Meeting needs at ‘Street Level’ in Seattle
New expression of Christianity to touch lives in one of the least- churched areas of the nation.
by CHRIS WIKLE –
It can be hard to find God on the streets of downtown Seattle. In these few blocks where the majority of King County’s 8,000 homeless congregate, it is hard to see anything but hopelessness.
StreetLevel, which opens October 2, will bring hope into hopeless situations. This ministry of the Seattle Temple Corps will be a new expression of the Christian church in one of the least-churched regions in the country. While the form is relatively new, the principle is roughly 2,000 years old.
StreetLevel will function as a cell-based ministry. Groups of five to 12 people will meet in homes, parks, and social service centers in the historic Pioneer Square and International District. Individuals will grow in close community within their cell, praying, studying the Bible and learning to lead. When a cell grows to 12, it multiplies into two cells and repeats the growing process.
The guiding principle of StreetLevel is incarnational ministry. This was embodied in Jesus’ earthly ministry and was summarized in John 1:14; The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus did not serve the people at arm’s length but lived with them. Jesus did not go around saying, “The Kingdom of God is over there with the respectable people.” No, the Kingdom of God is at hand. StreetLevel strives to be a vibrant, constant expression of God’s love in its area. Rather than dividing our ministry from the rest of our lives, we seek to make ministry our life, and our lives ministry.
This ministry needs people who are willing to pick up and move into the International District of downtown Seattle. You will live and work in your neighborhood, making friends, inviting people to cell group. You will love people in Jesus’ name. You will be united in prayer and fellowship and receive leadership training. Are you willing to commit to this ministry for one year?
It is asking a lot. It is inconvenient and slightly risky. When Jesus turned to his disciples after the multitudes deserted him, largely for asking them to take risks and be inconvenienced, he asked them if they were going to desert him as well. Peter spoke up for the faithful, “Where else would we go, Lord? You alone have the words that bring eternal life.”