Pastor Michael Barnes of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Warsaw, Indiana, is a pastor without walls. The congregation is without a permanent facility and meets in rented spaces on a Sunday only basis. For Pastor Barnes, this means no real office to visit with people. As St. Peter’s is also a mission congregation, outreach is a high priority. Combine these two realities and what you have is a Mobile Office.
At various times, Pastor Barnes hits the road taking acrylic table signs, an Bible, a notepad with pencil, congregational brochures, business cards and a smile and sets up the “Office”. The venues include area coffee shops and local eateries. The cost, after initial purchases of the stands and other incidentals, is a drink purchased from the establishment. Sometimes it just takes eye contact or a friendly “hi” and the conversation begins. Prayer requests are taken (and prayed for with the requestor). Questions are answered. Contacts are made.
On August 2, there was a yearly “Tools for Schools” event held in the Home and Family Arts Building on the Kosciusko County Fair Grounds in Warsaw. Lower income families from the area are provided with many of the essentials of school including notebooks, pencils, pens, backpacks for each student. The organization sponsoring the event invited St. Peter’s to participate by providing a table to set up and the encouragement to give out information on the congregation.
Approximately 1100 people came through the doors and several contacts were made and the Gospel was shared. The Lutheran presence in Warsaw is very limited. We are considered by many to be either a cult, or just Roman Catholics warmed over. Through God’s continued grace we are making inroads into the community with awareness activities such as the Mobile Office, First Friday, canvassing, and other activities.
Please keep Pastor Barnes and St, Peter’s in your prayers that the Spirit of the Lord would move mightily through the Word to reach many.