Over the past year or two, you may have heard of A2E and thought to yourself “What is A2E?” A2E is the acronym for Acts 2 Enterprise, which is based on the work of Jesus and His disciples in the early church as recorded in the book of Acts. A strategic and holistic urban outreach initiative of the Michigan District, LCMS, A2E is an intentional undertaking for churches in Detroit to reconnect with the communities in which they reside. It is a catalyst for renewing the hearts, minds, and spirits of children and families in the City of Detroit. Two desired outcomes of the A2E initiative include seeing Detroit citizens rise to their fullest potential, and to see the Church serve as an agent of this transformation.
A2E began with strategically empowering the pastors, leaders, and congregations in Detroit to become disciples, and then to position themselves in the center of community for the purpose of being visible and accessible. Together, they will provide educational, economic, and physical resources and a spiritual presence in the community. Since February 2012, seven A2E Leadership Series Workshops have provided LCMS urban pastors, laity teams, and ministries an opportunity to come together to identify common and critical issues, broaden their collective view of the strengths of urban churches, value and appreciate the work of urban and suburban churches, and expand their vision to partner with community agencies, faith-based ministries, non-profit organizations, and schools in addressing the needs and challenges of serving the community.
There are 19 LCMS congregations that can, with Christ, work towards revitalizing communities and linking, wherever possible, with existing community agencies, schools, health systems, and other service agencies to improve living and working environments in neighborhoods. These congregations will continue their mission in Word and Sacrament ministry with the energized understanding of how to connect with their neighbors.
George Barna, of “Growing True Disciples: New Strategies for Producing Genuine Followers of Christ” stated very appropriately, “If we hope to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals and in the nation’s culture, then we must increase our intentionality, our intensity, and improve our strategies.” That is what the A2E Leadership Series strives to accomplish. As the series continues, teams will go more in-depth as they develop ministry action plans and specific ministry priorities.
Moving forward in 2013, leaders will continue to unify through worship and mission outreach. On New Year’s Eve, the churches will celebrate together at 7 p.m. at Outer Drive Faith, Detroit for worship and fellowship. In March, there will be a Neighborhood Beautification Project conducted in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. In August, the high goal has been set to host a week-long sports camp. Objectives of the camp include teaching various sport skills, providing dinner, and sharing the Gospel with all participants.
Please join the A2E Initiative by seeking God in prayer for opportunities to come alongside these congregations as they look towards an exciting new year anchoring in Christ, equipping leaders for intentional discipleship, and embarking to extend the Kingdom of God in their communities.