As we’ve followed the current destruction on Maui, the recent storm and flooding damage in southern California and Nevada, and so many other natural disasters the past few months and years, I’ve sometimes wondered about the why.
Is it possible God allows the seemingly nonstop occurrence of these catastrophic events because His people are at their best when tragedy strikes?
I’m not saying He causes or creates the disasters. I’m merely wondering if He chooses not to stop them so we will have another opportunity to showcase His love at a level that pleases Him. Even if it’s not the case, I still wonder how we must look to Him during the calmer moments.
Is it possible the Church as a whole struggles (outside of a crisis) to genuinely, thoroughly and consistently show up for the various communities needing consistent care across the nation and around the world?
Much of what we report in The Baptist Paper highlights congregations and individuals who model a faith-driven love, compassion and effort. They are dedicated and involved, and we work to keep their stories in front of you as inspiration, encouragement and motivation.
Still, many of us may find ourselves too caught up in our own busy lives or exhausted from cultural debates to leave enough margin to notice the daily opportunities right in front of us.
Pastor Bobby McKay shares a bit about this idea in regard to prayer in his Sept. 10 Sunday School lesson commentary.
Even positive, healthy activities can crowd our schedules and prevent us from having the time or energy needed to invest in that lonely neighbor or rebellious teenager down the street.
What about the single mother trying to work two or three jobs to keep food on the table and pay her bills? She’s determined not to ask for a handout, but if we slowed down to really think about it, we know we could help in some way.
Community after community across the nation reports concerns and desperate pleas for partners to come alongside them — and most involve finding a way to give their children, teenagers and young adults an opportunity not only to survive but also to thrive.
What if congregations found ways to utilize all six generations within their church families to serve with and contribute to the efforts taking place at church? Would there be enough spillover to then find everyone else a place of service in the community?
Aaron Summers with Lifeway Research shares more about utilizing all generations in ministry service.
What if congregations spent concerted time in prayer asking for the Lord’s guidance on how best to serve the community in which they’ve been placed?
What if more effort focused outside the church walls than inside? Who lives within a one-mile radius of your church facility? Do the people in those homes know about you? Do they trust you? Do they understand you? What are ways you could truly serve needs they have?
Needs all around us
What schools are part of your congregation’s community? What are ways your church could invest in students’ lives?
Who are the elderly members of your community? How might you involve them in your church family?
Any chance you could find individuals who need counseling or medical attention or job skills training but can’t afford it? Maybe they don’t know where to go for help or how to get started.
Who in your congregation would be the perfect match to help?
The ideas truly are endless. Look up, reach out and stand firm. God’s ready to do an incredible work through you and your family of faith.