In this episode, Zack sat down with David Charles on the bleachers of the Pottstown Middle School football stadium. David is the founder of the STRIVE Initiative and through its “Made for Greatness” mentorship program, is a constant force for good in the middle school and community at large. Make sure you listen to the end to hear his incredible vision for the middle school, the borough’s churches, and anyone willing to believe that God is up to something good in our midst.
This transcript was automatically generated by www.otter.ai, and as such contains errors (especially when multiple people are talking). As the AI learns our voices, the transcripts will improve. We hope it is helpful even with the errors.
Zack Jackson 00:00
Welcome to the reimagining faith podcast with the Pastors Jackson. This is a podcast for seekers, dreamers and fellow sojourners who are trying to figure out what it means to be followers of Jesus in the 21st century. Before we get into today's episode, I wanted to give you a quick update on Open Table UCC and clarify a few questions I've gotten about it. After a whole lot of very complicated paperwork that I'm pretty sure I did, right. Open Table is officially registered with the state and federal governments. We've been approved by the your scientists Association of the United Church of Christ, and added into the main database of UCC churches, hurray, we now have a bank account. And within a few days after we received some grant money, we will set up a website with an online giving portal for anyone who's interested in supporting the church, or sharing the sorts of work that we're that we're hoping to be doing. During these first two years of church planting. While we're still building the foundation of this thing, Nicole and I are only taking part time salaries until the church can afford to support us. So we're both looking for part time work to support our family while we get this church off the ground. If you'd like to support us personally, during this time, you can become a patron of this podcast at patreon.com/reimagining faith. This podcast is not officially a part of the church, but kind of runs parallel to it. And any support that we can raise through the podcast will go directly to supplementing our income. So we can devote more time to the church plant and all of this wonderful content that we're hoping to create. I hope that helps to clarify a few of the questions I've received. Within a week or two, you'll be able to donate directly to the church if you'd like to. But if you want to help support our family and give us some more flexibility to provide good content for you, then you can support us on Patreon, where there are some pretty sweet perks to our planting team is meeting every other week on Sunday mornings throughout the summer. And we're hoping to begin regular worship services at the end of August or early September. If you are local and you want to help us dream this church into existence, let us know. Otherwise be on the lookout for announcements about our opening date. Now, onto the episode. In this episode, I sat down with David Charles on the bleachers of the Pottstown middle school football stadium, hence the wind and lawn mowers in the background. David is the founder of the strive initiative and through its made for greatness Mentorship Program is a constant force for good in the middle school and the community at large. I'll let him explain to you a little bit more about what he does and why he does it. But make sure you listen to the end to hear his incredible vision for the middle school, the borough's churches and for anyone willing to believe that God is up to something good in our midst. So we're here on the bleachers of a stadium at the Pottstown middle school talking with David Charles and maybe you could just start us off and tell us who you are and what you do here.
David Charles 03:25
My name is David Charles. I am born and raised here in Pottstown, Pennsylvania Pottstown School District. I'm an alumni of Pottstown. We're sitting here at the stadium, football Grig Memorial Field, many memories but currently I run a program called created for greatness at the Pottstown Middle School in Pottstown. We've been in the middle school since 2018. And it's a community based on site mentoring program. We bring in community adults from Pottstown and surrounding areas to connect with students once a week for about 45 minutes. Each time they connect. And it's usually during lunch. We have for lunch zones fifth through eighth and as a morning mentoring block 7:50am to 8:30am where we have mentors, community adults also come in and connect with students. And and we are mentors also connect with teachers and are in some of the classrooms and we just support students and administration.
Zack Jackson 04:49
What are they doing with these these adults when they come in? Are they giving lectures are they like talking one on one with
David Charles 04:56
they're usually one on one with students we match them mostly by interest, or, you know, I do a lot of interviewing with the mentors and the students. And we do a survey with both an interest survey with the students, and an application and a survey with the adults. And we do a little matching that way. It's not always perfect, but because I connect with the adult and the student, I just, you know, sort of use some wisdom and lots of communicating with the students to match adults with them.
