#’s are an interesting thing. When I was growing up they were a symbol on a phone. I don’t mean a cell phone because those were not quite around when I was little. Eventually, I learned that the # symbol was used to signify a number or pounds that something or someone might weigh. Today it is a symbol that most commonly refers to what is known as a hashtag. Wikipedia defines hasthags as the following: “A hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services, allowing users to apply dynamic, user-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content.” It is that last line that I hope we will all grab on to, “…which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content.”

What does that mean for us and why #forthelakeshore? What if over time people began to associate this hashtag with a specific message? What if the message was used in describing an idea? What if that message was wrapped up in the idea that Jesus and His Church are all in for people?

The idea behind #forthelakeshore is simple…God is for this community and so are we. We believe God is for you, for your future, for your family, and for this community. Said differently, God is for us, for our future, for our family, and for our community. Are you catching the theme?

All throughout various media sources, from cable news to social media, we see a constant message about what God and His Church are against. In other words, the world knows what the church is against, but do they know what the church is for? Unfortunately, some of that message comes from those who are a part of the church and call themselves followers of Jesus. We are wanting to change the narrative. We want people to know what God is for…them (and by virtue, us).

Our hope and prayer is that at least along the West Michigan Lakeshore we can change the story of what people think about when they think about the church, Christians, and God. All of this to say, let’s use whatever platform we can to help write a new narrative about what people say or believe about God. We can encourage local businesses, schools, and organizations that God is for them and so are we! If we all use this hashtag well then when someone searches using the hashtag they will begin to see a new message emerging, a message of hope and love.

We are #forthelakeshore

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