Friday, June 13, 2008

How the Clothes Closet led to a new Bible study

I had meetings just about all day, all of which went well. One of the meetings was with those interested in the clothes closet ministry at High Pointe. We have some older workers who need to take a break from this ministry, and a need for newer workers, including some younger ones, to come on board.

It looks like a good team is emerging for this, with people gifted in service, mercy, and evangelism like Garth, along with those gifted in administration like Teresa. We even have people gifted in "tongues"--well, at least people like Diane who can speak Spanish! It was a blessing to be able to help get this ministry re-charged, facillitate the process, and then to let others run with it as much as possible. I'll be there to provide some guidance, evangelistic thrust, funds, and attention wherever needed.

While we were meeting, an single African-American mother named Pauline came in who had recently been released from prison. She needed a ride over to a house. One of our secretaries, Rebecca, offered her kindness, treating her with respect, talking with her, and listening to her story. Rebecca and I prayed for her, and then I took Pauline over to the hourse where her car was. As we rode, we discussed her life. I told her about the clothes closet, which she was interested in. She then said that she was looking to do some Bible study to "keep her out of trouble," and of course I offered to study with her. We are planning to study together after she comes to the Clothes Closet opening on Sat., June 21st. She was also looking to connect with some other single parents. I recently had some people in the congregation who came to me, wanting to start this type of outreach. So perhaps I can bring them into the study.

So while meeting about the clothes closet, God sends someone our way who is interested in the clothes closet and Bible study. Wow! God is at work.

This ministry has great potential to expand. Several people came up to me on Sunday after I mentioned it in the sermon, wanting to help. One was even a visitor! People really want to be a part of a church that serves the community. In fact, they will flock to such a church. Many times it is not the people that you serve whom who reach through the service, but others who see these works and who want to be a part of them.

What do you think abou the importance of service ministries like the Clothes Closet?


Zack said...

What an awesome story! I certainly believe in benevalence and meeting needs that emerge. It's what I've heard called "holistic" ministry. It earns you the write to be heard. We meet someone's physical need and that opens us up to meet their spiritual needs. Great story James. I hope and pray it meets lots of needs in your community. God bless it!
Grace and Peace.

James said...

Thanks, Zack! Holistic ministry is very biblical. As my friend John says, Jesus didn't treat people in slices. He looked at their whole person.

I see you have Randy Willingham linked on your site. i heard Randy's sessions on communication last year at the Harding lectures, and I thought that they were excellent.