Guess Which U.S. City Is Best At Luring And Retaining Young Creatives …

Hi friends, I’m Bobby Gilles, Sojourn’s Director of Communications. Daniel and Mandy Montgomery have been out of the country visiting missionary partners. Pastor Daniel will be back with new posts here next week.

But has the headline left you curious? If you guessed Portland, Seattle, Dallas or Pittsburgh, you came close — those cities rank #2 – #5 in a new study by Portland State University. Louisville finished in the top spot, which is no surprise to me.

Louisville has a revitalized downtown, a vibrant arts community, delicious restaurants, innovative colleges and a cost of living that is much lower than most American cities and regions. So I’m thinking, if any of you young creatives (and the not-so-young, for that matter) are also thinking about moving here, you should come to Sojourn. You’ll feel right at home.

And for any of you who may be ministry-minded:

At Sojourn, our vision is for the fame of God to fill the whole earth through the formation of people into the likeness of Jesus, as they live out Jesus’ Great Commission. Come be a part of something bigger than yourself.

An Easy Way To Help The Homeless At St. James Art Fair

Jesse Eubanks is a Sojourn deacon, and one of our founding members. He’s also the Executive Director of the Jefferson Street Baptist Center, Louisville’s oldest gospel mission. I’ve seen first-hand the enormous good that Jesse and everyone at Jeff Street have done for our city and for many of our neighbors who have lost their homes (over 8000 people find themselves homeless in Louisville each year).

Now Jesse and Jeff Street are hosting the Second Chance Yard Sale on October 5-6 during the St. James Court Art Fair, to raise money for the fight against poverty. The Second Chance Yard Sale is located at Third Avenue Baptist Church at 1726 South 3rd Street, Louisville, KY 40208. You can help Jeff Street by:

  • donating household items. Furniture is particularly welcome.
  • volunteering to serve at the yard sale.
  • shopping at the sale.

Over 200,000 people will attend St. James, which is one of my favorite city festivals each year. This is a great chance to increase awareness for Jeff Street and raise the money they need to continue their service to Louisville’s homeless.

For over 130 years JSBC has providing shelter, food and a path forward for those trapped in addiction and poverty. In 2010 and 2011 combined, Jefferson Street Baptist Center did over 22,000 loads of laundry for free and gave out over 33,000 toiletry kits to their homeless guests. Jefferson Street Baptist Center is a mailing address for over 2,500 people – an important need in order to receive mail or fill out a job application.

Jefferson Street Baptist Center’s residents complete over 325 hours of classes (which use the Bible to teach life skills and character) and over 325 hours of job training. Jefferson Street Baptist Center partners with Sojourn and other local congregations to provide a whole-life support system for residents and guests that help them pursue employment, friendship and education.

Let’s represent, Sojourn. You can drop off donations at Jefferson Street Baptist Center, 733 East Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40203. If you need to make pick-up arrangements for large donations, contact Kiana Bullard at 502-584-6543 or writing to kbullard@jeffersonstreet.org.

Learn more about the Jeff Street yard sale here.


Sojourn, Bob Evans and the Gospel

I love hearing stories of how God is using Sojourners to care for each other, grow in Christ together, and to spread Christ’s fame throughout the Louisville area. Last week I shared some testimonies that came out of Midtown’s medical clinic and a block party by South Louisville community groups. Here is a story I received from Jason Heath, one of our community group coaches from Sojourn New Albany:

There is a small, growing group of guys that have been meeting at Bob Evans every other week for a Bible study. Twice out of the four times we have met at Bob Evans, random people from the restaurant have approached us for prayer, so we have been able to pray for them right there in Bob Evans, share the gospel with them, and invite them to Sojourn.

We had talked about taking that Bible study to the New Albany campus, but we have honestly been so amazed at the fruit that God has brought forth by meeting at Bob Evans, that we might just spread the gospel to Clarksville, one breakfast restaurant at a time. There was nothing complicated or formal about this. Just some men going through Colossians over coffee and sausage links.

You all know how I feel about breakfast, so “spreading the gospel one breakfast restaurant at a time, over sausage links …” sounds like a winner to me.

 

From New York To Georgia, It’s Sojourn Network Assessment Day

It’s Assessment Day for Sojourn Network, our church-planting network. Our hope during this Assessment Day is that we find the right people to fit into this network, so we can multiply the vision of seeing not just more churches, but better churches.

So what does that mean? It means that godly pastors and their wives have come to be assessed by Pastor Brian, Pastor Kevin, myself and other Sojourn Network leaders to see if they would be a good fit for partnering with us in our network. They’ve come from different areas of the U.S., from New York City to south Georgia.

We want these men to succeed in spreading the gospel and working with us to plant more churches. We certainly aren’t the only church planting network, which is one reason we do assessments. We desire candidates who will thrive in our ministry culture and who share our vision and values.

Pray for the four men undergoing assessment today, and pray for your pastors and all who are involved. From the start of Sojourn’s existence I’ve said that we desire to be a church that plants churches and multiplies itself. It’s exciting to see how God has been working through Sojourn Network, and to know that this is only the beginning.

And as I said Sunday, pray that God continues to raise up people around the world and from within our own midst — not just planters but all God’s people, and not just with giving but with going.

Our Presence, God’s Power pt. 2

Yesterday I shared some short testimonies and stats from this past Saturday’s free medical clinic about Sojourn Midtown. These are by no means the only testimonies, nor are the stats “the whole story.” Here are a few other ways that Christ is using you, the members of Sojourn, to transform lives by the power of the gospel:

Story 1:

As I wrote last week, the south end Louisville community groups threw a big block party. While there, a family heard about the Medical Clinic. This family has no transportation but wanted to attend the clinic, so Sojourners picked them up. While at the clinic, they heard about the St. Vincent’s launch. Sojourners brought them to the Sunday Service. Now, the woman of the family wants to be baptized.

Meanwhile, a South Louisville community group has gone from 8 to 20 in attendance since that same block party. Group members are now bringing new families from the south end to Sunday services.

Story 2:

A woman came to the medical clinic with bruises all over her face. One of our volunteer advocates assured her this is a safe place. We found out the lady is in an abusive relationship, and had been assaulted the night before. A Sojourner took the woman home for the night.

Story 3:

A family who had never been to Sojourn wanted to attend the medical clinic, but they had no transportation. We found out where the family lives, then contacted the nearest community group coach. The coach arranged transportation through a community group member who lives a few blocks from their house. Not only did the family come to the clinic, but they came to our Sojourn Gathered service the next day.

These are just a few examples of all that God is doing through the Sojourn community. Let’s pray for more stories like this, and more willingness on all are parts to share the hope of the gospel throughout Shelby Park and Germantown, South Louisville, J-Town, New Albany, the East end and wherever God opens doors.

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