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Inspiration for mission comes in many forms: books, blogs, conferences and even sermons, but sometimes the greatest inspiration comes from simple organic stories born from the desire to be human and love your neighbor

This is the case with Kevin and Lydia Andrews of Colorado Springs, community members of Pulpit Rock Church, a Forge partner church through our Colorado Springs hub. They had the desire to get to know their neighbors on a first name basis, deeper than just a common “hello” passing on neighborhood walks. Asking themselves the best path to drawing their neighbors together, they resorted to pancake batter and their own front porch, something everyone is drawn to on a Saturday morning!

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For the past two years, they have opened up their front porch as a pancake restaurant to their neighborhood, free to anyone who will take the risk and meet their neighbors. By setting up a griddle, some tables and chairs, and passing out flyers around the neighborhood, they have become the gathering place once a month during the warmer, summer Colorado months. One Saturday morning per month, neighbors start meandering down the side-walked streets towards the Andrews downtown home, often carrying their own secret recipes of side dishes and toppings for pancakes. While everyone eats really well, what happens around that griddle is magical. Community has been built, lives are shared, are trust is built to love each other and walk through life together.  

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One neighbor shared me, without prompting, at a visit to their gathering, “When Kevin and Lydia moved in, they just became the place where everyone wanted to be.” This is a testament to presence of place that we talk about so much in Forge. To be intentional in the place God has already sent us and placed us. By surveying their surroundings and simply taking a step, they are now a light on the blocks of homes around them, often being able to listen and be a taste of the Kingdom in hard life situations. This is the missional lifestyle, not strategic, but present and authentic. This kind of attitude God can do amazing things with.

What is it that would bring your neighborhood together? When you look at the place you’ve been sent, what could you simply be present and authentic with that God might use in big ways to give a scene of the Kingdom to come?

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For a heartwarming look at this story, you can watch a video produced by Forge Colorado Springs here. Be inspired, but even more, take a step. It may only take pancakes and your front porch!

- Rowland Smith, Forge Colorado Springs