Zack Jackson 05:31
So you got to know like everyone then in the city, right, yeah,
David Charles 05:35
I know, everyone. I know, pretty much I know. Yeah. There's a lot. Yeah. I'm thankful for
Zack Jackson 05:43
that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it sounds like it. If you've got like students that come in, and you ask them what their interests are. And your brain then immediately goes to like, oh, well, I got to connect you with this person, I got to connect with that person. And
David Charles 05:55
yeah, in some way, but it's also through that survey and application from the mentor that I got to look at both, you know, and it's always it's not always matched by interest, it's more little wisdom and thinking through what could be helpful for a student. And the adult is, well, you know what I mean, I just get started. Um, actually, I saw some negative press on social media, about Pottstown middle school students, and some vandalism happening as students were walking home. And I didn't like it. I just didn't like sort of the tone of some of the adults that were commenting. And it kind of made me feel like, if they were talking about middle school students in this tone, it was almost like they were talking about me. Because I was a middle school student here. And I just that touched me, I'm like, oh, what can you do to get involved? Because that that was something that was meaningful for me, I needed people to actually step in and not point a finger. But actually do something I reached out to Mr. Steven Rodriguez, the superintendent, I said, I'm seeing all this press. I want to come in and, and do some assemblies around respect and respecting yourself and others, building trust, and I want to bring some community adults in to connect with students that are sort of pointing the finger. Let's go in. Oh, that's got an act. Okay.
Zack Jackson 07:38
Yeah. So like the thinking that the the adults who are out there talking trash, like get them in here. And it's harder to talk trash about somebody that you know and care about, right? You have a vested interest,
David Charles 07:50
vested interest, and you start to learn. Oh, yeah, there may be some things that are, you know, that are that are there some vandalism and some, some respect and behaviors that do need to change? But you got to put yourself in the mix. And you can help become part of the change? Yeah, right. Yeah, that's one on one. You know, that's, that's enough. Yeah.
Zack Jackson 08:17
I mean, I think I'm only 35. So it wasn't that long ago that I was in school. Sure. And even even that amount of time, I feel like the world has changed so much, that the sorts of things I dealt with, like the types of bullying I dealt with the types of pressures I dealt with, are just totally foreign to what's going on now. Right? Like, we got AOL Instant Messenger when I was in like ninth grade. I can't imagine if I was texting in second or third grade, or if you've got all these pressures on Instagram, and tick tock and whatnot. What's it like here? What are these kids dealing with?
David Charles 08:56
I think a lot of the students are dealing with aces, adverse childhood experiences, things in there. I would say family life trauma, all those things, and I would, I would know that from personal experience, being in Pottstown, coming from sort of a broken home, and you know, it's not all the students, but there's just the poverty level here. It's I don't know the percentage, but there is a poverty level. And, you know, it's, it's some things that students are dealing with parents are dealing with, that are not easy, and it's, you know, it's, I know it because I dealt with it. And I see it, I can feel it. I can sympathize with it. But I also there's a part of me pulling myself up and others helping me to pull myself up to go on another road and trajectory. to better my life. Yeah. So and you know, it's students are dealing with things, but these students are resilient. Yeah. And they're, they're wonderful. Like when you actually get to know them, and you invest your time, and they see you show up. The respect level changes. You know, it does change now. Now. I don't, I wouldn't say it always changes for teachers, which it needs to, right, because teachers here, this is a calling. This is not just the job. I know that it's a calling when you get up to do this every day for possibly 30 years. You got to be called to be with young people on a consistent basis. Yeah. You know what I mean? It's it's and teachers, they don't get paid? Well, they're not getting paid well, like so. So to come every day, you know, it's just and that's why I'm here. You know, it's like a dedication, like supporting students, supporting teachers, and, you know, but it is, it is the most diverse place in Pottstown.
Zack Jackson 11:17
Yeah, the middle school,
David Charles 11:18
this district, okay. It's one of the most diverse I mean, when you go in that lunch room, you will see the rainbow. It's beautiful, right? And I am constantly telling the students up like, this is the training ground. This is the place you want to be, let us help you navigate in this space. Because it's, you might not get it again.
Zack Jackson 11:49
Yeah, no, that's true.
David Charles 11:51
You might not get this Yeah. But if you look around, don't take it for granted. You know, let's work on what you see, and how to navigate and how to understand yourself to understand others as well.
