“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
I was recently talking with a man who was visiting Summitview on a Sunday morning. As he shared about his background, I could tell that he had a strong and genuine faith, but he admitted that he was struggling with church. The reason? He had gone through a major crisis in his life and felt like the church simply wasn’t there for him. Those he thought would be a huge source of strength were strangely absent.
The conversation certainly stirred something in me. First, it stirred a sense of regret. I reflected on how I have surely been guilty of the same kind of neglect in the past. Busy schedules and misplaced priorities prevented me from expressing tangible care for friends in need. But secondly, it stirred a renewed commitment. When others are hurting, I want to do everything I can to show a Christ-like compassion in ways that really matter.
But I must admit, although I can have grand ambitions to care for people, it’s not always easy to do when the opportunity arises. Needs are difficult to understand, life throws distractions at me, and pretty soon I end up echoing the faithless man in James 2:16 who says, “Keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about physical needs.
That’s one of the reasons we have Service Saturdays. We live in a broken world, and all of us experience legitimate hardship at some point in our lives. When hardship hits, though, the church is designed to respond. Our benevolence deacons have been tasked with the care of those in difficult situations. Basically, the deacons’ job is to provide the administration and structure it takes to connect needs in the church with the resources to help meet those needs. With Service Saturdays, the deacons have created a consistent opportunity for the church to be a true family and take care of those who could use some help. They’ve provided the structure that helps overcome so many of the barriers that keep me from loving well.
Our next Service Saturday is this coming Saturday, February 5. We will be helping several people, and we would like to invite any and all of you to join us. In addition to the needs of people in our church, there may also be other projects in our community, such as preparation for the housing of an Afghani refugee family, or helping Serve 6.8 pack supplies for Marshall Fire victims. We’ll plan on meeting at the church building on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Then, we’ll break people into groups and send them off to help with the various projects that have been arranged. It truly is a wonderful opportunity that our deacons have created to help us love each other. Please join us in our effort to be the church!
– Aaron Ritter