Would you have the guts to take a stand like they did?
So last Sunday was unforgettable. After talking about God’s generosity, and how we can reflect that in our own lives, I asked those who had urgent financial needs (groceries, gas, medication) to stand up. I didn’t know if anyone would have the courage to stand. Wow was I wrong.
At each of the three gatherings we had at least one person rise to their feet and let everyone in the room know they were struggling. That was probably the hardest thing any of them would have to do. And what happened after that was nothing short of the work of the Holy Spirit. There was an outpouring of generosity like nothing I’ve ever witnessed before. Hardly a dry eye in the place.
One gentleman who received that generosity said he couldn’t remember the last time he was able to actually fill up his gas tank…he normally just puts in a couple dollars’ worth. Another individual shared they had no money, their phone was cut off, and they were ready to throw in the towel. Most of them were too overwhelmed to even speak.
The phrase I kept hearing from our church was, “I had no idea that this or that person was in such great need!” People that you see each week, people who sit next to you and worship next to you.
But I keep thinking about the courage it takes to stand. Because standing means admitting I’ve got a problem. And we don’t like to admit that, especially when it’s about something as personal as our finances. I don’t know if I would be able to stand. (And if you were someone who NEEDED to stand, but didn’t, please contact our church office so we can see if there’s a way we can assist you.)
May I drop some knowledge on you? Every week you attend Seneca Creek’s gatherings you’re sitting next to people who have unspoken needs. People who are facing job loss, health crises, parenting problems, marital meltdowns, addiction battles, crushing loneliness, and more. And in all likelihood, you’re someone who sits silently with unspoken needs, too.
So I’m going to challenge you to take a courageous stand. Just like those brave individuals who rose to their feet last Sunday and said, “I need financial help,” I urge you to rise from your safe silence and begin to seek out assistance. Stop putting on a facade of perfection. Stop worrying what other people will think if they find out you have a need. If nothing else, you saw last Sunday that this church doesn’t condemn those with needs, we reach out to help.
- It might mean joining a Converge group
- It might mean signing up for a Rooted group
- It might mean seeking out the prayer team after the gathering
- It might mean asking for prayer on the Connection Card
- It might mean stopping by Connection Point to ask about assistance
- It might mean making an appointment with a pastor to get help
- It might mean getting yourself to a recovery meeting
- It might mean signing up for Financial Peace University
But whatever it is, take the next step. And let the picture of what happened last Sunday be your inspiration and encouragement.
And lest I forget, thank you for modeling generosity last weekend. It’s truly an honor to be your pastor.
Posted on February 5, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.
That’s awesome. I remember as a kid, my dad was laid off for a while, so money was tight and and it was around Christmas time. I remember people from church coming over with bags of groceries and handing my parents money. Even 35 years later, i remember that.
I’m still learning the importance of being generous – whether it be to my friends or strangers.
Wow,…this blog was just as powerful as last Sunday’s message,….thank you Pastor Mark!!
God bless you Mark. I am so proud of where the Lord has taken you. Blessings to your whole congregation.
Steve, your willingness to serve on the parking team is a weekly demonstration of exactly what we saw last week. Can’t thank you enough!
I so appreciated this sermon. thank you! I think of Clive every time I “hear” you, hear about the church he dearly loved.
blessings to you, Katrina
It was a hit WAY out of the ballpark!
Last week was very moving. I am do glad my niece was with me whom I have been trying to encourage to come to church. Her response was ” This is a miracle, I am going to tell a friend who does not believe in God, this could only be God” . She is still talking about her experience and the message which speaks to her and inspired her to be back on Sunday
I feel the Holy Spirit moving and so thankful God allowed me to help our community find parking so they could be there to experience his work. Honestly, I’m a little jealous I was not there to experience his work in person. But, that’s just me being human. Thank you Mark for your leadership and bringing God’s word to life. You don’t hear this enough – AMEN!
Seneca Creek, last week was awesome. I have never seen generosity like this! It can only be God. I am visiting and have been attending church since August. Definitely God is in this place. Pastor Mark and your team, thank you very much! More Grace!
That service was amazing, I had to hold back tears as I gave the couple your dollar that I had been given (plus more of my own, to be honest), that morning. The very next day God put me to the test, first thing in the morning!. Right there at the entrance to the Shady Grove Metro station stood a woman asking for help, financially. She needed $2 to add to her Metro Card. Well….I could have walked by, as others did, but there was no way God was letting me off the hook. However, not wanting to be “suckered” I calmly walked over and suggested we walk to the SmartCard machines and I would add the money t here card. When she pulled out her SmartCard and started walking with me to through the station tunnel I knew this was for real. I tried to act like I wasn’t in a rush, although I really wanted to catch the next train that just arrived (hey, it was COLD that morning!). Of course, later, after I had done my good deed, I was bothered on my ride into DC just think that I could have done more. No, in fact, I SHOULD have done more. Her card (I saw the balance) had less than $5.00 on it, which, as most of us who take Metro regularly know, is hardly enough to get anywhere during Rush Hour, and certainly not enough for a round trip of any length. So, guess that’s my challenge for next time!