May 16, 2011

Grassroots Ministry

In the wake of the devastating storms that ripped through our area a couple of weeks ago, I continue to hear stories of how the small groups at our church quietly helped so many.

One person told me that after the storms, there were several churches that were in their neighborhood helping cut trees, pull brush, and checking for people. Their neighbors knew that this person was a church-goer and asked, "when is your church going to get here." At that time, one of our small groups arrived to help. This person turned to their friend and said, "they just did." (By the way, this person has never been to our church.)

Last week, I went in for a doctor's visit. Just routine stuff. I actually had an appointment with a nurse practitioner. When she walked in the room, the first thing she said to me was, "your church was at our house this week." She went on to say that a small group from our church had knocked on her door and offered to help with clean up..."at no charge." (she sounded shocked that anyone would help out without asking for something in return)

Story after story, the word continues to get out that our church family helped in so many tangible ways. Whether it was offering money to help storm victims, carrying a chainsaw into a neighborhood where they didn't know a soul, sorting cans at a food bank, taking food to a homeless shelter, carrying ice and water to first responders, or praying with victims, grassroots ministry truly affected a great many lives in incredibly positive ways.

Since grassroots ministry is one how our church family has chosen to do ministry, I thought I'd share a poem that I read a few years back to encourage you that you are doing the right thing . . .

I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger. . . Thank you.

I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release. . . Nice.

I was naked and you debated the morality Of my appearance. . . What good did that do?

I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health. . . But I needed you.

I was homeless and you preached to me of the shelter of the love of God . . .I wish you'd taken me home.

I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me . . . Why didn't you stay?

You seem so holy, so close to God; but I'm still very hungry, lonely, cold, and still in pain. . . Does it matter?


. . . I hope I can always be part of a church that will help people. We will never be able to meet everyone's needs all the time. But I think God is truly honored by those who will share a cup of cold water with one thirsty soul at a time, and do it all in His name.

To all who helped in so many ways, thank you for letting God work through you in this time of need.

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