Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three Strands

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

I’ve spent a great deal of time recently editing documents for our church and its various ministries, in addition to actually being in the community working as a volunteer in the ministries. One of the reasons I’ve sought out the manual labor type of volunteer work such as all the moving and deliveries I’ve done for The Movers and Shakers and The Children’s Restoration Network is because I’ve believed I needed to sweat for God as much as I’ve thought about him. Writing and editing is purely mental, if uses my intellectual gifts but doesn’t make use of my aging but still strong and capable body. I sit alone in my office at my desk to write and edit, but to do the rest I must be with the people, giving of myself in a tangible, sometimes tiring, way. Deeds must be seen as well as heard about.

So it came as a pleasant discovery to me, as I was editing a document about the formation of Unite!, when I found a section about the three strands (components) of a mature church. Here’s an excerpt:

“While we were a church that was strong in the HEAD in terms of having a strong theology and keen focus on God’s sovereignty, and were fairly strong in the HEART in terms of being gospel centered and evangelically focused as a congregation, we were very weak in the HAND. We were not sufficiently caring for those in need in our community.

While we had a few of our people involved in community ministry, they were volunteering on their own accord because the church had no intentional or strategic focus on mercy and justice ministry in the community. Upon realizing this, we became convinced that a strong and healthy church consists of three strands: Head, Heart, and Hand, and is was populated with three strand believers.

James 2:15-17 says “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

Sharing the gospel and His word is vital to Christianity; however, word and deed were never to be separated, they do not exist in an “either/or” relationship with one another, but rather they coexist in a “both/and” relationship. The gospel is both word and deed!

We are called to be ambassadors for Christ, which includes sharing good news about Him as well as demonstrating His life through our acts of love, compassion, and justice.”

Can it be said any better than that?

So, consequently, I’m spending half a day volunteering at three different ministries today, getting my head, heart and hand in alignment. What are you doing?

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

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