Why Another Church in Portsmouth?
The most frequent question that gets asked is “Why start another church in Portsmouth?” A quick drive down the streets of the downtown and midtown sections of Portsmouth will prove that there is “literally” a church on every corner. What Portsmouth has in church presence, it lacks in church potency. Even though churches are present, these contexts still have numerous problems that are very prevalent.
We’ve identified at least three major issues that need to be addressed.
In impoverished and marginalized communities, the proposed solutions have largely been for outsiders to insert themselves and provide for that which is lacking. But, the gospel offers so much more than material provision and mercy ministry—it offers the restoration of our dignity.
Inherent in each human being is dignity that comes from being created in God’s image. Therefore we are equipped with a unique capacity to relate to God in a way that no other earthly creature can. Scripture shows us that God initiates relationship with us and then calls us to imitate Him, to walk how He walks. But if our aim is merely to supply people’s needs and call that the “gospel,” we end up robbing our brothers and sisters of the true joy that God wants to give to them. True joy isn’t found in merely receiving, but in giving. Acts 20:35 – “You know the words of our Lord Jesus, that it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Transformation is the aim. Turning pickpockets into philanthropists and the under-served into servants of Christ and others.
This is so much better than mercy ministry, it’s a restoration of dignity.