When we look at Jesus’ ministry, a few things stand out:
- it was local, to His immediate community
- it focused on service to others and sharing God’s love
- it went beyond the walls of the synagogue or temple.
Following Christ’s example, we go out into Fayetteville neighborhoods, to area help agencies, to apartments for the disabled, and into homes – to go Beyond Our Walls of the Central and Genesis campuses.
This spring marked the 9th Beyond Our Walls service day. It was the most Christ followers (150+) willing to serve others with love in our five years of service. There were 15 service opportunities ranging from neighborhood barbecues to cleaning yards to assisting handicapped individuals.
During the 6:30 a.m. setup,God brought me a powerful reminder of what He wanted us to be about that day. A person in need was waiting at the door, and he needed gas money to get to a new job. We prayed together and thanked God for his job and asked for strength, and we were able to provide for his needs. God wants us to show compassion, offer mercy, and share His love in whatever ways and settings we can.
In Matthew 25, Jesus asked where we were when He needed help? That can be extended to our neighbors, who are asking: “Where were you when I didn’t have a car and couldn’t get to church?, Where were you when I couldn’t clean my yard? and Did you visit me when I was elderly and had no one to care for me or to talk to?”
Church members and those we were serving were deeply impacted by our outreach that day. There were families at a neighborhood that had been at odds, but who were reconciled in sharing a meal and by their kids playing together in the bouncy house we provided. We met a homeless family with four children that we are now providing food and housing assistance to. Almost a dozen people we invited to church are now receiving a ride to Genesis on Sundays. Homeowners were so grateful for our work at their residence that they cried tears of thanks. Church members whose eyes were opened to the real needs here locally are putting compassion into action to provide additional help however they can.
It’s ultimately about building relationships, sharing love to our community by going Beyond Our Walls, and stepping outside houses of worship to make a difference by being Christ’s hands and feet.
Local Mission Coordinator