At Southside Community Center, I met up with Micaiah and Jane Irmler to witness their Church’s incredible Christmas Tree Giveaway this past Sunday, December 3, 2017.
“Everybody who attends gets a free Christmas tree and there’s hot cocoa, pictures with Santa Claus, jump houses, and free flu shots!” explained Pastor Micaiah, the lead pastor of Southridge Church in South San Jose.
I spoke with Micaiah, wondering what would motivate his church to reach out to the local community in such a fun, festive way.
“It’s love. We just love the community,” explained Micaiah’s wife, Jane.
“We firmly believe that our Church isn’t here just to exist and have church. We want to make a positive difference in our community,” added Micaiah. “We have this no-strings-attached kind of mentality.”
I asked Pastor Micaiah what words of encouragement he had for other pastors who want to do the same for their community.
“Cast a bigger vision for reaching people that may not look like you, act like you, or think like you. How can we engage them? How can we just open up a way where they’ll just want to have a conversation with us?”
Pastor Micaiah believes his church will impact their community and show the community that the Church does exist for good.
“So what does community mean to you?” I asked in closing.
“I would say… belonging,” replied Jane.
“Yes,” Pastor Micaiah added, “A place where people can feel like this is home. This is where I fit. This is my little tribe. People just accept me, they welcome me. If we can create that sense of community for pockets of people over and over all throughout the church, everybody can feel like ‘Hey! I belong!”
I left Southridge Church’s Christmas Tree Giveaway with Micaiah’s John Maxwell quote ringing in my mind, “Touch a heart before you ask for a hand.”