Spiritual ConNEXTion: Outreach

Jesus came forward and addressed them in these words: All authority has been given me both in heaven and earth; go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of Abba God, and of the Only Begotten, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, even until the end of the world!

Matthew 28:18-20
(The Inclusive New Testament, 1996 by The Priest for Equality)

 

Did I Just Touch You?

When I was asked to write the devotional for this issue I immediately began researching the net looking for all the material I could find that would just thrill hearts, inspire souls and create a wondrous desire for volunteerism within our churches. There is such an overwhelming amount of material that might just do that.
 
Then I realized that it isn't the material that makes it work. I cannot instill that desire in you and the material will not do that. God will!

Did I just touch you?

Outreach begins with Jesus instructions in the Great Commission and is the driving belief structure at Spirit of Christ MCC in Joplin, MO. I cannot accept credit for that because God has instilled it in the hearts of the people here.
 
In "making disciples of all nations," we realize that we start at home and touch people. A handshake, E-mail, listening (remember God gave us two ears and only one mouth...was there a hint in that), prayer, food ministry, prayer shawl ministry (gay men knitting... get real), and more. All of these things are part of what Christ calls us to do.

Did I just touch you?

You might be saying, "We need hundreds of people to do that." No just someone to shake hands to greet people when they come to church... that touch lets them know you care, because God in you cares. Just someone to keep people connected by E-mailing people a prayer, wish for God's blessings or an uplifted word. Just listening is the best communication tool you can have in your outreach tapestry because people want to be heard.
 
There is an overwhelming need to be heard in the human heart. Just someone able to pray for praises and needs. Our outreach touches people even when we eat out every week and we are not afraid to pray at the table. We didn't know that we were touching others then the owners of a local restaurant called and told us how it has touched their lives seeing our witness every week and ask us to pray for them and their friends. Go out to fellowship after church, be yourselves in Christ and see how it impacts the community around you.
 
Our food ministry doesn't cost us anything but we touch lives every day and the people we serve now call us their family. They are members of other churches but call us family. Our small MCC is only ten members but at the last food distribution we had twenty-one people show up to volunteer.
 
Our outreach touches people as the pastor's husband became interested in prayer shawl ministry. A friend was facing a double mastectomy and he was looking for a way to support, comfort and protect her. Coming across information on prayer shawls he decided to make one for her and one for her partner. Now five men in the church and one of our teenage boys are knitting prayer shawls for people. Our outreach touches people by God's comfort and strength. You see they are on loan from God while being made and the Spirit directs their destiny. So far they have traveled to both coast of the US and to the UK.

Did I just touch you?

You see you can read all the Outreach material out there, you can spend hundreds and literally thousands of dollars on door hangers and pretty flyers but it can all start with a handshake.
 
Feed the poor, heal the sick, cloth those in need...did you just touch someone?
Don't ask what Jesus would do...do what Jesus did...did you just touch someone?
Make disciples of all nations...start at home...did you just touch someone?
It is all Outreach and it is directed by Christ.
 
I hope that by sharing what this small MCC does inspires you not because we do it but because God directs it.
 
Rev. Steve T. Urie
Pastor
Spirit of Christ MCC
+1 417-529-8480
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Good Hope MCC is an inclusive Christian Community in Cape Town, South Africa. Whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender:
You are made in God's image and are welcome at our Church!