Perimeter has always desired to be outward-focused and disciple-makers. While God designed Christians to live in community with one another, He also gave us the Great Commission. We are to share the Gospel with others and help bring about flourishing in the family, neighborhood, city, country, and world where God has placed us. This is the heart behind both the Greet, Befriend, and Invite movement at Perimeter and the City Ministry Teams which are currently forming.
But many Perimeter members are already hard at work being neighborly and introducing their friends and neighbors to Christ through Perimeter Church.
The Journey curriculum is designed especially with that charge in mind. Each week there is a “Mission” assignment which encourages participants to pray for specific non-believers in their circles of influence and to actively look for opportunities to reach out to them.
“With the Journey curriculum you’re confronted with it every week. Who are you praying for? Who do you want to see come to faith in Christ?” said Pollye Pope, who has been going through the Journey curriculum for 10 years. “I need to have seekers on my heart and my mind.”
After an unplanned, unexpected life discussion with neighbor, Pollye started thinking about her relationships with the women in her neighborhood. Most were young moms like herself, but she didn’t really know where they were spiritually … or if they were even interested in spiritual things. She wanted to build stronger, deeper relationships with these women, but she also didn’t want to come on too strong. Maybe … just maybe … talking about spiritual things could help those relationships to grow and flourish rather than be a hindrance.
This thought gave Pollye the courage to ask several neighborhood moms of young kids if they wanted to meet at her house to go through The Answer. Pollye was surprised when so many said “Yes!”
So several pajama and yoga pant-clad moms gathered at Pollye’s house to read through The Answer. At the end of the book, the group didn’t want to break up, so they decided to go through the four Life Issues books.
When the group got to the third Life Issues book, her group started asking hard questions.
Do non-Christians really deserve eternal punishment?
What about my mom? I love her, and she’s great.
And my dad has always been faithful, but I wouldn’t say they follow Jesus. Are you telling me that they’re going to hell?
For the first time Pollye felt like she might be out of her depth. Of course, when you’re Randy Pope’s daughter-in-law, you have incredible back-up. The next week, Randy showed up and spent three hours answering her group’s questions.
“I’m so thankful that he’s made himself available to pour into these strangers,” said Pollye. “At the same time I’m thankful that my years at Perimeter and my time in Campus Outreach equipped me to do the same thing.”
That original prompt — that one heartfelt conversation with a neighbor — has born more fruit than Pollye could have imagined.
“Now when I look around at church on Sunday, I see my neighbors. Several of them have started coming. It’s not because I pressured them — I didn’t even know they were coming until I happened to see them — but because they wanted to,” said Pollye. One neighbor says she became a Christian during that book study last fall. Two other couples have come to Taste of Perimeter and one is going through membership.
But Pollye is loath to say that she did anything. She says that she was just being obedient to use the call to make disciples that we all have as members of the body of Christ.
“God did it all. I just provided the wine, the food, and the books.”