Dave and Amanda Blok are planting a missional church in the Godfrey Lee neighborhood of Wyoming, Michigan. Dave is the pastor of CrossWinds Church of Godfrey-Lee, which was launched in the Fall of 2011. The congregation meets for public worship gatherings in rented space at the Early Childhood Center on Joosten SW.
A missional church consists of a group of believers in Jesus Christ reaching their neighbors with the Good News. Dave says, “Missional living is living your life as a missionary. It is thinking about the place you live as your mission field, …living your life as a sent one.”
CrossWinds of Godfrey-Lee is a daughter church plant of CrossWinds Church of Godwin Heights, another neighborhood in Wyoming. CrossWinds of Godfrey-Lee is first of all truly local church; its mission field consists of one-square mile of older homes in north Wyoming. Dave says one of the goals of a missional church is to be “hyper local.” Walking to church should be an option. So rather than growing a bigger church in Godwin Heights, the Bloks and several members of that congregation were sent to plant a local church in Godfrey-Lee. The very name, CrossWinds of Godfrey Lee, demonstrates their commitment to a particular neighborhood.
The Bloks have demonstrated their commitment to the people of Godfrey-Lee by the simple act of becoming their neighbors. While many families are moving out in order to escape the increasing poverty and crime, the Bloks bought a house in the neighborhood this winter. Other members of the Godwin Heights church are intentionally buying homes in the Godfrey-Lee neighborhood in order to love, serve, and reach their neighbors.
The aroma of warm pancakes is one of many ways that Dave and Amanda welcome their neighbors into their lives. Once a month they serve a pancake breakfast to the people on their block. “We reach people by being good neighbors, by throwing good parties,” says Dave. The members of CrossWinds also hold cookouts, set up a screen in their backyard for movies, and hand out bottles of water before football games. Being good neighbors means having the opportunity to invite their neighbors to church, to share Jesus. As a result of their efforts, they’ve seen people come to faith in Jesus. This young church has baptized new believers in recent months.
When Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, he asked the teacher of the law “who was the neighbor to the man who had fallen into the hands of robbers.” The teacher answered, “The one who had mercy on him.” People have come to know Jesus because the members of CrossWinds Church have shown mercy to their neighbors.