The first Sunday service in December, my wife and I greeted our first time guests after service. We had a large, mixed group of individuals and as usual, I wondered what transition in life they may be in. Every once in awhile, someone will visit because they are in town, but more often than not, it’s someone seeking something they don’t have. Many times, they are broken, angry or offended, or sometimes they're just plain lost. As I was speaking to this group of maybe 15 individuals, I told them that we were there to pray with them and offer hugs to anyone who needed one.
Immediately, this young man came up to me for a real strong man hug before I was even done talking to the group. He was in his early 20’s and he had come with his mother. It’s not unusual for people to still have tears in their eyes even after the service, as they were overwhelmed by God’s love by the service. I’m sure they experienced the reason we are Agape Faith Church.
We are a church: overflowing with love, strengthening the family, bettering the community, and affecting the world. WHERE EVERY MEMBER IS A MINISTER.
The last phrase of our mission statement, “where every member is a minister,” really stuck out to them; the thought that we may actually need or want them to be in ministry blew them away. Everyone longs to be needed. We want to feel like our life matters and that we have something to offer the body of Christ. Sometimes, however, it just seems like so many difficult things are going on and you don’t know where to start or what to do. We are bombarded with messages and acts of human kindness on social media, where we see so many people doing amazing things. It would almost seem like a waste of time if you’re not going to do something to the extreme like we constantly see in the world.
It’s often that the smallest acts of kindness can have the most impact on a person; just giving someone a hug or a compliment can change their entire day.
A couple of months ago, I had a lady call the church to talk. She expressed how her husband had moved to another state and left her with their three small children. She had already lost the home they lived in and was close to losing her car; she was at the end of her rope. She wasn’t asking for money, she truthfully didn’t know what she even needed. This was one of those times where I felt like I didn’t have much to offer, so I prayed. I encouraged her but that still felt like it wasn’t enough. As I was speaking to her I thought of a scripture.
If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? - James 2:16
I told her I would start picking up the two older boys once a week after school. Being young, they were having a hard time with their dad not being around and in school. I’ve only had a small part in their lives but what I’ve come to realize is that we’re called to do what we can and to let God work through us. I now know it wasn’t an accident that I was forwarded that call that day.
Who has God placed in your life? Who do you cross paths with that needs to experience God’s love and grace? Are you open to being inconvenienced for someone else? Ask God to open your eyes to someone who may be hurting because they may already be in your life.
Blog by: Pastor Chris Leab