We are into the eighth month of our church plant's life, and things continue to stay crazy, chaotic, and busy. But it's a good busy. The danger, however, is that sometimes in all of the busy-ness we forget to stop and see the blessings. Sure, we see them every Sunday morning as we watch our friends (who were strangers six months ago) roll up their sleeves and greet people, teach our children, run the sound and the lights, and serve coffee, but what about what happens outside of those walls? Does the church only exist to "do" church on Sunday mornings? Is it really all about those of us who step inside that building from week-to-week? Are we cultivating a culture that is truly about being the hands and feet of Jesus, the true body of Christ, or are we just going through the motions like I've seen so many other churches do? And then out of nowhere, someone "gets it," so far down to their core that they do something. And I have to say, even though I am not a part of the idea and had nothing to do with the plan, seeing people who have been impacted by what happens inside our building go outside those walls and infiltrate the city with love brings me to my knees.
This past month we've seen several ministries spring from some of our church-goers. Instead of just noticing a problem, they're doing something! The first one I heard of was from my good friend, Sara, who worried about kids who were on school meal programs and might not get anything to eat over the weekend when there is no school. Without knowing if it would go anywhere, she drafted a proposal to have healthy foods sent home with these kids, made a meeting with a local elementary school, and ptiched her idea. They are now in the works to make this happen at this school, and then possibly others.
Next up is a coat and winter-gear drive, all to be donated to the homeless here in Lexington before the cold(er) weather sets in:
A great guy in our church literally passed a homeless man and wondered if he had anything warm to wear in these upcoming months. And then he did something about it.
The next one is similar, although stemmed from a totally separate person who felt a pang of sadness every time she passed a homeless person in her car. As a woman, it can be intimidating sometimes to put yourself out there, but at that moment she just wished that she had a baggie full of toiletry items and maybe something to eat to hand to him. And then she went home and decided that it could be her ministry... which generated the Blessing Bag Project.
I know that there are a whole lot of other great things going on in this city, state, nation, etc., but it's just so amazing for me to witness it with my own eyes. Josh often teaches to "find the thing that ticks you off, and that's probably what will make you tick," and people here are taking it to the streets! Our dream from the start was to be a church that overflowed with love- a love so great that the overflow would spill out into our city, and these individuals are living that out. I am so proud to call them friends, so proud to serve alongside them on Sunday mornings, and so proud to be part of a ripple effect that infiltrating this community.
It just makes me wonder... if everyone did something about the social issue, problem, etc. that bothered him, how quickly could we change this world for the better? With a presidential election coming up, I no longer worry about the outcome or what it's going to mean because what I do know is that there are people out there who want a better world. Plus, I know Who is really in control, no matter what.
So I ask you... what makes you tick?