"If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."(1 Cor 13:3)
I had the opportunity of working at Button Memorial, the smallest big church I've ever been in, for only nine short months before we moved. But it's an experience that I'll always look back on with a smile.Last year while working in the church office I witnessed first hand the power of small and how very BIG it can be.
This sweet little church has no more than 70 members (on a good Sunday), but they have hearts that do the work of many.
the workers are few but the harvest is plenty.
They lived out the phrase "Jesus with skin on" in ways that made me proud to show up each morning and witness to their acts of love and kindness. They reminded me of what church is supposed to be.
They aren't perfect people and it doesn't matter. I like them more because they weren't perfect, just fully human beings working out their faith in day to day acts.
The members of Button fed those that came through their doors through the food bank, which ran solely on donations (mainly) provided by the congregants. During the summer they offered a free lunch program for low-income families. They wanted to make sure there weren't any hungry kids in the community with school being on break.
The widow loved the Lord and gave all she could. It wasn't in her abundance but in her poverty she gave all she had, and how it pleased the Lord.(Luke 21:1-4)
(Did you know thousands of children each summer go hungry day to day once school lets out for the summer? School is where they get their breakfast and lunch. They may or may not get dinner at night, so the two meals they eat at school are all they get.)
Some days I felt like the church bouncer (which is a funny picture, because I'm 'bout the last person that would ever be a door bouncer)because we would get quite a few walk-ins from the street asking for help. If there was money to be given it was, if not we directed them to another church that could help.
Most of the congregants are older, it's a dying church, quite literally.
But it doesn't stop them from acting when a call comes in of a person in need, member or not. They will do all they can to fill the need of whomever walks through their doors, no judgement, questions asked, only, "What can we do for you?"
And isn't that the way church is meant to be? A welcoming sanctuary for all?
Acts 4:32-35 "Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need."
We don't have to have huge bank accounts or large amounts of time. We only need love like Jesus did. Pray for God to grow that love for Him and others.
Button isn't made up of rich, high-society folks. No, they were a group of individuals that worked as one body. Like, I believe, the church was meant to.
I want to love like the people of Button. Because they know how to love BIG.
God provided this job as a way to show me my prayers need to be specific. I've spent my entire prayer life praying very general prayers. But this time I got detailed. I asked for a part time job that I could work while the kids were at school, maybe even only 4 days a week, no weekends. A job that understood I had a family and if the kids were sick or had something going on at school, I needed to be there. And a job that wasn't so stressful it spilled over to my family.
God provided just that. The job at Button is what I prayed for. I know I wasn't the most qualified applicant, and Lord knows Pastor Mel had his hands full of applicants to choose from, but he chose me.
Oh, God, how you love.
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be."( Deut 15:7-8)