project sweat: engaging our community
I saw it again just this morning at the Medical Mall. It wasn’t but a day or two ago that I saw it last. Its’ attractiveness is undeniable and its’ simplicity is just as striking. What is it that I saw? I’ll give you a hint—it’s white, round and contains the outline of a great looking tree and letters that spell “HIGH-LIFE.” I’m referring, of course, to the High-Life sticker that so many of our students, parents and adults have on the back window of their cars. Before I saw it at the Medical Mall I saw it on Bob Wallace, before that on Bailey Cove and before that outside of Target, Little Rosie’s, Lowe’s and Piedmont Pool. It brings me great joy to see the markings of our ministry all throughout the city. However, to be a part of High-Life doesn’t mean simply putting a sticker on your car—it means so much more. To be a part of High-Life means caring about and being involved in a ministry of presence, a ministry of the preached word and a ministry of community engagement and service. To this end, a group of students from the Junior High-Life community will be taking part in Project Sweat July 14-17. It is through this ministry experience that we will be engaging the community with our head, heart and hands, as we learn what Christ-centered community development looks like. We will pick seeds, weed gardens, process food donations, visit the elderly and much more. By coming alongside and serving some of the people and ministries of Huntsville, we will be learning more of Jesus’ heart and Southwood’s heart for those in need around us. We hope to make an impact on the daily lives of many people and their families as we offer a glimpse of hope through gospel restoration.
However, my greatest desire through this experience is that not only will our students’ hearts be transformed in their understanding of grace, service and community, but that our work would be a continued part of the indelible mark that Southwood has already be leaving throughout Huntsville this summer and the past decade. Ultimately, I want the rest of Huntsville to drive around the streets, engage with Southwood’s people and enter into once dark places and not able to deny God’s work. Just like the stickers I proudly spot around town, it ought to be our goal that every street, neighborhood, business and heart would proudly display the impact of God’s work through the Southwood community. Because, after all, that kind of gospel work is even more attractive and yet so strikingly simple.