This summer I spent 3 days serving the homeless, partnering with an inner-city church, and volunteering downtown with our students on an event we call Project Downtown. It was a small group of middle and high school students (that included my oldest son TJ and I) that resulted in some great convos and reminders about why it is we do what we do in our community with students.
I also took our kids to help paint some park benches with our church in Collier Park in La Mesa- a local park that our Middle School and College Ministries have spear headed a partnership with. My kids love serving... at least for an hour or so :)
Then today, we went with our paid staff from Journey and spent 2 1/2 hours cleaning out, emptying, and helping organize the supply room for an elementary school in Lemon Grove. It's in desperate need of help, has almost 100% of it's students on a free meal program, and very little funding and therefore huge needs. But what it does have is a principal and several of it's teaching/campus staff who go to Journey who all have big hearts for their students and staff and asked us if we could come help.
So we did. Today.
It was fun to serve together and be reminded that church is most like the church when it is the church off campus meeting real needs in Jesus' name.
We were told that one of the staff at this school is in a wheel chair and another has some kinda prosthetic limb and that neither of them had access to the resource room pictured behind us because it was so unmanageable and cluttered with stuff that it was unusable. So, we vacuumed, swept, wiped, moved, tossed out, piled up, and organized all kinds of stuff so that in a quick few hours, we gave a school what would have taken one person 75+ hours to do and hopefully blessed our community in the process.
I'm praying it's the beginning of a beautiful local school/church partnership. Perhaps even just the beginning of one of many such partnerships. Which by the way, here's a list of from Adam McLane of some other ideas that you might do to start your own school/church partnership. And here's another pastor on our team's post on this day.
In the process, as I reflected on these days, here's a few convictions I want to live out as a part of a healthy, active, church community and family:
- When the church serves, the world needs us.
- When the church serves, the gospel has daily implications.
- When the church serves, we become like Jesus.
- When the church serves, there is NOTHING like the local church.
- When the church serves, we can do together, what none of us can do alone.
- When the church serves, theology has a voice that reason can't argue away.
- When the church serves, the skeleton of words are given the muscle of action.