A 21-year-old pastor of an 18-member inner city congregation stood on the steps of a former Russian Orthodox church on the Hispanic southwest side of Chicago and asked, "How in the world are we going to reach this community?" That was 1986. Today, New Life Community Church has 2,300 attenders, eight locations, services in Spanish and in English, and an unrelenting passion to reach every person in Chicago.
That young pastor was Mark Jobe. "We knew reaching the neighborhood would be difficult, and we weren't big enough, smart enough, or wealthy enough, but we were willing to change." Jobe knew the first barrier to overcome was music. The church's organ and hymnbooks would never fit the neighborhood's growing Mexican population. "The first month I advertised free guitar lessons," Jobe said. "That was something I could do. It was an outreach to the community."
Twenty years later, Mark Jobe is still helping his church connect the gospel with those around them. "We've done a lot of bridge building," ...1