Mississippi Church Has Success with Clothing Program
by: Stafford North | November 16, 2010
by Rick Benson, Minister
I believe one of the challenges a small congregation faces is how to motivate people to come into our church building, meet us, and hear the gospel preached. And, of course, to bring them in a scriptural way. By using the example of the early church in Acts we were able to accomplish this goal.
On Saturday, October 9, 2010, the Union Church of Christ held an outreach opportunity called “Share & Serve.” The event, which took place in our church building, was to serve Union, Mississippi, a town of 2,000. Our congregation, with a membership of 50, had over 30 to participate in this work. They all were blessed in their efforts to serve the needy. I had encouraged them to take part by saying that “If we truly are the New Testament church in Union, then we should reach out to the needy.”
We advertised the coming event with flyers in local businesses and with a banner in front of the church for a week. We put up signs on the day we set for people to come. We wanted to make the opportunity known to those who needed help, but did not want to over-advertise and have more to come than we could help.
The congregation collected clothing, household items, and food. We had no idea how many people would come but were pleased that thirty-one families came, which represented ninety-one souls. All of them needed clothing, but we were surprised that not all needed food. We actually had some food bags left over. Each person was given an invitation to our up-coming revival series and information about the New Testament church.
Everyone that needed help filled out a form. We are in the process of following up on the requests. About 15 requested home visits and Bible Studies. Many also have needs with which we can help in the future such as more clothing, G.E.D instruction, and job placement. All of these needs will open the door for us to visit them in the future.
Our revival began on Sunday, the day after our clothing and food distribution. Steve Kirby from the Hillsdale congregation in Clarksville, Tennessee, was our guest evangelist. Each of his messages focused on how to grow as a Christian. Some of his sermons were on prayer, evangelism and fellowship. Four who came to “Share and Serve” attending the meeting. Also, during the meeting, one soul obeyed the gospel.
This event taught our congregation how to work “day by day” as a congregation of Christians. As the minister and an elder, I was blessed and joyful to see the work we accomplished and am hopeful for more fruit in the future.
For more information about this program, email Rick Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org.