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Porta Potties and the Gospel

By Pastor Phil Cooley

In my article today I want to try something a bit different.  I am inviting your input.  At the end of this article is a link to a brief survey.  Read the article, take the survey.  I believe that we will both be blessed by the process.

Porta Potties.  If that blue plastic box seen at construction sites, parks, and outdoor concert venues comes to your mind then you and I are on the same page.  But have you considered that those blue plastic boxes might serve as an opening to share the Gospel?  Well I do.

In Matthew 5:16 Jesus says “… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Peter says much the same thing in 1 Peter 2:12 where he writes “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”  There is a principle in these passages that the decisions we make in our lives can provoke unbelievers towards relationship with Jesus, towards knowing and glorifying God.  Scripture also shows us, in stories like the parable of the Good Samaritan, that a major way we can be a light in the world is by meeting the needs of others. All of this leads me to seeing a clear connection between blue plastic boxes and the Gospel.  

A couple months ago, Maria, the crossing guard at my kids’ school came up to me to make a request.  She knew my Dad was in politics and believed that he could help her with a need she had.  You see, her family and several other families gather multiple times a week at a local park to hang out and play volleyball.  I knew of their gatherings and that they had been doing so for months, if not years.  Their group is a fixture at the park.  While this regular time together was a great joy for all of them there was one big problem.  The park doesn’t have a bathroom.  As the closest home to the park, Maria found herself shuttling her friends to and from her house to use the bathroom.  Talk about need.  Her hope, as she told me about her problem, was that my dad might be able to have a bathroom installed in the park.  I sadly let her know that such a decision was not something my dad had direct control over as it is a Park District decision.

But then I had a crazy idea.  What if churches in Rancho Cordova came together and raised the funds to rent a porta potty to be placed in the park and available to all?  Imagine how Maria and her friends and family might feel when they hear that believers heard her need and generously met it. What might happen if people using the park heard the same?  I believe that part of their response will be to ask “why?”  See how this leads to Jesus?  

I will say that this porta potty plan is in the early stages.  I am working with the pastor whose property sits next to the park in question.  He and I are gathering information and talking to the necessary decision makers to see if such a plan is even a possibility.  Whether this plan ultimately comes to fruition or not, it illustrates that we can be very creative in how we lead people to Jesus and glorify God.  This leads to my question for you.

What are needs that you see in our community that we might be able to meet such that God is glorified?  If porta potties are in play, then the sky is the limit.

Click here to participate in the survey.  


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