Last night, I went to visit my friends at Poplar Heights Baptist Church. I have been blessed to develop a great relationship with their pastor, Richard Bragg (April, his wife, too). He and I have a lot of common ideas and thoughts about faith and church-life. We also share what I would say is an atypical call into Christian ministry. I find it interesting that, lately, God seems to be directing me to a lot of people who would fall into that same category… and that’s a good thing.
Now, back to “Breakthrough.” It is a diversion from the norm… and THAT is a good thing. Pastor Richard felt led by God to take the Sunday evening service time-slot and be purposeful in offering a unique worship experience. He has a desire to reach the community around them with the Gospel and the “community” closest to them has become more diversified than it may have been in years past. This is a common thing within churches in the South. Many – NOT ALL – white churches often struggle when the area closest to them changes racially. The same thing happens within housing markets in many cities. This is commonly referred to as “white flight.” I could talk a lot more about this, but I will not dwell on it in this post. To be fair, I don’t think this is only a phenomenon reflected by Southern white churches alone.
So, what do you do? You find yourself in a situation that makes some people uncomfortable… the landscape has changed! Racial percentages have shifted. Socioeconomic factors and pressures come to bear. Do you run away or do you embrace the change? Let’s see, here are a few scriptures that SHOULD guide the believer, regardless of race: Mark 12:30-31, Romans 2:11, Romans 12:16, Galatians 3:28, 1 Corinthians 12:13, or you could simply read the second chapter of James.. especially focused on James 2:1. I am not saying this is easy to do, but most good things require effort, work, and planning.
With this unique and interesting iteration of Breakthough Community Church, all people are welcome to come and worship together and share their faith and witness as God has placed those things in their hearts. In my opinion, it is good to stretch your spiritual self and open your mind to the way other people worship. Now, before anyone misreads me, I also believe that is is a very good thing to have your own foundational beliefs set on the Rock that is Jesus. There are some things that I personally differ from regarding the faith practices of some of the folks who share and visit Breakthough and that’s alright. There are some core beliefs that should be present, some non-negotiable items of faith that we should ALL embrace. For instance, if you do not believe that Jesus is indeed the only way to gain eternal life (Acts 4:12), then I think Breakthrough is not for you.
I could go on and on for a while, but I won’t. I will post a few pics from last night when we were blessed by a lovely family of believers who are Cuban. I have known them for a few months and I sincerely appreciate their desire to lead believers in worshipping the One True God. The Montero family is passionate about doing this and if you have an opportunity to hear them lead worship, I believe you will enjoy the experience. May God continue to bless Breakthrough and the Montero Family… Amen.