Thursday, February 25, 2010

grateful for partners

Proverbs 15:22 (NLT) --- Plans go wrong for lack of advice;many advisers bring success.

Want to spend a little time in today's devotion talking about partnerships.  Where would we be without partners?  These are the people who build us up, help with products and so much more.  Life is not much fun when we are alone.  Plus, I believe that God made us to enjoy, encourage and to do life with other people.

Here are some of the partners that our ministry at The Community Fellowship is excited about (and this is only a few of them):

This past Sunday I was standing near the door greeting people as we moved toward time for Community Worship.  Jack Noble walked in the door.  He is one of our SBCV missionaries and a great friend.  He has helped us and encouraged us many times in our 3 years.  SBCV is now one of our huge partners in FEEDING THE HUNGRY.  They first helped us link to All Nations Church in Roanoke where we helped them and learned for a year in their ministry to the homeless.  I am grateful for Jeff Ginn, Jack Noble, former church planting guy Tony Imon and lots of the folks at the SBCV that are pouring into churches and ministry that are seeking to serve people and lead them to Jesus.

13 months ago I was in Alabama and ran into a friend, Ron Pegram, that I met through Raceway Ministries.  He had been a chaplain with MRO and had begun working with Samaritan's Feet.  This organization was founded by an African man, Manny, who was given a pair of shoes by a missionary when he was a kid.  After coming to the USA for school and finding success through basketball and the business world, hear God call him to help kids around the world find hope through giving shoes.  We partnered last year to give over 530 kids in Henry County new shoes for our Back to School event.  This year we will be helping 2,000 kids.  This is an awesome partnership.

One thing I want to mention is something that Samaritan's Feet is asking from pastors this Easter.  They are asking that Pastors preach barefoot on Easter Sunday to help raise awareness of kids who need the hope of Jesus and the work of this organization.  I am committed.  Learn more HERE.

The last organization I want to mention is fairly new.  It is only 4 or 5 months old.  Last year I met Mike Waddell and we have become good friends.  His heart is to see young adults in our community reconnected with Jesus and back in church.  The Table has begun a monthly meeting that is powerful, but it is also opening opportunities for people to serve and connect across our community.  The Table has helped us with our FEEDING ministry, work at a local school, the Thanksgiving outreach we did and more.  I am grateful for the local churches that are coming together in this new work.

A couple foundations, organizations and other churches, some out of town friends, several local businesses & many folks from the community

Let me just point to a few others that have become partners we cannot live without ... Sav A Lot grocery store near the church who has helped with food, BB&T bank near us who had given us shoes, Curves for Women in Collinsville, transportation company that helps us with hurting people, hundreds of people who have given clothes, trucking company that donated lots of food, local business that gave bikes at Christmas ... and so many others, too many to mention.  This week we are being able to connect with some other local groups who do much work with the homeless and with people battling addiction.

I've spent time today praying for lots of these partners, and I have been asking God for more partners.  We believe that God is about to open up even more.  Why?  Because we are asking God for more.  We are asking for a homeless shelter and ways to impact more hurting people.  We are hoping to start working even more with a local school and possibly start after school tutoring in the fall.  Our desire is to feed more hungry people and have more than 2 meals a month.  We are asking for more.  God has gifted us and blessed us and called us for more.  Yet without these strategics partners much of our dreams can't come true.

My heart, my dream and I believe God's vision for us is to start a Dream Center right in the middle of our community.  (Learn more about what a Dream Center is HERE by seeing the one in Los Angeles, CA.)  

Big question ... will you partner with The Community?  Maybe you are already attending but it is time to step up.  Maybe you go to another church but you want to step up and serve some.  May you are a long way off but want to step up and help.  There is a place for you.  Lets talk.  I am grateful for partners!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT) --- Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

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happy birthday, Julie

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