Meeting People Where They Are

As many people no longer perceive the church as occupying an important place on the market square, we Christians are learning to adjust to the new situation. It’s similar to Copernicus and Galileo removing Earth from the center of the universe and placing her on the fringes. We simply cannot expect people to walk automatically through our doors, but need to meet them where they are.

One such opportunity offered itself on June 13th when Joan, Susan and I spent a Saturday morning on the street behind Elijah’s Promise, managing one of the tables of Elijah’s Promise’s Health Fair, the table of First Reformed Church.

We met so many people this way! Each received a sandwich bag filled with information on our church. We explained House of Manna and the benefits of the Hall Fund, pointed people in the direction of our steeple, and assured them that everyone would be welcome there.

Will it bring fruit? At the very least, it contributed to our Kingdom work. This is how church growers label work that grows the kingdom and not primarily the church. Why was this Kingdom work? Because we spoke with many high school students who then translated to their Spanish speaking mothers that the Hall Fund provides college scholarships, while the House of Manna brings food on the table for a growing number of families.

About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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