If the elders were to announce that all mission work had been cut, most of us would not accept this as a proper or righteous decision. The command to take the Gospel to the world (Mark 16:15-16) is not an option. But what if we were a part of a church that made little effort to reach the community around them, would we deem this to be just as wrong? I think we certainly would! What a blessing it is to be in a congregation where the elders, deacons, ministers, teachers, and members all believe that the great commission–to reach the world– begins in our community! This year this congregation will reach out to our community to show the love of Christ by serving unconditionally. We simply want to do good works for our neighbors so they will glorify the Father (Matthew 5:16). We gave hot chocolate to neighbors who gathered in our parking lot to watch the Christmas parade. We opened our doors for them to come in and get warm and use the restroom. We changed the oil and serviced the vehicles of single mothers in our community. We served breakfast to show honor to the public servants of our community. To show compassion we delivered valentines to all the Health Care Residents. We helped make a huge impact on one family as we helped build a Habitat home. Since Katrina, we have touched several families in Pearlington, Mississippi in a similar way. We did none of this with strings attached. We didn’t use our service as a bribe to gain a return. We simply reached out to our community with the love of Christ. The results have been that some have visited us saying they want to be a part of people who live in this way. Christ’s love is attractive! This month we begin our two month “ONE” Campaign. In June we go to every home in the town of MJ–One Town, One Problem, One Solution– Will you be ONE to participate? The Revelation Seminar on July 10-12 will continue our education and outreach; as will the VBS on July 20-23. Hopefully and prayerfully, we will reach out to hundreds in our community through these two events. In August we will have a “Community Give Away Day” to help others in need. In October you will become the sermon on that Sunday afternoon as the whole church will be asked to serve someone in your community in the name of Jesus Christ. This may be the only sermon they see that day–and your life will preach it. November will bring an opportunity to honor Veterans and December will bring the opportunity to reach out to those who attend the Christmas Parade again. All over the world missionaries have been saying, “when we arrive we must help the people with their needs, then we can share the Gospel with them.” The same is true in MJ. Thank God for every opportunity to reach out in the name of our Lord, whether it is across the ocean or the lake.
Let’s all remember to be prayerful and mindful of the guests we have among us who have recently begun their search for the Lord. Be mindful of the new brothers and sisters in Christ who are babes in Christ. Be mindful of whom you can invite to worship or Bible class this week. Don’t miss an opportunity. With God we Can Reach out to Our Community!