Rev. Christian Jones is not afraid to throw his hat in the ring. He did so in taking the call to Franklin Avenue Mission in Flint, and he has grown it into the Flint Mission Network, which includes ministries Franklin Avenue Mission and York Avenue Mission, along with partner ministries Mercy House and The Luke Clinic.
To grow it even more, Rev. Jones and Flint Mission Network are changing some of their ministry operations. In a recent Michigan District Innovative Missional Ministry podcast, Jones talked about taking Jesus to the streets, and that’s exactly what he plans to do: take kids’ ministry to the housing projects where the families live. “Because of shifts in the way that kids are going to school, a lot of them are not getting home until later; we’re not having as much engagement on campus,” said Jones. “So our goal, instead of doing ministry here, as we once did, is to flip the model around. Rather than busing kids to the church, how about we bus the church to the kids?”
It is a model that Jones saw at work while he was in seminary in St. Louis. “Let’s go to them rather than expecting they just come to us,” said Jones.
The plans are being put in place right now, and Rev. Jones is excited to see how things progress. “We must go, despite the violence, despite the fear and anxiety,” said Jones. “There is work to be done in these communities.”
There are other changes happening at the Flint Mission Network. They welcomed new board members, including a new Chairman, Brian Boughman. Former Chairman Todd Fisher will now become the Treasurer. Other additions to the board are Franklin Avenue native Shanay Payton and York Avenue Mission’s Donna Fair, who is a social worker.
Jones has continually found different ways to get the word out about the ministry to the community of Flint. The latest is no exception. Jones occasionally takes off the collar and puts on the striped shirt to referee for Pure Pro Wrestling. One thing led to another, and the Flint Mission Network has partnered with the wrestling association for an upcoming event on March 18 at the Flint Iceland Arenas. The event features a Grudge Match with El Luterano in the War to Settle the Score against Father Time. Jones says it’s a match that you won’t want to miss, and Pure Pro Wrestling has pledged a portion of the proceeds to Flint Mission Network.
To Volunteer or find out more about the Flint Mission Network, go to flintmissionnetwork.org.
Photos courtesy of Flint Mission Network