A few months ago, I had a meeting with my academic advisor at Concordia University Ann Arbor to discuss some factors that would weigh in on where I would be placed to serve as an intern for the next 6 months. Many things were discussed during this meeting such as location, congregation size and worship style, even different ministry programs that I might have wanted the opportunity to be a part of. These were all significant factors however, the more important thing I wanted to communicate at that meeting was my desire to be placed in a “nontraditional” setting. I had a deep desire to be in a ministry setting that looked very different from the church that I grew up in, one that would likely appear very polished to most people who stepped foot inside. I wanted to be in a place that challenged my level of comfort: spiritually, culturally, interpersonally, and beyond.
Since starting this internship at Family of God on January 29th, it has been everything I had hoped a “nontraditional” setting would be. What makes Family of God nontraditional? A safe answer may be almost everything. From the amount of hours people spend at church in a given week to the conversations I have with people on a day to day bases; there are many things that go against the grain of one’s typical idea of “church” and yet, I think God is smiling down on our little church every day.
There are times when southwest Detroit feels like a really dark place to be. Truthfully I don’t believe it’s any darker than the rest of the world, I just think that sometimes, the sin that so easily entangles is maybe a bit more easily identifiable here than that which riddles your life and mine. Earlier this month I was reminded of the power of God’s light which shines in the darkness that consumes all of our lives. Along with many others across the state, Family of God experienced a power outage in early March. Despite having no power we were still able to keep our doors open to serve meals, have conversations, and listen to God’s Word. In light of the darkness we did all of this by candlelight. What was remarkable to me though was not just this, but that fact that several people who were coming to us on those nights actually had power in their homes. Despite the fact the we had no power they were coming for THE Light. It was an amazing reminder of God’s compelling power and peace which are both present here at Family of God.