This past Saturday the church I serve as pastor had a community service day. About sixty people teamed up, went through out our community and gave away 1000 bottles of cold water.
So many people have a negative response when you say church. They think of the church as judgmental hypocrites who care only about their own agenda. They think of the church as money-grubbing preachers who only want their money. Note: The church has to have money. We receive three offerings per service at our church. One for tithes, one for our building project and one for missions but we care about more than money. Usually when I hear someone criticize the church saying, “all they care about is money,” I respond with; “All Wal-Mart cares about is your money and that doesn’t stop you from going there.” You will go to Wal-Mart, grab a buggy, put things in it you don’t need, stand in line to pay and then say thank you after they take your money.
This community service event was an attempt to show our community that the church cares about them. We refused many, many offers of donations because we wanted them to know that our cold-water giveaway was not a backhanded way to raise money.
Today after at least three phone calls from individuals needing assistance with utility bills I had a visit from a homeless man (he lives in an old camper and that’s homeless in my book). His name was Henry. All Henry wanted was some food. “I’m hungry pastor,” he said and all I want is something to eat. It just so happened that I had a box of food that someone donated for just these type of events. I gave the groceries to Henry and then invited him to church. He was about to leave when he said, “I’d give anything for a cup of that coffee.” It was coffee that I made this morning. I gladly gave him a cup of coffee and then I handed him a bottle of cold water. He said, “That’s how I found your church. Someone gave me a bottle of water Saturday with your phone number on it.” He seemed to be truly grateful. I told Henry that not only did I want him to come to church but that he was welcomed to come by any time for a cup of coffee. Will I ever see him again? I don’t know.
The point is this. It all started when a member of our community service team handed a homeless man a bottle of cold water.
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”