When we feel that people don’t understand us, we typically feel annoyed even frustrated with them. We feel like they aren’t listening to us; they aren’t in tune with our deep passions and abiding loves. Or, perhaps, they simply don’t care enough to pay attention to us.
Wednesday evening we read a beautiful case of mistaken identity.
During the earliest time of the church, we know that ancient people were often confused about who Christians were, confused about “who these strange followers of Jesus were called. Because the Greek word for Christ (christos) was so similar to the word for ‘kind’ (chrestos). Apparently many people mistakenly (though perhaps fittingly) called Jesus’ early followers not Christians but ‘kind ones’”.
Lately I think Kingsway Christian Church has been clearing up any mistaken identity about who we are. We are a missional centered church focusing our energies on the needs of our city.
This week we will conclude our first year of Room in the Inn. For the last 23 weeks we fed and housed 12-20 homeless guests at our church. Volunteers have streamed in to cook and serve and clean and launder and pray and help a few folks be warm for the winter months. Because of Ben Short’s vision and your compassion, our identity is clearer.
Next week we will conclude our first full year of Meals on Wheels in our community. Every weekday of the year, you were out there not just delivering hot, nutritious meals but delivering the grace and goodness of Christ to every doorstep you visited. I am proud that our church has stepped up to fund and deliver the first meals ever in Germantown and East Memphis. Because of your generosity and kindness, fewer people are hungry and lonely.
In two weeks we transition from one homeless ministry (Room in the Inn) to the next (Family Promise/MIHN). For 24 hours a day we will welcome 2-3 homeless families into our church to eat, sleep, play, study, and worship with us. It takes the entire congregation saying yes to God and yes to their church to clear up our identity as the church that cares.
And frankly, the day we resurrect a 2000-year-old identity crisis will be the proudest day I’ve ever had as a pastor. Go ahead – confuse the tar out of Memphis – make them question what to call our devotion to Christ. Call it Christian; call it kind ones. Both work for me.
Many Easter Blessings,
 Phillip Kenneson. “Life on the Vine: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Christian Community.” IVP, 137.
Kingsway Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ)
7887 Poplar Ave.
Germantown, TN 38138
Phone: (901) 683-3505