Zack Jackson 12:05
What brings you hope, but these kids,
David Charles 12:08
I would say, having conversations with them, hearing some of their goals and some of their dreams. The students, you know, we did a survey like to end of 2019 going into 2020, about the career interest, over 600 survey responses. And these, most of the students now are in the high school, there's a there's some in eighth grade, but the students actually want they desire to become someone, you know, nurses, plumbers, and all kinds of things they want it, you know, they just need sort of a roadmap, and they need the community to get involved. Give them the extra unfavoured We believe in you. Even if someone at home doesn't show you at the moment or what you need. Because sometimes students are desiring parents to show up and say, I love you. I'm here. And sometimes parents don't I don't know how to give that, you know, I know from personal experience than me, my mom didn't love me, you know, but she didn't know how to love. You know, she did. She just wasn't taught that, you know, she was looking for love. Just because, you know, she was on her own since 14. And there's things that I'm sure students are dealing with, that people have no idea. Oh, absolutely. You know, that they're coming from situations where, you know, they just, they gotta continue to have adults show up. To one day, they say, I'm going to show up with you, Mr. Charles, I'm going to show up with you.
Zack Jackson 14:05
I wonder if there's that generational break. Sometimes when you think about the way that, like youth are perceived today, where I hear it all the time, especially in older populations, like you know, the kids have no respect for authority, no respect for their elders. And it was like, for a time for a long time. If you had held a position that it was assumed you had a certain amount of respect because you had that position right like well, there's the there's the the pastor, so we're always going to call them reverend. Yeah, public, you know, and we're not going to curse in front of them. Or, you know, this is the teacher and we talked to teachers in a certain way. But I got I'm, I'm just kind of put on my anthropology hat and sociology hat and just assume that like sometimes 60s and 70s, and that we just authority He failed so profoundly to from, you know, Nixon on down, that just lost all respect for people in authority. And it's, it's that you have to earn the respect now. It's not just granted to you like it was before. Yeah. And so you get people who walk in and assume that because of their position or because of their age, or because of whatever, that they should be spoken to, in a certain way, and children should, should assume certain things about them when, when this generation, probably generation prior to it's like, you start with them being skeptical about you, and you have to earn their trust, but when you earn it, you're there. Right? Yes, it's it's, it's deeper than it would have been when it was just assumed and given to you because you've earned it. And I kind of love that more. And maybe this is like my, my Philadelphia sports fan mind coming through, because I feel like that's how we are with our sports teams where like, you've come here and you need to work your butt off. Yeah, earn our respect. And once you do, you can you'll never buy a drink he facts. Yeah. But I love that. I love that you they are skeptical of authority, because man authority suck sometimes. And you really need to be skeptical of people out there. But you if I think if more people realized that it is on them to earn respect from other people that aren't maybe we'd be in a better
David Charles 16:43
place. We would I think you nailed it. i You nailed this generation, especially in the middle school. Yeah. And what I'm seeing with some of the respect and disrespect, you know what I mean? I it's something that now it does need to be earned. You know, and it's not the same. When I was growing up. At this age, I walked into the community center, the Rickett center, I mean, hat off, how you doing? Didn't want to get kicked out? No. Swearing, none of that. Totally different today. Totally different. It's a respect thing. Now it has to be earned. And you know, there's no assuming it's, it's like, the ground is neutral. And people are walking in the room, students, teachers. And there's a level of learning that curve, even for adults, to learn. How, how do we do this now, because the culture has changed. And has changed. So it's not like, well, I need that respect now on demand, no, no, no, we need to, as adults actually work together and have conversations, how do we do it?
Zack Jackson 18:07
Well, if we grew up in a world where it was assumed that you would have respect for people based on their position, or age or whatever, then maybe we didn't learn how to earn respect. Maybe we just assumed that it would be given to us when we were older, no matter what kind of person we are, and didn't learn that character matters. And now maybe adults need to learn that.
David Charles 18:31
That's exactly what I was saying. It's it's sort of a relearning sort of unprogrammed thing of what we thought with authority and respect and age. And I think it's just a time right now to also as adults go within, collectively, you know, together though, you know, and individually like, but to go within and think about some of the past where we are today. But it's it is about unifying. You know, it is truly it's, that's important. Yeah. As adults, you know, especially, I would say in this building. And in teaching period, it's, it's, you have to be on a unified front as adults in this building. When you're dealing with these students
Zack Jackson 19:32
as a dad, I appreciate that.
David Charles 19:35
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, right. Even parenting. Oh, Lord, if you are not on a unified front, those children will get into whatever they can tell they're smart. My mom said this. Well, Dad said that, well, this No, no. We stand together. Yeah, I'm gonna hold you accountable students You're not gonna go to one teacher, it's not going to happen, we're not going to give you this. No, you're going to be held accountable. We love you, we care about you. And this is what you have, you have to learn these these principles, respect, discipline, accountability, and allowing others to hold you accountable. Oh, like, like, do some help with that. Let's talk about those as our four mantras, learn that within yourself.
