Right now I am wrItng this post at my church’s TriPoint Center for Life. A few years ago people in our church, such as Tom Hill, had a dream to develop an abandoned Albertson’s Grocery Store into an active community center. It’s really a neat place. Over 800 people visit the community center and YMCA…that’s pretty awesome. Actually that’s about the same number of people who worship with us on Sundays. It’s not the same people…but it makes you step back and examine where people are searching for community.
The Mayor of San Antonio used TriPoint to kick-off and conclude his San Antonio 2020 experiment because this place was for “all the people of San Antonio,” unlike the corporate convention centers and hotel ballrooms found all along the Riverwalk. There is a YMCA on one side of the building, a coffee shop on the other, public restrooms, and a free computer hub with 5 computers for people to use who live in this community and need a place to connect. There is also 3 smaller meeting rooms for local organizations, non-profits, and companies to rent out to have meetings and interactive presentations. In the back of the building is the Grantham Center, a large meeting space, where our church hosts Skate Church every Wednesdays from 4-8pm, and The Crossings worship experience every Sunday morning at 10:45am. The Crossings is a place were broken people like me can go to worship God and experience the lavish love of Christian community. We all are in the same boat…and need the Body of Christ.
Okay, I will stop with the plugs. Back to “The Hub” (with our free computer and receation room), and Grace Coffee Cafe at TriPoint. For me, this is what makes TriPoint stand apart from many other community centers. The other day, I had a meeting with a President of renowned Texas bank and other community leaders in the same area where homeless people where gathering to catch up on emails and seek community. This was not forced…it was the place we all happened to meet. There are not many places other than bars that can attract those two types of people. Yesterday, Tom Hill and I were meeting and saw another CEO from San Antonio having a meeting with colleagues just outside the Hub where about 10 homeless people were watching YouTube videos, making phone calls, and listening to music. That’s a beautiful image of Jesus Christ. A CEO and a homeless person drinking the same cup-of-joe at TriPoint…I love it!
Many people, including myself, have a hard time managing how we serve the homeless in a community center such as TriPoint. How can we serve all types of people at the same time? It can be awkward, challenging, and painful. How do we balance safety, Christian hospitality, programs, and flow without limiting the freedom of all community members? I would love to know your thoughts! There are all kinds of responses to this delimma. Share your thoughts on this board or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6:30 came early again. And the trains are still very loud.