What can God use to reach people? The options are limitless. God has opened my eyes as a pastor to a plethora of possibilities. My favorite story that really made it real is the story of Mary. A mission team from our church delivered a dozen donuts to a butcher shop where Mary was working. With the donuts we left a card that said, “No Perfect People Allowed” at our church. That act (not random) of kindness was the act of grace that touched Mary’s heart. When the team came in, she thought, if this church would love me enough to give me a gift and invite me just as I am…that is a church I will try! She came to church that Sunday, gave her heart to Jesus and was baptized a few weeks later. Her life has radically changed and she now leads one of our college small groups.
We live in a society that is totally flipped out by anything free. Unfortunately, many churches are the worst offenders. Advertising free events and then having a donation bucket or charging for things. To this date, we do everything for free, and with no strings attached. Those opportunities to serve people, love people and give unmerited grace allows us to share the love of Jesus and our story of why we do what we do.
We very often get the question…”what is the catch?” Our answer is always the same. We want to show God’s love to you in a practical way today. It has taken many forms at our church, from free coffee, free oil change and car repairs for needy families, free donuts, cookies, etc… Each time, whether in an upscale coffee shop or a mechanic’s bay, most people receive our gift and we are able to plant one more seed of the Gospel.
As long as I pastor this church, we will find ways to love our city, remove the barriers of fear and skepticism and be able to share with them the most amazing story that God has done for us…the message of the Gospel. From big groups to individual acts we are taking our town, one act of kindness at a time!