Wednesday, September 24, 2014

find a need and meet it

Titus 3:14  NLT
Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.

The title of this post, find a need and fill it, was coined by one of my heroes in ministry.  He is Tommy Barnett the pastor of First Assembly of God in Phoenix, Arizona and the founder of the Dream Center in Phoenix as well as the co-founder with his son Matthew of the Dream Center in Los Angeles.  Both of those men and their work to serve people in poverty has been a huge inspiration to me.

From the beginning of The Community Fellowship in 2006 we have had a passion to meet needs for the purpose of sharing Christ with those in need.  The tangible act of our serving began with clothing and has extended to feeding, helping kids prepare for school and meeting all kinds of needs here in our community and beyond.  It really is an honor to serve the people we come in contact with.

Yesterday was an example of this fact.  A mom with five kids came to our church looking for assistance.  As we were able to meet one of her needs a lady from our church talked with this mom about Jesus, and this mom accepted Jesus as her savior.  As she left the church she said that she was going to help her kids meet Jesus too.

That is what it is all about.  To share Jesus with people is the highest calling and the greatest honor.  Not all people agree with that thought, but I believe we are to be unapologetically Christian as we share Christ and be as gracious as we can to those we share with.

Another example of this was a meeting I was part of yesterday.  It was put on by a state government agency that has a huge budget and deals with thousands of people every day.  As the meeting was coming to a close the facilitator of the event asked for comments for the many attendees.  By the way, the facilitator acknowledged that he is not a Christian not followed any organized religion (please pray for his salvation).  Being a government meeting I was excited to hear around the room person after person, government employees and workers from private agencies talked about the impact that their faith has on their work and on those they work with.  It was eye opening to say the least.

Almost two years after The Community Fellowship opened we believed that God was leading us to begin to feed hungry people in our community.  We attached ourselves to a great pastor in Roanoke, a city one hour north of us, who helped us learn how to feed the homeless population in our community.  For one year we partnered with Matthew Murphy and his church, and after that year we began to feed people in Martinsville and Henry County.  It has been an awesome ride, and we have been able to feed thousands of people each year since.  Pastor Matthew was also a part of the SBCV at that time.  I learned much from this great man.

Since that time we have been able to partner with the SBCV and the North American Mission Board as we receive funds to help hungry people.  With that money and the encouragement and partnership we have with these great organizations we are able to do more than we can do alone.

The great part of this is that there are many churches across our state doing much of the same thing.  We are not alone.  There are hungry people and people who need Jesus all over the world, and we have the opportunity and the responsibility to meet needs and share Christ.  That is our commitment, and it is also part of my daily prayers that God will use churches everywhere to meet needs and make a huge impact on the people that we and them are blessed to serve.

I love this quote from Matthew Barnett: whoever shows up most in someone’s life wins the battle of influence.

This week of September each year is the time that the SBCV shares the ministries and work that our hundreds of churches are part of.  Our church has been blessed to be part of this convention, and this partnership makes us stronger.  They help us feed more people and share the Gospel even more.

Will you pray with me for the churches of the SBCV and other churches across the world that are meeting needs and sharing Jesus with those we serve?  Maybe God is encouraging you to help your church take the next step in meeting needs in your commitment.  Do it.  Start now.  God will honor what you do in His name.

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

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happy birthday, Julie

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