The idea came to me on a retreat—what if, I thought, we had a way to let the church be a light for our neighborhood in a very tangible and visible sense? I spend my days doing ads for clients, but what if my client was Jesus? What would He want me to do... What would He want us to do? So I spent that retreat time really trying to pray and listen to God and trying to sanctify whatever gifts He has given me... whatever gifts He has given others in church. When I first talked about it with some life groups and our missional communities, it was well-received. We came together as a church to do this and that was a beautiful thing (Dana Tanamachi offered to design the poster). When I contacted the media company the operator was really touched about the idea. I'm sure her day to day mainly saw businesses using their media space to get people to "buy" a product or whatever... so she was really touched to see us using this to pray for our neighbors—so much so that she gave us a giant discount instead of selling the spot to a larger corporation.
Each morning at 8:00 a.m. for the month of October, faithful members of our church community stood at the bust stop on 5th Avenue and 3rd Street in Park Slope, present and ready to offer prayer and encouragement for those in need. It was a collaborative effort from conception to execution and was a beautiful sight to see all of us becoming the hands and feet of Jesus.
The takeaway from it was to live by faith. Not going to lie, it's a little scary to stick your neck out there. Is it going to work? What if nobody shows up? Can we really wake up that early everyday? What difference are we really making? Am I / are we wasting our time and money? But those answers aren't up to us. All we are supposed to do is abide.
We did pray for people and I would love to say that every morning at 8:00 a.m. we had lines and lines of people waiting to receive prayer. But it wasn't like that. I do know that hundreds of people saw the poster everyday when they passed by it (it kinda is hard to ignore) and I believe we sowed seeds of love in hope. Just like the operator on the phone, people have been touched. Someone from our church was a barista at a coffee shop in Dumbo and overheard one of their customers talking about the poster. So that's encouraging that we have sown seeds.
If any of you have an idea or want to use your gifts and talents to bring his Kingdom, please do. Like little kids showing their daddy something they made for him... I believe Jesus looks at us and smiles at his beloved children when they create something for Him.