A reader asked if I could give some examples of ministries I’ve seen honoring God. Since I spend a lot of time encouraging us to engage in following Christ with all of our hearts, I thought it was an excellent suggestion and an opportunity to highlight some people and ministries of which I have become aware. I have added a new section on the “Resources” tab of this site that lists several ministries I support and endorse. But I wanted to highlight a few people and organizations that I have personally witnessed being the hands and feet of Jesus, walking in His footsteps and reaching out to people in need.
One of the former pastors of the fellowship I attend is Daron Earliwine. Daron is a dynamic speaker with a passion to see people engage Christ fully in their lives. While still working his day job, Daron began a ministry called Pub Theology. He basically took some Christian musician friends and headed out into the bars surrounding Indianapolis. They play some music, after which Daron shares a message and then takes questions (via text message) from the audience. Daron unashamedly carries the gospel into a world that is hurting and desperate for hope. Eventually Daron left his position at the church to do Pub Theology full time. He gave up a salary and his own comfort to pursue those in need of Christ. Most recently, Daron has taken Pub Theology to the next level by actually launching a Monday night church service in one of the local bars.
Woodland Hills Church in Minnesota launched an unusual building campaign last year. Instead of creating more worship or education space, the church decided to renovate a wing of their existing building to turn it into a homeless shelter and food bank. They raised funds to remodel and bring the space up to appropriate codes to allow them to house those with nowhere to go. Future plans include adding health care and job placement services. Instead of using their funds to continue to insulate themselves or increase the comfort of their members, Woodland Hills turned outward to serve the community around them. This reminds me a great deal of the early church in the book of Acts.
In my own fellowship, new Senior Pastor Rick Grover has begun an initiative to send the entire congregation through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It’s not something a lot of churches do, although we’re certainly not the first. While it may not seem immediately apparent how this is following in the footsteps of Jesus, consider these facts: nearly 50% of all marriages, including Christian marriages, end in divorce (money fights are the number one cause of divorce in America); the average Christian donates 2% of their money back to the work of God; the Bible teaches against people being in debt (Proverbs 22:7). Financial Peace University addresses all of these issues, allowing us to unleash a large number of believers into the world who can model marital happiness, generosity, and financial responsibility. Marriages will be restored, hearts will be freed, and resources will be released that will propel the mission of Christ forward.
Now I’d love to hear about your own experiences. Let’s learn from one another and be encouraged by the stories I’m sure you all have. Please leave a comment below about people or ministries you’ve encountered that are being the hands and feet of Jesus in our World. Most importantly, I encourage you to take action and join arms with a ministry doing the work of Christ yourself.