Zack Jackson 20:36
So when you were creating this program, and trying to sell it to people who would help to fund it was that did you find that to be tougher? Were people just on on board?
David Charles 20:51
I mean, some people were on board. But it was this was like, really strategic. And creating this, and, and, you know, connecting with Mr. Rodriguez, and his support of really understanding and being on board with the community getting more involved. And like being a part of the school and, if possible, the school day, and, and really to see what's happening. It's for me, it's been strategic, because it's been around building meaningful relationships. And that's, that gains attraction when it's meaningful. Yeah. You know, and I think some of the funders that I've connected with, through strive, and just personally, by volunteering on board, the foundation for pasta and education, that really wasn't strategic. That was, you know, we had a gentleman by the name of Mr. Jim Coram African American gentleman taught in the school district passed away, unfortunately, I think a year or so ago, he said, David, as a young black man, you need to be more involved in education in this in this district. You got to be a part. You got to understand what's happening. You got to show up. And I tell you, I wasn't really interested in sitting on any boards. But his encouragement guidance I did, I sat on foundation for pastan Education Board for six or seven years, which supports programs here at the district. And I started to learn what are the needs? How can I serve? Where am I needed? And that snowballed into relationships and building trust. And showing up and and here we are today? Yeah, right. So it's building meaningful relationships that really, I would say put us in this situation, because that's what we do with created for greatness.
Zack Jackson 23:13
Yeah. Right. Yeah. That that's what you have to do if
David Charles 23:17
the health and wellness Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation has been like, just so supportive. Yeah, yes. And the Boston School District I've been like, just has been supportive. First, Presbyterian, we've gotten grants from First Presbyterian right here in Pottstown. Church here, I mean, the donations from people. I'm floored I, I'm still like, wow.
Zack Jackson 23:50
Like people can trust you. You're You're, you're a pillar, you've been here your whole life. If your family's been here, their whole lives, you have been your generations you are connected, you're on boards you're on, you are not going to, you know, hightail it out to the mainline at some point in the near future. And when you strike it rich or something like you are committed here so people are people know that you can be trusted. That's so important. Yeah,
David Charles 24:15
it is it is important. It is important. Yeah.
Zack Jackson 24:19
I mean, when we when Nicole and I were contemplating church planting, one of the things that was suggested to us was that we go find a, an area where there's no United Church of Christ congregations, because that way, there's no competition, which is a topic for a whole other episode. But so we looked, we drove down, you know, Westchester, and that whole area where there's not really any UCC churches, and we looked around and we thought about it, we dreamed about it, but it really just felt colonial to show up in a place where we have zero buy in Zero connections, and then start something new that that addresses a need that we think exists with no buy in from the community and then just assume that they're going to accept us there with with open arms, and we're gonna thrive there. And that just felt so wrong. Yeah. Right. And, you know, Nicola has as a lot more clout and connections here than I do yet, which I'm sure I will over the next couple of years. But so we felt really strongly that like, this is where her heart is, this is where her connections are, this is where she's already poured herself into the community. And we have so many people here, people like you who understand the needs of the community, we're we're not going to show up here and create some program that we that what we think is what everyone needs. And just assume everyone is going to come running to us. We want to partner with people who are already doing things, right. Because like, I'm now coming into this community, and I'm not from Pottstown. And I've never worked in Pottstown. I've never lived in Pottstown. I'm from Jersey. And so like, I'm feeling like, I need to come here into this city with a servant's mindset. Yep. And not as a leader. But as somebody who will show up and do the work when the people who are here, tell me what it is that needs to be done. Sure. until like, I've earned people's respect, and I can understand better the needs and the things of the community. And that's a really humbling experience. Especially, especially for someone like me, you right, I a middle class, straight white, hetero Christian, male, right, I think I check every box of like, the, if society could hand you just a little bit of privilege, they handed me just about every little piece of it. And so like unpacking that, and being like, yeah, no, I, I, I have so much unlearning to do. And so much like, unknowing that I needed to do before I can be of any use to anyone in this area. So I'm, I'm really grateful for people like you who are out here doing this stuff, you know, and I can just, I can sit back and learn from for a while. Absolutely,
