I’m struck by how socially aware Jesus was as I observe his interactions with individuals and groups. My spiritual development was rooted in a conscious effort to stay away from all forms of the “social gospel” and to focus on the spiritual needs of individuals—people need to repent and believe first and then everything gets better, or at least that’s what I was led to believe.
More and more I’m learning that the first step toward repentance and belief in Christ often rests within feeling cared for by Jesus, or at least those of us who claim to follow him. Jesus was effective at meeting people where they were and being attentive to their social, economical, and physical needs. Attentive—not in bringing others into awareness, but a two-fold activism that observes needs and takes personal action.
For the third summer in a row, we are encouraging the people of Richwoods to take this season to be a blessing outside the walls of the church. We’ve heard of small groups, families, and groups of friends venturing out to serve in the community.
Let me throw this encouragement out, especially to those of us who just don’t get excited about serving in a local food bank, soup kitchen, or taking a mission trip. Your greatest blessing could be within the pattern of your everyday life, it could also be the hardest place.
The people who are often most affected by our blessing are those who see us regularly during the week, they are also the ones that we tend to overlook for a variety of reasons. Jesus doesn’t call us to random acts of kindness, he calls us to be attentive and engaged with the people he puts in our path – neighbors, family, co-workers, etc. – furthermore, he calls us to love our enemies.
As you accept the challenge to be a blessing outside the walls of Richwoods, take some time and ask the Spirit of God to amplify your awareness of those around you. Ask him to bring to mind a face or name of someone in your everyday path who is burdened with a need that you can be attentive to then plead for the courage to step into it. The results will surprise you – but we’ll talk more on that next week.
On average Richwoods needs to receive $39.1K in gifts to meet its 2016 operating expenses, 10% of which goes immediately to Missions and helping people in our community who are experiencing financial troubles.
Our budgets are set on a calendar year, submitted by staff and approved by the Elders of Richwoods. Our ability to meet the needs of the people, provide programs, offer ministry opportunities, and so on, are all contingent on the faithful and generous giving of the people who call Richwoods their church home. As a church we do not take annual pledges to set a budget but we work off of our historical giving and attendance patterns to project a conservative budget.
If you have questions about the information shared in this fyi, you can contact our Executive Pastor, Joel Dryden by email. You can also leave a comment below.