January 16, 2012
A Different Kind of Church
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10 (NIV)
My normal carpool routine turned into a different kind of church one morning several years ago.
Twice a day, to and from school, we passed a tiny shack-like house. Surrounded by trash, old cars and unused items seemingly headed for the dump, it appeared neglected. It's front porch slowly detaching from the foundation made us wonder if it was uninhabitable.
The site of this dilapidated dwelling begged me to glance its way every single day.
After carpool, as I headed to the grocery store for my weekly shopping, I could not get this home off my mind. I walked the aisles, randomly loading my cart with many extra items.
Echoing repeatedly in my thoughts were the words from Romans 12:10, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." I knew I had to embrace this truth and live it out.
I had to do church differently that day.
For me, church had always consisted of four walls, worship songs, messages about the truth and love of God, and being surrounded by people. But a different kind of church was begging for my attention that morning.
On the way home from school, I casually told my teenaged daughter and her friends that we'd be making a quick stop. "We're going to do a different kind of church today," I quietly told them, hoping they didn't hear the nervousness in my voice.
My riders were not enthused as we pulled over at the dilapidated shack. They reluctantly helped me gather the bags of groceries from my trunk and timidly followed me to the leaning porch.
I apprehensively knocked on the worn screened door.
A middle-aged woman answered as I gently told her we had some groceries to share. She didn't welcome us into the dark room behind her, but eagerly accepted what we had to give.
"Thank you," she said. "They need this more than you know."
Not knowing any details or even who they were, I awkwardly told her we'd pray.
"Please do," she begged as she quickly closed the door on us.
As we headed back to the car, my anxiety began to subside. And God's peace filled my heart.
On our way home, I didn't wrap up our brief visit with a short sermonette or a confident 'well done' pat on our backs. We simply drove home in silence and reflected on our different kind of church that day.
And I couldn't help but smile as the verse in Romans continued to echo in my mind, "Be devoted to one another..."
Dear Lord, help me to always see where there is a need and look to fill it. Teach me to look beyond myself as I seek to represent You. Give me the boldness to show my children my love for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Reflect and Respond
Have I ever sensed God calling me to do church differently?
How can I step beyond my normal routine and be the hands and feet of Jesus for someone today?
Romans 11:36, "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." (NIV)
John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (NIV 1984)
© 2012 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 16 January 2012.