I wanted to share some historical insight into our church, and ask that you would be intentional in praying for CMF in the days ahead. We are seeking to make a deeper connection with people living in Christiansburg, as well as the rest of the New River Valley metro area.
Did you know that our church is only 32 years old?
Our church began as a church planting effort of Central District within the Virginia Mennonite Conference. Leaders within the churches of our district came together in a missional effort to establish an Anabaptist expression of the church in NRV, particularly in Christiansburg.
In the "Fifty Year History of Central District (1963-2013)" presented by Glendon Blosser, a founding leader of our church, it is reported that CMF was planted in Christiansburg due to its central location, so that it wouldn't be a church only for the college (transient) community.
Take a look at the original mission stated in the first outreach handout.
The first service for Christiansburg Mennonite "Church" was held on October 3, 1982. The main objective was to reach the "unchurched" of Christiansburg and the surrounding area.
Who are the "unchurched" among us? Here is a common understanding from the web:
"Unchurched" means, in the broad sense, people who are not connected with a church. In research on religious participation, it refers more specifically to people who do not attend worship services. The Barna Group defines the term to mean "an adult (18 or older) who has not attended a Christian church service within the past six months" excluding special services such as Easter, Christmas, weddings or funerals. Barna reports that there were 75 million "unchurched people" in the United States as of 2004.
The unchurched around us could include local people who do not know Christ and people who have left the church for numerous reasons (bad experiences, change in theology, looking for something that connects and is more relevant to them, etc.).
As we said in the first message of our current sermon series, God calls healthy disciples and churches to "move" and grow in our relationship with him and in Christ's mission to others.
Brothers and sisters, this has been on my heart. I believe God wants us to (re)embrace this original mission of CMF to connect with our community for the sake of the gospel. How can we reach out to our neighbors and begin making our presence known in our city? Lord, give us vision for this.
What needs to happen for you (us) to faithfully move toward this glorious end?
Please pray for our church as we seek to respond to God's call on us in the months ahead.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Paul, Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV
For His Glory,