Archive for March, 2018

Moving my blog

Last week, I changed the location of this blog and it is much better looking and has pages that link to our church and my upcoming book. I will no longer be writing here but all my old poasts and writing will be found at my new blog location which is: http://www.trotterj.com

You can subscribe to the new blog by clicking in the upper right hand corner on subscribe by email on the new blog. For the 12 of you who are subscribed, thank you! 🙂

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Community engagement – what a radical idea

This morning I sat with a key community leader of one of the most influential institutions in our neighborhood to hear what her perceptions were on the community, what her organization offered, and how we could come alongside. I explained that the vision and posture of our ministry is to really hear from the community through people like her and other residents what they really dream for this place – what is needed, what do we already have within our grasp, what can we do together that could truly make a difference. At the core this is simply knowing your neighbors and engaging a community.

Her response.

Wait for it.

“What a radical idea!” This was not sarcasm or coddling. It was an honest reflection from someone who has worked with the library, schools, and non-profits for over 40 years and was speaking into the situation as she saw it. The Church in North America has simply become so invisible to our surrounding communities that actually engaging the culture all around us is viewed as radical. Guys, while I was honored at the life and hope the conversation brought today, I was inwardly mourning what got us to this place.

May we regain our voice as we engage our communities. One conversation at a time. One day at a time. One week at a time. One month at a time. The way of the Kingdom is often slow and unassuming. Let’s go!

Tenacious

In January, many of you prayed along with us as our ministry took 21 days to fast and pray, asking God to clarify His direction as we move forward. My friend Chris who lives in a Mexican neighborhood in Chicago commented to me that a month long fast at the beginning of the year is literally like giving the Lord the very first of all you are and all you long to do for that year. Similar to the tithe, we submit all to Christ during this time.

The last two weeks have been pretty tough as we’ve tried to plow through some challenges in ministry here. The Spirit spoke so clearly about some things in January but as is expected, there has been a lot of challenge over the last few weeks. One of the key words the Lord gave me about 10 days into the fast was the word “tenacious”. If you know anything about me, you know this word describes me well. I don’t quit and I won’t back down. This last two weeks of discouragement though has found me questioning the Lord’s strong voice as I heard it in January. I’m going back to what I know to be true of Jesus, His plan, and His pursuit of me. It is time to raise the flag again and be tenacious.

Maybe you find yourself at a spot today when you are just tired of trying. Maybe you’re tired of being alone or starting over again and again. I get that. I also get that Jesus is with you; He is with me. Our Redeemer has not called us to passivity and comfort. He is a relentless God who keeps pursuing us. Dare to pick up your feet once more and follow the One you know is trustworthy. Tenacious.

We have some extremely big news coming about the direction the Lord has given us for the Carrick neighborhood here in Pittsburgh and we’ll be announcing that little by little starting next week and towards the end of March. In the meantime we are holding tight to the love of Jesus that sees every pocket of our neighborhood, sees every corner of our hearts, and we are following Him in His tenacious love for this place.