Saturday, July 06, 2013

Love, Loaves, and Fishes

"Anyone can be great because anyone can serve." Dr. Martin Luther King

There has never been a group of people that I have loved serving God with more than the people of New Hope Baptist Valparaiso. I'll pass my 14th anniversary soon so you should have figured out that I love this place. We have never been a big church. We did approach average church size a few years ago - well almost - actually our sanctuary won't hold the 150 souls that statistics say is an average church size. But we're not there now.

And yet on any given Wednesday, the people of New Hope will cook, plate and deliver more meals to more people than we have meeting together in worship on Sunday. Are we sitting on a load of other resources that would make it easier? You know, so we could just go to Danny's Fried Chicken and order 105 meals to go? No. There are weeks where the financial statement might show we have less than $20 in the bank. Now understand we have some very faithful people and so we're able to squeak by, barely. But churches that are in that state usually cut ministry. We didn't. We deliver more meals now than we did.

All I can do is praise God.

We have so many needs, but He has counted us worthy of playing a role in his love for "the least of these."

That's exciting. Each week we ask for help in getting what we need to cook the meal, package it, and deliver it. Many times the total cost of supplies is donated completely. Other times the church treasury takes the hit. But for over two years now, every single Wednesday night we have delivered to shut ins and the poor of Valparaiso. There have been times when we were in the "red" overall, but we pressed on, believing that God wanted us to have faith and act on that faith. He has never let us down. It has literally been "loaves and fishes" week after week after week.

I know lots of other churches have more staff, more stuff, and more programs for every slice of life. But what  if God is calling you to come and see how some of His people do more ministry with less, having to trust God for every week's needs? What if you came to a place where you weren't just noticed, but welcomed as part of a family? What if you were to come and join the group of believers at New Hope as we try to love our way through life together? 

Maybe there's a talent you have that's exactly what we need, but you don't get to use it. Maybe there's a ministry God is calling you into, but you need people around you who have real faith in God's calling and equipping.

Come. Walk with us.

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