Posted: 6/6/19 at 2:40pm. Article by Gannon Sims.
Calvary Baptist in Bowling Green is one of many churches around the country engaging their local community beyond the church walls. They’ve launched The Well House, a community gathering space for people who aren’t being reached by regular church programming.
Helen Hauser, a member of Calvary, and her team envision The Well House as “a portal through which the whole community can be reached for Christ.” The volunteers who lead the Well House find out the needs of their community before they determine their schedule or events. “We want to listen to what people actually need, rather than what we think they need,” Hauser said.
When the leaders started meeting students in the community who needed the internet to complete homework assignments but didn’t have reliable internet at home, they got internet at The Well House. “Students can use the internet at McDonalds, but they have to buy something, so for these students, the Well House is meeting a real need.”
For eight weeks this summer, they’re offering more than free internet. “We’re opening the house to young people from 2:00-5:00 pm every afternoon for what we’re calling CAYR- (Caroline Area Youth Retreat). We’ll offer activities and fun similar to VBS but with more space to build relationships. We’re also reaching out to parents, as we sense there are important and difficult conversations parents and kids want to have.” Again the Well House is meeting a need, as many would likely find it difficult to have these sorts of conversations in church.
Summer is the perfect time to explore and discover the needs of our communities and to pray about how we serve those needs. For an idea about something you or your church might do, click here.
Calvary Baptist Church in Bowling Green is one of our Fresh Expressions micro-grant recipients. Their team will receive additional coaching and training at our learning community retreat on October 18-19 in Richmond. If a team from your church wants to join the learning community, contact Gannon Sims at Gannon.Sims@freshexpressionsus.org.
For a deeper dive into Fresh Expressions this summer, there will Roundtable discussions around Virginia in June and August. Find out more here.