shouting at them. “What are you guys doing? What are you thinking, punching each other in the face and in front of this store! You wanna end up in the tank for the night? Come on, grow up!” They stop…look up and down at me. One guy recognizes me, sheepishly replies, “Yeah, yeah, sorry man…uhhh… wasn’t really thinking!” He turns to the other guy, calls him a name his mom wouldn’t have liked, wipes the blood off his lip and they go their separate ways.
What does it look like to dwell here? Well, we’re still working that out but God has given us favor, courage, grace and a whole lot of protection. I’m not sure what will come of it but God knows, plans and directs. Love it that God has brought people along with us for the journey both here in the north end and from all over the world!