Jordan B. Davis
Church Relations Officer
We have all been a part of them- the meetings when it seems that no one agrees and everyone is asking “what is the point?” Well, this past Sunday I saw what the point was.
Like most other churches, Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC hosted their annual Vacation Bible School this summer. Like most other churches, they put signs up on the lawn to welcome the neighborhood. Like most other churches, they received reports that the kids had a blast. This summer’s VBS was something special for Western Boulevard, though, and what happened in worship this past Sunday shows why.
During the Joys and Concerns portion of worship, Rev. Betty Connette (PSCE, 1985) welcomed a Pakistani family to worship and share their story. One of the ladies spoke of the persecution in Pakistan and their journey to America. She spoke of both struggles and triumphs, losing loved ones, and adjusting to a new culture. She spoke of the struggles that the children had in school and her concern about what they would do during the summer while the adults worked all day. Western Boulevard Presbyterian ended up being the answer to that question.
After seeing the sign for VBS and taking a picture so she had all of the information, she called the church to register her kids. So now, one week for the kids was covered. At the close of VBS, she began wondering what else the kids could do- were there other churches nearby that would be hosting VBS? One member reached out and took the family under her wing, driving the children to the local YMCA every day for the rest of the summer. Now, because of the time with other kids their age, the children were ready for the new school year with new friends.
Following a sermon about acting out God’s Word rather than just listening, this testimony hit home. The testimony was the answer to the question of the morning’s worship service, “What if?” When Western Boulevard put up the VBS sign on the lawn, little did they know their sign would be an answer to the question.
In every aspect of our ministry, we are called to be doers for this very reason. We never know who will see or hear us, and what our actions might do for them. In all that we do, we are called to portray God’s love and grace.
In a leadership class at Union, Dr. Ken McFayden told us that every mission and vision statement should start with who the church believes God is. I would add that every action of the church should demonstrate who they believe God to be.
When we welcome others into worship, whether by a sign on the lawn or a hand shake at the door, we are portraying how we understand God.. We can sometimes be changing the life of someone. It may not happen every time our door is open or a sign is up, but that one time is sometimes all it takes. That one time is the reason that we strive to answer God’s call in all that we do.
What is the point? God is the point. If we can help someone find a home, find peace, or find love through our small actions in ministry, imagine how God can use our big actions.
As you take time to discern how to engage in new ministries this year, take time to think about how each action can help show who you believe God to be. You never know who will take a picture of that sign on the lawn in hopes of finding a much-needed answer!