A Defining Email

I write an email to our church every week.  I get rushed some weeks and there are 52 of them each year…not every one is going to be a classic! But some should be.  And if I get to vote, I hope this one is.  I would love for this to be defining for Suncrest.

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Hey Suncrest,

You hear me talking about “being used by God to change lives” all of the time.  I hope that desire to bring heaven to earth, light to darkness, healing to brokenness is a central element of your life and faith.

This week I came across some examples of this happening and it highlighted something very important to me.  Think about these 2 first:

  • Last Saturday, 35+ people from Suncrest rehabbed a house for a family in need as part of the regional “Rebuilding Together”.  Our Compassion Fund (from our annual Christmas Eve offering) funded much of the work.
  • This Sunday, we will learn how we can help re-stock the food pantry shelves at St. Claire’s Health Clinic.  We refer people to St. Claire’s often for the kind of assistance (medical, etc.) we can’t provide, so I really hope we’ll be able to bless them in a huge way.

It is cool that we do these things “through the church coming together”, but it is even better when you and I realize we are the church 24/7.  So it would be a TERRIBLE idea to rely on church-sponsored programs to do our “difference making” work.  The best chance to be the church is actually right where you are.  These things were even better news to me this week:

  • I opened up the Times on Monday and saw a picture someone from our Hobart Campus helping the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana distribute food.
  • When I mentioned a chance to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity this week, Tina Hines and Lynn Barbee spoke up about when they volunteered with them building a house in Gary.
  • Our neighbor (and Suncrest attender) told me this morning that the school where she teaches was getting recognized for excellence.  I see her (and many other educators) at our church give and give and give to help students every single day – in ways that shape lives far beyond test scores.
  • A guy who serves on our Business Management Team shared this on Facebook:  “A lot of people have asked me about the homeless shelter where I volunteer…well, they’re now on Facebook and in need of volunteers. So if you or a group of friends have 4 or 5 hours a month to volunteer, please contact South Suburban PADS.”
  • While Suncrest sponsored one “Rebuilding Together” project, a man in our church led his workplace to sponsor another.  He suggested his company financially sponsor it (which they did) and then a group from his company went and did the work on Saturday.

Friends, this is the path to really meeting needs.  So much more will happen in our region if we take this posture than we could ever do through Suncrest-sponsored programs.  Nobody thinks this is a bad idea.  Many figure they will be ready to engage it after their faith grows a little bit.  Ironically, serving others like this is actually the way your faith grows.  Just go for it!

Thanks for reading.

Greg

P.S.  As of Sunday, almost 200 adults across 4 campuses who weren’t in Community Groups before are jumping in for our 8 week study of Guardrails.  This is amazing!  Jenny and I leaving our old group to be part of new one with 10 new people…can’t wait!  There will be one last chance to connect with a group on Sunday!

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~ by Greg Lee on September 21, 2012.

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