Friday, March 27, 2009

Real Life meeting works

Being from Oklahoma has somewhat insulated us from the harshest realities of the economic downturn. Here in the heartland we are not seeing the wide-spread layoffs that are hitting the Northeast, West, Southwest and Upper Midwest. It may get worse, but for now it is more like a trickle, instead of a flood.

But we are seeing people in our church who are being laid off. It doesn't matter whether it is you, or a 100 people, it is still scary to get the paperwork. When Joel was laid off last November, he said that he was so surprised and shocked... They were putting papers in front of him and telling him to sign them. He was numb.

Imagine what it is like for someone who is married and has children. Joel is single and in pretty good shape as far as obligations. But lots of people are not. It's scary.

I saw an email that one guy in our church wrote to his small group this week. He talked about how he would be laid off today. It was kind of scary, but he knew that God would take of him and his family (including a baby on the way.)

So what did he do? He emailed his small group. The email is one overflowing with faith. But it is also a signal that they have a group to call on if they need help. He ended his email with a quote from 2 Cor 4:8-9 and these words, "I will praise Him in the hard times!"

We will help where we can, along side of the groups. We are being blessed now as a church for times such as these. If you have lost your job, let us know... we want to help.

This is where real life meets faith. And it works!

On another note, Pam and I went to an open house for Pregnancy Resource Center. It is really growing influence in our community. There is a strong vision, great leadership and a desire to care for people. They have expanded thier facilities and they are making a difference.

It is another place where real life meets faith. And it works!

A member of our church lost his brother suddenly this week. His small group was on it, before I even knew about it ( And I knew within about 2 1/2 hrs). There is a group of people who will minister better to him and his family than I can. I will do my part...but the group is where the consistent support and love will come.

It is another place where real life meets faith. And it works!

We want to be a real life kind of place, full of grace and love, support, honoring the truth of God's Word and using those things to build faith into the lives of people. Sounds exactly like what the church should be doing.


Steve said...

Charlie ~ This post is right on. I attended a funeral today, for someone who took his life this past Sunday. He had a wife, daughter and other family members living with them. The only thing we know is that he felt he had no way to handle the problems in his life. The crazy thing, is that this is the 2nd man at my church that I'm aware of that took his life due to family/economy related struggles. They both were regular church members/attenders, but they weren't REALLY plugged in.

The next desperate person could be anyone next to us. Reaching out and inviting should always be on our "to do" list.

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