Thursday, January 05, 2006

Christians in Action

Dan Edelen at Cerulean Sanctum is sounding the same call to action that I sounded a few days ago about more action from the Christian community (though I'm sure he doesn't read my blog, it's just that the need for this topic is so plain). I'd like to pick up his challenge and send out for my readers to do likewise. I'm going to list Christians I have known who excel in service as a reminder that there are a lot of serving Christians out there, and then I'm going to list the "dream ministries" that I hope we can start. I'd invite you all to join in with Christians you know who excel in service, and other ministries that have been on your heart to start or join.

Heroes in service I have known
I'm listing these by their initials because I haven't asked whether it's ok to post their names:
  • LP: When told by her doctor that her pregnancy was hopeless and she should abort, she decided to trust God and let nature take its course. She decided this expecting the worst. Her daughter Mia is now 3 years old and perfect. The doctor was wrong, but we would never have known it except for LP's courage and faith.
  • BH: Though her arthritis makes it difficult to use her hands, she still uses her spare time to knit clothing and blankets to donate to premature infants; you just can't buy clothes off the shelves at those sizes. She heads a group of women who similarly use their skills and spare time.
  • BF saw his neighbor, a single mother, struggling to keep up with yardwork while her father was in the hospital. He took it on himself, unasked, to cut and edge her lawn for several months.
  • LL church works with the local fire department to provide gift certificates in a substantial amount to people who suffer catastrophic losses in fires. Gift certificates are given to their choice of either Target or Home Depot.
  • Various Christians I know volunteer at a local cancer hospital helping provide care items for the patients and relieve their loneliness, fear, and boredeom with a friendly visit.

Dream Ministries
  • Organizing a neighborhood harvest where people collect and donate the excess produce of their gardens or fruit trees to a food bank
  • Finding a doctor or nurse willing to work at a clinic for very little money; having the clinic entirely funded by donations and accept those who have no health care. Start at home: U.S., Mexico, or here near their border.
  • Inner-city boarding schools: for those whose homes are destructive, a Christian-run boarding school could provide a safe place for children who have never had a safe place
  • National volunteer coordinator: when big disasters strike -- and that's at least once every few years -- it would be nice to have someone coordinating the volunteer efforts. Now the Salvation Army and to some extent also the Red Cross do a decent job of coordinating material relief -- but not volunteer efforts of manpower such as was needed in NYC in September 2001, in New Orleans and Houston last fall, and is still needed all along the coast from Beaumont to New Orleans right now. The day will come again; are we going to be any more ready next time?
I'll have to mention that I am not in the "serve instead of preach" camp. I could go on about this at length, but for the "social needs" camp, look at the causes of poverty and ask yourself how high amongst those causes are single parenthood, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse. Acts of love are best if accompanied by news of God's forgiveness in Christ (of which we should not be ashamed) and plain insistence on the good and orderly life rooted in morality (of which we should not be ashamed either).

The blogosphere is a great tool. Those of us who wish for more action, help us plan it, or fan the flames of it.

5 comments:

Dan Edelen said...

WF,

Thanks for the link and for expanding on what I posted at Cerulean Sanctum.

I like your ideas!

Weekend Fisher said...

Thank you for the comment. As codepoke and I have discussed before, the goal is to see how many we can make into reality. I look at what people want to talk about, and when it comes to talking about action it's easy to feel like the Little Red Hen ...

codepoke said...

Embarassingly enough, I had to Google the Little Red Hen. :-)

Your drive to practicality is great. Your ideas are pushing me in directions that just may work. My pastor is on board with the concept (you should have seen my jaw hit the ground), and if we start in the 100% practical, we may actually get somewhere.

I will have to think a while on the meme. The dreams I have. The examples I need to cogitate on.

Weekend Fisher said...

LOL, that's funny. In case anyone else it tempted to google the Little Red Hen ... it's the one where the hen says "Who'll help me plant the seed" (and grind the wheat and make the bread, yada yada) and everybody bails on the work but expects to be in when it's dinner time.

But codepoke, your pastor is on board with what? I'm so curious.

codepoke said...

In ascending order of unbelievability, he is happy that:
1) I am still thinking about leaving steeple churches.
2) I am blogging to this effect. He likes what I am blogging.
3) I might start a Familyhood Church next door to his.
4) I incubate that church within his, and split it off when the time comes. Have you ever heard of anything remotely like that?!

I can only interpret this as the Lord working something in both of us. The pastor (Jeff) seems to have a lot of this on his heart already. I went in there prepared to part ways and wish each other the best of luck. The Lord threw a door open, though.

Thoughts are whirring about in disarry right now. I'm a pretty happy camper.