Hear Kim describe the events and interactions leading up to baptisms in her bridging work among the unchurched:
“Last April, a few families from our church decided to coach a t-ball team at a local park with the hope of meeting other families from the neighborhood and eventually teaching them about Jesus. Our church hosted a few team barbecues at the park after some of the baseball games, and we also invited anyone from the team to join us for the 4th of July fireworks show at the Rose Bowl. Two families from the team came with us, and we had a blast. At the end of the season, we asked the parents on the team if they’d be interested in playing in a free coed softball league at another park for the summer. Although most of the parents hadn’t ever played softball, 6 adults signed up for the team and we all loved every second of it (despite the fact that we never won a game!).
In August, two kids of the families who played in the adult softball league were put on the same basketball team as the kids from our church. This created even more opportunities for us to spend time together and for our new-found friends (Oscar, Janet, Cliserio, and Maria) to become more comfortable with people from our church who would watch the basketball games and cheer on the team.
Our church had been gathering at the park on the first Sunday of every month in the summer, and after a few invitations, these two families joined us for dinner and a short Bible lesson. They heard the story of the Prodigal Son for the first time and were encouraged to know that God loves us by His grace rather than by our own merit. When our church took a retreat to Yosemite in September, we had built enough trust and credibility with them that they joined us over Labor Day weekend as we hiked throughout Yosemite Valley, worshipped, and read a few Bible stories in our cabin.
By October, Oscar, Janet, and their daughter Allison were joining our church gatherings every Sunday. Janet also started attending our Women’s Bible Study on Thursday nights where we talked about some of the fundamentals of our faith. Over the next few months, both Oscar and Janet grew in their faith, in their knowledge of the Bible, and in their desire to follow God.
On December 13, Oscar & Janet expressed their commitment
to Jesus by getting baptized!
We were thrilled that God answered our prayers by allowing us to build relationships with unchurched families from our neighborhood and eventually add to His kingdom bymaking two more disciples in East Hollywood.”