David Charles 27:16
man. And it is all about, you know, just how we had a conversation before about you know, it's an uncomfortable face to Yeah. And that's, that's, you know, that I think that's important. We sort of need to go after those spaces, especially when you think of, I would just say Christ, like, uncomfortable. You know, I mean, you know, I lived in LA for five years lived in Germany off and on for three, I lived in Manhattan for three lives in Atlanta. I'm back in Pottstown with two new killer towers here, so And like, I love the beach. And I love nice weather. But I am cold here. You know, so is not as terrible as people think. Yeah, some people are like, oh, man, it's like, no, it's like, and as I age, I'm also I'm not always wanting to be out more like I'm, I'm actually learning and just going within a little more. It's not about me being out. I know everyone Yeah, but it's like, I'm just trying to serve and whatever way I can. And just stay focus with that. You know, and just live simple. You know, I just want to be simple. Yeah, I need my life to be simple, you know,
Zack Jackson 28:52
some lives simply, it was it was that a Gandhi saying that? To live simply so others can simply live? I don't know. That might not be Gandhi. That might be
David Charles 29:03
somebody but I get that. Yeah. Because simplicity is. Yeah, it is. It is it for me, you know, unless and I can go in and out of that at times. But that's where I found the most peace in my life to actually let go of everything that the world is like told me I need and you got to become this. It's like, because like, no. You don't have to be you don't have to do any of those things. If you trust that, if you trust what I'm saying. Who thin space,
Zack Jackson 29:39
then spaces. That's right. We were just talking about that before I hit record. Those places where heaven and earth are just goofy. Just a little piece of cellophane and between the two meet Yeah, yeah. So you've been overseas, you've lived in both coasts, on beautiful places and in all over the place, but you came back here. What? What what is happening here in Pottstown? Now that's got us, like really excited that that you're just rejoicing over what's going on?
David Charles 30:13
Well, I mean, I think the community college is doing more to like, sort of get on board with like, integrating with the community, Montgomery County Community College because the Pottstown campus there, I sit on a, an advisory council there for the Pottstown campus. And they're doing more, you know, they've been here for almost 2526 years. And they're doing more to be more a part of the community and which is good. I would say, I think the business community's doing better. Pre COVID really started to blossom. You know, I think the business community is doing better, I think it will do better. What else what I say? I also think some of the commitment of the community members showing up to different, you know, events and sort of just wearing, you know, the Pottstown proud armor and like feeling like, hey, we don't have to be like another town. You know, we are who we are, we have a grip of our own. You know, we are Pottstown it's like, which is important. You know, it's like really owning who you are. And, you know, we're, we're sitting in the stadium, I'm a Trojan, right? You know, it's like, yes, that's where we are where the trucks I think I think I'm hoping that sports change in this district a little bit, I think there's going to be some sport camps that happen, I think, I feel like some new things could spark some more cohesion with the community and the school district and sports becoming more of, you know, the family comes out. That's, that's how it was when I was young. Yeah, you know, we won a state championship here at Pottstown. And let me tell you, when you talking about a community, that was like, rolling, it was rolling as as, as one community, you know, and I think we can get back there. But there, there are still some layers that have to be peeled back, even when sports brings us together. You know, there's still some things, you know, there was some class differences here. And Pottstown for years north end or, you know, Coventry, and Eastern and, you know, it's like, we're Pottstown Hmm, that's what we need to remember. Yes. You know, it's like, let's just remember that we are Pottstown. Wood, and you are on claim your set, which is Pottstown. Yeah, you know,
Zack Jackson 33:12
yeah, I love that grit. That that that is something that has made me feel at home. Since the time that I've been in the orbit of Pottstown has been like, this is a really familiar grit that I'm feeling. This is like growing up in South Jersey, being around Philly, like that kind of blue collar grit, where it's like, we're going to work and we're going to get it done. We are who we are, and we love it. And flaws in all this is who we are and we're going to work to to protect it. I love it. Yeah, I love it. I can I can totally relate to that. Yeah. No pretension.
