Light Up Louisville with Service

Jesus was speaking to those on whom he would rely to carry his mission after he returned to heaven.  At the time, they didn’t realize all that was in store for them.  They didn’t know how the trajectory of their lives would be altered, nor could they imagine the influence they would wield as world changers. 

 

He said, in Matthew chapter 5: 14-15, “You are the light of the world.” 

 

Robert Fulghum, author of the book All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, visited an institute dedicated to reconciling Turks and Greeks on the island of Crete. At the end of the visit, he asked Alexandros Papanderos, a leader on the island, what the purpose of life was.  Laughter followed as those present thought this was a silly question. But Papanderos considered the question seriously.

 

After a while, Papanderos took from his wallet a small round mirror, about the size of a quarter. He said, “I was a small child during the war. One day, on the road I found a broken mirror and I kept the largest piece, the one I’m holding now. I began to play with it and I became fascinated with it. I noticed that it could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine; deep holes, crevices and dark closets. I kept the little mirror and as a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game but a metaphor for what I could do with my life; namely that I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design I do not know. With what I have, I can reflect light – truth, understanding, meaning, knowledge – into the dark places in the hearts of men…Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I do.”

 

As Jesus continued speaking to his future missionaries, he said, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.”

 

None of us walks into a room hoping to navigate the room and entertain guests by turning off the lights.  The absurdity of Jesus’ statement would have been just as clear to his listeners. 

 

“Instead,” Jesus says, “A lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”

 

Then He states a crystal clear mission statement. 

 

“Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and praise our Heavenly Father.”

 

It’s a mission statement for our lives too. ServeLouisville offers opportunity to let your light shine through regular service opportunities with families who are willing to live as lights in selected neighborhoods.  Will you join us?  Sign up to serve at www.servelouisville.com.

Light up Louisville!

Rick Bayless

Director

Living a Lifestyle of Invitation

Zach+motes.jpg

Light Up Louisville with Service: Zach Motes

Zach Motes had a bridge in mind when he looked for a house between the University of Louisville Campus and West Louisville. That house had to be big enough for roommates, spacious enough for groups to meet.  

A place with comfortable chairs. A place to put your feet up. And it has to have room for a big dining room table for guests—students, neighbors, new friends from the university and West Louisville.  

“I want a lifestyle of invitation,” Zach said. “A house that is always open. A place there’s always a seat at the table. Always a space for conversation.”  

Zach’s vision for life and ministry fit with ServeLouisville’s mission to build or makeover homes for people on mission. They believe communities change one person, one home, one neighborhood at a time.  

Zach is one of the first homeowners in the Missional Living program. He is in the process of purchasing a large, vacant home located between the University of Louisville Campus and West Louisville. Volunteers with ServeLouisville will help renovate it.  

As a college pastor at Southeast Christian Church, Zach is all about people—those who follow Jesus, but also those who doubt, those who are disillusioned and unsure about faith.  

He has big dreams for the vacant home he will soon own.    

“When we live every day on mission, our home is one of the best resources,” he said. “We are called to open our homes and make people feel comfortable. My dream is that this house will be a place of disciple-making where people will catch the vision to spread the kingdom of God.”  

ServeLouisville will bring the vacant house back to life.  

“That’s a metaphor for the community,” Zach said. He and other volunteers will reach out and meet neighbors in the community, offering friendship and home improvement assistance. That will open the door for change in the community.

Written by: Ruth Schenk

Our First Missional Living Family Moves In.

Kevin and JoRae.jpeg

Light Up Louisville With Hope: Kevin & JoRae Bayless

“Staying is the new going...” Kevin Bayless

Moving into refurbished Beechmont house begins a new chapter

They say the best journey takes you home.

When Kevin and JoRae Bayless packed belongings in Kansas to move to a simple, refurbished home on Southside Drive in Louisville, hidden perks made it exciting.

Neighbors from more than 40 people groups who speak 100 languages. It’s knowing they can be part of new stories, one house, one street, one neighbor at a time.

Kevin is a new project manager at ServeLouisville- part of CrossRoads Missions. The goal is to refurbish some of the 5,000 abandoned homes in Louisville for families ready to live with neighbors in mind. It may mean house church, Bible studies, coffee, picnics, knowing their stories and their dreams.

Kevin and JoRae are ready to live chapters of this new story of ServeLouisville.

That means volunteering and getting involved with new friends. With longtime experience as a pastor and contractor, Kevin sees what he knows about God, the Bible, people and construction coming together for this new assignment at ServeLouisville that is more than a job.

This year, the theme of ServeLouisville is “Light up Louisville” as teams renovate homes and welcome new families to the community. Missional Living is the goal.

“The mission field has come to us,” Kevin said. “Staying is the new going. You hear people say ‘God called me to Africa or Asia, but you rarely hear, God called me to stay home. That’s what God has done with us. He’s called us to this neighborhood.”

Written by: Ruth Schenk

5005 south side.PNG
bayless'.jpg

Light Up Louisville with Hope

ServeLouisville exists to help churches plant missional living people in neighborhoods where hopelessness abounds—to be lights in the darkness. The presence of light brings hope in the dark.

When hope fades, feelings of futility and despair set in. Victory is nowhere on the horizon. But there is a bright side. Times of deep hopelessness and despair often brings a greater recognition of the need for light. We intuitively sense that there must be more to life and are drawn to the light.

Enter the good news of Jesus, the Light of the World. In the presence of the Light of the world , hope returns. Just ask the woman at the well. Talk to the bridegroom at the wedding when the wine ran out. Check with the thief on the cross. Chat with Zacchaeus. Have coffee with Lazarus’ sisters. They will all tell you when the Light of the World shows up, hope is restored.

As Christians, we are carriers of light. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they will see your good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven.” In his book, Scattered Servants, Alan Scott says, “The dream of God over your life is that you come alive in His presence and bring light to every environment, spilling contagious hope into hurting humanity.”

It is my prayer that we all will be awakened to the dream of God and partner together in ways that renew and birth hope in the heart of our city.

Let’s Light up Louisville with hope!