I know that a lot of the posts on here give the Church a hard time. I assure you, that it comes out of a heart to bring things to light so we as a Church can address them. This post today though, I wanted to encourage you guys (the Church) as well as talk about what natural disasters (and things like it) remind us of.
Here’s the bottom line Church, you guys have stepped up big time and offered your time, resources, materials, and hearts to the east coast. It has been so incredibly encouraging to see my Facebook lit up with pictures of people helping out, statuses informing what time people are meeting together to go volunteer at a place that was affected by the storm, and I love seeing the “Hey we got to help this random person today!” updates. If this is not the tangible Gospel then I don’t know what is.
This is where the Church thrives, when emergencies happen, the Church consistently steps up. During Katrina I knew of several churches that took bus loads of food, people and other supplies to New Orleans. Hurricane Sandy is no different. The Church is alive, it’s meeting beyond the normal service times and it’s punching right through the four walls that often keep us insulated from the world. Instead of keeping bottled up and meeting once a week, we are meeting as often as we can to pray and travel to the affected areas to lend our skills and resources. I’ll guarantee that many people who have been volunteering their time never felt so alive in their faith. That’s because when we start living with Kingdom principles they invigorate us. They touch a part of us that normal American life very rarely touches. It shows us that there is so many more important things in life then us and our stuff.
I want to encourage you reading this not to volunteer when it’s cool, or when everyone else is doing it. In a month, two months, three months, there will still be damage, there will still be cleaning up to be done. Continue to give your time, resources when you can. I personally have been busy with my dad’s company renovating a home at Union Beach that had three feet of flood water in it. I’m still planning on volunteering time in between or after this job is complete. I understand that not all of us have the time to volunteer right off the fly. But I encourage you in the upcoming months to make time to get to the coast to help with the cleanup efforts.
Here’s the challenge Church. Disasters like this (as sad as they are) remind us that before political affiliation, beliefs, gender, lifestyle differences, we are humans. We are reminded when we hear about people dying that no matter what they did, it’s still a life lost and it’s still a tragedy. Times like this remind us that human life is so very precious. Let this be your fuel to carry in to other parts of your life. Start getting involved in your local community more. If you’re a Church leader reading this (thanks for reading by the way) then let this jump start your Church community in to making volunteering and serving your community a common thing. If we really want to see America change, then start being the change right where you are. Figure out what you can do to serve others, how your family can get more involved. Trust me when I tell you, the world is open to Jesus, we just have to express Him in language that people can not only understand, but that people can see.
Be encouraged Church, you guys are doing an amazing job, keep it up, and don’t slow down when the hype of “helping out” fades away.