By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer
SHREVEPORT – As he looked at the postmodern community in Metro Shreveport-Bossier, Luke Allen saw a place fertile with spiritual opportunities.
As pastor of Covenant Church of Shreveport/Bossier City, Allen has inspired his congregation to reach out to those in the surrounding community and teach them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A call to church planting was the starting point for Covenant Church’s outreach effort in Metro Shreveport-Bossier.
“We were looking at several areas in which we could plant churches, such as in Texas and New York City,” the pastor said. “We met with Wayne Dubose, the Director of Missions here, and he almost teared up as he talked about what we were doing. He told us that they had been praying for people like us to come, because a lot of the younger people had been disappearing from their churches.
“What we do in outreach effort is three-fold,” the pastor continued. “One is our worship gatherings on Sunday mornings in which we marry expositional teachings on the Scriptures with a simple but progressive or contemporary field of music for Sunday mornings. Next are our midweek gatherings, or community groups.
“We have seven community group gatherings all throughout the city right now,” Allen continued. “This usually takes the form of serving the homeless or those in poverty through an organization called the Hub. We also urge our community groups to meet the felt needs of those in their community on an ongoing basis.”
In addition to the community groups, Covenant has other groups that are involved in widow and orphan ministries and serve at homes for battered or abused women. Allen mentioned that the church also has community groups in Benton and South Shreveport.
“The needs in those areas are far different, and so the community groups sense what those needs are and tackles them,” the pastor said.
God’s blessings on the outreach effort were so numerous that he could only talk about a few highlights, Allen said.
“The biggest thing is that we’re seeing life change in the people who are serving,” the pastor said. “We have about 150 people at the church now, and most of them haven’t been to church in 10 years. Seeing them rearrange their lives for the sake of the Gospel and the sake of giving and serving is the biggest blessing I’ve seen.”
The church’s ultimate goal for the future is to launch new community groups that can reach and disciple new believers, Allen said. “We would love to see a community group in every neighborhood in the greater Shreveport-Bossier area, which would be like 300 community groups,” the pastor said. “That’s how we’re going to grow, and that means every one of those groups would seek out and pray for who God is sending them to reach and then serve through those groups they find.”