Last Sunday, we got the opportunity to visit DC Metro Church in Alexandria, Virginia. This church is, in some ways, very similar to the church that I attend regularly, but in other ways, it is very different. This makes sense though, because these two churches are surrounded by completely different demographics of people. As I’ve done more and more with Ember, I’ve begun to fully embrace the idea that not every church will work for every person. In a world that is extremely diverse–full of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and strengths–we need to begin considering bringing truth to the people. In other words, if the church is a vessel of God’s truth, then we need to bring the church to the people, rather than trying to change the locals to fit the church planters’ mold. DC Metro is a fantastic example of a church that works almost flawlessly with the indigenous community. They brought their church to the people, rather than trying to the people to their church.
There were two things that really stuck out to me, and made me realize why DC Metro is doing so well. We got to talk with some of the leaders of DC Metro’s “DC GO” initiative, and they are truly doing some innovative things that I think other churches can learn from (especially urban churches). Instead of doing the occasional service project, this church takes advantage of their prime location for service. Although they are technically located in Alexandria, DC Metro is basically on the outskirts of DC. They have access to a full city, which is remarkably diverse in almost every way possible. So they broke their service into three major areas: Feed the Need, House the Need, and Supply the Need. They have also recently added on a weekly visit to an elderly home. All of their projects are regular commitments. Church members commit to serving weekly so that they can form relationships. These relationships are ongoing and successful. The DC GO leaders gave us a few examples of people finding Christ through DC Metro Church after being served weekly by a DC GO project. This church works for DC’s people because they have mastered how to serve DC’s people. Bringing church to the people. Oh yeah, and by the way, all of their service/missions efforts are based off of a Toxic Charity philosophy.
The other thing that stuck out to me was the pastor at this church, David Stine. The sermon was on marriage–something that I won’t be able to personally relate to for a very long time. But somehow, I got so much out of the talk. Why? Because this guy quotes scripture like no one I’ve heard before. Not only does he quote it, but he studies it. He gets it. He understands it, and he communicates it extremely well. When someone who clearly knows God and knows about God and is unbelievably humble begins to give a talk about God, it is so powerful. I went home and watched some of his talks that are posted online, and I was just as amazed. The last week and a half, I’ve been diving into the Word more than usual because Pastor David reminded me how powerful it is to know Scripture and live in it. It was amazing to see a church that is so dedicated to community, fellowship, being Bible-based, and just seeking after what God wants for DC. I will definitely be keeping this church on my radar.