Why did God make me? To love, serve and obey Him. Very simple, yet extremely profound. If we all woke up every morning asking, “How can I love, serve, and obey God today?” it might change everything – it might even change the world.”
– Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel
And in this pursuit to reach a community that feels forsaken, we plan events and knock on doors. We pass out pamphlets and mail postcards. Signs are predominantly placed with bold typed letters, invitations reaching and wrapping down busy streets.
And Saturday rolls in as we prepare an event to love and minister, but rain is predicted to pour. Heavy clouds hang below layers of thick sky. But God is good and the showers hold off as people stretch as far as the campus is wide. And in the crowd I see a grandmother whose home we’ve visited. She stands on the perimeter of it all with grandchildren at her side. I slip in beside her sinking shoulders and she tells me of her tired week. Her oldest is in the hospital and she fears she needs rehab.
And I would like to think she isn’t there because of our colorful literature or manicured lawn. I would like to think she visits because she needs more in life and this church whispers you are welcomed just as you are.
And before the evening ends, twenty-nine people make a decision to follow Christ. They raise hands high to accept what is being offered, a Jesus who heals and comforts and desires more for our lives.
And Sunday as we wait over the chairs that have been prayed for and the halls that have been empty for too long, 65 guests walk through the doors, visiting for the first time.
Vacant classrooms are once again full. And diaper bags hang loose on pegs, one by one in a lengthy row. Children squeal as they run down a narrow hall clutching bright-colored construction paper. And teachers and leaders and those who have worked tirelessly for this moment can barely contain their joy.
And there is more to come, I know it. Stories yet to be written, lives yet to be changed.