Friday night I was invited by a great friend of mine to help serve at a Homeless shelter in Providence, RI. My wife and two littlest ones jumped in a car to join the 8 or so people from his church plant “Connexion Church” at the shelter.
It was a great time with family, friends and serving, but I noticed some odd things as well. When pastor jack was done preaching to the men and women there he gave an altar call. Of course many got saved and I am not about to judge who were for real or who just wanted to go through the motions to get their dinner. All the people got up afterward and proceeded rather quickly to the dining hall. Well, all but one. One man stayed behind and talked to Jack and he got to pray with him. I love when that happens because to me thats how you really know how hungry a person is for God.
This man went for the bread of life before he went for the bread that came with the Ziti.
There was a homeless man there that i guess is on staff with the place. He was breaking down the room, clearing chairs, and stacking them. I went up to him and asked if I could help. His answer floored me.
“Huh?” he said “you want to help?..Uh yeah! thanks so much…You are now my favorite church!”
“Why?” I asked “thats what I’m here to do…Help”
“Because most of the other churches show up to preach and then leave. They don’t stick around to help me”
AMAZING! He went on to say that he was floored we have 8+ people because usually churches send the preacher and maybe another guy. I was happy to hear we were there for him and could help even in what seemed like such a little task, but also sad that churches are just sending people there to preach.
I’ll leave you with this quote that I think sums up the problem with the church today.
“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St. Francis of Assisi
We spend so much time drilling people with the gospel that sometimes we need to realize all people need to see the Light of Christ is just a helping hand, somebody to love them, somebody to care like Jesus did.