Proclaiming the gospel in Seattle

Seattle is a beautiful city. On a warm, sunny day during the summer, the majestic mountains and the glistening waters makes the Emerald City stand out as a wonderful place to vi

Illumine Church is a new mission restart in North Seattle. Pastor Kent Reeder arrived from South Carolina a few months ago. While maintaining ties with Illumine in Rock Hill, SC the new start in Seattle will utilize similar methodology yet tailor their message and approach to a unique audience.

Praise and Proclaim Ministries had the privilege to launch an outreach initiative to help Illumine Church introduce themselves to the neighborhoods surrounding the congregation.

Ready to go out and meet people on Monday morning

Grace Lutheran Church had existed in north Seattle for over fifty years. For the past several years, they shared a pastor with Salem Lutheran Church in Edmonds, WA. Together, the congregations voted to close their doors. After the sale of its property in Edmonds, the former members directed the district mission board to oversee the effort to rebuild on the Grace Lutheran property utilizing the funds from Salem. Plans are moving forward to build a new ministry center next to the sanctuary.

The people living in the Seattle community are unique. They are more global-minded than other regions in the U.S. and look for ways to serve their community. They seem more willing to support projects designed to help people in need, the environment, or animals. They are not interested in organized religion. And they are not afraid to tell you that.

Praise and Proclaim provides evangelism training for members so that they can verbally proclaim the gospel with comfort and confidence. We adapted our methodology and approach with the people we met at the door to introduce the new church on Greenwood Avenue. But even with that change, when the word “church” was mentioned, they immediately held up their hands and said, “I’m not interested. That’s not for me!” Some people were firmer than others to express themselves.

Though we met our share of people who may have not expressed interest in a church, the Lord did provide opportunities to provide a short gospel message. We also rejoiced that several people expressed interest to connect with Pastor Reeder and desire to be a part of the Illumine church family.

Pastor Reeder is aware of the challenge of restarting a new church. He is adapting his approach, the messaging, and how the ministry center will both serve the community and proclaim the message of the gospel. It was a joy to help introduce the ministry of Illumine to the community. The new ministry center is scheduled to be completed in 2020. In the meantime, we ask the Lord to bless the efforts of Pastor Reeder and a core group of members who are busy planning and introducing themselves to the community.

Images from Seattle

The outreach initiative was blessed to have members from Faith Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, MN who came to participate. They traveled to Seattle in partnership with WELS Mission Journeys. Together with members from Holy Trinity (Des Moines, WA), Cross of Christ (Boise) and St. Matthew (Spokane, WA), we were blessed with a group to go out and assist the gospel ministry at Illumine. It was exciting to see the vision, the planning, and the desire to connect with families in Seattle and proclaim the gospel to them. May the Lord continue to bless their efforts. 

4 Comments on “Proclaiming the gospel in Seattle

  1. The challenges are not going to get less. Maybe another word for church could be small groups. For where one or two are gathered or get together can discuss Grace! I heard somebody special is there

    • Thank you, Dean. That’s a good suggestion. In talking with the pastor in Seattle, we felt that while we introduce ourselves to the community we didn’t want to hide who we are. Despite the initial rejections, when a church consistently displays the love of Christ for all people, it gives you permission and credibility to give reasons for the hope we have in Christ. That takes time. But over time, you gain listening ears and credibility. Not easy, though. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Thanks, Dave. Interesting blog post as I know Seattle is in the top ten for post-Christian cities in the U.S. It sounds like that was felt as you went door to door. What I appreciate about Praise and Proclaim is your making clear our role in the process – lovingly planting gospel seeds and then letting God do the work. It’s a comfort to know the results are in his hands. And his Word works – anywhere! God bless your continued evangelism around the country!

    • Thank you Adam! Appreciate your comment. So often, Christian believers put the pressure on themselves when it comes to personal witnessing. Instead, Christ wants us to place our focus on him. We can trust his promises and assurances — and we can trust that he uses every word of the gospel that comes out of our mouth. May the Lord bless your desire to spread the power of is Word in your community.

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