I recently started picking up The Lookout at church and using it to help guide me through God's Word on a regular basis. Ever been in a place where you wanted to read The Word, but you didn't know what "word"? That's where I was at, and I thought I'd give The Lookout a try. It's been awesome for me! I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. In fact, we started stocking them in the Neighborhood Care Center as a resource to others.
I decided for this month I would share with you some insights from Kelly Cox's article in the 06.24.18-07.15.18 edition of The Lookout where Kelly unpacks for us what it means to be KIND. I thought it was fitting with the vision and mission of the Neighborhood Care Center.
In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul wrote about the fruit of the Spirit..."But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"
Kindness is easily passed over in a list like this, but it can really impact our daily walk and make a difference for Christ in those around us.
"Kindness is a selfless act, an expression of care for someone else that expects nothing in return. The circumstances we face in life can become less difficult and frustrating, and we can become more amicable simply by taking the time to be kind instead of harsh or selfish. Kindness softens the heart of both the giver and receiver. Kind Christians are eager to bless those around them and thus bring glory to the Lord."
So what is kindness?
Well - it's different than being nice. To be nice is an attempt to do the acceptable and right thing. It is easy to turn off and on depending on the person or situation. Someone who is kind has a sincere desire to extend themselves in order to help others. It is to be friendly, to care, to be thoughtful. Kind Christians don't require attention. They are selfless and happy in their service to others. To be kind is to be sensitive to the needs of others. Kind people are not easily offended. They are quick to extend grace and forgive others.
Kelly said it best - "Kindness is a matter of the heart, something that is rooted in character. It isn't turned on and turned off by a switch."
How can you start showing kindness to your neighbors TODAY...RIGHT NOW?!
You and I are in desperate need for Jesus to extend His grace and kindness to us each day. We should to the same for others.
Uou may be wondering what in the world is going on at the Neighborhood Care Center. Here are some upcoming opportunities that you can take part in!
The end of every month I print out a report of different measurements on our weekly ministries that include Neighborhood Market, Crisis Relief Ministry, and Clothing Room Ministry. The end of July came and it went, and we are now in August, and I am reflecting on what happened in the last month. Usually when I print out these reports I look at them and then they get stored away, but for some reason I can't help but revel in all that God has done - the known and unknown - in the last month.
Of course, numbers aren't everything, but they are SOME thing, and here are some numbers that I want to share with you and give Jesus all the glory.
247 families served.
269 children in those families.
659 different people in those families.
We had 26 new families visit us at Neighborhood Care Center in July, and so far in 2018 we have made friends with 124 new families.
God is on the move each and every day, and I want to move with Him! Will you join me?
As Mr Rogers would say, "Won't you be my neighbor?"
We have some opportunities to serve the neighbors in our communities.
August 6 - Load Out Stocking Team
August 18 - Mobile Food Pantry
September 6 - Liberty Village Care Team
September 9 - The Block Party
If you are interested in joining us for any of these options please visit the church website at http://www.clintonfcc.com/upcoming-serve-opportunities.html or you can call 217-935-3139. We would love to have you join us!
Find a neighbor to love well this month!
Minister of Community Impact & Care
Consider this blog post your invitation to join me and others in serving our neighbors through the various ministries in the Neighborhood Care Center.
Did you know that we have 16 different ministries in the Neighborhood Care Center? We sure do! You can learn more about these ministries by visiting the main webpage for the care center. We have weekly ministries that require some kind of weekly commitment. We also have ministries that take place monthly or quarterly and not all, but many, are considered "landing ministries." A landing ministry is an opportunity where you can "land" to serve and then go. In other words, you are not making a weekly commitment.
I love this mix of ministry types because it provides opportunities for EVERYONE to love their neighbors in a unique way that fits well for the volunteer and still meets the needs of our neighbors in a formal way.
That said - we have some new serve opportunities that I would like to invite you, your family, Sunday School Class, Small Group, Rooted Group, etc. to consider. Here's what we have going between now and October 2018...
Between these 4 ministries there are 7 different times you can serve. If you are a fan of the Internet please visit the "Upcoming Serve Opportunities" webpage that is below the Care Center tab on the FCC website. If you are more likely to use a phone, then you can call the church office at 217.935.3139 and Jen or Mandi would be happy to help you sign up for one of these ministries. Each serve opportunity does have limited space simply because we have limited ministry space, and it is first come, first serve with sign ups.
Find a neighbor to love this month!