The Back Stories
On Faith in Action Weekend our church makes an event out of serving our community by planning multiple projects, taking pictures, doing a music video, & celebrating what we can accomplish together when we make ourselves available. It makes for a good story, but I’m one that always digs for the back story. I never trust the opening line. Here’s a few back stories:
- Single moms & widows living in a local multi-housing complex struggling to make ends meet & overcome past pain. Serving them through keeping their grass cut & other household chores that are easy for us, difficult for them.
- A disabled single mom goes through a house fire. Through Faith in Action volunteers have put a new roof on her house, painted & made repairs on her house, and Sunday we prepped it for fresh paint. Hoping our next Faith in Action weekend at the end of the summer will include putting in new flooring in her totally renovated home.
- Every Nursing Home has residents that have no local family support. They seldom get visits. They go without many personal items that could make them more comfortable. Sunday volunteers took care boxes to them & let them know that they are not alone.
- The family of a Parkinson’s patient who can no longer walk had to call the local Fire Dept to lift him down the steps, to get him to doctors appointments, etc. Last Saturday volunteers installed a wheelchair ramp at the home easing the hardship on the family.
- 41% of current inmates had a relative in jail. 25% of current inmates had a dad in jail. Through our Family Day Block Parties on Faith in Action Weekend we provide a fun environment for dads to connect with their kids & we celebrate those who have completed our Recovery & Re-Entry Course or earned their GED. A favorite moment of mine from this past week was seeing a son asking his dad about the certificate he received.
- Sharing the Gospel at the jail always leads to conversations about new life in Christ. Sunday, a lady came up and said that three of her sons had died due to drugs & violence. She has one son left. He completed our course last week. She asked for prayer that she could get past her anger at God and trust Christ.
These are relationships that Bridge Church has developed because of intentionally looking for back stories of need in our community. One person said it like this, “The problem with the Church today is not that we don’t care about poor people. The problem is that we don’t know any of their names.” Are we looking for the back story? Are we developing relationships so that our Faith is more than an event, but relationships that will lead people FROM where they are, TO where God wants them to be?
Christianity started as a Back Story – peasant girl in a back ally of Bethlehem. Jesus lived his life as a Back Story – a carpenter turned Rabbi. After his death & resurrection the Gospel spread as a Back Story – ordinary people scattering, sharing, serving, & living like little Christ. Miracles happen in the Back Story.