Community

Equipment: Laptop, Projector, Sound, Presentation: Keynote | PowerPoint (click to download), T-mobile flash mob video (YouTube Link)

Introduce yourself, what you do etc.

Video: T-Mobile Flash Mob Video (Welcome Home)

Story: In 2002 the writer & journalist Danny Wallace placed an advert in a London newspaper that simply said

‘Join Me

Send one passport-sized photo to…[address]’ and his address

And then he waited to see what would happen…

Bizarrely without knowing what they were joining.

Or who they were joining.

Or really, why they were joining.

People began to send in their passport photos to Danny Wallace off the back of this advert.

And as time went on and word spread more and more people decided they wanted to ‘Join’ Danny.

He had people e-mailing him for advice on their own community groups and eventually his ‘joinees’ started to ask him the purpose of the whole project.

At at that point he realised that the community he had accidentally created needed a purpose.

So he came up with something.

He started off with him challenging his first few hundred members to ‘make an old man happy’ which was followed by him receiving e-mails from people across the country sharing the kind things they had done to help out old men.

Danny called this group of people The Karma Army.

This group which now has over 12,000 members has been going for over 10 years and is made up of people from across the world committed to performing one act of random kindness a week…being nice for the sake of being nice.

And these people chat on the Join Me website and share stories and once a year they have a bigger gathering.

Explain: The reason I share that with you this morning is that we all like to be part of a community, we all like to be part of something bigger and there are some really odd community groups out there.

(With slides)

For example there’s a group of people who like to appear in town centres dressed as Wally.

There’s also a group of students at York University who belong to a society known as the ‘Lemon Fanta Society’ because they simply can’t get enough of lemon Fanta.

Message: One of the things I believe as a Christian is that God has made us to work together and to enjoy being together and there’s lots of examples both old and new of that.

In the bible Jesus spent a lot of his time with his disciples…the people who followed him and wanted to learn from him and it was those people who worked together to tell the world about Jesus and the fact that there are about 2 billion Christians in the world today shows that they did a pretty good job.

More recently, in 2004 a group of 20,000 young Christians spent a week in London just helping out in communities, doing gardens for people who couldn’t do it themselves, painting youth centres and running workshops and activities in some of the poorest parts of London.

If we work together in our communities whether it’s a small group of Christians sharing a message they believe passionately or a group of strangers setting out to ‘make an old man happy’ and doing random acts of kindness we can make our world a better place.

The video I showed at the beginning was a group of individuals who worked together as a community to achieve something really quite impressive.

Whatever you enjoy and whoever the people are who make up the different groups your part you can all work together to do make a difference

Thanks for listening, I hope as you leave and I play the T-mobile video again you’ll remember that people working together can make a big change in our world.

(Play the T-Mobile video as they leave)