December 2, 2016
Many of us have heard this phrase before. But how do we live it out on a daily basis? Pastor Armstrong gives some great suggestions and examples in his current sermon series, Outreach. He cites one example from our home church, The Chapel, where we have seen church members with teaching gifts go to teach the Gospel in India and Mozambique. But he makes the point that you don’t have to physically “go” anywhere to be part of the Great Commission! There are many local ministries and organizations that need volunteers to do all kinds of things – whether it’s teaching, cleaning, providing meals to the underprivileged.
And it all glorifies God and can help bring new sheep to the fold. Pastor Armstrong quotes Henry Blackaby from his book, Experiencing God, “Discover what God is doing and join Him.” I read this book back as a new believer, and it changed my life! God is working all around us. We can pray for God to open our eyes to where He is working and how He wants us to use our abilities to be His hands and feet to people who don’t know Him.
I prayed such a prayer in the spring of this year. I found myself seeking God to help me figure out where my skills and education could best be used to serve Him. Not long after praying this, I received an email from the evangelical humanitarian organization, Samaritan’s Purse. They were looking for local volunteers for their project, Operation Christmas Child. I always loved this project, which brings shoeboxes filled with gifts to children all over the world who may not ever receive one. My kids and I always participate each year by filling at least one shoebox for a child and then following the box online to see where it’s delivered. Two years ago our shoebox went to a child in Iraq. It’s an amazing ministry – the children not only receive tangible gifts of love from strangers, but also are given an opportunity to hear the Gospel, and many go on to accept Christ! So for me this was a no-brainer. I filled out the form, expressed my area of interest – media relations – and soon received a call from the local area team coordinator. After an interview by a regional member of Samaritan’s Purse I was asked to serve as the local area media relations coordinator. We just finished National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child – it has been such a blessing for me to see the amount of local media coverage the project received, which in turn helped our area team to close in on this year’s goal of 64,500 shoeboxes!
Like me, you may not need to look past your own backyard in order to be a part of the Great Commission. Ask God to show you where He is working in your neighborhood, your church, or your community today. He will answer!