David Charles 33:49
No, no, no. No. And I think yeah, I think the business community also surrounded surrounding Pottstown as well. I'm really hoping to reach out to more people, CEOs, managers, directors, whatever, whatever it may be. The pharma industry, the Dana Corporation, just just more involvement in the school. More conversations, more allowing students to know what is available, right in your backyard, how to get prepared, you know, how do we help young people live simple, you know, like, like, encouraging that what does that look like so, so so, you know, Pottstown also can be that place, that people aren't graduating and just moving away? Yes. But they're, they're here, and now they're going to college at MINECO because it's it's you have dual enrollment here at Pottstown. You know, in your you can go to MINECO, Bluebell and you can get your Masters, you know, by now, it's like, we have we have Have a framework that we just have to know exist and have a map. And I think have a contentment about being here, living here, playing here, serving here and loving each other, you know,
Zack Jackson 35:21
our dream for this church plant is that it would be primarily a community space. And, um, that the model for church for a long time has been a gathering of Christians who also goes out and does things. We want to be a community group, like a doing things group that also has a church, right. And so we had Nicole and I had had had dreamed up like a coffee shop kind of setup where people can come and, and be and, and organize and meet and be a part of the community that we're finding more and more, the more we talk with folks who are local, and they're like, I don't know, if we need one, we might not need that a coffee shop. So let's talk about these other sorts of third gathering spaces. But the that's a work in progress. But we do definitely want to, to have some kind of storefront space, some kind of space, that that can be a community gathering place where folks can get to know each other. And when, when we brought these ideas to people, like the big response we got was, nah, not another church, not another nonprofit, can somebody please pay taxes? Yes. And so we are we are committed that when we do create whatever business this is that it is not going to be like, the church, and then the business is under the umbrella so that the business then is a nonprofit, sure, whatever, that we are very intentional, we are not going to try to massage the laws to get around paying property taxes, because we've got people on the school board or a part of the church and people on council that are part of the church, and they are all very committed to the fact that like, if you are in like a for profit business, restaurants and retail out here, like you're contributing to the community, through your tax dollars, and and your presence in the community and like places like the school, they get funded partially by, like, those businesses that are popping up. And so yeah, like, I've never been the person who's excited to pay taxes, but I kind of am like, I kind of want to start making money. In my local taxes.
David Charles 37:39
Absolutely. It's important. There's a level of respect for that. That comes, you know, because unfortunately, we're talking about property taxes. And, you know, with our district in this community, it's like, we're not like, spring for an area that has, you know, farm on all kinds of big businesses out there. And but you know, anybody's hearing this, come on, bring your business here, there you go. Bring your big business here, so we can, so we can, like, you know, change some of that those taxes here with the school district and just, you know, make it better for everybody buying houses or having businesses I mean, that's, you know, it's important. You know, we have the space that back near to college. So yeah, you know that we need it. It's important.
Zack Jackson 38:24
Yeah. Oh, there's the money of great spaces here in Palm Desert. Yeah, beautiful city, really is wonderful. Got a little bit of everything. I'm excited to bring my kids up here. That'd be great. Yeah, that'd be great. See, I mean, other thoughts about, about this beautiful city, about the work that you're doing about anything at all that we've talked about anything, you want to make sure that people take home with them and the anything that they remember?
David Charles 38:51
Again, when we talk about simplicity, as adults and students and like even myself, we just have to learn how to get back. We're not I wouldn't just say get back to that. But there is an unlearn there are so many things that we have learned. And we have we have been bombarded with us around the world and things we need and stuff and, and, and you know, even as a church or just as a church is people and, and people coming together, it's like sharing things, and having things like in common that that thought of sharing, growing, keeping things simple. So we all can live and take care of each other. And like be in a city where i is what I always imagined. You live in near North and you can walk down the high street. You can participate. You can patronize you can go out at rivet with my my buddy harradine spot there, you can eat at the blue elephant, you can eat at the Avenue, and then you can feel safe, walking back up to your home, maybe in North End, or down in Eastern or over in Coventry, or west or whatever. But it's like, it's just, we just got to, I think this simplicity man, having all things in common, you know, not needing so much learning to live and be content is I just, that's, that's something I am. I want to continue to live and go after. So it's upon me and, you know, you think of Christ, it's like, he was he talked to the disciples, like, don't take anything. It's like, it's like, are we going to listen to though don't think, rely on each other rely on the spirit rely with, with what's inside of you and others? And like, I that's what I want to see. I also want to see, you know, you say, I want to see the church also be the church man. Let the spirit and each body of the body be activated. Yeah. That will change a city.
Zack Jackson 41:28
Yeah, yes. 100%. mean, that's my you're speaking my love.
