I’ve got a great group of friends. We often call ourselves a “Bible Study group”. We meet together twice a month.
We pray. We eat. We talk. We eat. We talk. We take prayer requests (which turns into more talking). We eat.
We like to eat and talk, ok? We are away from children and husbands and pets and jobs and everything else in the world that needs us, and we soak up every second.
Over the past year, God has been tugging on our hearts. While Bible study and hang out time is great, we have sensed the need to step out and DO something. As in, outreach.
Sometimes church people are awesome at church stuff, and we forget the real reason we’re there. We get complacent in our groups of people who are often a lot like us, and we forget the purpose of the church. Jesus calls us to go, to be his hands and feet, to share his message of salvation. We get caught up in planning/discussing/sometimes arguing over events which do very little for people outside of “us”.
My group is certainly not letting go of Bible study. In fact, many of us are learning more than before by fully engaging in a separate Bible study time with others in the church, time that is devoted only to study and not to eating and talking and event planning. We are also committed to studying more on our own.
But this particular group is now focusing more on outreach. Let me tell you what we came up with.
We are starting a pantry of sorts, although we will not have food (at least for now). We will be stocked with toiletry, hygiene and household items. We will be giving them to families in our community who need them. More importantly, we will be sharing the good news of Jesus and developing new relationships.
We won’t get it perfect. It will take us a while to figure out a smooth process. Not everyone we serve will be interested in what we want to tell them. Some may even come across as ungrateful. But I pray that most experience the love that we are called to share with the world.
I pray for personal growth. I pray that we will learn how to give sacrificially, even when we don’t see the fruit of our labor. I pray that we learn how to trust God to keep our bodies and minds energized and our pantry stocked.
2 Cor 9:6-13 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.”
Giving alone is good, but material things will not endure. What will endure is the word, the message, that is given with the stuff. I pray that someone, hopefully more than one, find the hope and love that is only found in Christ, and not in anything the world has to offer.
So, here we go. Saturday is our first day. We will open once a month.
My sweet husband had these bags made. How awesome is this?
What can you do?
Pray. Pray that God keeps our hearts filled with an attitude of service. Pray that He continues to bless us with the stuff and the money we need to keep serving.
If you want to give or have suggestions on how we can fill our shelves, let me know. If you know someone who is an incredible couponer (you know..one of those you see on TV who can get $200 worth of stuff for $10), let me know! Some people are willing to donate those items that they get for free.
THANK YOU so much to each of you who have already given or helped out in some capacity. It has not gone unnoticed. We are excited to see this develop and watch the church come together for the same purpose—to help those in need and spread the truth of the Gospel.