Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A "Witness" in Presence

A few months ago we learned that our local fire department was coming up on a major anniversary and had plans to celebrate. We prayed about ways to get involved in order to continue building a strong relationship with our town. One lady from our church really took the ball and attended a planning meeting with members of the fire department. She attended the meeting with this simple message: We at NBBFC care about you and are willing to do whatever you need to help you celebrate this milestone. She said it caught them pretty much by surprise but they were grateful to have any help they could get.

A couple of weeks ago, on Saturday, May 14th, the Woodbury Heights Fire Department held their parade and block party. Approximately 50 fire companies from South Jersey participated in the parade (man, was it loud!). Well over 300 community residents came out to honor the men and women who volunteer to keep our town safe and to help in times of need. We had a great group of about 25 volunteers from New Beginnings who showed up to help provide security, t-shirt sales, wrap and give out nearly 1,000 hotdogs, and much more! I was privileged to be asked to pray at the awards ceremony, and John Maricle, our worship leader, stepped in to sing the National Anthem! He did an amazing job! Though we got a little wet in the process, it was a great day of serving our neighbors in town and having a witness of presence for the Lord.

Service was a huge part of Christ's incarnational ministry. Mark 10:45 states, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." We at NBBFC are learning more and more about this important dimension of our vocation as the church--God's redeemed community on earth. We want people to come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We want to see people come into the church and experience the abundant life of following Jesus. However, we also recognize that we are called to "love our neighbors" and to serve them for God's glory. Displaying sacrifice and service is an essential part of our witness as the church. This is why we think it is necessary that we maintain an active ministry of presence at any and all community events. Over the past few years it has been amazing to see how God has opened so many doors for our little church. God is so good!

What event is coming up in your community? Is there some way that you or your church can get involved in order to show others that God's love is worth receiving?

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