David Charles 41:34
Yeah. That will change a city.
Zack Jackson 41:38
If Christians are little Christ's as the word Christian means, then our entire world would be different.
David Charles 41:47
I'll leave you with one last thing that goes into that. And you're right, it would be different. We were at a it's called nexor meeting with a church for the church leaders. And that's our meeting. And we had a couple, there was 30 passengers. There it was, myself. These are heavily from Operation 143. There was Brian Hostetler, from the possum Middle School was the principal that was Carrie Brooks, who's a pastor at connections. She's been a mentor. And I think I don't know if Laura was there. But we were all in this room. And they were praying about the Middle School and the store, school district and the church. And Pastor Kerry said, she saw a vision. She said I saw in the paper Pottstown Middle School, save Pottstown. And the vision that God has given me with the middle school is that, of course the community, all the community. But the body all the churches in the whole area and beyond. And the community which the churches or community would go into that building and serve and connect with the students connect with a teacher and be present. And before you know it and you look up you got 1000 plus or more body, the members the church in that building, loving on students and the heading and we've talked about this the heading of Pottstown middle schools say as Pottstown I know because God gave me the vision he said this is how the church actually unifies and a place works together. It's not it's not one church. It's the body is in the building. And what happens you look up your you got people from all over, you know, you got First Presbyterian Yeah,
Zack Jackson 44:10
connection, but they're not wearing their church nametag. So it doesn't matter where they're from, you got
David Charles 44:15
OpenTable UCC, you got you got everybody what they're focused on the people. Yeah. And that creates the love that is needed to change that space. And I believe in our school district. We have over 3200 students almost 33 You focus on this district. You can create change, because you got parents, you got students, you got ministration and these students are going they're gonna graduate. And what are they gonna do? Are they gonna pour back into here? Are they gonna leave? Are they gonna drop out? Are they gonna what's what are We're gonna do to actually make sure that we unify and come together. Yeah. Yeah, Pottstown Middle School saves Pottstown. And that reminds me and tells me, it's the body, you know that it's like, and you know, you don't have to be in the church to be here. And you don't have to do any of that, like, you just you got to be available.
Zack Jackson 45:30
Yeah. And I don't want to be too critical of the, of, you know, the million churches and million Christians that are in the area as well. When I think about the things that they aren't doing, and that we aren't doing and that we aren't being because I think that so many Christians are living in a mentality of scarcity. It's not that they don't love, it's not that they don't want to help. It's not that they don't feel the call the pool to make the world a better place. It's that they are the disciples walking up to Jesus with a handful of fish and bread and they go, this is all we got. Right giving is down, people are down, we're just trying to scrape by We got nothing. We can barely make it for ourselves for a Sunday morning with our 10 people in this service trying to pay for this big building, we got nothing. How can we then dream about these big dreams, because they're there in that place? And they're allowing the scarcity to cloud their, their their dreams? I mean, if if Christians are people who worship the god of impossible things, and the God of impossible things, does impossible things that's kind of in the name. And so I just feel like what we need are examples of people who are who believe that Jesus is still multiplying bread and fish to feed the multitudes. That's it. All you need is some a couple of examples of people who don't have the great resources, the giant mega churches, and yet are still loving greatly with the simple presence that they have, and the difference that's being made. And then you get an outpouring of the spirit amongst these churches and these people and you will see the world changed when people and Christians start to believe that the God of impossible things is still here. And still working. I get it. I'm there for that dream.
David Charles 47:26
There you go. I'm here. I'm going right back in that building, brother. You go.
Zack Jackson 47:35
Wow, this is good. Yeah, your time. Thank you for your time. To come here. I love this beautiful, gorgeous. Oh, listener it is 72 degrees and sunny, not a cloud in the sky.
David Charles 47:48
And Amazing. Amazing. So I'm
Zack Jackson 47:51
sure we'll be hearing more from you in the future. Thank you today for talking with us. Yep.
David Charles 47:55
Thank you. All right.
Zack Jackson 47:58
Thank you for listening to the reimagining faith podcast. This podcast is made possible by our incredible patrons over at Patreon. In particular, I want to say a special thank you today to Deb Schwartz, as well as Steve and Gerri Jackson. You can check out all the available perks at patreon.com/reimagining Faith. Nicola and I are so grateful to be on this journey with all of you. May the God of impossible things fill you with hope for a better tomorrow. And May you go forth to make it so
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