OLDS Recap – Asheville Outreach

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Asheville, North Carolina. An iconic city known for its vibrant art scene, historic architecture, deeply rooted musical culture, and remarkably distinctive mountain vibes. Bustling with quirky museums, farm-fresh eateries, independent shops, and entertainment around every corner. Downtown Asheville seems like a place where anyone can find a good time.

As the brisk first weekend of November arrived, this thriving mountain city is where the Old School tribe found themselves. Spending the better part of two days immersed in heart of Asheville with the sole purpose of making Christ known. Now, you may picture what some like to call “street evangelism” as standing on a corner behind a large interrogating sign yielding a closed Bible and a microphone yelling at people for their life choices. However, this was not the approach that we would take.

As followers of Jesus Christ we agreed that our expected posture of life is one seeking after Christ in light of the Gospel; therefore given the responsibility and privilege of making disciples by God’s power and for his glory. Now, that may manifest itself in a plethora of different ways. In this context, it may mean sparking conversations on the streets, posting up at a coffee shop or cafe to meet new people, asking the many artisans around town about their work, etc. But, in all newly formed relationships at all their different levels of intimacy always seeking to appropriately and boldly steer conversation towards the Gospel. Having prepared our hearts and minds in prayer we split up in smaller groups and roamed the streets to experience the unique culture around us.

American society teaches that it is awkward and inappropriate to talk to strangers outside of the normal mundane scripted interaction we find ourselves in daily. Once that norm is breached we enter into seemingly foreign territory. Some of the Old School crew found this boundary to be a challenge in engaging with people, while others thrived in this environment with the comfort of there being virtually no strings attached. No matter where on the spectrum each one of us fell, we strived to maintain the eternal mindset that everyone around us were ultimately eternal souls in need of Jesus. This mindset caused me to walk a little taller, share more boldly, and pray more fervently not because of my own doing but because I’m proud of the redeeming work Christ has done in my life. Often we when are truly proud of something we choose to flaunt it, like that worn out baseball cap, the report card on the refrigerator, or pictures of our friends and family plastered all around the house. What more to be proud of than our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our brief time in Asheville was spent laboring for Christ, we’re thankful to do it in such a fun place so open to personal expression of beliefs. Among the good food, beautiful art work, Friday night drum circle (where we danced our hearts out), and countless interactions with wonderfully unique people we still left with a true burden for unbelievers everywhere. However, also leaving with the encouragement that God is sovereign over all things and because of the grace we’ve experienced we have the ability to step out of what is comfortable and proudly proclaim Christ with boldness and humility. Motivated to share the Gospel through an interactive, intentional, relational lifestyle rooted in Christ Jesus.

-Curtis Batten

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P.S. Old School wants to give a shoutout to Pastor Timmy Burnette and all of Covenant Church of the Highlands for extending their church building to us. Although, we were only there for one night during our stay in Asheville that was the first time in the semester that all of the Old School tribe slept under on roof. As we are often in different cabins, tents, or under the stars. They gave us a home where we got to laugh, reflect, rest, and share a home cooked meal together. Thank you, we are proud of partnering in your pursuit to make Christ known in that community.

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