Yesterday I had the honor of attending the ribbon cutting for the ‘Little Pantry’ in Sylva. If you haven’t heard about the ‘Little Pantry’ it’s a small box that was recently placed at our Sylva Campus where anyone can come and get food and personal items, anytime, for any reason. If you want to check out the article the Sylva Herald wrote about it just CLICK HERE.
Today I had the honor of seeing it at work. I was taking care of a few odds and ends at the office when I happened to see a minivan park out front. A woman stepped out of the passenger seat, walked over to the ‘Little Pantry’, picked out an armload of necessities and headed back to the car. I don’t know her name or her situation but God does. Today I witnessed someone being loved and God alone getting the glory.
Fourteen years after his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus Paul traveled to Jerusalem. He met with the Apostles to discuss his message to the Gentiles because He wanted to make sure that he was on track. They had one encouragement for him -
“All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” - Galatians 2:10 NIV
James said it this way -
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” - James 1:27 NIV
We have a list of 16 Core Values that make LifeWay well… LifeWay. The first is an Outward Focus. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He also came to serve not to be served. Another Core Value is Gracious Generosity – see ‘God so loved the world that He gave…’ We give because we can, not because we have to. We are gracious because it is who He is and it is who we are! The final Core Value I want to mention is Personal Responsibility. She may fuss but I want to thank Ruby Peoples for making this happen. Ruby attends our Sylva Campus and works with our Children’s Ministry. A few weeks back she came to me with this idea. She had the vision, took personal responsibility and made it happen. Well done Ruby!
Don't wait for someone else to do something that God has called you to do. Focus outward, be graciously generous and take personal responsibility. It will change your life, it will change someone else's life (and maybe their forever) and God will get the glory!
Over the years we have had the opportunity to help launch several ministries that serve those in need including The Community Table, God’s Abundance Soup Kitchen and the Jackson Neighbors’ in Need Homeless Shelter. I am proud to pastor such an amazing church! Well done LifeWay! This month we celebrate 20 years of God's faithfulness as a church and from what I have seen today I am absolutely convinced that He is just getting started here at LifeWay.