Pastor's Corner

14 Aug
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Mid-Week Challenge

All too often the headlines lead us to believe that the Christian lifestyle and impact of the local church is fading.  In some cases that might be true.  People are choosing a more secular worldview when it comes to parenting, social conscience and politics.  From the founding of our nation the local church has been central in community development and impactful on individual lives.  When there was a need, the local church rallied and met it.  In most cases today people have become conditioned to depend on government and the kindness of strangers to rise to the occasion of need, and the local church has allowed this to happen.  Due to this change, all too often, needs go unmet and people suffer unnecessarily through the trials of daily life.  Every now and then the media will pick up on a local church who continues to see its role as a shaper and supporter of community needs.  I recently read about a group of church ladies who decided to reach out to their community with compassion at a transitional time in many family’s lives.  One of the biggest expenses a young family might have is providing school supplies for their child at the beginning of a new year.  Until they encounter it for the first time, parents have no clue how to budget for the first day of school.  To help with this need the ladies I read about approached the leadership of their church at Parkview Mennonite Church with a plan to supply school supplies for one elementary school.  The leaders thought it was a great idea and now all of the students who attend Hillsboro Elementary School in Kansas will have their school supplies paid for and taken to the school. They simply have to show up and use them.

You might think that this is not anything new; Churches in our area do this all the time. Yes, but realize this isn’t true nationwide.  In fact, most churches outside of our area are declining rapidly and have limited connection with schools.  Town leaders make it harder for churches to get involved in their community so many chose to remain in the shadows and eventually their impact dies off.  This story reminded me that while we have opportunity to be salt and light we must take advantage.  We might not have the ability to buy supplies for a whole school, but we could for one family. And it does not stop at the local school.  As a representative of Christ you have the opportunity to speak into the life of the people you are around each day.  Buying someone’s coffee, holding the door open for them or simply acknowledging their presence is something the government can’t do for them.  No amount of social programs will ever replace the effectiveness of building authentic relationships with people through the local church.  Being able to meet the needs of the people in your scope of influence means that you get to know them and they you.   Ask the Lord to make you sensitive to the needs of those around you so that you might show them the compassion the Lord has shown us.  Maybe through that act of kindness you might lead them to a relationship with Jesus.  

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that?  James 2:15-16

Serving the Savior, 

Bro. Jonathan

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